What’s behind state efforts to kill EV incentive?

April 17, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Why states such as Utah, Georgia, Oregon and Colorado are parking consumer incentives for purchasing electric vehicles.

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What’s behind state efforts to kill EV incentive?

Honda steps up with new green car strategy

April 13, 2017 by  
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Honda’s green car strategy has taken criticism over the past few years for its inability to keep up with the venerable Toyota Prius . Well, the automaker is stepping up with their introduction of the new Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in hybrid recently – at the New York Auto Show. The new Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in hybrid will be sold alongside the Clarity Fuel Cell , which is already on sale. With all three models, Honda hopes to be able to sell at least 75,000 Clarity vehicles in the first four model years. The Clarity will also help Honda reach its goal of having two-thirds of its vehicles electrified by 2030. Related: 2017 Honda Clarity fuel cell vehicle is ready for the mainstream The Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will have a 42-mile electric driving range, which is still shy of the Chevy Volt, but longer than the Toyota Prius Prime . Once the battery is depleted, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid uses a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine to give it an overall driving range rating of over 330 miles. The Clarity Plug-in hybrid’s electric motor generates 181-horsepower electric motor with 232 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery. It will only take 2.5 hours to fully recharge it using a 240 volt outlet. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will have EPA fuel economy rating of 105 MPGe. The Honda Clarity Electric is powered by a 161-horsepower electric motor with 221 lb.-ft. of torque that is mated to a 25.5-kWh battery pack. The Clarity Electric will only have a driving range of around 80 miles, but it can by fully charged in just over three hours at 240 volts or up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes using a DC fast charger . The Clarity Electric will have a 111 combined MPGe rating. The Clarity Electric’s driving range is a bit disappointing, since we now have other electric cars with a much longer driving range. Still, Honda expects the Clarity Plug-in hybrid to be the sales volume leader out of the three Clarity models. Images @Honda + Honda

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Honda steps up with new green car strategy

These 3D-printed off-grid tiny houses can withstand hurricanes and earthquakes

April 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

These 3D-printed off-grid homes manufactured by Ukrainian startup PassivDom are not only 100% self-sufficient – they can also withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. The “gadget houses” are completely powered by the sun , and they’re available as fully furnished modules that can be controlled by a smartphone. PassivDom ‘s homes use solar power to satisfy all the needs of their occupants – including climate control (heating and cooling) and air quality. Each house features state-of-the-art engineering including an air recuperation system, a heat pump for heating and cooling with a remote-controlled thermostat hub, a HEPA system, a photovoltaic off-grid system powered by LiFePO2 batteries, a gray water filtration system with heat recovery , heat energy storage, and a boiler and water tank. Related: 7 charming off-grid homes for a rent-free life The homes’ impressive performance makes them versatile enough to suit any climate and topography. An industrial 3D-printing robot creates each house layer-by-layer using printing materials like carbon fiber , fiberglass , and polyurethane – all of which are easy to recycle. Because the structures don’t have foundations, they are easy to transport and assemble in any configuration. + PassivDom

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These 3D-printed off-grid tiny houses can withstand hurricanes and earthquakes

AeroMobil is launching a flying car that you can actually buy this year

April 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

We’ve been waiting for flying cars ever since the 1960s – and they’re set to become a viable reality this year. AeroMobil just announced that it is ready to launch its futuristic flying car – and you’ll actually be able to buy one in a few months. The company plans to show off the latest iteration of the car/plane hybrid next week in Monaco, with pre-orders starting later this year. According to the company, “AeroMobil is a completely integrated aircraft as well as a fully functioning four-wheeled car, powered by hybrid propulsion.” So far, we don’t know how much the futuristic car will cost, or any real specifics, but we do know that the company is aiming to revolutionize the way we get around. “AeroMobil aims to make personal transportation vastly more efficient and environmentally friendly by allowing significantly faster door-to-door travel for medium distance trips and in areas with limited or missing road infrastructure.?” Related: AeroMobil unveils futuristic flying car, plans to launch by 2017 AeroMobil revealed an early prototype of their flying car several years ago, and since then, they’ve been hard at work creating a car that fits within existing regulatory frameworks for both cars and airplanes, which means it will be a viable form of transportation in the very near future. They plan to show off the latest model at the supercar show Grimaldi Forum in Monaco from April 20 until April 24. + AeroMobil

