World’s first electric dump truck stores as much energy as 8 Tesla Model S cars

September 15, 2017 by  
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Even the construction industry can “go green.” A collection of Swiss companies is proving this to be true by developing the world’s largest electric vehicle and in record time. The E-Dumper weighs a whopping 45 tons and has 700 kWh of storage capacity. That’s as much as eight Tesla Model S vehicles. To ensure it is as environmentally-friendly as possible, the E-Dumper’s base is a used Komatsu HD 605-7 dumper truck. The original diesel engine has been removed and replaced with a chassis for battery packs that will power the new E-Dumper. When we say this vehicle is big, we mean big. Its tires measure over 6.5 feet in diameter, and the driver is required to climb nine stairs to reach the cabin. Its size and strength ensure it can transport materials from a mountain ridge to a valley 20 times per day. This is important, as moving materials from the slopes of the Chasseral to the Ciments Vigier SA cements works near Biel is what the e-dump truck will be doing for the next 10 years. Because the vehicle is electric , there is no need to “heat up” the brakes when descending. This is because the enormous electric engine acts as a generator and recharges the battery pack. That same energy is then used to help the vehicle travel back up the hill. Phys reports, “If all goes as planned, the electric dumper truck will even harvest more electricity while traveling downhill than it needs for the ascent. Instead of consuming fossil fuels , it would then feed surplus electricity into the grid.” The costly venture is being spearheaded by Ciments Vigier SA . Lithium Storage GmbH from Illnau and the Kuhn Group have been hired to “get the ball rolling,” so to speak. The project is also backed by Empa; battery expert Marcel Held is in charge of safety assessments. Related: Chinese company LeEco begins building $3 billion electric car factory The E-Dumper’s battery pack will weigh an incredible 4.5 tons and consist of 1,440 nickel manganese cobalt cells. This is the first time ever a land vehicle has been equipped with such a vast battery pack. “Nickel manganese cobalt cells are also the choice of the German automobile industry when it comes to the next generation of electric cars,” Held said. This is also the first time a vehicle of this performance class has been constructed to ascend and descend slopes of up to 13 percent inclination, all the while charging its battery pack by 40 kWh during a single descent and using electrical currents up to 3,000 amperes while climbing steep terrain. If the E-Dump Truck proves successful, Ciments Vigier SA could potentially power up to eight purely-electric vehicles using long-term. Once this has been accomplished, other companies may start producing large-scale, electric construction vehicles as well. + Ciments Vigier SA Via Phys.org Images via Lithium Storage GmbH ,  SAE International

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World’s first electric dump truck stores as much energy as 8 Tesla Model S cars

Tesla Model S reaches record 670 miles on a single charge

August 8, 2017 by  
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The Tesla Model S has set a new record in Italy! The Tesla Owners Italia club recently traveled 669.83 miles in a Model S 100D on a single charge with a team of five drivers. The team was careful to use as little energy as possible to beat a previous record set in Belgium last June. The team drove across southern Italy at an average speed of 25 mph without the air conditioning on. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently estimated that the Model S would be able to drive at least 621 miles with low rolling-resistance tires. The team not only used the more efficient tires, but also used “hypermilling” techniques to squeeze out as much driving range as they could. Related: Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018 “To complete the 1,078km record distance, we used 98.4 kW/h of electricity, which is equivalent to eight liters of gas,” said Luca Del Bo, president of the club. Upon announcing the news, Elon Musk congratulated the club for their new record. Rosario Pingaro, one of the five drivers, added: “The driving was made simply by the semi-autonomous driving system, which helped us to keep a constant speed in the middle of the lane.” + Tesla Owners Italia Via The Guardian Images @Tesla Owners Italia

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Tesla Model S reaches record 670 miles on a single charge

Meet the 9-year-old mobilizing ‘an army of 4th graders’ to protect national monuments from Trump

August 8, 2017 by  
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Has Donald Trump even been to a National Monument? Who knows, but 9-year-old Robbie Bond has, and he aims to protect them from the president and Interior chief Ryan Zinke. In April, Trump issued two executive orders calling for a review of 27 National Monuments protected under the Antiquities Act of 1906, including the world’s largest marine protected area on Earth, Papah?naumoku?kea, in Hawaii – Robbie’s home state. He claimed that former presidents had abused their power in establishing these monuments and that states should take over control. This news scared the young activist, so, with help from his parents Michelle and Robin, he set up a non-profit organization called Kids Speak for Parks to “mobilize “an army of 4th graders” to speak out for public lands. “You can’t protect something you don’t understand,” Robbie told HuffPost. This is why he has set up a plan to tour all 27 monuments, posting videos and photos of his trip on social media along the way. By educating the public about the treasures under review, he hopes people will be more inclined to act to save them. “I want to make sure that our national monuments are available for my kids and for future generations,” he said. Related: Judge greenlights kids’ climate change lawsuit against US government According to the paper, he and his parents have even set up an initiative that would get inner city kids out into the wilderness. The plan, he told HuffPost, is to advocate for and educate others about US national monuments and parks before they vanish. Robbie last posted a video from Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument , following a visit to Bears Ears in Utah, one of the most controversial monuments under review. There he met with Alejandro Yazzie from the Ute Mountain Tribe that has longstanding connections to this land, which protects 100,000 Native American archaeological and cultural sites considered sacred by many tribes. Last month Zinke recommended a plan to shrink the monument’s boundaries, designated by former President Barack Obama. However, HuffPost reports, he will not recommend changes to Idaho’s Craters of the Moon, Washington’s Hanford Reach, or Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients national monuments. Posting from Bears Ears, Robbie wrote: “One thing is clear when kids speak people listen!” We hope he’s right. + Kids Speak for Parks Via Huffington Post Images via Kids Speak for Parks

