Hyundai’s first long-range EV arrives next year

August 23, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Hyundai has been pretty quiet on its electric car plans, with the exception of its recently introduced Ioniq models. But now the automaker has confirmed it will introduce new extended-range electric cars within the next few years. The first will be a 242-mile-range SUV, followed by a sedan with a 310-mile-range. It had already been rumored that the new Hyundai Kona SUV would get a fully electric version, but now Hyundai has confirmed it. The small Kona SUV will get an electric version sometime next year, with a driving range of around 242 miles. That means it will have the longest driving range of any electrified SUV, with the exception of the Tesla Model X . Of course, that title could change, since Audi is also close to introducing its new 300-mile-range SUV. After the new Kona SUV is introduced, Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis will release its own electric car by 2021. The new luxury electric car will have a driving range around 310 miles, making it a direct rival to the Tesla Model S . Hyundai hasn’t got any plans for a long-range Kia EV, but both the Hyundai and Kia brands are slated to get a range of new electrified models. The company plans to releae 31 eco-friendly models by 2020. With the new focus on electric cars, Hyundai isn’t giving up on fuel cell vehicles . They recently unveiled the next fuel cell SUV as a thinly disguised concept that will be powered by a fourth-generation hydrogen fuel cell system that is not only more powerful, but has a longer driving range than the current Tucson Fuel Cell SUV. + Hyundai Via VentureBeat Images @Hyundai

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Hyundai’s first long-range EV arrives next year

Harvard researchers just developed self-healing rubber

August 22, 2017 by  
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You’ve heard of self-healing concrete and even the potential of a self-healing starship , but what about rubber that repairs itself? The invention now exists, thanks to researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). In a new study published in Advanced Materials , the research team reveals how they developed a hybrid rubber with both covalent and reversible bonds that is capable of repairing itself. While self-healing materials aren’t new (researchers at SEAS created self-healing hydrogens which rely on water to incorporate reversible bonds that promote self-healing), this is the first time engineers have created a self-healing rubber. The task was difficult, as rubber is made of polymers often connected by permanent, covalent bonds. Because the bonds are strong, they never reconnect once broken. The researchers overcame this by making the bonds connecting the polymers reversible, so the material could break and reform. Related: This rubber-jointed LED table lamp can bend in any direction like Gumby To mix covalent and reversible bonds, the researchers developed a molecular rope (called randomly branched polymers) which tied the two types of bonds together. This rope allowed two previously unmixable bonds (“like oil and water,” according to Li-Heng Cai, a corresponding author) to be mixed homogeneously on a molecular scale. It was this step that produced the self-healing rubber. Unlike typical rubber, the self-healing variety redistributes stress so there is no localized point of trauma that results in cracking. When the stress is released, the material “snaps back” to its original form and the cracks repair themselves. Harvard’s Office of Technology Development has already filed a patent for the technology and is seeking commercialization opportunities. This means that in the very near future, objects that utilize rubber are likely to become more durable. Cai, a postdoctoral fellow at SEAS, Jinrong Wu, a visiting professor from Sichuan University, China , and author David A. Weitz, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, developed the hybrid rubber as a team. Their research was supported by the National Science Foundation, Harvard Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) and the National Institute of Health/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. “There is still a lot more to do. For materials science , it is not fully understood why this hybrid rubber exhibits crazes when stretched,” Weitz said. “For engineering, the applications of the hybrid rubber that take advantage of its exceptional combination of optical transparency, toughness , and self-healing ability remain to be explored. Moreover, the concept of using molecular design to mix covalent and reversible bonds to create a homogenous hybrid elastomer is quite general and should enable development of tough, self-healing polymers of practical usage.” + Advanced Materials Via GreenCarCongress Images via Pixabay ,  Peter and Ryan Allen/Harvard SEAS

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Harvard researchers just developed self-healing rubber

