After years of stops and starts, electric cars and plug-in hybrids are on the cusp of a new era of mainstream acceptance, starting this year.
As this radio story airs, Congress is debating two Cash for Clunkers proposals, one from the Senate and one from the House of Representatives. (A third proposal, also from the Senate, is almost identical to the House version.) Both would pay consumers to scrap their "clunkers" in exchange for brand-new, more fuel-efficient models.
You'd have to be a real gas pump aficionado to notice the new gear that gas stations across California are required to have installed by April 1. California's gas nozzles have been outfitted for some time with vapor-capture devices, designed to cut back on the amount of volatile organic compounds – those smelly fumes – that escape when you pump gas.
"Do I get to keep the phone?"
Not exactly the environmentally-conscious line of thinking that organizers were hoping for, but understandable for those high-schoolers holding a brand new, latest version of the Nokia in their hands.
I haven't talked about the elderly in my blog entries so far, but they make up a growing segment of the U.S. population. Those my age– 50-ish– who don't like to think of themselves as baby boomers, will be in that demographic in no time. And many of us worry, sometimes a lot, about finding the best place for our elderly parents to spend their last years.
The pilot project at UC Berkeley called Mobile Millennium uses cell phones as data points to show traffic patterns in real time. To become an early adopter of the technology, you must have an unlimited data plan on a mobile phone with a GPS system.