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Meet the 9-year-old mobilizing ‘an army of 4th graders’ to protect national monuments from Trump

Leaked Tesla document confirms Model 3 with 215+ mile range

May 30, 2017 by  
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Tesla hasn’t released all the official performance specs for the upcoming Model 3 sedan, but a leaked dealer document just gave away a lot of the juicy details. A member of the Tesla Model 3 Owners Club recently came across a dealer product sheet that compares the specs for the Model S to the Model 3 – effectively revealing the Model 3’s driving range and other performance specs. Rather than promote the Model 3, the leaked document looks more like a way to educate Tesla’s sales staff about ways to sell the Model S over the Model 3. It points out many of the Model 3’s shortcomings compared to the flagship Model S, but either way, we now know that the Model 3 will have a 215+ mile driving range. That driving range puts it just a tad below the Chevy Bolt, but miles ahead of any other electric car in its price range. Related: Tesla is taking some major risks by accelerating production of Model 3 The leaked document also reveals that the Model 3 will be able to reach 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, which is definitely slower than the Model S P100D Ludicrous, but still faster than some sports cars. The Model 3 will also have a modestly sized front and rear trunk space with 14 cubic feet of cargo space, about half the space that the Model S has. Lastly, while the Model S has over 1,500 configurations, the Model 3 will only have about 100 and many of the premium features, like a Smart Air Suspension or HEPA filter won’t even be available on the Model 3. The Model 3 will also not have free access to Tesla’s Supercharger network, like the Model S and instead it will be “pay per use.” If you were to put a deposit down on a Model 3 today, you will have to wait more than a year before production even starts, which means meaning you won’t get your Model 3 until mid-2018. + Tesla Via Model 3 Owners Club and Inside EVs Images @Tesla

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Leaked Tesla document confirms Model 3 with 215+ mile range

The Tesla Model S just got a tiny bit more affordable

April 18, 2017 by  
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Shortly after announcing that Tesla plans to cut its relatively more affordable Model S 60 and 60D from its lineup, the company revealed that it will also reduce the price of its new entry-level models, the 75 and 75D, by $5,000 to make up the price difference. It’s still $1,500 more than the previous model, but given that it retails for almost $70,000, that might not be a major issue for potential buyers. Those aren’t the only Model S variants to receive a price cut. The 90D’s base price is being cut from $89,500 to $87,500. If you want a car packed with more features, however, there’s bad news: the 100D and P100D are seeing a several thousand dollar price hike, as are Model X variants. There are also certain upgrades which are no longer available for the “entry level” cars, including smart air suspension on the 75 and 75D. And anyone interested in a high-amperage charger will have to shell out for the 100 or 100D. Related: Elon Musk announces all new Teslas will be self-driving It may seem strange for the company to make such dramatic changes to its lineup, but it makes sense when you consider the launch of the $35,000 Model 3 later this year. The company is cutting out the products that will overlap with the Model 3’s functionality – the new car’s battery capacity stops at 75kWh, so anyone who wants a more powerful vehicle will have an incentive to upgrade. The higher prices at the top of Tesla’s range will help make up for the low cost of the Model 3, allowing the company’s average prices to remain the same. While this might be a bit frustrating for anyone interested in a 100D, overall it will help make electric cars more affordable for the average consumer. Hopefully this will result in more Tesla vehicles on the street overall. Via Engadget Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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The Tesla Model S just got a tiny bit more affordable

This playful Airbnb treehouse near San Francisco lets you sleep in a 150-year-old oak tree

April 18, 2017 by  
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This amazing treehouse near San Francisco is built around a 150-year-old live oak tree. Linda and Doug Studebaker built the Bay area’s only Airbnb treehouse as a cozy overnight rental in the backyard of their hillside property in Burlingame, California , and furnished it with furniture that gives it an old-fashioned feel. Offering scenic views of the San Francisco Bay, Doug and Linda’s Treehouse is a private refuge nestled among the treetops of a quiet forested canyon, about a twenty-minute drive away from the city. Located 30ft in the air, with a wooden staircase leading up to the main space, the treehouse is not for the faint of heart. Related: Gorgeous Robin’s Nest Treehouse Hotel immerses you in nature Visitors can enjoy the sunset or sunrise with a beautiful view of the San Francisco Bay from the wrap-around deck. The interior features a comfy queen size bed, table, and a lower level chaise/reading nook. A private kitchenette and bathroom are located in the lower level of the owners’ log home, just 30 feet from the base of the treehouse. You can rent the house, ideal for two people, for $275 per night. + Doug and Linda’s Treehouse on Airbnb Photos via Airbnb

