Lucid releases details about new electric car – including $60,000 price tag

March 17, 2017 by  
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Lucid has released new details about its much-anticipated electric car , including an extremely affordable starting price tag for a fully featured luxury electric car. Unveiled at a recent VIP event in California, the Lucid Air comes in at just $60,000 for a base model—a figure that drops to a very-palatable $52,00 after the $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs gets factored in. And while we’re talking about a base model here, the performance and features boasted by the Air are far from Spartan. The car has a 240-mile range powered by a 400-horsepower, rear-wheel electric motor—along with equipment for autonomous driving, 12-way power front seats, four interactive touch screens, and more. You can get even more if you get in on the ground floor, as the first 255 Lucid Airs manufactured will be special Launch Editions priced at above $100,000 with a unique trim, 21” wheels, boosted audio, and up to 315 miles-worth of range at 1,000 horsepower. The company will also offer other configurations and options that include a battery with up to 400 miles of range, a twin-motor configuration with all-wheel drive, a glass canopy roof, rear executive seats that recline up to 55 degrees, 22-way power front seats; a 29-speaker audio system, and more. Related: New York will give you a $2,000 discount to buy an electric car According to TechCrunch , the company recently released its pricing information in an effort to quell speculation that its vehicles would start at more than $100,000. Now they’ve revealed that you can not only get a luxury electric car for less than $60,000, but also one that’s high performance with great equipment; it’s getting harder and harder not to dump the gas guzzler and switch to electric. If you’re raring to get one of the first Airs off the line, you can reserve yours here –with a $2,500 deposit. Via Lucid and TechCrunch Images via Lucid

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Lucid releases details about new electric car – including $60,000 price tag

Republican senator claims the EPA is brainwashing children

March 17, 2017 by  
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Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma claimed Thursday on CNN that the Environmental Protection Agency is “brainwashing” America’s children, defending Donald Trump’s plan to cut the agency’s funding by 31 percent. He told the network: “We want to deliver the services. We ought to make things clean. But we ought to take all this stuff that comes out of the EPA that’s brainwashing our kids, that is propaganda, things that aren’t true, allegations.” This isn’t the first time Inhofe has made a controversial statement while he’s been in office. During the 2002 midterm election, he compared the EPA to the Gestapo , and has declared global warming to be a hoax on multiple occasions. (Unlike Donald Trump, however, he doesn’t believe it’s the work of the Chinese government. The credit instead goes to Barbra Streisand .) In 2015, he made headlines by bringing a snowball onto the floor of Congress in an attempt to disprove the existence of climate change. So while his statements this week are deeply troubling, they’re not at all unexpected. Related: Trump to purge climate change from federal government The most recent comments came during an interview asking Inhofe his opinion on proposed funding cuts to the EPA. The plan would cut a staggering $100 million from the agency’s climate change programs, and reduce its overall budget from $8.3 billion to $5.7 billion. This could have far-reaching impacts beyond reducing the EPA’s ability to fight climate change – it could also affect its ability to enforce clean water and air regulations, and would cut 3,200 jobs from the agency (about 1/5 of its workforce). The cuts would also end specific programs to restore the Chesapeake Bay and Great Lakes, along with a program to certify eco-friendly appliances under the Energy Star Label. The proposal would also cut funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by as much as $990 million and funds for critical health research carried out under the National Institutes of Health by $5.8 billion. Defense spending, on the other hand, would increase by $52 billion. Related: Scott Pruitt attacks critics and EPA employees in first speech The budget would need to be approved by Congress before it could be implemented, however, with lawmakers like Inhofe in office, we may have reason to be concerned. Via Business Insider Images via  Gage Skidmore , Screenshot/C-SPAN

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Republican senator claims the EPA is brainwashing children

NYC’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral goes green with new geothermal plant

