Editor Blogs

November 2018
Chevy Kills the Volt to Focus on Zero-Emission Vehicles

The 2018 Chevy Volt

The Volt no longer fits into Chevy’s all-electric future. GM plans to retire the venerable plug-in hybrid in March 2019. On the face of it, this isn’t hugely surprising – iconic brands like Lamborghini, Porsche, Aston Martin, and even the Volkswagen hippie bus are flaunting battery-electric models. Ube
Electric Pickup Boasts Some Serious Muscle
The last thing most people associate with pickups is efficiency, but that could soon change. We’re about to see a horde of electric pickup trucks, including Rivian’s beefy R1T. Rivian is relying on standard cylindrical cells, with two layers sandwiched together and liquid cooling in the middle, and four
Solar-Powered UAV Can Remain on Station Indefinitely
Aurora Flight Sciences
The legendary Greek king Odysseus went on a 10-year Odyssey to return to Ithaca after the Trojan War. Aurora Flight Sciences evokes this preeminent figure in Western literature with a solar-powered UAV that can effectively fly indefinitely. The modern Odysseusis an ultra-long endurance, high-altitude platform with a pa
FedEx Invests in 1,000 Electric Delivery Trucks

A Chanje electric van

FedEx plans to add 1,000 electric delivery trucks to its fleet, saving 2,000 gallons of fuel annually. And just in time. The international parcel service handles an average of 14 million parcels daily, and all that activity burns a ton of energy. 1,000 trucks is a drop in the bucket – and the company’s acquisition of 20 Tesla Semi trucks is a mere goodwill gesture –
Diamonds Could Help Lasers Recharge Drones
The same rare gemstones that facilitate nuptials worldwide could one day help recharge drones in midflight. The military has long experimented with directed-energy weapons, and the same lasers that scorch enemy drones could recharge the solar panels on friendly UAVs. École polytechnique fédérale de Lausan
Facebook to use 100% Renewable Energy by 2020
You don’t have to feel quite so bad about wasting the day on Facebook – the social media behemoth has committed to powering all its offices with 100% renewable energy by 2020, starting with a solar-powered data center in Huntsville, Ala. The data center will draw its power from two separate locations. First S
Judge Halts Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline
The Keystone pipeline is back in the ‘no’ column after a federal judge blocked its construction. The injunction stands until the government fixes the 2014 supplemental environmental statement (SEIS) to make it compliant with the requirements of NEPA and the APA. The $8 billion 1,180 mile (1,900 km) pipeli
Dubai Police Hoverbikes Are Impractical at Best
And you thought cops riding segways was demeaning. The S3 2019 Hoverbike, slated for Dubai’s police force, isn’t the most practical crime-fighting technology. Don’t get me wrong – the demo looks badass, but my grandma with two arthritic knees could outrun the thing. Khalid Alrazooqi, general director
The IoT Helps Improve Food Production in the 3rd World
Sanku (Project Healthy Children)
Now here’s an IoT initiative we can all get behind -- Sanku (Project Healthy Children) is using Vodafone's IoT SIM and USB Connect technology to improve the efficiency of small flour mills across Africa. As Sanku points out, over 2.3 billion people worldwide lack the proper vitamins and minerals, leading to physical and intellectual deficiencies. An
A Hydrogen Truck for the European Market
Lost in the parade of hybrid and electric vehicles hitting the market is hydrogen – as an alternative to petrol or the main ingredient in fuel cells. Nikola’s Tre, “three” in Norwegian, takes the latter approach, and uses it to fuel 800-volt batteries. Startup Nikola recently unveiled the Tre, which the company claims will be “the first European zero-emission commercial truck to be de