Sci/tech

BMW Mini Electric Cars Coming to U.S. in Summer 2009
July 28, 2008 08:52 AM - , Low Impact Living

BMW has announced plans to sell all-electric versions of its popular Mini car in the U.S., starting from summer 2009. Speaking on Tuesday, Mini USA Vice President, Jim McDowell, said that the company is still deciding whether to sell or lease the vehicles. He remained tight-lipped over exactly where in the country the cars will be available, and declined to comment on other aspects, such as range, power, charging time and price. He also said that speculation that Mini will sell 500 EVs in California next year was premature, since no exact plans have yet been finalised. Mini will apparently make a further announcement later this year, possibly to coincide with the Los Angeles Auto Show.

New material could help stretch a gallon of gas
July 26, 2008 08:58 AM - Reuters

A new, highly efficient material that converts heat into electricity may one day help cars get the most out of a gallon of gas, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. Only about 25 percent of the energy produced by a typical gasoline engine is used to move the vehicle or run accessories like the radio or windshield wipers, they said. Much of the rest escapes through the exhaust pipe.

Commercially Engineered Bees Spread Disease to Wild Bees
July 25, 2008 11:22 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

WASHINGTON - Disease spread to wild bees from commercially bred bees used for pollination in agriculture greenhouses may be playing a role in the mysterious decline in North American bee populations, researchers said on Tuesday. Bees pollinate numerous crops, and scientists have been expressing alarm over their falling numbers in recent years in North America. Experts warn the bee disappearance eventually could harm agriculture and the food supply.

UK Government Officially Okays Wave Power Technology
July 25, 2008 11:01 AM - , Triple Pundit

Wave power generation is relatively new in the world. In Europe, a Scottish company operates a few large scale projects off the Portuguese coast since 2007 and the UK government has just okayed a different type of wave power project to be moored on its coastal waters. There's little activity in the US as yet on the wave power scene. So what are the advantages and what are considered challenges?

Clean Tech Intro: The Solar Family
July 24, 2008 09:02 AM -

Solar power means more than solar panels. These days it can also mean collectors, towers, dyes, oh my! Here’s a guide to (most of) the different kinds of solar technologies that are out there today. First, the basics: Anything that uses solar energy as a source of power is solar-powered. Simple, right? Well let’s not forget that the sun gives us more than a whole spectrum of light, it also gives us heat. Both are used for a wide variety of applications, not just electricity.

Nanotech risk concerns 'must be addressed'
July 23, 2008 10:41 AM - , SciDevNet

More risk assessment studies are needed to understand what exactly defines toxicity due to nanoparticles, and what kind of regulations the sector needs, said Hermann Stamm, head of nanotechnology and molecular imaging at the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection in the European Commission's Joint Research Council.

Nissan to test electric cars in Tennessee
July 23, 2008 08:00 AM - Reuters

Nissan Motor Co has formed a partnership with Tennessee to study the infrastructure needed to support the roll-out of electric cars starting in 2011, Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn said on Tuesday. "We are forming a partnership with the state of Tennessee to promote zero-emission mobility," Ghosn said at the opening of the Japanese automaker's new headquarters in Nashville.

New solar thermal plant buoys Spanish investors
July 22, 2008 12:31 PM - Reuters

Spain's Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian buoyed hopes in the country's solar power industry on Monday just days after announcing a dramatic cut in subsidies.

Soil database to help map CO2 storage, food output
July 22, 2008 12:11 PM - Reuters

New database of the world's soils will help better map agricultural output and storage and sequestration of heat trapping carbon dioxide (CO2), one of its creators, the United Nations' food agency FAO, said on Monday.

Brazil harnesses space tech to monitor deforestation
July 22, 2008 11:40 AM - , SciDevNet

Brazil will launch a satellite in 2011 to monitor deforestation and urban expansion around the world, it has been announced. Amazônia-1 will carry a UK-made high resolution camera. The United Kingdom–Brazil collaboration was announced last week (14 July) at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Society for Progress in Science.

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