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Tesla Motors Announces Model X SUV

tesla-suv

The much-anticipated Tesla Model X is going to be hitting the roads soon, the automaker announced today in a letter to its customers who had placed reservations for the vehicle.

The all-electric SUV has been shown off many times at auto shows and in test drives, with its most notable feature – falcon wing doors – making it easily identifiable from other cars like it.

But until now, Tesla hasn’t given any indication when it would be officially released. According to its announcement, the first vehicles for early reservation holders will be in production in early 2015, and according to its website current reservations will be delivered in the fall of 2015.

Though there is still no official release date, early 2015 is the closest anyone has gotten to knowing when it might arrive.

In its letter, Tesla said:

Dear Model X reservation holders,

Falcon wing doors, all-wheel drive, and the most stylish way to combine an SUV’s utility with a sports car’s performance. Model X will be a production car that exceeds the promises made when we first showed the concept.

In the fall, we’ll start building Model X prototypes on a newly expanded and integrated production line at our factory in Fremont, CA. The first Model X cars for you, our reservation holders, will be produced starting in early 2015.

We’re pleased to confirm that the falcon wing doors will be a defining feature of this exceptional car. Not only do these doors look amazing, but they also make getting in and out of the Model X so much easier than would a conventional front-hinged door. You can even do it standing up.

We’ll also deliver a level of functionality and practicality that will exceed what you saw on the concept vehicle. We can confirm that all-wheel drive will come standard for Model X, and you’ll have the option to add a third row of seats to carry more passengers. You’ll also be able to fold down the second and third rows to create a flat platform for storage. When it comes to charging and long distance drives, Model X will be able to take full advantage of our rapidly growing Supercharger network.

These features combine to offer power, speed, and space – all packaged in an all-electric vehicle that looks and drives like it comes from the future.

We’ll have more to say about Model X in the coming months, so stay tuned for updates. Thank you for your confidence in Tesla.

It definitely looks like a car from the future – and with zero emissions to boot, it is how we should expect the future of automobiles to run.

Are you looking forward to driving a Model X when it’s released next year?

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

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In Focus: New-age Building Materials

future-materials

No matter how careful we are with turning off electrical devices in an attempt to save energy, we tend to waste some of it every single day. There is no perfect system forinsulation that will keep every last particle of heated air in the home. Electronic devices are so intertwined with the modern life that it is impossible to remember to turn off every last one. Despite these energy wasting challenges, there are alternatives that can reduce the amount of energy that is lost. Newly developed materials and methods are able to counteract decades of energy waste and strive to be a more efficient option.

Lets explore a few of these option below.

 

LED LIGHTING

LED lighting used to be ridiculously expensive and therefore impossible for the average homeowner to utilize. However, those costs have dropped drastically and as a result;

  • These new, heat-less methods of lighting are being used.
  • Instead of replacing all of the old, energy-wasting incandescent light bulbs, these can be installed underneath overhanging cabinets in the kitchen and as recessed can lights because it does not produce heat and would therefore not cause a fire.

 

These lights are much more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and will greatly reduce a home’s energy footprint.

 

INCREASED USE OF FIBERGLASS

Fiberglass is one of the most energy efficient materials available in the market today because of its superior insulation qualities.

  • It is able to stop heat from leaving a building, therefore reducing the amount of energy that needs to be spent to keep the house at a comfortable temperature.
  • It is increasingly common to see fiberglass doors, rather than wooden doors, because fiberglass doors are up to five times as energy efficient as the alternative materials.
  • Fiberglass window frames are also available to bring down the amount of energy that may otherwise gets wasted.

 

BUILDING WITH INSULATED CONCRETE FORMS

Another excellent material that is being used to reduce the amount of energy waste isconcrete.

  • Although concrete in itself has a very average r-value, a new trend is growing that has a layer of concrete in a wall, which provides the necessary structural support for a building, sandwiched between two layers of material that has a much higher insulation value, such as fiberglass.
  • This allows the structural integrity of the building to be maintained, as well as it’s comfort level. Buildings that have been created out of insulated concrete forms reduce a building’s energy costs by up to 20%.

 

COOL ROOFING

Another excellent way that new materials can be used to counteract energy waste is to improve the materials that are used for roofing.