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This playful Airbnb treehouse near San Francisco lets you sleep in a 150-year-old oak tree

Faraday Future’s FF91 smashes speed record of Tesla Model S in ludicrous mode

January 4, 2017 by  
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Faraday Future made a bold claim Tuesday when the California-based automotive startup unveiled its 1,050-horsepower FF91, which they say will be the world’s fastest electric car . The production model was featured in a video at CES in Las Vegas, where it can be seen besting a Tesla Model S . Since its inception in 2014, Faraday Future has chased Tesla’s shadow—consistently promising to release a better electric car with a better battery—and the company has even started building a $1 billion factory near Las Vegas. While Faraday Future is already taking pre-orders for the supposedly lightning fast FF91 model, the company can’t pay for production without hefty support from investors, which have yet to be found. Does Faraday really have a future? While Faraday Future is an American company, it is backed in large part by Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting. Since 2014, the company has been teasing the automotive world with promises of bigger, better, faster electric cars, and the unveiling of the FF91, which Faraday calls “the first of the species”, marks the first time we’ve seen an actual car to back up the wild ambition, as the previous teasers have all been mere concepts. Faraday Future’s FF91 can reportedly accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.39 seconds, shaving precious time off the record 2.5 seconds for a Tesla Model S P100D with “Ludicrous Mode” engaged . Related: Faraday Future breaks ground on $1B electric car factory outside Las Vegas In addition to its speed, the FF91 (that’s FF “nine-one,” the company clarifies in its press release) also boasts a longer range than any other commercially available electric car , with an estimated 378 miles of travel on a single charge of its 130 kWh battery. Faraday Future also claims to have achieved the fastest charging time with a home battery charger capable of juicing from 50 percent to full charge in under 4.5 hours. Faraday says deliveries of its super fast FF91 will begin in 2018, but there are a lot of “ifs” involved. The company is still working hard to raise capital for production of the FF91 (which is strikingly similar to where Faraday was a year ago at this time, with a different concept car) but they are already taking reservations toward purchases (much like Tesla) at $5,000 (which is refundable). There’s no word on what the FF91’s final price tag will look like, and Faraday Future’s reputation for big ideas without the actual technology to back them up may prevent the speedy electric car from ever hitting the road. Via Bloomberg Images via Faraday Future

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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

Fiskers EMotion has the Tesla Model S in its sights

November 1, 2016 by  
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Legendary automotive designer Henrik Fisker teased us last month with the promise of a 400-mile range electric sports car that could potentially create stiff competition for the Tesla Model S, and now he’s released a few images to show off his creation . His new company, Fisker Inc , is aiming sky-high, claiming its upcoming offering, an all-electric luxury sedan dubbed the EMotion, will be capable of “fully autonomous driving” and powered by a graphene-based battery. As with Fisker’s previous forays into the EV market, there are a lot of lofty promises attached to this burgeoning design, and time will tell whether the company can back them up. Fisker released a sneak peak of the nose end of his new EV in late October. The EMotion sedan looks somewhat similar to the Tesla Model S, but is more angular and almost robotic in nature. The EMotion is also outfitted with dihedral “butterfly” front and back doors, a departure from the norm. It’s worth mentioning that while the Tesla Model S has standard doors, fans will be familiar with the falcon-wing doors on the Model X, which actually caused a delay in the SUV’s release date due to their complicated operations. It’s no surprise that Fisker found a way to incorporate some wow-factor in the door department of his new EV. Related: Fisker promises a 2017 comeback with a 400-mile range electric sports car Fisker is falling short in one important area when it comes to this new design, where it comes to evidence. Tesla is famous for teasing about new products or functions and then swiftly delivering demonstrations, but so far Fisker is all talk and no show. There’s been no word on who will produce the self-driving technology Fisker plans to use (whereas Tesla developed its own) and the next-gen graphene battery tech is also a mystery at this point. With the Model S having a top range around 300 miles, far and above that of other electric luxury cars, Fisker will have to put his money where his mouth is in order to convince the world that he can actually create the dream car that will send a shockwave through the EV market. Whether Fisker Inc has what it takes to knock Tesla off its throne is another story, and we’re sure Elon Musk will have a thing or two up his sleeve to keep the competition exciting. Via The Verge Images via Fisker Inc

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You can now get a Fisker Karma at half its original price

January 21, 2016 by  
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Electric car fans may recall the ill-fated Fisker brand and its sexy Karma sedan. With a $100k price tag and concept car looks, the Karma in some ways stood out even more than Tesla’s Model S . Unfortunately, Fisker stopped production of the Karma in 2012, but three and a half years since the last Fisker Karma was produced, there are still plenty of them available – at a more attainable price. Read the rest of You can now get a Fisker Karma at half its original price

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