Archives for category: Transportation

The battle between Tesla and state car dealership associations continues to rage on, however the tide may be slowly turning in favor of the electric automaker. After New Jersey passed legislation that makes it illegal for Tesla to sell cars directly to consumers, new bills in Arizona and Ohio could legalize the brand’s direct sales model.

Green Halo - Teslas's Direct Sales Business Model - LegalizationTesla has not been able to sell its vehicles in Arizona because the state currently does not allow automakers to sell cars directly to consumers – but that could soon change. A new bill could legalize Tesla’s direct sales model. Why is Arizona changing its mind? Tesla is currently figuring out the final details for its upcoming gigafactory battery factory – including where it will be built. The $5 billion factory could bring thousands of jobs to Arizona, if Tesla decides to build it there, but unfortunately Tesla is not going to build it in a state where it’s illegal for the company to sell its cars.

As a result, Arizona House Bill 2123 was recently amended to strike down laws against Tesla’s sales model. The bill would only allow automakers that only sell electric vehicles to use the direct to consumer sales model. The bill is similar to a compromise between Tesla and the state of Ohio. It was illegal for Tesla to sell its vehicles in Ohio, but the state amended its law so that Tesla can sell its vehicles out of three stores, as long as it continues to sell only electric vehicles.

There are also reports that Texas may change its laws in favor of Tesla in an effort to attract the new gigafactory. Lastly, New Jersey may reverse its decision after all – Assemblyman Tim Eustace has introduced a new bill that would allow Tesla to continue to sell vehicles in the state.

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The country’s first all-electric school bus began transporting students to and from Kings Canyon Unified school district in central California. The new electric vehicle is a modified SST Trans Tech Bus with an electric powertrain from Motiv Power Systems. The electric bus is estimated to save the school district around 16 gallons of fuel a day, which equates to a total annual savings of $11,000. For a school district like Kings Canyon, which serves one of the largest geographical areas in California, these savings are quite significant.

Green Halo - America's First All-Electric School Bus Launches in CaliforniaThe pilot project was the result of collaboration between Motiv Power Systems and Trans Tech Bus Company and the California Air Resources Board, which contributed $400,000 cost-saving vouchers to the ambitious project. Thanks to a federal highway program, three more electric buses are on their way to the Kings Canyon district and similar programs are in the works in both Chicago and New York.

Although the initial cost of an electric bus is much higher than the traditional gas-guzzling bus, electric buses offer long term savings such as lifelong fuel and maintenance costs, not to mention the reduction of harmful greenhouse gases. According to founder and CEO of Motive Power Systems, “The buses cost about twice as much as a comparable gas bus, but cost 1/8 as much to fuel and 1/3 as much to maintain,” he said. “In the life of a school bus, 2-3 times the cost of the vehicle is spent on fuel and maintenance.”

The smaller electric buses hold up to hold 25 students and are equipped with four or five battery packs that allow for a range of 80 to 100 miles. Although the smaller buses were refitted for the pilot program, full-size electric bus fleets are also being considered for an all-electric makeover in the future.

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Unlike other automakers that mass produce their vehicles, Local Motors co-creates vehicles with a global community of designers, engineers and enthusiasts. So far the group has produced one car, the Rally Fighter, and now it has signed a contract to build a 3D-printed electric version of the vehicle for the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

Green Halo - First 3D-Printed Electric Vehicle at 2014 IMTSThe Rally Fighter electric vehicle is set to be the first direct digitally manufactured vehicle to debut at the 2014 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, which takes place in September. The 3D-printed Rally Fighter designed by a global community will be built to meet the city’s growing urban transportation needs.

“IMTS is the perfect venue on which to showcase the next evolution of Local Motors’ World of Vehicle Innovations,“ said Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers. “To deliver the first co-created, locally relevant, 3D-printed vehicle on an international stage dedicated to celebrating cutting-edge manufacturing technology is powerful reinforcement of our commitment to driving the Third Industrial Revolution.”

Local Motors is set to change the way we think about buying cars, since its business model focuses on building small scale vehicles that are actually designed by potential customers. A few other automakers are doing similar projects, but most of those Rolls-Royce and Bugatti models are far out of reach for the average consumer. Local Motors hopes that its crowdsourced cars will make customized vehicles more accessible to more people.

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Brammo did for electric motorcycles what Tesla did for electric cars by creating a high performance vehicle that is both environmentally-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. For 2014, the company has gone above and beyond to make their new Empulse model lighter, faster, and even kinder to the earth. What’s more, because the bike now meets EU regulations, it will soon go on sale in the UK and across Europe.

Aesthetically, the bike is very much the same as the original model, but it weighs 10 pounds less and reaches a new top speed of 110 mph. Two Continental SportAttack tires, which keep the bike glued to the tarmac and enhances performance, while an adjust riding position provides added comfort and control.

Green Halo - 2014 High Performance Electric Motorcycle - the Tesla of Motorcycles

The Empulse has the same water-cooled engine and six speed gearbox that was in last year’s model, which ensures the same great efficiency and reduced running costs. Its battery charges from 20 to 80 percent in under two hours at a Level 2 public charging station and boasts a city range of 128 miles and 58 miles on the highway. Riders who hit both can expect an 80 mile range.

