Solar cells are getting cheaper and better very quickly and companies are already developing solar paints as well. Once these technologies become widespread the prices will drop even more rapidly. Solar cells currently only extract a small percent of the potential power. With some totally realistic potential improvements to the technology, a car covered in cells could generate its own power assuming it sits in the sun most of the time. It's quite likely that Sed's proposed car will be on the road in a matter of years. Batteries are actually finally improving as well, which is really the key. The solar cars in those races don't have batteries, so they can't sit and charge and then use the power during the race, but electric cars will.
Technology does advance, but don't hold your breath. Look at how the panels on homes has changed in the last 20 years. Barely at all except there are more of them.
Be Cool Stay in School!
Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.
And, there are companies out there that have figured out a way to create a long-term revenue stream for themselves, owning the panels, "renting" rooftops of homeowners, who actually pay them for a "lower" electricity bill.
I'm still holding off, though. My home faces southeast, so I don't get the full blast of sun. I also have clay roof tiles, which I think clash horribly with blue/black of panels.
I'd probably try to get a good price for my used tiles, while replacing the roof with the solar shingles. Too bad I don't have $44,000 (reading a Forbes article about a small installation) for a new roof. Guess I'll have to wait for a tree to drop on it.
[starts pushing trees]
There is no need for stops between Ventura Blvd and Sunset Blvd. Heck, the tunnel could come out at Getty Center.
Ventura/Sepulveda is at 709' above sea level. Sunset/Sepulveda is just under 500'.
Looks to be seven miles straight from Van Nuys to Sunset/Sepulveda.
So, build light rail starting at Metrolink's Sylmar Station (Santa Clarita Line).
Follow current Metrolink tracks (above ground is preferable) to Van Nuys Blvd.
Turn west-southwest on Van Nuys Blvd.
Stop at Metrolink's Ventura Line (between Roscoe Blvd and Saticoy St).
Stop at Orange Line station (just north of Oxnard St).
Underground at Moorpark St and Ventura Blvd.
Then straight to Sunset/Century City/LAX.
So easy. On paper.
There is Stone Canyon Reservoir on that path, as well as a couple hundred multi-million dollar homes of the rich and/or famous.
The connections to the existing transit system is what makes Van Nuys Blvd optimal.
Sepulveda Blvd path wouldn't be too bad, though. Heck, they could move the Van Nuys Station of the Ventura County Line to Sepulveda Blvd. Closer to a freeway that way.
Sepulveda path would be:
From Symar Station, follow Metrolink to Brand.
Turnwest-southwest on Brand, follow to Sepulveda Blvd.
Turn south on Sepulveda.
Then sort-of follow The 405 to Sunset or so. Maybe ending tunnel at bottom of Getty Center Drive.
There are probably a lot of residents and businesses and schools along the routes that might object. Part of me says "too bad for you." The other part of me says, "Check out the increased value of property along the current routes." Then, they'll all want the stations as close to their property as possible.
The Mayor, in Washington D.C. to try and raise more funds for local and regional transit projects, stressed some familiar themes: America Fast Forward, Great Streets, Measure R… But what grabbed my attention was about 20 seconds of text that may serve as the unofficial public kickoff for the next transit expansion ballot initiative campaign. Until there’s a more formal name, let’s call it Measure R++
This is why my first action as mayor was to call together a meeting of regional mayors from across the county to discuss the issues of future development. One common theme that emerged from that gathering back in August was that we desperately need more transportation investments. Currently, all the cities across L.A. County are submitting their ideas for investments as part of another transportation investment ballot initiative. These efforts will ultimately expand our transit system while at the same time increasing planning efforts to deliver vibrant neighborhoods across our transit network.