Earth911 Reader: Climate Migration, 2,700 EV Charging Stations, and ESG Investing

August 5, 2020 by  
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Welcome to Earth911’s daily climate, sustainability, and recycling reader, a … The post Earth911 Reader: Climate Migration, 2,700 EV Charging Stations, and ESG Investing appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Reader: Climate Migration, 2,700 EV Charging Stations, and ESG Investing

Workplace EV charging: Lessons from sustainability trailblazers

July 14, 2020 by  
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Workplace EV charging: Lessons from sustainability trailblazers Marsha Willard Tue, 07/14/2020 – 01:30 Businesses are reaping the environmental and social benefits of providing electric vehicle charging for employees. That’s according to research published last week by Presidio Graduate School (PGS) and ChargePoint, providers of the world’s largest EV charging network. Last fall, a research team from PGS conducted a study on workplace electric vehicle charging practices. In addition to a review of the current literature, the team interviewed sustainability leaders in 24 organizations across the United States. The findings reveal that while still most common in Europe and in U.S. coastal states, the speed of EV adoption makes creating the charging infrastructure an imperative for both the public and private sector. Leading organizations have made a solid business case for providing workplace charging and other EV related employee incentives or benefits. Below are some key findings of the study: Employers recognize that demand for charging will only grow; in many cities such as Portland and San Francisco EV charging in workplace parking lots is already both an expectation of employees and a city mandate. Business plays an important role in facilitating EV adoption; providing EV charging to employees is increasingly easy to justify to corporate executives.  Providing charging at the workplace increases employee satisfaction and makes it easier to attract and retain workers. Supporting EV commuting and investing in EV fleets help organizations meet their greenhouse gas reduction targets.  Employers are worried less about upfront costs and are thinking long-term about strategies to optimize their investment.  Key strategies to maximize benefit To get the most out of the investment in workplace charging stations, the corporation and other organizations participating in this research study focused on these four key implementation strategies: 1. Assure availability What the study participants learned is that while you may not see a lot of EVs in your parking lots now, they are coming and they catch on faster once workplace chargers become available. Bank of America, for example, saw a 50 percent increase in the number of EV commuters in just one year after installing chargers, reinforcing the theory that EV adoption is mostly hindered by a concern about being able to charge away from home. In trying to determine how many chargers to provide, the participating organizations often underestimated the demand and recommended thinking ahead when planning. Once available, chargers become an important amenity to employees. Study participants reported not only increased satisfaction with the workplace, but ncreasingly, an expectation that chargers be available making them part of nearly all our participating organizations’ recruiting and retention packages. In trying to determine how many chargers to provide, the participating organizations often underestimated the demand and recommended thinking ahead when planning. Some progressive cities such as Salt Lake City and Duluth, Minnesota  are beginning to mandate chargers in all new construction. The required number varies from 1 to 5 percent of spaces depending on the jurisdiction. Forward-thinking businesses, such as those in our study, believe these requirements are conservative and plan to expand the number of available chargers. LinkedIn, for example, which covers about 10 percent of parking spaces with EV chargers, is building toward a target of 20 percent. 2. Allow dynamic pricing Most study participants saw value in providing free charging for employees. What they have learned is that it not only builds employee satisfaction, but also encourages EV adoption. While there is a strong commitment to providing free charging, an increasing number of organizations are opting to charge fees for lingering at the stations. In an effort to optimize the use of the charging stations, it is common to assess a fee after a car has been parked at a charger for more than four hours. This is made possible by using “smart” chargers — chargers connected to a network that allows managers to not only tailor fee structures but to send alerts to users as well as monitor usage and capture greenhouse gas-related data.  3. Optimize energy management Study participants understood that the expected increase in demand for workplace charging will require more attention to power management. In addition to meeting the extra demand without over-tapping their capacity, they also want to assure the most efficient use of the charging infrastructure. Power management features available on some chargers enable site managers to maximize the number of charging ports before having to upgrade existing wiring or panels. These systems also enable management to assure that charging EVs never exceed the maximum aggregate electrical load, thus avoiding potential peak load charges. These systems also enable managers to control when and how much energy is being tapped to maximize consumption during those times of the day when renewable power is most plentiful. Organizations serious about using an EV program to lower their carbon footprints may find an increasing need to invest in renewable power. 4. Source from renewable power Most study participants power their chargers with lines from their existing building panels, so the electricity comes from the same generation source as their buildings. This is the most cost-effective method for powering the chargers, but it links the carbon impact to the generation source provided by the region’s utility. If the local utility is powered mostly by coal generation plants, the carbon savings may be negligible.  Organizations serious about using an EV program to lower their carbon footprints may find an increasing need to invest in renewable power. Amazon, for example, plans to increase its renewable energy usage from 40 percent to 100 percent by 2030 . Bank of America already sources 91percent of its energy from renewable sources and will be rolling out on-site solar generation at more than 60 of its locations in the next two years. A number of the research participants already have invested in their own on-site generation, and 55 percent report that they are looking to add or expand this capability in the future. When self-generation is not feasible, organizations have increasing opportunities to source renewable energy through their utilities.  Electrification of vehicle fleets will markedly reduce greenhouse gasses. Employers have much to gain and much to offer in this transition. Offering on-site, electric vehicle charging not only will contribute to the infrastructure needed to speed this transition, but also benefit companies that offer this amenity.  To hear a fuller story from one of our study participants, visit the recording with Erik Hansen of Workday. Pull Quote Organizations serious about using an EV program to lower their carbon footprints may find an increasing need to invest in renewable power. In trying to determine how many chargers to provide, the participating organizations often underestimated the demand and recommended thinking ahead when planning. Topics Transportation & Mobility Infrastructure Electric Vehicles ChargePoint Collective Insight Thinking in Systems Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock Herr Loeffler Close Authorship

