Tesla just introduced the world’s longest range electric car

January 23, 2017 by  
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Tesla just made electric vehicle (EV) history, but you’d be forgiven if you didn’t know. With nary an announcement or social media post, the company surreptitiously introduced the Model S 100D, which boasts an impressive, record-breaking EPA-estimated range of 335 miles. Like the S 90D, the S 100D has a top speed of 155 miles per hour, and can reach 60 miles per hour from zero in a mere 2.4 seconds. If you’re looking for an EV that can prowl the roads for a long time on a single charge, the Tesla Model S 100D is now the car to beat. Compared against the Model S P100D, the S 100D can drive 20 miles further on one charge, and while it takes longer to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour (the S P100D can accomplish the feat in 2.5 seconds), the S 100D costs around $30,000 less than the P100D and includes the same 100 kWh battery pack . Related: Check out this adorable $500 electric Tesla Model S just for kids (sorry adults) Surprisingly, Tesla rolled out the exciting new option with little pomp, instead quietly adding an update to their online design studio . The new S 100D starts at $95,000, which is only about $3,000 more than the 90D. Given its extra range of 41 miles more than the 90D, some people may think an extra $3,000 is quite a bargain. Aside from the different battery packs – the 90D has the 90 kWh battery pack – both cars have identical standard equipment. As of December 2016, such equipment includes “collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking,” according to the design studio website. Electrek points out the carmaker has never before offered as many options as they provide now. With the affordable new S 100D, Tesla could see a boost in sales, as many new buyers may opt for the longest range they can get. Via Autoblog and Electrek Images via Tesla and Tesla Facebook

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Tesla just introduced the world’s longest range electric car

Moscows Urban Farm teaches kids how to grow their own food

January 23, 2017 by  
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City living often removes people from nature and from where their food comes from, but an initiative in Moscow proves that doesn’t need to be the norm. Russian architecture firm Wowhaus recently completed Urban Farm, a development in Moscow’s VDNKh park that reconnects children with nature by teaching them how to grow their own food and how to cook meals. The farm in the city is the first of its kind in Moscow and covers a variety of agricultural activities from raising livestock to tending vegetable gardens. Located next to the Kamenskiye Ponds, the three-hectare Urban Farm comprises a series of open-air and covered areas built mainly of timber based on wooden house archetypes such as double-pitched roofs. The development is made up of three main educational areas: the livestock zone that includes a barn with chicken coops and pasture for the nearly 60 animals on site including goats, sheep, cows, and more; the workshops zone; and the crop zone that includes greenhouses , orchard, and vegetable garden. The Urban Farm is also home to a restaurant that includes a small cooking school for kids, a kiosk and picnic area, a library, children’s play area, and children’s fishing zone. Children are not only allowed to interact with animals, but are also encouraged to take care of them by preparing their food or directly feeding them. Staff teach children how to further care for the livestock and the economics and management of farming such as balancing a farm budget and making financial decisions. An on-site veterinarian makes sure all animals are well taken care of. Workshops housed in the beautiful arched buildings offer classes on pottery, woodworking, and other artistic pursuits. The greenhouses, clad in a pineapple-like facade, include hydroponic farming for herbs and vegetables, soil-based farming for flowers, and a nursery for more exotic plants. Related: Studio Gang’s Chicago farm school will teach kids how to grow their own organic food “The main objective of the project is to educate,” says a statement on VDNHk’s website . “Live exhibition is aimed primarily at children, but, as the experience shows not only kids, but also adults are happy to come here. All year round there will be held master classes, lectures, thematic presentations of plants and animals, as well as different recreational activities.” + Wowhaus Images via Wowhaus , VDNH

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Moscows Urban Farm teaches kids how to grow their own food

Tesla just kicked off battery production at its massive Nevada Gigafactory

January 5, 2017 by  
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Tesla just took a big step towards realizing CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a sustainable energy future by kicking off the mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at its Gigafactory near Sparks, Nevada. Tesla has set an ambitious target of eventually producing 150 GWh of lithium-ion battery cells annually – enough batteries to support up to 1.5 million electric vehicles. Tesla also plans on manufacturing as many as 500,000 cars per year before 2020. There are more than 400,000 pre-orders for the Model 3 so the demand is certainly there. The electric vehicle maker and clean energy storage company partnered with Panasonic to design, engineer and manufacture the “2170 battery cell” (21 millimeters in diameter and 70 millimeters in length). The 2170 cells that began production Wednesday will be used in Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy products. The batteries for the Model 3 — the company’s first affordable EV, which is priced at $35,000 and expected to hit the assembly line this year — are set to start production in the second quarter. Tesla said that by 2018 the Gigafactory will produce 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells, “nearly as much as the rest of the entire world’s battery production combined.” The Gigafactory is being built in phases, with nearly 30 percent completed — a footprint of 1.9 million square feet. When the 10 million square foot structure is completed, Tesla expects it to be the biggest building in the world. A second Gigafactory is planned for Europe, with the location yet to be announced. Related: Panasonic investing $256M in Tesla’s Buffalo solar manufacturing plant While Musk has discussed how increasing automation will likely lead to a universal basic income for displaced workers, he is doing his part to create jobs. Tesla and Panasonic said they will hire several thousand employees this year and at peak production, the Gigafactory will employ 6,500 people and indirectly create another 20,000 to 30,000 jobs in the surrounding area. + Tesla + Panasonic Via Greentech Media Images via Tesla 1 , 2

