earth friendly

BMW’s battery graveyard gives EV cast-offs a second life

BMW’s battery graveyard gives EV cast-offs a second life

Electrified cars may be increasingly popular, but one of the big questions is what happens when the batteries aren't holding enough charge for use on the road? BMW is showing off one of its solutions, officially opening its battery storage farm at the grounds of BMW Plant Leipzig in Germany today. Inside the facility, a next-door neighbor to the plant where it produces EVs like the BMW i3, is the place where old electric car batteries go to retire.

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France is banning gas and diesel car sales to push EVs

France is banning gas and diesel car sales to push EVs

France has announced an aggressive plan to ban the sale of all gas and diesel cars in the country, aiming to promote EVs and and other green vehicles. The move is part of the French government's attempt to meet the emissions targets it has committed to for the Paris climate accord, the pact by most in the global community to voluntarily reduce their contribution to climate change. However, unsurprisingly the switchover won't happen overnight.

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Fuel Cell Safety: Why hydrogen cars like Honda’s Clarity are safe

Fuel Cell Safety: Why hydrogen cars like Honda’s Clarity are safe

"Will it explode?" isn't the question Honda dealers want to be answering about the 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell, but hydrogen's tricky history means they'll probably hear it more than once. Fuel cell engines are faintly magical in science terms, taking hydrogen, converting it into electricity, and then emitting nothing but water as a waste product. Problem is, say "hydrogen" and many people hear "Hindenburg".

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Toyota reveals fuel cell bus for 2017, can serve as emergency generator

Toyota reveals fuel cell bus for 2017, can serve as emergency generator

Toyota unveiled its newest hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle in Japan this week, but it's not a four-door sedan or crossover SUV; it's a bus intended for public transportation. The zero-emission bus uses the same technology as Toyota's new Mirai fuel cell sedan, and the plan is to have a fleet of 100 or so running in Tokyo in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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SolarCity plans “solar roof” to power Tesla’s master plan

SolarCity plans “solar roof” to power Tesla’s master plan

Forget solar panels retrofitted on top of your roof: SolarCity is working on an ambitious plan to actually tile your home itself with solar panels. The Elon Musk backed energy startup - which Tesla announced recently it would acquire - currently offers modular arrays of panels that can be installed onto existing roofs in different sizes, but the future it envisages is far more cleanly integrated.

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Google put DeepMind in charge of data center cooling, and the AI wowed

Google put DeepMind in charge of data center cooling, and the AI wowed

Putting a multi-million dollar, cutting-edge artificial intelligence in charge of your thermostat might not seem an obvious use, but it's helping Google make big savings on its electricity use. The AI in question is DeepMind, which Google acquired back in 2014 for an estimated $600m+, with one of the learning computer's new roles being management of its data centers.

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Ford eyes tequila byproduct for eco car parts

Ford eyes tequila byproduct for eco car parts

Drinking and driving may be a terrible idea, but Ford is looking at giving its cars a shot of tequila - or, at least, what's left over when Jose Cuervo has had its way. The automaker and the drinks company are exploring how bioplastics produced from what's left over of the agave plant distilled to make tequila could result in more environmental friendly components in future vehicles.

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Vegas’ Mandalay Bay now hosts largest rooftop solar array in US

Vegas’ Mandalay Bay now hosts largest rooftop solar array in US

Nevada is a popular place for setting up solar power farms, with many acres dedicated to the placement of panels. The desert in an obvious first choice for location, but now the Las Vegas strip is wising up to the use of solar power. It's actually a great fit, what with all the 24-hour lights and casinos along the strip, using solar power is a great way to reduce peak demand. Now America's largest rooftop solar array can be found on the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

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Apple will begin selling its excess green energy

Apple will begin selling its excess green energy

Apple has formed a new subsidiary company, but not one for developing the latest computer and mobile devices. Instead, "Apple Energy LLC" will be used to sell the surplus energy the company generates at its solar power farms. Incorporated in the state of Delaware in late May, Apple Energy has filed its request to sell power to markets in the US with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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Volvo sets tough EV goals for this brave new Tesla world

Volvo sets tough EV goals for this brave new Tesla world

Volvo may be one of the old-school when it comes to age, but the Swedish automaker is looking to take on Tesla with an ambitious electrification plan for the next nine years. "By 2025 we will have delivered 1 million electrified cars to the market," Volvo president and CEO Håkan Samuelsson announced today, as part of the company's 2015 sustainability report.

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Ecocapsule is a sustainable egg-shaped house the size of a car

Ecocapsule is a sustainable egg-shaped house the size of a car

It may not seem like it, but the small, egg-shaped construction seen here can actually be lived in like house, despite being even smaller than a typical New York City apartment. It's called the Ecocapsule, and it's made for total off-the-grid sustainability. It features dimensions of 4.46 x 2.25 x 2.60 m (14 x 7.3 x 8.5 ft), and only offers 6.3 sq m (67.8 sq ft) of usable floorspace. Most people probably wouldn't want to live in it, but with power, water, a toilet, and a stove, they could certainly try.

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Toyota built this amazing “Back to the Future” gullwing Mirai

Toyota built this amazing “Back to the Future” gullwing Mirai

Are fuel-cells the future of eco-friendly transportation? Toyota certainly thinks so, and it's cranking up the Mirai's cool-factor with a one-off Back to the Future special edition for the hydrogen car's official launch for preorder customers in Los Angeles.

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