Elon Musk takes delivery of the first Tesla Model 3

July 10, 2017 by  
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Last week Tesla announced that the first Model 3 would roll off the production line at the company’s plant in Fremont, California – two weeks earlier than originally planned. The first Model 3, painted in black was produced on Friday and was quickly swooped up by CEO Elon Musk . Now that the first Model 3 has rolled off the line, Tesla is hoping to produce at least 30 this month, which will be delivered to the first owners at a special “handover party” on July 28. Starting next month, production of the Model 3 will slowly ramp up with about 100 units planned in August and a more significant 1,500 Model 3 sedans expected to be produced in September. Tesla hopes to be producing around 20,000 Model 3 sedans by the end of the year. Related: Tesla makes good on South Australia promise with world’s largest Lithium ion battery The Model 3 will have a starting price of around $35,000 before any tax incentives, making it one of the first electric cars for the masses, alongside the Chevy Bolt . Tesla has reportedly received over 400,000 reservations for the Model 3, which means that it will be a while until many of the later reservations are fulfilled. If you were to place a reservation today, Tesla estimates that you won’t take delivery of your Model 3 until mid-2018 at the earliest. Although the Model 3 will now be available, many would-be buyers may be disappointed to hear that Tesla is going to limit the amount of options on the first Model 3 sedans. All the first versions will only be offered with rear-wheel drive with basic color and wheel options. If you want a dual-motor Model 3 you’ll have to wait until 2018. Images @Tesla + Tesla

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Elon Musk takes delivery of the first Tesla Model 3

Volkswagen’s mobile robot automatically plugs in your EV

July 5, 2017 by  
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Over the past year Volkswagen has unveiled several concepts that are a preview of its new line of electric vehicles . But the company isn’t stopping there. Its research group has just unveiled some other groundbreaking EV technologies they are working on, including a new mobile charging robot that will automatically plug your EV into the grid. Related: Volkswagen may offer more electric cars than any other brand We’ve seen prototypes for new induction charging systems, but VW’s new mobile charging robots present another way that will make it easier for EV drivers to charge their vehicles in the future. The mobile robots could one day show up in underground garages or city parks, although the jury is still out on if it is easier than future induction systems. VW unveiled the new charging system alongside its newest EV concept, the Gen.E research vehicle, which also happens to look closer to a production model than the recent VW I.D. concepts . The Gen.E is a fully-electric concept car that can travel up to 249 miles on a single charge. According to VW, the Gen.E also features a lightweight platform that has been designed for maximum crash safety including the battery. The long range battery is based on advanced lithium-ion cells and the efficiency of the electric motor that powers the Gen.E has been optimized. VW’s research team isn’t saying much about the overall design of the Gen.E, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t raised a few eyebrows. Its overall shape is so close to the VW Golf, they may be using the concept to preview the next e-Golf. Images @Volkswagen + Volkswagen

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Volkswagen’s mobile robot automatically plugs in your EV

These incredible self-deploying buildings pop up in 8 minutes flat

July 5, 2017 by  
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In the future, buildings could build themselves. Ten Fold Engineering , based in the United Kingdom, is offering self-deploying structures that open up in under 10 minutes solely with the help of a hand-held battery-powered drill. Their 689-square-foot structures could be used as medical clinics or eco hotels or tree houses – to name a few. Ten Fold’s ready-to-use structures offer a glimpse into the future of construction : buildings that can be deployed or folded up in a matter of minutes by anyone. They can be easily relocated and customized to fit a customer’s needs: from offices to mobile supermarkets to beach huts, the options for Ten Fold’s shelters are numerous. Related: Hex House is an affordable, rapidly deployable solar home for disaster victims The structures can travel on a standard truck, and can be popped open with little power in eight minutes. The company says they’re fully equipped as soon as they’re opened and can be stacked on top of each other. No foundations are necessary, and Ten Fold says the structures can be deployed on sloped or uneven ground. According to the company, “The components are modular so almost any arrangement of panels, doors, windows, and service pods is possible.” The buildings include 689 square feet of mobile space with 706 cubic feet of storage. Ten Fold’s structures can even be equipped to go off-grid , with space either inside or via bolt-on modular pods for clean energy like solar power , batteries, and water storage or treatment. The company says their units are durable and have a long lifespan, and can be designed to meet “modern BREEAM and LEED energy, material, and production stability standards. The company is able to accomplish all this through a family of pin-jointed linkages that can move with little power consumed. They are licensing their technology , saying they aim to bring it to people for whom it will make a difference. The mobile structures begin at £100,000, or around $129,330. + Ten Fold Engineering Images via Ten Fold Engineering Facebook

