Nissan’s new EV ecosystem could give free power to EV owners

October 5, 2017 by  
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The future looks bright for electric vehicle (EV) owners. Nissan recently unveiled plans for the four pillars of their EV ecosystem, including a commitment to expand what they called the biggest fast charger network in Europe by 20 percent. They also aim to offer free power for EV owners who have a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) system, which feeds power from a car’s battery pack to the grid or a home. Nissan sketched plans for the future recently at the Nissan Futures 3.0 event in Norway. They showed off the new Nissan Leaf , which they said can travel 378 kilometers, or around 235 miles, on one charge. They also announced a longer-range all-electric e-NV200 van, which has a 280-kilometer, or 174-mile, range. Related: People in Denmark are earning up to $1,530 just by parking their EVs The second pillar of their plan is their commitment to infrastructure . During the upcoming 18 months, they plan to increase the number of fast chargers in Europe from 4,600 to 5,600. Their third pillar is new home and business chargers; their double-speed seven kilowatt (kW) home charger can recharge a vehicle in five and a half hours. Meanwhile, their 22 kW charger, targeted at businesses, can charge an EV in two hours. They also showcased the xStorage , their home energy storage system. And they have a scheme to get owners free power. xStorage is bidirectional, which means with it EV owners can send power to the grid from a car battery pack. They have been testing the free energy idea in Denmark. Nissan explained in a press release, “Using Nissan bidirectional charging, customers can draw energy from the grid to power their car or van and then ‘sell’ back to the grid for others to use. This means, once a nominal charge has been paid by the business for the installation of a V2G charger there are no fuel or energy costs – just free power for your EV.” They announced a United Kingdom collaboration with OVO allowing owners to buy xStorage at a discounted price, enabling them to charge an EV or start selling power to the grid. Nissan said these owners could make around £350, or around $461, a year. They hope to explore the idea of free power for EV owners in other regions of Europe. Via Nissan and Electrek Images via Nissan

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Nissan’s new EV ecosystem could give free power to EV owners

Scientists say ice may fizz and bubble like champagne when floating in outer space

October 5, 2017 by  
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A group of scientists now believe that ice fizzes and bubbles like champagne when floating in outer space . This discovery was made when researchers at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan first created a mixture of three substances commonly found on comets and interstellar clouds from which stars form: water, ammonia, and methanol. Next, the team exposed this mixture to ultraviolet radiation to imitate the harsh environment beyond the atmosphere. As the ice temperature increased to -213 degrees Celsius, it started to crack, but at only five degrees beyond, bubbles began to form and pop within the ice. This bubbling ceased when the ice warmed to -123 degrees Celsius, and returned to its fully solid form. When the experiment was repeated under different circumstances, the ice’s behavior changed substantially. There were fewer bubbles in ice with less amounts of ammonia and methanol; without UV radiation, there were no bubbles at all. When exposed to radiation, the scientists noticed an increase in hydrogen gas. This suggests that the ice bubbles are formed by hydrogen, which had split off from the methane and ammonia molecules under radiation. In addition to its unusual bubbling, space ice also assumes the viscous quality of refrigerated honey at temperatures between ?185° C and ?161° C. Related: New NASA discovery hints at water elsewhere in the solar system Previous experiments, such as those conducted by Cornelia Meinert of the University Nice Sophia Antipolis in France and her colleagues, have shown that irradiated ice contains a large amount of organic molecules, including ribose, an essential ingredient in DNA . Previously, skeptics of life within space argued that the complex molecules essential for life may have been contamination. “Now [these new results are] helping us argue that at this very low temperature, the small precursor molecules can actually react with each other,” said Meinert, who was not involved in the new experiment. “This is supporting the idea that all these organic molecules can form in the ice, and might also be present in comets.” Via Science News Images via Hubble ESA/Flickr and Science News

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Scientists say ice may fizz and bubble like champagne when floating in outer space

