earth friendly

Nissan-Renault delays EV targets after “slower” sales

Nissan-Renault delays EV targets after “slower” sales

Nissan-Renault has scaled back its electric car ambitions, pushing its 1.5m global goals for worldwide EV sales to 2020 after conceding that its original 2016 target was over-ambitious. A shortage of infrastructure development to support electric vehicles is one of the key factors hamstringing their success, CEO Carlos Ghosn suggested this week, though argued that the increasing number of rivals entering the eco-friendly segment was an indication that a change was close at hand.

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Toyota wireless EV charging demonstrated as trial kicks off

Toyota wireless EV charging demonstrated as trial kicks off

Toyota will begin testing its wireless charging system for the Prius and other EVs and plug-in hybrids later the month, aiming to cut the number of times drivers of eco-friendly vehicles need to plug in. The technology, a ruggedized pad that sits in a parking space and can withstand being driven over by the careless, begins charging as soon as a compatible car is positioned on top, with Toyota's video demo - which you can see after the cut - showing a self-parking Prius automatically maneuvering itself into place.

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Ivanpah solar plant ushers in bright future (but it’s already outdated)

Ivanpah solar plant ushers in bright future (but it’s already outdated)

More than 300,000 individually computer-controlled mirrors. Three 459 foot tall towers topped with solar boilers at 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. 392 megawatts of Power. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System has gone live, a huge solar power plant built by BrightSource with backing from Google, NRG, and others, set to provide clean energy to 140,000 homes. For all its advanced technology, though, Ivanpah may be more important as a gateway to even more advanced solar energy projects.

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Audi Sport Quattro concept production likely plus R8 e-tron reprieve

Audi Sport Quattro concept production likely plus R8 e-tron reprieve

Audi may give its eye-catching Sport Quattro concept the green light to hit production, the company's chief engineer has teased, though the show car's 700HP V8 hybrid engine is unlikely to make it to forecourts. The slope-backed all-wheel-drive concept was first shown off at the Frankfurt auto show last year, as well as at CES 2014 in January, with Audi describing any production potential likely seeing the Sport Quattro positioned as a "boutique" model with a price tag in the region of $160k+; now, though, there's chatter of an altogether more realistic positioning for the car.

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BMW i8 gets laser headlamp option

BMW i8 gets laser headlamp option

BMW is outfitting its luxury i8 plug-in hybrid coupe with lasers, though unfortunately that won't mean blasting slower traffic out of the lane ahead. The car will be the first production model in the world to get laser light headlamps, which use laser diodes to produce more daylight-like illumination, boost range, and - perhaps most importantly on a car powered by batteries - cut power consumption.

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2014 Civic Hybrid and Natural Gas get boosted trim and MPG

2014 Civic Hybrid and Natural Gas get boosted trim and MPG

Honda has outed a pair of alternative fuel Civic models for 2014, tapping hybrid and natural gas power to boost mileage to as much as 47mpg. The 2014 Civic Hybrid hits forecourts today, also debuting a number of aerodynamic tweaks, a new fuel pump and ignition coil, and higher-efficiency regenerative braking - which feeds power back into the batteries when the car is slowing - which help it hit a 44/47/45 mpg trio for city/highway/combined driving.

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Micro-windmills could charge your iPhone with waving

Micro-windmills could charge your iPhone with waving

Forget angels dancing on the head of a pin, recharging tomorrow's mobile devices could be a question of how many micro-windmills can you fit on a cellphone cover, with one team of researchers looking to harness the wind on a tiny scale to keep your iPhone topped up. Smitha Rao and J.-C. Chiao of UT Arlington developed the 1.8mm-wide windmills as a way of working around limits on traditional wind power generation, like size and safety. Instead of one big turbine, the pair envisage devices covered with hundreds of tiny versions.

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Toyota accuses Tesla’s Musk of fuel-cell myopia

Toyota accuses Tesla’s Musk of fuel-cell myopia

Toyota has dismissed fuel-cell skepticism from rivals, with a senior exec calling out Tesla's Elon Musk and others by name and accusing them of myopia when it comes to eco-friendly car tech. "Personally, I don't care what Elon, Carlos, or Jonathan say about fuel cells" Toyota SVP Bob Carter said at the Automotive News World Congress this week, referring also to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn and former VW America chief Jonathan Browning. "If they want to "plug in and tune out" other technologies, that's fine." Carter's outspoken comments come as Toyota announces another sales milestone for its hybrid fleet.

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Solar cell project creates hydrogen fuel and bypasses batteries

Solar cell project creates hydrogen fuel and bypasses batteries

Batteries are a distraction: the best way to store excess solar energy for nighttime use is using it to create "solar fuels" that rely on energy-dense chemistry, one research team has concluded. The prototype takes a cue from plants and uses a new type of solar cell that relies on the sun's energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The latter is released, but the former can be stored and then later used for power, including potential in fuel-cell cars. Best of all, the system requires no external power source in order to work its hydrogen-generating magic.

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Toyota i-Road first-drive experience

Toyota i-Road first-drive experience

Toyota has been showing the i-Road three-wheel electric concept vehicle here at CES 2014. This may be the first time many have seen this concept, however it was actually introduced nearly a year earlier at the Geneva Auto Show in Tokyo, where SlashGear was first allowed to get behind the wheel. While it may only be a concept today, and one that's highly unlikely to make it to the US market, the technology and overall setup are still more than interesting as a leaning, all-EV approach to urban mobility. Read on for our full drive report!

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