Event Highlights: SolidThinking Converge 2016

This post was originally published at the web site of Product Creation Studio.

Introduction

Last month I was invited to attend the SolidThinking Converge 2016 Conference in Los Angeles hosted by Altair. The topics sounded fascinating, and the speakers included the head of design for Fiat Chrysler, a thought leader on Biomicry, architects, artists, academics, and engineers. I went with high hopes to learn something and get a glimpse of the future.  My expectations were greatly exceeded.

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The Carbon tax on the ballot is very right wing, and that’s OK

In an earlier post, I said that I-732, the proposal on the Washington State Ballot to create a revenue-neutral carbon tax, is “a very right-wing policy (which doesn’t necessarily make it bad)”. Since I wrote that, I bumped into the author of I-732, economist Yoram Bauman, while taking a walk in Fremont. He said something that I found interesting, that he thinks I-732 is a moderate proposal, halfway between the right and the left. I disagree, and I’ll explain why here.

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National Drive Electric Week

This week is National Drive Electric Week, sponsored by the Sierra Club, Nissan and Plug-in-America. The theory behind the event is that one of the barriers to acceptance for electric vehicles (EVs) is that many people think of them as over-priced toys or glorified golf cars. If these people got behind the wheel of a modern EV, then they’d realize that their next car might have a plug on it. Since the Nissan Leaf came out in 2010 I’ve believed that most 2-car families would be well served by one of those cars being an EV (we certainly are).

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Should your next car have a plug?

 This article was originally posted on Sustainable West Seattle’s web site in August of 2010. It holds up surprisingly well. My calculations about charging times are wrong and you can get by with a Nissan Leaf and a level 1 charger.

One of my favorite stories ever on Prairie Home Companion was about a guy who couldn’t take the cold winters at Lake Wobegon anymore. He drove south until someone asked him about the plug hanging from the front of his car. He figured if it was warm enough that someone didn’t know what an electric block heater was, it was warm enough for him.

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I’ve joined the ranks of Electric Car drivers

This is a post originally published at Sustainable West Seattle’s blog in November 2015, not long after we bought our Nissan Leaf. I’m re-publishing it now in honor of Drive Electric Week, which is September 10th-18th.  Soon I’ll publish an update.

For years I’ve been saying that when our Honda Civic died, we’d replace it with a Nissan Leaf. Well, the Honda died and we just bought a Leaf. I thought I’d share our process.

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