SolarCity, the residential solar panel installer co-founded by Elon Musk, has said that it has developed the world's most efficient rooftop solar panel, achieving an efficiency of just over 22%. The company says that this means the panel is capable of generating more power per square foot and harvesting more energy per year than any other rooftop panel. Limited production is set to start this month, but the plan is to start building 360 watt panels at SolarCity's new 1-gigawatt plant opening in New York next year.
It's been three years since Tesla showed off the Model X for the first time, and the time has finally come for the first few cars to reach owners. The all-electric follow up to the Model S, complete with eye-catching gullwing doors, Tesla's second car has been punctuated with delays.
The Volkswagen board has hinted at further blood-letting at the company, following Dr. Martin Winterkorn's resignation today over the diesel testing fiasco. News this morning that Winterkorn would step down - despite denying any wrongdoing - has sent "a strong signal both internally and externally" according to the company's supervisory board, which warns that it is "expecting further personnel consequences in the next days."
Nissan has stretched the legs of its 2016 Leaf, giving buyers of the refreshed all-electric car the option to boost range to over 100 miles. The new battery pack, available on the Leaf SV and SL models, increases power density from the standard battery's 24 kWh to 30 kWh, and while the EPA is yet to test it, Nissan is estimating as much as 107 miles of driving from a single charge.
Google is hoping to encourage more homeowners to fit rooftop solar panels, launching Project Sunroof to do the math on just how much could be saved. The system relies on the same aerial imagery that Google already delivers in Google Earth, figuring out rooftop area and then taking into account factors like what angle the sunlight will hit it, whether it's in the shade of nearby buildings or trees, and even what the weather might be like in your area.
Audi is planning an electric SUV with a 300 mile range, working with Samsung and LG on the battery technology required to deliver the sort of power promise big car drivers demand. Details on the new car are yet to be confirmed, though it's likely to be reminiscent of the Prologue Allroad concept that Audi showed off back in April.
A mysterious electric car startup, Faraday Future, is promising to not only ape Tesla's success but raid its talent pool to do that. Established in 2014, the Californian company has already picked up a number of employees from rival car firms, including several with experience on well-known EV projects, and is reportedly hard at work developing its first - so far publicly unnamed - model that if all goes to plan should be on sale in 2017.
Troubled luxury hybrid maker Fisker is aiming to get its reborn new Karma sedan on roads by mid-2016, the company's new management have revealed. The new Karma will be based on the gas-and-electric original model Fisker Automotive began producing in 2011, though final details are yet to be confirmed. A spate of vehicle fires and underwhelming sales forced Fisker into bankruptcy in 2013, at which point it was snapped up as a relative bargain - albeit one with a history in need of some serious PR massaging - by a Chinese auto-parts maker.
Autonomous taxis could have a huge impact on environmental emissions, with new research suggesting cuts of as much as 90-percent versus private ownership. Although self-driving projects have for the most part focused on the safety and convenience handing over the wheel to a computer would allow, the team at the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory looked instead to per-mile greenhouse gas emissions. The potential for greener driving, they discovered, was far greater when a smarter taxi system could take into account just how many people they'd need to be transporting.
Lego, the iconic plastic toy building blocks, has announced it's going begin making a drastic change to the way its product is manufactured. See, while the bricks are popular around the world, they're actually not very environmentally friendly. The company has set a goal of eliminating its use of ABS, the oil-based plastic, by the year 2030, and they're spending $150 million to build a new sustainable materials center that will in turn develop an oil-free plastic.
The UK's capital city, London, has just announced that their iconic double-decker buses will go all-electric starting in October of this year. Not only is this an effort to make the city's public transportation greener, but it will also be the world's first double-decker bus to be powered solely by electricity. London Mayor Boris Johnson made the announcement this week, with an emphasis on improving the city's air quality.