Alternative Energy

Transportation News

The latest alternative transportation news from our hybrid, electric car and transportation news sources.

Apr 22, 2019

Alternative Transportation

Severe drought influences ozone pollution

Apr 22, 2019: From 2011 to 2015, California experienced its worst drought on record, with a parching combination of high temperatures and low precipitation. Drought conditions can have complicated effects on ozone air quality, so to better understand the process, researchers have analyzed data from two ozone-polluted cities before, during and after the...

New organic cathode for high performance solid-state sodium-ion battery

Apr 22, 2019: Solid-state sodium-ion batteries are safer than conventional lithium-ion batteries, which pose a risk of fire and explosions, but their performance has been too weak to offset the safety advantages. Researchers at the University of Houston have now developed an organic cathode that improves both stability and energy density. The improved...

NTU scientists discover sustainable way to increase seed oil yield in crops up to 15%

Apr 22, 2019: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) scientists have developed a sustainable way to demonstrate a new genetic modification that can increase the yield of natural oil in seeds by up to 15% in laboratory conditions. The new method can be applied to crops such as canola, soybean and sunflower, which...

Hyundai Motor Group introduces industry-first smartphone-based EV performance control technology; blockchain

Apr 22, 2019: Hyundai Motor Group has developed smartphone-EV pairing-based performance adjustment technology which allows users to customize primary functions through a smartphone application—an industry-first innovation. Drivers can use this technology to adjust seven performance features including the maximum torque output of the motor, acceleration and deceleration abilities, regenerative braking capacity, maximum speed...

Toyota establishes joint research institute with Tsinghua University; hydrogen and advanced mobility

Apr 22, 2019: Toyota Motor Corporation and Tsinghua University are establishing the Tsinghua - Toyota Joint Research Institute (Joint Research Institute). The two plan to conduct various research together over the next five years through the institute. By establishing the Joint Research Institute, Toyota sees an opportunity to further contribute to the development...

NSF funds U of Kansas researcher developing machine learning technology to monitor and prevent thermal runaway in Li-ion batteries

Apr 21, 2019: Supported by a new five-year, $500,000-grant from the National Science Foundation, a researcher from the University of Kansas is developing machine learning technology to monitor and prevent overheating in lithium-ion batteries. The research will develop a foundational framework for characterizing and monitoring LiB packs’ spatially and temporally distributed thermal behavior,...

Aston Martin reveals production-ready Rapide E EV at Shanghai

Apr 21, 2019: Last week at China’s Auto Shanghai motor show, Aston Martin Lagonda revealed the final production-ready iteration of its first all-electric production car, the Rapide E. The first car to be built at Aston Martin’s St Athan production facility—the brand’s Home of Electrification—Rapide E represents a first step towards achieving the...

CESifo: EVs not the best option for reduction in on-road CO2 in Germany given power mix

Apr 20, 2019: According to a new study published by the ifo Institue Center for Economic Studies (CESifo) in Germany, EVs will barely help cut CO2 emissions in the country over the coming years, as the introduction of electric vehicles does not necessarily lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions from road traffic...

IEA: key oil trends 2018

Apr 20, 2019: Total OECD annual production of crude oil, natural gas liquids (NGL), and refinery feedstocks increased by 10.3% in 2018 compared to 2017, reaching a record total monthly production of over 100 million tons at the beginning of the year and remaining above this for almost all of 2018, according to...

Jason Momoa shaves beard to shine a spotlight on plastic pollution

Apr 19, 2019: When you have 11 million Instagram followers,  your simplest personal hygiene move can elicit thousands of comments. And when you’re ready for a major hygiene transformation, such as shaving off a beard you’ve been growing since 2012, you can pair the shearing with a save-the-world message. So we get a viral video of Jason Momoa, beloved Game of Thrones star, shaving off his beastly beard while talking about plastic pollution. The 39 year-old actor’s call for action is part of a growing wave...

