Mercedes-Benz releases lightweight yet powerful eScooter

November 3, 2020 by  
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Mercedes-Benz has long been a top name when it comes to innovation. Most recently, this is evidenced by the newly released eScooter, a zero-emissions scooter that is light, foldable and portable to help cover the miles between the parking garage or bus stop and the final destination without contributing to air pollution . With an electric motor providing 500W power, the eScooter is powerful enough to climb grades, yet convenient enough to keep in the trunk of a car. It can get you where you need to go with a quick acceleration of up to 20km/h, which is the top limit allowed in Germany, where the eScooter was born. It may not go as fast as a car, but the 7.8 Ah battery offers an impressive range of up to 25 kilometers without a recharge. Related: Mercedes Benz presents a luxury electric car Both front and rear suspension and wide rubber tires allow the electric scooter greater traction and stability over uneven cobblestones or on smooth pavement. For added comfort and security, the kickboard is wide enough for both feet and comes with a non-slip coating. The handlebars are also road-ready with an easily adjustable height, right-handed acceleration and left-handed breaking. In addition, there is a foot break, front and rear lighting and side reflectors for safety. There’s even a classic bell to warn of your arrival around a corner or intersection. Plus, because you wouldn’t expect any less from Mercedes-Benz, there is a centrally mounted display, which makes it easy to monitor speed, battery level and riding mode at a glance. With the quick release of a foot lever, the eScooter folds in half for garage or trunk storage. You can also easily take it on public transportation for a convenient way to move between the station and the office. The Mercedes-Benz eScooter is part of a growing line of vehicles the company is scheduled to release over the next two years in an effort to provide Mercedes-Benz quality with more sustainable designs and less emissions. + Mercedes-Benz Images via Mercedes-Benz

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Mercedes-Benz releases lightweight yet powerful eScooter

The CrossWater is a solar-powered mode of public water transportation

August 27, 2020 by  
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You know those chugging, air-polluting boats that take an hour to load, an hour to make their way across the river and another 45 minutes just to unload? Forget them. The CrossWater is here, and it could revolutionize the way people travel on the water. This is an invention you have to see to believe. And once you do see it, you’re going to be looking for it to come to a waterway near you. The makers of CrossWater hope to make water transportation cheap, accessible, fast and safe for everyone. That includes making water travel safer for the environment, too. After all, that’s something that is truly shared by everyone. Related: Cool retro boats restored with electric motors Think of the CrossWater like a horizontal elevator, moving side to side instead of up and down. Specifically, the CrossWater is made to… cross water. It floats, glides and skims right across water , moving rapidly to get users where they need to be as quickly as possible. The CrossWater is fully self-driving and all-electric . Forget about harmful fumes that you have to breathe in while you travel on the water with a motorized boat. The CrossWater is carbon-neutral and extremely simple. In fact, you don’t have to do anything at all. There are no oars to move and no sails to turn. You just step inside and let the CrossWater quickly carry you exactly where you need to go. Each CrossWater vessel holds 15 people at a time and is programmed to travel between platforms quickly. The interior includes a 32- or 49-inch touchscreen with a selection of apps including YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Netflix and Google Maps. The sound system has 19 speakers, and each CrossWater is fully climate controlled. Not a bad way to get across the water, right? The CrossWater has been designed to work effortlessly on lakes, canals and rivers. Water vehicles like this can help reduce the number of vehicles on the road. CrossWater hopes to get 1 million vehicles on the waterways by 2025. Soon, it may start replacing ferry services around the world. + CrossWater Images via CrossWater

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The CrossWater is a solar-powered mode of public water transportation

