Electric cars could reach cost parity with conventional cars by next year

June 5, 2017 by  
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Are you eager to get your hands on a new electric vehicle,  but the price is too steep? You’re in luck – electric cars will likely reach cost parity with vehicles that have internal combustion engines by next year, and electric vehicles could be cheaper that gas by as soon as 2025, according to a new report by USB . The report makes it clear that while electric vehicles will still cost more than ICE cars, owning a new EV will be comparable to owning a gas or diesel car in the long-term. Analysts took into consideration the fuel costs, maintenance costs and other related expenditures related to owning all vehicles and used the information to determine that over time, the cost of owning a green vehicle is comparable to owning a conventional one. As Green Car Reports  reports , it is becoming more affordable to own an EV due to breakthroughs in battery capacity, charge times and a growing demand for environmentally-friendly technology. Part of the analysis required UBS to break down a $37,000 Chevrolet Bolt in order to estimate how much the vehicle cost to build. It was discovered that “the EV powertrain is $4,600 cheaper to produce than we thought and there is more cost reduction potential left.” Analysts continued that the 238-mile range Bolt costs around $28,700 to build and that GM is only expected to produce 30,000 Bolts in 2018. Therefore, there won’t be a huge incentive for it to be profitable. Related: UK solar smashes record, supplying 25% of electricity demand On the other hand, the Tesla Model 3 is expected to be produced in numbers as high as 500,000 by 2018. When extras are added on to the base price of the Model 3 at $35,000, the company is expected to break even. UBS declared that electric vehicles are the “most disruptive car category since the Model T Ford” and that though total sales for electric cars is still relatively small, global EV sales will reach 14% by 2025 (4.2 million vehicles). Europe is expected to take the lead in this department, selling 30% of the world’s electric cars within eight years. Now that EVs will soon cost the same to own as a car or truck with an ICE, a massive shift is expected to take place within the auto industry . + UBS Via  Green Car Reports

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Electric cars could reach cost parity with conventional cars by next year

3 Reasons to Avoid Mass-Manufactured Chocolate

February 24, 2017 by  
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When you find a chocolate brand you like, it’s hard to try something new, especially when it costs more than you’re used to paying. You might browse the candy aisle at your local grocery store and wonder if those fancy $8 bars are worth the price….

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3 Reasons to Avoid Mass-Manufactured Chocolate

Tesla extends free charging at Supercharger stations

January 4, 2017 by  
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As of two weeks from now, there will be no more free lunch for Tesla car buyers, as the company will be cutting off free access to its Supercharger network of charging stations as of January 15, 2017. Engadget reports that this is actually somewhat of a reprieve for Tesla customers, as the cutoff was initially supposed to be January 1, 2017. According to Engadget , Tesla announced this change was coming a few months ago, telling customers they were soon going to have to pay for their own electricity. Given the recent announcement, potential buyers have just a short period in which to get unlimited free electricity for their Tesla car, which amounts to a huge bonus for anyone buying before January 15. Cars bought after that date will be limited to just 400 kilowatt hours of free power per year, and owners will have to pay for the rest. According to Tesla, that’s roughly enough power to drive for about 1,000 miles. Related: Tesla’s next Supercharger could charge electric cars in mere seconds Tesla says charging beyond that amount will be available at an additional fee, the amount of which has yet to be announced. They have said it “won’t be too expensive” and will cost drivers “less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car.” So if you’re thinking about a Tesla, now could be the time to buy. This announcement comes shortly after CEO Elon Musk hinted that a new generation of Superchargers could charge a Model S in just seconds. Near the end of December 2016, Musk hinted in a tweet that the Supercharger V3 would have an ouput of at least 350 kilowatts, or more than double the output of the current Superchargers in Tesla’s network. Via Engadget Images via Tesla Motors, Joseph Thornton and Steve Jurvetson , Flickr Creative Commons

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Furniture folds out of the walls in this tiny transforming apartment

