Formula E founder develops world’s first electric powerboat championship

 

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Image: E1 World Electric Powerboat Series

Alejandro Agag, founder of both the Formula E and Extreme E championships, has just announced the formation of an all-electric powerboat league called the E1 World Electric Powerboat Series. Once again, the whole goal of the series is to draw attention to the environmental concerns that impact marine life.

It’s a similar mission statement to that of both FE and Extreme E. Open-wheel FE races on the streets of large metropolitan cities like Paris and Berlin in order to draw attention to electric technology. Extreme E, by contrast, takes place in remote locations for the same purpose.

The powerboat series seems to have more in common with Extreme E in its mission. From Agag:

The earth’s oceans, lakes and rivers are under huge environmental pressure and the E1 World Electric Powerboat Series will lead the way in electrifying water mobility for future generations.

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Physicists build circuit that generates clean, limitless power from graphene

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A team of University of Arkansas physicists has successfully developed a circuit capable of capturing graphene’s thermal motion and converting it into an electrical current.

“An energy-harvesting circuit based on graphene could be incorporated into a chip to provide clean, limitless, low-voltage power for small devices or sensors,” said Paul Thibado, professor of physics and lead researcher in the discovery.

The findings, published in the journal Physical Review E, are proof of a theory the physicists developed at the U of A three years ago that freestanding graphene—a single layer of carbon atoms—ripples and buckles in a way that holds promise for energy harvesting.

The idea of harvesting energy from graphene is controversial because it refutes physicist Richard Feynman’s well-known assertion that the thermal motion of atoms, known as Brownian motion, cannot do work. Thibado’s team found that at room temperature the thermal motion of graphene does in fact induce an alternating current (AC) in a circuit, an achievement thought to be impossible.

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New super-enzyme eats plastic bottles six times faster

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Breakthrough that builds on plastic-eating bugs first discovered by Japan in 2016 promises to enable full recycling

A super-enzyme that degrades plastic bottles six times faster than before has been created by scientists and could be used for recycling within a year or two.

The super-enzyme, derived from bacteria that naturally evolved the ability to eat plastic, enables the full recycling of the bottles. Scientists believe combining it with enzymes that break down cotton could also allow mixed-fabric clothing to be recycled. Today, millions of tonnes of such clothing is either dumped in landfill or incinerated.

Plastic pollution has contaminated the whole planet, from the Arctic to the deepest oceans, and people are now known to consume and breathe microplastic particles. It is currently very difficult to break down plastic bottles into their chemical constituents in order to make new ones from old, meaning more new plastic is being created from oil each year.

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IRJ 2020 Innovations Showcase: Siemens and Ballard develop hydrogen trains

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SIEMENS Mobility is currently developing a modular hydrogen fuel cell drive for its Mireo Plus H regional train platform, which will subsequently be integrated into other platforms.

The hydrogen-powered Mireo Plus H trains will be used on existing diesel routes and in regions where hydrogen is cheaply available.

The €12m project, in partnership with Canadian fuel cell producer Ballard Power Systems and the Rhine-Westphalian Technical University in Aachen (RWTH), plans to produce a usable fuel cell drive by 2021, with a planned range of 600km-900km in two or three-car trains.

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LA and the World Economic Forum present blueprint for global UAM adoption

Drone view of downtown Los Angeles or LA skyline with skyscrapers and freeway traffic below.

Clean, safe and inclusive urban air mobility closer to becoming a reality with new partnership

The City of Los Angeles and the World Economic Forum have released a pioneering report that presents a roadmap for Urban Air Mobility (UAM). Principles of the Urban Sky advocates a principles-based policy-making framework for the rollout of UAM that protects the public interest to benefit the many rather than just the few.

UAM is an emerging mode of next generation aviation technology that is better suited for urban transport. With vertical takeoff and landing configurations, improvements in energy sources, and improved connectivity, it looks towards piloted or autonomous flights of people and the movement of goods in city centres, suburban and edge of town conurbations.

The report identifies seven principles critical for a scalable UAM policy framework. These include safety, sustainability, equity of access for disadvantaged communities, low-noise, multi-modal connectivity for seamless travel, local workforce development for new air and ground level jobs, and purpose-driven data sharing to respond to the needs of the market.

