Lyft vows to help customers find electric vehicles with Green Mode

February 14, 2019 by  
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Lyft is making important strides to decrease carbon emissions in the ride-hailing industry. The company just announced a new initiative called Green Mode, which will make it easier for customers to find electric vehicles (EVs) through the platform. The company, which was the first of its kind to get a carbon-neutral label last year, is planning to introduce a score of electric vehicles in 2019. Putting thousands of EVs on the road will offer a more eco-friendly alternative to customers while putting more money in the pocket of its employees. According to Lyft , the Green Mode program will eventually be incorporated in cities around the world. The company hopes that introducing electric vehicles to cities will significantly curb carbon emissions and reduce the number of gas-powered vehicles on the road. With electric vehicles producing half as much greenhouse gases as their traditional counterparts, Lyft’s program is promising. Lyft will introduce Green Mode in Seattle first before branching out into other cities in the United States. Other locations have yet to be announced. Once the program is widespread, customers will be able to use Green Mode in the company’s app to filter electric and hybrid vehicles . The Green Mode program is also beneficial to drivers. Individuals who use Lyft are always looking for ways to decrease fuel costs, and providing electric vehicles would be a major step to make that happen. That is why Lyft plans to offer an electric vehicle rental service, in which drivers can rent EVs without worrying about mileage or maintenance costs. The company would also pay for the insurance. Lyft will incorporate the rental costs into the driver’s weekly rate. Because electricity costs much less than gasoline, this will put more money in the pocket of drivers who use electric vehicles. In fact, the company estimates that its Green Mode initiative will save employees thousands of dollars every year — and that only accounts for fuel savings. + Lyft Image via Lyft

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Lyft vows to help customers find electric vehicles with Green Mode

Hyundai reportedly working on next-gen solid-state batteries for electric vehicles

April 6, 2017 by  
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Major car companies like Hyundai have toyed with both hydrogen and electricity for clean fuel sources, but now it seems the Seoul, South Korea -based manufacturer may be taking a major step towards improving technology for their electric cars with solid-state batteries . An April 5 report from The Korea Herald says the car company has pilot-scale battery production facilities in which they’re developing the battery technology that could store more energy  and be a game changer for the industry. Hyundai may be working on solid-state batteries in their facilities they own, according to information obtained by The Korea Herald from who they described as sources close to the matter. They quoted this source as saying, “Hyundai is developing solid-state batteries through its Namyang R&D Center’s battery precedence development team and it has secured a certain level of technology.” Related: 2017 Hyundai IONIQ will be offered in EV, plug-in hybrid and hybrid versions Hyundai is apparently developing the technology without help from Korean battery manufacturers like LG Chem or Samsung SDI . The source compared Hyundai’s approach to Toyota’s – they also own production facilities according to the source. Industry sources told The Korea Herald Hyundai might be able to mass produce solid-state batteries around 2025. LG Economic Research Institute analyst Choi Jung-deok told The Korea Herald “…if automakers are able to succeed the mass production of next-generation batteries, the paradigm of batteries in the future may be shifted.” As solid-state batteries carry less risk of explosion they are considered safer than conventional batteries. According to Electrek, no company has yet been able to produce solid-state batteries at a large scale and at a price competitive with lithium-ion batteries. Along with Toyota, Ford has dabbled in the technology as well. Companies like Bosch and Dyson have also invested in the technology; the latter acquired a solid-state battery startup in 2015 for $90 million with plans to construct a $1 billion factory. Via The Korea Herald and Electrek Images via Jakob Härter on Flickr and Wikimedia Commons

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Hyundai reportedly working on next-gen solid-state batteries for electric vehicles

