Cambridge students create the UKs most efficient solar-powered electric car

November 12, 2019 by  
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Undergraduate students at Cambridge University have teamed up with Formula 1 engineering experts and Bridgestone to design and build Helia — a solar-powered electric car that is so energy efficient, it can travel more than 500 miles at 50 miles per hour on the same amount of power it takes to boil a kettle. The student team, known as Cambridge University Eco Racing (CUER), equipped the aerodynamic and lightweight vehicle with an extremely high-energy density battery pack to achieve more than double the range of a Tesla Model 3, while being just a quarter of the size. To show off its features, Helia recently competed in the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019, a renowned solar car race where 40 to 50 teams race 1,864 miles from Darwin to Adelaide. Related: Meet ‘Blade’, the world’s first 3D-printed hypercar In designing Helia, CUER pushed the boundaries of automotive battery technology and aerodynamics. Portsmouth-based Formaplex, a manufacturer of lightweight components for high-powered supercars and Formula 1 teams, created Helia’s ultra-lightweight, carbon-fiber chassis and body panels, making it possible for the four-seat family car to weigh just 1,200 pounds without compromising structural integrity. The aerodynamic build is coupled with low rolling-resistant tires — developed in collaboration with Bridgestone — to significantly enhance the electric car’s overall energy efficiency. The solar-powered Helia is equipped with high-performance lithium-ion battery packs produced in collaboration with Silverstone-based vehicle electrification company Danecca. Although electrical issues prevented the team from progressing past the first stage of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge 2019, they are optimistic about taking Helia to other solar races in Europe and beyond. “Helia was designed to demonstrate the technology behind electric vehicles and renewable energy and will visit schools next summer with the aim of inspiring the next generation of engineers,” said Xiaofan Zhang, CUER’s program director. “We have plenty of positives to take forward and are already in search of our next challenge.” + Cambridge University Eco Racing Images via CUER

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Cambridge students create the UKs most efficient solar-powered electric car

Vehicle-to-grid technology is revving up

November 12, 2019 by  
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Utilities expand the grid without building power plants. Consumers get backup power and a virtually free electric car. Such are the promises of V2G tech, even if the infrastructure isn’t quite here yet.

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Vehicle-to-grid technology is revving up

Better batteries are fueling a surge of electric scooters in India and China

November 12, 2019 by  
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But for electric vehicles to become mass market products, batteries need to improve.

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Better batteries are fueling a surge of electric scooters in India and China

What it will take for micromobility to have real, sustained impact

November 12, 2019 by  
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Shared bikes and scooters can contribute to lowering transportation emissions, but they can also have a more immediate impact on cities: equity.

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What it will take for micromobility to have real, sustained impact

The Lightyear One electric car uses solar panels for a boost of energy

August 7, 2019 by  
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The new generation of electric cars is on its way with the Lightyear One, a vehicle capable of using solar energy to charge while on the road. Currently in the prototype phase, the solar panel-covered vehicle is due to hit the streets in 2021. The Lightyear One was developed by a group of designers deeply entrenched in the field of solar vehicles. The prior University of Eindhoven students won the World Solar Challenge race three times with their “Stella” solar cars before focusing on a retail, road-worthy version. Related: Toyota is testing a new Prius model that runs on solar power The sleek Italian design is sure to draw attention, especially with the 5 square meters of solar panels mounted to the roof and hood, an addition that draws enough power for 12kmh per hour, or about 7.5 miles per hour of additional charge. It doesn’t sound like much, and in travel terms, it’s not, but it’s a step toward a completely solar car. In reality, the solar panel boost isn’t going to be the main source of power, so it can be charged like a regular electric car, except a lot faster. The Lightyear One can handle 60kW of fast charging, providing it 507 km or 315 miles of charge per hour. Perhaps the area where the Lightyear One is really making headlines is the total range of around 450 miles without recharging. That well exceeds Tesla’s current record of around 370 miles with the Model S. Like the Tesla, the Lightyear One hopes to appeal to the sports car enthusiast with a lightweight and sleek design. Then, there’s the fact that it jumps from 0 to 60 in around 10 seconds. The high-performance and efficient qualities mean that any charging station can provide a faster charge in less time compared to the competition. Unlike Tesla and other electric car manufacturers, the price for the Lightyear One is out of reach for many consumers. The initial models are available for pre-sale now at a cost of around $135,000. If you’re not ready to commit, you can expect a $170,000 price tag when it hits the mainstream retail market. + Lightyear One Via The Verge Images via Lightyear One