  • Because dark colors tend to absorb the rays of the sun, they tend to cause a building to absorb a lot more heat.
  • In order to save on the costs of cooling a building, light-colored, “cool” roofing materials must be used.
  • These materials have the ability to reflect the heat back and keep the building’s temperature from rising.
  • If you still prefer darker roofs, buy the ones that have been treated with a special substance also allows heat reflection.

white roof

Although these type of roofs cost more, the additional cost of materials can be quickly recouped by the energy saving that it will provide.

 

LOW EMISSIVITY WINDOWS

Low-E windows, or low emissivity windows, are windows that are specially treated with a metallic oxide to resist losing heat during winters and gaining heat during the summer.

  • This type of window coating is usually applied to the outermost storm window, or windows that do not have a double layer of panes.
  • Usually several layers of the coating are done. Soft coatings are applied between the layers of glass and the hard coatings are located on the glass that is the outermost layer.

These windows tend to be between 10% and 15% more expensive than traditional windows, but have the ability to cut the amount of heat that goes through the windows by half and reduce the amount of energy needed to keep the temperature inside a building comfortable.

STONE SIDING

  • Stone siding has very high insulation properties that will ensure that heat does not easily leave the building.
  • It also keeps the building to which it is applied looking exceedingly attractive and elegant, raising the overall worth of the building tenfold.
  • Stone siding is very easy to install, so labor costs will be low, and will last for a long time, providing insulation for years to come.

By using these new age materials, you can take a step forward in making your home more energy efficient and bringing down wastage to a minimum.


Richard Campen has over 30 years of experience helping people create their dream homes. At Archway Press, Inc. you’ll find a premium collection of house plans and custom made garage plans created by country’s leading designers.

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

The 6 Coolest Recycling Initiatives

recycling-top

Of all the challenges humans face today, one of our most daunting is the eternal buildup of sold waste from our “disposable society.” This problem is relatively new when compared to the rest of our short history on this globe. Yet it has taken only a few short years to accumulate enough garbage to create a Manhattan sized island in the Pacific, litter the highways and streets of America with styrofoam cups and plastic bags and pollute much of our precious, rare fresh water supply. Yet hope is not lost. Humanity is waking up to this problem and finally finding ever more ingenious ways to reuse what we used to throw away. These six recycling initiatives are finding creative ways to live in harmony with nature once again.

MGM’S GREEN ADVANTAGE

Most companies are now taking steps to divert commonly recyclable products, such as paper and aluminum cans from land fills. MGM Resorts however, his taking this process a few steps further. They are finding ways to recycle everything from food waste to used playing cards and are now diverting a whopping 43.7% of their solid waste to the recycling chain instead of the local dumps.

 

TERRACYCLE’S CIGARETTE WASTE BRIGADE

Cigarette butts are one of the most commonly discarded nuisances in the United States, but with the help of Terracycle and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, smokers can now cut down on this unsightly trash at offices, restaurants, and even at home. Terracycle accepts everything from extinguished cigarettes to cellophane package linings and turns them into a variety of industrial products.

SWEDEN RAN OUT OF TRASH!

sweden

Thanks to Sweden’s unique method for disposing of solid waste, they have turned trash disposal into a dual-duty bonus. Sweden burns all of its trash for heat and electricity and has become so efficient at this process that it recently ran out of trash to burn. This is no problem however, as Norway is more than happy to pay Sweden to take their trash as well.

TOYOTA’S SUSTAINABILITY MOVEMENT

toyota green initiative

Toyota is working on a more environmentally friendly approach to auto manufacturing that takes into consideration “the entire life cycle of a vehicle.” This major car manufacturer is developing materials that are easier to dismantle and recycle while reducing the waste in generates in the first place. It’s easy to see that the makers of the very popular Prius are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to a greener society.

41POUNDS.ORG

Junk mail is more than a hassle. According to 41pounds.org, Americans receive more than 41 pounds worth of junk mail a year, most of which makes its way to the landfill. For a mere $41 fee, this organization will help eliminate junk mail for a full five years by removing your household from all of those useless, pesky mailing lists. Conserve 1.7 trees and 700 gallons of water while simplifying your life and protecting yourself from identity theft. As a bonus, 41pounds.org donates 1/3 of this fee to Earth Share, to help other exciting recycling initiatives as well.

