Dreaming Big, Despite Bankruptcy

  • One paint technology that GM is developing uses quantum dots - shown here irradiated with ultraviolet light (Source: Walkman16 at Wikimedia Commons)

Even though General Motors has filed for bankruptcy, Rebecca Williams reports the company is still dreaming big:

Transcript

Even though General Motors has filed for bankruptcy, Rebecca Williams reports the company is still dreaming big:

Someday you might be able to power your radio through your car’s paint.

Christopher Webb is GM’s senior creative designer.

He says GM’s research teams are giving some thought to solar powered paint. He says it might start with tiny solar cells called quantum dots.

“You could suspend these solar cells in a resin system or a waterborne or solvent carrier and spray it over the surface of the vehicle. Technically the entire surface of the vehicle could become almost a solar conductor.”

Webb says nobody knows exactly how this might work yet. But he says he’s confident that GM will continue their research into new technologies like this even with the bankruptcy announcement.

Something else that’s being talked about is using volcanic rock in paint. It could be a coating that would reduce a car’s interior temperature by reflecting heat – so you could use the air conditioning less often.

For The Environment Report, I’m Rebecca Williams.

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Fall Foliage Could Be Brilliant

Across the region, the leaves are beginning to change color. One forestry expert says it’s a slow start, but the autumn foliage could become brilliant before the leaves fall this year. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:

Transcript

Across the region, the leaves are beginning to change color. One forestry expert says it’s a slow
start, but the autumn foliage could become brilliant before the leaves fall this year. The Great
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:


This fall, most of the region has seen a lot of cooler, overcast days. Burt Barnes is a forestry
professor with the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. He
says if we’re to see great fall color, we need some more sunshine.


“Well, so far we haven’t had the crisp, sunny, warm days and cold nights that are sometimes
characteristic of fall, which give us the best coloration.”


Barnes says the temperature differential between day and night affects the fall color. With
brighter, warmer days and cool nights, the colors become spectacular. He adds if there’s a sharp
frost, that will cut short the display, but if we get a long frost free period, the colors will continue
to intensify.


For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.