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The Lightyear One electric car uses solar panels for a boost of energy

Biomega unveils an affordable, lightweight electric car inspired by minimalism

December 5, 2018 by  
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Known for its electric bike designs , Danish firm Biomega is now branching out into the electric car sector. The company has just unveiled its first electric car , called the SIN. Designed for urban environments, the SIN is a low-cost, lightweight electric car that runs on a 14kWh battery pack and is estimated to go up to 100 miles on a single charge. The SIN’s minimalist appearance was inspired by Scandinavian design principles of creating more with less. The body of the  electric car is comprised of modular carbon fiber to reduce its weight and enable optimal battery consumption. Stripped back to provide more space, the interior is made up of perforated mesh seats and an aluminum crossbeam that supports the steering wheel, which is connected to the car’s “info-tainment” tablet. An extra-wide windshield that extends over the roof of the car and transparent side doors were designed specifically to maximize the road views. Related: Biomega’s Boston folding bike: world’s first theft-proof bicycle? As far as power goes, the car runs on four independent engines powered by the main 14kWh battery , which is located under the floor. According to Biomega, the SIN can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in approximately 13 seconds and can reach a top speed of 80 miles per hour. More importantly for drivers, the battery is estimated to let the car run up to 100 miles on a single charge. Biomega founder Jens Martin Skibsted explained that after years of designing high-tech electric bikes, an electric car was the logical next step for the company. “We’ve been focused on urban mobility since the 1990s,” Skibsted said. “Biomega has always been about creating a paradigm shift in the way society imagines transportation . We feel that we are in an extremely strong position to design an electric vehicle (EV) that represents the frontier of the new mobility.” Recently unveiled at the Shanghai CIEE trade fair, the SIN, which is expected to come with a $20,000 price tag, is due to hit the market sometime between 2021-2023. + Biomega Via Dezeen Images via Biomega

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Biomega unveils an affordable, lightweight electric car inspired by minimalism

Toyota to Expand Production of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

October 15, 2018 by  
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While Nissan and Tesla have put their money on electric … The post Toyota to Expand Production of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Toyota to Expand Production of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

This riverfront pier is revitalized after Cyclone Maria ravaged Rockhampton

August 10, 2018 by  
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When Cyclone Maria hit Rockhampton,  Queensland in 2015, the whole community quickly joined forces to repair and rebuild local homes and businesses. Now, one of the most prized assets of the community, the Rockhampton Riverside Precinct, is getting a major makeover — led by Woods Bagot — that everyone can enjoy. The massive riverfront pier site suffered from neglect even before the cyclone hit, but its potential was steadfast. Architectural firm Woods Bagot is at the forefront of the renovation of the pier and adjacent structures and is intent to restore the two-story landmark back to the community hub it once was. Not only will the pier be overhauled and upgraded, the site will be designed to offer something for everyone, from kids to adults. The plans include interactive water attractions, galleries of local artwork, lush terraced landscaping, a playground and plenty of open space for mulling around or just taking in the picturesque surroundings. Local businesses, including a new restaurant celebrating the region’s fresh produce and seafood, will round out the attractions at the Rockhampton Riverside Precinct. Related: Australia’s cyclone-resistant home The rich auburn exterior of Corten steel will include embellishments of silver, gold and copper, homage to the region’s history of ore mining. Green aspects of the project include solar roof tiles that produce electricity for the project’s power grid, plenty of charging stations for electric cars  and sites for bicycle maintenance and minor repairs to encourage green transportation . Instead of energy-hungry cooling systems, the complex largely depends on keeping the atmosphere comfortable with huge roof overhangs and fresh breezes off the water wafting through the open hallways and deck. Images of ancient ship masts come to mind as the winds whip through the structure, impatiently changing direction as nature dictates. “Rockhampton Riverside Precinct has become a destination for everyone to visit, occupy and enjoy,” said Mark Damant, principal of Woods Bagot. “The vision of restoring the energy from the gold period has been realized along with the aim to provide the people of Rockhampton with a world-class civic and recreational space.” + Woods Bagot Images via Florian Groehn

