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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Ringing in an EE/RE new year

As part of the New Years’ celebration, I spotted two interesting EE/RE milestones that were integrated into the traditional American celebration of the holiday.

First, to mark the most famous US New Years’ Eve celebration, the Times Square Alliance this year has gone EE with an LED-illuminated ball, featuring 32,256 LEDs and 2,668 Waterford Crystals. The ball was programmable to display different patterns, and the ball will be on display year round.

Secondly, a RE car played a prominent role in the Rose Parade, America’s biggest and most watched parade (three simultaneous broadcasts here in the Bay Area). To lead the parade, Honda supplied its fuel cell-powered FCX Clarity, part of a major promotion effort to mark its 50th anniversary of US operations. The car is currently being leased in limited quantities in the Los Angeles region.

The FCX is obviously a reputation builder rather than a major product in the near term, but clearly Honda made millions of people aware of the reality that fuel cell vehicles are not only possible but here.

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