Will the power grid handle amped demand from EVs?

July 25, 2017 by  
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Pricing incentives can help match electric vehicle’s increasing electricity usage with power output.

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Will the power grid handle amped demand from EVs?

The next step in sustainable design: Bringing the weather indoors

July 25, 2017 by  
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New research points that building in harmony with nature improves employee health, attentiveness and productivity.

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The next step in sustainable design: Bringing the weather indoors

The Indian startup pioneering new battery swapping system for country’s electric buses

July 19, 2017 by  
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One of the hassles associated with electric vehicles is how long it takes to charge them. But in India , an energy infrastructure startup has partnered with the country’s second biggest truck manufacturer to pioneer a solution: a battery swapping system. They’ll start with electric buses , which could stop at stations reminiscent of today’s petrol pumps to swap out batteries and avoid having to spend a lot of time charging. Vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland has partnered with startup SUN Mobility to develop the battery swapping system first for intra-city buses, potentially followed by delivery trucks, inter-city buses, and long-haul trucks, according to Ashok Leyland CEO Vinod Dasari. Related: India to only sell electric cars by 2030 SUN Mobility has been working on the system with Stanford University-trained engineer Chetan Maini, who designed India’s first electric car Reva, at the helm. Their smart battery system can reportedly power a variety of electric vehicles. According to their website, they aim to shake up transportation with an “open-architecture ecosystem built around a smart network of quick interchange battery stations,” which Quartz India said will be powered by renewable energy . SUN Mobility’s ultimate goal is lofty: refuel electric vehicles even cheaper and faster than cars can fill up at gas stations today. The partnership follows India’s plan to sell only electric vehicles by 2030 , recently announced by energy minister Piyush Goyal. At that time, he said the government would invest in charging infrastructure, and even pointed to the potential of battery swapping systems. Government advisor Ashok Jhunjhunwala said in a June lecture swappable batteries would need to be a key component of India’s push to put more electric cars on the road. The expense of batteries is prohibitive for many, but he said, “…we’ll start buying vehicles without battery. For example, if I want to buy a bus or a three-wheeler, I’ll buy it without [the] battery but with enhanced [vehicle] efficiency.” In such a system, with high efficiency vehicles and swappable batteries, costs per kilometer could potentially be lowered until they’re on par with gas-guzzling cars. Via Quartz India Images via Wikimedia Commons and shankar s. on Flickr

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The Indian startup pioneering new battery swapping system for country’s electric buses

Porsche’s new EV chargers top up Mission E batteries by 80% in 15 minutes

July 19, 2017 by  
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We’re still about two years away from the arrival of the Porsche Mission E electric car, but Porsche has already started installing the 800-volt chargers that will power it. The automaker recently installed two 800-volt chargers in Berlin that have the ability to recharge an EV’s batteries up to 80 percent in a mere 15 minutes. The 350kW chargers are twice as powerful as the 145kW chargers that Tesla’s Supercharger network uses. Although Porsche’s new charging stations, Tesla refuses to be out done, since Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk recently stated that its future charging network will make the 350kW charger look like a “children’s toy.” Related: Porsche is moving ahead with their Tesla rival ‘Mission E’ electric car Since the Mission E is still at least two years away, the good news is that the Porsche’s new chargers do have the ability to charge lower-powered EVs. While we wait for the Mission E, Porsche does offer plug-in hybrid versions of the Porsche Cayenne and Panamera. Porsche is also installing similar chargers in Atlanta. Porsche has yet to reveal the production version of the Mission E , but when it arrives it will be one of the most significant Model S rivals. The Mission E will feature two electric motors that generate around 600 horsepower and a driving range over 300 miles. + Porsche Via Trusted Reviews Images @Porsche

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Porsche’s new EV chargers top up Mission E batteries by 80% in 15 minutes

