Connect with us

Technology

Amazon Orders 100,000 Electric Delivery Vans From Start-Up Rivian

Published

on

Amazon Orders 100,000 Electric Delivery Vans From Start-Up Rivian
Photo Credit: Rivian

Electric Vehicle (EV) start-up Rivian has been given a further boost by internet shopping giant Amazon – who recently placed an order with the company for 100,000 electric delivery vehicles. The announcement was made when Amazon was presenting its Climate Pledge, calling on signatories to reach net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the targets set by the Paris Agreement.

In addition to working with an internet retailer, the firm is working with big car companies. It’s currently in the midst of future vehicle developments for Ford. The fledgling manufacturer is aiming to produce a range of go-anywhere 4×4 EVs built on its own bespoke platform. Two such models include the R1 SUV and R1T pick-up, both of which they showcased at last year’s Los Angeles motor show. Through that, Rivian has attracted high profile investments from firms, one of which includes Ford.

Amazon Orders 100,000 Electric Delivery Vans From Start-Up Rivian
Credit: Rivian / Amazon

As far as Amazon is concerned, it will invest $440 million (£341 million) to lead a $700 million (£543 million) investment round in Rivian. The company has now furthered those links with the massive order, which it says is the largest ever made in an electric delivery vehicle.

The first Rivan-built vans will go into service in 2021. Amazon said they plan to have 10,000 on the road by 2022 and all 100,000 in operation by 2030. It said that this investment and vehicle order would “accelerate the production of electric vehicles critical to reducing emissions from transportation.”

There have only been some preview images of the van released without details or technical specifications. However, the fact that the firm’s Prime delivery service, and ‘powered by Rivian’ is on the side sill suggests they could be made on Rivian’s bespoke EV platform to a body design specified by Amazon.

Amazon Orders 100,000 Electric Delivery Vans From Start-Up Rivian
Credit: Rivian / Amazon

These EVs will help Amazon with its long-standing goal of pinpointing ways in which it can reduce costs and improve the efficiency of its delivery operations – especially in terms of ‘last mile’ deliveries to customers in cities. The switch-over to EVs will both cut fuel costs and ensure Amazon vehicles were not affected by low emissions zones increasingly being established in cities. The first vans will likely be deployed in major cities in America.

Rivian has recently dove into the production of its EVs at a plant in Illinois – a facility previously used by Mitsubishi – and this order is a huge push to get that running smoothly. The plant is huge and has the capacity to produce 350,000 units per year! However, Rivian’s initial goal is to sell 50,000-60,000 of its premium electric off-roaders per year by

This article (Amazon Orders 100,000 Electric Delivery Vans From Start-Up Rivian) was originally created for Intelligent Living and is published here under Creative Commons.

Continue Reading

Innovation

CityTree: A Mossy Wall That Has The Same Air-Purifying Effect As 250 Trees

Published

on

CityTree: A Mossy Wall That Has The Same Air-Purifying Effect As 250 Trees
Photo Credit: CityTree

Germany is installing “mossy walls” called CityTree – the world’s first bio-tech filter to quantifiably improve air quality – around their cities, mainly Berlin. A variety of mosses are capable of binding environmental toxins such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxides while producing oxygen at the same time. These CityTree’s contain nearly 2,000 pots of moss so imagine how much environmental toxins it binds!

The organic particles polluting the air get eaten (digested) by bacteria on the moss, according to the German makers of the wall. The purifying work of the 2,000 pots of moss along with their particle eating bacteria is equal to about 250 trees! A trial wall went up off Piccadilly Circus in London and it indicated that a single CityTree could remove the particulate pollution of 42 diesel cars every month.

Integrated into a wall is:

  • Solar panels to power fans for a controllable ventilation technology that allows airflow to be intensified (meaning that the filter effect can be increased as required.)
  • A rainwater catchment system to supply a fully automated irrigation system for watering the moss.
  • IoT technology which delivers comprehensive information on performance and status as well as environmental data on the CityTree’s surroundings.
An earlier version of the CityTree installed in Oslo, Norway. Credit: Monica Thorud Olsen
An earlier version of the CityTree installed in Oslo, Norway. Credit: Monica Thorud Olsen

These 4-meter tall slabs can improve human health by consuming ultra-fine airborne particles that can travel deep into the lungs and pass into the bloodstream, posing a serious risk to health. Research suggests that particulate pollution is linked to higher death rates from respiratory illnesses and there are numerous studies that link dirty air to higher risk of mental disorders such as dementia, bipolar disorder, severe depression, and schizophrenia. One study even found that breathing polluted city air is the same as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day!