January 4, 2017 by  
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In order to transform this apartment in Berlin into a comfortable environment in which to live and work, Itay Friedman Architects introduced a T-shaped, multi-functional partition that creates a subtle division of space while providing additional storage areas. With furniture that folds out of the walls to conserve space, the renovation takes a distinctly nonchalant Berlinesque approach to combining old with new. The main requirement was to preserve the original apartment’s Altbau feeling, and fit two self-sustaining but interconnected units into only 700 square feet of space. It was imperative to activate every inch and provide adequate levels of privacy to each unit. Related: Renovated Apartment in Barcelona Boasts Flexible Wooden Walls and Gorgeous Mosaic Floors The use of light tones and clean lines helped visually widen the living space. Despite budget and spatial constraints, the architects managed to create a stylish, modern apartment for a trendy urbanite. + Itay Friedman Architects Via Archdaily Photos by Boaz Arad

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Furniture folds out of the walls in this tiny transforming apartment

New supersonic jet can fly from London to New York in 3.5 hours

November 17, 2016 by  
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Supersonic air travel is one of those things (like flying cars and instant pizza machines) that we thought would be ubiquitous by this point. Yet, there hasn’t been a supersonic passenger jet in consistent operation in more than 10 years. Aviation startup Boom Technology has unveiled what it hopes will change all that: the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator , a speedy passenger jet that is the modern answer to the Concorde. The supersonic jet will cut the duration of long trips in half – NYC to London would take 3.5 hours instead of seven, while the 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney would be slashed down to a mere 6 hours and 45 minutes. Nicknamed “Baby Boom,” the one-third scale prototype is taking the first steps to drum up excitement about the next generation of supersonic air transportation. The plane was revealed at an event Tuesday evening at the startup’s Hangar 14 at Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado. Despite being one-third the size of an actual passenger jet, the Baby Boom was created as an accurate representation of the style, shape, and proportions of the full-size design. Although the unveiling met with oohs and ahhs from the media and industry experts, there was no incredible demonstration of supersonic speed at the ceremony. Baby Boom will not take to the air currents until sometime in late 2017. Related: Supersonic jet will fly from NY to London in 3 hours at half the price of the Concorde Boom’s full-size XB-1 is designed to carry 44 passengers on long-distance flights, and the company says it plans to be operating by 2020. A ticket on the ultra-fast jet will cost around $5,000, which the company considers affordable given the expense of the airplane and its fuel. The supersonic jet makes use of three General Electric J85-21 non-afterburning engines, Honeywell avionics, and carbon composite materials for a powerful yet lightweight aircraft. Boom says the XB-1 takes inspiration from the Concorde , particularly in regard to its design. In order to create the next-generation of supersonic passenger jets, Boom tapped experts from NASA, SpaceX, and Boeing to contribute to the design process. If Boom’s XB-1 is successful in launching commercial operations, it will be the first supersonic passenger jet to due so since the Concorde was retired in 2003 following 27 years of high-speed flights. Via New Atlas and The Verge Images via Boom Technology

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New supersonic jet can fly from London to New York in 3.5 hours

Abu Dhabi bid sets astounding new low price for solar power

September 21, 2016 by  
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Just one month after the price of solar power in Chile dropped to half the cost of coal, a new record low price has already been established. A solar plant in Abu Dhabi fetched a bid of just 2.42 cents per kilowatt hour , edging out Chile’s previous record of 2.91 cents. The new price, offered by a consortium of Chinese solar panel manufacturer JinkoSolar and Japan-based company Marubeni, is for a solar plant initially planned for a capacity of 350 megawatts (twice the size of the Chilean project), but the final result may be even larger. Embed from Getty Images PV Magazine broke the news of the bid, which marks the lowest price ever bid for solar power anywhere on Earth. The Abu Dhabi Electricity and Water Authority’s (ADWEA) tender accepted the bid for the plant, destined for the town of Swaihan northwest of Abu Dhabi. ADWEA requested bids for a 350MW solar plant, but allowed bidders to increase the size of the project, so the actual build could wind up being larger than initially planned. The new ultra-low bid is attached to a project much larger than the initial 350MW, a senior representative of Middle East Solar Industry Association (MESIA) told PV Magazine. Related: Chile’s solar price hits record global low–at half the price of coal Although the JinkoSolar/Marubeni bid is the lowest ever made, the super low price has not yet been accepted, as the auction is still ongoing. Reportedly, ADWEA is also evaluating a competing bid from a consortium of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s energy company, EDF Energies Nouvelles and PAL Group, but the price of that bid has not been released. The new world record low price bid by JinkoSolar and Marubeni is an historic event, but the per-kilowatt-hour price is only one factor officials must weigh in order to determination which consortium will develop the solar plant. Via PV Magazine Lead image via Shutterstock

