Alternative Energy

Transportation News

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

Feb 16, 2019

Alternative Transportation

Court allows Trump's border wall to violate several conservation acts

Feb 15, 2019: Donald Trump is moving forward with the construction of his controversial border wall, even if it means sidestepping important environmental laws. A federal judge ruled in favor of Trump's wall construction along California's southern border, a project that is expected to violate several conservation acts. The federal court ruled that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has the power to wave environmental laws in the construction of the border wall, including the National Environmental...

Senate approves major public lands bill

Feb 15, 2019: On Tuesday the US Senate reversed the trend of shrinking protected space by approving a public lands bill that adds 1.3 million acres of wilderness, creates five new national monuments, expands some national parks and reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund. This major new public lands bill is a hodgepodge of more than 100 individual bills related to conservation and outdoor recreation. Now more than 350 miles of river will attain the designation “wild and scenic,” which safeguards...

Nissan unveils incredible solar-powered mobile workshop for woodworkers

Feb 15, 2019: Related: + Studio Hardy Via Tree Hugger van conversion, Woodworkers' mobile workshop…

Compensation for conservation: water markets are economists' answer to scarcity

Feb 15, 2019: As cites grow and put more pressure on water sources, scarcity is an increasingly important issue. More than two thirds of the world's population experience a water shortage every year. Just because water continues to reach your tap does not mean your area isn’t experiencing a shortage. Instead, it could mean your town is forced to tap sources, such as rivers, faster than they can renew. Economists have introduced one solution – water markets – that assign a value to usage under the premise...

Biofase has discovered a unique way to recycle avocado pits

Feb 15, 2019: A Mexico-based company has discovered a unique way to recycle avocado pits. Biofase, a startup founded in Michoacan, Mexico, is using discarded waste from the fruit to create biodegradable utensils like avocado pit cutlery  and biodegradable straws. A biochemical engineer named Scott Munguia created Biofase in 2013. The company uses a technique that transforms avocado waste into bioplastics, which are then used to form materials. All of the products the company creates from the pits are fully...

Sculptural wood cabin is an alpine retreat with magnificent views

Feb 15, 2019: Perched high on weather-beaten mountain is the Hooded Cabin, a sculptural timber retreat with a rugged exterior and a sleek interior. The contemporary building is the work of Arkitektværelset, a Norwegian architectural practice that embraced the many environmental and building challenges that the project posed. From the high altitude mountain conditions of Imingfjell, Norway to the strict building regulations, the limitations not only shaped the iconic form of the cabin, but also encouraged “playful...

Verizon pledges $1 billion for programs that help the environment

Feb 15, 2019: Verizon is fulfilling its promise to better the environment. Keeping true to its commitment to corporate responsibility, the telecommunications company has allocated $1 billion to spend on programs that have a positive impact on the environment. Last year, Verizon committed to convert 50 percent of its energy consumption to renewable sources over the next six years. To that end, Verizon borrowed $1 billion worth of funds from green bonds to pay for projects that invest in renewable energy...

Sleep in this restored WWII air control tower full of historic charm

Feb 15, 2019: Related: + Airbnb Air Traffic Control Tower Via Curbed air control tower…

MIT team develops sub-terahertz-radiation receiving system to help steer driverless cars through fog and dust

Feb 15, 2019: Autonomous vehicles relying on light-based image sensors often struggle to see through conditions such as fog. MIT researchers have now developed a sub-terahertz-radiation receiving system that could help steer driverless cars when traditional methods fail. Sub-terahertz wavelengths, which are between microwave and infrared radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum, can be...

Mercedes-Benz delivers electric eActros heavy-duty truck to Logistik Schmitt for testing; countering catenaries

Feb 15, 2019: Mercedes-Benz Trucks has handed over a fully electric eActros truck to Murg Valley (Southern Germany)-based logistics company Logistik Schmitt. As part of the eWayBW project, commercial transport will be electric on the B462 federal road around Rastatt with the test operation of catenary trucks as of 2020. On an approximately...