Vegan organization receives post-hurricane windfall

Apr 19, 2019: The Million Dollar Vegan campaign gave $100,000 to vegan humanitarian aid organization, Chilis on Wheels, to help survivors of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. As reported here in February, 12 year-old activist Genesis Butler made an intriguing proposition to Pope Francis: Go vegan for Lent, and Butler and her Million Dollar Vegan campaign would donate a million dollars to the charity of Francis’ choice. Unfortunately, the pope did not accept the offer. And with Easter upon us, funds raised in...

RBURN upcycles North Face tents into one-of-a-kind bags

Apr 19, 2019: The North Face has teamed up with British designer Christopher Raeburn of RÆBURN to launch a new line of accessories handcrafted from recycled tents. Introduced late last month, the unique collection consists of three distinct items—a tote bag, drawstring bag, and Rae Bag—that all feature RÆBURN’s iconic “REMADE, REDUCED, RECYCLED, RÆBURN” tagline. The partnership marks the iconic outdoors brand’s first sustainable collaboration and is part of both brands’ commitment to reducing...

National Parks are offering free entry on April 20 to celebrate National Park Week

Apr 19, 2019: Take advantage of the warmer weather by visiting any number of the hundreds of national parks across the country on April 20 absolutely free. The National Park Service is celebrating National Park Week by offering free entry into all of the 418 parks spread throughout the United States. If you have never been to a national park or if it has been a while since your last visit, you may be surprised to learn about all the fun and excitement that awaits you. Here is a quick guide on some of the more...

Ocean plastic waste has been a problem since the 1950s, reveals 60-year plankton study

Apr 19, 2019: A 60-year study on plankton has revealed the dark truth about the history of ocean plastic waste. The study shows how plastics have been polluting our oceans since at least the 1950s and that the problem has steadily gotten worse in the six decades since. The first documented case of ocean plastic waste was some fishing twine discovered in the 1950s. The next mention is a carrier bag in 1965. From there, the data shows that plastic waste significantly increased between 1970 and the early 2000s,...

A sustainable meal plan filled with recipes for Earth Day

Apr 19, 2019: Not all food is created equal, and not all foods are healthy for the planet. You’ve seen the headlines. Manufacturing plants suck up water, pollute with chemicals and damage the surrounding landscape. Raising cattle and other livestock is also associated with earth-damaging consequences. Most environmentalists agree that plant-based products offer the best balance of nutrition and environmental balance. Earth Day is right around the corner so it’s the perfect time to focus on foods that show...

Aluminum Association introduces first material designation system for 3D printing; “Purple Sheets”

Apr 19, 2019: The Aluminum Association released its first new material registration record in nearly 20 years. The “purple sheets” will provide clear chemical designations for aluminum powder used in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing. The purple sheets are the newest addition to the Aluminum Association’s long-running “rainbow sheet” series, which...

ZF introducing new 170 kW electric drive with functional safety for commercial vehicles

Apr 19, 2019: ZF is introducing a new electric central drive for buses and medium-duty trucks. Developed in China, with future production planned there, the new unit is designed to meet the particular conditions of the Chinese market and the requirements of vehicle manufacturers there. The new electric central drive was developed by...

Toyota, DENSO and SoftBank Vision Fund to invest $1B in Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group; automated ridesharing services

Apr 19, 2019: Toyota Motor Corp., DENSO Corporation and the SoftBank Vision Fund (SVF) will invest $1 billion in Uber Technologies Inc.’s Advanced Technologies Group (Uber ATG). The investment, in a newly formed ATG corporate entity, aims to accelerate the development and commercialization of automated ridesharing services. Under the terms, Toyota and DENSO...

RoboSense launches Smart Sensor System at Shanghai Auto Show

Apr 19, 2019: RoboSense has teamed up with partners Horizon Robotics, Cainiao Network, Sensible 4, and AutoX to launch the Smart Sensor System (SSS) designed for four key smart transportation vehicle applications: autonomous passenger cars; low-speed autonomous vehicles; high-speed RoboTaxis; and V2R (Vehicle to Road infrastructure). The RoboSense Smart Sensor System combines new...