March 17, 2017 by  
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When St. Patrick’s Day revelers parade past St. Patrick’s Cathedral on NYC’s 5th Avenue today, they will be celebrating not just the patron saint of Ireland, but also a renewable energy future for the famous landmark. Last month, the Archdiocese of New York announced that the historic Saint Patrick’s cathedral activated a new geothermal heating and cooling system that will reduce the building’s energy consumption by more than 30 percent and reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 94,000 kilograms – an impressive feat for the largest Catholic Gothic cathedral in the United States. St. Patrick’s geothermal plant is part of the final phase of a four-year, $177 million renovation that has been overseen by the cathedral’s architectural design team of Murphy, Burnham, & Buttrick working in partnership with Landmark Facilities Group and PW Grosser. It is the institution’s first restoration in more than 70 years (it was dedicated in 1879). Related: Futuristic power plant complex generates clean power through wind, solar and geothermal energy The geothermal heating and cooling system consists of 10 wells in terraces flanking the north and south sides of the cathedral drilled through dense Manhattan schist (a coarse-grained metamorphic rock) to a depth of up to 2,250 feet. When fully activated, the plant will be able to generate 2.9 million BTUs per hour of air conditioning and 3.2 million BTUs per hour of heating through 76,000 square feet of space. While wind and solar grab a bigger share of the renewables market and garner more media attention, the potential for both geothermal electricity and heating is huge. The global geothermal power market is projected to more than double operating capacity to 32 gigawatts by the early 2030s, according to the US and Global Geothermal Power Production Report from the US Geothermal Energy Association. Currently only 6 to 7 percent of the world’s estimated geothermal potential is being harnessed. Related: Pope’s official encyclical: “a bold cultural revolution” can halt climate change The Archdiocese of New York and St. Patrick’s Cathedral are not as interested in tapping the geothermal market as they are in heeding the call of Pope Francis to protect the planet and conserve God’s creation as written in his 2015 encyclical on the environment , Laudato Si. “A consistent ethic of life does not compartmentalize these issues. It prioritizes life and the preservation of life at every level,” said Cathedral Rector Monsignor Robert T. Ritchie. “One of the most basic ways in which we are called to do so is through responsible stewardship of our natural resources.” Images via St. Patrick’s Cathedral , MBB and Local 3 IBEW

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NYC’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral goes green with new geothermal plant

Dubai-based firm to construct world’s first 3D-printed skyscraper

March 17, 2017 by  
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3D printing could soar to new heights with the construction of the first 3D-printed skyscraper in the world. Dubai -based firm Cazza recently announced they aim to print the high-rise in the United Arab Emirates . They will draw on a novel construction technique known as crane printing. To print their ambitious skyscraper, Cazza will draw on cranes with added units designed for constructing 3D-printed buildings higher than 262 feet. It’s not yet known how tall the skyscraper will be. The company’s CEO Chris Kelsey said when they started their company, they focused on 3D-printing low-rise structures or houses, but developers kept asking about skyscrapers, so they decided to adapt their technology to reach higher. Related: Three-mile-high futuristic skyscraper has a smog-eating, self-cleaning coating The crane printing process includes all the major structural components needed by towering buildings, according to Construction Week Online. Current construction methods will complete the rest of the building. Mechanical engineer Xavier Hernand said there are vast possibilities for what kind of materials they could use, including steel or concrete . Cazza Chief Operating Officer Fernando De Los Rios said, “The crane printing system can be easily adopted with existing cranes which means we don’t have to build cranes from scratch. We are adding new features to make it adaptable to high wind speeds along with the use of our layer smoothing system that creates completely flat surfaces. You won’t know it’s 3D printed.” Cazza gained notice for blending mobile 3D printing robots with existing building methods to speed up construction processes and make them more cost effective and environmentally friendly. Kelsey said, “Through our technologies, we will be able to build architecturally complex buildings at never-before-seen speeds. It is all about economies of scale where the initial high technology costs will reduce as we enter the mass production phase.” The company has not yet announced a start date for the skyscraper construction. + Cazza Via Construction Week Online Images via Pexels and Good Free Photos

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Dubai-based firm to construct world’s first 3D-printed skyscraper

