California bill could ban all new fossil-fueled cars by 2040

January 4, 2018 by  
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California could ban all new fossil fuel cars from 2040 under a bill introduced this week by Assemblymember Phil Ting , a Democrat of San Francisco. If it passes, the Clean Cars 2040 act would require all new cars sold in the state to be zero emissions vehicles. Ting said in a statement , “We’re at an inflection point: we’ve got to address the harmful emissions that cause climate change .” AB 1745, or the Clean Cars 2040 Act, would require every passenger vehicle sold in California to be zero emissions after January 1, 2040. Ting said fossil fuel vehicles are responsible for almost 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the state, so “achieving the goal of electrification of transportation is crucial for the health of our people and the planet.” NextGen America president Tom Steyer said polluting cars are California’s biggest source of carbon emissions . The bill would not apply to commercial vehicles greater than 10,000 pounds, just passenger cars. It also wouldn’t apply to cars owned by people in other states moving to California. Related: Scotland to phase out new gas and diesel cars by 2032 California hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent under 1990 levels by 2030. Governor Jerry Brown aims to have 1.5 million zero emission cars on the streets by 2025, and there are almost 300,000 EVs registered in CA already. But the state still has a ways to go: the San Francisco Chronicle said in 2016 that while 2.1 million new cars were sold, only 1.9 percent of those were zero emissions. The bill already has support from some environmental groups. Earthjustice staff attorney Adrian Martinez said in Ting’s statement, “Reducing fossil fuels emissions should be California’s highest priority. With this legislation, California will be taking combustion polluting vehicles off the road…helping us to finally address air pollution and better equipping us to combat climate change. I urge our state’s leaders to pass this important legislation.” Via Assemblymember Phil Ting , the San Francisco Chronicle , and Engadget Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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California bill could ban all new fossil-fueled cars by 2040

Two men set new Tesla Model 3 record for $101

January 4, 2018 by  
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Two men reportedly set a new record driving across the United States in a Tesla Model 3. Alex Roy and Daniel Zorrilla traveled from Redondo Beach, California to New York City in 50 hours, 16 minutes, and 32 seconds, setting the new electric Cannonball run record. And they made the trip pretty inexpensively, paying just $100.95 for charging . A Tesla Model 3 can get you across America in a little over two days, it turns out. Roy and Zorrilla drove from the Portofino Inn to the Red Ball garage, racking up a total mileage of 2,860 miles, in just over 50 hours. The prior electric car cross-country record was 55 hours, in a Tesla Model S, set by Roy and two other men in 2016. Related: The Tesla Model 3 is now on the road! Here’s everything we know The duo didn’t exactly make the trip at the easiest time of year in the United States. They left on December 28 and encountered low temperatures throughout the drive – and running the heater would have impacted the electric car’s range and their trip time. Roy tweeted extreme cold negatively impacts the car, and shared pictures of charging the car with snow on the ground. The Drive, which shared news of the run on January 2, said a detailed article would follow shortly. The Verge pointed out the run acted as a quality test, since there have been concerns over early Model 3s, but the car still made it to New York in the cold. Tesla produced 2,425 Model 3s in the 2017 fourth quarter. They’re not quite where they want to be; The Mercury News reported the company wouldn’t reach the target Elon Musk set in November of 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of March. They’ll now aim for 2,500 of the cars a week, and might hit that 5,000 target by the end of June. Via The Drive , The Mercury News , and The Verge Images via Tesla and Alex Roy on Twitter ( 1 , 2 )

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Two men set new Tesla Model 3 record for $101

Super blue blood moon eclipse to occur for the first time in 150 years

January 4, 2018 by  
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On January 31, turn your eyes to the sky, because the moon is going to do something that it hasn’t done in a century and a half. On the last day of the month, lucky celestial viewers are going to witness a super blue blood moon eclipse. So what is a super blue blood moon eclipse? Let’s break it down. The supermoon is when the full moon is closest to the Earth, so it looks extremely bright and big. A blue moon is when the moon is full for a second time in a calendar month. Then, while all that is happening, there is going to be a total lunar eclipse . And as if that wasn’t enough, it’s also going to be a blood moon at the same time – something that occurs when blue light filters out of the atmosphere during an eclipse, making the moon appear red. Related: Missed the Blood Moon? Watch the Event Unfold Through NASA’s Stunning Footage In the U.S., the eclipse itself won’t be very visible except in Hawaii and Alaska. But viewers in New Zealand, Australia, parts of Asia, and Indonesia are in for a real treat. And in case you were wondering, the answer is no. The super blue blood moon eclipse doesn’t mean anything special, except that it is an exciting convergence of multiple interesting lunar phenomena. Via Phys.org Images via Deposit Photos ( 1 , 2 )