A dozen CityTrees are going up in Berlin for this reason. However, Ian Colbeck, of the University of Essex argues that “the ability of moss to collect air pollutants, especially heavy metals, had been known for some time but that given the scale of the problem it would be better not to emit pollutants.”

It’s clear that it would be better if no pollution was emitted in the first place. But because the complete elimination of everything in the world that emits pollution is not going to happen any time in the near future, it’s good to see solutions popping up that can help clean the air for people in the meantime.

An earlier version of the CityTree installed in Oslo, Norway. Credit: Monica Thorud Olsen
An earlier version of the CityTree installed in Oslo, Norway. Credit: Monica Thorud Olsen

Regardless, the mossy walls create a very pleasant ambiance and they also provide a pleasant cooling effect. Mosses store large quantities of moisture. That, combined with the considerably increased evaporation surface of the wall creates an immense cooling effect for the people around it.

The European Commission are funding Green City Solutions to install 12 CityTrees in Berlin with €1.5 million from the EU’s Horizon 2020 science fund. The initial 12 CityWalls in Berlin will serve as a pilot project to prove their effectiveness and could later be expanded throughout Germany and other EU nations.

Note: The featured image at the top is of a CityTree installed by Glasgow City Council, Scotland, mainly to help lower Nitrogen Dioxide and particulate pollution levels. It uses Siberian Stonecrop and moss.

This article (CityTree: A Mossy Wall That Has The Same Air-Purifying Effect As 250 Trees) was originally created for Intelligent Living and is published here under Creative Commons.

Continue Reading

Space

NASA Just Confirmed There Are Water Plumes Above The Surface Of Jupiter’s Moon Europa

Published

on

NASA Just Confirmed There Are Water Plumes Above The Surface of Jupiter's Moon Europa
West Wind NASA

A team led by researchers out of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, has confirmed traces of water vapour above the surface of Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.

And that’s a big deal as the tiny space rock is one of the highest priority targets in NASA’s search for extraterrestrial life, according to the agency.

While scientists have not yet detected liquid water directly, we’ve found the next best thing: water in vapour form,” lead researcher and NASA planetary scientist Lucas Paganini said in a NASA statement.

According to a paper published in the journal Nature Astronomy on Monday, the NASA team discovered enough water vapour being released from Europa to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool within minutes.

But while that sounds like a lot, it was only just enough to be detected from Earth.

Out of 17 observations by the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, which uses a spectrograph to detect the chemical compositions of other planets’ atmospheres by scanning the infrared light they release or absorb, the scientists only spotted water vapour in one.

We suggest that the outgassing of water vapour on Europa occurs at lower levels than previously estimated, with only rare localized events of stronger activity,” Paganini and his team wrote in the paper.

For many years, scientists have suspected that there’s water on Europa’s surface, and several observations appear to back up that suspicion.

More than two decades ago, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft found evidence of an electrically conductive fluid on the moon’s surface. Then, a 2018 analysis of the data found evidence of massive plumes of liquid. Data previously collected by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope supported the existence of the plumes.

We performed diligent safety checks to remove possible contaminants in ground-based observations,” Goddard planetary scientist Avi Mandell said of the water vapour discovery in the statement. “But, eventually, we’ll have to get closer to Europa to see what’s really going on.”

A mission to do just that is already lined up.

NASA’s upcoming Europa Clipper mission will get a much closer look at the icy moon’s surface as soon as 2023.

The spacecraft will feature a suite of cameras, spectrometers, and a radar to investigate the thickness of Europa’s icy shell during 45 flybys — and perhaps yield further insights into the water vapour above the moon’s surface while it’s there.

This article was originally published by Futurism. Read the original article.

Continue Reading

Innovation

Tiny ‘Artificial Sunflowers’ Bend Towards Light To Harvest Solar Energy

Published

on

Tiny ‘Artificial Sunflowers’ Bend Towards Light To Harvest Solar Energy

Depending on where you are in the world, the sun rises on one side, moves up, over your head, then sunsets down on the opposite side. Therefore, the light is always moving, and if you depend on it to generate power, then you might experience oblique-incidence energy-density loss.