Formula E unveils the next generation of all-electric racing

February 16, 2017 by  
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The all-electric Forumla E racing series is set to get a major update for its fifth season, which kicks off at the end of 2018. Spark Racing Technology won the contract to build the second-generation race car bodies for the series fifth season and has just revealed the initial renderings, and they are simply stunning! Spark Racing Technology currently builds the race car bodies that run now in the competition, but the French company hopes to make some major improvements to its new design, including improved aerodynamics and lighter weight. The improvements will not only improve the efficiency of the race car’s battery , but also make the cars faster. Related: Tiny electric car smashes world record by hitting 0-60 mph in 1.5 seconds The concept that we see in these images will likely go through a few more iterations as its gets closer to the kick off the fifth season. Spark still has to work with chassis manufacturing partner Dallara, which may make the final car look quite different. Either way, unlike road cars , which get toned down from the original concepts, the final version of Spark’s new race car could be even more extreme. Another big update that we’ll see in the fifth season is a new battery that is being developed by McLaren , Sony, and Atieva that will give the race cars a much longer driving range, which will last the entire race. Currently drivers have to swap out the batteries during the race. + Spark Racing Technologies All images @ Spark Racing Technologies

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Formula E unveils the next generation of all-electric racing

Dubuc Motors unveils Tomahawk electric sports car with a 370-mile range

January 30, 2017 by  
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Dubuc Motors just unveiled the Tomahawk – a 2+2 electric sports car that can go from 0-60 miles an hour in a zippy three seconds. Even more exciting, the car’s EPA-estimated range is a crazy 370 miles. The Tomahawk is manufactured entirely in North America, and the company reportedly spent 12 years researching and developing clean technology to create the green vehicle. Dubuc Motors ‘ Tomahawk feature sleek scissor doors, a panoramic roof, a built-in WiFi hotspot, hands-free voice commands, and a live 360 degree camera. The car is made of aluminum with a carbon fiber interior. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SFM2YCY3B0&feature=youtu.be Related: The Immortus electric sports car can drive all day using just the power of the sun Dubuc Motors sees themselves as fulfilling a niche market; on their crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine , they describe the Tomahawk as ” Tesla ‘s cousin” and explain, “While Tesla offers a sedan and an SUV, we want to complete their product line with our sports car.” With the electric vehicle (EV) market exploding – demand could exceed 35 million units around the world by 2022 – Dubuc Motors is angling to uniquely position themselves to fulfill demand for luxury EVs. Dubuc Motors has raised over $6 million in reservations . You can’t snag one of the cars quite yet, although you can reserve one for $5,000 on their website . There they offer six colors: green, black, two tone, red, yellow, and orange. The car’s retail price will be $125,000, and the company plans to begin production this year. + Dubuc Motors Images courtesy of Dubuc Motors

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Dubuc Motors unveils Tomahawk electric sports car with a 370-mile range

Audi debuts Q8 plug-in hybrid SUV concept

January 16, 2017 by  
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Audi has ambitious plans to expand its electric car lineup beyond today’s A3 e-tron hatchback. While Audi has announced plans to release a fully electric SUV that will rival the Tesla Model X , Audi is also giving the world a preview of a new hybrid flagship SUV with the debut of the Q8 concept. The Audi Q8 concept made its debut last week at the Detroit Auto Show and is a preview of the production version that is expected to debut sometime within the next year. While the Q7 is designed to seat up to seven passengers and their cargo, the flagship Q8 is a different take with its more coupe-like roofline. At 16.5 feet long, the Q8 concept is about the same length as the Q7, but since it only has four seats, the amount of space for the four passengers is ample. Related: Audi’s all-electric e-tron quattro SUV takes on Tesla’s Model X The Q8 concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid system that combines a 3.0L V6 engine with an electric motor that generate a combined 442 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque. The system also uses an eight-speed tiptronic transmission to send the power to the ground. The Audi Q8 concept accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 5.4 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. It can also travel up to 37 miles in electric mode. Audi hasn’t announced if the production version of the Q8 will be offered with the plug-in hybrid powertrain from the concept, but lets hope so. + Audi All images @Audi

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Chevy Bolt named 2017 North American car of the year

