Do we really need to mine the deep seas to power EVs?

April 12, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Green

While more and more cities plan an end to sales of vehicles powered by fossil fuels and car manufacturers announce goals to go all electric, there’s a major complication. Where will all the metal for EV batteries come from? Some companies are looking toward deep-sea mining, which could have a whole new set of dire consequences. “These spaces out in the high seas, which include undersea mountain ranges, are really quite biodiverse and they’re full of very unique species,” said Douglas McCauley, director of UC Santa Barbara’s Benioff Ocean Initiative. “Many species are still unknown to scientists, and some have been newly identified.” Related: Cobalt-free batteries will make EVs more affordable For instance, there’s a newly found white octopus species, as well as black corals that live for thousands of years and the sea pangolin , which has the unwanted distinction of being the first marine species assessed as officially endangered, thanks to deep-sea mining. The need for lithium -ion batteries to power all these promised EVs may be the sticking point that thwarts the whole electrified future. A 2019 study determined that lithium demand could outrun supply by next year. Cobalt and nickel, other crucial battery components, may also be running low within a decade. “Cobalt is the metal of most concern for supply risks as it has highly concentrated production and reserves, and batteries for EVs are expected to be the main end-use of cobalt in only a few years,” according to a study by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney. China is claiming most of the world’s cobalt , which is mined primarily in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The global lithium supply is concentrated in Chile, Australia and Argentina. In addition to the negative environmental impacts of this mining, there are also major concerns over human rights abuses. Businesspeople are turning to areas beyond national jurisdiction in the high seas. The International Seabed Authority, an intergovernmental body, has already approved 28 mining contracts totaling more than 1 million square kilometers. Investors are getting excited about profits. One deep-sea mining group expects to have a $2.9 billion market value once it goes public. Environmentalists aren’t happy about putting profits over sea pangolins; neither are some manufacturers. BMW and Volvo have both come out against deep sea mining. “There are a lot of conversations about the real risks and unanswered questions about ocean mining,” McCauley said. “There’s now more than 90 NGOs that have come out and said that we need a moratorium on ocean mining and we shouldn’t be sprinting to do this until we are able to answer some of the serious questions about the impact of mining on ocean health.” Via The Revelator and Washington Post Image via Andrew Roberts

Original post:
Do we really need to mine the deep seas to power EVs?

Charge Your Electric Vehicle at Home — and on the Go

March 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco

Comments Off on Charge Your Electric Vehicle at Home — and on the Go

If you don’t already own an electric vehicle (EV), you might soon. Most automakers are… The post Charge Your Electric Vehicle at Home — and on the Go appeared first on Earth911.

Read more here:
Charge Your Electric Vehicle at Home — and on the Go

Electric Vehicles on the Rise: Should You Invest in the EV Market?

March 3, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

Comments Off on Electric Vehicles on the Rise: Should You Invest in the EV Market?

The heyday of gas-powered vehicles is winding down. America’s largest … The post Electric Vehicles on the Rise: Should You Invest in the EV Market? appeared first on Earth 911.

Here is the original post:
Electric Vehicles on the Rise: Should You Invest in the EV Market?

USPS cuts emissions with new delivery vehicle fleet

March 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on USPS cuts emissions with new delivery vehicle fleet

The United States Postal Service announced last week that it was awarded a multi-billion-dollar contract to update the postal delivery fleet. Oshkosh Defense of Oshkosh, Wisconsin , won the 10-year contract to build more efficient vehicles with fewer emissions. In recent years, the USPS has faced stiff competition from private delivery services and has endured derision over being less reliable. Investing in a modernized fleet is just part of an overarching, soon-to-be-released plan for USPS to triumph and once again become the nation’s preferred delivery service provider. Related: Canoo unveils 100% electric delivery vans that start at $33K Oshkosh Defense is finalizing designs for the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV). The plan is to assemble 50,000 to 165,000 of the new right-hand-drive mail and package delivery vehicles over the next decade. The vehicles will have either battery electric powertrains or fuel-efficient internal combustion engines. USPS plans to design them so that they can be easily retrofitted as electric vehicle technology evolves. An initial $482 million investment includes building the U.S. manufacturing facility where final assembly of the new fleet will happen. “Our fleet modernization also reflects the Postal Service’s commitment to a more environmentally sustainable mix of vehicles,” Postmaster General and USPS Chief Executive Officer Louis DeJoy said in a statement. “Because we operate one of the largest civilian government fleets in the world, we are committed to pursuing near-term and long-term opportunities to reduce our impact on the environment.” NGDV safety features include advanced braking and traction control, 360-degree cameras and a front- and rear-collision avoidance system that includes visual, audio warning and automatic braking, according to USPS. Increased cargo capacity will accommodate more packages and maximize efficiency. The current USPS fleet includes more than 230,000 vehicles in every class. Some are purpose-built for USPS delivery, while others are commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) vehicles. Some have already been in service for 30 years. About 190,000 of these deliver mail six or seven days a week, making them some of the hardest working vehicles on the road. + USPS Images via USPS