Arrivals zero-emissions buses are designed for social distancing

June 23, 2020 by  
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U.K. startup Arrival has unveiled the Arrival Bus, an eye-catching electric bus crafted to not only improve public perception of public transportation but to also respond to health concerns in the coronavirus era. Engineered for flexibility and worldwide adoption, the Arrival Bus features wraparound digital screens for easy identification and flexible seating so that passenger capacity can be controlled to follow social distancing rules. The sleek design concept also allows for the installation of plexiglass dividers between passengers and no-touch stop requests via a smartphone app. Founded in 2015, Arrival champions itself as a producer of electric commercial vehicles designed to help cities meet their net-zero emissions targets worldwide. In addition to the new Arrival Bus design, the startup recently unveiled designs for its electric delivery vans. Although there are no Arrival products currently on the road yet, the company plans to deploy 1,000 Microfactories — low-footprint automotive production facilities with Arrival assembly technology — around the world by 2026 to build all of the electric vehicles in its portfolio.  Related: Designers propose sustainable housing in response to COVID-19 lifestyle changes “We are very excited to bring the Arrival Bus to markets around the world and make the passenger experience of bus travel a positive one,” said Ben Jardine, chief of product for Arrival Bus. “By working in partnership with businesses to develop the entire ecosystem around our vehicles, we are supporting their goals of making public transport appealing whilst achieving carbon neutrality.” Arrival plans to create an integrated public transportation ecosystem that not only includes buses but also cars for sharing, taxis, delivery robots and charging infrastructure. Arrival expects to deploy the Arrival Bus in upcoming months. The electric vehicles will be built in local Microfactories using modular construction for flexibility. The use of an aluminum chassis with integrated mechanical parts will also streamline the production process, while the minimalist interior design will make the vehicle easy to clean. + Arrival Images via Arrival

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Arrivals zero-emissions buses are designed for social distancing

NBBJ to design Tencents futuristic Net City in Shenzhen

June 17, 2020 by  
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Global design firm NBBJ has won an international competition to design Net City, a 2-million-square-meter masterplanned Shenzhen district for Tencent, China’s largest internet company. Envisioned as a “city of the future,” Net City will prioritize “human-centric” and sustainable design through the inclusion of an extensive public transit network, a green corridor and energy-generating systems. The abundance of greenery will also help the project meet the goals of China’s Sponge City Initiative so that stormwater runoff is collected and managed throughout the campus. Developed for the 320-acre peninsula along Shenzhen’s Dachanwan, Net City was created to meet Tencent’s growing office needs in the upcoming years. The mixed-use masterplan covers roughly the same size and shape of Midtown Manhattan and will be centered on a new Tencent building that is surrounded by a living quarter with schools and an assortment of retail spaces and other amenities. The buildings will range in height from single-story structures to three-story towers as part of an overarching design vision for differentiated spaces with strong sight lines to nature. Related: MVRDV designs a sustainable “urban living room” for Shenzhen “A typical city calls for simplistic and efficient zoning to keep everything under strict control and facilitate the flow of goods, cars and people,” said Jonathan Ward, design partner at NBBJ. “This principle was driven by a love for the industrial age machine. In today’s computer-driven world, we are free to imagine a highly integrated city that brings ‘work, live, play’ closer together to foster more synergy between people. This fits in perfectly with the collegial, collaborative culture of Tencent.” A public transit network with a subway, bus and shuttle system as well as a folding green corridor for pedestrians, bicycles and autonomous vehicles will shape a pedestrian-friendly environment. General vehicles will be diverted underground. In addition to an abundance of green space ranging from recreational parks to wetlands, Net City will also include rooftop solar panels, green roofs and environmental performance trackers to reduce the district’s overall environmental footprint. + NBBJ Images via NBBJ

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NBBJ to design Tencents futuristic Net City in Shenzhen