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Super blue blood moon eclipse to occur for the first time in 150 years

The E-Fan X jet heralds an electric passenger plane revolution

December 28, 2017 by  
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The E-Fan X is a hybrid-electric jet plane that may herald a new era of electric power in transportation . Designed by a consortium that includes Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens, the E-Fan X will offer partially electric powered flights that are cheaper, quieter, and more sustainable. “Aviation has been the last frontier in the electrification of transport, and slow to catch up,” said Rolls-Royce chief technology officer Paul Stein, according to the Guardian.  “This will be a new era of aviation.” This breakthrough in energy-transportation technology, which may encourage the growth of short-distance, small-to-medium passenger capacity aircraft, could change how airports are structured and incorporated into urban design . While the E-Fan X will be a major step forward for electric planes , it will fly on a hybrid engine because purely electric passenger flight is beyond current technological limits. “Aviation has always eluded electrification largely because of the size and weight of components involved,” said Stein, according to the Guardian . “But technology has moved on apace. Electrification is now poised to make a significant impact.” In light of these advances in the field, there is likely to be growth in three kinds of electric planes. Related: Boeing to reveal mysterious space plane of the future The first group includes air taxis, such as Uber Elevate , which are capable of transporting small numbers of people over relatively short distances. These would most likely be used to avoid urban congestion on the ground if one needs to cross a city . The second group includes regional jets, such as the E-Fan X. “Our target end game is a fixed wing, regional hybrid design,” said Stein. The third group includes long-distance commercial jets, which are much less developed under current technology. However, battery technology has made great leaps and bounds in recent years, so perhaps it may not be as faraway as we think. Via the Guardian Images via Airbus

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The E-Fan X jet heralds an electric passenger plane revolution

First public ultra-fast EV charging station in Europe is now operational

December 22, 2017 by  
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An ultra-fast electric vehicle (EV) charging station that just opened in Germany could offer upcoming models of EVs a range of 100 kilometers, or around 62 miles, in a snappy five minutes. It’s the first public station with the super fast chargers in Europe. Four cars can be charged at the same time at the Ultra-E station right now at rates of 175 kilowatts (kW) – with 350 kW coming soon. Two different ultra-fast EV charging networks are springing up across Europe right now, according to Electrek ; the one that just went online is from Ultra-E, backed by partners like BMW, Audi, Renault, and the Netherlands-based Allego , which is equipping a corridor with 21 ultra-fast stations from the Netherlands to the Austrian border. Related: Germany unveils plans for the world’s largest EV charging station Allego COO Ulf Schulte said in a statement, “We are delighted to be setting a milestone for future elctro-mobility in Europe with this new generation of fast chargers.” These ultra-fast chargers are located in Kleinostheim close to the A3 motorway, at the Aschaffenburg-West exit on Saaläcker Strasse. Two of the four ultra-fast connections will be offering charging at rates of 350 kW in the spring – although Electrek pointed out no EV can currently charge at that rate yet. Schulte said, “We support all the current charging cards and access apps, enabling anyone to charge their e-car at Allego and quickly be on their way.” More Ultra-E charging stations will be popping up soon, every 150 to 200 kilometers or so – that’s around 93 to 124 miles – near motorway exits. The next one is planned for Bernau am Chiemsee in Southeast Germany. Electrek said the other up-and-coming charging network is Ionity , a joint venture of Daimler, BMW, Ford, Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi. They announced in late November they’ve secured site partners for 18 countries in Europe. Via Electrek and Allego Images courtesy of Allego and via Depositphotos

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Fisker patents EV battery with a range of 500 miles that can be charged in 1 minute