Caltech scientists accelerate part of carbon sequestration process by 500 times

July 19, 2017 by  
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Carbon sequestration , or removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it long-term, could help us fight climate change . It’s a complex chemical reaction , but a team of six scientists led by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) just made a breakthrough in speeding up a slow part of the reaction. They were inspired by oceans, which naturally absorb carbon dioxide. Study co-author Jess Adkins said, “This is one of those rare moments in the arc of one’s career where you just go, ‘I just discovered something no one ever knew.” Right now, the oceans hold around 50 times the carbon dioxide as the atmosphere. But in seawater, carbon dioxide is an acid, and the acidified waters are gobbling away at coral reefs . The acidified water eventually makes its way to the ocean floor, where calcium carbonate shells neutralize the carbon dioxide – but that process takes tens of thousands of years to finish. It was while studying how fast the coral will dissolve in this whole process that the scientists made their breakthrough. Related: World’s first commercial carbon-sucking plant goes live in Zurich They added an enzyme, carbonic anhydrase, during the carbon sequestration reaction. This enzyme, according to Caltech, is the same one that helps uphold the pH balance of blood in some animals and in humans. Adding the enzyme made the rate-limiting step of the chemical reaction move 500 times faster. The team’s research will be published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America ; a paper about the work was put up online in advance of publication. Scientists from the University of Southern California and Hebrew University of Jerusalem collaborated on the paper. Lead author Adam Subhas, a graduate student at Caltech, said, “While the new paper is about a basic chemical mechanism, the implication is that we might better mimic the natural process that stores carbon dioxide in the ocean.” Via ScienceAlert and Caltech Images via Tim Marshall on Unsplash and Yanguang Lan on Unsplash

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Caltech scientists accelerate part of carbon sequestration process by 500 times

3 ways Hawaii is driving toward sustainable transportation

June 26, 2017 by  
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Plus, an electric vehicle adoption statistic you should remember.

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3 ways Hawaii is driving toward sustainable transportation

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

What’s next for the Paris Accord

June 5, 2017 by  
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What happens to the Paris Climate Agreement now that the leader of the world’s second biggest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions has signaled his intent to withdraw from the landmark accord? We take a closer look at the consequences of Donald Trump’s decision to rescind US efforts to limit global warming in accordance with the 2015 agreement. President Donald Trump is a showman and his press conference was political theater for the 61 million Americans who voted him into office last November. The reality is that the withdrawal process could take up to four years to complete and Trump could be exiting the White House before he exits the Paris Accord if he doesn’t win reelection. The other reality is that, thanks to Senate Republicans who would never ratify the Paris Accord as a treaty, in order to push it past the finish line with the US onboard, the deal had to be “non-binding,” meaning all actions are voluntary. Related: Trump announces U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement By declaring its intent to withdraw from the Paris Accord, the US joins Syria and Nicaragua in refusing the deal. It should be noted that Nicaragua didn’t join the agreement because it didn’t go far enough in emissions reductions for the Central American nation. Minus the US, a total of  194 countries have signed and 147 parties have ratified the accord , representing 66 percent of global emissions. The accord entered into force on November 4, 2016 — 30 days after at least 55 parties representing at least 55 percent of global emissions joined. While it certainly could be argued that Trump has damaged America’s standing in the international community, it is not so clear that Trump has actually hurt the Paris Accord, Actually, there are indications that Trump’s announcement is having the opposite effect, with countries, cities and corporations redoubling their commitments to the Paris Accord and greenhouse gas emission reductions. Many experts believe that since Trump was never serious about committing the US to climate action, that his decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord could actually free up other world leaders to draft an even stronger agreement with enforcement mechanisms not possible with a Republican-ruled Senate in the US. Australian climate scientist Luke Kemp told The New York Times, “I worry that letting the United States just stay in the agreement and do whatever it wants could show how weak Paris is. It sends the message that the agreement is more about symbolism than action.” CHINA AND EU TAKING THE LEAD With Trump ceding US leadership on climate, China and the European Union are stepping in to fill the power vacuum. In a joint statement following Trump’s announcement, China and the EU — backed by all 28 EU member states — reaffirmed their commitment to full implementation of the Paris climate deal. The statement, the first between the EU and China, commited to cutting back on fossil fuels and increasing development of green technologies. Related: China says they’ll stay in the Paris Agreement – with or without Trump “The EU and China consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever,” the statement reads. “The increasing impacts of climate change require a decisive response.” CITIES, STATES AND BUSINESSES STEPPING UP A group that so far includes 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses is negotiating with the United Nations to have their climate contributions accepted alongside other nations who have signed onto the accord. The Democratic governors of California, Washington and New York formed the US Climate Alliance to reaffirm their commitment to the Paris Accord after Trump’s announcement. It isn’t only Democrats defying Trump — Charlie Baker, the popular Republican governor of Massachusetts, said on Friday that he was joining the US Climate Alliance . Related: US states and cities say they’re sticking to the Paris Accord without Trump “As the commonwealth reiterates its commitment to exceed the emission reduction targets of the Paris Climate Agreement, today we join the U.S. Climate Alliance to expand our efforts while partnering with other states to combat climate change,” Baker said in a statement, adding that the initiative aims “to protect the environment, grow the economy and deliver a brighter future to the next generation.” Also after Trump’s announcement, 187 mayors representing more than 52 million Americans and some of the largest US cities, stated their intention to individually join the Paris Accord and work together on stronger climate change mitigation measures and transitioning to the 21st century clean energy economy. Cities around the world protested Trump pulling out of the Paris accord, including Tel Aviv, which lit up city hall in green lights . “We need to take responsibility for the next generation,” Mayor Ron Huldai said in a statement posted to Facebook. “That means, among other things, continuing to research, learn and act on the quality of the environment and the climate.” Major corporations are also on board with the Paris Accord — 95 of the world’s largest companies have commited to 100 percent renewables, including Google, Walmart and Nike. GREEN TECHNOLOGIES GETTING CHEAPER The price of solar, wind, batteries and other green technologies are dropping fast, leading to increased integration into the electricity grid. In 2016, the amount of new solar power coming online nearly doubled from the previous year — enough to power 2 million homes. Related: The sweet moment California got a record 50% of its electricity from solar Republican-ruled states are leading the renewables revolution. Kansas tripled its wind power production between 2011 and 2015. Wyoming leads the nation with 1,600 watts of new renewable energy capacity per capita being built. Nevada leads the nation in new solar power jobs while North Dakota leads in new wind power jobs. The conservative town of Georgetown, Texas is on track to be 100 percent renewable energy this year, becoming the largest US city to achieve the clean energy goal. Dale Ross, the mayor of Georgetown, admits “it’s the reddest of cities, in the reddest of states…but we put national politics aside to do our best for the people we’re elected to serve.” Images via Wikipedia 1 , 2 , 3 , 4  and White House Archives