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Workplace EV charging: Lessons from sustainability trailblazers

Volkswagen reveals plans for mobile electric car charging robot

January 27, 2020 by  
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As the number of electric cars continues to increase, the need for charging stations increases with it. Often, finding a charging station not only involves planning to be at the location before the car runs out of battery power, but also being able to pull into one of the (typically shared) spots to complete the actual charge. Volkswagen is developing a mobile robot that eliminates the need to plug into a charging port, bringing the charge directly to your vehicle regardless of which parking space you choose.  Using an app or V2X communication, the owner simply lets the portable charger know the car is ready for a boost. The robot, equipped with cameras, laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors maneuvers through the parking garage, dodging obstacles until it locates the vehicle. The robot pulls a trailer that holds a mobile energy storage device. Once delivered to the vehicle, the robot autonomously attaches the charging unit to the car, initiating the charge. At that point, the robot is free to deliver charging devices to other cars. When the car is sufficiently charged, the robot comes back to disconnect the charging station and return it to its charging dock.  Related: Mercedes Benz presents a luxury electric car The system is currently in prototype form, and a manufacturing date has not been set. However, Volkswagen has a history of electric car innovation that leads us to believe it’s only a matter of time before the charging station comes to the car rather than the car having to track down a plugin. “The mobile charging robot will spark a revolution when it comes to charging in different parking facilities such as multi-storey car parks, parking spaces and underground car parks because we bring the charging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around. With this, we are making almost every car park electric, without any complex individual infrastructural measures,” Mark Möller, Head of Development at Volkswagen Group Components, said. + Volkswagen Images via Volkswagen

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Volkswagen reveals plans for mobile electric car charging robot

The electric Vespa scooter of your dreams is coming in 2018

November 8, 2017 by  
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Environmentally-conscious commuters, rejoice ! Vespa’s first electric scooter will hit the market next year, and it will have a range of about 62 miles. The good news was announced at the Milan Motorcycle Show by parent company Piaggio. Though the price of the Vespa Elettrica has not yet been revealed, an eager fan base can’t wait to get their hands on the chic electric two-wheeler. Vespa’s first electric scooter is as high-tech as it gets. A 4.3-inch TFT color display sits between the handlebars, displaying information on speed, range, and charge level. When the scooter is connected to the Vespa Elettrica app, messages and phone calls can also be received. Vespa is currently developing a special helmet that is equipped with a built-in Bluetooth speaker and microphone for just this purpose. The app can also be used on a smart phone to keep track of diagnostic information and locate the vehicle on a map. According to Piaggio, the Elletrica will have “superior performance” to a 50cc scooter – although its range is about three times less than the 174-mile range of the 50cc Vespa Primavera . Piaggio says that the new Vespa Elettrica is “perfect for city environments.” The electric scooter charges in four hours from a normal wall outlet, and Vespa Elettrica owners can expect 10 years (or approximately 50,000 to 70,000 km) of use from the scooter . Piaggio is also developing a hybrid version of the Elettrica that has a gas-powered generator . The Elettrica X will have a range of approximately 124 miles. + Vespa Via The Verge Images via Vespa

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The electric Vespa scooter of your dreams is coming in 2018

Portable solar unit fits into a steel drum for off-grid events

February 24, 2017 by  
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The Solar Charging Can fills the gap between large-scale residential photovoltaics and portable solar chargers for your smartphone. The unit unpacks quickly for camping, outdoor events, and other off-grid functions and is ready to use after just a half hour of assembly. In addition to recreational use, the unit can provide crucial power to mobile medical clinics, disaster relief areas, and refugee camps. Mobile Solar Chargers Ltd developed the Solar Charging Can to be an impressively versatile unit that is easy to put together in a pinch. The basic model includes a 180W/18v 5.5A solar panel , which is both flexible and waterproof, on a retractable telescoping pole, as well as two batteries, a voltage regulator, and all other necessary equipment for the unit to run smoothly. An included anchor secures the can to the ground, but the added sand bags provide an extra dose of security. Upgraded versions can be purchased to include a WiFi router, additional panels, a remote CCTV camera, and LED lighting . Related: Portable smartflower POP solar system produces 40% more energy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8yoDfVzWfU The entire unit can be assembled in a half hour by two people, according to the website. And they can be custom ordered to meet the needs of the event it will serve. This is especially helpful for organizations that provide disaster relief support or intend to power housing for refugees for an extended amount of time. One Solar Charging Can starts at about $2,235 (£1,795). + Mobile Solar Chargers Ltd Via Treehugger Images via Mobile Solar Chargers Ltd, YouTube (screenshot)

