My Weekend with the new All-Electric Nissan Leaf


Me standing next to the all-electric Nissan Leaf in La Jolla, CA

Futurist Thomas Frey:  I looked over at my clock and saw that it was 3:19 am, a time when most people would normally just roll over and fall back to sleep, but I was wide awake. And from past experience, I wouldn’t get tired again for 2-3 hours, so this was one of those crazy middle-of-the-night periods of free time where I could get something done, and my body didn’t really know I was awake. (Pics)


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FlyNano Electric Microlight You Don’t Need a License to Fly

 flynano 1


A radical new single-seat aircraft dubbed the FlyNano was unveiled at the Aero Friedrichshafen, Germany (April 13-16) byaviation consultant, flight designer and enthusiastic pilot Aki Suokas. You don’t even have to have a license to fly the single-seat fun flyer. It is made entirely of carbon fiber and weighs in at a mere 70kg.  The FlyNano takes off and lands on water. The FlyNano falls under the weight of what is considered to be a plane so you don’t have to worry about applying for a flying license in most parts of the world. (Pics)



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Krestel – The First Car Built Out of Hemp



Marijuana’s fibrous cousin hemp has a long history with auto makers. in 1941 Henry Ford unveiled a car body made primarily out of organic fibers, hemp included. seventy years later, the world’s first production-ready biocomposite electric car—with hemp as the “bio”—will finally hit the streets. The Kestrel, a three-door hatchback, is made of a “hemp composite as strong as the fiberglass in boats, yet incredibly lightweight,” says Nathan Armstrong, the president of Motive industries, Kestrel’s manufacturer.


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If the Shoe Fits… Chinese Footwear Company Makes Giant Electric Shoe Car

electric shoe car

Kang Shoe Company electric shoe car.

A footwear manufacturer in China has made an electric car out of a giant shoe.   A shoe shaped electric car is the newest promotional tool of the Kang Shoe Company, headquartered in Wenzhou in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province.


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PiCycle – An Electric Bike That Streams Critical Data to Your Smartphone



The PiCycle is a clean, modern, hybrid/electric bike designed by Marcus Hays, the founder of PiMobility. It’s fast, quiet, dependable and can give you enough torque to keep up with motor vehicles in the city. It’s also equipped with PiFi, an embedded wireless technology that streams critical data to the PiCycle owner’s smart phone or iPod Touch via a native application. PiMobility can monitor battery health, battery charging frequency, battery cycle life, motor and controller experience and more. This also means that PiMobility can provide theft recovery services and more importantly, if something does go wrong with the PiCycle, take preventative measures such as shipping the replacement parts long before anyone has to trudge down to their local repair facility seeking services.


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‘Nanoscoops’ – New Nanomaterial Could Spark Next Generation of Rechargeable Batteries


The material, called a “nanoscoop” because it resembles a cone with a scoop of ice cream on top, is shown in the above scanning electron microscope image.

An entirely new type of nanomaterial developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute could enable the next generation of high-power rechargeable lithium (Li)-ion batteries for electric automobiles, as well as batteries for laptop computers, mobile phones, and other portable devices.


America’s Largest Solar Plant Opens in Nevada


Copper Mountain Solar Facility

While it is nowhere as large as Canada’s 80MW Sarnia Solar Project (which is the world’s largest PV plant), the US has just opened the country’s largest PV plant in Nevada. The 48MW Copper Mountain Solar Facility, initiated by Sempra Generation, began construction January this year and the facility was finished just a few weeks ago.


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Study Reveals U.S. Power Grid Too Unreliable to be Brought Down by a Terrorist Attack

usa power grid

U.S. electric grid

A new study shows why it would be hard for terrorists to bring down the US electric grid.  

Last March, the U.S. Congress heard testimony about a scientific study in the journal Safety Science. A military analyst worried that the paper presented a model of how an attack on a small, unimportant part of the U.S. power grid might, like dominoes, bring the whole grid down. Members of Congress were, of course, concerned. Then, a similar paper came out in the journal Nature the next month that presented a model of how a cascade of failing interconnected networks led to a blackout that covered Italy in 2003.


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Cannabis Electric Car

The Kestrel electric car will have room for a driver and three passengers
and have a top speed of 90 kilometres an hour.
Half a century ago Henry Ford built a car out of hemp and resin but the idea didn’t catch on. Now Canadian company, Motive Industries, is building the Kestrel, a prototype electric car made from cannabis fiber.

The compact car, which will hold a driver and up to three passengers, will have a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour and a range of 40 to 160 kilometres before needing to be recharged, depending on the type of battery.It will be powered by a motor made by Boucherville, Que.-based TM4 Electrodynamic Systems. The car’s body will be made of an impact-resistant composite material produced from mats of hemp, a plant from the cannabis family…

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