Cummins to supply Kalmar with driveline for new electric terminal tractor

Feb 15, 2019: Kalmar, part of Cargotec, has selected Cummins to be the electrification solution provider for the next-generation electric terminal tractor offering for the European market. The Cummins driveline solution eliminates need for a transmission on a terminal tractor, simplifying the overall system and reducing maintenance needs. Cummins will provide powertrain technology,...

GTI quantifies opportunity to produce low-carbon renewable natural gas (RNG) from wood wastes

Feb 15, 2019: GTI has released a site-specific engineering design titled “Low-Carbon Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) from Wood Wastes”. GTI led a team of engineers and scientists to produce a blueprint for converting an existing biomass facility into an RNG production site, using the wood waste feedstock and some of the existing infrastructure....

Rice University scientists use red phosphorus to detect lithium dendrites in Li metal batteries

Feb 15, 2019: Rice University scientists have developed a detection system capable of alerting for Li dendrite formation in a two‐electrode battery with a Li metal anode with no additional electrodes required. A paper on the work is published in the journal Advanced Materials. The Rice lab of chemist James Tour made test...

ARĪV eBikes from GM are available for preorder; two models on BikeExchange.com

Feb 15, 2019: GM announced ARĪV as the name of its new eBike brand, which includes two innovative, integrated and connected eBikes: the Meld, a compact eBike, and the Merge, a folding eBike. The name ARĪV was selected as part of a global crowdsourcing campaign announced in November 2018. ARĪV eBikes are launching...

Lyft vows to help customers find electric vehicles with Green Mode

Feb 14, 2019: Lyft is making important strides to decrease carbon emissions in the ride-haling industry. The company just announced a new initiative called Green Mode, which will make it easier for customers to find electric vehicles (EVs) through their platform. The company, which was the first of its kind to get a carbon neutral label last year, is planning to introduce a score of electric vehicles in 2019. Putting thousands of EVs on the road will offer a more eco-friendly alternative to customers while...

A rare 'Bambi' Airstream trailer becomes a stunning mobile office

Feb 14, 2019: Related: + Edmonds + Lee Architects Via Dezeen Edmonds + Lee Architects, Kugelschiff trailer…

This is how climate change will impact wine

Feb 14, 2019: Look at a wine label, or chat with a wine connoisseur and you will find that wine has always been intimately connected to place and climate. Grapes taste different from region to region, and even grapes from the same vineyard taste different from year to year, depending on the weather that season. So, it is no surprise that drastically changing weather patterns have a huge, and confusing, impact on the wine industry. Increasing temperatures and climate volatility not only impact the flavor profiles...

Rwanda hopes to increase energy efficiency with new cooling initiative

Feb 14, 2019: Rwanda has big plans for a more sustainable future and is launching a new cooling initiative that will increase energy efficiency within the country's booming electricity sector. As part of the new plan, Rwanda hopes to provide a cooling solution for food storage and indoor spaces without adding to the world's greenhouse gas problems. The new initiative, called Rwanda's National Cooling Strategy, assessed the current need for cooling products as well as the future market. Although countries...

An auditorium uses translucent ETFE panels for a surreal look

Feb 14, 2019: Spanish design firm SelgasCano has completed the surreal Plasencia conference center and auditorium in Spain. Shaped like a giant boulder, the multifaceted building is wrapped in a translucent skin that floods the interior with natural light during the day and glows like a lantern when illuminated from within at night. In contrast to its pale exterior, the interior is dominated with vibrant colors—from a bright orange entry hall to a deep red auditorium—that heighten the structure’s ethereal...

Mining in Tasmania raises water pollution concerns to a new high

Feb 14, 2019: Tasmania's water pollution is becoming a major problem for local residents and wildlife. A new study discovered that metal contamination in the state's lakes are about as high as they get, raising concerns about the quality of water and food obtained from the region. The majority of the contamination can be traced to historic mining operations in Rosebery and Queenstown. The new study, which was conducted by the Australian National University, looked at six lakes in Tasmania, including Perched...

