Alternative Energy

Transportation News

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

Dec 15, 2018

Alternative Transportation

The prefab Plugin House turns ruins into livable dwellings in just one day

Dec 14, 2018: Beijing-based design studio People’s Architecture Office has proved yet again their knack for innovation and socially conscious design with their recent project the Shangwei Village Plugin House. Made with a modular building system of prefabricated panels, these customizable homes can slot into existing structures to make formerly uninhabitable spaces livable and attractive for far less than the cost of a typical renovation. The experimental dwellings were installed in the Chinese village of Shanghai...

Climate change is killing reindeer in the Arctic

Dec 14, 2018: A new Arctic Report Card from the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has revealed that the wild reindeer - or caribou - population has plummeted by more than half during the last two decades. According to the report, the impact of climate change in the Arctic has resulted in the reindeer population falling from 5 million to 2.1 million. The report found that the weather patterns and vegetation changes in the Arctic tundra have had a major negative impact on the reindeer,...

8,000 barrels of oil spill in the Peruvian Amazon

Dec 14, 2018: Approximately 8,000 barrels of crude oil have spilled into the Amazon, and the Peru State oil company Petroperu says its because some local indigenous people severed the pipeline. According to a company statement, members of the Mayuriaga community in the Loreto region first damaged the pipeline and then interfered with the technicians trying to repair it. “The townspeople prevented us from securing the pipe to stop petroleum from spilling from the pipe,” said Beatriz Alva Hart, a Petroperu...

MAD Architects curvaceous Himalayas Center nears completion in Nanjing

Dec 14, 2018: Beijing-based architecture firm MAD Architects is nearing completion on yet another of their massive mountain-inspired projects: the Nanjing Zendai Himalayas Center. Inspired by the Chinese traditional painting style of ‘shan shui’ (‘mountain water’), the mixed-use development was designed as the “spiritual and poetic retreat in the middle of the city” and features curvaceous forms that mimic Nanjing’s surrounding mountains and waterways. In addition to its impressive mountain-like...

Mecanoo unveils stunning glass lake house that harmonizes with nature

Dec 14, 2018: Related: + Mecanoo Via Archdaily Mecanoo, Villa on the Lake,…

A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for children

Dec 14, 2018: While it’s obvious that we want the children in our lives to have only the most natural, clean, organic clothes and toys, it’s also important to our planet that we introduce sustainable goods from the start. As children grow up with eco-friendly items at their side, they will naturally grow up to respect the Earth, seeking out these types of green products for the rest of their lives. To get them started on the right foot, here are some of our favorite sustainable gifts for kids and babies. Veggie...

Automotive, Telecom and ITS companies carry out first Cellular V2X trial in Japan

Dec 14, 2018: Continental announced the completion of a joint Cellular V2X trial in Japan together with Ericsson, Nissan, NTT DOCOMO, OKI and Qualcomm Technologies. The companies have successfully conducted Japan’s first C-V2X testing in the country using 5.8 GHz as the experimental radio frequency for direct communication. The use cases were designed...

Argonne scientists maximize the effectiveness of platinum in fuel cells

Dec 14, 2018: Argonne chemists have identified a new catalyst that maximizes the effectiveness of platinum. Platinum—which offers unrivaled activity and stability for electrochemical reactions, such as the conversion of hydrogen and oxygen into water and electricity in fuel cells—is both scarce and expensive. Scientists are searching for alternative practical fuel cell catalysts...

Ballard receives order for fuel cell module to power UK HydroFLEX H2 demonstrator train

Dec 14, 2018: Ballard Power Systems has received a purchase order from Porterbrook Leasing Company Limited, a leading participant in the rail leasing market, for an FCveloCity-HD fuel cell module and related support to power a HydroFLEX train in the UK. Earlier this year, UK Rail Minister Jo Johnson MP challenged the rail...

Hyundai NEXO FCEV and Kona electric CUV win spots in 2019 WardsAuto 10 Best Engines

Dec 14, 2018: Hyundai has taken two out of the ten spots in the 2019 WardsAuto 10 Best Engine competition with the all-new 2019 NEXO FCEV fuel cell vehicle and 2019 Kona Electric CUV. (Earlier post.) This marks the tenth time Hyundai has earned a WardsAuto 10 Best Engine recognition since the awards’...

ZF electric driveline to premiere in Formula E with Venturi

Dec 14, 2018: In 2016, ZF and Venturi formed a technology partnership for the FIA Formula E. For the fifth season of the championship, ZF has developed an electric driveline for Venturi that includes an electric motor as well as newly developed transmission and power electronics. New Formula E rules this year will...