CALIFORNIA’S 75 PERCENT INITIATIVE

It seems that the Golden State has set a very lofty environmental goal. Governor Brown, along with the state legislature are set to lead the way toward a greener America with a “75 percent recycling, composting or source reduction of solid waste by 2020.” Of course, CalRecycle is still working on the logistics of this goal, but when there is a will there is a way. Perhaps the Golden State could take a few lessons from Sweden. With the right tactics, they might be able to solve their budget crisis as well.

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

Dual Carbon Battery: Will it Solve EV Problems?

battery-dual-carbon-ev

Some of the most vexing problems associated with EVs regard battery range, charging time, and life-cycle limitations driven by non-standard use. However, at least two of these objections may be resolved, if Japanese-owned and operated  Power Japan Plus (PJP) has anything to say about it.

According to the company, PJP has recently perfected a new battery technology named the dual-carbon system. The packaging integrates less expensive carbon anode and cathode components, while allowing charging rates of up to 20 times faster than traditional lithium-ion batteries.

Along with higher cycle rates, the new technology also experiences no thermal change when discharging. This advantage principally offers the complete elimination of external cooling systems that are typically seen as integral to current EV battery power-packs.

Although the new dual-carbon technology offers similar electrical densities when compared with competing lithium-ion components and, therefore, does not offer any extended-range value, the system does offer faster charging, along with enhanced service-life.

For example, the typical Nissan Leaf currently projects an empty-to-full charge cycle of 4 hours, while the new dual-carbon system will only require 12 minutes. At the same time, PJP’s technology accepts complete ‘0/0’ discharge unlike typical batteries, which utilize electrical ‘governors’ that avoid complete discharge that, in the event, reduces battery life-cycle.

The future of the new system appears to be bright, although the manufacturer suggests that it intends to sell the units in only two direct markets; the satellite communications and medical device segments. Nevertheless, the technology is already compliant with current generations of 18650 cell packaging, so once the system is on the shelf, vehicle manufacturer’s will be able to access and apply the technology for future EV purposes.

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

Skylock: The Solar Powered Lock

skyloock

If you’re a bike owner, you know there’s nothing worse than the fear of having your primary mode of transportation stolen. Or worse yet, the fear of what would happen to you if you got in a major cycling accident and no one was around to help you.

A new product called Skylock looks to solve both of those problems with a bike lock and smartphone app.

Like most smartphones these days, the Skylock is built with an accelerometer in it, and if it is being jostled it sends an alert to the owner’s smartphone so they can check on the bike and make sure someone isn’t trying to steal it.

Even if it takes them a few minutes to get to it, the Skylock can withstand up to 7,000 lbs of force, making it very difficult to break. According to Skylock, the product has been developed to military standards and can withstand very tough breaking methods.

You also don’t have to worry about keeping a spare set of bike lock keys with you, as you only need your smartphone and app to unlock Skylock. You can even set it to automatically unlock when you’re approaching, which it senses via Bluetooth.

Similarly, if the owner gets in a cycling accident, the accelerometer triggers an alert that can be sent via the rider’s smartphone to family and friends.

Best of all, no charging is required, as the lock’s internal battery stays charged with clean energy using the solar panels on its front face.

Pre-order your Skylock now for $159 at skylock.cc

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

Chrysler Group: Betting on a Hybrid Future

chrysler-logo-retro

Newly mandated EPA auto-range mandates calling for an average of up to 55 MPG by 2025, have forced Chrysler Group CEO Sergio Marchionne to look toward hybrid power in order to meet his company’s future regulatory demands.

“Hybrids (will) become a very large component of (our) fleet,” he said today while dedicating the company’s new Indiana transmission plant. “You can’t get it without the hybrids. It’s impossible.” That said, however, he also suggested that the company’s internal mileage-extension program is also on track.

“The house will make it,” he said, even though the carmaker is currently ranked last in fuel economy when compared with Chrysler’s direct domestic competitors including Ford and GM. Nevertheless, new technologies abound these days, and particularly the aforementioned debut of the company’s new nine-speed automatic transmission plant situated at Tipton.

According to Marchionne, the new nine-speed unit will drive the majority of all of the company’s front-wheel offerings going forward. And in the case of the 2015 Chrysler 200, specifically, the new tranny will provide an estimated fuel economy highway average of 36 miles to the gallon.

The effort has been evolutionary in nature since early on he became unhappy with the company’s powertrain mix; calling Chrysler’s cluster of mis-matched powertrain products a “collection of mutts.’ Now, with the company’s 8-speed system well-ensconced within its truck line, and now, with the emergence of the new ZF nine-speed rolling out in Chrysler’s sedan and Jeep products, things are picking up apace.