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Portable solar unit fits into a steel drum for off-grid events

Tesla extends free charging at Supercharger stations

January 4, 2017 by  
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As of two weeks from now, there will be no more free lunch for Tesla car buyers, as the company will be cutting off free access to its Supercharger network of charging stations as of January 15, 2017. Engadget reports that this is actually somewhat of a reprieve for Tesla customers, as the cutoff was initially supposed to be January 1, 2017. According to Engadget , Tesla announced this change was coming a few months ago, telling customers they were soon going to have to pay for their own electricity. Given the recent announcement, potential buyers have just a short period in which to get unlimited free electricity for their Tesla car, which amounts to a huge bonus for anyone buying before January 15. Cars bought after that date will be limited to just 400 kilowatt hours of free power per year, and owners will have to pay for the rest. According to Tesla, that’s roughly enough power to drive for about 1,000 miles. Related: Tesla’s next Supercharger could charge electric cars in mere seconds Tesla says charging beyond that amount will be available at an additional fee, the amount of which has yet to be announced. They have said it “won’t be too expensive” and will cost drivers “less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car.” So if you’re thinking about a Tesla, now could be the time to buy. This announcement comes shortly after CEO Elon Musk hinted that a new generation of Superchargers could charge a Model S in just seconds. Near the end of December 2016, Musk hinted in a tweet that the Supercharger V3 would have an ouput of at least 350 kilowatts, or more than double the output of the current Superchargers in Tesla’s network. Via Engadget Images via Tesla Motors, Joseph Thornton and Steve Jurvetson , Flickr Creative Commons

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Tesla extends free charging at Supercharger stations

Furniture folds out of the walls in this tiny transforming apartment

January 4, 2017 by  
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In order to transform this apartment in Berlin into a comfortable environment in which to live and work, Itay Friedman Architects introduced a T-shaped, multi-functional partition that creates a subtle division of space while providing additional storage areas. With furniture that folds out of the walls to conserve space, the renovation takes a distinctly nonchalant Berlinesque approach to combining old with new. The main requirement was to preserve the original apartment’s Altbau feeling, and fit two self-sustaining but interconnected units into only 700 square feet of space. It was imperative to activate every inch and provide adequate levels of privacy to each unit. Related: Renovated Apartment in Barcelona Boasts Flexible Wooden Walls and Gorgeous Mosaic Floors The use of light tones and clean lines helped visually widen the living space. Despite budget and spatial constraints, the architects managed to create a stylish, modern apartment for a trendy urbanite. + Itay Friedman Architects Via Archdaily Photos by Boaz Arad

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Furniture folds out of the walls in this tiny transforming apartment

Sologic Unveils the First Ever Life-Sized eTree Charging Station

October 29, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Sologic Unveils the First Ever Life-Sized eTree Charging Station Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: charging , clean tech , clean tech Israel , devices , Environment , etree , eTree in Ramat Hanadiv , green design , Israel , Israeli design , Israeli renewables , renewable energy , shade , solar , sologic , station , sustainable design

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Sologic Unveils the First Ever Life-Sized eTree Charging Station

Prefab Passive-Solar House is Topped by a Striking Sawtooth Roof in Belgium

October 29, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Prefab Passive-Solar House is Topped by a Striking Sawtooth Roof in Belgium Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: belgium , cnc-milled wood , HUB architecture , Kortrijk , passive house , Passive House Skatchkoff , passive solar house

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Prefab Passive-Solar House is Topped by a Striking Sawtooth Roof in Belgium

Starbucks to Install Wireless Charging Stations in Stores Across the U.S.

June 12, 2014 by  
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Tired of searching for outlets to charge your devices at Starbucks? You may be in luck! The company has announced that it will roll out wireless charging stations in stores across the U.S. The decision comes two years after a successful trial of the technology in Boston and the Bay Area. The coffee shop giant will partner with Powermat , an offshoot of Duracell and subsidiary of Proctor & Gamble, to install the technology. Starbucks patrons across the nation will soon see ”Powermat Spots”–small circles implanted in tables and counters–at their favorite location. Because most devices still aren’t compatible with wireless chargers, utilizing the spots will require purchase of a fairly inexpensive adapter ring. Meet us after the jump to learn more about what this announcement means for Starbucks, and the wireless charging industry in general. Read the rest of Starbucks to Install Wireless Charging Stations in Stores Across the U.S. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Powermat , Powermat wireless charging , Powermat wireless phone chargers , starbucks , Starbucks and Powermat , Starbucks wireless charging , Starbucks wireless phone chargers , wireless charging , wireless phone chargers

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