Why Los Angeles has started to paint its streets white

August 22, 2017 by  
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Though it lacks the humidity of East Coast heat, Los Angeles still burns. The City of Angels is one of the only places in the United States where heat-related deaths occur regularly during winter. This public health hazard is only expected to worsen as climate change gains strength over the next decades. Located in a desert valley and dominated by asphalt roads to facilitate its car culture, LA is extremely vulnerable – and, fortunately, innovative. The sprawling cityscape of nearly 4 million people (over 13 million in the metro area) has begun to paint its streets white, in hopes of using the color’s natural heat-reflecting properties to lower the temperature and make LA a healthier place to live. Los Angeles, and many other cities around the world, suffer from what is called the urban heat island effect, in which the dense infrastructure and activity of the city generates and traps heat beyond what might normally be expected based on the region’s climate . To combat this effect, Los Angeles is covering its streets with CoolSeal, a light-colored paint that has already yielded positive outcomes. “We found that on average the area covered in CoolSeal is 10 degrees cooler than black asphalt on the same parking lot,” said Greg Spotts, the assistant director of the Bureau of Street Services for San Fernando Valley, one of the hottest spots in Greater LA. Related: Restorative Healing Gardens take over a concrete garage rooftop in L.A. LA officials hope that cooler streets will result in cooler homes, which in turn keeps energy costs and health risks low. “Not everyone has the resources to use air conditioning, so there’s concern that some low-income families will suffer” if something is not done to counteract the rising heat, said Alan Barreca, an environmental science professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. “The [cool-treated] pavement would provide benefits to everyone.” The coating, which costs $40,000 per mile and lasts for seven years, will be applied to streets in a pilot program before it is applied citywide. Its future looks bright. “We’ve done things over and over again that people said couldn’t be done,” Spotts said, “and this time is no different.” Via Washington Post Images via  Giuseppe Milo/Flickr (1)

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Why Los Angeles has started to paint its streets white

New images show progress on the next world’s tallest building

August 22, 2017 by  
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New images of Santiago Calatrava ‘s Dubai Creek Tower have emerged, showing construction progress on what is expected to become the world’s tallest building. Developer Emaar Properties released site photos and video of the 2.3 square-mile complex, which is designed to eclipse the height of the Burj Khalifa by at least 300 feet. Emaar Properties and Dubai Holdings joined together to build the new complex in Dubai, which will feature a 3,045-foot tower designed by Calatrava as its centerpiece. The tower requires laying record-breaking 236-foot deep foundation piles capped with 1.59 million cubic feet of concrete. Related: The world’s tallest tower just broke ground in Dubai The tower, inspired by the lily flower and mosque minarets, will feature a 68-mile array of supporting cables, a 360-degree observation deck and a Hanging Gardens of Babylon-style floor. It broke ground last year, but the developer still hasn’t confirmed the completion date. According to previous reports, the project is expected to be ready in time for Dubai Expo 2020 . + Santiago Calatrava + Emaar Properties + Dubai Holdings Via Archinect

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New images show progress on the next world’s tallest building

Volkswagen confirms when the Microbus is coming back as an EV

August 21, 2017 by  
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For years Volkswagen has teased us with the idea of bringing back the much loved, iconic Volkswagen Microbus . The automaker unveiled the I.D. Buzz concept car earlier this year, which applies the styling of a Microbus, but with a fully electric powertrain. After several rumors and reports, Volkswagen has confirmed that the Microbus will officially return in 2022. Volkswagen made the announcement at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance, in Monterey, California. “After the presentations at the global motor shows in Detroit and Geneva, we received a large number of letters and emails from customers who said, ‘please build this car’,” Volkswagen CEO Dr Herbert Diess said. The Board of Management chose Pebble Beach as the location to make its announcement because, as Diess explained: “The Microbus has long been part of the California lifestyle. Now we’re bringing it back by reinventing it as an electric vehicle.” Related: Volkswagen may offer more electric cars than any other brand Although we have to wait five years to get the new Microbus , Volkswagen has confirmed that it will feature a fully electric powertrain. Since the batteries will be mounted in the floor and the compact size of its electric drive components, the new Microbus will have a spacious interior, despite its compact exterior. “The vehicle looks like a compact commercial van on the outside, even though it offers the generous interior space of a large SUV.” Volkswagen has also announced that the production version of the I.D. Buzz concept will be offered in a cargo version. The cargo version will be ideal for delivering packages and services in the inner city. The new Microbus will also be offered with Level 3 autonomous driving capability. When the production version of the I.D. Buzz concept does arrive, it will be the second new long-range electric car from Volkswagen. The first will be a production version of the I.D. hatchback concept , which is expected to arrive in 2021. A production version of the I.D. Crozz SUV is also in the works. Images @Volkswagen + Volkswagen

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Volkswagen confirms when the Microbus is coming back as an EV

Innovation is the key to unlocking clean energy

August 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Harness the fact that change is constant to create jobs, bolster our economy and improve our lives.

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Innovation is the key to unlocking clean energy

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

Retractable restaurant addition provides flexible space that adapts to any weather

August 10, 2017 by  
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Could this be the end of waiting outside a restaurant in crappy weather? Turkish company Libart  installed an innovative retractable wall system for a restaurant in Istanbul that can help the establishment accommodate plenty of diners year-round. The sliding aluminum and glass structure in the Babylon Beach Club extends outward to provide cozy, covered seating during wintertime or completely retracts into the building to make room for open outdoor space during the summer months. The flexible architectural system gives the restaurant optimal flexibility to increase or decrease capacity as the weather conditions change. The glass paneled structure retracts into the building during the summer months, virtually hidden from site. Alternatively, the structure can be expanded during inclement weather. Thanks to the extra space and additional sitting, the establishment can accommodate their client base year-round without having to turn away customers due to lack of space. Related: Sliding Walls Transform This Tokyo House Into an Office For the Babylon Club, Libart installed a high-walled, 4-piece sectional design called Evolution Freestanding. The glass panels not only provide a sense of openness when extended, but also flood the interior with natural light . The system uses few components, making assembly quick and efficient. Referred to as “modern architecture in motion” by the company, the sliding system can be used in a number of situations such as providing flexible cover for outdoor pools, hotel and commercial spaces, and even industrial warehouses loooking to create healthy working spaces. + Libart