November 16, 2017 by  
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It might sound too good to be true – but Fisker is working on an electric vehicle battery that can charge up to 100% in just one minute. They’ve reportedly made a breakthrough in solid-state batteries – and their technology could allow an EV to travel 500 miles after a single charge. Designer Henrik Fisker relaunched his EV venture last year, and since then he has teased the 2019 EMotion and started accepting pre-orders this past summer. Now the company has filed a patent for a groundbreaking solid-state battery. Related: Fisker is back with the $130,000 400-mile range EMotion EV Green Car Congress reports that the patent includes claims about manufacturing processes and novel materials, saying, “Fisker’s solid-state batteries will feature three-dimensional electrodes with 2.5 times the energy density of lithium-ion batteries .” Recharging such a battery, they pointed out, would take less time than filling up a tank of gas today. Electrek said while they’ve been dubious about some of the claims attached to the EMotion , there could be some credibility behind the battery as the effort has been helmed by Fabio Albano, co-founder of Sakti3 and Fisker’s vice president of battery systems. Albano said, “We are addressing all of the hurdles that solid-state batteries have encountered on the path to commercialization, such as performance in cold temperatures; the use of low-cost and scalable manufacturing methods; and the ability to form bulk solid-state electrodes with significant thickness and high active material loadings.” The first EMotions will employ lithium-ion batteries similar to those in other EVs, but Fisker aims to have their solid-state battery production grade ready sometime around 2023. The company could show their first working prototype of the technology at CES 2018 in Las Vegas in January. + Fisker Via Electrek , Green Car Congress , and HuffPost UK Images via Fisker

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Fisker patents EV battery with a range of 500 miles that can be charged in 1 minute

Tesla-powered trolley spotted charging in Minnesota

October 26, 2017 by  
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Tesla vehicles are the only ones that can charge via a Supercharger , at least at this time. So the sight of what looked like a custom-built orange electric bus charging up at the Oakdale Supercharger station in Minnesota raised a few eyebrows. A battery monitor seemed to show the electric bus actually charging up. Tesla reportedly has talked with other carmakers about utilizing their charging network, but as of this point non-Teslas can’t partake of electricity at Supercharger stations. So the sight of an orange bus charging naturally drew interest. The bus had a Tesla logo on the front, and was equipped with a battery monitor that showed the vehicle drawing power from the Supercharger. Related: Tesla announces plan for world domination: includes trucks, buses, and solar power Electrek said the bus could be equipped with a Tesla powertrain. Internet user Ingineer commented on the Electrek article, saying they did electronics and integration for the bus. Ingineer said the bus is a 1968 Westcoaster “originally built as an EV, but with a 15 mph top speed and lead-acid batteries.” They said now the bus is equipped with a “Tesla pack and drive unit, and a 15,000BTU heat pump.” They said the bus belongs to Minneapolis craft brewery tour company Hoppy Trolley , which shared a picture of the orange bus on their Twitter and Facebook accounts a couple days ago, with the caption, “Teslafied trolley supercharged!” Ingineer said in a comment the orange bus won’t typically utilize Superchargers, and the pictures captured a test. In another comment, they said, “The drive mechanical was done by Concept Motorsports in Grass Valley, California. Tesla component installation, electrical, and software was done in at Ingineerix in Berkeley, California. The final mechanical and Tesla pack installation are being finished by PZ Global Auto in Lino Lakes.” They said the plan was for a large rooftop solar array to generate electricity to help power the trolley. Via Electrek Images via Hoppy Trolley on Twitter and screenshot

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New EV charging system lets Nissan Leaf owners sell power back to the grid

October 11, 2017 by  
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UK residents who plan to purchase an electric vehicle (EV) next year should hold out for a Nissan Leaf. Energy company Ovo has partnered with the automaker to allow anyone with a garage to receive a special charger that facilitates a “vehicle-to-grid” energy exchange. During off-peak hours, when electricity costs are low, the charger will power up batteries, and switch back to charging up a home or even selling energy back to the grid during peak hours. Essentially, this means EV owners may never have to pay to charge their eco-friendly car. In off-peak hours in the UK, electricity costs approximately 5 cents a kilowatt ($0.07). At peak hours, that increases to as much as 25 cents. “In other words, the value of the electricity that’s stored in the battery goes up by a factor of five,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of Ovo. “It provides an economic benefit for electric vehicle owners, so they get more use of out of the vehicle that they’ve got parked in the driveway.” By no means is the Nissan Leaf inexpensive. The brand-new car costs £26,490, or $35,064. However, by taking advantage of Ovo’s new program, car owners could save thousands of dollars in energy costs in the long-term. According to Fitzpatrick, the “vehicle-to-grid” technology is not complicated, which is why “other electric car manufacturers are looking at this.” He said, “If it lowers the cost of vehicle ownership, if it lowers the cost of driving the vehicle per mile, I think there will be a lot of consumer demand for it, and that will translate into agreement on technical standards with other car manufacturers.” As FastCompany reports, using the battery automatically in this way — instead of leaving it plugged in, is also better for its battery life. Related: 2018 Nissan Leaf debuts with 150-mile driving range for just 30k By 2021, there will be approximately 1 million electric cars on the road in the UK. If every single vehicle were to be plugged in at the same time, there would be a demand for seven gigawatts of power — or the equivalent of 10 power stations. On the contrary, if the cars were plugged in and charging at a peak time, the power stations would be obsolete. Clearly, technology such as this is needed. And, not only will “vehicle-to-grid” tech help solve the challenge of providing enough electricity to the growing number of EVs, it will also save vehicle owners money. “The flexible use of car batteries is a perfect complement for renewable generation,” said Fitzpatrick. “You can imagine as we see more electric vehicles on the road, we can have more and more renewable generation without compromising the grid stability…renewable energy and electric vehicles are the perfect complement, just like oil and the internal combustion engine.” Via FastCompany Images via Pixabay , Nissan Leaf

