Roger Morton, General Manager Oahu Transit Services, electric vehicles

June 29, 2018 by  
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Roger Morton, General Manager for Oahu Transit Services talks the electric vehicle transition. 2035 is the goal for public vehicles like buses, and 2045 is the commitment for private vehicles’ electrification. The funding is there for these infrastructure developments, and the action is being taken on the promise.

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Roger Morton, General Manager Oahu Transit Services, electric vehicles

MINI just unveiled an amazing all-electric model of their iconic car

March 28, 2018 by  
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MINI just unveiled a blast from the past with a modern twist: the classic MINI Electric. This unique all-electric car signals their commitment to zero emissions technology. In a statement , MINI said, “The spontaneous power of its electric motor provides a new dimension to the unmistakable go-kart feeling that helped propel the British small car in its original form to worldwide popularity.” The one-off classic MINI Electric hearkens back to the brand’s historic car – and it’s drumming up excitement for a fully electric production vehicle set to debut next year. The vehicle is a bright red “carefully restored example of the classic MINI Cooper ,” enhanced with yellow MINI Electric logos and a contrasting white roof. Technical specifications are scant – but the vehicle is equipped with a single electric motor, according to Carscoops . Related: MINI re-envisions the Cooper hatchback as an EV “The classic MINI Electric is the result of an imaginary journey through time, where the story of the classic model is extended by a consecutive chapter,” the company said. “The original from the second half of the 20th century becomes a sympathetic ambassador for environmental awareness and a form of sustainable mobility whose future has just begun.” Electrek pointed out that MINI has unveiled three working electric concepts without bringing one to production and it’s about time they did so — they’ve been laboring on EV MINIs for around 10 years now. They produced around 600 examples of 2008’s MINI E, which helped pave the way for the BMW i3 . The company’s production EV is being developed right now, MINI said, and is “based on the MINI 3 Door.” It will go into production in 2019 at their Oxford plant. The unveiling will coincide with the 60th anniversary of their classic car. + MINI Via Carscoops and Electrek Images via MINI

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MINI just unveiled an amazing all-electric model of their iconic car

Hyundai’s first fully-electric SUV boasts 292-mile range

March 1, 2018 by  
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Hyundai just unveiled their electric SUV , the Kona Electric , and it can travel around 292 miles on a single charge. The company says this vehicle will be the “first fully-electric subcompact SUV on the European market,” and features progressive design , including a closed grille on the front of the car that enhances aerodynamics. Hyundai will be releasing short- and long-range models of the Kona Electric, boasting ranges of 186 and 292 miles respectively, according to The Verge . The short-range model includes a 99 kilowatt (kW) electric motor and 39.2 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery, and reaches 60 miles per hour (mph) from zero in around nine seconds. There’s a 150 kW motor and 64 kWh battery in the long-range model, which can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds. Related: Hyundai unveils new Nexo fuel cell SUV with an impressive 370-mile range Both models charge up to 80 percent in 54 minutes at a 100 kW DC fast charger. Via a standard AC outlet, the short-range model will charge up fully in around six hours and 10 minutes, and the long-range model will charge up in around nine hours and 40 minutes due to the larger battery. Smart technology can be found throughout the vehicle. Both models will be equipped with semi-autonomous driving and safety technology like adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, and lane keeping assist. A heads-up display provides speed and navigation information. There’s a wireless charging pad for Qi-enabled smartphones in the center console. The car also includes a button type shift-by-wire system so drivers can shift to park, neutral, forward or reverse with the press of a button. The car even boasts 21 exterior color combinations — with a two-tone roof and seven distinctive exterior colors, there’s plenty of room for customization. The Kona Electric is set to hit Europe and South Korea later in 2018. Hyundai has not yet said how much the car will cost. + Hyundai Kona Electric + Hyundai Kona Electric Highlights Via The Verge Images via Hyundai

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Hyundai’s first fully-electric SUV boasts 292-mile range