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These incredible self-deploying buildings pop up in 8 minutes flat

London’s first ‘High Line’ park could transform an abandoned railway in Camden Town

July 5, 2017 by  
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New York’s iconic High Line is inspiring other cities to repurpose and green-up disused elevated railway lines. Representing residents, businesses and community groups of Camden Town district in north London, local business group Camden Town Unlimited organized a crowdfunding campaign to help transform a portion of an old railway line connecting Camden Town and King’s Cross into a vibrant green space. The Camden Highline would run for nearly a kilometer, linking the world-famous Camden Market with the recently redeveloped King’s Cross area by a 10-minute walk. Camden Town Unlimited teamed up with Network Rail to figure out the technical feasibility of the project, and is now looking to start construction. Related: Explore 6 High Line-Inspired Copy Cats Changing Cities Across the Globe “People in Camden have been talking about this for years. Now we’re putting our money where our mouth is to make this happen,” said Camden Town Unlimited Chief Executive Simon Pitkeathley about the campaign. “We invite anyone who wants to see a New York-style Highline here in London , whether you live and work in Camden or are a visitor to the area, to donate what you can to help make this idea a reality.” The new crowdfunding campaign will help finance events and workshops aimed at bringing this project to life. It will run for 100 days or whenever it reaches its £40k target. + Camden Highline crowdfunding campaign Via World Architecture News

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London’s first ‘High Line’ park could transform an abandoned railway in Camden Town

Aston Martin is releasing its first electric car in 2019

June 30, 2017 by  
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Aston Martin is known for creating some of the sexiest, most powerful cars in the world, but times are changing. Today the automaker shoves large gas guzzling V8 and V12 engines under the hood of its models, but starting in 2019, something greener is coming into the fold. Aston Martin has confirmed that its first electric car , the RapidE, will be introduced in 2019. Two years ago, Aston Martin teased the idea of a fully-electric car with the RapidE concept and now they are ready to make the concept a reality. For the RapidE, Aston Martin is going to create a rival to the Tesla Model S , with its four-doors and powerful electric motor. They are teaming up with Williams Advanced Engineering, who worked on the original concept, to create the RapidE. Related: Aston Martin RapidE electric concept previews the automaker’s 800-hp electric sedan Aston Martin hasn’t announced the specifics about the electric powertrain, but does allude to the fact that it will have more than one electric motor . “The instantaneous delivery characteristics of electric motors means the RapidE will offer a unique driving experience of a kind not experienced before in an Aston Martin.” Sadly Aston Martin is only planning to produce 155 RapidE electric cars once production kicks off in 2019. “RapidE represents a sustainable future in which Aston Martin’s values of seductive style and supreme performance don’t merely co-exist alongside a new zero-emission powertrain, but are enhanced by it,” stated Aston Martin President and CEO, Dr Andy Palmer. “The internal combustion engine has been at the heart of Aston Martin for more than a century, and will continue to be for years to come. RapidE will showcase Aston Martin’s vision, desire and capability to successfully embrace radical change, delivering a new breed of car that stays true to our ethos and delights our customers.” Images @Aston Martin + Aston Martin

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Aston Martin is releasing its first electric car in 2019