Fulcrum to build second waste-to-fuels plant in Gary, Indiana

Dec 14, 2018: Fulcrum BioEnergy has selected Gary, Indiana as the location of its Centerpoint BioFuels Plant, which will convert municipal solid waste (MSW) into low-carbon, renewable transportation fuel. Fulcrum has developed and demonstrated a proprietary thermochemical process that converts MSW feedstock into low-carbon renewable transportation fuels including jet fuel and diesel. The...

CARB approves Electrify America’s second $200M investment in California

Dec 14, 2018: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) approved Electrify America’s plan to invest its second $200 million in California Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure and education programs. In finding that Electrify America’s Cycle 2 California ZEV Investment Plan meets or exceeds all requirements of the 2.0L Partial Consent Decree, CARB moved...

Major utility company Xcel Energy commits to go carbon-free by 2050

Dec 13, 2018: A major utility company is making history. Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest utility, has pledged to go completely carbon-free by 2050. The company serves eight states, and their new ambitious carbon reduction goal far exceeds their current target of a sixty percent reduction in Colorado by 2026. “Our biggest energy source in a few short years is going to be renewable energy. We’re going to absolutely integrate as much of that as we can into the grid,” said Xcel CEO Ben Fowke. The company...

Green-roofed eco resort on Easter Island designed to blend into the landscape

Dec 13, 2018: Related: + Hangaroa eco village & spa Hangaroa eco village & spa,…

In China, a billion cockroaches are leading the fight against food waste

Dec 13, 2018: Warning - This story could make your skin crawl. China’s cities continue to grow at a rapid pace, and it is causing problems with their food waste. The Chinese population is producing so much food waste that the landfills can’t keep up, and this has led to some out-of-the-box thinking - using a billion cockroaches. According to a new Reuters report, a plant outside of the city of Jinan - the capital of the eastern Shandong province - is disposing of the 55 tons of kitchen waste it receives...

Zero-waste kit ensures reusable essentials are always nearby

Dec 13, 2018: The zero-waste movement has consistently gained momentum over the past ten years with many millennials focusing on minimalistic lifestyles and conservation of natural resources. More than any generation in nearly a century, attitudes towards lower consumption, conscientious purchasing, and limited waste are a big part of societal discussion and awareness. One advocate who has practiced a zero-waste lifestyle for several years has taken the next step in helping others do the same. <!--more--> Marina...

A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for pets

Dec 13, 2018: Our pets are our best friends … our family. That’s why it is important to spoil your animals with eco-friendly gifts that will make them and the planet happy. From chew toys made from sustainable hemp and wool to collars made of recycled plastic, here our some of our favorite holiday gifts for pets. Chew toys Whether your dog likes to snuggle with its chew toys or is a tough chewer who rips everything to shreds, these toys will make Fido the happiest pup on the planet. Each option is...

Fastcharge consortium presents prototype for 450 kW charging station; Porsche research vehicle charges at 400 kW

Dec 13, 2018: In Germany, the FastCharge research consortium (earlier post) has presented a prototype for a charging station with an output of up to 450 kW in Jettingen-Scheppach, located near the A8 motorway between Ulm and Augsburg. The new charging station is suitable for electric models of all brands with the European...

Neste investing €1.4B to boost capacity for renewable drop-in fuels and products production in Singapore

Dec 13, 2018: Neste Corporation will invest approximately €1.4 billion to add additional renewable products production capacity in Singapore. The decision is based on a growing global market demand for low-carbon solutions in transport and cities, aviation, polymers and chemicals. Singapore expansion. The investment will extend Neste’s renewable product overall capacity in Singapore...

Mercedes-Benz Cars plants to source electricity from German wind farms

Dec 13, 2018: Mercedes-Benz Cars has entered into a power purchase agreement with Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy, enabling Mercedes-Benz Cars to source electricity directly from wind farms in Germany, whose subsidies from the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) expire after 2020. Because the agreement with Mercedes-Benz Cars will contribute to the...

FEV and SEG develop 48V mild hybrid Mercedes AMG A45 demonstrator

Dec 13, 2018: FEV and automotive supplier SEG—formerly the starter motor and generator division of the Bosch Group—have developed a 48V mild hybrid Mercedes AMG A45 concept vehicle. The 48V mild hybridization is powered by the Boost Recuperation Machine (BRM) from SEG Automotive. A 48V belt starter generator—the BRM from SEG Automotive—replaces the...

SEAT part of EU €1.6B Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) on Urban Mobility consortium

Dec 13, 2018: The European Union has chosen the MOBILus consortium, comprising the city of Barcelona, SEAT and 46 other cities, businesses and universities in 15 European countries, to develop the Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) on Urban Mobility, an initiative that is tasked with developing innovations in urban mobility in the European...

Li-ion battery maker CATL opens its first North American sales and service facility

Dec 13, 2018: Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL), a leading global supplier and manufacturer of lithium-ion battery products for electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage facilities, is renewing its commitment to the US market by opening its first North American sales and service facility. CATL has established partnerships with several US-based businesses...

