Clean transportation drives ahead with electric vehicles

March 20, 2017 by  
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Major automakers race to adapt to shared-car demand, startups compete for the smart mobility wave and data concerns speed up.

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Clean transportation drives ahead with electric vehicles

From now on all Smart cars in North America will be electric

February 14, 2017 by  
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Soon when you see Smart cars zipping by on the streets of North America, there’s a good chance they’ll be powered by electricity . Automotive company Daimler said in a letter they’ll stop selling gas-powered Smart cars in the United States and Canada, and instead will sell only electric versions of their micro cars in those countries. German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung broke the news based on a letter they obtained, reviewed by Reuters. Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Dietmar Exler wrote the letter to car dealerships in North America informing them the car company will cease selling combustion engine Smart cars in the fall when the 2017 model year is finished. Related: Daimler Goes Smaller Than the Smart Car with Its Smart E-Bike The fortwo, fortwo cabrio, and forfour will all be offered as electric vehicles. A 17.6 kilowatt-hour battery will power the cars, which all have around 100 miles of range and a top speed of 80 miles per hour, according to the car company. The German prices for the cars are between $25,000 and $28,000, according to Electrek, although they note prices could vary slightly in the United States. Depending on the final prices, when electric vehicle incentives are accounted for, the sharp little electric cars could end up being quite affordable. Exler writes, “Developments within the micro-car segment present some challenges for the current smart product portfolio. A dedicated focus on the electric drive in the U.S. and Canada provides a logical step to support a sustainable, zero emissions future.” Markets outside of America and Canada will still have access to gas-powered cars. Mercedes-Benz USA sold just 6,211 Smart cars in 2016, while global sales totaled 144,479. Reuters points to Exler’s recent letter as the latest signal showing the small car market is struggling in America. Via Electrek and Reuters Images via Daimler and smart Facebook

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From now on all Smart cars in North America will be electric

Modern Brazilian home treats neighboring mountain as an extension of its green patio

January 4, 2017 by  
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When designing a home in a country as verdant as Brazil , it’s important to retain a strong connection to nature. Obra Arquitetos does just that with LEnS House by creating an open design, unobstructed views of the beautiful Mantiqueira mountain range, and planting a suite of lush green plants throughout. The house provides a contemplative and reflective space for a couple. Organized around a small patio , it unfolds across different levels providing views of the central open space through curved glass . The building’s dialogue with nature intensifies with height. The outdoor experience starts with the views of the patio, which features a host of plant species. Related: Brazilian House Harnesses Natural Materials and Smart Design A staircase leads to a green roof , gradually opening up more expansive views of the surrounding landscape. + Obra Arquitetos Via Archdaily Photos by Nelson Kon

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Modern Brazilian home treats neighboring mountain as an extension of its green patio

Off-grid eco-retreats reconnect you to serene nature in Brazil

January 4, 2017 by  
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Couples looking for a romantic escape can unplug in comfort at these off-grid eco-cabins hidden away in the remote coastal mountains of Brazil. Surrounded by nature and captivating views, these solar-powered getaways are the latest installments of Minimod , a prefabricated modern home designed by MAPA Architects. Cozy and dreamy, these Minimod Catuçaba dwellings are the first of their kind in Brazil and are even available to rent on AirBnB. Located on the five-hectare estate of a former coffee plantation that dates back to 1840, the two Minimod Catuçaba cabins border the Serra do Mar State Park and overlook a verdant landscape of trees and mountains. The two 45-square-meter units are placed 1,000 meters apart and were built with different viewpoints and different layouts—one is cross-shaped while the other is rectangular. Both cabins were prefabricated offsite in a factory using cross-laminated timber and are equipped with solar panels and full-height glazing. “We invited Minimod to join the Fazenda Catuçaba community because we believe it is a revolutionary concept in Brazil, that shares in our vision of natural living,” write Casas de Catuçaba , the operators of the eco-cabins. “The Minimod is a primitive refuge with a modern twist. It´s not just a living space, it is an experience. It is a technological experience applied to the natural landscape, an invitation to live on the border between of the natural and the man-made. The Minimod incorporates a silencing system to enhance the experience between the inhabitant and the landscape.” Related: MAPA Architects’ Tiny MINIMOD House is a LED-Lit Prefab Home for Off-Grid Living Each cabin accommodates four and includes two beds, bathroom, kitchen, and living area with an indoor fireplace. Guests have access to trails through the woods that lead to a lake and floating deck, as well as an outdoor fire pit. The cabins are available to rent on AirBnB for $267 per night. + Minimod Catuçaba Via ArchDaily Images via Minimod Catuçaba and © Leonardo Finotti

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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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Google and Levi Strauss created a smart jacket that let’s you control your phone

May 28, 2016 by  
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Google and Levi Strauss joined together to make a “smart” jacket that looks low-tech, but is literally woven full of technology . The interactive textile features conductive yarns and electronics that lets you use your smartphone without needing to pull it out of your pocket. Need a skip a song? Swipe your sleeve. Imagine how handy this kind of clothing could be while riding a bike or making your way through a crowd.

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This smart umbrella tells you when it’s about to start raining

April 15, 2016 by  
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Obama administration announces student loan forgiveness for nearly 400,000 disabled people

April 15, 2016 by  
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The Department of Education is sending letters to 387,000 individuals who are eligible for a “total and permanent” discharge from their student loan debt . The move cuts through some serious red tape for the people who need debt relief the most, namely people who have a disability that prevents them from being able to work and repay their loans. Thanks, Obama, indeed. Read the rest of Obama administration announces student loan forgiveness for nearly 400,000 disabled people

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“Reflect London” conceals Covent Garden construction with a dazzling mirror display

April 15, 2016 by  
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