Volkswagen may offer more electric cars than any other brand

June 26, 2017 by  
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Now that the “dieselgate” scandal is almost over, VW needs to revamp its image and find a new way to appeal to the “green” crowd. Diesel has become a dirty word, so VW is doubling down on its production of electric cars . Over the past year VW has unveiled three new electric concept cars, but a leaked powerpoint slide suggests the automaker has even more up its sleeve than we previously realized. VW recently unveiled its electric car plans during a presentation, which revealed its product plans for the next five years. It was originally believed that the company was only going to release three electric cars, but now we know that up to five new EVs will be released by 2022. All five vehicles will be based on the same MEB platform that was previewed by the concepts. The first model, the production version of the I.D. hatchback, is scheduled to arrive in 2019. Related: Volkswagen confirms it’s bringing back the Microbus Following the arrival of the electric hatchback, VW is going to release a production version of the I.D. Crozz crossover , cleverly named the I.D. Cross. Two other models that we haven’t even heard about, the I.D. Lounge and I.D. AEROe will arrive after the crossover and lastly the Microbus-inspired I.D. Buzz will arrive. It’s expected that all five models will have driving ranges between 200-300 miles, which could be a conservative estimate, since battery technology continues to improve each year. The slide also reveals that the United States will not be recipients of all five new VW EVs. According to the slide, among the vehicles not heading to the U.S. are the small I.D. hatchback and I.D. Cross. Boo! We hope that changes soon. + VW Via Autoblog.nl and Groen7 Images @VW and Autoblog.nl

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Volkswagen may offer more electric cars than any other brand

INTERVIEW: Meet Eric Lundgren, who broke the world record for EV range with a car made from trash