Over a third of all cars were electric a century ago

February 26, 2018 by  
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Electric cars are cutting-edge technology these days, and it seems like people everywhere are switching. However it might come as a surprise to learn that 118 years ago, 38% of all cars were electric . Porsche’s first car was electric . The fastest car in the world was electric. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison collaborated on an electric car. Electric cars were the future – a century in the past. ? In 1900, 40% of cars were powered by steam, 38% by electricity and a mere 22% by gasoline. By 1912, there were nearly 39,000 electric cars on the road. Electric cars were popular because they were quiet, didn’t require a cumbersome crank start, and had no smelly fumes or smoke. An electric car could go 65.79 mph (a record set in 1898) and some had a range of up to 100 miles on a single charge. Since roads outside of cities were rough or non-existent, electric cars were perfect for urban dwellers. Related: Porsche’s First Car Built in 1898 Was Electric! At one point, Henry Ford was determined to create an affordable electric car. “Within a year, I hope, we shall begin the manufacture of an electric automobile. I don’t like to talk about things which are a year ahead, but I am willing to tell you something of my plans. The fact is that Mr. Edison and I have been working for some years on an electric automobile which would be cheap and practicable,” he said in 1914. It’s a shame that Ford’s EV never made it into production – imagine how much it could have changed the vehicle market. Edison, who worked with Ford on the EV, believed that the electric automobile was the transportation of the future. Sadly, it was Ford’s mass-produced Model T that ultimately killed the electric car. At their peak, there were many EV manufacturers competing in the market. Detroit Electric was churning out electric cars, Denver-based Fritchle motors were proud of their 100-mile range battery, President Woodrow Wilson owned a Milburn Electric vehicle, and New York-based Babcock had its own line of EVs. Sadly, electric cars started to disappear in the 1920s as gas automobiles became the most affordable option. Gas guzzlers also had the benefit of being able to go much further than an electric car, (a problem electric vehicles are still working on tackling), which was important as roads became better outside of cities. It wasn’t until gas shortages in the 1970s that people started to explore alternative-fuel cars once again. Via Clean Technica Images via Porsche , Wikimedia and Wikimedia

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Over a third of all cars were electric a century ago

This solar startup wants to help you and your business kick the water bottle habit

January 10, 2018 by  
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If the electric grid can be decentralized, why can’t the water system?

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This solar startup wants to help you and your business kick the water bottle habit

All 16,000 of this Chinese megacity’s bus fleet will be electric by year’s end

December 18, 2017 by  
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Shenzhen , China – home to more than 11 million people – rolled out a pilot of electric buses all the way back in 2011. Despite being ahead of the electric curve, they had thousands of buses running on diesel until recently. But that will change by the end of 2017, when the megacity’s entire fleet of buses will be electrictrified . Shenzhen’s fleet includes 16,000 buses. They’re going completely electric – and will be the first city in the world to attain that goal, according to Fast Company . They had to install a network of thousands of charging stations and ports, and figure out how to handle the expense of replacing all those diesel buses. Related: Shenzhen, China Launches the World’s Largest Electric Vehicle Fleet Fast Company pointed out the scale of the transition makes it all the more remarkable. Shenzhen has more buses than the United States’ top five bus fleets combined: in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey, and King County, Washington, where Seattle is located. The local and national governments played a role in the transition; both offered subsidies to bring the cost of electric buses in line with traditional ones. Falling lithium-ion battery costs have also helped. The buses are cheaper to operate and maintain than diesel-powered ones. Shenzhen-based automobile manufacturer BYD produced 80 percent of the new buses in the megacity. The company sells its cars in 50 countries, and even surpassed Tesla in 2016 as the biggest electric vehicle manufacturer in the world. The electric buses are one component of an effort to clean up the megacity’s air. Around 10 years ago, Shenzhen spent around half the days in a year covered in smog. That figure fell to 27 days in 2016. The electricity to power the buses isn’t completely clean yet; some comes from coal. Even so the buses are anticipated to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 48 percent compared against diesel ones. Shenzhen also aims to have all of its taxis be electric by 2020. Via Fast Company Images via BYD Company Ltd. on YouTube and Wikimedia Commons