A redesigned LCD dashboard, which includes vital information such as speed, rpm, battery charge, energy usage, and estimated range, makes it easier to keep track of the bike’s performance while in use. But don’t worry: despite the enhancements, prices will stay the same. The Empulse will go for $16,995, while the Empulse R will cost $18,995. In the off-chance you’ve never heard of Brammo, it might be time to check them out, especially if you have an interest in high-performance vehicles that any adrenaline junkie would be proud to own.

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Pretty soon Autonomous vehicles will be a reality, but few automakers have demonstrated how the shift could forever change a standard car’s interior. Rinspeed is giving the world a preview of the future with its Tesla Model S-based XchangeE concept, a fancy new auto office, which will make its debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show.

Green Halo - Tesla Model S Turned into Self-Driving, Mobile Office Technology

On the outside, autonomous vehicles will look almost identical to today’s vehicles, but there is a lot of room to dramatically change the interior. Since drivers no longer need to spend all of their time paying attention to the road, Rinspeed has asked the question: how will the interior of a vehicle have to be designed to let the now largely unburdened driver make optimal use of the gain in time?

“So far hardly anyone has taken this to its logical conclusion from the perspective of the driver. After all, traveling in a driverless car will no longer require me to stare at the road, but will let me spend my time in a more meaningful way,” stated Rinspeed’s boss Frank M. Rinderknecht.

Green Halo - Tesla Model S Turned into Self-Driving, Mobile Office Technology 2

Rinspeed sought to answer this question with the XchangeE concept, which has an interior that looks more like a living room than a car. The standard seats from the Model S have been swapped out and in exchange Rinspeed has installed new seats reminiscent of the relaxing business-class seats of major airlines. The new seats can tilt and swivel with more than 20 possible seating arrangements. Also, since the steering wheel isn’t needed all the time, the futuristic TRW steering wheel can slide out of the way.

Now that you’re now riding in more comfortable seats, what would make you enjoy the ride even more? Flipping the seats around the rear allows the driver and front passenger to watch movies on a 32-inch screen, which is one of four screens in the XchangE concept. The XchangE concept is also fully connected to the outside world via Car-2-Car, Car-2-Object technology and an LTE network.the Model S have been swapped out and in exchange Rinspeed has installed new seats reminiscent of the relaxing business-class seats of major airlines. The new seats can tilt and swivel with more than 20 possible seating arrangements. Also, since the steering wheel isn’t needed all the time, the futuristic TRW steering wheel can slide out of the way.

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The Swiss power and automation technology group ABB has teamed up with Shenzhen Daimler New Technology Co to expand China’s electric vehicle charging network to be the largest in the world. Over the next six years, the company hopes to supply enough wall-mounted chargers to make the new DENZA electric car a practical, sustainable alternative to traditional vehicles in the world’s most populous country.

Green Halo - China Expanding its Electric Vehicle Charging Network to World's Largest

The chargers are expected to roll out in urban areas first, allowing for easy and rapid adoption of the new vehicles. Owners would be able to quickly charge their DENZAs at home or at readily-available public charging stations. With a lengthy battery life of about 200 miles, the network should allow consumers to travel freely within populated areas of the country. This is just the latest attempt to stir up local interest in electric vehicles since 2009, after attempts to entice buyers with government rebates failed to sell as many cars as initially planned.

The news makes sense, coming from one of the most heavily-polluted areas in the world. Air quality in parts of the country is so bad that it can be seen from outer space. The nation is doing everything it can to curb industries that release noxious chemicals into the air, from shutting down coal-fired power plants to banning outdoor barbecues and New Year’s fireworks in Beijing. Hopefully as more people transition to emission-free vehicles, the air quality will start to improve.

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When you think of a sexy eco-friendly car you probably think of Tesla. Here are 5 competitors that are stylish, eco-friendly and cost half the price of a Model S. One can only wonder if any of these cars will affect Tesla’s future sales?

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The world’s first liquid air engine will take a big step closer to reality this summer when U.K.-based Dearman Engine Company begins full-on vehicle testing of its Dearman heat engine. The nitrogen-fueled engine is designed to propel refrigerated trucks, providing an emission-free and fuel efficient ride. The engine could go into production in two years, saving U.K. heavy-duty vehicles 1.3 billion liters of diesel consumption and reducing carbon emissions by more than a million tons by 2025 while dramatically reducing air pollution.

The engine was developed by Dearman in partnership with U.K. engineering consultancy Ricardo and the universities of Leeds, Birmingham, Loughborough and Brighton. The testing program will be carried out in partnership with MIRA (Motor Industry Research Association), Air Products and Loughborough University, and it is being partially funded by the U.K. government.

Green Halo Dearman Engine Nitrogen Fuel Reduce Carbon Emissions Air Pollution

“MIRA is proud to lead a project delivering the world’s first demonstration of a liquid air engine in a commercial vehicle. Liquid air is an exciting new energy vector and has the potential to make a major contribute to the low carbon challenge facing the transport sector,” said Chris Reeves, commercial manager for future transport technologies and intelligent mobility at MIRA.

The U.K. is already is home to a network of industrial gas plants producing liquid nitrogen so the existing infrastructure will allow for fast deployment.

More on the Dearman Engine: http://www.dearmanengine.com/

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