Solar-powered Tonke Camper brings a hint of nostalgia to off-grid living

June 20, 2017 by  
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Although the mahogany cladding on the Tonke Woodline Camper may seem like a blast from the past, this camper is designed for the modern road warrior. The camper is entirely powered by solar energy , and it comes with a large battery bank and water tank for those looking to go completely off-grid . Hand built in the Netherlands, the camper offers a compact, but comfortable living space. The interior comes with all of the basic necessities – a spacious sleeping area, kitchenette with a large, double-door fridge, and small latrine. Strategic storage throughout the interior helps keep the space clutter free. The dining table with ample seating backs up to the rear doors, which open to provide stellar views. The camper also has a number of windows, which flood the interior with natural light , making the living space light and airy. Related: Solar-powered EarthCruiser camper expands at the push of a button Designed to be used as a sturdy ride for on-the-go travel or just a simple home addition, the camper van’s Mercedes Sprinter base comes installed with four remote-controlled electrical jacks that can lift the camper off its base in order to use the truck’s cargo bed. This feature, along with its compact size, makes the Tonke Camper convenient to ship virtually anywhere in the world. + Tonke Woodline Camper Via Uncrate

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Solar-powered Tonke Camper brings a hint of nostalgia to off-grid living

Cadillac unveils their new CT6 Plug-in Hybrid – a large, green luxury sedan

May 3, 2017 by  
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Cadillac is pushing a new green car strategy they hope will make a bigger impact than their ELR plug-in hybrid – a low-performing vehicle in terms of sales success. Rather than produce a standalone plug-in hybrid , like the ELR, Cadillac will release plug-in hybrid versions of its regular lineup, starting with the new 2017 CT6 Plug-in Hybrid. The 2017 CT6 plug-in hybrid is just now reaching showrooms, giving Cadillac a rival to other luxury sedan plug-ins, like the Mercedes-Benz S 550e, BMW 740e and Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid. The CT6 plug-in hybrid can travel up to 31 miles in electric mode, which is better than the embarrassing 12 mile EV range that the S550e manages to squeeze out of its battery. If you open the hood, you won’t see a V6 or large V8 engine, like many Cadillac loyalists are used to. Instead, the CT6 plug-in hybrid is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine and two-motor electric variable transmission. A large lithium-ion battery powers the electric part of the system from behind the backseat and takes up to 4.5 hours to fully recharge on a 240-volt outlet. Related: Honda steps up with new green car strategy In total, the system generates 335 horsepower and 432 lb-ft. of torque, which puts it directly in the middle of the CT6 lineup, with only the twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6 beating it. The CT6 plug-in hybrid can reach 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and has a 62 combined MPGe rating. Plus the 31-mile driving range is longer than almost every other plug-in hybrid on the market, with the exception of the Chevy Volt and BMW i3, but neither of those models are as luxurious or comfortable. On the road the CT6 tries to find the perfect balance between performance and efficiency. You can select between three driving modes: Tour, Sport and Hold. Tour is the standard setting, but if you want a more exciting driving experience, there’s the Sport mode with its more aggressive pedal mapping and steering response. The Hold mode allows the driver to save the EV range for later use, maybe in a city center, for example. There are also four selectable battery regen modes to recuperate as much energy as you want. The strongest setting almost allows for one pedal driving, which is something that makes the i3 so great to drive in traffic. What’s it like to drive the CT6 Plug-in Hybrid? Driving around Los Angeles in the CT6 Plug-in Hybrid, it’s easy to forget you’re driving an electrified Cadillac. The instantaneous torque makes acceleration a breeze and the 31-mile EV range is enough for short errands around town. With a 0-60 mph time of only 5.2 seconds, the CT6 Plug-in Hybrid can speed past many sports cars. Although it is fast, it’s still not a true sports sedan. If you’re looking for a sportier driving experience, you’ll probably want to check out the Panamera instead, but if you’re in the market for a large, luxurious sedan, without the fuel economy penalty, the CT6 Plug-in Hybrid is hard to beat. Pricing for the 2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-in hybrid starts at $75,095. It only comes in one trim with standard features like, a head-up display, panoramic sunroof, rear seat infotainment system and the Enhanced Vision package. Images @Inhabitat and Cadillac + Cadillac

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Cadillac unveils their new CT6 Plug-in Hybrid – a large, green luxury sedan

Mercedes takes on the Tesla Powerwall with a new battery for buildings

April 25, 2017 by  
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Tesla’s Powerwall has reigned supreme in home energy storage , but now they’ve got some competition from Mercedes-Benz . Last year, Daimler , parent company of Mercedes-Benz, announced that they had started developing their own brand of home energy storage units. Now the company confirmed they are beginning to deliver the units to businesses and homes in Germany . Mercedes incorporated the same lithium-ion battery technology from their hybrid cars in the new home energy storage units. Each unit has an energy content of 2.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh), and a system can be scaled up to include eight modules for a total of 20 kWh. The units come with a 10-year warranty , the same as the Tesla Powerwall , though Powerwalls come with the option to store more energy with a capacity of 13.5 kWh. Related: BMW, Daimler, Ford, and VW are planning an electric vehicle superhighway in Europe Similar to a Powerwall, Mercedes’ battery storage units store excess energy gathered by solar panels for use during peak hours or at night. According to Daimler , homeowners using their system can increase renewable energy use by as much as 65 percent. Daimler aims to expand throughout Europe and start selling the units in the United States this year. Mercedes is already developing three industrial-scale projects to provide reliability to the grid in Germany; one project includes 29 megawatt-hours of storage capacity. Mercedes is also offering a package for homeowners that comes with the battery storage unit, solar panels, an inverter, and an energy management system. The whole package, including installation, costs around $10,000. One 14 kWh Tesla Powerwall costs $5,500 ; with supporting hardware the total estimate is $6,200. Installation costs between $800 and $2,000. That doesn’t include a solar power system. Head of Development Electrics/Electronics and E-Drive for Mercedes-Benz Harald Kröger said in a statement, “We are convinced we can offer our customers an attractive product at a competitive price.” Via Treehugger Images via Mercedes-Benz and Daimler