This elevated prefab home in Chile takes in striking volcano views

Apr 18, 2019: In the Chilean city of Pucón, Santiago architect Alejandro Soffia has recently completed a prefab home that visually pops against its wooded surroundings. Fittingly named the Yellow House after its bright yellow facade, the modular residence is elevated off the ground for reduced site impact and to create a treehouse-like feel. The home’s modules were strategically connected with wooden joints and punctuated by full-height glazing to frame views of Lake Villarrica on one side and the Villarrica...

A guide to the different types of plastic

Apr 18, 2019: BPA, PET, HDPE. You’re trying to do the right thing by recycling, following health alerts and shopping wisely, but you're not fluent in molecular chemistry, so how do you decipher exactly what it all means and how to stay green? Fast facts about our plastic problem According to Earth Day, here are some stats that give you an idea of the scale of our plastic addiction. Since its invention in the 1950s, over 9 billion tons of plastic have been produced. 91 percent of all plastics are not...

The Felderhof House in Italy is built into the ground and topped with a green roof

Apr 18, 2019: In the Eisack Valley of Italy, an old “pair farmstead” structure partly built into the hillside years ago still remains. The new owner decided to turn this classic property into a proper home after living inside it for two years as it was, and chose Pavol Mikolajcak Architekten for the redesign. The party-underground living space is topped by a grassy green roof that serves as a homage to the old design as well as a minimal approach to interacting with the natural environment of the landscape. A...

Scientists find a way to produce renewable energy from snow

Apr 18, 2019: Solar panels have trouble producing renewable energy whenever it snows. With winters expected to increase in severity due to global warming, generating power in the cold season will likely become a major issue in years to come. Fortunately, scientists from UCLA just invented a way to produce energy from snow. The researchers call their handy device a triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG). It works by generating power via static electricity. As explained by the lead scientist on the project, Richard...

These sneakers are painted with cast-off blood from slaughterhouses

Apr 18, 2019: When you think of materials suitable for making shoes, blood probably doesn’t come to mind. If you think it’s not possible though, you’d be wrong. To prove it, nat-2™ Footwear designer Sebastian Thies and Eindhoven-based designer Shahar Livne have teamed up to create the world‘s first sneakers made from real blood. <!--more→ Your first question is likely, “Where does one source blood from to make shoes?” The answer is both weirdly easy and sustainable, as the blood...

Volkswagen Group joins collaboration for responsible sourcing of strategic minerals using blockchain; focus on cobalt

Apr 18, 2019: Volkswagen has joined an open industry collaboration for the responsible sourcing of strategic minerals that will use blockchain technology to increase efficiency, sustainability and transparency in global mineral supply chains. Ford Motor Company, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem and RCS Global announced the collaboration earlier this year. (Earlier post.) Joining...

Attenborough Effect inspires people to drastically reduce single-use plastics

Apr 18, 2019: There are plenty of films that have documented the harmful effects of single-use plastics, but one documentary in particular has resulted in lasting change. A new study found that Blue Planet II, narrated by David Attenborough, has inspired people in the UK and the United States to use 53 percent less single-use plastics over the last year. Inspired by what is being dubbed the Attenborough Effect, people are investing in reusable bags for groceries and other packaging like never before. The study,...

UCSD researchers improve method to recycle and renew used cathodes from Li-ion batteries via eutectic molten salts

Apr 18, 2019: Researchers at the University of California San Diego have improved their recycling process that regenerates degraded cathodes from spent lithium-ion batteries. The new process is safer and uses less energy than their previous method (earlier post) in restoring cathodes to their original capacity and cycle performance. Zheng Chen, a professor...

U-M study: Induced driving miles could overwhelm potential energy-saving benefits of connected, self-driving cars

Apr 18, 2019: The benefits of connected, self-driving cars (CAVs) will likely induce vehicle owners to drive more, and those extra miles could partially or completely offset the potential energy-saving benefits that automation may provide, according to a new University of Michigan study. In the coming years, self-driving cars are expected to yield...

Toyota introduces new 2020 Highlander and hybrid at New York International Auto Show; TNGA-K platform

Apr 18, 2019: Toyota introduced the next-generation three-row 2020 Highlander SUV at the New York International Auto Show. Arriving in Toyota dealerships in winter, the Highlander gasoline model will arrive in December 2019 and the Highlander Hybrid will make its way to customers in February 2020. Just as the first RAV4 launched the...

