• Category Archives: Transport

    Zero X – The Zero emission totally green bike

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    There is no greener transport than the humble bicycle, add a motor to that and make it battery powered and you get Zero X. The American-made Zero X weighs 140 pounds, which weighs in about 100 pounds lighter than a typical 250 cc dirt bike. The Zero X is so small and light that it feels more like a big, electric mountain bike; it can hit 30 mph in just two seconds. Speed of the Zero X may not be as important to some as its silence. A casual trail ride on a pair of these bikes where riders can not only hear the sounds of the wilderness around them, but also carry on a conversation as they ride is completely unimaginable on a conventional motorbike. The bike is designed with aluminum rails that are easily removable, 40-pound, lithium-manganese spinal battery pack as the power source, which is claimed as can recharge in 2 hours for 2 hours of driving or a 40-mile range, depending on conditions. The unit is fully recyclable and can be swapped for another one in a mere 30 seconds. The 58-volt, 2.2 kwh pack is a proprietary design with 168 cylindrical cells, each with its own heat sync for cooling. The pack itself costs around $3000 and is built to last about six years, or 600 full-depth charging cycles.

    Posted in Transport on July 14, 2008
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    Online classes prosper as gas prices rise

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    The price of gas has given teenagers one more reason to ditch college. The high costs in tuition and the transit to and fro to the university from the dorm has made online courses much more appealing. Given how spoiled we have become by cheap gasoline, many of those students have never had to consider alternative ways of getting to class. What’s more, now that they are looking for alternatives, often times they are lacking entirely or highly inefficient, since mass transit, bike lanes and cities designed on a human scale don’t just sprout overnight. Colleges around the US have reported a 50% increase in online student enrollment. This however is not good news for the students who live in areas where the internet access is spotty and sometimes non-existent.

    Posted in Transport on July 12, 2008
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    Lotus announces the Eco Elise

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    Most car companies are focused merely at the providing their consumers with an alternative to fuel without changing their old hazardous habits. Lotus however has gone ahead and announced an environmentally-friendly car with its Eco Elise demo vehicle. Expected to be launching at the British Motor Show later this month has the managed to use sustainable materials such as hemp, ‘eco wool’ and sisal in creating the body panels and trim. An environmentally-friendly water-based paint covers these new-age materials. The car is also 70 lbs lighter than the standard Elise S model. Inside there is a shift light that can urge drivers to shift at engine speeds that are ideal for increasing fuel economy and thereby reducing tailpipe emissions. A more extreme effort to save gas involves two solar panels installed in the removable hardtop roof, now made from hemp, that lighten the load on the alternator.

    Posted in Transport on July 11, 2008
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    BMW to turn the Mini all electric

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    After Mercedes going green with its all electric and ditching petroleum technology its now BMW that’s keen on turning the humble Mini into an all electric car. BMW is testing electric powertrains and is using a fleet of several hundred Minis to experiment with electric drive systems and determine the alternative drive of the future.

    Posted in Transport on July 10, 2008
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    Hyundai Elantra LPI HEV – An LPG hybrid

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    Hyundai is all set to launch its Elantra LPI HEV hybrid vehicle based on its “Elantra,” in July 2009 in Korea. The vehicle employs the mild hybrid system that incorporates a Li-polymer secondary battery manufactured by LG Chem Ltd of Korea, a 1.6L LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) engine, a 15kW DC motor and a CVT (continuously variable transmission). The fuel cost of Elantra LPI HEV has been reduced by the adoption of a LPG engine. When fuel costs are compared based on the figures, the fuel cost of Elantra LPI HEV is 40% lower than that of other existing hybrid vehicles and 50% lower compared with the gasoline engine version of Elantra. The additional vehicle cost paid for a hybrid vehicle will be offset by the difference in fuel costs in about two years. The CO2 emission is 103g/km, which is 90% less than a gasoline engine.

    Posted in Transport on July 10, 2008
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    Mercedes to ditch petroleum by 2015

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    Mercedes may be name of true luxury, safety and class, now it will be the name for green too. It is planning to eradicate petroleum powered vehicles from its own line up of vehicles by the year 2015. It will now be putting its best brains into building electric, fuel cell, and biofuel vehicles; the company is revving up research in alternative fuel sources and efficiency. From what we know Mercedes well they really do one of the best research in the field of automotive engineering, so nothing less than perfect is expected off a green Merc. The Mercedes facility in Spain has one vehicle the F700, powered by a DiesOtto engine that combines HCCI and spark ignition to get nearly the same efficiency as diesel, but minus the expensive after-treatment systems. Mercedes is looking into electric vehicles, both battery-powered and fuel-cell powered. Not only are models in development, but we’ve also seen the company making steps towards its zero-petroleum goal right now, from better cabs in London to li-ion battery improvements. The company also has about 100 Smart electric cars undergoing testing in London, with that favorite 2010 year as the projected market release date.

    Posted in Transport on July 10, 2008
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    An all electric car that recharges in 2hrs flat

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    With the amount of new technology coming up in the field of alternate power for our vehicles, it seems to me that the future of driving isn’t so dark after all. A graduate student at the University of Delaware created an electric car that can go for 150 miles on a single recharge, and has prospects of the power company paying back to him instead of charging him. The students also created a “vehicle to grid” technology. When you plug the car in, it actually becomes a storage device for the power grid. The power company would actually pay you to store their power in your car until they need it. That could add up to about $2,500 to $5,000 a year the power company would pay the driver back. The $70,000 Scion that’s fully electric and goes about 3 cents to a mile, when compared with a gas vehicle that might go between 10 and 12 cents a mile, barely takes 2 hours of recharge time. The car is no a hybrid, it is all electric. It gets plugged into an outlet.

    Posted in Transport on July 7, 2008
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    Toyota to add solar panels to Prius hybrid

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    Just like the Th!nk OX that we covered a few days back, Toyota is planning to put solar panels on the roof of the high-end version of the Prius when it redesigns the gasoline-electric hybrid car early next year. The power generated by the system would be used for the air conditioning. Toyota plans to use solar panels made by Kyocera Corp, it has remodeled the Prius with an improved hybrid system in 2003 and is expected to launch a third-generation version by next year.

    Posted in Transport on July 7, 2008
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    69 year old Japanese rides wave powered boat from Hawaii to Japan

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    Some people simply rest on a futile argument; others travel the world to prove a point. A 69-year-old Japanese sailor Ken’ichi Horie has made a 6,400-kilometer (nearly 4,000 mi) journey from Hawaii to Japan in his wave-powered Suntory Mermaid II boat. The Suntory Mermaid II, a 9.5 meter (31 ft) long x 3.5 meter (11 ft) wide, 3-ton vessel made of recycled aluminum, does not use an engine for propulsion. Instead, it relies on a pair of fins under the bow that move up and down as the waves come in, propelling the boat forward.

    Posted in Transport on July 7, 2008
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    Chevrolet Beat to rock your world at 40mpg

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    The recent oil price surge has got the automobile manufacturers in a jiffy, GM has almost stopped production of its Hummer brand and is reworking on a new breed of vehicle. GM is thinking hard about bringing this 40mpg car on our roads as soon as possible. Looking slightly like the Daimler AG Smart car, The ‘Beat’ would come in at about 138 inches, 11.5 feet in length it would be longer than the smart and boast a mileage of 40Mpg without using hybrid engines.

    Posted in Transport on July 5, 2008
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