June 22, 2017 by  
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Eric Lundgren, the founder and CEO of e-waste recycling company ITAP , recently beat the electric vehicle driving range of a Tesla with a car made from trash and powered by repurposed Nintendo batteries. (Well, technically not just Nintendo batteries but Lenovo laptop and Time Warner cable box batteries too.) But how did he accomplish the seemingly impossible? Read on for our exclusive interview. “It’s not magic. We just put a larger battery in a lighter frame. It’s that simple,” Lundgren explained in a recent interview with Inhabitat. “We basically put a 130 kilowatt hours battery pack in a car that weighs a little bit less than a Tesla.” Related: ‘Instantly rechargeable’ battery spells bad news for gas-guzzling cars Lundgren is a pioneer in hybrid recycling — reusing the components in broken electronics or outdated electronics so that they don’t end up in toxic landfills. His trash car — the Phoenix — broke the world record for longest EV range last month, outlasting a Tesla Model S P100D on a round-trip from L.A. to San Diego. His team had already set the EV range record but Guinness didn’t accept the results because of missing film footage of the event so they gave it another go with cameras on for the entire race. They built the Phoenix in 35 days at a cost of $13,000 using 88 percent consumer waste. The $150,000 Tesla died at 318 miles while the trash car set the new world record — 382.3 miles on a single charge. Related: Electric cars could reach cost parity with conventional cars by next year In our interview (edited for clarity), Lundgren talks about how despite his success with electric vehicle range, his passion lies in making hybrid recycling widely accepted in society. Inhabitat: What motivated you to build the Phoenix and beat the EV world range record? Eric Lundgren: I’m all about hybrid recycling. The Phoenix was a way to demonstrate hybrid recycling. That was the purpose. I don’t want to become a car manufacturer. I want to do hybrid recycling and the Phoenix was a great demonstration. Inhabitat: What materials did you use to build the Phoenix? Lundgren: It is the most environmental car ever built with the lowest carbon footprint. The chassis of the car came from a scrap yard. It was about to get crushed and we dragged it out of the scrap yard. It didn’t even have wheels on it. We put wheels on it. We took out everything. Converted it to an EV. And we put used batteries – basically trash batteries – in it. The controller came off of a forklift. The blinker came off of a bicycle. The car itself is two 1997 BMW 528is that we frankensteined together to make one car. Inhabitat: What is the connection to hybrid recycling? Lundgren: We used garbage. We used all garbage, all old technology. All things that our consumer world said were trash and have zero value. And we built something that is the most valuable because it just beat a world record. So we’re demonstrating the value in garbage and trying to educate the public and corporations to start practicing hybrid recycling, which is a way of saving that value rather than destroying it. Inhabitat: It is amazing how badly you beat the Tesla. Lundgren: We took 35 days to build it. Tesla took a year-and-a-half to build their car. Tesla’s research and development cost was $1.4 billion. Our R&D cost: I paid my engineers in Keystone Light beer. Our car has one-tenth the carbon footprint ratio of a Tesla. Inhabitat: The number one issue with EVs is range anxiety. You would think that Tesla would want to increase their range. Lundgren: If Tesla increased their range, are you willing to pay an extra $30,000 for an extra hundred miles? My guess is they did some sort of marketing survey and realized that at 300 miles people are not willing to pay more money for longer range so they stopped there and the world says ‘oh, they must have stopped there because that’s the best that a car can do.’ Well I just proved that that’s not true. I just proved that cars can do more. Inhabitat: What are your objectives regarding the EV industry and hybrid recycling? Lundgren: My goal is to push the EV industry to produce cars that people want to buy so that we can get off of fossil fuel. My other goal is to demonstrate hybrid recycling so that companies like Tesla send dead battery packs to a hybrid recycler that can actually salvage the good parts out of them to build something new – rather than what they currently do, which is send them to a company in Canada, which smelts the battery pack for its commodity value. That’s bringing all the value in a pack down to its lowest common denominator. Inhabitat: What are you working on next? Lundgren: We’re going to build the largest repurposed battery pack for my facilities. All the power from my recycling is going to come from solar panels that go to a giant solar power array that runs my entire factory that produces batteries from trash. So in other words, my processing facility is going to be run from the sun to garbage batteries. That’s what is going to power my entire processing facility within the next six weeks. Inhabitat: You are building an electric semi truck to compete with Elon Musk’s Tesla Semi? Lundgren: In September Elon Musk releases his electric semi . In November, I’m releasing an electric semi that costs a fraction of the price of his, goes 55 miles further and is built from basically consumer waste. I don’t know what his semi is going to cost. My guess is it is going to cost around $300,000 or $400,000. My semi is going to cost $60,000 – and it will go farther than his. Inhabitat: Any thoughts on the era of affordable electric vehicles about to begin with the upcoming release of the Tesla Model 3 ? Lundgren: I truly believe that the world is going to go EV . I truly believe that the world is going to utilize lithium to get away from burning coal and to get away from all of these other primitive ways that we produce and use power, and transport ourselves today. We need to evolve as a society – and electric vehicles are a way to do that – but the recycling of those vehicles is just as important as the manufacturing. It doesn’t get enough attention. People don’t realize what happens to things when they just discard them. We need to start worrying about efficiency on the back end so we can become more efficient on the front end. Inhabitat: And where do you see hybrid recycling going? Lundgren: In the future, electronics of any type – whether it be an electric car or a laptop or tablet or cell phone or server router, you name it – all of that product is going to be reused very similar to how a chop shop in the auto industry works. If your car has a flat tire, you don’t throw away your car. And if you do, then they salvage every other working part. Let’s say you blow an engine — the chop shop salvages the catalytic converter and the exhaust and the windshield and the transmission and all the other parts. But in electronics today we throw it all away. We’re at a point where hybrid recycling is going to kick off. It’s going to become huge. Nobody understands it, so this car [the Phoenix] is a great demonstration for it. + ITAP Images via Jehu Garcia [Editor’s note: Lundgren was sentenced after we completed this interview to serve 15 months in federal prison for distributing free software (computer restore Freeware) in order to divert computers from landfills and empower consumers to fix their property. He is currently appealing the sentence.]

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INTERVIEW: Meet Eric Lundgren, who broke the world record for EV range with a car made from trash

