Minnesota to implement low- and zero-emission clean vehicle standards

September 27, 2019 by  
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In a move that would make both hybrid and electric car manufacturers see dollar signs, Minnesota announced a new proposal that will require auto manufacturers that sell within the state to deliver more hybrid cars and electric vehicles (EVs) to comply with its new low- and zero-emission initiative. The measure places the Gopher State alongside 13 other states that have implemented clean vehicle emissions standards. The standards will take a minimum of 18 months for roll-out, due to the rule-making process set by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).  Thus, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is expected to see more hybrid and electric cars in sales lots starting around the 2023 model year. This roll-out will also allow time for the state to beef up its investments in more public electric-charging stations, while similarly brokering anticipated alternative energy deals with the likes of none other than Tesla, as the latter ramps up its nationwide plant acquisition plans. Related: This calculator tracks the carbon emissions of your travels Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety currently reports that residents of Minnesota, on average, prefer large pickup trucks, followed by SUVs. Broad capacity recreational vehicles ( RVs ) are also a Minnesota favorite. Minnesotan loyalty to pickup trucks, SUVs and RVs could make the shift to relatively compact EVs challenging. However, the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy does offer EV tax credits and incentives that Minnesotans and other U.S. denizens can take advantage of. For instance, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gives a tax credit “for $2,500 to $7,500 per new EV purchased for use in the U.S.” The tax credit varies depending on the vehicle and its battery capacity, but the incentive is a way to shift more consumers to EVs. The tax credit is “available until 200,000 qualified EVs have been sold in the United States by each manufacturer, at which point the credit begins to phase out for that manufacturer. Currently, no manufacturers have been phased out yet.” You can learn more about the tax credit here . Via Consumer Reports Image via MN Administration

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Minnesota to implement low- and zero-emission clean vehicle standards

Nissan unveils a solar-powered, zero-emissions ice cream van

June 25, 2019 by  
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To celebrate the U.K.’s Clean Air Day, Nissan has unveiled an impressive electric ice cream van that generates zero emissions while serving up a variety of cool and refreshing ice cream flavors on the go. The van is a fully electric vehicle installed with two Nissan Energy ROAM power packs and rooftop solar panels in order to power the van as well as the on-board equipment that helps keep the scrumptious ice cream nice and cold. There’s nothing like a cold ice cream cone to help cool off on a hot summer’s day. But the problem with most conventional ice cream trucks is that they still run on harmful diesel fuel. Additionally, many older truck models must keep the engines running to power the ice cream freezers, emitting harmful carbon dioxide emissions with each scoop, all day long. Related: Pizza Hut unveils a zero-emissions delivery truck that makes pizzas on the go Now, with its new design for a zero-emissions prototype, Nissan is hoping to revolutionize the mobile ice cream sector by providing an alternative for vendors looking to reduce their carbon footprint . Based on the e-NV200, Nissan’s 100 percent electric LCV model, the prototype was built using lithium-ion cells recovered from first-generation Nissan electric vehicles . The van’s motor runs on a 40kWh battery, while the ice cream equipment is powered by Nissan’s portable power pack, ROAM. To bring its dream of creating an entirely sustainable ice cream truck to fruition, Nissan partnered with Scottish ice cream maker, Mackie’s — a company that uses wind and solar power to make its delicious ice creams. As a result, not only is Nissan able to provide a better, more eco-friendly way of selling ice cream, but it is also able to provide a fully eco-friendly system, meaning that the ice cream is green from “sky to scoop.” + Nissan Images via Nissan

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Nissan unveils a solar-powered, zero-emissions ice cream van

Ecokit offers innovative, eco-friendly, tech-rich housing in a box

June 25, 2019 by  
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A quick trip to IKEA can afford you multiple pieces of furniture you can load into your car and haul home to later be put together by simply following universal directions. With this idea of ease in mind, imagine being able to construct an entire house— now you can, thanks to Ecokit. Ecokit, the product of sisters Camilla and Pavla, is a house in a box— more or less. The manufacturing process involves each of the more than 4,000 parts to be designed and cut by a single-arm robot or programmed CNC machine. After manufacturing, the flat pieces are boxed and loaded into a shipping container that is then delivered to the desired site. Related: REPII House offers expansive modular space with sleek design elements With the goal of constructing houses anywhere that a shipping container can be delivered, Ecokits are a solution aimed at remote building sites. They can also be an option for temporary housing since they can be deconstructed after the initial build and most parts can be reused or recycled. The main goal: easy construction without the use of heavy equipment. “Ecokit will arrive in a container in the form of parts on pallets, from which you can construct a habitable unit with your own hands with a little effort in a short period of time. The final completion date depends on your aesthetic and energy demands. The assembly of our prototype two bedroom home lasted seven days,” recalls Camilla and her sister Pavla, who joined the business as the first house was built last year. “With all the accessories it can be fit out and habitable in about two months,” she adds. In addition to ease of construction and remote site location, the Ecokit provides a versatile, pre-fabricated, modular design for a variety of uses. Plus, it is ultra-efficient. The house has nearly three times the amount of insulation as a standard Australian home and allows for the installation of solar panels and batteries for off-grid living. There are also systems for rainwater collection, waste treatment, with additional options for maintenance-free, bushfire-proof and cyclone-proof adaptations. Technology options even include smart phone controlled home automation packages including ventilation, lighting, security, audio and more. But all this convenience doesn’t come at a sacrifice in comfort. High-quality timber windows, heated floors and upscale ventilation systems add to the livability of the home. Not to mention, finishes and treatments were chosen with little to no VOCs. Natural elements are used wherever possible for healthier air within the space. + ecokit Images via ecokit

