earth friendly

BMW and Toyota working on new sports car and eco-tech

BMW and Toyota working on new sports car and eco-tech

BMW and Toyota have inked an extension to their collaboration agreement, working together on fuel cells, electric powertrains, lightweight components and, most excitingly, "a future sports vehicle." The new memorandum of understanding (MoU) will see the German and Japanese companies team up for "long-term strategic collaboration" with BMW bringing its sportscar prowess and Toyota its green technologies expertise to the table.

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Apple fights Greenpeace over dirty iCloud power report

Apple fights Greenpeace over dirty iCloud power report

Apple has denied claims that its iCloud servers are powered by environmentally-unfriendly energy, accusing Greenpeace of blundering how much electricity it used and where that power came from. Greenpeace had failed Apple in its cloud computing green credentials ranking - along with Microsoft and Amazon - over suggestions that the iCloud server farm was reliant on coal power stations, the Guardian reports. However, Apple argues that Greenpeace has overestimated its power use by a factor of five.

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Audi e-sound makes EVs sing

Audi e-sound makes EVs sing

The dangers of being crushed by a silent and deadly electric vehicle have been long known, but trust Audi to level its "Vorsprung durch Technik" at the issue and compose a specific "e-sound" for its cars. The handiwork of Audi engineer Rudolf Halbmeir, the new sound - which will be fitted to all Audi EVs - isn't a single monotone but created on the fly, depending on the speed of the motors, the overall vehicle speed, the current load and more.

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Fisker Atlantic EV officially revealed

Fisker Atlantic EV officially revealed

Fisker has taken the wraps off of its second hybrid electric car, the Fisker Atlantic, promising a more affordable option for Earth-friendly driving but with the same swoopy style of its Karma sibling. Unveiled at a New York Auto Show preview, in design concept form, the Atlantic is a four-door relying on a BMW-sourced, specially tuned four cylinder gas engine to top up the li-ion batteries driving the electric motors for the wheels.

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Fisker knowingly sold half-baked cars claims ex-employee

Fisker knowingly sold half-baked cars claims ex-employee

Electric car company Fisker can't catch a break lately; days after its Karma embarrassingly broke down before Consumer Reports could even begin testing it, a former employee has alleged Fisker knowingly pushed the Karma to market before it was fully baked so as to qualify for US government loans. The decision to begin releasing the Karma to market was made so as to improve Fisker's chances of securing the next stage of its Department of Energy finance, the ex-insider told GigaOm, payouts of which had already been frozen after the green car company failed to meet its agreed milestones.

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Volt production frozen amid patchy EV sales

Volt production frozen amid patchy EV sales

General Motors has frozen Chevrolet Volt production as demand fails to keep up with current supply, though the company insists the electric-powered car hasn't been derailed by recent safety concerns. The Hamtramck, Michigan factory responsible for constructing the Volt will be offline from March 19 to April 23, GM confirmed to the WSJ, with around 1,300 workers unemployed for that five week period. Despite aggressive marketing and government subsidies for earth-friendly vehicles, the Volt missed its 2011 sales goals.

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Tesla Model X takes $40m in advanced sales

Tesla Model X takes $40m in advanced sales

Tesla has already clocked up over $40m-worth in sales of its new Model X SUV, breaking a record for the company in only 24 hours and also seeing a significant uptick in reservations of its new electric-powered sedan. Announced on Thursday last week, the Model X - which features distinctive "falcon-wing" rear doors and an all-electric powerplant - went up for pre-order the following day, with paid reservations exceeding $40m the company has confirmed.

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Fisker funding frozen: Project Nina delayed

Fisker funding frozen: Project Nina delayed

Luxury eco car company Fisker has been forced to freeze work on its second vehicle, Project Nina, as well as make a total of 66 redundancies as government loans dry up. Fisker, which began delivering Karma plug-ins back in July 2011, faced renewed US government attention with its launch schedule delays, GigaOm reports, with the Department of Energy suspending a $528.7m loan agreed in 2009 back in May 2011.

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Chevrolet Volt cleared of fire defect suspicions

Chevrolet Volt cleared of fire defect suspicions

Chevrolet's electric-powered Volt has been cleared by US federal safety investigators, with the plug-in car deemed to present no more significant fire risk than its gasoline-powered counterparts, and leaving Chevvy with the unenviable task of re-marketing the vehicle. "No discernible defect trend exists" the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said of the Volt, going on to highlight General Motors' improvements to the structure of the car and the battery cooling systems. The investigation - perhaps uncomfortably public for GM - will educate new NHTSA guidelines on dealing with electric car safety.

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Costa Concordia satellite photos show extent of salvage challenge

Costa Concordia satellite photos show extent of salvage challenge

Satellite imagery of stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia has been released, showing the $570m vessel languishing on its side off the Tuscan coast as rescue and salvage attempts continue. The shot, from DigitalGlobe, was taken on January 17, though the Italian coastguard has apparently paused its rescue work after the ship subsequently shifted, the BBC reports. "Instruments indicated the ship had moved" a spokesperson said. "We are in the process of evaluating if it has found a new resting point to allow us to resume. For the moment, we cannot even go near it"

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