Blix Packa, the electric bike that wants to replace your car

March 12, 2020 by  
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Beautiful, modular and impressively high-performance, the  Blix Packa  is a full-feature cargo electric bicycle that’s designed to be “a natural car-replacer.” Engineered to tackle the steepest of hills, Packa boasts a range of up to 70 miles per charge and top speeds of 20 miles per hour. Packa also features a loading capacity of 400 pounds thanks to its unique multi- modular racking system that also makes it easy to bring your little ones along for the ride. Launched after a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, the Packa joins Blix’s growing line-up of  electric bicycles , which also includes a Vika+ folding bike, Aveny city bike and Sol cruiser bike. Notable for its compact design, the Packa has a total length of only 81 inches, making it only slightly longer than a regular bicycle. Its dual 24-inch wheels provide a low center of gravity for easy handling, while its low step-through frame of just 21 inches makes it accessible to most riders.  Fully electric, the Packa comes with a powerful rear motor that boasts 750W of raw power that can be easily tapped into with the throttle and two high-capacity 35E Samsung cell batteries totaling 1,175Wh to ensure a range of 70 miles per charge and 25,000 miles of battery lifetime. The e-bike also comes with a seven-speed gear shifter, integrated  LED  brake light, disc brakes, a smart bell, USB charging, and puncture-resistant tires.  Related: Bamboo electric bike is designed for Kathmandu locals and tourists Also key to the design of the Packa is the integration of Blix’s modular rack system that hooks up to smart mounting points at the front and rear of the bicycle to allow the user to carry up to 200 pounds in 200 different configurations. The Blix Packa is available in either Electric Blue or Bright White at the recently reduced price of $1,599.  + Blix Electric Bikes Images via Blix

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Blix Packa, the electric bike that wants to replace your car

NAWA reveals hybrid electric motorcycle at CES 2020

January 20, 2020 by  
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It’s not the first electric motorcycle on the market, but the NAWA Racer is currently the most talked about after a big reveal at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. The new tech kid on the block, a French firm called NAWA, has developed a prototype with a body style based on London’s speedy cafe motorcycles from the 1960s. While the sleek design is eye-catching, the innovation hidden within the outer appearance is what makes this motorcycle so unique. Where most electric vehicles rely on lithium-ion for power, NAWA has developed an ultracapacitor that improves performance on nearly every level. For starters, the ultracapacitor can charge and discharge quickly, endless times over. This propels the bike from 0 mph to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds. While the ultracapacitor provides stellar power, it works in conjunction with conventional lithium-ion batteries and allows a 93-mile ride per charge. Related: Harley-Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle debuts at CES The hybrid ultracapacitor system can reduce the size of the lithium-ion battery by up to half or extend the range by up to double. This is exciting for city riding, which is where the NAWA Racer really excels in efficiency. With the ability to recharge in seconds by recycling energy from the stop-and-go braking of driving in traffic, the energy can last up to 186 miles without recharging. Regenerative braking produces a lot of energy, up to 80% of which is reused for power. The ultracapacitor also provides a fast recharge, allowing the bike to reach 80% of full charge within an hour from a home supply outlet. NAWA fully intends to scale the hybrid technology to other vehicles in the near future. “The NAWA Racer is our vision for the electric motorbike of tomorrow — a retro-inspired machine but one that is thoroughly modern,” said Ulrik Grape, CEO of NAWA Technologies. “It is lightweight, fast and fun, perfect for an emission-free city commute that will put a smile on your face. But it also lays down a blueprint for the future. NAWA Technologies’ next-gen ultracapacitors have unleashed the potential of the hybrid battery system — and this design of powertrain is fully scaleable. There is no reason why this cannot be applied to a larger motorbike or car or other electric vehicle. What is more, this technology could go into production in the very near future.” + NAWA Images via NAWA

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NAWA reveals hybrid electric motorcycle at CES 2020

Copenhagens new eco-friendly bicycle hills hide parking for thousands of bicycles