Read the original: 
USPS cuts emissions with new delivery vehicle fleet

Facebook Marketplace fuels illegal sales of land in the Amazon rainforest

March 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Facebook Marketplace fuels illegal sales of land in the Amazon rainforest

Large parcels of land in the Amazon rainforest are being sold illegally on Facebook. According to a recent investigation carried out by the BBC, Facebook Marketplace ads are being used to sell land in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon Rainforest to global buyers. Facebook has distanced itself from the illegal trade, saying, “We are ready to work with local authorities.” The company also added, “Our commerce policies require buyers and sellers to comply with laws and regulations.” Related: Amazon deforestation reaches a 12-year record Ivaneide Bandeira, head of environmental NGO Kanindé, said that those selling the land “feel very empowered to the point that they are not ashamed of going on Facebook to make illegal land deals.” Many of the people selling the land have admitted they don’t possess the land titles, which are the official documents that prove land ownership in Brazil . “There’s no risk of an inspection by state agents here,” said Fabricio Guimarães, one land seller, told BBC. Some of the land being advertised for sale belongs to Indigenous communities. One community leader, Bitaté Uru Eu Wau Wau, has condemned the Facebook Marketplace ads, urging the company to take action. “This is a lack of respect,” he said. “I don’t know these people. I think their objective is to deforest the Indigenous land, to deforest what is standing. To deforest our lives, you could say.” While local authorities are slow to act, Facebook has the capacity to take action. All ads go through an approval process before going live. Interestingly, some of the classifieds posted also include coordinates. But the company says the task of deciding which sales are illegal would be too much for it to handle and that authorities need to step in. In recent years, the Brazilian government has said that it does not support deforestation , but its actions say otherwise. “President Jair Bolsonaro’s government has always made it clear that his is a zero-tolerance government for any crime, including environmental ones.” Brazil’s Minister of the Environment Ricardo Salles said. While the government says it is taking action, the budgetary allocation to Ibama, the body mandated with inspection of the rainforest, has been cut by 40%. + BBC Image via Mario Dimas N Silva

Read the original post: 
Facebook Marketplace fuels illegal sales of land in the Amazon rainforest

GM airs funny electric vehicle commercial during Super Bowl

February 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on GM airs funny electric vehicle commercial during Super Bowl

While people rooted for the Kansas City Chiefs or Tampa Bay Buccaneers last Sunday, General Motors waged a war with greater implications. The foe? Norway . General Motors’ war isn’t directed at the Norwegian people but at beating them for global leadership in electric vehicles sales. For a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, the auto company recruited actors and comedians Will Ferrell, Kenan Thompson and Awkwafina (Nora Lum) to play three Americans ready to fight Norway for EV supremacy. The commercial is part of GM’s “Everyone In” ad campaign designed to bring electric vehicles into the mainstream and increase North American sales. Related: GM pledges carbon neutrality by 2040, expands electric fleet So far, the Chevy Bolt has been General Motors’ EV offering. But in the last few months, the company has introduced the new Cadillac Lyriq SUV and the GMC Hummer EV. Hummer fans may be able to buy an electric model by the end of 2021. The Lyriq will likely go into production late next year. Both of these vehicles are featured in the Super Bowl commercial. General Motors has promised 30 models at a variety of price points coming out over the next four years and plans to sell only electric vehicles by 2035. “We feel like this transition is one that will protect all of our futures,” said Dane Parker, GM’s chief sustainability officer. “And it will help us create a future that will benefit not only the planet but the people.” So why take on Norway? More than half of cars sold in the Scandinavian country are electric, compared to about 4% in the U.S. General Motors was careful to prepare Norwegian leaders in advance of airing the commercial. The officials must have had a sense of humor about it, because part of the commercial was even filmed in Norway. Ultimately, the Super Bowl ad pokes fun at Americans, not Norwegians. Especially the ending, which mocks Americans’ notoriously bad grasp of geography when Will Ferrell winds up in Sweden while Awkwafina and Thompson find themselves on a snowy road in Finland. + General Motors Via Motor Biscuit and CNET Images via General Motors

More here: 
GM airs funny electric vehicle commercial during Super Bowl

Student inspires Miami-Dade County Public Schools to shift to electric buses

January 21, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Student inspires Miami-Dade County Public Schools to shift to electric buses