Mazda starts US pre-orders for diesel 2019 Mazda CX-5

Apr 18, 2019: Mazda Motor Corporation announced at the New York International Auto Show that it has begun accepting pre-orders for the diesel-powered 2019 Mazda CX-5 in the US market. It is the first time Mazda has offered a diesel-powered passenger car in the US market. The 2019 CX-5 Signature AWD with Skyactiv-D...

Mercedes-Benz showcases EQC, announces EQB electric SUVs at Shanghai show, new DENZA PHEV/EV

Apr 18, 2019: At Auto Shanghai 2019, Mercedes-Benz is premiering the close-to-production show car Concept GLB and the Mercedes-AMG A 35 L 4MATIC developed exclusively for China. Alongside the Concept GLB are the battery-powered EQC (electricity consumption combined: 20.8 – 19.7 kWh/100 km) (earlier post) and the new GLE, both of which celebrate...

Buick launches electric VELITE 6 MAV in China

Apr 18, 2019: Buick has launched the VELITE 6 MAV electric vehicle in China. As Buick’s first global all-electric vehicle and SAIC-GM’s first electric vehicle for the mass market, the VELITE 6 MAV (which stands for Multi-Activity Vehicle) integrates GM and SAIC’s resources and advanced technology in new energy and connected vehicles. It...

BYD debuts E-SEED GT concept car, Song Pro SUV and e Series at 2019 Shanghai Auto Show

Apr 18, 2019: BYD debuted its E-SEED GT concept car and Song Pro SUV alongside its all-new e-series models at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition. The company also showcased its latest Dynasty series of vehicles, which were recently unveiled at the company’s spring product launch in Beijing. A total of 23 new...

Fiat pays CARB $6.4M penalty for diesel emissions violations

Apr 18, 2019: The California Air Resources Board announced a settlement with Fiat Powertrain Technologies Industrial S.p.A for emissions-related violations affecting nearly 2,000 on-road and off-road diesel engines. The settlement includes a mandatory recall of affected vehicles and $6.4 million in penalties. The enforcement case began after the company informed CARB in 2015...

A series of tiny, geometric cabins in an overgrown slate quarry are a truly secluded retreat

Apr 17, 2019: Related: + New British Design Via Archdaily New British Design , kudhva Wilderness Cabins…

These are the best 7 tips to follow for a more eco-friendly backyard

Apr 17, 2019: An eco-friendly backyard is a great way to protect the environment and create a beautiful space for you and your family to enjoy all year long. Follow these seven tips to turn your backyard into a place that respects the environment without breaking your budget. 1. Save Water Conserving water is a great way to make your backyard more eco-friendly. You can install large water tanks in your backyard that hook up to the gutters in your house. The tanks will fill up whenever it rains. If you do...

CRA grows a sustainable pavilion out of mushrooms in just 6 weeks

Apr 17, 2019: Could the houses of the future be grown from mushrooms? Italian architectural firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) broaches this question with The Circular Garden, a sustainable pavilion made of mushrooms that—true to its name—was grown out of the soil in six weeks and will return back to the soil at the end of its lifecycle. Created in partnership with global energy company Eni, the mushroom structure is currently on display at Milan Design Week 2019’s Fuorisalone at Brera’s Orto Botanico, the...

New York is curbing food waste and helping people in need with a new initiative

Apr 17, 2019: New York is making important strides towards curbing food waste. The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, recently agreed to a new food waste initiative with the state legislature that will recycle scraps and send wholesome food to people in need. The new law is called the Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling Act. Once the bill goes into practice, all surplus food items will be donated to local food shelters while any scraps will be sent to recycling centers, preventing a large portion of...

SOM unveils designs for first-ever human settlement on the moon

Apr 17, 2019: Just a few months ahead of the fiftieth anniversary for the first Moon landing, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) released designs for the first full-time human habitat on the lunar surface. Created in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the conceptual settlement—dubbed the “Moon Village”—outlines ways humans could live in an otherwise uninhabitable setting through self-sufficient means. Envisioned with a series of...