CliMA consortium seeks to build more precise climate model from ground up

Dec 13, 2018: A consortium of researchers led by Caltech, in partnership with MIT; the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS); and JPL, which Caltech manages for NASA, seeks to build a new type of climate model that is designed to provide more precise and actionable predictions. Leveraging recent advances in the computational and data...

California approves rule to require solar panels on new houses

Dec 12, 2018: The California Building Standards Commission has given their final approval to a new housing rule that is the first of its kind in the United States. Starting in 2020, the commission is requiring that all new homes built in the state have solar panels. "These provisions really are historic and will be a beacon of light for the rest of the country," said commissioner Kent Sasaki. "[It's] the beginning of substantial improvement in how we produce energy and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels." In...

Minimalist TRIPTYCH house pulls the Quebec outdoors in

Dec 12, 2018: Nestled in the Laurentian Mountains about a hundred kilometers from Montreal is TRIPTYCH, a crisp and contemporary home that blurs the boundaries of indoor and outdoor living. Designed by Montreal-based architecture firm yh2, the residence was built in the image of three interconnected pavilions fitted out in a natural material palette as well as full-height glazing to pull the forested landscape indoors. Envisioned as a “theatrical stage for the surrounding nature,” the sculptural abode was...

Solar-powered modular retreat design in Melbourne inspired by the local landscape

Dec 12, 2018: Related: Australia’s first carbon-positive prefab house produces more energy than it consumes + Archiblox Via Dwell Archiblox, Fish Creek, prefab architecture, prefabricated homes, prefab design, steel prefab by Archiblox…

Low-budget, bioclimatic home boasts a minimal energy footprint in Costa Rica

Dec 12, 2018: When clients Luis and Marce approached design collective YUSO proyectos for their new home in Costa Rica, they already had a very clear idea of what they wanted. First and foremost, the clients wanted the concept of “honesty” to define not only the design and construction process, but also the final appearance and function of the bioclimatic home. As a result, the site-specific project—dubbed the Esparza House—is primarily built from natural materials with minimal and natural finishes. Located...

Couple transform old army truck into 72-square-foot off-grid home on wheels

Dec 12, 2018: Related: + The Lorry Life Via Tiny House Talk…

Study finds microplastics in sea turtles around the world

Dec 12, 2018: The microplastics problem in the oceans has made its way to sea turtles in a big way. A new study from researchers at the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory - along with Greenpeace Research Laboratories - has found that microplastics were in the guts of every single turtle they tested. The researchers tested more than 100 sea turtles from all seven species and three different oceans, and they were looking for synthetic particles less than 5 mm in length. The most common thing...

Volvo Trucks to demonstrate Volvo VNR electric trucks in California in 2019; commercialize in NA in 2020

Dec 12, 2018: Volvo Trucks will introduce all-electric Volvo VNR regional-haul demonstrators in California next year, operating in distribution, regional-haul and drayage operations. Sales of the VNR Electric in North America will begin in 2020. The Volvo VNR Electric demonstration units will be based on the proven propulsion and energy storage technology currently...

Traffic volume on rural and urban roads in the United States: 1991-2016

Dec 12, 2018: by Michael Sivak. This analysis was conducted to examine changes in traffic volume on rural and urban roads in the United States from 1991 through 2016. The raw data for the analysis were lane length (which takes into account all roadway lanes of travel) and distance traveled, both from the...

UCSD study: under current policies, home energy storage would often increase carbon emissions

Dec 12, 2018: Under current policies, home energy storage systems would also often increase carbon emissions, according to a study by a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The researchers selected 16 of the largest utilities companies in the country and...

Volkswagen Toolmaking opens 3-D printing center; HP Metal Jet binder jetting system

Dec 12, 2018: The Volkswagen brand’s Toolmaking unit is adding a 3-D printing center to its facilities in Wolfsburg. With the opening of the center, the unit is bringing the most highly advanced generation of 3-D printers to the Volkswagen Group, which will allow the production of complex vehicle parts in the future....

DOE awards $1M to UMass Lowell-led team to develop renewable fuel additives from wood byproducts; Co-Optima project

Dec 12, 2018: The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a three-year, $1 million grant to a team of researchers led by a UMass Lowell mechanical engineering professor that is working to develop renewable fuel additives from sawdust and other wood byproducts. The project is part of the Department of Energy’s Co-Optima...

Honda to unveil wireless V2G system at CES; leveraging WiTricity DRIVE 11 system

Dec 12, 2018: At CES 2019 in January, Honda will debut its Wireless Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) system, co-developed with WiTricity—a bi-directional energy management system that has the potential to reduce CO2 and create new value for customers. Honda’s V2G solution leverages WiTricity’s DRIVE 11 wireless charging platform, which creates a seamless and efficient two-way...

