World’s fastest electric car just shattered its own record

May 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Critics used to say that electric cars would never be as powerful or speedy as gasoline-fueled ones. Well, they were wrong. The Nio EP9, designed by Chinese company NextEV, recently smashed its own speed record at one of Germany’s most difficult tracks. The Nio EP9 just took a historic lap around the Nürburgring car racing track in Germany on May 12, completing the feat in 6:45:9. In 2016 they’d finished the lap in 7:05:12. According to a Business Insider video , the track is notorious for being difficult to drive. Related: Introducing the fastest electric car in the world In a statement, NIO United States CEO Padmasree Warrior said, “As a company, we were born to push limits. Setting and breaking records with our EP9 is for the sole purpose to show the world that we have the automotive and technical expertise to succeed in the global automotive market. Our vision is to be the best of the next generation of car companies by producing the smartest vehicles in the world.” The super speedy car can reach 124 mph from zero in 7.1 seconds. The company says their goal is for people to “feel positive again about owning a car.” Futurism pointed out the Nio EP9, however, isn’t a car for the masses: Nio only plans to produce 10 of the EP9s, and each will cost $1.48 million. The recent record isn’t the only one the Nio EP9 has set. The vehicle became the fastest autonomous car on Earth back in February, setting a record of 2:40:33 at the Circuit of the Americas Race Track in Austin. The car hit a speed of 160 mph, all without a human driver. Via Futurism Images via Nio

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World’s fastest electric car just shattered its own record

Retro electric motorbike with 40-mile range fits in the trunk of a car

May 22, 2017 by  
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Urban mobility is seeing something of a renaissance. As cars congest and pollute cities, people are rethinking how to get around. One company based in Singapore , seeks to inject a little fun and imagination into urban travel. Vanda Electrics is offering a small electric motorbike called the Motochimp that they claim will open your eyes “to the surreal in everyday spaces, as you meander through streets and dreamscapes.” The future of urban mobility isn’t all sleek electric cars or pioneering flying cars . Vanda Electrics infuses a sense of playfulness into a commute with their Motochimp, a foldable motorbike that can be packed into a car trunk. The unconventional vehicle was designed to celebrate spontaneous joy rides and “defy boredom and faceless urban transport.” From the website, it appears the motorbike will come in at least three bright colors: red, blue, and yellow. Related: Hyundai foldable electric Ioniq scooter will make your commute awesome The bike’s draw isn’t only its funky design , but the nearly 40 mile range it can get on one charge. The company also says the battery charges rapidly. The zero emissions vehicle will be able to cruise through the streets at speeds of 20 miles per hour. Jonny Smith of YouTube channel Fully Charged drove the Motochimp around and said the quirky vehicle is like the “child of a tube of toothpaste, Lego, and a packet of Pez candy.” He also likened the bike to a 1960’s coffee machine. According to Treehugger, the motorbike is expected to enter production in 2017 and could be released in the United Kingdom and possibly the United States by 2018. The price is yet unclear; Smith said the Motochimp could cost around $1,600 while Auto Express put the price tag closer to $2,000. Treehugger pointed out with prices that expensive, the Motochimp isn’t likely to be a vehicle for the masses, but could offer a fun alternative for those who want to ditch their cars. + Vanda Electrics + Motochimp Via Treehugger Images via Motochimp Facebook

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Retro electric motorbike with 40-mile range fits in the trunk of a car

‘Indestructible’ Arctic seed vault flooded after permafrost melts

May 22, 2017 by  
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The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is supposed to protect all of the world’s seeds, but climate change has other ideas. The vault was built inside the Arctic Circle to protect a diverse seed collection from natural disasters, war, and other calamities, but meltwater from thawing permafrost recently flooded the vault’s entrance tunnel. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault , tucked in a mountain on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, was thought to offer failsafe protection, according to The Crop Trust , the organization behind the facility. Nearly a million packets of seeds can be found within, ready to offer a measure of food security for the world. But record high temperatures melted permafrost around the seed vault, and water breached the vault’s entrance. Related: 50,000 new seeds deposited in Arctic Circle’s Svalbard Global Seed Vault The seeds weren’t harmed, according to a statement on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault website, and the facility wasn’t damaged either. The water that did enter froze and has since been hacked out. But the seeds’ future safety is suddenly in question. Hege Njaa Aschim, Director of Communications at Norway’s construction and property agency, Statsbygg, told The Guardian, “It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that [the vault] would experience extreme weather like that…It was supposed to [operate] without the help of humans, but now we are watching the seed vault 24 hours a day.” Vault managers have already taken steps to fortify the vault, such as digging trenches to channel water away and working to waterproof the tunnel that stretches into the mountain. They’ve installed pumps inside the seed vault to help get rid of water in case of flooding in the future. They also took out some electrical equipment that generated heat in the tunnel. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault’s statement on the incident said, “Globally, the Seed Vault is, and will continue to be, the safest backup of crop diversity .” Via The Guardian Images via Global Crop Diversity Trust on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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‘Indestructible’ Arctic seed vault flooded after permafrost melts