Volkswagen confirms it’s bringing back the Microbus

June 21, 2017 by  
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Volkswagen has been teasing Microbus fans for years about the idea of introducing a new Microbus. Back in 2001 the first Microbus concept brought back nostalgic memories of the 1960s and then more recently VW teased us again with the Bulli concept and this year with the I.D. Buzz concept . Even though the earlier concepts never lead to production models, the I.D. Buzz concept is now definitely headed to the production line – reportedly. Auto Express spoke with VW CEO Herbert Diess, who confirmed that the new Microbus is in VW’s future production plans. While the new Microbus will recall memories of the iconic Microbus from the 1960’s, it will differ from the original by having an electric powertrain — like the concept. Related: Volkswagen previews I.D. Crozz, its 2020 electric SUV “Emotional cars are very important for the brand,” Herbert Diess revealed. “We are selling loads of Beetles still, particularly in US markets. But we will also have the Microbus that we showed, which we have recently decided we will build.” It’s expected that the Microbus will be based on the new MEB platform that will be the basis for all of VW’s new electric models. The final design will be tweaked a bit, but it will draw cues from the I.D. Buzz concept that debuted earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show . VW’s Design Boss Oliver Stefani also hinted at the idea of the new Microbus, “With the MEB platform this is the chance now to get the proportions back. But you can also get much more interior space, almost one class higher.” Even though we have confirmation that the Microbus is coming back, we still don’t know when. The first model from the new MEB platform isn’t expected to arrive until 2020, so we can expect the Microbus to arrive sometime after the new electric hatchback . When it does arrive, expect the new electric Microbus to have a driving range around 300 miles. Via Auto Express + VW Images @VW

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Volkswagen confirms it’s bringing back the Microbus

India to only sell electric cars by 2030

June 5, 2017 by  
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India is taking huge strides to escape its dubious distinction as one of the most polluted countries on Earth. The government is taking dramatic measures to clean the country’s air – including the switch to sell solely electric cars in just 13 years. If the amount of diesel and petrol cars dwindles on the streets of India, the country could lower the dangerous levels of air pollution that have led to the deaths of 1.2 million people annually. Energy minister Piyush Goyal said India would financially back the move for the first two to three years; then electric vehicle production will be “driven by demand and not subsidy.” Related: New Delhi has the worst air pollution of any city on earth The move has been praised by environmentalists and, naturally, worried the oil industry. India is the third biggest oil importer in the world – each year they spend $150 billion on oil. Moving to electric cars could save the country $60 billion in energy expenses. Indian car owners would also save money by switching to electric vehicles . Goyal, who presented the government’s plan at the Confederation of Indian Industry Annual Session 2017 in New Delhi, said the government would invest in charging infrastructure, beginning in big urban areas like Delhi. He also said they were considering methods like swapping batteries “so cars don’t have to wait for batteries to be charged,” saying, “Electric cars can then move to petrol pumps, swap their batteries, and drive out, just like they do now. And it will take less time than what it takes to put petrol in your car, like in Formula 1 races!” The transition to electric cars would also help the country slash greenhouse gas emissions. Calculations indicate India’s carbon emissions could decrease 37 percent by 2030 with the move to electric vehicles. Via World Economic Forum and International Business Times Images via Mahindra Electric Facebook

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India to only sell electric cars by 2030

It took more than 25 years to build this incredible walkable world map

June 5, 2017 by  
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You’d need around 11 years to walk around the globe – if you can walk on water. But a world map in Denmark makes the feat possible in a few minutes. Verdenskortet , or world map , is a walkable map , made of soil and stone, built on top of a pond. It took Søren Poulsen more than two decades to complete this extraordinary project, and it was worth the wait. Poulsen, who was born in 1888 in Denmark, realized a stone on his land was shaped similar to the Jutland Peninsula. That stone launched the idea to create a world map, and Poulsen started the project in 1944. He continued working on the map, located at his childhood home at Klejtrup Lake, until he died in 1969. Today the map comprises the center of a park offering outdoor activities and event space. Around 35,000 people visit every single year. Related: Our World: A Giant Pixelated LEGO Map Built from 1 Million Bricks! Poulson made the map out of rocks and dirt, using just hand tools, a pushcart, and a wheelbarrow. The Verdenskortet Facebook page explains the stones comprising the world map were moved onto the ice during winter, and then in spring the stones could be moved into place. Flags mark each country, and there’s even yellow bricks dividing America up into states. Red poles indicate where the equator lies. The world map is 300 feet by 150 feet, and every 10 inches represents around 69 miles in the real world. Today the park offers guided tours of Verdenskortet, paired with coffee and cake. People can play miniature golf on the grass, or take a class field trip to the map. Visitors can take a boat trip around the mini Pacific Ocean , and on land go on pony rides, play old Viking games, or jump on a trampoline. Park entry is inexpensive; around $12 for adults and $8 for kids. + Verdenskortet Via GOOD Images via Verdenskortet Facebook

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It took more than 25 years to build this incredible walkable world map

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