MVRDV to dramatically revitalize Frances historic Palais du Commerce

Feb 14, 2019: Dutch design firm MVRDV has won a competition to renovate and expand the historic Palais du Commerce in Rennes, France. The impressive 19th century palace had once served multiple public functions but now suffers from disconnect with current civic life. Working in collaboration with co-architects Bernard Desmoulin for developers Frey and Engie Avenue, MVRDV plans to reactivate the former public building and transform it into an inviting mixed-use destination that will serve as the centerpiece of...

Valentine's Day flower deliveries come at a huge cost to the environment

Feb 14, 2019: Americans purchase an estimated 250 million roses for Valentine's Day every year, many of which come via flowery delivery from South America. But shipping these roses in time for the holiday comes at a heavy cost to the environment. Colombia has become a major trading center for roses because of the Andean Trade Preference Act, which was passed under President George H.W. Bush. This act encourages farmers in the region to grow roses as an alternative to coca plants. Growing these precious petals...

U Mich researchers teaching self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement; Bio-LSTM

Feb 14, 2019: University of Michigan researchers are teaching self-driving cars to recognize and predict pedestrian movements with greater precision than current technologies. The approach relies on a novel objective function that incorporates the periodicity of human walking (gait), the mirror symmetry of the human body, and the change of ground reaction forces...

OXIS Energy to build Li-sulfur battery plant in Brazil; initial capacity 2M cells/year

Feb 14, 2019: OXIS Energy Ltd UK has signed a contract with CODEMGE PARTICIPACOES SA, a public company incorporated in the city of Belo Horizonte in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, to establish the world’s first digital manufacturing plant for the mass production of OXIS’ lithium-sulfur cells. OXIS Energy Brazil Holdings will...

StarMetro places 3rd order for electric buses with Proterra for Florida State; 100% battery-electric fleet

Feb 14, 2019: StarMetro, the city of Tallahassee’s public transit system, has agreed to purchase 22 Proterra Catalyst FC buses to service Florida State University (FSU), bringing the StarMetro fleet to 27 battery-electric buses. FSU is one of the first universities in the nation to decommission its entire fossil-fuel powered fleet and upgrade...

Global sales of BMW Group electrified vehicles up 1.4% in January; BMW i3 the top seller

Feb 14, 2019: Overall sales of BMW Group Electrified vehicles increased by 1.4% compared with January last year, with a total of 7,234 delivered to customers around the world. By the end of this year, the number of BMW Group electrified vehicles on the roads around the world will total more than half...

EPA: US GHG emissions in 2017 down 0.3% from 2016

Feb 14, 2019: In 2017, total gross U.S. greenhouse gas emissions were 6,472.3 MMT (million metric tons) CO2 equivalent, a decrease of 0.3% from 2016, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory. The decrease in total greenhouse gas emissions between 2016 and 2017 was driven in part by...

Electrify America has 105 charging sites operational; 465 chargers

Feb 14, 2019: Electrify America has 105 electric vehicle charging sites with 465 chargers which are operational and open to the public. Since installing its first ultra-fast DC fast charging site in Chicopee, MA in May 2018, Electrify America has accelerated the pace of installations nationwide. Electrify America’s progress includes: 105 charging sites...

Will the pope go vegan for Lent?

Feb 13, 2019: Pope Francis is known for his simplicity, favoring what’s been called “papal athleisure” over the fine silks worn by his predecessors, and urging Christians to forego greed. He doesn’t want to be a millionaire. But will he turn down the chance to donate a million dollars to the charity of his choice? That’s what a group of celebrity vegans, led by twelve year-old Genesis Butler, are offering if Francis goes vegan for Lent. The group Million Dollar Vegan launched earlier this month by...

Oil rig off South Korea's coast to become a floating hotel that operates on tidal energy

Feb 13, 2019: Related: Tiny Toronto lighthouse serves multiple functions at once + tidal energy, wave energy…

A renovated Toronto home boasts energy savings of over 50%

Feb 13, 2019: Blending East Asian and Western influences to reflect the client’s Asian Canadian background, the Echo House is an elegant renovation and expansion project that follows ecologically sustainable principles. Designed by local architecture firm Paul Raff Studio, the home, which covers an expansive area of 11,140 square feet, is set on a two-acre property in the Bridle Path neighborhood of Toronto, Canada. Improvements to the existing structure as well as new high-efficiency heating, cooling, and ventilation...