Propella’s lightweight electric bike rides like a regular bike

April 6, 2017 by  
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Electric bicycles just keep getting sleeker and slimmer. Propella has just come out with a second generation e-bike that could almost be mistaken for a regular bike. They say their Propella 2.0 rides like a traditional road bike, has a 15 percent smaller battery than its competitor, and it’s said to be eight percent lighter. With a goal to bridge the divide between electric bikes and ordinary bikes, Propella’s 2.0 e-bike features minimalist design that keeps it nice and light. It weighs 34.5 pounds, and according to the company is “classified as the lightest electric vehicle in its class.” Its top speed is 20 miles per hour. Related: Turn any bike into an e-bike with UrbanX’s drop-in wheel You’d be forgiven for mistaking the bike’s battery for a water bottle – it fits snugly against the down tube but boasts Panasonic’s lithium ion technology. The 36 volt battery can be charged in two and a half hours, and offers a range of up to 40 miles. There’s an anti-theft lock on the battery, which can be removed and charged via a standard wall outlet. The bike’s 250 watt geared hub motor fits into the rear wheel, and Propella describes the motor as both quiet and maintenance-free. A LED display on one of the bike’s handles allows riders to choose their pedal assist level. On the company’s Indiegogo campaign page they say concept electric vehicles inspired them to design their bike “so that Propella riders can be guaranteed to own the most beautiful electric bike in the world.” With a month left on their Indiegogo campaign, Propella has reached almost $50,000 of a $60,000 goal. Their super early backer prices are already sold out; now cycling fans can grab a single speed for $999 or a seven-speed for $1,149; both are 33 percent off retail price. The company says their single speed is still “quite capable of climbing most hills.” You can check out the campaign here . + Propella + Propella on Indiegogo Images via Propella

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Propella’s lightweight electric bike rides like a regular bike

Earth Overshoot Day arrives earlier this year than ever before

August 8, 2016 by  
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The planet isn’t equipped to deal with the amount of pollution humans pump out or the amount of resources we gobble up every year. To show just how unbalanced things are, each year we mark Earth Overshoot Day , the point that we use up nature’s entire “budget” for the year. This year, Overshoot Day falls on August 8 – earlier than it ever has before in history. Think of it as a bank statement for the planet, and from here on out for the rest of the year, we’re bouncing checks. Earth Overshoot Day marks the point where we have pulled more resources, like fish, fuel and water, out of the planet than can be replenished. It’s also the point where we have put more pollution into the air and water than Earth can successfully deal with. Humans have been doing that for a long time, but ever since 1971, Overshoot Day has crept disconcertingly earlier and earlier. This year, Overshoot Day is a full 5 days earlier than last year. That’s the earliest it has ever been. Related: Paris just banned all cars built before 1997 to fight air pollution Obviously, the way we are living is not sustainable. We’d need an entire second planet to maintain our current way of life in developed countries. Since we don’t have a second Earth, our only other option is to learn to live in balance with the planet. We can make lots of individual choices to help, but the biggest impact comes from forcing our governments to take action and electing people who support sustainability . The Dutch are banning polluting cars , entire cities are going vegetarian  and the Paris climate agreement is a major step towards global change. Hopefully, if we keep the momentum going, rather than creeping earlier yet again next year, we can push the Earth Overshoot Day back. Via DesmogUK Images via Beyond Coal & Gas  and  Kevin Gill

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Earth Overshoot Day arrives earlier this year than ever before

Light renovation of historic Istanbul library better preserves rare treasures

August 8, 2016 by  
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As one of the oldest of its kind in Istanbul, the Beyaz?t State Library sits on a vibrant city square close to to Beyaz?t Mosque built by Sultan Beyaz?t II and completed in 1506. The building was originally used as a soup kitchen and caravanserai-a roadside inn-of a larger complex that included a primary school, a hospital, a madrasa or religious school and a hammam (or public bath). The library was founded in 1884 and occupied a part of the the Kulliyah of the Beyaz?t Mosque- the oldest surviving imperial mosque in the city- built by Sultan Beyaz?t II and completed in 1506. Related: Microlibrary built with 2,000 recycled ice cream buckets tackles illiteracy in Indonesia The restoration involved a reorganization of the interior and restoration of the building envelope . The architects also added a small extension, installed a transparent, inflatable membrane that covers the courtyard. Valuable manuscripts were placed in black glass boxes that contrast the rest of the interior. The second floor houses a collection of Turkish publications: periodicals are on the first floor, while rare books and publications from the Ottoman era are exhibited on the ground floor. + Tabanlioglu Architects Via Fubiz Photos by Emre Dörter

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Light renovation of historic Istanbul library better preserves rare treasures