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This riverfront pier is revitalized after Cyclone Maria ravaged Rockhampton

Prefab holiday cabins boast spectacular coastal views in Tasmania

August 10, 2018 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting Tasmania , you’ll want to put Freycinet’s newest additions on your bucket list. Nestled inside one of the country’s oldest national parks, this unique hotel recently saw the completion of its nine Coastal Pavilions, a series of prefabricated one-bedroom cabins designed by Liminal Studio that blur the lines between inside and out. Inspired by the spectacular surroundings, the pavilions are fitted out with a natural material palette, full-height glazing and rounded, sinuous surfaces that evoke an organic feel. Located on a wind-blown pink granite outcropping on the Freycinet Peninsula in Freycinet National Park, the new Coastal Pavilions at Freycinet Lodge were prefabricated offsite for minimal site impact. Each pavilion was carefully placed to provide privacy and an immersive experience while maximizing views. As a result, not all of the pavilions have water views as some are nestled into the coastal bushland; the pavilions comprise two types, Coastal Pavilions and Coastal Pavilions – Bay View. All of the contemporary pavilions are wrapped in charred ironbark that helps recede the buildings into the landscape, as well as full-height double-glazing. Netted, hammock-like balustrades surround the timber deck complete with an outdoor soaking tub. Inside, local Tasmanian timbers are used throughout to create the highly textured walls, ceilings and floors, which flow together with sinuous lines devoid of hard corners. In addition to a large bedroom, the pavilion is equipped with a living area and walk-in shower. Related: Stellar views and a small footprint define this Tasmanian timber cabin “We have drawn inspiration from this unique setting to influence the architecture and interiors of the pavilions,” said Peta Heffernan, Design Director at Liminal Studio. “The design has taken its cue from the fluidity and layers of the coastal rock formations, the coloring of the rich orange lichen and forms of the nearby bays. The exteriors are treated in a recessive way so as not to compete with this beautiful landscape.” + Liminal Studio Images by Dianna Snape

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Prefab holiday cabins boast spectacular coastal views in Tasmania

A California beacon of sustainability gets a LEED Platinum refresh

August 8, 2018 by  
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An inspiring beacon for recycling in El Cerrito, California has recently received a sustainable revamp that includes newly minted LEED Platinum certification. Redesigned by Berkeley-based architecture practice Noll & Tam Architects , the El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center (RERC/Center) was overhauled following extensive community involvement and now features a more user-friendly environment with educational opportunities and a greater holistic approach to sustainability. The facility aims for net-zero energy use and is equipped with renewable energy systems as well as passive design strategies, including solar panels and 100% daylighting autonomy. Originally founded by a group of local volunteers in the early 1970s, the El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center has become a source of community pride that has attracted visitors from neighboring communities, including the wider San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Inspired by the facility’s industrial uses, the architects incorporated corrugated steel, reclaimed timber and other durable materials into the building, while local quarry borders and existing concrete retaining blocks used on site allude to the old quarry in which the Center sits. “The design of the El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center was inspired by the community’s devotion to environmental stewardship, the Center’s functional requirements, and its unique natural setting,” reads the project statement. “It was important to create a strong sense of place for the community, a great place for the gathering and interaction of the Center’s diverse users and visitors, and a demonstration project for zero net waste, net zero energy use, restoration and regeneration, and maximizing community value.” Related: NYC’s New State-of-the-Art Recycling Facility to Eliminate 150,000 Annual Truck Trips Taking advantage of the local temperate climate and cross ventilation, the Center operates in passive mode for most of the year. A 12 kW photovoltaic array provides more than enough electricity to power the building to achieve net-zero energy usage. The Center is also equipped with an additional 8.8 kW solar array to offset electricity needs from electric car charging stations and the recycling industrial equipment. A rainwater cistern, native gardens and rain gardens handle stormwater runoff on-site. + Noll & Tam Architects Images by David Wakely

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A California beacon of sustainability gets a LEED Platinum refresh

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