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Ecokit offers innovative, eco-friendly, tech-rich housing in a box

Cost and freight: Can we afford to have cargo ships emitting boatloads of carbon?

January 15, 2019 by  
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International shipping is one of the worst climate change contributors — but there’s minimal accountability on the high seas for emissions.

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Cost and freight: Can we afford to have cargo ships emitting boatloads of carbon?

The compelling case for electrifying Santa’s ‘sleigh’

December 21, 2018 by  
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Because the vast majority of trips by delivery vehicles are within a 100-mile range, electric trucks are an incredibly viable option for delivering holiday packages.

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Farmers know climate change is real — can they fight it?

December 21, 2018 by  
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While dismal farm economics — and shrinking conservation funds — make it hard to find the funds, a growing number of farmers are ready to make critical changes.

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Farmers know climate change is real — can they fight it?

This museum is carved into the seaside sand dunes of China’s Gold Coast

December 18, 2018 by  
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International firm  OPEN Architecture has unveiled a stunning museum embedded into the sand dunes along China’s Gold Coast. At 10,000 square feet, the UCCA Dune Art Museum is a massive structure, but its all-white cladding and various low, curved volumes tucked deep into the rolling landscape give the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) a modern yet unassuming character. Located on the coast of northern China’s Bohai Bay, the museum was a labor of love for the architects, who spent three years carefully crafting the design to be as much a work of art as the museum’s collection. Embedding the structure into the sand dunes was a strategic decision to help protect the landscape from over-development. Related: Martian tiny home prototype champions zero waste and self sufficiency “The decision to create the art museum underneath the dunes surrounding it was born out of both the architects’ deep reverence for nature and their desire to protect the vulnerable dune ecosystem, formed by natural forces over thousands of years,” said the project description. “Because of the museum, these sand dunes will be preserved instead of leveled to make space for ocean-view real estate developments, as has happened to many other dunes along the shore.” The unique space is comprised of various pod-like structures whose curved volumes were made possible thanks to small linear wood strips bent into shape. During the construction, the architects collaborated with local workers from Qinhuangdao, many of whom are former shipbuilders. The architects paid their respect to the handcrafted labor by leaving the imperfect textures of the formwork visible. Covered in concrete and painted a stark white, the museum’s multiple roofs are finished with sand . This feature not only helped connect the design to the natural landscape, but it also helps to reduce solar gain on the interior. Additionally, the museum is equipped with a low-energy, zero-emissions ground source heat pump that keeps the building cool during the searing summer months. Embedded into the rolling sand dunes, the curvaceous volumes house the museum’s 10 galleries. Visitors to the museum enter through a long, dark tunnel and small reception area. Further into the structure, the exhibition spaces are made up of immense cave-like rooms clad in raw concrete. Throughout the interior, large cutouts in the roof and multiple skylights of varying sizes flood the galleries with natural light . A large spiral staircase leads visitors from the underground galleries up to the museum’s open-air viewing platform as well as a cafe space. Here, guests can enjoy the stunning views of the sea. + OPEN Architecture Via Archpaper Photography by Wu Qingshan via Open Architecture

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This museum is carved into the seaside sand dunes of China’s Gold Coast

Curbing CAFE and zero-emissions standards wouldn’t mean the end of plug-ins

November 6, 2018 by  
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Long vehicle design cycles and mandates beyond the U.S. border will continue to fuel progress.

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Curbing CAFE and zero-emissions standards wouldn’t mean the end of plug-ins

Arguing the case for certified sustainability zones

November 6, 2018 by  
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An idea for bringing multicapitalism to the masses.

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Arguing the case for certified sustainability zones

4 factors to energize a corporate renewable energy program

November 6, 2018 by  
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This article is sponsored by ScottMadden.

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