San Diegans could get $20,000 off price of electric car

August 15, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Elon Musk might have just ushered in the era of affordable electric vehicles with the first Tesla Model 3 cars rolling off the production line, but south of the Fremont factory in San Diego there is another great deal going on. Starting this month and running through the end of September, San Diego Gas & Electric customers can take advantage of a $10,000 discount off the purchase of a 2017 Nissan Leaf or a 2017 BMW i3. When the state of California’s $2,500 EV rebate and the $7,500 federal tax credit are added, SDG&E customers could potentially get $20,000 off the price of an electric car. The utility also offers an annual bill credit of up to $200 for driving an electric vehicle. Related: New lithium-ion battery from Japan could double electric vehicle range “All-electric cars have fewer parts which result in no oil changes and less maintenance costs,” the SDG&E website states. “Electric cars on freeways and neighborhood streets in the San Diego region reduces greenhouse gases and improves air quality. Moreover, when EVs plug into SDG&E’s grid they receive 43% renewable energy and no coal.” According to SDG&E, there are more than 1,100 public charging stations in the utility’s territory with plans to reach 3,500 charging stations. Charging infrastructure is increasing across the state — the California Energy Commission has awarded nearly $65 million to pay for more than 7,800 electric vehicle charging stations. + SDG&E Via The Verge Images via BMW and Nissan

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San Diegans could get $20,000 off price of electric car

‘Trump Forest’ plants trees to offset president’s climate ignorance

August 15, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump is notorious for his ignorance on climate change . So instead of sitting by while his administration harms the planet, a British climate scientist, American PhD candidate, and French and Kiwi sustainable hat company founder decided to take action. They started Trump Forest to encourage people to plant trees , and have seen a huge response: so far hundreds of people around the world have pledged 130,999 trees . “Where ignorance grows trees” is the tagline of the Trump Forest project. Dan Price, Jeff Willis, and Adrien Taylor initiated the project in March of this year in New Zealand with a contribution of 1,000 native trees from Taylor’s company Offcut (which plants a tree for every cap sold). From there, hundreds of people in places as far-flung as Malawi, Japan, and the United States pledged to plant trees too. Related: Meet the teen planting 150 trees for every person on Earth Trump Forest isn’t after money, according to their website. Instead, they hope people will pay for and plant trees where they live in the name of America’s president, or donate to charity Eden Reforestation Projects . Taylor told the BBC of Trump, “Only a small percentage of the world voted him in, but we all have to deal with the consequences of his climate ignorance.” The organizers told the BBC they would need to plant a forest as big as Kentucky to offset Trump’s policies. They also estimated they’d need to offset 650 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025 to make up for the actions of America’s commander-in-chief – that’s over 100 billion new trees. They think it’s feasible. Wouldn’t a forest named after Trump just bolster his already large ego? The organizers say people have complained about that, but they’d prefer if the president got on board. Taylor told the BBC, “We kind of want him to love the forest; this is his forest after all. We would love it if he tweeted about it.” Price said, “All we’re trying to do is pick up the slack he created and do the work for him.” If you want to get involved, you can check out the project here . + Trump Forest Via BBC Images via Pixabay and Ozark Drones on Unsplash

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‘Trump Forest’ plants trees to offset president’s climate ignorance