Nonetheless, Marchionne has had hybrids on his mind for some time, since previously, he announced that the company would introduce a new hybrid Town and Country van for the 2016 model year. Consequently, today’s comments appear to further indicate that the Italian boss is serious about walking the walk, along with clearly talking the talk.

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

Will Chinese Pollution Ever be Under Control?

The recent bad weather we experienced over the winter has been blamed on everything from changing North Atlantic currents to the government’s support over same sex marriage. Whatever the reasons, it does seem clear that our weather patterns are changing, not just here but across the planet. These changes could have significant effects in the future, and many people are pointing to the greenhouse gases and pollution released in China as one of the major culprits of climate change. But does pollution from so far away affect the rest of us?

EMISSIONS

Until about 2000, emissions of carbon dioxide, the major culprit in global warming, stood at around 3,000 million metric tonnes in China. By 2009 that had more than doubled to almost 8,000 million tonnes, and China alone now produces 26% of the world’s CO2, almost as much as the USA and all of the European Union countries combined. As a comparison, the UK produces less than 500 thousand metric tonnes of carbon dioxide every year and this is only 1.5% of the world’s emissions.

woman wearing a mask uses her mobile phone

A woman using her mobile in the smog, in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

TACKLING POLLUTION

Here in Western Europe we take climate change very seriously and have done for decades. We all recycle what we can, have got used to trying to reduce what we consume and big business has drastically cleaned up its act too, with experts pointing to success stories such as the river Thames supporting more wildlife than it has for the past 200 years. However there are no such controls in China, which as a nation has been more focused on economic growth and enabling its factories to compete with those in the West rather than controlling their activities and making sure that they do not pollute the environment. The major international agreement on pollution control is known as the Kyoto Protocol which was signed in 1997. In this treaty, countries are bound to make certain changes based on their economic status at the time. Western European countries, agreed to stick to pollution control targets, whereas nations classed as “developing”, including China, were given non-binding targets for tackling pollution. There is a school of thought that as Chinese industry has moved on so much since 1997, this treaty should be re-drafted.

Man pushes bike in smog

A man bushes his bicycle up stairs during heavy smog in Harbin, China. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

SMOG

One of the most visible signs of the level of pollution in China is the blanket of smog which regularly engulfs Beijing. The smog causes huge health problems for residents and visitors to the city, and once the smog dissipates, it goes into the upper atmosphere and contributes to global warming and the reduction in the ozone layer. It’s not just a Chinese problem, and many feel that unless something is done to bring Chinese pollution controls up to Western European standards, the result will be more extreme weather conditions across the planet.

Chinese Pollution from Space

This terrifying satellite image depicts smog stretching 750 miles from Beijing (top centre) to Shanghai (bottom right) Source: Daily Mail

WEATHER PATTERNS

It’s not fully understood how pollution created in China, India or other developing parts of Asia impact on the weather for the rest of the planet. Research is ongoing, but computer modelling studies seem to indicate that high levels of pollution in Asia cause stronger storms to sweep eastwards across the Pacific into the United States and eventually on to us here in Europe. Along with the stronger winds, more rain is predicted, with experts modelling around 7% more rain when levels of pollution are high.

The Future of China?

Is this the future for China? Source: L17 Designs

FUTURE

There is no sign of the Chinese taking huge steps to reduce their pollution levels. Small steps focussing on individuals have been taken, such as stopping stores from giving out free plastic bags but the big issues such as emissions from factories, dependence on fossil fuels such as coal and water pollution into the country’s rivers remain untackled. 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in China, but at a time where the country is experiencing rapid growth and personal wealth at levels never seen before, there is just not the appetite from the ordinary Chinese to do anything about pollution. China is slowly opening up to the West and allowing more Western influences into the country, but until this process gathers pace and there is real willing from the Chinese politicians to tackle pollution, we can perhaps expect more extreme weather on the other side of the world.

Source of Images: Huffington Post | Daily Mail | Commons.Wikimedia and L17 Designs

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

Carvana Announces First Pre-Owned Tesla Offer Online

tesla-online

Phoenix-based auto-seller Carvana has announced the nation’s first offer of a pre-owned Tesla Model S online. Even though the new program relates to units specifically sourced by Carvana from private parties, any related news must be seen as clearly supportive of the San Carlos Company, particularly given its problems with their own direct-selling model in Missouri, and other states.