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Mercedes-Benz just unveiled the world’s first all-electric big rig truck

July 29, 2016 by  
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Imagine a future where big rig trucks slide quietly down the road, powered by electricity . Tesla has been working for years to make this vision happen – but this week, Mercedes-Benz beat them to the punch. The Urban eTruck is the world’s first fully electric big rig – and it’s quiet, powerful, and has an admissible total weight of around 29 tons. The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck can only travel up to 124 miles, so it wouldn’t be ideal for the long treks truckers often make to transport goods. Instead, Daimler designed the eTruck for city transportation. A fleet of emissions-free electric trucks could significantly reduce the air pollution many cities battle. Related: This tiny shape-shifting sideways-driving car could mark the end of parallel parking The company hopes to start producing the eTruck around the “beginning of the next decade.” By that time, they hope technology and battery advances will make the eTruck even more efficient and cost-effective. Daimler board member Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard said in a press release, “Electric drive systems previously only saw extremely limited use in trucks. Nowadays costs, performance, and charging times develop further so rapidly that now there is a trend reversal in the distribution sector: the time is ripe for the electric truck.” Daimler’s Fuso Canter E-Cell “light-duty trucks” have undergone tests for a few years now. In Portugal, successful fleet trials saw the light trucks drive just over 31,000 miles in a year. According to the company, the light trucks “reduced CO2 emissions by 37 percent compared to diesel engines.” Just about a week ago, Elon Musk revealed in a blog post that his company is also working on a Tesla Semi , which they plan to unveil in 2017. Now it’s a race to see who will start producing their electric big rig first. + Mercedes-Benz Via Engadget Images via Daimler

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Mercedes-Benz just unveiled the world’s first all-electric big rig truck

Mercedes-Benz just unveiled the self-driving bus of the future

July 19, 2016 by  
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Mercedes-Benz just gave us a glimpse of the future of urban transportation with its new self-driving bus. The semi-autonomous Future Bus is a much safer bus that is also more efficient and more comfortable than today’s conventional buses. Thanks to several cameras and radar systems, the semi-automated city bus relieves the driver’s workload, while its predictive driving style saves wear and tear while lowering fuel consumption and emissions. The Mercedes-Benz Future Bus utilizes autonomous CityPilot technology that was originally introduced in the self-driving Actros truck that the automaker presented two years ago. Mercedes-Benz says that the technology has been further developed for the Future Bus with several functions. Thanks to a dozen cameras combined with long and short-range radar systems, the CityPilot technology is able to recognize traffic lights, communicate with them and safely negotiate junctions controlled by them. It can also detect obstacles, like pedestrians, on the road and automatically stop on its own. The Future Bus also approaches bus stops automatically, where it opens and closes its doors. Related: Mercedes-Benz’ self-driving hydrogen Tokyo Vision car is a lounge on wheels To demonstrate the technology Mercedes-Benz has established a 12-mile track where the Future Bus is able to drive on its own with a number of tight bends, tunnels, numerous bus stops and some high speed sections. The Mercedes-Benz Future Bus with CityPilot will be making its first public journey on part of Europe’s longest BRT route (BRT = Bus Rapid Transit) in the Netherlands. The route links Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport with the town of Haarlem. + Mercedes-Benz All images @ Mercedes-Benz

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Mercedes-Benz just unveiled the self-driving bus of the future

The world’s first all-vegan supermarket chain is coming to Portland

February 18, 2016 by  
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Shopping while vegan can be tough: in conventional supermarkets, you’re lucky to have a tiny section dedicated to meat and dairy substitutes. Frustration over how difficult it was to shop vegan in Germany led former Mercedes-Benz manager Jan Bredack to start Veganz , the world’s first all-vegan supermarket, in 2011. After spreading from Berlin to 10 different European branches, Veganz is ready to expand to the American market, and the company’s first store is set to open in veggie-friendly Portland, Oregon. Read the rest of The world’s first all-vegan supermarket chain is coming to Portland

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The world’s first all-vegan supermarket chain is coming to Portland

Solar-powered alpine prefab shows off the power of prefab in extreme conditions

February 18, 2016 by  
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Artist makes life-sized faux taxidermy animals from upcycled fabric swatches

February 18, 2016 by  
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VIDEO: Regrow scallions all year-round with your own personal green onion garden

February 18, 2016 by  
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Mercedes-Benz autonomous fuel cell Tokyo Vision concept car is a lounge on wheels

October 30, 2015 by  
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Mercedes-Benz  is giving us its vision of the future with its latest concept vehicles, like the F 015 Luxury in Motion concept . Now the automaker is at it again with the Vision Tokyo concept that has debuted at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show . On the outside, the Vision Tokyo concept looks like a sleek city friendly van, but inside and under the hood it’s packed with technologies and luxuries that will be available in the not too distant future. Or, as Mercedes puts it, it’s an autonomous “automotive lounge for a future generation of megacities.” Read the rest of Mercedes-Benz autonomous fuel cell Tokyo Vision concept car is a lounge on wheels

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