Microplastic rain: new study reveals microplastics are in the air

Apr 17, 2019: A new study published in Nature Communications reveals alarming amounts of microplastic particles in the air, even in the most remote, mountainous areas. News about microplastics throughout the ocean, soil and every marine mammal studied has been widely documented and publicized in recent years. ‘Microplastic’ was even called the “2018 word of the year” for its number of mentions by the news media. However, very few studies have researched the abundance of microplastics specifically in the...

Volkswagen ID. R using Formula 1 DRS for optimal aerodynamics for Nürburgring run

Apr 17, 2019: Volkswagen is tackling the Nürburgring-Nordschleife this year instead of Pikes Peak with its electric ID. R racer. Because of this change in course—a race track instead of a hill climb, full-throttle sections instead of hair-pins—Volkswagen is focusing on the development of the aerodynamics. Volkswagen ID. R in the wind tunnel...

Audi gives S5 models their first diesel and 48V MHEV systems; performance and efficiency

Apr 17, 2019: For the first time, the Audi S5 Coupé/Sportback has a V6 diesel under the hood. The 3.0 TDI engine in the S5 Coupé and the S5 Sportback produces 255 kW (347 hp) and delivers up to 700 N·m (516.3 lb-ft) of torque between 2,500 and 3,100 rpm. An electric powered...

AMPLY Power: Top 25 US cities could save avg. 37% on fuel costs by switching to electric vehicles and buses; up to 60% with managed charging

Apr 17, 2019: A white paper by AMPLY Power, a company providing fleet charging as a service, finds that 25 of America’s largest metropolitan areas could save an average of 37% on fuel costs by electrifying their bus and light-duty vehicle fleets. Additionally, well-managed electric fleets that optimize electricity charging for off-peak hours...

Genesis reveals Mint Concept electric city car

Apr 17, 2019: Genesis revealed the Mint Concept ahead of the opening of the 2019 New York International Auto Show. The Mint Concept is a battery-electric luxury car for the city, with a new vehicle typology featuring organic design and an innovative interior user experience. The Mint powertrain is capable of an estimated...

TriMet puts first Xcelsior CHARGE electric bus into operation; powered by Portland General Electric renewable energy

Apr 17, 2019: New Flyer of America Inc. congratulated the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) as it welcomed its first battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE transit bus. New Flyer previously reported the order for five forty-foot battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE transit buses in September 2017. TriMet partnered with Portland General Electric (PGE) to purchase,...

New Flyer Infrastructure Solutions completes New York’s first OppCharge interoperable on-route charger solution for transit buses

Apr 17, 2019: New Flyer of America Inc. announced that New Flyer Infrastructure Solutions (earlier post) has successfully deployed two rapid, OppCharge on-route chargers along New York City Transit Authority’s (NYCT) M42 route. This marks completion of the first on-route charging solution in the United States that uses a globally recognized system to...

Proterra and Mitsui create $200M credit facility to scale Proterra battery leasing program

Apr 17, 2019: Proterra is partnering with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. to create a $200-million credit facility in support of a battery lease program. Mitsui, a leading Japanese investment and trading company, holds a diversified portfolio of businesses in various sectors, including mobility, infrastructure and renewable energy. The battery leasing credit facility, the...

BYD introducing second-generation battery-electric yard tractor

Apr 17, 2019: The BYD second-generation 8Y battery electric yard tractor will make its world premiere at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Long Beach next week, showcasing a design that combines performance, reliability, improved driver comfort and operability, along with zero tailpipe emissions and quiet operation. The unveiling coincides with the...

Boa Mistura turns 52 fishing boats into art to bring awareness to the plight of the parrotfish

Apr 16, 2019: Inspired by the natural design and shapes of the tropical parrotfish, these previously-rusty old boats now don a bright new exterior. The venture was another in a long line of community projects aimed to create “art as a tool for change” organized by the Madrid-based art collective Boa Mistura. The Pepillo Salcedo village in the Dominican Republic has limited access to electricity and running water, and fishing is an essential facet of the economy and of life. Boa Mistura, who are known for...