Total emissions from EVs undercut ICE cars in 95% of the world


A new study claims that EVs are better for the environment than gasoline-powered vehicles in 95 percent of the world

 Comparing the eco-credentials of electric cars and their gasoline-powered counterparts isn’t as simple as counting the carbon emissions coming (or not) from the tailpipe. New research is claiming to have settled the debate once and for all by taking all factors into account, including the production of, and electricity generation for, EVs and found that they are better for the climate in 95 percent of the world.

While there is no debate that EVs pollute less once they are actually on the road, some argue that the CO2 generated during the manufacturing of EVs and in the generation of the electricity to charge them actually outweighs that produced by cars with internal combustion engines (ICEs). The thinking is that while renewables can play a part of the energy mix, EV owners still need to rely heavily on coal- and gas-fired power plants to keep their cars charged and running.

The new research was carried out by scientists at the University of Exeter, University of Cambridge and University of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, and found that while there are exceptions, electric vehicles are generally better for the climate in the vast majority of places.

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The death of the internal combustion engine


“HUMAN inventiveness…has still not found a mechanical process to replace horses as the propulsion for vehicles,” lamented Le Petit Journal , a French newspaper, in December 1893. Its answer was to organise the Paris-Rouen race for horseless carriages, held the following July. The 102 entrants included vehicles powered by steam, petrol, electricity, compressed air and hydraulics. Only 21 qualified for the 126km (78-mile) race, which attracted huge crowds. The clear winner was the internal combustion engine. Over the next century it would go on to power industry and change the world.

The big end

But its days are numbered. Rapid gains in battery technology favour electric motors instead (see Briefing ). In Paris in 1894 not a single electric car made it to the starting line, partly because they needed battery-replacement stations every 30km or so. Today’s electric cars, powered by lithium-ion batteries, can do much better. The Chevy Bolt has a range of 383km; Tesla fans recently drove a Model S more than 1,000km on a single charge. UBS, a bank, reckons the “total cost of ownership” of an electric car will reach parity with a petrol one next year—albeit at a loss to its manufacturer. It optimistically predicts electric vehicles will make up 14% of global car sales by 2025, up from 1% today. Others have more modest forecasts, but are hurriedly revising them upwards as batteries get cheaper and better—the cost per kilowatt-hour has fallen from $1,000 in 2010 to $130-200 today. Regulations are tightening, too. Last month Britain joined a lengthening list of electric-only countries, saying that all new cars must be zero-emission by 2050.

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Naval Facilities Energy Initiatives manager goes ‘net zero’ on his home in D.C.


The Knox home has geothermal loops buried under the backyard.

Andrew Know, manager of Naval Facilities Energy Initiatives, decided to go “net zero” on his home in Washington, D.C. What Knox got was a true zero-energy home, done right on a budget.



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Heat from subways to warm homes in London

London’s subway will be supplying green energy to warm up more homes around the borough.

A new project announced by the Islington council will redirect the heat from a Northern Line of London’s subway to vent to homes across the city, giving homeowners a new way to get through the cold season. The project will deliver cheap heating to 500 homes around the area. It will not only be saving consumers money, but also the environment from 500 tons of CO2 emissions.



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Top 10 stealth economic trends that are changing the world

Cheap solar is a new trend changing the world.

It’s hard to keep up with what’s going on in the world these days. Some facts are familiar to anyone who reads the news. Unemployment is high. Growth is slow. Shale gas is a big deal. But beyond the headlines, shifts are changing the U.S. economy and reshaping the global financial order. Here are ten that have surprised.



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Next ice age unlikely to begin for at least 1,500 years


Concentrations of carbon dioxide emissions, blamed for global warming, will linger in the atmosphere for decades even if the world stopped pumping out emissions today.

The atmosphere contains high levels of carbon dioxide emissions which means the next ice age is unlikely to begin for at least 1,500 years, an article in the journal Nature Geoscience said on Monday.

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5 advanced in medicine predicted for 2012


What significant advances can we expect in 2012?

In 2011 some great medical feats were accomplished. Dallas Wiens became the first recipient of a full-face transplant in the United States, Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords survived a gunshot to her brain, and HIV researchers found a way to lower an infected person’s chance of transmitting the virus to sexual partners by 96 percent.

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Toilet Bike Neo – a poop-powered motorcycle

toilet cycle

Toilet Bike Neo

Japan’s top commode manufacturer, TOTO, has just unveiled a crazy poop-powered motorcycle topped with a toilet.  The motorcycle, dubbed the Toilet Bike Neo, will travel across Japan to promote the company’s “Green Challenge” of reducing emissions 50% over the next five years.  The vehicle runs on biogas that is produced by an on-bike toilet, communicates in Japanese using LED lights, plays music, and talks.  A poop and ride motorcycle!


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Earth’s ‘missing’ heat may be hiding deep in oceans


The world temperature should have risen more than it did but where was the heat going?

The mystery of Earth’s missing heat may have been solved: it could lurk deep in oceans, temporarily masking the climate-warming effects of greenhouse gas emissions, researchers reported on Sunday.


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Growing fake meat in a lab could cut greenhouse emissions by 96% according to scientists


Researchers hope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by producing fake meat in a lab.

Scientists from Oxford University have decided to concentrate their efforts on culturing and growing artificial meat in petri dishes, Instead of focusing on ending the horrendous factory farming practices that inhumanely confine cattle to tight living spaces, and subject them to an unnatural diet of genetically-modified (GM) corn and soybeans.

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