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World’s first hydrogen-electric passenger flight brings us ‘one step closer’ to zero -emissions air travel

‘The size of this commercially available aircraft shows that paying passengers could be boarding a truly zero-emission flight very soon,’ says ZeroAvia CEO

The world’s first hydrogen-electric passenger flight was successfully completed on 24 September, potentially bringing the aviation industry a step closer to zero-emissions air travel.

The six-seater aircraft did a taxi, takeoff, full pattern circuit and landing at an airfield in Cranfield, England.

ZeroAvia, the company behind the plane, said it was the first ever hydrogen fuel cell-powered flight using a commercial-grade aircraft.

The brand’s retrofitted Piper M-class is now the largest hydrogen-powered aircraft in the world.

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Transforming homes into power stations – how Sweden is disrupting energy production

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  • 54% of Sweden’s power comes from renewables and this energy is increasingly local.
  • Smart grids are switching Swedish homes from energy consumers to power-making ‘prosumers.’
  • Local ‘district heating’ plants use excess heat to warm the majority of Swedish homes.
  • Sweden tops the World Economic Forum’s Energy Transitions Index

By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.

As well as targeting 100% renewable electricity production by 2040, the country is transforming homes into highly efficient ‘prosumers’ – buildings which both produce and consume the vast majority of their own energy.

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NYC’s newest proposed building would be the city’s tallest – and will act as a carbon emissions filter

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The 2,400-foot-tall building would change New York’s skyline forever.

Paris-based studio Rescubika just released a proposal for a new building in New York City that would both make a mark architecturally and environmentally. The 2,400-foot-tall tower would actually trap carbon emissions, reducing the carbon in the atmosphere.

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California approves largest ever utility program to expand EV charging

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 A charging station for electric vehicles is pictured in Pasadena, California

California on Thursday approved a $437 million effort to build thousands of electric vehicle chargers, its utility regulator said, calling it the nation’s largest ever utility program to expand charging infrastructure.

The money will go to utility Southern California Edison SCE_pe.A to fund the installation of nearly 40,000 chargers, the California Public Utilities Commission said in a statement.

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EV startup Bollinger unveils electric delivery van

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The Deliver-E van will come in a variety of sizes with a range of battery packs for multiple cargo configuration.

 Michigan-based electric truck startup Bollinger Motors hasn’t started production on its rugged electric trucks, the Jeep-like B1 and the B2 pickup, but it’s already rolling out a new vehicle type. This week, the company unveiled the Deliver-E, its all-electric delivery van concept that is slated for production in 2022.

A lot of companies, from legacy automakers to tech startups, are developing their own electric delivery vans right now. But what sets Bollinger apart is the variability of its platform. The EV startup is promising a variety of battery pack sizes, including 70 kWh, 105 kWH, 140 kWh, 175 kWh, and 210 kWh. This will mean customers will have a variety of range-options, prices, and wheelbase sizes to chose from. The front-wheel-drive platform will be engineered to fit Classes 2B, 3, 4, and 5, Bollinger said.

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Volta Zero is an electric delivery truck built just for cities

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DPD will start using the EV to deliver parcels in London next year.

 Volta Trucks

A Swedish startup named Volta Trucks has unveiled its first vehicle: an electric truck designed specifically for city parcel and freight deliveries. The Volta Zero is scheduled to start production in the UK in 2022, and the company is aiming to have as many as 500 vehicles on the road by the end of that year. While it’s far from the first EV designed with parcel delivery in mind — Amazon plans to use electric vans from Rivian and Mercedes—Benz to deliver customers’ orders — Volta Trucks has forged significant partnerships that could give it a role in shaping the future of deliveries.

European delivery service DPD will launch a pilot test using the Volta Zero to service customers within London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone in the first quarter of 2021. The company also told Reuters that it has “well progressed with another seven or eight customers.”

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EGEB: Germany builds the world’s first hydrogen train filling station

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 Hydrogen trains in Germany

Germany breaks ground on the world’s first hydrogen filling station for passenger trains.

The town of Bremervörde in Lower Saxony, Germany, has broken ground on the world’s first hydrogen filling station for passenger trains. Chemical company Linde will construct and operate the hydrogen filling station for the Lower Saxony Regional Transport Company.

The station has a daily capacity of approximately 1,600kg of hydrogen, and it will replace the current mobile filling station, according to Railway Technology.

Construction is expected to start in September, and the station’s completion is planned for mid-2021.

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