According to Ernie Garcia, President of Carvana, “We’re excited to offer the first certified pre-owned Tesla for sale and delivery nationwide. There has been a lot of news recently (about) regulatory limitations Tesla has faced selling their cars in certain states. But, because of our unique business model we’re are able to sell pre-owned Teslas to anyone, anywhere.”

Tesla’s proposed direct-sales model avoids traditional auto distribution and sales infrastructures, and has caused significant concern with a number of state legislators; and particularly those who currently reside in the Missouri statehouse. For example, State lawmakers added specific anti-direct sales language to a recent bill that, in effect, bars Tesla from leveraging its sales advantage to the detriment to state-wide auto operators.

“This debate should be held in the full light of day with all sides being given an opportunity to make their case,” a Tesla spokesperson commented afterwards, “Instead, the dealers are again trying to ram through a provision under the cover of darkness and without public debate.”

On the other hand, however, state lawmakers see the issue differently, “(The business model is) clearly designed to circumvent the traditional franchise model for the distribution and sale of new motor vehicles,” said Missouri State Senator Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City.“

Kehoe’s sentiments were further echoed by Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer, R-Odessa. “You can’t have two sets of rules for the same type of business or industry,” he said. They predicate their judgment on consumer protection, suggesting that local sales and service outlets are the only legitimate direct points of contact for local and regional buyers.

Nevertheless, Tesla is digging in for the long haul. And should the new Carvana offer work out positively, closing that process loop ‘could’ produce enough public push to create a perceptional tipping point, thereby leading to a successful resolution of the larger direct-business problem.

Original Article on Greeener.Ideal

Toyota and Tesla: Partnership Over?

tesla-toyota

“In partnering with Tesla, there might have been a message that Toyota was looking at the possibility of a wider partnership with the Silicon Valley manufacturer,” he continued. “But (Toyota) can’t even give (the RAV4) away. (So) why continue doing this?”

Clearly, the suggestion of a wider partnership was on the table when Toyota put $150 million into Tesla between 2010 and 2011, thereby, creating a 3% stake in the all-electric carmaker. Although the infusion of fresh capital certainly helped the San Carlos operation hold the financial wolf at bay until CEO Elon Musk could completely consolidate his ownership position, while creating additional supply deals including Daimler Mercedes, over time, however, the blush began to fall from the lily.

From a dollars and cents perspective, Toyota’s RAV4 never managed to strike a chord with the buying public yet, all the while; sales were continuing to be quite brisk for the company’s gasoline-electric variants. Then, along the way, HondaHyundai and others began to get serious about rolling out hydrogen cell technology as a tipping point toward the ‘next big thing,’ particularly since H2 technology clearly offered longer range, and reduced maintenance complexity. Or, in the end, a simple sense that perhaps Toyota needed to get into the hydrogen game, or lose the ability to play at all was at work; none of us can know for sure.

However, according to 2010 comments referencing to the original Tesla deal, Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda said, “When customers do give us their answer,” he said, “I want the company to be ready.” And it appears that those comments apply in 2014 as well, in the case of watching the company move away from its current all-electric thinking toward H2, and the evolution of a potential Toyota FCEV. Either way, watching the show alone should be worth the price of admission.

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

FUTUREWATCH: Solar Powered Robotic Bees

robotic-beesz

Hey, remember those robotic bees that were going to save our species from extinction – or at least, from greatly reduced produce options?

Okay, so it’s not quite a reality yet – but that hasn’t stopped Greenpeace from imagining what our world would look like if and when we actually need a robotic insect to keep the natural processes of our planet in check. The worst part is, we may need these robot bees now more than ever.

New research shows that 30% of Canadian honeybees may have been killed off  by this year’s extremely harsh winter. According to CBC,

Honeybees live in hives throughout the winter, unlike other insects, which either migrate or avoid cold by burrowing in soil or moving indoors.

The bees rely on nectar and pollen from flowers for fuel, but the prolonged cold weather has also affected the spring growing season. If there are no flowers for honeybees to feed on when they come out of hibernation, the insects could starve.

… the lack of sustenance could also affect butterflies, as they spend the winter as larva, surviving without food all winter and during metamorphosis in the spring.