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Tesla just kicked off battery production at its massive Nevada Gigafactory

Upcycling studio in Tel Aviv gives former prostitutes a second chance at life

January 5, 2017 by  
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Modern slavery is all around us—even if we don’t always see it. Human trafficking for the sex industry is one of the most insidious crimes, but one group in Tel Aviv is fighting against it to save lives and the environment. A.I.R.—which stands for “Act, Inspire, Restore”—is an international social enterprise that combines social purpose with an eco-friendly upcycling business to spread awareness about the black market activity and to give former prostitutes the skills and supportive community they need for a second chance at life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyT7BS9V5Vs Founded by Swiss couple Tabea and Matthias Oppliger, A.I.R. turns reclaimed materials like pallets into custom wood furniture and other upcycled products. The social impact business is a branch of glowbalact , a Switzerland-based NGO aimed at ending modern-day slavery, particularly sex trafficking, in Switzerland and abroad. Tabea, a trained massage therapist, first got involved by offering free massages in Zurich brothels for three years to learn about the women working there, earn their trust, and give them a therapeutic experience. Her and her husband’s knowledge of the industry and desire to spread awareness eventually brought them to Tel Aviv, where an unexpected encounter with a woman who Tabea previously massaged in Zurich cemented their decision to start a social enterprise in Israel. Despite Israel’s mostly young and well-educated populace, the country is home to 12,000 women, men, and children who identify as sex workers. Over three-quarters of women surveyed by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice shared their desire to leave the sex industry but say they can’t due to lack of employable skills, financial debt, or coercion by pimps or former employees. The Oppligers founded A.I.R. two years ago and successfully launched their first workspace seven months ago in the city’s gritty but up-and-coming Florentine neighborhood. There, the couple is joined with a staff of social workers and business managers, and they currently work together with eight former sex workers who have signed on for a one-year training program to help them reintegrate into society. Related: Thailand’s $7.8 billion seafood industry is built on human trafficking and slave labor Created with the mission to restore people and materials, A.I.R. works primarily with turning discarded shipping pallets into stylish furniture, a process that Tabea says is very therapeutic. The Swiss-Israeli social enterprise creates custom furniture designs to generate a stable economic base and pays the women an hourly rate. Thus far, A.I.R. has installed their upcycled works in a variety of locations across the city including the rooftop patio of Abraham Hostel in Tel Aviv, and recently won a contract to outfit the interior of a new coffee shop. The foam cushions are covered with recycled billboard canvas, which is sturdy, waterproof, and often colorful. Since the upcycled pallet furniture is heavy and is only sold in Israel, A.I.R. was asked by supporters to produce a second upcycled product that could be easily shipped abroad. Thus, the team has recently started collecting discarded kites donated by kite surfers. The reclaimed materials are repurposed into waterproof bags and bibs under the label Kite Pride. “We’re trying to make art not waste,” said Tabea to Inhabitat. “We love the idea of upcycling and recycling. It has to be unique and this very colorful stuff is very therapeutic for the girls. One of the girls said ‘I’m just happy looking at the colors.’ Our constant battle is between being socially minded and the pressure of trying to get a business up and running. It’s very challenging. We offer social impact holidays to Germans and Americans and other young business people so that they can come for two and three weeks here and help out at A.I.R. Our goal is to be a jumping board for the career these girls have always wanted. We just give them stability and a protected environment and teach them a few things.” A.I.R.’s Kite Pride products will soon be available for purchase on their website and their upcycled pallet furniture is available for purchase and commission in Israel. The sale of these products helps spread awareness and will produce more jobs around the country. To learn more about human trafficking, you can watch a new sex trafficking movie “She Has A Name,” proceeds of which help support glowbalact. + glowbalact + Vibe Israel Tour courtesy of Vibe Israel Images © Lucy Wang , image of Oppligers © Amit Shemesh

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Upcycling studio in Tel Aviv gives former prostitutes a second chance at life