A dilapidated garage transforms into an industrial-chic micro home

Feb 13, 2019: Related: + IM Interior Via Dezeen…

Global warming makes 2018 the 4th hottest year ever

Feb 13, 2019: United States officials have confirmed that 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record. Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA just revealed that temperatures were 1.5F higher than the worldwide average, which includes temperatures between 1951 and 1980. Excluding the top three hottest years, temperatures in 2018 were warmer than any year since 1880. That places 2018 slightly behind the top three temperatures on record: 2016, 2017 and 2015, respectively. According...

Can the Caymans save the Caribbean's remaining coral reefs?

Feb 13, 2019: In January, the Department of the Environment in the Cayman Islands reported the success of an ongoing rehabilitation project to combat a massive disease spreading throughout the Cayman’s pillar coral species. The rapidly spreading disease, called “white band disease”, was first noticed on a famous dive site called the Killer Pillars in February 2018. It has ravaged pillar coral throughout the Caribbean and destroyed almost 90 percent of the species along the Florida coast. Scientists in...

ODA to transform Rotterdams historic post office into a vibrant destination

Feb 13, 2019: After sitting vacant for over a decade, Rotterdam’s former Central Post Office, the Postkantoor, will soon undergo an extraordinary transformation into a vibrant, mixed-use destination. Designed by ODA New York, the adaptive reuse project will span 58,000 square meters and sensitively restore the building’s early 20th century architecture while injecting new programming ranging from retail to a five-star hotel. ODA will work in close collaboration with local architecture firm Braaksma & Roos...

New research shows an organic diet shrinks pesticide exposure

Feb 13, 2019: The bad news isn’t news to many: Eating a conventional diet leads to pesticide buildup. But a new study published in Environmental Research reveals surprising good news. Switching to an all-organic diet quickly and significantly reduced synthetic pesticide levels in study participants. After six days of an all-organic diet, their pesticide and pesticide metabolite levels dropped by an average of 60.5 percent. Four American families from different races participated in the study, titled Organic...

Jaguar Land Rover expands Ingenium engine family with straight six-cylinder gasoline engine; MHEV 48V system; 20% more fuel efficient than outgoing V6

Feb 13, 2019: Jaguar Land Rover is expanding its Ingenium engine family with a new six-cylinder gasoline engine designed and engineered in-house, and manufactured at its £1-billion Engine Manufacturing Centre (EMC) in Wolverhampton, UK. The 3.0-liter straight six cylinder gasoline engine, which will debut on the Range Rover Sport, is available in 360PS...

Toyota and DIFFER partner on direct solar production of hydrogen from humid air, rather than water

Feb 13, 2019: The Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) is partnering with Toyota Motor Europe (TME) to develop a device that absorbs water vapor, and splits it into hydrogen and oxygen directly using solar energy. The LIFT (Launchpad for Innovative Future Technology) research proposal has now been rewarded a grant from...

NiZn batterymaker ZAF Energy Systems receives strategic investment from Wirtz Manufacturing

Feb 13, 2019: Wirtz Manufacturing, a global provider of equipment design and technology for the lead-acid battery market, has made a strategic investment in ZAF Energy Systems, a manufacturer of nickel-zinc (NiZn) batteries. The investment will expand ZAF’s manufacturing capacity from hundreds of batteries per month to thousands of batteries per month in...

INRIX: congestion costs each American 97 hours, $1,348 a year

Feb 13, 2019: INRIX, Inc. published the 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard that identified and ranked congestion and mobility trends in more than 200 cities, across 38 countries. According to the study, Americans lost an average of 97 hours a year due to congestion, costing them nearly $87 billion in 2018, an average of...