January 10, 2017 by  
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The 2017 Detroit Auto Show kicked off with the announcement that the Chevy Bolt scooped the North American Car of the Year award. This latest award follows a growing list the Bolt has received, from Motor Trend’s Car of the Year to Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year . “The Bolt EV fulfills Chevrolet’s promise to offer an affordable, long-range electric,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president, GM Global Product Development. “It is a game-changer that is not only a great electric vehicle ; it’s a great vehicle — period.” Related: VW unveils the all-electric autonomous Microbus of the future Pricing for the Bolt starts at $37,495 before any federal or state taxes are applied. The 2017 Bolt started arriving at California and Oregon dealerships last month, with additional markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, including New York, Massachusetts and Virginia, seeing their first deliveries this winter. By mid-2017, the Bolt will be available across the US. + Chevy All images @Chevy

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VW unveils the all-electric autonomous Microbus of the future

January 9, 2017 by  
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The VW Microbus is one of the most loved VW models of all time, and now, after years of releasing nothing but concepts, it looks like the automaker is finally ready to release a new Microbus. The new I.D. Buzz was recently unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show . The I.D. Buzz concept follows the debut of the I.D. electric concept unveiled a few months ago at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Based on the same MEB platform as the I.D. hatchback, the new Microbus dubbed the MEB-XL has been extended, providing enough room for up to eight passengers and two luggage compartments. Related: VW’s new electric car goes further and costs less than the Tesla 3 Just like the I.D. hatchback, the I.D. Buzz is powered by an all-electric powertrain. In this concept the electric powertrain consists of two electric motors , one at the front axle and one at the rear to generate a total of 369 horsepower. The concept has a driving range of 270 miles and with a 0-60 mph time of about five seconds, the I.D. Buzz concept will out accelerate every other van on the market and even most sports cars. Lastly the 111 kWh battery can be charged up to 80 percent within 30 minutes using the Combined Charging System (CCS) or an inductive charging interface. The I.D. Buzz concept is also the world’s first fully autonomous multi-purpose vehicle. A slight push on the steering wheel makes it retract and merge into the instrument panel, switching the concept to the fully autonomous “I.D. Pilot” mode that could make it into production by 2025. In I.D Pilot mode, the concept detects other drivers and obstacles on the road with laser sensors, ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors, side area view cameras and a front camera. + VW All images @ VW

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Chinese company LeEco begins building $3 billion electric car factory

December 30, 2016 by  
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Chinese technology company LeEco just commenced construction of a $3 billion electric car factory. The facility could start churning out the company’s LeSee sedan in a few years, producing a staggering 400,000 vehicles by 2018. Roughly 90 percent of the futuristic factory’s work may be completed by robots . LeEco, which currently makes products like televisions, was in trouble. In a November letter to staff, founder Jia Yueting said the company expanded too fast and was struggling, and then cut his own income down to 15 cents. But about two weeks after the letter, the company reported they’d raised $600 million from unidentified investors but proceeded to lay off around 60 Hong Kong employees anyway. Then LeEco received another $1.44 billion investment this past Wednesday, again from an unidentified investor, and broke ground on the factory the same day. It is unclear whether those employees will be re-instated, or of their jobs will be replaced by robots. Related: Elon Musk just confirmed plans for a new Tesla Roadster According to Car News China , LeEco hasn’t yet obtained a government license to produce their LeSee cars at the factory. The outlet even said there’s a “real possibility” the government will refuse LeEco a license, as the CEO isn’t currently popular in Beijing. However, according to the South China Morning Post, a mayor of a city close to the factory said the local government will support the project. Should LeEco obtain permission, the factory is slated to produce the company’s first concept car, the LeSee. Zhang Hailiang, chief executive of LeEco’s car unit LeSupercar, said the factory will be automated completely, as robots do the bulk of the work. The electric vehicle would be equipped to operate autonomously . Fancy features include five in-car screens, smart seating, and the ability to recharge via magnetic charging stations. LeEco said Earth’s topography inspired the LeSee’s design, with the interior influenced by geological and biological patterns. Vegan materials and neutral colors add to the vehicle’s natural feel. According to the company , the form and function of the car “address future needs of our society and showcase a symbiosis between human, machine, and nature.” Via Carscoops and South China Morning Post Images via LeEco

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