Elon Musk just confirmed plans for a new Tesla Roadster

December 30, 2016 by  
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Get excited, electric car fans – the Tesla Roadster is coming back. Elon Musk just announced plans to bring the zero emissions sports car back from the electric vehicle graveyard where it was buried at the end of 2012 after selling nearly 2,500 units during its brief four-year life. When a Twitter user asked if there will be a new Roadster , Musk replied that a new version is “some years away, but yes.” The CEO of the California-based electric vehicle maker actually said in a conference call last year that the next-generation Roadster will debut in 2019 so the tweet is further confirmation that a new Roadster is indeed being developed. The Roadster was a two-seater with an open top and a chassis based on the Lotus Elise. The EV was notable for being the first street legal electric car to use lithium ion battery cells and the first electric car to travel more than 200 miles per charge. Related: Tesla’s next Supercharger could charge electric cars in mere seconds Tesla has come a long way since the Roadster, producing the Model S and Model X and soon the Model 3 — the company’s first affordable EV. The automaker is expanding into energy storage and solar panels and most recently solar shingles . But the future wasn’t always so bright for Musk, who earlier this year during a shareholder meeting admitted that the Roadster’s rollout was anything but smooth. Musk said that when he took Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin for a test ride, the Roadster only reached 10 mph. The early Roadster “was completely unsafe,” it “broke down all the time,” and it “didn’t really work,” said Musk. While there are no details about what the second-generation Roadster will look like, there has been speculation that the name could change from Roadster to Model R so as to align with the automaker’s other models. + Tesla Via Auto Evolution Images via Wikipedia 1 , 2 and Tesla

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Elon Musk just confirmed plans for a new Tesla Roadster

The Tesla Model 3 could feature an ice-melting solar roof

November 3, 2016 by  
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Elon Musk just announced that the already amazing and affordable Tesla Model 3 will feature the same photovoltaic glass technology used in the company’s recently unveiled solar roof system . According to Musk, the technology could be used to create a car roof that defosts ice and melts snow while continuously generating energy from the sun. The CEO dropped some huge hints during a conference call regarding Tesla’s merger with SolarCity, where he also described the creation of a special Tesla glass division. The Model 3 , expected to be released in 2017, is already making waves as the company’s first affordable electric vehicle . The surprising price of $35,000 (before tax incentives) and the estimated 215 mile driving range are enough to consider trading in your gas-guzzler, but the addition of a solar roof is the cherry on top. While Musk did not come right out and say how the new technology would be integrated in the Model 3, his tweets seem to paint a pretty clear picture: “Solar glass tiles can also incorporate heating elements, like rear defroster on a car, to clear roof of snow and keep generating energy.” Related: Tesla, Solar City launch groundbreaking new solar roof product Referring to the ability to incorporate heating elements directly into the glass solar panels, Musk all but gives away the plans for a paneled roof and windshield that can defrost and melt snow efficiently. He also gave reassurance that the system is “strongly net positive ,” so melting away frost consume a minimal amount of energy. The merger between Tesla and SolarCity will not only benefit customers set on powering their homes with renewable energy, but also the everyday driver who wants to cruise around in an affordable, solar-topped EV. + Tesla Via Futurism Images via Tesla

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The Tesla Model 3 could feature an ice-melting solar roof

Tesla slates mysterious product unveiling for October 17

October 10, 2016 by  
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Here’s what we know: Tesla has scheduled an event for October 17 and it’s being called a “product unveiling.” Here’s what we don’t know: what the heck is going to be unveiled. International man of mystery (and, oh yeah, the company’s CEO) Elon Musk shared the news via Twitter , saying the unveil would be “unexpected by most.” In the absence of other details, the auto industry is having a field day speculating about what might happen next week. Many are hoping next week’s announcement will reveal the final design for the Tesla Model 3 , the California-based car company’s long-awaited “affordable” all-electric sports car, which is planned to debut at $35,000. But, is that an announcement that Musk would think is “unexpected by most” or even by anyone? Probably not, since everyone’s been chomping at the bit to learn more about the Model 3 since its initial unveiling back in April. Related: Elon Musk says Tesla will make fully autonomous models by 2018 What else could the secretive entrepreneur have to tell the world? The announcement could have something to do with the Autopilot software , which has undergone numerous updates and fixes since its initial rollout. Yet, Musk just announced two weeks ago that the latest version, featuring radar detection features, was being deployed via over-the-air updates so more news next week seems less likely. The unveil could be related to anything else the company has its mitts in, like a longer range battery. Tesla already has a separate event on the books for October 28, when a big announcement with SolarCity will be made. The focus of that unveiling is no secret, however, as Musk has already let us know that he’ll unveil a solar roof and the long-awaited Powerwall 2.0. An integrated Tesla charger will be part of that package, of course. As usual, we’ll have to wait and see what Tesla and Musk have in store, so check back next Monday to find out what happens when Musk finally lets his proverbial cat out of the bag. Via Engadget Images via Tesla and Elon Musk/Twitter