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All 16,000 of this Chinese megacity’s bus fleet will be electric by year’s end

The electric Vespa scooter of your dreams is coming in 2018

November 8, 2017 by  
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Environmentally-conscious commuters, rejoice ! Vespa’s first electric scooter will hit the market next year, and it will have a range of about 62 miles. The good news was announced at the Milan Motorcycle Show by parent company Piaggio. Though the price of the Vespa Elettrica has not yet been revealed, an eager fan base can’t wait to get their hands on the chic electric two-wheeler. Vespa’s first electric scooter is as high-tech as it gets. A 4.3-inch TFT color display sits between the handlebars, displaying information on speed, range, and charge level. When the scooter is connected to the Vespa Elettrica app, messages and phone calls can also be received. Vespa is currently developing a special helmet that is equipped with a built-in Bluetooth speaker and microphone for just this purpose. The app can also be used on a smart phone to keep track of diagnostic information and locate the vehicle on a map. According to Piaggio, the Elletrica will have “superior performance” to a 50cc scooter – although its range is about three times less than the 174-mile range of the 50cc Vespa Primavera . Piaggio says that the new Vespa Elettrica is “perfect for city environments.” The electric scooter charges in four hours from a normal wall outlet, and Vespa Elettrica owners can expect 10 years (or approximately 50,000 to 70,000 km) of use from the scooter . Piaggio is also developing a hybrid version of the Elettrica that has a gas-powered generator . The Elettrica X will have a range of approximately 124 miles. + Vespa Via The Verge Images via Vespa

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The electric Vespa scooter of your dreams is coming in 2018

US will temporarily halt use of cyanide bombs to kill Colorado wildlife

November 8, 2017 by  
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The United States government has employed M-44s, or cyanide bombs, to kill animals . But those against the use of cyanide capsules just won a small victory: the United States Agriculture Department’s Wildlife Services will suspend their use in Colorado during an environmental analysis. The Center for Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians filed a lawsuit in April saying Wildlife Services didn’t fully asses the potential impact of killing bears and cougars on other native wildlife such as the Canada lynx in Colorado, according to Reuters . Federal officials had also intended to shoot up to 75 bears and 45 mountain lions . Related: Congress just voted to allow the slaughter of tens of thousands of wild horses and burros Under a recent stay of the lawsuit, Wildlife Services must finish a new environmental assessment by August 1 of next year. They’ll evaluate the consequences of their predator-control actions, according to Reuters. Under the agreement they will not use or fund the use of M-44s on Colorado public lands. They also won’t hunt or trap mountain lions or black bears to study the impact on ungulate populations. Attorney Matthew Bishop of the Western Environmental Law Center said in a statement, “This agreement represents a sign of good faith moving forward to do the right thing when it comes to Colorado’s wildlife and ecosystems. It’s a big swing to go from deciding to ignore the best available science to halting potentially harmful wildlife killing while improving the science.” This isn’t the only time cyanide bombs have made headlines this year. An M-44 killed a family dog and sprayed a 14-year-old boy in Idaho earlier this year. The boy’s father, physician Mark Mansfield, reportedly said in a petition to the White House, “The USDA maintains they resolve conflict between wildlife and people ‘in the safest and most humane ways possible,’ but the nature of the cyanide bomb is neither safe nor humane. Cyanide gas has been used throughout history to murder masses of people.” Via the Center for Biological Diversity and Reuters Images via Depositphotos and USFWS Mountain-Prairie on Flickr

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US will temporarily halt use of cyanide bombs to kill Colorado wildlife