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The UK will require electric car chargers at all major gas stations

August 10, 2017 by  
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Electric cars are expected to reach cost parity with gas-powered vehicles as soon as 2018 – and governments around the world are introducing new legislation and incentives to keep up with increasing demand. The UK just announced a new law that requires all major petrol (gas) stations and motorway services to install electric car chargers. The Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill, which was revealed during the Queen’s parliamentary speech, commits the government to improving the country’s electric charging infrastructure. It also requires that charging points be easy to access, work seamlessly across the UK and fall in line with the same set of technical and operational standards. As Auto Express reports, the UK’s public charging infrastructure is having a tough time keeping pace with EV uptake. In fact, a recent investigation reveals that electric and plug-in car ownership increased from 2,254 vehicles in 2012 to 85,983 at the end of 2016. At the same time, the number of charging points in the UK only grew to 11,736 in 4,243 locations (from 2,883 in 1,287 locations) during the same period. Previously, the European Parliament said there has to be at least one charger for every 10 electric cars on the road for EVs to become commercially viable. However, data obtained by charge point database Zap-Map shows that the ratio of EVs to chargers has grown from 0.78 to 7.32 in four years. Requiring all major petrol stations to install EV charging points is sure to further improve the car-per-charger-ratio. Related: GM is selling an electric car in China that costs just $5,300 Of course, it’s important to remember that it’s not just up to the government to install charging infrastructure. Says Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, “Ultimately, public investment in charging infrastructure will need to be matched by the private sector.” Via Auto Express Images via Pixabay

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The UK will require electric car chargers at all major gas stations

Insane new flying Iron Man suit will be 3D-printed

August 9, 2017 by  
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Hold onto your seats Marvel fans and tech enthusiasts. Before you know it, a real-life “Iron Man” suit will be on the market — and yes, it can fly. Developed by Richard Browning, the co-founder of start-up company Gravity , the jet engine-powered flying suit was designed to “re-imagine manned flight.” With two engine arm configurations that weigh up to 90 pounds and a temperature threshold of 700°C (1292°F), the highly-anticipated invention will also feature wings. And did we mention it will be 3D-printed? The Gravity jet engine-powered flying suit was unveiled at Comic-Con in San Diego, CA, where Browning dished details to Tested’s Adam Savage. The newest version of the suit is comprised of four arm-loaded thrusters and an additional jet pack that is strapped to the user’s back. As noted above, two engine arm configurations can reach temperatures of 700°C (1292°F). 3D Printing Industry reports that if handled responsibly, the rockets aren’t as dangerous as they first might seem. This is because the heat is quickly dispersed by the air which, in turn, reduces the risk of one’s boots or sneakers catching on fire. Browning explained that the movement of the suit is controlled by a very “intuitive” system. For instance, minor movements of the arms determine the direction and height by altering the jet’s vector. It helps that a DAQRI augmented reality (AR) helmet with a heads-up display is connected. Not only does the AR helmet monitor the suit’s performance, it shows the data of speed and altitude in real-time, eliminating the need to check one’s wrist. Browning flew the suit at Comic-Con, wowing comic fans and technology entrepreneurs . He was reportedly able to fly at a speed up to 45/50 mph. Right now, between seven and eight different versions of the suit are in development; modifications will affect the functionality and appearance of the suit. “We are working on a whole bunch of adaptations with the manufacturer,” said Browning “to make [the engines ] much more fit for what we’re now using them for, because clearly they weren’t designed for this.” Related: Stunning Europe Building facade shows off the beauty of 3D printing in Amsterdam The most exciting part of the next-generation suit is that it will be 3D-printed and will feature temperature proof, one-piece aluminum housing for the thrusters. Because the control modules are in need of improvements, the engine configuration will also be changed. Finally, wings will be added to the suit to change the pattern of flight from vertical to airfoil. I’m quite excited about that, Browning said. “We’ve fully CADed up a beautiful, organic inspired housing, and that’s being 3D printed now.” No further information has yet been obtained about the potential cost or release date of the real-life Iron Man suit. However, in the past, Browning informed interested buyers that a custom-built suit should cost approximately $250,000. + Gravity  Via 3D Printing Industry Images via Gravity  

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