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Tesla slates mysterious product unveiling for October 17

Timber-clad waterfront house in Norway epitomizes modern Scandinavian design

October 10, 2016 by  
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Perched on a cliff in Stokkøya, Norway, and overlooking the Atlantic, Hadar’s House is a small, timber-clad home offering stunning views of the water. The architects made sure to include large openings in all of the rooms, especially the living room, which features a wood-burning fireplace that keeps the space warm and cozy. The owner also requested a large kitchen and dining area. Related: 76-year-old Funkis home in Norway gets a Passive House makeover While the entryway has walls lined with wood, trapezoidal metal sheets of the roof are left exposed throughout the house, including the loft bedroom accessible via a wooden ladder. The architects included generous storage spaces for bikes, coats and shoes, and a minimalist bathroom with a built-in bathtub positioned in front of a large window. + Asante Architecture & Design Via Contemporist Photos by Marius Rua

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Timber-clad waterfront house in Norway epitomizes modern Scandinavian design

Brighton company aims to convert city’s biodiesel buses to run on solar power

October 10, 2016 by  
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Brighton transportation company The Big Lemon has announced plans to make their green buses even greener. Although their bright yellow biodiesel buses are already fairly low impact given that they are powered by recycled cooking oil, the company is teaming up with renewable energy enterprise Brighton Energy Cooperative to develop new zero-emissions vehicles powered by the sun . The Big Lemon, a Community Interest Company (CIC), is planning to make the switch to electric vehicles. Their 10 current yellow buses can’t be converted, but The Big Lemon has started converting a few other buses. The solar energy required will be sourced from a rooftop solar array on one of their depots that will comprise 120 solar panels with capacity to generate 30 kilowatt-hours of energy. According to The Big Lemon, that would be the equivalent of ” 1.8 million kettle boils .” The converted buses will run on Route 52 between the city center of Brighton and Woodingdean. Related: Sweden opens one of the world’s first electric roads The Big Lemon managing director Tom Druitt estimates the company could save about 20,000 pounds each year, which is close to $25,000, because of lower maintenance and fuel costs. He told The Guardian it’s easier for The Big Lemon to try out the electric bus project due to their “independence, background, and philosophy.” They encourage local participation, and aim to work closely with the community. CICs are a UK company classification for ” people who want to conduct a business for community benefit, and not purely for profit .” The M&S Community Energy Fund , an organization offering grants for community renewable energy projects, shortlisted The Big Lemon . People had the opportunity to pledge money to their project and vote for them to win, and out of a target of 12,500 pounds, or just over $15,000, they raised 13,315 pounds, or more than $16,000. The Big Lemon has loftier goals beyond their Brighton electric and solar project. With Brighton Energy Cooperative, they also hope to ” bring zero emissions buses to communities across the UK by 2030 .” + The Big Lemon + Brighton Energy Cooperative Via The Guardian Images via The Big Lemon CIC Facebook

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Brighton company aims to convert city’s biodiesel buses to run on solar power

German government votes to ban new combustion engine cars by 2030

October 10, 2016 by  
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Germany’s Federal Council (Bundesrat) voted to approve a ban on new combustion engine vehicles beginning in 2030. This move solidifies the opinion outlined earlier this summer to slash emissions in privately owned passenger cars. The Federal Council, which represents the nation’s federal states, approved the measure in order to cut emissions in accordance with the goals set forth in the Paris climate agreement, which Germany ratified just weeks ago. The Council has also asked the European Commission to consider implementing a ban like this across the European Union; given the long history of German policy influence, it could happen. While German lawmakers aren’t considering any proposal that would take combustion engines off the roads, the bill would govern all new vehicle registrations from 2030 forward. This will effectively force car buyers to choose an electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in order to drive legally. A host of complementary proposals are under consideration to support the effort, and the Federal Council has asked the European Commission to review its taxation policies and their role in the “stimulation of emission-free mobility.” Related: All new cars in Germany must be emissions free after 2030 That could lead to additional tax breaks for buyers of green cars, or an end to tax credits for diesel cars. New registrations of diesel vehicles have already dropped in the EU as of August, according to a Forbes report , which some take as an early indication that the push toward emissions-free vehicles has more public support than realized. In order to meet the terms of the Paris agreement, Germany must cut carbon dioxide emissions nationwide by 95 percent by 2050. Targeting the transportation industry will put a huge dent in that figure, but it’s clear much more work will be necessary in other areas (hello, energy sector) to get the job done on time. Via Engadget Images via ceiling/Flickr and Wikipedia

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German government votes to ban new combustion engine cars by 2030

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