November 6, 2019 by  
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Danish architectural firm COBE recently completed a one-of-a-kind public space in Copenhagen that not only serves as a multifunctional meeting place, but also provides covered parking for over 2,000 bicycles. Inaugurated in late August, Karen Blixens Plads is one of the largest public spaces in Copenhagen and measures over 20,000 square meters in size. The elevated undulating terrain helps break the large space down into small zones for activities and helps channel and slow rainwater to improve the area’s stormwater management. Located between the University of Copenhagen and the Danish Royal Library’s buildings at the university’s South Campus, Karen Blixens Plads is a multifunctional urban space that serves as a public square and a university plaza. Working in collaboration with CN3 and EKJ, COBE used 3D modeling to design the three “bicycle hills” constructed as cast concrete shells clad with hand-laid tiles in colors referencing the exteriors of nearby university buildings. Large openings punctuate the undulating load-bearing structure to create an airy, light-filled space underneath. In addition to bicycle parking , the new public square includes an outdoor auditorium with seating for up to 1,000 people. Simple and durable materials were used to minimize maintenance, while lighting and furnishings were kept to a minimum. Related: A striking new gateway to Copenhagen celebrates green transit and Danish design “All in all, we have created a unique space based on three main principles: improving the connection between landscape and urban space , integrating optimal green spaces with a large capacity for bicycle parking and creating a space that offers good social meeting places and learning environments,” says COBE’s founder, Dan Stubbergaard. “The almost cathedral-like form of the bicycle hills further offers an aesthetic experience in its own right, both when people park their bikes and when they meet at the hills for lectures, group work, concerts or Friday afternoon socializing.” + COBE Images by Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST

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Copenhagens new eco-friendly bicycle hills hide parking for thousands of bicycles

High-tech wetsuit protects divers and surfers from toxic elements in the oceans

November 6, 2019 by  
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With ocean waters being polluted at an astonishing rate, swimmers, divers and surfers are putting their lives at risk simply by entering the water. Vissla and Surfrider have collaborated on a slightly depressing solution aimed to keep water-lovers safe. The Rising Seas Wetsuit is a high-tech body suit that uses nanotechnology to block the absorption of any harmful pollutants in the water. Additionally, Nitrile pads on the stomach, elbows and knees help surfers maintain their grip on the board, even in seriously slimy conditions. Unfortunately, despite concerted efforts around the world to stave off any more damage, oceans are becoming suffocated with harmful bacteria, viruses, algal blooms, oil spills, trash — you name it. It is becoming common practice to close beaches due to the presence of harmful bacteria. Related: Yves Béhar recycles wetsuits and boat sails into ocean-friendly bags The innovative wetsuit is designed to allow divers and surfers to enjoy the waters, no matter how toxic they become . According to the design team, the Rising Seas Wetsuit includes a built-in bio-defense system that offers an impenetrable level of protection to the wearer while they are in the water. The futuristic wetsuit is made out of an Anti-R material that uses nanotechnology to block the absorption of harmful pollutants. The suit includes sensors that monitor the water conditions for bacteria levels, radiation and overall toxicity. All of this information is displayed on a digital LED display that is controlled by a touchscreen control panel on the forearm. The system allows swimmers and divers to access information easily and set preferences, such as alerts for extreme conditions. It also comes with satellite GPS services that provide location-based swell charts and current weather information. According to Vissla, the wetsuit is in the concept stages, and the team emphasized that this is a project they “never want to make a reality.” But its design is meant to draw attention to the extremely urgent issue of ocean pollution and rising sea levels . + Vissla + Surfrider Via Uncrate Images via Vissla

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High-tech wetsuit protects divers and surfers from toxic elements in the oceans