Dutch designer creates a wooden motorcycle powered by algae

August 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

An algae-powered wooden motorcycle? The concept isn’t too far out, considering algae has been used to create everything from eco-friendly sneakers to living lamps that absorb CO2 . There’s even an entire algae-powered building in Hamburg ! Dutch designer Ritsert Mans and scientist Peter Mooij created a wooden motorcycle that runs on algae to increase the visibility of the lesser known fuel source. “For every part of the bike, I looked to what nature could provide me with,” said Mans, who built the frame and springs with wood. He used cork for the dampeners and hemp for reinforcement. The team was interested in showcasing how algae oil could be potentially used in the future. So, they grew algae in saltwater, built a wooden motorcycle that runs on the stuff, then tested the concept on a local beach. In his narration, Mans likens the experiment the pioneering era of the 1900’s. Back then, people had no idea what to expect in terms of the up-and-coming automotive landscape. Now that millions of citizens are making a collective effort to invest in renewable energy and sustainable initiatives, great advances are expected to take place. “People don’t know what the world will look like 30 years from now in terms of transportation and energy,” Mans said, “but that uncertainty allows people to develop and build their own ideas.” “Even though the single-sided swingarm seems to contrast with the ‘prehistoric’ material it is made of, it’s actually a full composite, with all sorts of directional fibers provided by nature,” he added. Related: Mexico-sized algae bloom in the Arabian Sea connected to climate change Mans and Mooij wrote a book called The Thick Algae (or De Dikke Alg, in their native Dutch). Their wooden algae bike was made to accompany the resource. If you’d like to learn more about the project, watch Peter Mooij’s 2015 TED talk on algae oil: + Ritsert Mans Via Motofire Images via Ritsert Mans

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Dutch designer creates a wooden motorcycle powered by algae

Worlds largest bike parking garage opens in the Netherlands

August 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Good news for cyclists in the Netherlands — which, to be honest, is pretty much everyone. The country just unveiled the world’s largest bike parking garage ! By the end of 2018 the 184,000-square-foot facility beneath Utrecht’s central train station will be able to hold 12,500 parked bikes. For years, bicycle enthusiasts have been urging the government to update its parking infrastructure . Martijn van Es, the spokesman for the Dutch cycling organization Fietsersbond, says the country could do much more to accommodate the growing volume of cyclists . He said, “They have been talking about updating the city since 1989. The infrastructure hasn’t changed enough. And there are a lot more cyclists today than there were, [and much of the infrastructure] was built in the 1980s.” Van Es has a point. Bicycles outnumber people in the Netherlands , and the average citizen cycles more than 600 miles a year. Additionally, over one-fourth of the population bikes to work. It’s because of this that parking garages such as the one in development are in high demand. Related: The Netherlands is converting prisons into homes for refugees The Guardian reports that the Utrecht train station is an ideal location for the parking garage, as 40 percent of commuters who arrive there do so by riding a bike. And, according to Tatjana Stenfert, the project manager at Utrecht station’s square, even more bike parking will be added to the area in the future. She said, “We will have 12,500 places by the end of 2018. But then we will have to do some research and find more places for the bikes . It never stops. I look around and everyone is trying hard to find spaces – trying hard and fast.” + CU2030 Via The Guardian , Curbed Images via CU2030

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Worlds largest bike parking garage opens in the Netherlands

UK’s first self-driving grocery delivery van hits the streets of Greenwich

August 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Food delivery has taken an interesting new turn. Residents of Greenwich, UK now have access to the country’s first self-driving grocery delivery service thanks to the electric-powered CargoPod. Developed by autonomous systems startup Oxbotica , the trial service is collaborating with online supermarket Ocado to deliver fresh groceries to customers at just a click of a button. The trial service is part of the GATEway ( Greenwich Automated Transport Environment ) program and will operate in the Woolwich area of Greenwich. Once customers place an order at Ocado, the CargoPod collects it and sets out on a number of set trajectories around the neighborhood. Each order has its own GPS coordinates, and once the van has reached its programmed destination, customers can collect their order from one of the eight compartments. The van can hold up to 128kg (282 pounds) of groceries at a time. Related: The world’s first self-driving grocery store just hit the streets of Shanghai The electric CargoPod is a street-legal vehicle equipped with multiple sensors and cameras placed around the vehicle’s body to navigate safely through the streets. The van is able to self drive thanks to an InterlCore i7 computer, which integrates all of the sensor data, including Oxbotica’s own Selenium autonomous driving software . For safety reasons, it does, however, come with a steering wheel, pedals, and a big red emergency stop button that allow a safety driver – who is on board during the trial period – to take control in emergencies. + Oxbotica Via Ars Technica UK Photography by Sebastian Anthony , Nick Summers and Oxbotica

