• Charging Ahead with a Blink: IKEA intends to host charging stations for electric vehicles at 10 West Coast stores under a partnership announced today with ECOtality, the purveyor of Blink charging stations and their support networks. The pilot program, which is expected to run through 2012, has set its sights on placing at least two charging stations at selected IKEA stores in Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington, possibly as early as this fall.
ECOtality is the project manager of The EV Project, whose mission is to install more than 14,000 chargers in the U.S. Jonathan Bardelline wrote GreenBiz.com's latest article on technology that brings together energy, vehicles, information systems and buildings -- all the elements of the nascent field GreenBiz calls VERGE.
• More EV Education Required: American consumers need more information on hybrid, electric and other fuel-efficient vehicles to make the movement for greener cars take off, according to research commissioned by Johnson Controls. Americans may say they want more efficient vehicles, but they really don't know much about them and are confused by the options, said the company, whose lines of business are power solutions, automotive and building efficiency.
Forty-five percent of about 1,000 people surveyed contend there are too few options among hybrid vehicles, while 39 percent didn't know the difference between various types of fuel-efficient cars, including Start-Stop vehicles, hybrids and EVs. "The findings reinforce the need for greater education about the full spectrum of vehicle technology options, as well as cost considerations both at purchase and over the lifetime of the vehicle," Johnson Controls said.
• Green Energy in a Box: Equipped with solar modules, storage batteries and an inverter in a unit that can be used as its own shipping container, Panasonic's Life Innovation Container, shown right, can supply an average of 6.7 kilowatt hours of electricity in emergency situations and off-grid areas.
Panasonic introduced its green-energy-in-a-box solution at the Indonesian Red Cross Society event called JUMBARA 2011, which concluded last week. Here is a video of the container's debut:
Next Page: A dose of reality from Al Gore and Mr. Peanut Goes to Washington.