Holly Thorpe, a middle school student at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, has pushed the school district to shift from diesel-fueled buses to electric buses . The district arrived at the decision to convert after Thorpe made insightful points on electric vehicles through her science fair presentation. Thorpe’s research revealed that carbon dioxide fumes inside the buses were 10 times more than the levels recommended by the EPA. The school plans to bring in the electric buses in 2021, a year after Thorpe shared her findings. According to the school district, it will be applying for a federal grant from the $2.8 billion settlement fund as a result of the Volkswagen emissions scandal . The district will then use the fund to acquire new buses. Related: Jakarta’s massive bus system pilots electric vehicles “Students know they will be faced with the dire consequences of climate change and they are the ones motivating the district to feel a sense of urgency and care about becoming the greenest, cleanest, most innovative, and most equitable school system it can be,” Michele Drucker, environmental chair of the Miami-Dade County PTSA Council and sustainability chair of the MAST Academy PTSA, told Miami Herald . “There is money available to cover initial capital costs. District administrators just need to change their mindset and accept the technology.” According to 11th-grader Thomas Brulay, students have to hold their breaths on diesel buses. “On a normal school bus you have to hold your breath, it’s dirty, loud, uncomfortable — nobody wants to ride the bus,” Brulay said.  The school district now hopes to bring in the new buses and improve the overall experience and health of the students and bus drivers. According to Richard Lee, director of U.S. bus sales for bus manufacturer Lion Electric , electric buses have many benefits. “For the driver, it’s an improved experience not only in operating the bus but in monitoring the passengers because you can hear them, it’s less chaotic,” Lee said. “ Climate change is here and we’ve got to fix it. Will I see the day when everything is 100 percent electric? No, but my grandchildren’s future depends on it.” Via Clean Technica Image via Lion Electric

View post:
Student inspires Miami-Dade County Public Schools to shift to electric buses

Cobalt-free batteries will make EVs more affordable

January 18, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Cobalt-free batteries will make EVs more affordable

If the high price tag is all that stands between you and your dream Tesla , you might be able to afford one in a few years. Panasonic is working on making new, cobalt-free batteries that will bring down costs and make Tesla vehicles more environmentally friendly. “Two or three years from now, we will be able to introduce a cobalt-free, high energy-density cell,” said Shawn Watanabe, head of energy technology and manufacturing at Panasonic of Japan, during a session at CES 2021 , the world’s largest tech and consumer electronics expo. CES went virtual this year because of the pandemic. Related: Tesla: the real environmental impact Cobalt is used in the cathode — “negatively charged electrode by which electrons enter an electrical device,” according to Dictionary.com — of lithium -ion batteries. While cobalt now accounts for only 5% of the cathode, the material still has a high cost, both in dollars and human suffering. Much of cobalt is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sometimes via child slavery. Tesla and other companies have found more ethical sources of cobalt elsewhere, but Tesla has been accused of tolerating maiming and deaths of kids in the DRC. Whether or not these claims are substantiated, the less cobalt, the better. “Reducing cobalt makes it harder for us to manufacture, but ultimately does reduce the negative environmental impacts of batteries and reduce the cost,” said Celina Mikolajczak, vice president of battery technology at Panasonic Energy of North America, as reported by Nikkei Asia . Because batteries usually account for 30-40% of an electric vehicle’s cost, and much of that is for cobalt, consumers can expect less expensive cars once the cobalt-free battery becomes the norm. Currently, Teslas range from just under $40,000 for the least expensive Tesla Model 3 to nearly $80,000 for the Model X. Tesla founder Elon Musk announced plans last September to introduce a $25,000 electric vehicle in three years. Via Nikkei Asia and Clean Technica Image via Dylan Scarsone

Read the rest here: 
Cobalt-free batteries will make EVs more affordable

This green-roofed cabin is made from local cedar and glass

January 18, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on This green-roofed cabin is made from local cedar and glass

A year-round retreat for a young family in British Columbia, this contemporary cabin is found nestled along the north shore of stunning Bowen Island. Made from sustainable building materials such as cedar and glass, the Bowen Island House maintains deep connections to nature while minimizing environmental impact with a design that touches lightly on the ground. The Bowen Island House is set on a rugged, 8-acre site on a secluded side of the island, characterized by a lush, lichen-covered rainforest and some of the best views in the Canadian province. While the island itself is somewhat isolated and requires a ferry ride to access it from the closest city, the landscape here has become increasingly vulnerable to development over the years. In a place where over-scaled homes have become the norm, the Bowen Island House by the Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects + Designers (OMB) presents a sustainable alternative with a small environmental footprint. Related: Cedar Haven is a forest retreat made with reclaimed logs A simple, two-level volume is clad in locally sourced cedar and insulated glass , with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open-plan kitchen, a dining room and a living area. This modest scale, along with off-grid functionality and independent sources for heat and electricity, helps minimize the home’s footprint. Additionally, the project prioritized simple details in its design to ensure minimal disruption to the natural surroundings during construction. The home’s position perpendicular to the rocky coastline hides it within the landscape and captures the sun from east to west, while the cedar cladding is stained black to help it visually recede into the forest. There is also a green roof to reinstate the absorptive qualities of the forest floor below. Mediation between architecture and nature is achieved through cast-in-place concrete walls that connect the constructed elements to the natural elements as well as large areas of outdoor decks that look out over the water. + Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects + Designers Via Dwell Photography by Ema Peter via OMB

Read the original:
This green-roofed cabin is made from local cedar and glass

Earth911 Reader: 2020 Ties Hottest Year Record

January 16, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Eco Tech

Comments Off on Earth911 Reader: 2020 Ties Hottest Year Record

The Earth911 Reader collects and comments on useful news about … The post Earth911 Reader: 2020 Ties Hottest Year Record appeared first on Earth 911.

See the original post:
Earth911 Reader: 2020 Ties Hottest Year Record

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 2059 access attempts in the last 7 days.