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UK’s first self-driving grocery delivery van hits the streets of Greenwich

Four Earth-sized planets discovered orbiting the nearest sun-like star

August 9, 2017 by  
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We may be one step closer to finding a “second home” for humans, thanks to research conducted by an international team of astronomers. By observing wobbles in Tau Ceti, a sun-like star 12 light years away, scientists discovered that four Earth-sized stars are orbiting it. Two of the planets have masses as low as 1.7 Earth mass (which is rare), while the other two are super-Earths — meaning they could potentially support life. To monitor the wobbles of the sun-like star, the team employed techniques sensitive enough to detect variations as small as 30 centimeters per second. “Our detection of such weak wobbles is a milestone in the search for Earth analogs and the understanding of the Earth’s habitability through comparison with these analogs,” said lead author Fabo Feng, from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK. “We have introduced new methods to remove the noise in the data in order to reveal the weak planetary signals.” While the outer two planets around tau Ceti are the right size to be habitable worlds, massive amounts of debris around the star likely reduce their habitability due to the intense bombardment of comets and asteroids . Nonetheless, the discovery is an exciting one. “We are now finally crossing a threshold where, through very sophisticated modeling of large combined data sets from multiple independent observers, we can disentangle the noise due to stellar surface activity from the very tiny signals generated by the gravitational tugs from Earth-sized orbiting planets,” said co-author Steven Vogt, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz. Mikko Tuomi, from the University of Hertfordshire, added, “We are slowly learning to tell the difference between wobbles caused by planets and those caused by stellar active surface. This enabled us to essentially verify the existence of the two outer, potentially habitable planets in the system.” Related: Couple buys 100% sun-powered home built for the Solar Decathlon The team wrote that sun-like stars are believed to be the best targets for finding habitable Earth -like planets. Tau Ceti is, indeed, very similar to our solar system’s Sun in both its brightness and size. Additionally, both stars host multi-planet systems. The research was published in the Astrophysical Journal and is available online. + Astrophysical Journal Via Phys.org Images via Colourbrand, Pixabay and J. Pinfield/RoPACS/University of Hertfordshire

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Four Earth-sized planets discovered orbiting the nearest sun-like star

GM is selling an electric car in China that costs just $5,300

August 9, 2017 by  
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Good news for Chinese consumers. This week, General Motors will start selling a tiny electric car which, after national and local electric vehicle incentives, costs just $5,300. From front to end, the Baojun E100 measures just 63 inches. And, when unleashed and fully charged, the two-seater can reach speeds of 62 miles per hour and travel about 96 miles on a single charge. The E100, which has been outfitted with a 39-horsepower electric motor, is Baojun’s first electric car. Prices for the vehicle begin at RMB 93,900, or approximately $14,000 before incentives. Amenities include an entertainment system with a 7-inch screen and built-in WiFi . For safety measures, all versions of the car have parking sensors and pedestrian alert systems. Those who invest in high-end models can also lock and unlock the car using a touchpad. According to data from LMC Automotive, Baojun — a mass-market car brand from General Motors’ SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture — is China’s eighth most popular car brand. It ranks just below Volkswagen , Toyota, Honda, and Buick. Considering China presently accounts for 40 percent of all electric vehicles sold worldwide, it’s clear there is a demand for non-polluting vehicles. As a result, Baojun’s ranking may very well increase. Related: The world’s first all-electric sport utility truck is finally here – and it looks incredible So far, more than 5,000 people have registered to purchase the first 200 vehicles. Another 500 will be made available later this week. Reportedly, buyers will be chosen on a first-come-first-serve basis. A GM spokesperson revealed that the first sales will initially be limited to the Guanxi region of southern China. As the car becomes more popular, GM plans to sell the cars more widely in China . + Baojun E100 Via CNN Images via General Motors

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GM is selling an electric car in China that costs just $5,300

