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Diesel Electric Hybrid SUV to be Unveiled Next Week



On April 14th at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Indian automaker Mahindra will unveil a diesel electric hybrid of its popular SUV, the Scorpio. This is great news for drivers who enjoy a big vehicle, but feel like they should be driving something with reduced emissions. The new Scorpio model is a result of Mahindra joining forces with FEV, a developer of advanced vehicle technologies. Although the vehicle will be unveiled in the U.S. later next week, the first test market will be in Asia, with widespread distribution to follow shortly after.

The specifications of the new Scorpio model are as follows:

— Diesel-electric parallel hybrid vehicle with four major functions:
– Start-stop
– Electric launch
– Torque augmentation
– Regenerative braking
– Seamless but enhanced driving experience
— 2.2 Liter, I-4, second generation diesel common rail engine with 85 kW
and 270 Nm ratings
— 6-speed automatic transmission
— 30 kW (peak) motor with max torque of 270 Nm (peak) and a max speed
8500 rpm
— 288V, 8.4 Ah NiMH battery
— Quick cold start with e-motor assist

If you happen to be at the 2008 SAE World Congress in Detroit next week, definitely take a look at what the future holds in eco-friendly SUVs at the Mahindra and FEV display.


WWF Releases New Report on Environmental Transportation



This week, a new report from the World Wildlife Federation takes a closer look at the effect that fossil-fuel powered vehicles are having on the environment, and how enormous the difference will be if we all move to driving plug-in electric or hybrid vehicles. While it’s considered common knowledge that fossil fuel powered vehicles are big time polluters, this official report holds a significant amount of authority in determining policies and environmental standards to be met in the future. Although the WWF aims for more biking, walking, and use of public transportation, they offer results from studies that show the use of electric cars can be far less detrimental than current modes of transportation.

In addition to being powered by electricity, WWF Director General James Leape also says that vehicles need to become more aerodynamic, in order to reduce the amount of fuel that is used to run them. This would be a major source of focus when developing electric cars, because of the necessity to make the power last longer. Another reason why the focus should be placed on electric cars, according to WWF reps, is that it can take advantage of utilities that we already have, and will not be as cost-heavy as introducing ethanol or hydrogen based pumps to power our vehicles.

This report is meant to speed up the commercialization of electric vehicles, or at least those with higher efficiency rates than are currently being spotted on the roads. Even if it’s something that you think you’ve read before, the study now confirms the need to change our transportation system, and the first step is changing public opinion. So spread the word, or make your next car an electric one.

Photo courtesy of musiquegirl


Climate Savers Computing Initiative Targets Desktop PC Energy Consumption

desktop computer

Although we may think that one of the biggest polluters that we use is our vehicles, it might surprise you to know that your computer is not far behind.

According to Climate Savers Computing Initiative, desktop PCs waste half of the energy that is sent to it, which means the production of unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions to create the power, and higher electricity bills for something that’s not even being used! They estimate that 11 million participants can remove the equivalent of 11 million cars off the road by 2010.

The “Greenest Fleet” expands its environmental horizon


Today, Enterprise Rent-A-Car officially launched four “green branches” of their offices in Atlanta, Georgia. This is an effort to increase the number of hybrids and fuel-efficient cars that they rent out to drivers, and complements their already widely popular environmental campaign. Recently, Enterprise also announced that they want to give back to the Earth – by planting 50 million trees in 50 years (that’s 1 million per year, for those of your keeping track at home). The new “green branches” will reportedly contain a majority of hybrid and fuel efficient cars, not only because they want to help the environment, but because so many drivers now prefer to pay a premium for an eco-friendly ride.

The efforts being taken by Enterprise currently far outperform its main competitor, Hertz, and the new technologies such as FlexFuel being adopted by Enterprise, and its partners National and Alamo, the company is making a significant difference in renting a cleaner-driven car.

Enterprise has also been working in conjunction with research facilities, and donating money towards the development of biofuels and other renewable resources, while their 50 million tree pledge is already underway in National Forests in the United States, and will soon branch out to Canada and Europe as well.

Learn more about all of Enterprise’s plans to make their company even greener at Keys To Green.


The Comfort of Driving a Lexus Now Available in Hotels


As far as automakers go, Lexus has been leading the pack in developing hybrid cars for its drivers. But their most recent venture takes the idea one step further, and tries to ignite an eco-friendly spark in the rest of their drivers’ lives. Lexus’ Hybrid Living promotes minimizing our impact on the Earth, and to coincide with Earth Day 2008, Lexus is teaming up with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to open two “Lexus Hybrid Living Suites”.

The suites will be located in the Fairmont Hotels in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. and are designed to attract environmentally conscious travellers who want to “sleep, eat and drink sustainably”.

One of the biggest selling points of renting one of these suites is that it comes with the use of a brand new Lexus LS 600h L, the new low emission luxury hybrid.

Autoblog is reporting that a night’s stay in one of these suites will set you back $869, so if you are really devoted to the cause, or really want to have the most expensive test-drive of your life, reserve your spot with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts today.


ireland’s newest tidal turbine



Tidal turbines are a relatively new invention, that use a very old technology of harnessing the power of the water, and Marine Current Turbines just completed building the largest one in the world. The 1,000 tonne turbine is going to be dropped into Northern Ireland’s Strangford Lough, and will be the first commercial tidal turbine to produce energy. It is expected to generate enough energy per year to power roughly one thousand homes in the area.

MTI Microfuel Cells Announce New Methanol Fuel Cell to Recharge Cell Phones


MTI Microfuel Cells has designed a new methanol based fuel cell that will be used to charge and recharge cell phones seven times before refuelling the with Methanol.

This would drastically reduce the amount of time your phone needs to spend plugged into the wall at night, or during the day if you have a power-hungry PDA.

The system is said to be a “Universal Charger”, so expect to see a product like this to come out for any handheld device you might need on the go.

A New Way To Study In The Sun


April is always a difficult month for students – not only is studying for exams extremely stressful and frustrating, but the desire to take advantage of the gorgeous spring weather outside only makes the process even worse. But the introduction of this mobile workspace, designed by Mathias Schnyder may be the answer to that problem. This solar powered desk is perfect for backyards, patios, and just about anywhere else that the sun shines. The solar cell powers any of your favourite devices from an outlet located in the table. If you can hook up a wireless router within reach, you will barely have to enter your office again!

GRAVIA Floorlamp Awarded Named a “Greener Gadget” by Core77

Gravia - gravity powered lamp

A Virginia Tech student has just been awarded 2nd place at the Core 77 Competition in conjunction with “Greener Gadgets” with an incredibly innovative new product called the GRAVIA floorlamp.

The premise behind the lamp is that a person places a weight at the top of the lamp and, over a period of 4 hours, the weight slowly lowers to the ground, generates torque, and powers the equivalent of a 40 watt incandescent lightbulb through 10 LEDs that dissipates the light through an acrylic lens.

how a gravity lamp works

Dell HQ Now Officially 100% Green


Dell Computer’s head offices in Round Rock Texas is a 2.1 million square foot spread that, as of yesterday, became powered by 100% green energy. 60% of this is generated by wind energy, while the remaining 40% comes from a technology developed by Waste Management called gas-to-energy. This process takes gas (mostly methane) from landfill sites and channels it into engines that drive a generator that produces power for nearby buildings. Dell is one of the first companies to jump on board this disgusting new energy source, but are also taking an innovative approach to running their facilities.


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