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Abu Dhabi bid sets astounding new low price for solar power

The worlds largest floating wind farm is planned for the California coast

August 4, 2016 by  
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The world’s largest and America’s first major offshore wind farm is planned to open in 2021 off the coast of California. One hundred floating turbines will produce 765 megawatts of energy, leaving the 630 MW London Array in the dust. The system commissioned by Trident Winds is expected to power over 200,000 homes. The Morro Bay Offshore project will be located off the shore of Pt. Estero, California, 33 miles from the coast. Floating platforms supporting the turbines will be anchored to the seabed 2,600 to 3,300 feet under the water. The fastest coastal winds in the U.S. are located too far off shore for traditional undersea platforms, which use concrete or steel pilings. Floating platforms are an innovative solution only currently used in test projects. Related: Massive turbines and blades for America’s first offshore wind farm land in Rhode Island While cheaper to install, the amount of steel used and longer power cables needed to reach shore bring the price per megawatt from $4 million to $9 million with the floating platform project. If the wind farm is ever decommissioned, however, all of the materials could be brought back ashore instead of being left to litter the seabed. There is some concern that the Morro Bay Offshore project could encounter particularly turbulent seas or the cables could even interfere with multiple whale species who migrate there. Trident Winds is plowing forward, however, with a four-year plan to start producing wind power by 2025. As technology improves, the growing pains of cost and negative impact on the environment should decrease. + Trident Winds Via New Atlas Images via Wikipedia , Flickr

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The worlds largest floating wind farm is planned for the California coast

IBM creates first-ever artificial neurons that behave like the real thing

August 4, 2016 by  
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IBM researchers in Switzerland have created an artificial neuron that behaves just like the real thing . For the first time in history, artificial phase-change neurons have been grouped together (in a population of 500 synthesized in a lab) to process a neurological signal in more or less the same way that biological neurons transmit messages. They can be made exceptionally small and are similar in power and energy usage to biological neurons, and can even produce results with random variations, also just like biological neurons. For non-scientists, the importance of this discovery may not be immediately apparent. IBM ’s artificial neuron , developed by a research team in Zurich, is quite literally the next best thing to a naturally created biological neuron. The lab-created version has all the same components of a biological neuron, including inputs (dendrites), a neuronal membrane (lipid bilayer) around the spike generator (soma, nucleus), and an output (axon). Likewise, its functions mimic those of its biological counterpart. Related: Scientists create the world’s first enzymes using synthetic biology In addition to all that, the artificial neurons are durable, made from well-known materials that can withstand trillions of switching cycles. They are tiny (around 90 nanometers) and researchers believe they can make them even smaller, possibly as minuscule as 14nm. The researchers started by creating 500 artificial neurons together in a chain capable of sending signals, which means the IBM team has created the closest artificial version of a biological neuron. In the next phase of research, the team will create a much larger population of artificial neurons, with thousands of individual units, and write software to push their capabilities to the limit. The study results were published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Via Ars Technica Images via IBM

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IBM creates first-ever artificial neurons that behave like the real thing

12 expert tips for becoming a conscious consumer

June 19, 2016 by  
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Sometimes, looking at the price tag on an Earth-friendly brand, it can seem that truly “ethical” shopping is out of reach for the ordinary consumer. So what’s a shopper to do if you want to avoid brands that damage the planet or exploit workers? Ecouterre writer Jasmin looked to the words of twelve inspirational figures for guidance on how to shop more consciously without breaking the bank.

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12 expert tips for becoming a conscious consumer

Solar Power: 9 Crucial Steps To Prepare Your Home

June 2, 2016 by  
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Solar power is a booming industry in the United States.  Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are still expensive, trends in production efficiency and cost of materials point to a continued drop in the price of PV units that could make the technology…

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Solar Power: 9 Crucial Steps To Prepare Your Home

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