Norwegian Air introduces SkyBreathe app to help reduce annual CO2 emissions

October 23, 2019 by  
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True to its fame as Norway’s most sustainable airline and as the two-time International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) recipient of the “Most Fuel-Efficient Airline on Transatlantic Routes” award, Norwegian Air is ambitiously targeting a carbon emissions reduction of 140,000 tons per year. It will do so by leveraging the SkyBreathe fuel efficiency app. SkyBreathe was developed by the European Union’s Clean Sky project , the largest European research program dedicated to reducing aircraft emissions and noise levels. The SkyBreathe app analyzes entire flight operations via big data algorithms to consider air traffic control constraints, flight paths, payloads, weather conditions and other similar variables. The information is then transferred to aircraft systems, thus enhancing Norwegian Air flight paths with improved fuel efficiency . Related:  Eco-resort in Finland charges guests based on their carbon emissions “At Norwegian, we’re continuously working to find new tools to reduce both CO2 emissions and fuel consumption,” shares Stig Patey, Norwegian’s fuel savings manager. “With the SkyBreathe app, we receive large amounts of data for each flight, and this data provides relevant information about how we can fly smarter and even more efficiently.” Indeed, by determining fuel consumption, SkyBreathe assists with optimizing flight performance while saving on costs. To date, the app enables Norwegian Air to save up to 3,700 tons of fuel and reduce emissions by 11,600 tons per month. “With SkyBreathe, we receive instant feedback after each flight, where we can easily see how we have performed, what we have done well and what we can improve for the next flight ,” explains Fergus Rak, London Gatwick Airport’s base chief captain. “This is a smart tool that benefits both us and the environment.” Since 2008, Norwegian Air’s young fleet has been consistently implementing green approaches, with the ultimate goal of making the entire airline carbon neutral by 2050. In fact, ICCT analysis over the years has found Norwegian Air fuel consumption to be approximately 33% more fuel-efficient than the industry average.  Via Norwegian Images via Norwegian

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Norwegian Air introduces SkyBreathe app to help reduce annual CO2 emissions

Pizza Hut is testing plant-based Incogmeato sausage pizzas served in round boxes

October 23, 2019 by  
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The plant-based meat wave is sweeping the nation, and Pizza Hut is the latest fast food franchise to join the meatless bandwagon. The alternative protein pizza will be unveiled in Arizona and will feature MorningStar Farm’s “Incogmeato” Italian sausage. The new menu item will be placed in more sustainable, circular boxes rather than the customary square ones. Featured in a Garden Specialty Pizza on a hand-tossed crust alongside banana peppers, mushrooms and onion toppings, the Incogmeato Italian sausage is 100 percent meat-free. The new pizza is certain to delight flexitarian , vegetarian and vegan taste buds. Related: Pizza Hut unveils a zero-emissions delivery truck that makes pizzas on the go Forward-thinking innovations, where food is concerned, are nothing new for Pizza Hut. “We innovate for human’s sake and we’ll win on taste — period,” said Marianne Radley, Pizza Hut’s chief brand officer. “When we talk about feeding more possibilities, we mean it.” As for the signature round boxes, Pizza Hut partnered with sustainability company Zume. Not only will the round box be industrially compostable , but its round shape will cut back on packaging sizes, making it more environmentally friendly. The round box, which has been in development for the past two years, will also snap shut to ensure fresh delivery and will likewise interlock with other round boxes for stackable stability. With less bulk, the round box is also easier to carry and store in the refrigerator when there are leftovers. “This revolutionary round box — the result of a two-year journey — is the most innovative packaging we’ve rolled out to date,” said Nicolas Burquier, Pizza Hut chief customer and operations officer. “The round box was engineered to make our products taste even better — by delivering hotter, crispier pizzas.” Alternative meat substitutes have been growing in popularity across the United States. According to a recent joint report from Plant-Based Foods Association and the nonprofit Good Food Institute (GFI), the U.S. retail market of plant-based foods is worth $4.5 billion and, in the past year alone, grew five times faster than all retail food sales. What’s more, total plant-based meat sales now exceed $800 million, with a 2 percent share of U.S. retail packaged-meat sales that continues to grow. For a limited time, the Incogmeato pizza and its signature, sustainable, round box will “test” launch first in a single branch location of the Grand Canyon State — 3602 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix. Customers can purchase the new item for $10 in-store, while supplies last. Proceeds will go to Arizona Forward, a sustainability organization. + Pizza Hut Via CNN Image via Pizza Hut

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Pizza Hut is testing plant-based Incogmeato sausage pizzas served in round boxes

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