Amazon dam opposed by local tribes halted by Brazil environmental agency

August 8, 2016 by  
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Plans for an 8,000 megawatt hydroelectric dam in the heart of the Brazilian rainforest have been halted after backers failed to supply the necessary environmental impact study. The proposed São Luiz do Tapajós (SLT) dam, fiercely opposed by local tribes, would have flooded 145 square miles of land currently occupied by 12,000 Manduruku Indians. Brazil’s environmental protection agency, IBAMA , cancelled development plans on Thursday, citing the absence of required reports on the social and environmental impact of the massive hydroelectric project. The dam ’s backers are comprised of a number of Brazilian, European, and other companies, and locals have long been wary of the impact such a huge project would have. Human rights groups and environmental activists had previously spoken out against the project, claiming that backers had failed to take into account the full impact of the dam, including its effects on biodiversity, aquatic ecosystems, and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the impact on communities that exist downstream from the planned site. Related: Peru plans to dam Amazon River’s main source and displace thousands For the natives who live in the area that the dam would have flooded , the environmental agency’s decision was a welcome one but it does not mean that tribal people are ensured safety. “We Munduruku people are very happy with the news. This is very important for us. Now we will continue to fight against other dams in our river,” said Arnaldo Kabá Munduruku, general chief Munduruku. Although the backers can submit another application for an environmental permit, it is more likely the project is dead in the water. A new environmental impact study would be costly, and the prevailing public opposition to the dam makes it less likely that the consortium will attempt to move forward. In an interview with Valor newspaper, Brazil’s environment minister José Sarney Filho said the SLT dam was “entirely dispensable,” adding that the same amount of energy could be derived from smaller power generators and other renewable sources. Had it been built, the SLT dam would have been the world’s sixth largest hydroelectric dam, spanning the river’s five-mile width. Via The Guardian Images via Bruno Kelly/Greenpeace Brazil and Nelson Pretto/Flickr

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Amazon dam opposed by local tribes halted by Brazil environmental agency

Researchers unlock technique for using skin cells to regrow heart tissue

March 14, 2016 by  
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Researchers at the Ott Lab at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital have successfully grown human heart tissue from stem cells created from adult skin cells. The breakthrough represents a major step forward in regenerative therapy, as the team’s technique could be used to ‘grow’ new heart tissue from a patient’s own cellular tissue, reducing the need for heart transplants as well as the risk for rejection of the implanted tissue. Although it’s not possible to grow an entire heart, this kind of advancement in medical technology could make a huge impact for those suffering from cardiac diseases which often result in death. Read the rest of Researchers unlock technique for using skin cells to regrow heart tissue

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Researchers unlock technique for using skin cells to regrow heart tissue

ESA blasts off mission to detect life on Mars

March 14, 2016 by  
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Is there life on Mars ? The question has haunted humans for eons, and now the European Space Agency (ESA) is spending 1.3 billion euros to probe for an answer, teaming up with Russia’s space agency Roscosmos to launch the ExoMars mission . Two spacecraft, a solar-powered Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaperelli lander, hitched a ride on a Russian proton rocket, lifting off earlier today in Kazakhstan. Read the rest of ESA blasts off mission to detect life on Mars

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World’s largest underwater restaurant installed in the Maldives

March 14, 2016 by  
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Looking for a unique dining experience on your next trip abroad? The Hurawalhi Island Resort in the Maldives just installed the world’s largest underwater restaurant, which offers breathtaking views of the sea floor. While most underwater restaurants can only accommodate about a dozen people at a time, Hurawalhi Island Resort’s new dining room will be able to seat 30 when it opens in August 2016. Read the rest of World’s largest underwater restaurant installed in the Maldives

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World’s largest underwater restaurant installed in the Maldives

London’s National Gallery Switches to LED Lighting

May 6, 2011 by  
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Photo: National Gallery , Angel (Left Hand) 1455-60, Francesco Pesellino and Fra Filippo Lippi and workshop London’s esteemed National Gallery has announced that it will be switching to LED lighting over the next two years. This is a major step for such an enormous art gallery and indeed it is the first in the world to use these lights throughout their building. It will cuts its carbon emissions significantly and make the light better in the galleries…

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London’s National Gallery Switches to LED Lighting

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