earth friendly

Tesla Model S recall after rear seat crash risk spotted

Tesla Model S recall after rear seat crash risk spotted

Tesla has announced a partial recall of the Model S electric car, after the discovery of a shortcoming in how the rear seats are fixed to the EV's body. The issue - which Tesla is at pains to point out has not actually resulted in any reported problems or injuries - could leave the left-hand rear seat back less than adequately retained should the Model S driver have a crash, and needs to be reinforced.

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Tesla battery-swap demo this week confirms Elon Musk

Tesla battery-swap demo this week confirms Elon Musk

Tesla will show off its battery-swap system in a live demonstration this week, founder Elon Musk has revealed, as the electric car company experiments with alternative ways to power its vehicles. The demo will be done live, Musk confirmed, at the company's Hawthorne design studio. Given the recent failure of Better Place, however, all eyes will be on Tesla to see if it can deliver on replaceable batteries in a cost-effective way.

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Google goes green with wind-powered Finnish data center

Google goes green with wind-powered Finnish data center

Google's green ambitions continue, with the search giant announcing that it has signed its fourth deal for eco-power data centers. The new agreement, which will see Google's Finnish data center fuel its server racks with wind power for the next decade, will make the company carbon-neutral in the country. It's the latest in a series of similar Earth-friendly power schemes that Google has rolled out in the US, Germany, and South Africa already.

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Cadillac’s first 2014 ELR pulls off production line (but it’s not for showrooms)

Cadillac’s first 2014 ELR pulls off production line (but it’s not for showrooms)

Cadillac's first 2014 ELR hybrids have been snapped leaving the production line, though the "range-extended" car itself still isn't expected to arrive in showrooms until early in the new year. The initial ELR cars - which borrow much of their mechanical and technological magic from the Chevrolet Volt, but wrap it up in a coupe shell with various luxury extras - are destined for further testing, similar to the cold-weather conditions tests GM put the ELR through back in February.

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Better Place folds as battery-switching EV plan can’t go the distance

Better Place folds as battery-switching EV plan can’t go the distance

Ambitious plans to make electric cars as quick to refuel as their gas counterparts, by setting up a huge network of swap-out battery stations, have ended in liquidation, as Better Place folds up after chewing through $850m in investment. "After a year's commercial operation," the company said on Sunday, "it was clear to us that ... wider public take up would not be sufficient and that the support from car producers was not forthcoming." Better Place's most recent funding chase proved a tougher sell than earlier rounds, and there's no longer sufficient cash to keep things operational.

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Google buys Makani Power for X-team eco ambitions

Google buys Makani Power for X-team eco ambitions

Google has acquired an innovative wind power generator company, Makani Power, bringing the team into the same Google X "moonshot" lab responsible for Glass and Google's self-driving cars. Makani Power, which Google had already been partly funding as part of the Google.org "Renewable Energy cheaper than Coal" (RE<C) initiative, puts its generator turbines not on the ground, but on fixed-wing aircraft tethered to the ground but sent up to soar in stronger, more consistent airflow at high-altitude or above deeper water.

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Chevy Spark adds Fast Charge and route re-mapping to avoid range anxiety

Chevy Spark adds Fast Charge and route re-mapping to avoid range anxiety

Chevrolet's Spark could slip under the all-important $20k barrier, assuming government eco-car subsidies work in your favor, with the EV priced up ahead of its showroom arrival in mid-June. The sticker price of the battery-powered Chevy will be $27,495, the company has confirmed, but it hopes a brace of tax credits, incentives, and a new lease option will see the car hit Tesla Model S style popularity, rather than moldering like a Nissan Leaf.

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Range Rover Hybrids due late-2013 (but the US misses out)

Range Rover Hybrids due late-2013 (but the US misses out)

Range Rover's hybrid versions of its two big SUVs will make their public debut in September, though neither of the diesel-hybrid cars will be headed to US forecourts. Range Rover expects to show off the duo - the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport - in hybrid form at the Frankfurt Motor Show, chief programme engineer for RRS Stuart Frith told Car Sales Australia, with sales kicking off in Europe by the end of the year.

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Eco-friendly is conservative turn-off research suggests

Eco-friendly is conservative turn-off research suggests

The political controversy around climate change is so divisive, conservatives are statistically less likely to buy light bulbs marked environmentally friendly compared to functionally-identical but differently branded alternatives, surprise new research suggests. Described as showing "the negative consequences of environmental messaging" according to lead study author Dena Gromet of the University of Pennsylvania, the research indicates a "good for the environment" sticker might not be the marketing gold some companies and retailers believe it to be.

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