Tiny Montana company signs $300M contract to help restore power in Puerto Rico

October 24, 2017 by  
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The majority of Puerto Rico ‘s 3.4 million residents still lack electricity in the wake of Hurricane Maria . Now, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is looking to a two-year-old Montana -based company, Whitefish Energy , to help them switch the power back on. But some people are wondering why PREPA would sign the $300 million contract, the largest issued yet, with a company that only had two full-time employees when Hurricane Maria hit the island. Whitefish Energy has been tasked with repairing and reconstructing electrical infrastructure in Puerto Rico. The company said this week they have 280 workers laboring now, and that they’re close to finishing work that will provide power to key industrial facilities that will help get the local economy going again. Related: Germany company steps in to help Puerto Rico with microgrid installations PREPA signed the contract with Whitefish instead of activating mutual aid agreements – which have aided United States utilities in recovering after natural disasters – with other utilities. As Puerto Rico is bankrupt, many people are wondering why they’d hire a company instead of turning to the mutual aid network. Former Energy Department senior official Susan Tierney told The Washington Post, “The fact that there are so many utilities with experience in this and a huge track record of helping each other out, it is at least odd why [the utility] would go to Whitefish. I’m scratching my head wondering how it all adds up.” PREPA executive director Ricardo Ramos told reporters Whitefish was the first firm “available to arrive and they were the ones that first accepted terms and conditions for PREPA.” Whitefish is based in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown, but Zinke’s office said he didn’t play a role in the Puerto Rico contract. Whitefish had landed a $1.3 million federal contract just before Hurricane Maria to replace and upgrade parts of an Arizona transmission line 4.8 miles long in 11 months. There are 2,400 miles of transmission lines in Puerto Rico, where an estimated 80 percent of the grid has been harmed. Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló recently said 95 percent of power would be on by Christmas. Whitefish CEO Andy Techmanski seems to disagree, saying, “I don’t know where he got that and what information he was using. Without doing a full assessment countrywide, I couldn’t fathom how many months, if it’s going to be two months, three months, five months.” Via The Washington Post Images via Whitefish Energy on Twitter ( 1 , 2 )

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Tiny Montana company signs $300M contract to help restore power in Puerto Rico

Magnetic particles may be the future of data storage

October 24, 2017 by  
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Recently discovered magnetic behavior may have enormous potential to power the next generation of data storage technology , according to new research reported this week in the journal  Nature Nanotechnology.  The promise of data storage based on “skyrmions,” minuscule disturbances in magnetic orientation, offers a potential path to overcome fundamental limitations in computing technology that otherwise may have heralded the end of Moore’s Law, which holds that computing power doubles in strength roughly every two years. Skyrmions, the phenomenon on which this new data technology would be based, were only discovered in 2016 by a team led by MIT associate professor of materials science and engineering Geoffrey Beach. These magnetic particles occur between two thin metallic films from two different kinds of metal and can be wielded using electric fields, allowing long-term data storage without the need of additional energy. While the locations of these skyrmions were originally random, Beach and collaborators at MIT and in Germany  have since demonstrated an ability to purposefully create and harness these magnetic particles, opening the door to new technological possibilities. Related: Scientists turn eggshells into eco-friendly data-storage devices Because skyrmions are very stable in contrast to traditional magnetic storage devices , data could potentially be stored on a magnetic surface perhaps only a few atoms across. This feature is what allows the theoretical skyrmions-based storage devices overcome the physical limitations of traditional magnetic storage devices and continue the computing power expansion under Moore’s Law. The next step is to figure out an efficient way to read the data that has been written into the skyrmions. One solution is to add an additional layer of a different metal to the skyrmion sandwich and then use differences in the layer’s electrical resistance based on the presence of skyrmions to determine the encoded data. “There’s no question it would work,” said MIT postdoc and study co-author Felix Buettner, but further research and development is needed to determine how best to implement the idea. Via Futurism/MIT News Images via Moritz Eisebitt/MIT News and Depositphotos

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Magnetic particles may be the future of data storage

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