Stanford study says fossil-fueled cars will vanish in 8 years as big oil collapses

May 17, 2017 by  
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A new study published by Stanford University suggests that fossil-fueled cars will vanish within eight years – and citizens will have no choice but to invest in electric vehicles or similar technologies. This is because the cost of electric vehicles – including cars, buses, and trucks – will ultimately decrease, resulting in the collapse of the petroleum industry. Led by Stanford University economist Tony Seba, the report has caused spasms of anxiety within the oil industry . Entitled “Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030,” it details how people will ultimately switch to self-driving electric vehicles, as they are ten times cheaper to maintain than cars that run on fossil fuels and have a near-zero marginal cost of fuel. Additionally, EVs have an expected lifespan of 1 million miles. In comparison, most fossil-based cars barely last 200,000 miles. Seba predicts that in less than a decade, it will become very difficult for consumers to find petrol stations, spares or mechanics knowledgeable enough to fix combustion engines. His ultimate premise is that modern-day car dealerships will disappear by 2024 as the long-term price of oil falls to $25 USD a barrel. Those who cling to their outdated cars will probably have to pay to dispose of them in the future, says Seba. In the author’s own words, there will be a “mass stranding of existing vehicles.” Related: Iceland’s “Thor” volcano power plant can generate 10X more energy than oil or gas wells The Sanford researcher is also confident that within the next decade, humans will predominantly rely on self-driving vehicles as they are significantly less dangerous. “We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history,” said Seba. “Internal combustion engine vehicles will enter a vicious cycle of increasing costs. What the cost curve says is that by 2025 all new vehicles will be electric , all new buses, all new cars, all new tractors, all new vans, anything that moves on wheels will be electric, globally.” The Professor estimates that the “tipping point” will occur in the next two to three years when EV batteries surpass 200 miles and electric car prices plummet to $30,000 USD. By 2022, the low-end models will be sold for as low as $20,000. Following that, it will be the death of big oil . + Stanford Via Financial Post Images via Pixabay

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Stanford study says fossil-fueled cars will vanish in 8 years as big oil collapses

One of China’s largest car makers just broke ground on a $6.5 billion EV park

May 10, 2017 by  
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Chinese automakers are getting in on the electric car market in a big way. GAC Motor – one of the country’s largest car companies – just began construction on a $6.5 billion electric vehicle park where they’ll produce self-driving and electric cars. Electrek noted this is one of the biggest investments of this nature. The Guangzhou Automobile Intelligent Industrial Park will sprawl across almost two square miles in Guangzhou’s Panyu district in the province of Guangdong . A press release states the employment population of the park will be over 20,000 people. At the park, a new electric car plant, which might be ready to go by the end of the next year, could churn out as many as 200,000 units a year. Related: Chinese company LeEco begins building $3 billion electric car factory GAC Motor General Manager Yu Jun said, “The planning and construction of this industrial park is a concrete step to implement the Chinese government’s green development goals for Guangdong and the national ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy. The move will help promote the development of the automobile industry and drive economic growth.” Research , development, and production will take place at the new industrial park. Electrek explained one reason for the huge investment is China’s electric vehicle mandate, which says at least eight percent of car makers’ total sales by 2018 should be electric vehicle sales, and increases to 10 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2020. The publication said China is rapidly becoming the world’s biggest electric vehicle market. GAC just unveiled the GE3, their first entirely electric car, at the North American International Auto Show this year. But they have grand ambitions for the upcoming years: Yu Jun also said in the next five years, they’ll release a minimum of seven new electric car models, saying, “Our goal is for GAC Motor to take the lead in the EV business.” Watch out, Elon Musk ! Via Electrek and GAC Group Images via GAC Motor Facebook and GAC Group

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One of China’s largest car makers just broke ground on a $6.5 billion EV park