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AeroMobil is launching a flying car that you can actually buy this year

8 universities given three years to develop a self-driving Chevy Bolt

April 7, 2017 by  
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We’re getting closer to the year many automakers predicted would see self-driving vehicles on the road. While Ford has made great advances lately, General Motors isn’t yet ready to stand on the side line with other automakers in 2020. In order to help bridge that gap, GM has announced it is giving eight American universities a Chevy Bolt as part of the new autonomous vehicle design competition called AutoDrive Challenge. The AutoDrive Challenge includes teams from Kettering University, Michigan State University, Michigan Tech, North Carolina A&T University, Texas A&M University, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and Virginia Tech. Each school will be given three years to to develop and demonstrate a fully autonomous Chevy Bolt. Related: The new Nissan Leaf will be able to drive autonomously on the highway While three years may seem like a long time, the AutoDrive Challenge will be quite tough. At the end of the three years, each team will have to complete the development of a Chevy Bolt that will be able to navigate an urban driving course, autonomously and without any human interaction. In addition to receiving the Bolt, GM has also tapped strategic partners and suppliers to aid the students in their technology development by providing vehicle parts and software. Additionally, throughout the competition, students and faculty will be invited to attend technology-specific workshops to help them in their concept refinement and overall autonomous technical understanding. “GM is very excited to work closely with these eight universities over the next three years,” said Ken Kelzer, GM vice president of Global Vehicle Components and Subsystems. “The students and faculty at these schools bring deep knowledge and technical skills to the competition. We are proud to help offer these students the hands-on experience necessary for them to make an immediate impact on the automotive world when they graduate.” The AutoDrive Challenge kicks off this fall. Images @GM + General Motors

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8 universities given three years to develop a self-driving Chevy Bolt

GM, Lyft and Otto on the future of mobility

April 7, 2017 by  
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These five videos bridge the divide between science fiction and our transportation reality.

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GM, Lyft and Otto on the future of mobility

IDEO wants to turn your car into a small-scale public transportation option

April 3, 2017 by  
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A new car-sharing vision may help ease congestion in metropolitan areas lacking mass transportation options. Cities like New York City and London have a decent public transportation system, but if you’ve ever tried to commute in a city like Los Angeles , you probably pray for a better way. California’s Ideo, a design company, offers one such alternative. Their latest concept looks past major infrastructure programs to an expanded view of the automobile sharing model as a means of reducing all of the negative affects of too many cars on the roads. Rather than focus on large public transit programs, IDEO’s latest project matches the current focus on making driving not only easier, but safer. And then expands on that concept by showcasing how an autonomous car can not only bring improvements to its owner’s life, but also help other community members get from point a to b and even raise a few bucks. Related: VW unveils the all-electric autonomous Microbus of the future The owner of the autonomous vehicle can choose to ride solo or even make a few extra dollars by picking up other passengers along the way – which is probably something some Uber and Lyft drivers already do today. Taking communal sharing one step further, the autonomous vehicle can also be rented out like a Zipcar to other people; the renters can even reduce the cost of the rental by agreeing to run errands for the owner of the car. Imagine that you’re renting the car to go on a grocery run, but while you’re there you pick up a few groceries for the car’s owner as well, which would lower the overall cost of the rental. Today car’s generally only serves their owners and the owner’s contacts, but IDEO’s concept would change that by making the car a public resource, similar to a bus or train but on a much smaller scale. Riders can use an app to book a ride, like with UberPOOL. Another big difference between this and other car-sharing programs comes down to a few simple settings that make the environment a bit more discrete. + IDEO All images @IDEO

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IDEO wants to turn your car into a small-scale public transportation option