So this spring, instead of swatting bees away from your body, do everything you can to save them.

via Sploid

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

The New Nissan e-NV200

nissan-e-car

Nissan has initiated production at its new Barcelona facility in association with the new, all-electric e-NV200 cargo/passenger van. The company asserts that the new plant will be employed as the central point for global delivery of the new vehicle.

The plant’s initial 100 million euro investment (U.S. $139 million) will consume a first financial tranche, which will drive an overall Nissan electric vehicle program that will ultimately reach 431 euros (U.S. $599 million). The plant’s delivery scope will subsequently include Spain, Japan, and 18 other off-shore market segments.

According to Nissan’s Chief Planning Officer Andy Palmer, “This is a great landmark day for Nissan, starting production of our second electric vehicle. This is at a time when EVs are now recognized as mainstream technology. Many competitors are only just starting to launch their first EV – where Nissan has clear first mover advantage. We’re proud that the Nissan LEAF is the world’s best-selling electric vehicle with more than 110,000 delighted customers enjoying the quiet and smooth ride of an EV.”

The city itself will receive Nissan’s first batch of e-NV200’s, and those vehicles will, in turn, be slated for all-electric taxi operations for use throughout the metro-area.

Nissan e-NV200

“The e-NV200 taxi has renewed significance in the wake of record levels of air pollution in London and Paris,” Palmer continued. “(This effort) brings a significant number of zero emission vehicles to Barcelona’s streets (and) will ensure cleaner air for every citizen, visitor and tourist. We’re confident that forward-thinking councils everywhere will be clamoring to bring these benefits to their municipalities in the coming years.”

The van utilizes the well-understood LEAF powertrain, and is capable of producing a range of an average of 180km (78 miles), prior to a recharge. Overall the power system produces 107 hp with 207lb ft of torque, and offers central seating for 5, plus a large storage area; perfect for commercial taxi operations.

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

In Focus: Google’s Self Driving Cars

google-self-driving

By now, you’ve probably heard about Google’s self-driving car and, consequently, how it could revolutionize the future of transportation (not to mention, the auto industry). Self-driving cars that can ‘speak’ to each other would mean fewer traffic jams, faster travel, and as a result fewer emissions.

If those self-driving cars were electric vehicles powered by clean energy as well, our culture’s dependency on fossil fuels would be greatly reduced.

But back to the technology of the self-driving cars – how exactly do they work? Check out the video above or at this link and hear from Google staff exactly how the vehicle can do things like navigate construction zones, avoid stopped vehicles on the side of the road and railroads.

And if you’ve ever driven through a busy city street, this video will make a case that riding in a self-driving car would probably be a much safer form of transportation than an unwieldy human driver.

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

In Focus: The Hyundai Tucson FCEV

fuel-cell-hyundai

With an EV/HEV/PHEV market projecting a total share growth of up to 4% by end of the year, eco-sellers should be feeling pretty good. However, an innovative product, referred to as theHyundai ix35 Tucson, is quietly rolling into dealerships in the west. Consequently, if reasonable sales numbers follow accordingly, the vehicle’s emergence could signal the beginning of entirely new ballgame.

Three central objections typically apply when working to attract buyers to the value EV’s. These include the potential of limited range, concerns about low time-to-charge cycles, and issues regarding the availability of public recharge systems that limit public interest.

If one lives in a highly-urban area all three constraints are reasonably easy to overcome. In this case, most point-to-point locations will typically fall within the range of even the shortest legged EV, and if power recovery is required within a metro-area, more and more plug-in outlets are appearing where recharging can be accommodated. However, in less populous areas, range will be king, and power recharge points will be scarce, if at all.

However, what if there was a new car that was all-EV-all-the-time, and offered a consistent 300 mile range? Known in both Europe and the APAC regions as the ix35, the new Hyundai ix35 Tucson FCEV has begun to quietly appear at dealerships on the left coast. The vehicle offers typical Hyundai crossover size, trim and amenities, but it’s the vehicle’s collection of integrated power and storage components that sets the ix35 Tucson apart from its brethren.

Nestled between the vehicle’s rear wheels, a compressed hydrogen gas container stores enough H2 to produce a straight-up mileage of between 270 – 300 miles between fill-ups; and when you do need to add gas, the entire evolution takes about 10 minutes to complete.

