Author: Nick Chambers

Volvo Bringing Updated Electric C30 To Detroit, Will Start Trials in 2011

[social_buttons] Last September, Volvo introduced a proof of concept version of its all-electric C30 compact car. That car was more of a novelty than anything else; but now Volvo has done up the interior and added a complete set of instruments to bring the C30 EV to the prototype stage of a distant production version. They will be debuting the prototype at next month’s Detroit Auto Show, and...

Diesel-Electric Supercar Has 80 Mile Battery Range, Gets 44 MPG After That

[social_buttons] Capstone Turbine Corporation—a company normally known for making microturbines that provide back-up power for industrial and commercial operations—has built a prototype extended-range, diesel-electric supercar that has a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 seconds, a top speed of 150 mph and can go 80 miles on battery power alone before a diesel-powered microturbine kicks on and charges the batt...

Top Gear Chaps Build Their Own Chevy Volt Killer—It’s a Good Laugh

Top Gear is one of my all-time favorite shows. It never ceases to provide laughs and good entertainment while simultaneously managing to actually deliver useful content as well. My only gripe with it is that here in the States, we are always at least one season behind. So, while season 14 starts up on BBC in Britain, we’ll be lucky if we see the start of season 13 by February on BBC America....

Study: Bio-Based Plastics Could Viably Replace Nearly All Plastics

[social_buttons] In many ways plastics are simply synthetic compounds that mimic and try to improve upon substances we find widespread in nature—polymers such as you might find in wood, leaves, seeds and fur. Bio-based plastics (those derived from biological sources other than fossil fuels) have been around for more than 100 years. In fact, celluloid, the first synthetic plastic ever made was inve...

New Nickel-Lithium Battery Has “Ultrahigh” Energy Storage Capacity

Researchers have found a way to create a battery out of Nickel and Lithium that can store more than 3.5 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries and are much safer to boot. [social_buttons] Lithium-ion batteries are great and all—having heralded in a new age of portable electronics and allowed for the possibility of mass-market electric cars—but they have a few major drawbacks. For instance, they...

Algae Biofuel Moves to the Big City: Project Aims to Grow Algae On a High-Rise

[social_buttons] The demise of retail giant Filene’s Basement may have a positive effect on proponents of vertical urban farming and algae biofuels alike. Since 2007, the developers of a Filene’s site in downtown Boston have been unable to find funding to move the project forward. But now Höweler + Yoon Architecture and their partner Squared have put forth a proposal to erect a tempora...

Algae-Based, Non-Metallic Batteries Could Revolutionize Energy Storage Industry

[social_buttons] A group of researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have discovered that a particular type of algae — with a bad reputation for causing damaging algal blooms in oceans throughout the world — produces a substance that can be used to make inexpensive, non-toxic, simple-to-build, flexible, thin and durable batteries that, after optimization, are expected to perform on par with tod...

Don’t Have $109,000 for a Tesla Roadster? Bank of America to the Rescue

[social_buttons] In what is sure to go down as a deft marketing move to garner some publicity (and virtually nothing more), Bank of America and Tesla have teamed up and announced that the megabank will start financing purchases of the Tesla Roadster to make them “much more affordable.” I call BS.

Top 10 Electric Cars Coming to the US in 2009/2010

Editor’s Note: This list represents the ten “best” electric and plug-in hybrid cars (as I see them) coming out in the next two years, but, after that initial culling, this list has been organized by release date, not preference. With the onslaught of electric concepts and announcements coming out of the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, you’d think that the entire world is about to j...

New Fuel Made With Wastewater Drastically Reduces Emissions

A team of Taiwanese researchers has combined industrial wastewater and petroleum oil to make a new fuel that could largely eliminate the costly treatment of industrial air emissions from boilers, is an environmentally-friendly way to treat industrial wastewater, and could increase fuel efficiency by 14%. [social_buttons] Worldwide, many industrial processes depend on steam boilers that are powered...

IEA Chief Economist Says Peak Oil Will Come in 11 Years

According to The Guardian, Fatih Birol, Chief Economist with the International Energy Agency (IEA), has candidly revealed his position that world oil demand will start outpacing supply “around 2020.” [social_buttons] Peak Oil — that most controversial and elusive of concepts. Everybody seems to have their own opinion. There are experts on both sides who alternately claim we have at lea...

Ethanol Made From Grasses Reduces Greenhouse Gases

If non-food cellulosic ethanol — “celluline” — is the future of sustainable biofuels, what are the best non-food crops to use to make it? In a new study, researchers have shown that growing perennial grasses to make celluline rather than using corn stover or sugar cane is better for the environment because it increases soil health and stores much more carbon in the soil, thereby reduci...