Tesla fans, you’ve got a friend in Digg founder Kevin Rose. He managed to get his hands on what look to be three press photos of Tesla‘s upcoming Model S sedan, and proceeded to leak them out to the public.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has owned a Tesla Roadster for almost a year now, and while he has publicly praised the electric car manufacturer’s work, he’s not a fan of the car itself and has been looking to get his money back.
The news, disclosed by the tech gossip blog Gawker, seems to have been kept under wraps by both the governor and Tesla Motors. However, it’s unclear what exactly is delaying the transaction from happening.
Students at San Jose State University have created a new type of hybrid—or perhaps tribrid?—that makes use of human pedal-power, solar panels, and a strong battery. They’ve dubbed the car the ZEM, or Zero EMissions Vehicle, and say it could be mass-produced for a mere $4,000.
To celebrate the record-breaking environmental achievement, the driver arrived at the World Climate Change Conference in Poland and plowed through a wall of Styrofoam, releasing some of the only harmful emissions on the car’s 32,000-mile trip.
Louis Palmer, 36, drove the “solar taxi” through 38 countries, picking up celebrities and global officials for short legs along the way. Palmer says his passengers included U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Monaco’s Prince Albert, Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron, and Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.
The fire department in Shawnee, PA decided in July to experiment with solar panels atop one of their trucks, hoping the few panels would produce enough juice to power the many tools that otherwise are often powered by an idling engine. Months later, the firefighters report success.
The flying car has been the inventor’s enigma since the dawn of motor vehicles, but using a simple fan and parachute combo, a British engineer has created the an ethanol-powered road-legal flying car with a range of 180-miles.
Best part? All you need is a one day course and a powered-parachute license to fly the Skycar.[social_buttons]
“I started making a paramotor on wheels that you sit on and take off and it suddenly occurred to me, ‘Why not just have a car that does everything?’” said Gilo Cardozo, who owns a Wiltshire-based company called Parajet.
In a breakthrough discovery announced today, scientists have found that a bit of E. coli could help put biofuel waste products to good use, and increase profits for the producers too.
Glycerin, a common biodiesel waste product, has become so abundant amid the rise in biofuel use that producers often have to pay to dispose of the chemical. Researchers at Rice University discovered that when combined, E. coli and glycerin produce succinate, a useful chemical that can be sold at a profit.[social_buttons]
A large Florida landscaping business has planted a 22-acre biomass crop at its nursery that will produce enough fuel to operate its fleet of 25 diesel trucks.
Brian Shank, president of Clermont Scapes in Groveland, Florida, said he decided to plant a 22-acre plot of Jatropha in order to save money for his hurting business, but also to set an example for other companies looking for cost-effective ways to help the environment.[social_buttons]
The Zhejiang 001 Group has produced a tiny car powered entirely by the solar panels on its roof.
The panels can charge the battery enough for a 3-mile trip in just one hour. After a full charge of 30 hours in the sun, the car can travel up to 90 miles.[social_buttons]
Toyota’s yet-to-be-unveiled 2010 Prius will have a bigger engine and a higher top speed, but improvements to CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency will take a backseat.
While the company has plans for a hyper-efficient plug-in version of the Prius by 2011, the standard model will make relatively few upgrades to its environmentally-friendly features. “It will be cleaner, with CO2 emissions below 100gm per kilometer,” said Miguel Fonseca, a Toyota managing director. “We could have gone lower but, instead, we have chosen to give the Prius better performance.”[social_buttons]
The top tier car racing sport has jumped the gun by adding green stripes to plain ol’ Bridgestone tires for their upcoming race.
Formula One racing announced that cars in the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix will have green striping on their tires to represent “going green.” Currently, there is nothing green about the hyper-horsepower vehicles nor the tires themselves, but the cars do have a remodel coming in the near-future. [social_buttons]
The island state’s small size makes for short drives, which are perfect for electric vehicles, and now an innovative network of recharging stations will make the cars even more convenient.
California-based company Better Place will operate the stations on a subscription-based system. Owners could sign-up for a monthly plan or choose to pay as they use. The company will own the batteries, which can run upwards to $11,000, and loan them out to drivers. [social_buttons]
Existing diesel and gasoline engines could get up to a 10% boost in fuel efficiency from an electrifying add-on.
Researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia have developed an improved fuel-injection system that is simple and affordable enough to use in existing cars. Through a strong electric charge to fuel on its way to the engine’s cylinders, scientists were able to increase the fuel efficiency of a Mercedes-Benz 300D from 32 to 38 mpg. If all the autos the United States installed the apparatus, over 300 million barrels of gasoline and about 150 million barrels of diesel could be saved.[social_buttons]
Two British landfills could soon use their trash’s syrupy excretions to irrigate and fertilize on-site biomass crops.
A developer, Waste Recycling Group, hopes to construct two 18-foot-deep lagoons near landfills to produce fertilizer from the leachate that oozes from the trash piles. The substance will be pumped from the dump into the lagoons where bacteria will eat away at the contaminants. The developer then hopes to use the fertilizer to grow willow coppices at the landfill for use as biofuel.[social_buttons]