Schaeffler startup to present near-production Bio-Hybrid at CES 2019; cargo and passenger versions

Dec 12, 2018: Bio-Hybrid GmbH, a company belonging to the Schaeffler Group, will present the near-production Bio-Hybrid (earlier post)—a new, modern form of personal urban mobility and means of transportation—at CES 2019. The variable and electrically assisted vehicles will be showcased in Las Vegas in the Cargo and Passenger versions. At the same...

Canadas largest net-zero energy college building opens in Ontario

Dec 11, 2018: The Canadian port city of Hamilton in Ontario has recently welcomed its first net-zero energy institutional building: the new Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation at Mohawk College’s Fennel Campus. Architecture and engineering firm mcCallumSather collaborated with B+H Architects to design the striking solar-powered building, which has also been billed as the largest net-zero energy institutional building in Canada. Conceived as a living lab on sustainability, the Joyce Centre for Partnership...

Bamboo community center empowers the local Brazilian community

Dec 11, 2018: The beautiful beach town of Camburi, Brazil, has gained a new community center that not only serves as a communal gathering space, but is also an inspiring social development project that was built for and by the local low-income community. Belgium and Brazil-based design practice CRU! architects provided the design as well as technical assistance and financial support, however, it was the community that decided all of the programming. Started in 2004, the project’s first completed building is...

This calculator tracks the carbon emissions of your travels

Dec 11, 2018: The global community has gotten increasingly smaller in recent decades thanks to affordable travel. But, just because distance is no longer a major barrier, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a negative side of traveling - the environmental impact. Now, thanks to the new website missionemission.co, there is a new “emission-free travel calculator” that can calculate the emissions a vehicle will produce when commuting to specific destinations, and it also suggests alternative ways to travel. The...

A guide to the best eco-friendly holiday gifts for family

Dec 11, 2018: When it comes to family, we want to offer the best of the best. The smartest way to gift high-quality gifts to your loved ones is by shopping sustainably. Eco-friendly products (and experiences) are made with love and care for people and the planet. Here are some of our top picks for everyone in your family. For mom: Eco-friendly yoga mats Mom deserves some ‘me’ time. Whether she is an avid yogi or is just getting started, this plant-based yoga mat is made with cork. It’s also free...

BMW investing €200M in Munich plant to prep for series production of i4 EV in 2021

Dec 11, 2018: The BMW Group is investing around €200 million in its Munich plant in preparation for series production of the BMW i4 electric vehicle, which will be manufactured at the company’s headquarters starting in 2021. The BMW Group is pursuing the strategy of producing fully electric vehicles together with plug-in hybrids...

Hyundai Motor outlines FCEV Vision 2030; $6.7B investment in fuel cells by 2030; 700K fuel cell systems annually by 2030

Dec 11, 2018: Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), which includes automotive brands Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation, announced its long-term roadmap for hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technology: FCEV Vision 2030. Aligned with the roadmap, Hyundai Motor Group (The Group) will boost its annual fuel-cell systems production capacity to 700,000 units by 2030...

Daimler buying more than €20B of battery cells for electric drive vehicles by 2030

Dec 11, 2018: Daimler will buy more than €20 billion (US$23 billion) of battery cells for electric drive vehicles by 2030, the company announced. The suppliers are already producing battery cells in Asia and Europe and are continuing to expand in Europe and additionally in the US. Daimler currently has battery cell supply...

Manganese hydride molecular sieve for practical hydrogen storage could cost roughly 5x less than 700 bar tanks

Dec 11, 2018: An international team of researchers has developed a manganese hydride molecular sieve that can be readily synthesized from inexpensive precursors and demonstrates a reversible excess adsorption performance of 10.5 wt% and 197 kgH2m-3 at 120 bar at ambient temperature with no loss of activity after 54 cycles. The team projects...

Next-Battery secures strategic relationship with China-based Lvchi Automobile Technology

Dec 11, 2018: Next-Battery, a start-up developing high energy-density Li-ion battery technology, has secured a strategic relationship with Lvchi Automobile Technology (Shanghai) Co Ltd. LVCHI AUTO group is a whole value chain operation platform company that focuses on new electric vehicles (EV), with targeted annual production of more than 500,000 vehicles. The global...

First car using Nidec’s E-Axle traction motor system unveiled

Dec 11, 2018: The new electric car brand Aion S—recently unveiled at Auto Guangzhou 2018 by GAC NE, GAC MOTOR’s new energy vehicle arm—will be the first line of cars to adopt Nidec’s fully integrated traction motor system (E-Axle) (earlier post). The super e-car with a driving mileage of more than 500 kilometers...