The Tesla Model S just got a tiny bit more affordable

April 18, 2017 by  
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Shortly after announcing that Tesla plans to cut its relatively more affordable Model S 60 and 60D from its lineup, the company revealed that it will also reduce the price of its new entry-level models, the 75 and 75D, by $5,000 to make up the price difference. It’s still $1,500 more than the previous model, but given that it retails for almost $70,000, that might not be a major issue for potential buyers. Those aren’t the only Model S variants to receive a price cut. The 90D’s base price is being cut from $89,500 to $87,500. If you want a car packed with more features, however, there’s bad news: the 100D and P100D are seeing a several thousand dollar price hike, as are Model X variants. There are also certain upgrades which are no longer available for the “entry level” cars, including smart air suspension on the 75 and 75D. And anyone interested in a high-amperage charger will have to shell out for the 100 or 100D. Related: Elon Musk announces all new Teslas will be self-driving It may seem strange for the company to make such dramatic changes to its lineup, but it makes sense when you consider the launch of the $35,000 Model 3 later this year. The company is cutting out the products that will overlap with the Model 3’s functionality – the new car’s battery capacity stops at 75kWh, so anyone who wants a more powerful vehicle will have an incentive to upgrade. The higher prices at the top of Tesla’s range will help make up for the low cost of the Model 3, allowing the company’s average prices to remain the same. While this might be a bit frustrating for anyone interested in a 100D, overall it will help make electric cars more affordable for the average consumer. Hopefully this will result in more Tesla vehicles on the street overall. Via Engadget Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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The Tesla Model S just got a tiny bit more affordable

This playful Airbnb treehouse near San Francisco lets you sleep in a 150-year-old oak tree

April 18, 2017 by  
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This amazing treehouse near San Francisco is built around a 150-year-old live oak tree. Linda and Doug Studebaker built the Bay area’s only Airbnb treehouse as a cozy overnight rental in the backyard of their hillside property in Burlingame, California , and furnished it with furniture that gives it an old-fashioned feel. Offering scenic views of the San Francisco Bay, Doug and Linda’s Treehouse is a private refuge nestled among the treetops of a quiet forested canyon, about a twenty-minute drive away from the city. Located 30ft in the air, with a wooden staircase leading up to the main space, the treehouse is not for the faint of heart. Related: Gorgeous Robin’s Nest Treehouse Hotel immerses you in nature Visitors can enjoy the sunset or sunrise with a beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay from the wrap-around deck. The interior features a comfy queen size bed, table, and a lower level chaise/reading nook. A private kitchenette and bathroom are located in the lower level of the owners’ log home, just 30 feet from the base of the treehouse. You can rent the house, ideal for two people, for $275 per night. + Doug and Linda’s Treehouse on Airbnb Photos via Airbnb

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This playful Airbnb treehouse near San Francisco lets you sleep in a 150-year-old oak tree

San Diego’s spectacular new Aquatic Center is a beacon to sailors entering the bay

April 18, 2017 by  
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Sailors cruising into San Diego Bay will now be met by the sophisticated new National City Aquatic Center . Designed by Safdie Rabines Architects , the elongated building sits embedded in the rocky coastline. The building will serve as a recreational and educational center for the community, as well as a luminous beacon for those entering the Sweetwater River Channel. Located on the southernmost edge of the Sweetwater River Channel, adjacent to Pepper Park and Pier 32 Marina, the 5,500 square foot structure replaces a makeshift facility that was previously housed in trailers. An extended wood-paneled roof looms over large glass panels , offering spectacular views of the surrounding wetlands and San Diego Bay from the interior. Related: Design Flaw Restricts View at Zaha Hadid’s Olympic Aquatic Center Visitors enter the building through a large lobby and activity space , which sits just under the extended angled roof. The rest of the complex stretches towards the back, and includes flexible multi-purpose classrooms, office space and a storage area that houses boat equipment, rest rooms, and locker facilities. There is also allotted space for public art exhibitions . + National City Aquatic Center + Safdie Rabines Architects Via Archinect

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San Diego’s spectacular new Aquatic Center is a beacon to sailors entering the bay

What’s behind state efforts to kill EV incentive?

April 17, 2017 by  
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Why states such as Utah, Georgia, Oregon and Colorado are parking consumer incentives for purchasing electric vehicles.

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What’s behind state efforts to kill EV incentive?

Can Germany’s map for all-electric cars drive up emissions?

April 12, 2017 by  
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Unless we up renewables, what sounds like an environmentalist’s dream actually can spike greenhouse gasses.

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