February 26th, 2013

Elon Musk talks space with Jimmy Kimmel AutoblogGreen

It’s official: Elon Musk is a bona fide celebrity. He’s appeared in Iron Man 2 and his actions appeal to people who don’t obsessively follow his work at Tesla Motors. Or SpaceX. Or who send money online. He also makes the late-night talk show rounds, and chatted with Jimmy Kimmel last week. Oddly enough, while Musk and his Twitter tirades against a questionable road test article in The New York Times had been getting tons of attention, Kimmel didn’t even ask the Tesla Motors CEO about it. Tesla’s first-ever quarterly profit didn’t come up, either.
Kimmel introduced Musk as the co-founder of PayPal and the founder of both Tesla Motors and SpaceX, but he left out the electric car part. The interview was all about SpaceX and trips to Mars. “He will lead us to Mars whether we want to go there or not,” Kimmel said in the introduction.

September 22nd, 2010

Driving Sustainability: How NASA’s Mars rovers could improve your next electric car AutoblogGreen

How far would you go for a better electric car? The ends of the earth? The moon? Ari Jónsson’s answer is further than either of these places. He can help find a better electric car on Mars.
Jónsson’s, of Reykjavík University, spoke at the 2010 Driving Sustainability conference in Reykjavík, Iceland last weekend on the topic “Ultimate Sustainability.” In this case, ultimate isn’t an understatement. Jónsson helped NASA develop the electric rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, that were sent to the Red Planet in 2003 and performed way beyond anyone’s expectations since arriving in the harsh, harsh environment. Think Nissan is being careful with the cold weather package for the Leaf? Try getting a battery ready for temperatures that can drop to -50 or -80 C at night. Then try powering these batteries from the sun in a place that gets less solar energy (Mars is further from the sun than the Earth) and where the sky is often covered by dust storms – and that dust can come to rest on the solar panels. In short, try building an electric vehicle (EV) for the worst possible scenario and make is 100 percent sustainable. It’s not easy, but the lessons learned have Earthbound applications.

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