This range advantage is accompanied by pretty acceptable performance numbers for a crossover, since the new Hyundai can go from 0-60 in just over 12 seconds, and tops out at a measured 100 mph. The car’s motivation is pushed by a 100kW induction motor, producing 134 HP at 5000, and 221 foot pounds of torque.

Currently, ix35s will be delivered on the basis of a 36 month/$499 per month lease plan. However, once the company gains a better understanding of the U.S. FCEV market, Hyundai has suggested that a future sale price will likely to be in the area of $28k (US).

Excitement aside, however, just like any other new endeavor, challenges will abound particularly in the case of delivering enough compressed Hydrogen to support likely interest in the effort. As it stands, public Hydrogen stations operate only in California and South Carolina, although more H2 utilities are planned for, or currently in construction.

Regardless, the Tucson represents Hyundai’s clear commitment to running a long game. According to a spokesman, the company is going to build interest slowly and only build 1000 units during the first model year, “Hyundai started developing hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle technology in 1998, and this latest (activity) will help further raise awareness of hydrogen power as a long-term transport solution.”

Original Article on Greener.Ideal

In Focus: Solar Powered Gadgets

solar-gadget-hand

At a time when we’re all becoming more dependent on our electronic gadgets, power prices are soaring. It’s hard to imagine life without our laptops, smartphones, tablet computers and all of the other electronics we use every day, and it can be hard to strike a balance between using less power and keeping up with the latest trends. Solar power is big news at the moment so if you are looking for a gadget which is cutting edge in terms of technology but also keeps your environmental conscience clear, look to solar.

PHONE AND GADGET CHARGERS

We’ve all been in the situation where your smartphone battery runs out just as you’re about to take an important call or send some text messages. It’s not always possible to plug the phone in and charge it up right away, but connect it to a fully charged up portable solar charger and you can start using it again right away. Most chargers can also power your iPod and tablet computer, and are the ideal thing for hikers or campers who don’t have access to power points. Solar chargers are available from around £20, but it is worth spending a little more on a better quality one which will be more robust and will provide more power in less time. The cheaper models work, but take a long time to power up your gadgets and don’t produce as much power as one costing only a little bit more.

SOLAR KEYBOARD

Tablets are great in terms of portability and they are very simple to use, but typing on them can be awkward. Many tablet users have a portable keyboard, but these either have an internal battery, or run off the tablet’s own battery and the two have to be connected with a cable. Many of the solar keyboards on the market are incredibly thin and light to carry around, and the internal solar cells are strong enough to power the keyboard for months. Solar keyboards communicate with your tablet by Bluetooth so there is no need for cables, and cost only fractionally more than standard keyboards on the market. They are the ideal thing for working in the garden, taking on holiday or working while commuting on the train.

SOLAR LIGHTS

Putting standard lights in the garden can be expensive and time consuming, as you need special lighting and wiring for outdoor use. Solar lights solve this problem by absorbing light during the day, and using the energy to power little lights when it gets dark. Solar lights are great for both allowing you to use your garden at night time and to give a bit of extra security to the garden too. Solar lights are not expensive and can either be mounted on walls or fences or put at ground level. There is a wide variety of different styles on the market, and the range is expanding all of the time.

SOLAR SHOWER

One of the worst things about camping away from organised sites is the cold showers. For less than a tenner, hardened camping enthusiasts can invest in a 20 litre solar shower. Simply fill the bag with water, leave it in the sunlight for between two to three hours to heat up, and then enjoy a warm, if not piping hot, shower. As well as for camping, the solar powered shower also has great potential for use in disaster areas where power is not available to heat water in the conventional way.  This is a great product for people who enjoy music festivals but aren’t so keen on the mud and dirt which normally go with the whole festival experience.

SOLAR T-SHIRTS

hypercolor tshirtsIf you are old enough to remember theGlobal Hypercolour t-shirts which were all the rage in the early 1990s, then you’ll be familiar with the concept of a t-shirt which changes design when exposed to heat. Unlike the 1990s t-shirts which changed with body heat, solar t-shirts change when they are hit by sunlight and then revert to original when you go back indoors. They make a great present for anyone who is into their gadgets, and at around £20 a solar t-shirt won’t break the bank either.

It is very likely that in the future solar power will be at the forefront of everything, the over reliance on fossil fuels to provide our energy will inevitably come to an end and the race to acquire the oldest form of energy will quickly gather pace. Won’t it be great to say you were at the start of it?

Original Article on Greener.Ideal