Electric Vehicles – Looking Back, Looking Forward At The Smithsonian

Bet you didn’t know that an electric car was the nation’s best-selling vehicle back in ’04.  1904, that is.  If you think the late 1990’s were the dawn of this technology, think again – electric vehicles have been around for over a century.  A new display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, part of their “America On The Move” …

Solar Water Heaters Now Mandatory In Hawaii

Hawaii has become the first state to require solar water heaters in new homes. The bill was signed into law by Governor Linda Lingle, a Republican. It requires the energy-saving systems in homes starting in 2010. It prohibits issuing building permits for single-family homes that do not have solar water heaters. Hawaii relies on imported fossil fuels more than any …

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An Innovative Mercedes-Benz Hybrid Bus

It’s a prototype of a diesel-electric hybrid bus from DaimlerChrysler! The company plans to unveil this bus, the Citaro, to the general public sometime this year. The bus has a sophisticated hybrid system, that allows the bus to run in emission-free battery-only mode. Rather than providing continuous driving power, the diesel engine in the Citaro series hybrid operates as a …

Highly Efficient “Kid Friendly” Trains

I’ve never been on a train like this. Here are two superbly designed trains from Japan, that take the idea of ‘child-friendly public transport’ to the next level. Designed by Eiji Mitooka, the two trains seen here are the ‘Omoden’ (toy train) and ‘Ichigo Ec’ (strawberry train). They are a couple of regional trains which travel on a daily basis …

Huge “Air Tree” Structure Produces Its Own Power and Oxygen

In Madrid, Spain they are currently building a huge structure called an “Air Tree” or “Eco Boulevard de Vallecas”. The Tree was created by Urban Ecosystem to be a social center, and to improve the surrounding environment. The structure is also completely self-sufficient, generating all its own power with solar cells. Any surplus energy is sold to the electrical grid. …

The Largest Building In The World To Be Green

Foster + Partners have just been granted preliminary permission to start construction on this volcano-shaped superstructure in Moscow, which will be dubbed “Crystal Island”. In terms of efficiency monolithic buildings like this seem unnecessary, but the proposed dimensions are amazing: it will be 1,500 foot tall with 26,909,776 foot squared of floor space, that’s enough room to house 30,000 people.

Rapid-Charging Electric SUV Demonstrated

Recently, Phoenix Motorcars demonstrated their plug-in electric SUV that will go on sale in 2008. The SUV uses AltairNano’s fast-charge lithium-ion battery technology for power. The vehicle has a top speed of about 100 miles per hour, and its range is about 250 miles. Here’s a video of the SUV in action.

Boeing Developing Algae-Powered Jet Fuel

Air New Zealand and Boeing are secretly working to create the world’s first green aviation fuel, made of wild algae. The fuel is essentially derived from bacterial pond scum created through the photosynthesis of sunlight and carbon dioxide on nutrient-rich water sources such as sewage ponds.The company providing the biofuel is Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation. If the project pans out the …

Green Hotel To Be Built Into Chinese Quarry

This hotel, designed by the Atkins groups, will be an outstanding example of incorporating a building into an existing site. The 400-bed resort is to be built near Shanghai in a 100 meter deep quarry. The quarry will provide protection from the weather, and reduce the energy needs of the hotel. The complex will contain restaurants, cafes, sport facilities, and …