Posts Tagged ‘mobility’

Reports of a post-growth era have been vastly exagerated

January 19, 2014 1 comment

20140119-181813.jpg In Mark Twain style we could claim that reports of the advent of a post-growth world have been vastly exagerated. In fact while we almost certainly find ourselves at the end of the long economic cycle that started with the industrial revolution, we might well be on the eve of a new century long growth cycle.

The industrial revolution harnessed mechanical power to free-up or leverage human physical power. In production or transport, tasks that would have otherwise taken muscle and time could be done with increasing effectiveness through people operating machines. The lever of mechanical power enabled economies to tap into a massive productivity reservoir, unleashing two centuries of phenomenal growth. Today, Read more…


Paradigm-shift theory applied to energy for transport

August 20, 2013 4 comments

20130820-105932.jpg Technology differs from science in its core purpose. The purpose of technology is to make things we understand work; that of science is to discover how things we don’t understand work. In mathematical terminology, science searches for the founding theorem, while technology pursues its many corollaries. Science is constrained by the faith it has placed in, or the frantic search for, a unifying paradigm; technology has, in principle, more freedom to apply science in many different ways.

However, in practice science and technology tend to operate a lot closer to each other. Read more…

Korean first recharging road powers electric buses on the go

August 8, 2013 1 comment

20130808-234504.jpg South Korea has just switched on the first commercial road in the world where OELVs (Online Electric Vehicles) can be constantly recharged while driving. Electric cables fitted under the pavement are used to generate electromagnetic fields which are picked up by a coil inside the vehicle and converted into electricity. The technology allows electric vehicles (EV) to break through the range barrier, which has hampered EV adoption so far.

Read more…

New Pegasus, the photovoltaic donkey

20130615-092355.jpg A new Pegasus roams the countryside of Macedonia. In the heart of the wine region, near Kavadarci, a donkey quietly grazes while recharging its batteries through the two solar panels deployed on its wings. As its owners lead it through the hills, Pegasus offers its 1000W batteries to anyone who might need them and allows his human companions to recharge their laptops and cameras when they camp at night.

Imagined by Philémon and Arnaud Verley, two artists from Lille, France, Pegasus is an experiment rather than an innovation. It has a use but no market. Yet the experiment illustrates brillantly how art and technology can team up to sketch out a different future where power generation could become portable and distributed amongst users.

From ownership to usership, the rise of the Sharing Economy

December 9, 2012 3 comments

Collaborative ConsumptionOver the last three years I have been an avid user of bike and, more recently, car sharing schemes. In the same period, the number of other sharing schemes has seen a phenomenal growth: in what is called the Sharing Economy, people can share not only vehicles or other objects such as DIY tools, but also find accommodation or a place to have dinner, learn a new skill or access services. Anyone who has an asset or a talent can offer it online and find takers. When you consider that assets such as cars or DIY tools spend most of their lives idle, the Sharing Economy enables a smarter and more sustainable mode of consumption also referred to as Collaborative Consumption.
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“The world is moving from car ownership to car usership”

January 7, 2012 3 comments

A BBC News article provides a great insight into the revolution in the making that the car industry is about to go through. KPMG sums it up in their annual survey of the auomotive industry: “The world is moving from car ownership to car usership.” Arguably it will take longer than headline-grabbing statements suggest, not least because a large section of the consumer base still feels a strong emotional connection to the car they own or that they wish to own, but it is undeniably underway. Read more…

Accelerating the diffusion of innovation – Autolib’s BlueCars now roam the streets of Paris

January 1, 2012 1 comment

A year ago, I was drawing innovation lessons from Bollore’s BlueCar winning the contract to run the Autolib’ scheme of the city of Paris. In 2011, the scheme was implemented: pick-up/drop-off stations were created throughout the city with their visible electric car chargers, vehicles were delivered. Autolib’ has now been live for a couple of months, and yesterday, at the very last moment of 2011, I gave it a try. It worked brilliantly. That prompted a few more thoughts, if not lessons, on how to accelerate the transformation of a good idea into a commercial success.

A first question is: why didn’t I do it earlier? Read more…