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New EV charging system lets Nissan Leaf owners sell power back to the grid

GM’s plans for "all-electric-future" spell doom for fossil fuel industry

October 3, 2017 by  
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General Motors , a symbol of 20th century automotive domination, has decided to embrace the “all-electric future” of the 21st century and beyond, declaring that someday in the near future, it will produce and sell only electric cars . “General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” said Mark Reuss, GM’s chief of global product development. “Although that future won’t happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles.” To accelerate into this future, GM announced two new electric car models, scheduled to be released next year, followed by an additional 18 all-electric models by 2023. General Motors is riding high as it shifts gear into electric; the car company was the third-largest in the world in 2016. Because of its immense size, the company would not yet commit to a specific year in which it would make the transition away from combustion engine cars. However, its recent actions speak as loud as its words. At a press event on Monday, GM revealed several concept designs for upcoming electric vehicles, including an SUV, a crossover, a non-traditional model which resembled a small, boxy bus, and Surus, a heavy-duty truck with two electric motors, powered by fuel cells. Related: Renault’s Trezor is the electric car of the future Though renowned already as a pioneer in the field, thanks in part to its Chevy Bolt, GM will face heavy traffic on the road ahead. Tesla , Volvo, Nissan, Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover have all made various moves into the electric car industry, with more expected in the future. Ford, a fellow Big Three American automaker, announced on Monday, the same day as GM’s press event, that it will form an “Edison Group,” focused on the development of electric cars. “We see an inflection point in the major markets toward battery electric vehicles,” said Sherif Marakby, head of electrification and autonomous vehicles at Ford. “We feel it’s important to have a cross-functional team all the way from defining the strategy plans and implementation to advanced marketing.” Via Washington Post Images via Car and Driver  and Wikipedia

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GM’s plans for "all-electric-future" spell doom for fossil fuel industry

Tesla patent reveals plans for a new battery-swapping machine

September 20, 2017 by  
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In the not-so-far future when  electric vehicles (EV) rule the road, don’t expect to sit around in line waiting for your battery to charge. That’s because electric automaker Tesla recently filed a patent for a mobile battery swapping technology that could replace a depleted battery in under 15 minutes. In 2013, the company toyed with the idea of building stationary rigs that can replace a car’s battery pack. However, that idea never took off. Now, the EV maker is improving on the concept and has filed a patent application for a more compact, mobile version that would be placed in strategic locations where Superchargers aren’t always available. As Elektrek reports, Tesla’s original system was designed to be autonomous, while the newer one can be operated by technicians. Additionally, the original battery swap service claimed a 90-second swap, whereas the new one says “less than fifteen minutes” is more plausible. Says the patent application, “In some implementations, the battery swap system is configured for use by one or more technicians, who will monitor certain aspects of the system’s operation and make necessary inputs when appropriate. For example, the battery -swapping system can be installed at a remote location (e.g., along a highway between two cities) and one or more technicians can be stationed at the location for operating the system. This can reduce or eliminate the need for the system to have vision components, which may otherwise be needed to align the battery pack or other components. Using techniques described herein it may be possible to exchange the battery pack of a vehicle in less than fifteen minutes.” As can be seen from the application figures, the patent application references swapping Model S and Model X battery packs. Both vehicles’ battery packs have been designed to be easily swappable. Model 3’s battery pack is not, on the other hand. Because the company aims to expedite the process in 15 minutes or less, it is unlikely the system will apply to more complicated swaps. Related: Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018 When Tesla CEO Elon Musk last mentioned the battery swap system, he said it would likely be developed to support commercial fleets — if pursued at all. Now that plans for Tesla’ all- electric Semi-Truck have been shared, Musk’s vision is coming into focus. + Tesla Via Elektrek Images via Tesla , Pixabay

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