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We test drove the new Chevrolet Bolt and heres the scoop

April 11, 2017 by  
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When we were invited to test-drive the brand new Chevy Bolt electric vehicle, we naturally jumped on the opportunity. The new Chevrolet Bolt is Chevy’s first mass-market all-electric vehicle, designed for those who want to go further than a hybrid plugin electric like the Chevy Volt . With a range of 238 miles per charge (better than the Nissan Leaf and comparable to the much higher priced Tesla Model S ), for a price tag of around the 30K (after the tax rebates), many have high hopes for the Chevy Bolt as the first true “electric vehicle for the masses”. We were curious to see how this car would fare in real life, and were excited to check it out. Hailed by automotive enthusiasts as the “Tesla Killer,” the Bolt has been a frontrunner in the competition against Tesla’s more affordable electric car, the Model 3 , and now enjoys an entire year’s head start to market. Will the Bolt bring a new wave of adoption for electric vehicles? Read on for our thoughts: We set out in our burnt orange Bolt EV just an hour south of San Francisco, along the picturesque, tree-lined roads of Portola Valley. From the minute we hit our first hill-hugging turn, we knew that we were in for a smooth experience. The car carries the bulk of its weight in its floor-mounted lithium-ion battery pack, which translates to a lower center of gravity, better structural integrity, and ultimately a more enjoyable ride than most gas cars. Naturally of course, the car is extremely quiet as well, without any vroom vroom of an engine. The unique placement of the battery also allows for a flatter floor, making the Bolt noticeably roomier then the Volt and many of its electric vehicle competitors. With AeroVironment’s Level 2 charging station the battery can be recharged to full in only eight hours, making charging as simple and intuitive as plugging in before going to bed. On straighter stretches we were able to zip from 0-60mph in an impressive 6.5 seconds. Drivers can choose between “Drive” and “Low” modes, and while Low mode permits speeds as highs as those in Drive mode, its “regenerative” braking system cleverly funnels braking friction back into the battery the moment the driver lifts their foot from the pedal. A paddle behind the left side of the steering wheel can be used to the same effect or to increase brake regeneration, so much so that the car can come to a complete stop without hitting the brakes. It’s ideal for stop-and-go traffic and even better for conserving energy. Drivers can visualize the energy captured on the car’s 10.2-inch touch screen display. With an impressive 238-mile range per charge, Bay Area owners can make a complete one-way trip to Tahoe without having to refuel, making the Bolt far more suitable for weekend trips than many of its EV competitors, such as the Nissan Leaf . The car’s official MSRP is $37,495 but a federal tax credit of $7500 puts it firmly in the under $30,000 range. All in all, it is easy to see why the Bolt EV might be a tempting choice for those in the market for an electric vehicle. With exceptional range, groundbreaking technology, and roomy interior, we’re convinced the Bolt delivers on everything it promised. Chevy Bolts officially went on sale at dealerships across the West Coast this past December and will be reaching excited customers across the nation by mid 2017. + Chevrolet Bolt

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We test drove the new Chevrolet Bolt and heres the scoop

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