Costa Rica eco-resort combines jungle yoga with sustainable design

August 9, 2017 by  
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NALU boutique hotel in Costa Rica is a sustainable jungle retreat for exercise and relaxation. Merging sustainability with local craftsmanship, architecture firm Studio Saxe designed a series of pavilions scattered amongst the trees, offering each occupant an extra sense of privacy. The hotel is located in Nosara, a burgeoning tourist destination for health, wellness and surfing. The owners, Nomel and Mariya Libid, wanted the design of the new building to reflect this attitude by offering several tranquil spaces for various types of recreation and exercise. Dense jungle completely surrounds the individual pavilion homes. The architects determined optimal positions for each of the structures by conducting extensive analyses of wind and sun patterns. Related: 8 gorgeous green hotels to add to your bucket list The timber roofs made of recycled Teak planks protrude over each pavilion to create shade from the intense equatorial sun. Corridors lit from the pergola roofs frame views of the lush surroundings and connect separate rooms. “Our project Nalu represents the power of simple, low-key, modern tropical architecture ,” says architect Benjamin Garcia Saxe. “It has quickly become a town favorite, which shows that there is a real desire to occupy spaces that bring people closer to nature, while addressing the needs of contemporary life,” he adds. + Studio Saxe Photos by Andres Garcia Lachner

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Costa Rica eco-resort combines jungle yoga with sustainable design

Dutch students ‘grow’ a biodegradable car made of beet sugar and flax

August 8, 2017 by  
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Are biodegradable cars the next step in environmentally-friendly motoring? A team of students at the Eindhoven University of Technology just unveiled a biodegradable car made out of beet sugar and flax. Weighing just 684 pounds, the lightweight, eco-friendly vehicle can travel up to 50 miles per hour. According to Reuters , the only components not made of bio-based materials are the wheels and suspension system. The car is named Lina, and its lightweight frame has a similar strength-weight ratio to fiberglass. The beet sugar plastic is crafted into a honeycomb-shaped core and then placed between two flax composite sheets. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, Lina has a power output of 8kW using 2 DC-motors. While the biodegradable car is an applaudable invention, there are challenges with using materials intended to break down. Noud van de Gevel, the team’s leader, commented that the prototype has not yet passed crash tests as the material “will not bend like metal, but break.” Related: Biodegradable PawPods: a better way to bury your pet The TU/Ecomotive team intends to test drive the car once it receives the green light from the Netherlands Vehicle Authority. + TU/Ecomotive Via Reuters

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Dutch students ‘grow’ a biodegradable car made of beet sugar and flax

Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018

August 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

For those who are still giddy over the newly-released Tesla Model 3 , prepare for even more good news. By the end of 2018, Tesla will install three times more superchargers — the plug-in electricity pumps required to charge Tesla batteries — around the world. The news was announced during the Model 3 ’s unveiling. While debuting the Model 3 At the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, Musk announced that the company is hoping to achieve its first affordably-priced electric vehicle. He then acknowledged that more Superchargers will be required, as the factory will be producing a total of 500,000 Model 3s — an eventual rate of 10,000 cars a week — annually. “By the end of next year, there will be three times as many Superchargers as there are today. So that should really help out a lot,” said Musk. As Inverse reports, there are presently about 6,124 Superchargers around the world. By the end of next year, there will be over 18,000 worldwide. Tesla’s CEO said, “Eventually you’ll be able to go anywhere on Earth” using the Superchargers. Related: BMW to rival the Tesla Model 3 with an all-electric 3 Series Of course, one will still be able to charge their electric vehicle in other nations even if a Supercharger isn’t available. The stations make the task easier, however. This is because Superchargers add 170 miles of range in 30 minutes. Home wall chargers, on the other hand, only add about 26 miles in the same timeframe. Supercharger stations are presently located in North America , Europe, Asia and the Middle East. 889 are presently open for business but in no time at all, thousands more will dot roadways. + Tesla Via Inverse Images via Tesla

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Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018

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