Airbus and Italdesign unveil modular urban land and air transport system

March 17, 2017 by  
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Showcasing what could be the future of human transportation, Airbus and Italdesign unveiled their Pop.Up concept vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show yesterday – a modular ground and air transport system. With the goal of tackling rush hour traffic around the world, the companies have essentially created a car paired with a drone that can swoop down, pick it up and transport passengers far above the traffic below. Passengers use a smartphone app to call for the drone, and Airbus says the vehicle might one day be able to pair with future transport systems like Hyperloop . According to Airbus , their modular concept includes a capsule that connects to either a ground or air module, and can be integrated into other means of transportation. Trips in the vehicle are entirely managed by an artificial intelligence platform that offers passengers multiple optimized choices of transport combinations based on where and how they want to travel. Passengers can interact with the computer through their smartphone app, and enjoy the stress-free ride of an autonomous vehicle that travels on both land and air. Related: The world’s first flying car is finally available for pre-order The heart of the vehicle is the capsule, designed to house passengers. It becomes a city car by connecting with a battery-powered chassis ground module made of carbon fiber, to become an electric city car for two people. When traffic becomes too much to bear, the passengers can call on the air module powered by eight counter-rotating motors to come and pick up the capsule – leaving the chassis on the ground. It then essentially becomes a vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL), autonomous urban air vehicle . Airbus notes that upon depositing passengers at their destination, both the air and ground modules autonomously return to their respective charging stations to wait for their next customers. While it’s exciting, the project is likely to remain a concept for the time being, as neither Airbus nor Italdesign make any mention about production or launch of their new creation. Airbus technology incubator, A 3 is, however, hard at work on Project Vahana – a futuristic urban transit system that includes single-passenger aircraft. Via Airbus Images via Italdesign

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Airbus and Italdesign unveil modular urban land and air transport system

Tesla is so confident in their vehicles they’re offering lifetime insurance

February 27, 2017 by  
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Once again Tesla is shaking up the automotive industry, this time through insurance for life. The company has started offering a lifetime maintenance and insurance package for some customers, meaning monthly car insurance bills could soon be a budget item of the past. Tesla President of Global Sales and Service Jonathan McNeill said, “It’s our vision in the future that we’ll be able to offer a single price for the car, maintenance, and insurance in a really compelling offering for the consumer. And we’re currently doing that today.” Assured of the features incorporated in a Tesla that purportedly make the vehicle safer than a typical car, such as Autopilot, Tesla has begun including lifetime insurance and maintenance package right in the initial price of their cars . The new package reflects the idea that their safety features could reduce the price of maintenance and insurance. Related: Tesla just introduced the world’s longest range electric car In an earnings call, McNeill said, “We’ve been doing it quietly, but in Asia in particular where we started this, now the majority of Tesla cars are sold with an insurance product that is customized to Tesla, that takes into account not only the Autopilot safety features but also the maintenance costs of the car.” Such a package could allow consumers to know exactly how much a Tesla car will cost them over the long term, rather than facing unforeseen repair costs or rising insurance costs. Elon Musk made it clear Tesla is willing to offer the package if insurance companies aren’t on board, even though he said his company isn’t trying to disrupt the insurance market. He said of the insurance plan, “If we need to we’ll insource it, but I think we’ll find that insurance partners do adjust rates proportionate to the risk of a Tesla.” Via Mashable Images via Tesla Facebook and Wikimedia Commons

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Tesla is so confident in their vehicles they’re offering lifetime insurance

Chilean home’s folding timber flap gives owners optimum temperature control

February 27, 2017 by  
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Designed by Santiago-based B+V Architects , the Folding House in Las Cabras, Chile was strategically wrapped with a wooden “flap” to give the owners optimal temperature control. The unique feature prevents excessive solar radiation during the searing hot summer months while inviting the heat in winter. In addition to providing year-round temperature control, the responsive design element pulls double duty as a sun-streaming cover for the rooftop deck, which offers spectacular lake side views. The stunning 900-square-meter home was tucked into a steep incline, exposing it to the area’s high temperatures. To create a responsive design that wouldn’t sacrifice aesthetics, the architects added the double-ventilated wooden façade as an attractive and protective element. The feature allows the homeowners to enjoy the amazing lake views year-round from the comfort of the outdoor deck, without overheating in the summer months. Related: Eco friendly origami house unfolds on Brazilian beach The double ventilated wooden flap facade shades the home’s exterior walls and roof. In summer, the wooden facade acts as an eave that protects the home from excessive solar radiation . During winter, on the other hand, the wooden envelope allows heat to enter the interior, which is stabilized by high-quality insulation , as well as elimination of all thermal bridges. For additional heating on cloudy days, a small wood-burning stove can be fired up. On the interior, large floor-to-ceiling windows flood the home with natural light and also enhance cross ventilation when opened. A large open courtyard sits in the center of the interior, seamlessly connecting the exterior with the interior. + B+V Architects Via FlipBoard Photography by Rodolfo Lagos Berardi Images via B+V Architects

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Chilean home’s folding timber flap gives owners optimum temperature control

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