Danish utility tests gust-guzzling electric vehicles

Danish island tests the idea of wind-powered vehicles.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor on

If you travel to the island of Bermuda, you MUST take a hired car or bus to your destination after arriving -- there are no rental cars. Residents are also limited as to the number of vehicles that can own.

Now, I don't know whether or not this is an ecologically motivated policy or whether it's just to hedge bets against incredibly narrow roads and incredibly bad drivers. But if you've ever been to an island -- like Hawaii where the gas is WAY more expensive than on U.S. mainland -- you know it probably makes sense for both reasons. Fact is, it is expensive to bring fuel over.

Enter the island of Bornholm, where a group of companies and researchers are testing an electric vehicle prototype that relies on wind to charge vehicles. The pilot is part of the EDISON project.

Wind was a logical alternative energy source for the Danish to choose because wind turbines already account for approximately 20 percent of the country's electricity. The goal is to double that amount, although I am not aware of the timeframe for the vision.

The initial phase includes 15 electric vehicles, but the notion is to get 200,000 wind-powered vehicles on the road by 2020. The group testing the system -- which includes DONG Energy, Oestkraft, the Technical University of Denmark, Siemens, Eurisco, the Danish Energy Association and IBM -- will test how the grid responds to the test as more electric vehicles are added throughout 2010.

The IBM-sponsored blog at this link includes more information, including a video about the project.

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