Study: gasoline is more important than healthcare for Americans

Feb 13, 2019: Americans collectively spent $388 billion on gasoline in 2018, averaging to 34 million fill-ups a day. According to a study by GasBuddy, a smartphone app connecting drivers with the Perfect Pit Stop, the necessity, perception, and price of gasoline adversely impacts Americans across all age groups and income brackets, with...

Polar bears invade small island in northern Russia, causing an emergency warning

Feb 12, 2019: Islands in northern Russia faced a crisis last weekend after a group of polar bears invaded the region. Officials in Novaya Zemlya issued an emergency warning for the small town of Belushya Guba, leaving residents scared to venture outside of their homes. Photos of polar bears invading garbage heaps surfaced over the weekend, while school officials say they have spotted the animals near buildings and homes in the area. Authorities in the town claim they have seen polar bears enter the town...

Rising temperatures are putting the Global Seed Vault at risk

Feb 12, 2019: Climate change is putting Earth’s doomsday vault at risk. New research from Norway suggests that rising temperatures could melt the ice on the island where the Global Seed Vault is located, potentially endangering seed samples from around the world. The seed vault, which is capable of preserving some 2.5 billion samples, is located near the Arctic on an island called Svalbard. The Norwegian government manages the island with help from the Nordic Genetic Resource Center and Crop Trust. Frigid...

A 1970 home gets a modern, light-filled revamp in Santiago

Feb 12, 2019: When a family with three children sought a modern refresh for their aging home in the commune of Las Condes in Santiago, they turned to local architecture firm Cristobal Vial Arquitectos to lead the redesign. The house—which belongs to a set of 25 one-story homes originally designed by architects Christian de Groote, Victor Gubbins and Hector Mery—already enjoys access to two gardens, one to the north and the other to the south. The renovation emphasized these garden views by stripping away unnecessary...

How to grow 10 foods from kitchen scraps

Feb 12, 2019: Meal plans and grocery lists, the cycle never ends. While some of your foods may come from carefully cultivated seeds or seedlings planted in your garden, did you know that you can grow food from food? You may have heard that romaine lettuce regenerates easily if the base is placed in water, or that basil and cilantro cuttings will turn into entire plants, but there are many, many more foods that will grow from your kitchen scraps. Here’s a highlight reel. Bon appetit! <!--more→ 1....

Climate change to change the color of the oceans over the next 80 years

Feb 12, 2019: The color of the ocean is about to undergo some major changes. As a result of ongoing climate change, scientists are predicting that the color of the ocean will slowly become bluer over the next 80 years. The color difference is directly connected to microbial phytoplankton, which absorb sunlight near the surface of the ocean. As the acidity and temperature of the ocean rises, the number of phytoplankton is expected to decrease in certain regions. Once the phytoplankton populations drop off,...

EPA criminal enforcement crumbling under Trump

Feb 12, 2019: Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criminal enforcement numbers took a major hit over the past few years. A new study conducted by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) found that the agency had the lowest criminal case numbers since the late 1980s. Last year, the EPA only filed 166 criminal referrals. These referrals are sent to the Department of Justice for prosecution, and those numbers were adjusted to account for the latest government shutdown. As a reference...

Triangular treetop cabins offer an unforgettable stay in the Norwegian woods

Feb 12, 2019: Elevated on angled steel legs and clad in sleek black metal, the PAN Treetop Cabins tucked away in a forest two hours from Oslo are unlike your typical forest retreat. Located in the woods of Finnskogen (the Finnish Forest) in east Norway, the two cabins were designed by Oslo-based architect Espen Surnevik for Kristian Rostad and Christine Mowinckel, a couple who wanted to create an eco-friendly and sustainable tourism destination. Opened for bookings in late 2018, the pair of cabins offers all the...

Shellfish farmers push to use pesticides in oyster beds

Feb 12, 2019: Pesticide use for oysters is once again threatening Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay. Shellfish growers are making another push to allow for the spray of pesticides on clam and oyster beds in the region, which environmentalists and state officials say is a major risk to invertebrates, like the Dungeness crab. Oyster growers claim they need the pesticides to kill burrowing shrimp that harm oyster beds and prevent them from harvesting their product. The companies are looking to reverse a current...