Friday, July 31, 2015

Wind Energy Unable To Meet California's EV Demands -- July 31, 2015

Back on June 12, 2011, I posted:
Nissan realizes that recharging electric vehicles is going to disrupt the neighborhood grid. It's my understanding that the transformers you see hanging on the utility lines in your neighborhood are not rated to handle more than one or two rechargeable electrical vehicles in your neighborhood. Once electric vehicles catch on, General Electric will have to build enough transformers to replace all those we currently have. 
In today's news, sent to me by a reader -- the Bay Area is already experiencing the problem:
With more and more plug-in cars hitting the roads, there's been growing concern over the strain these vehicles will have on the nation's overtaxed power grid. BMW thinks it may have a solution in California.
The German automaker has partnered with utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for an 18-month pilot program in the San Francisco Bay Area that's just getting underway. The trial, dubbed BMW iChargeForward, gives $1,540 in gift cards to 100 owners of i3 hatchbacks to charge their vehicles during off-peak times.
Most automakers' electric vehicles already include app-based timer functions to allow owners to charge their vehicles during less-costly off-peak hours.
Charging EVs overnight may solve the "grid" problem, but more than two or three EVs in one neighborhood, and the transformers are going to be need upgrading.

Apple, BMW

A year or so ago, Apple made a big splash by buying Beats, the headphone company. At the time, I thought it was smart of Apple -- a luxury brand, urban cool, and it seemed to fit the Apple music business.

But, looking back, that was truly small potatoes. Tim Cook and Apple need to be looking at much bigger ways to affect change. They need to take a page from Elon Musk's playbook. Whether one "believes" in Elon Musk (and I don't), he has certainly defined himself -- or let the mainstream media define him -- as "transformational." He's on the cover of The New York Review of Books this week.

Apple needs to be seen, again, as transformational. Evolution in mobile devices is becoming more and more irrelevant by the day. Apple TV is yet to be what it needs to be, and if it does come, it, too, in hindsight will be seen as small potatoes.

I am therefore thrilled to see that talks between BMW and Apple are back on. I think Apple has lost four or five years, stagnating with iPhone updates and needs to be seen as doing something much, much bigger. Reuters has this story, but I prefer this link over at Macrumors

A Note to the Granddaughters

My roots are in North Dakota. I don't know much about New York City but it holds a special attraction for me because of the one summer I spent working in a "bedroom community" for New York City on the New Jersey side of the river. Until recently I had never heard of Delmonico's but now the name of this very famous, very elegant NYC restaurant pops up in two books I'm reading, This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Appetite for America, the story of Fred Harvey, by Stephen Fried.

The question is: how could I possibly have missed Delmonico's with all these movie references:


Fitzgerald uses Delmonico's in Chapter 5, "The Egotist Becomes a Personage," to emphasize the delta that exists between the fantastically rich and the impoverished state Amory was in by the end of the book. [His impoverished state was both financial and emotional, having lost the love of his live to someone else.]

Delmonico's is mentioned three times in Appetite for America but its main entry comes early in the book:
There, in 1830, the legendary Delmonico's morphed from just another coffee and pastry shop into the first full-service restaurant in the United States. New York, like other major American cities, had always had hotels that fed their guests from a set menu, as well as oyster bars, coffeehouses, and carts for quick, modest far. But the idea of eating in a full-service restaurant -- where patrons could order what they wanted from a broad and varied menu, à la carte -- was still novel.
Restaurants ahd existed in France for some time, but in British culture, which still heavily influenced life in America, dining in a public place was considered uncivilized, gauche. The success of Delmonico's in the 1830s heralded a new chapter in American dining. with its authentic French cuisine and choice American beef -- all served with its signature potatoes, grated into long strands and then oven baked with butter, Parmesan, and a touch of nutmeg -- Delmonico's became the country's gold standard for eating out.
I had not heard of Delmonico's. I assume there's a few New Yorkers who have have not (yet) heard of the Bakken.


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