New 35-acre public park brings ‘wild urbanism’ to Moscow

October 5, 2017 by  
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If you’re looking for urban wilderness, it might be time to visit Moscow. Diller Scofidio + Renfro won a competition in 2013 to design Moscow’s first new public park in 50 years . Now, the New York architecture firm has just opened Zaryadye Park, a markedly wild, pathless green space that includes various augmented microclimates to mimic various parts of Russia, including steppes, forests, wetlands, and even tundra. Located in a former commercial part of Moscow just next to Red Square, the creation of the 35-acre park is part of a major push by the city to improve and increase local green space. Commissioned by Moscow Chief Architect, Sergey Kuznetsov, the innovative park design by Diller Scofidio + Renfro includes a number of unique features that stand out from traditional Russian parks. Related: Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Elizabeth Diller is working on an opera for the High Line In contrast to the city’s highly landscaped and symmetrical parks, Zaryadye’s design embraces a notable wild side that avoids the typical designated zones found in most parks. Free from paved walking trails, the entire surface of the new park is open green space , with grey paving stones that surround the perimeter. According to the architects, the “wild” green space was a strategic design meant to encourage complete freedom of movement – offering an “unscripted park experience” for visitors. “It is a park for Russia made from Russia…it samples the natures of Russia and merges them with the city, to become a design that could only happen here. It embodies a wild urbanism, a place where architecture and landscape are one,” explains architect, Charles Renfro. The interior is planted with native flora, which is used to create a replica of the country’s four major microclimates : steppes, forests, wetlands, and tundra. Using temperature control systems as well as daylight simulation and wind elimination, the augmented climates allow locals to use the park all year long. Open hills in wintertime become fun sledding hills and five pavilions allow for shaded shelter among the green space. There are also two amphitheaters and a philharmonic concert hall. + Diller Scofidio + Renfro Via Archdaily Images via Philippe Ruault and Diller Scofidio + Renfro

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Nissan reveals ‘revolutionary’ new wave of EVs

October 5, 2017 by  
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Carmaker claims investments in infrastructure and battery advances will “change the way people access and pay for the power in their cars.”

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How transportation infrastructure keeps sustainability on the move

October 5, 2017 by  
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The basic experience of transportation infrastructure has remained the same for the past 50 years. That’s all about to change.

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How transportation infrastructure keeps sustainability on the move

Paris banned all cars for a day to highlight pollution issues

October 2, 2017 by  
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Pedestrians and cyclists cheered yesterday as Paris closed all of its streets to cars. The government held a Car Free Day and the streets filled with bikers, walkers, and roller-bladers instead of smog. Paris held a Car Free Day in 2015 and 2016 as well. But this was the first time they extended the boundaries to include the entire city . From 11 AM to 6 PM local time, cars were asked to stay off the streets – with exceptions made for emergency vehicles, taxis, and buses. The Paris City Council hosted Car Free Day, together with collective Paris Sans Voiture , or Paris Without Car, which is behind the city-wide car-free idea. Related: Activists Show What it Would Look Like if Bikes Took Up as Much Room as Cars Pollution from cars is often an issue in France’s capital – the Associated Press said mayor Anne Hidalgo was elected after promising to slash air pollution and cut traffic . The government’s statement on the day said one of the Car Free Day’s objectives was “to show that cities can and must invent concrete solutions to fight against pollution” coming from road traffic. They encouraged people to travel by scooters , skates, bikes , or walking . The symbolic event also brought results. The government said Airparif Association conducted independent measurements during the Car Free Day using sensors and a bicycle outfitted with measuring instruments. They saw “an increased decrease in nitrogen dioxide levels along major roads” and “access roads to the capital.” Meanwhile, the Bruitparif Observatory looked at noise with the help of 11 measurement stations. They saw sound energy decreased 20 percent on average, as compared against a regular Sunday. Via Paris and Associated Press/NBC News Images © Henri Garat – Mairie de Paris

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Continental presents concept tire that adjusts to road conditions

September 13, 2017 by  
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When was the last time you checked the air pressure in your car tires ? Most of us don’t pay as much attention to our tires as we should, but Continental recently unveiled two technologies that could pay attention for us. One technology alerts drivers should a tire become damaged, and another could actually change the rim width and tire pressure for better driving on slippery or uneven roads. Continental is showing off their tire technologies, ContiSense and ContiAdapt, at the Frankfurt Motor Show . With the help of sensors embedded in the tire, ContiSense measures temperature and tread depth and then sends that data to a driver over Bluetooth to a smartphone or to a car receiver, with the help of electrically-conductive rubber . If a nail or something else punctures the tire, ContiSense is able to alert the driver far faster than other systems. Related: Continental Tire looks to dandelions for a more sustainable tire ContiAdapt takes a more active role in tire functionality. Micro-compressors in the wheel can adjust the tire pressure on their own, and the system can modify how large the contact patch is to optimize the tire for varying street conditions. There are four combinations so a tire can cruise easily in wet, slippery, uneven, or normal conditions. Continental says the system also allows for very low tire pressure when, for example, a car is navigating deep snow or black ice. Continental also has a concept tire featuring both technologies. This tire design boasts three different tread zones ideal for driving on surfaces that are wet, slippery, or dry. The tread zones are activated depending on the rim width and tire pressure chosen by ContiAdapt. New Atlas said the two technologies will soon be added to Continental’s portfolio, which includes ContiSeal, allowing for automatic sealing of holes, and ContiSilent, which reduces tire and road noise. Via New Atlas and Continental Images via Continental

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Scotland to phase out new gas and diesel cars by 2032

September 8, 2017 by  
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We’ve recently seen a movement of governments banning new petrol and diesel cars – within the past year the Netherlands , France , and India have all announced plans to move away from the polluting vehicles – and now it appears Scotland is jumping on the emissions-free bandwagon. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently laid out the new Program for Government , which includes a target of phasing out the need for the dirty cars by 2032. The country also aims to fast-track the development of an electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Scotland’s Program for Government, which touches on issues like social security, childcare, and prison sentences, also draws attention to environmental issues. Perhaps its boldest goal is phasing out new diesel and petrol cars and vans in around 15 years. Scotland will promote other forms of travel like EVs by adding more charging stations, and pledged to double their investment on biking and walking from £40 million to £80 million, or from around $52.7 million to around $105.5 million, to boost air quality . Related: Britain to ban new diesel and petrol cars in 2040 Announcing the program, Sturgeon said, “We live in a time of unprecedented global challenge and change. We face rapid advances in technology ; a moral obligation to tackle climate change …We must aspire to be the inventor and the manufacturer of the digital, high-tech, and low-carbon innovations that will shape the future, not just a consumer of them.” She also announced the government plans to fund a North Sea carbon capture and storage project. And Scotland has already been winning in renewable energy this year. Between January and June, wind power provided 124 percent of household electricity needs in the country. Via the Scottish Government and EcoWatch Images via Wikimedia Commons and Gabriel Rodríguez on Flickr

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Australia now generates enough renewable energy to power 70% of homes

August 28, 2017 by  
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Renewable energy is taking over Australia . New figures reveal the sector generated enough electricity for 70 percent of Australian homes during the last financial year, according to Green Energy Markets . But even better than that, once 2016-2017 clean power projects are completed, renewable energy might actually be able to power 90 percent of homes. Green Energy Markets just launched their first Australian Renewable Energy Index this week, and the findings were thrilling for the renewable energy industry. Between July 2016 and June 2017, the country generated enough clean power for 7.1 million homes. Related: Australia announces massive $1B solar farm with the world’s largest battery At the end of 2016-2017, Green Energy Markets found 46 large-scale clean energy projects were under construction. They estimated these projects would employ 8,868 people full-time for a year. They also found nearly 150,000 rooftop solar systems had been installed, and could provide enough energy for more than 226,000 houses. From design to sales to installation, these rooftop systems supported 3,769 full-time jobs. They’ll provide about $1.6 billion in power bill savings during the next 10 years. Hydro-electricity offered the largest source of renewable energy at 40 percent; wind provided 31 percent while rooftop solar generated 18 percent. Renewable sources comprised 17.2 percent of all the electricity generated in the country, helping Australia avoid the same amount of carbon pollution as if 8.1 million cars, over half the cars in the country, were taken off roads. Tristan Edis, analyst at Green Energy Markets, said renewables have launched a “construction jobs and investment boom.” Advocacy group GetUp provided funding for the report, and the groups plan to publish a new Australian Renewable Energy Index each month. GetUp energy campaigns director Miriam Lyons said, “everyday Australians are voting with their rooftops” in a move heralding “the end of the era of big polluting energy companies dominating the market and manipulating prices to fill their own pockets.” Via The Guardian and Green Energy Markets Images via Lawrence Murray on Flickr and CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

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Why the new Nissan Leaf won’t need a brake pedal

July 20, 2017 by  
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Your next car may not have a brake pedal. But don’t worry – you’ll still be able to drive safely. Nissan’s new Leaf will feature what they call an e-Pedal, which allows users to speed up, slow down, and stop using just one pedal. This seemingly small change could alter car design of the future in a large way. The e-Pedal could forever change the way we drive. Drivers simply push down on the pedal to accelerate, as normal, but when they ease up on the pedal the car slows down, and when they take their foot off completely the car stops. The technology works even on hills, allowing a car to stay in place without a person needing the hold the brake pedal down. Nissan describes the e-Pedal as the world’s first one-pedal operation. Related: The 2018 Nissan Leaf will feature semi-autonomous driving technology According to Nissan, “drivers can cover 90 percent of their driving needs with the e-Pedal.” They think users in heavy traffic or on city commutes could benefit from the new design, since they wouldn’t have to constantly move their foot back and forth to decelerate and accelerate. They say the e-Pedal will simplify driving and make the journey more engaging. The idea may not be quite as crazy as it seems. HuffPost explains when you ease your foot off the accelerator in a gasoline -fueled car today, the engine in the car prompts it to slow down. This feature is lacking in electric vehicles , though, so manufacturers typically put a regenerative braking feature in the design so the car will brake when you release the pedal. In electric cars this motion also generates electricity from the wheels’ movement. Will other car manufacturers follow suit? And will drivers love or loathe the new feature? The e-Pedal will premier on September 6, so we may get more answers then. Via Nissan and HuffPost United Kingdom Images via Nissan ( 1 , 2 )

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