To remedy this issue, researchers from the University of California Los Angeles and Arizona State University, have designed solar panels made from rows of tiny artificial sunflowers. The sunflowers automatically bend towards the light, allowing it to harvest a significant amount of solar power. This behavior is much like in nature, real sunflowers tilt their flowers to face the sun, heating their reproductive bits to attract pollinators.

This system could potentially be a solution for almost any system that experiences efficiency loss due to a moving energy source. For example, with rays from an overhead illumination source, the light coming in at an angle of around 75 degrees carries up to 75% less energy.

The researchers, Ximin He, and her colleagues say their system is a sunflower-like biomimetic omnidirectional tracker, dubbed ‘SunBOT.’ Each artificial sunflower has a stem made up of a material that reacts to light. An energy harvesting flower, made from a light-absorbing material used in solar cells, sits at the top of the stem. Each SunBOT is measured less than 1 millimetre wide.

When a part of the SunBOT’s stem gets exposed to light, it heats up and shrinks, causing it to bend and lean towards the light. Once the SunBOT is aligned with the light, the bending stops because the flower creates a shadow that gives the material time to cool down and stop shrinking.

The team tested the artificial sunflower to detect its harvesting capabilities by building a panel of SunBOTs, some of which possessed the bendy material and some that didn’t. The researchers found that the SunBOTs with the bendy-stems harvested up to 400% more solar energy than the non-bendy stemmed ones.

SunBOTs’ creators explain:

“This work may be useful for enhanced solar harvesters, adaptive signal receivers, smart windows, self-contained robotics, solar sails for spaceships, guided surgery, self-regulating optical devices, and intelligent energy generation, as well as energetic emission detection and tracking with telescopes, radars, and hydrophones.”

It seems the possibilities are endless with this new kind of technology! The researchers describe their study in Nature Nanotechnology.

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

Continue Reading

Technology

Hyundai Reveals Hydrogen-Powered Heavy-Duty Commercial Truck And Trailer

Published

on

Hyundai Reveals Hydrogen-Powered Heavy-Duty Commercial Truck And Trailer
Photo Credit: Hyundai
Heavy-Duty Hydrogen Trucks

Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) recently debuted the HDC-6 NEPTUNE Concept – a hydrogen-powered Class 8 heavy-duty truck – at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show. It’s the company’s way of launching into potential opportunities in the American commercial vehicle market, and it went well! The event fully supported Hyundai’s FCEV 2030 Vision. Furthermore, its NACV Show display reinforced its aim of expanding and accelerating the deployment of fuel cell technology.

Photo Credit: Hyundai

Edward Lee, Head of Hyundai Commercial Vehicle Business Division, said:

“Today at this show, by showing HDC-6 Neptune, the first hydrogen-only concept for Hyundai Motor Company’s commercial vehicles, we will start exploring opportunities in the United States commercial vehicle market. Furthermore, we are willing to work with other partners to pave the way to establish a hydrogen ecosystem for commercial vehicles.”

Hyundai disclosed two fresh concepts relating to its Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle 2030: the HDC-6 NEPTUNE Concept Class 8 heavy-duty truck by HMC and the HT Nitro ThermoTech – a clean energy refrigerated concept trailer by leading trailer manufacturer Hyundai Translead (HT). The tractor-trailer combination is their vision of the future of transportation in America, and worldwide.

Bongjae Lee, Chief Executive Officer of HT, said:

“This refrigerated trailer concept represents a significant advancement in our continued commitment to corporate social responsibility. By developing innovative technology, Hyundai Translead is helping address climate change. The HT Nitro ThermoTech reduces pollutants and emissions while providing reliable and effective cold chain food transportation.”

Fuel cells are ideal for commercial vehicles, especially heavy-duty trucks, because of the long driving distances, which require a high drive range. The fuel cells provide a higher payload, less refuelling, and as a result, lower costs.

Fuel Cell Leader

Hyundai has been working with fuel cell technology for a long time now. It launched the first commercially available, mass-produced fuel cell electric vehicle back in 2013. Then, it released NEXO in 2018 and invested $6.4 billion to spur the development of a hydrogen society that same year.

Even the fuel cell powertrain in the HDC-6 Neptune Concept comes from the company’s fuel cell crossovers already in use on the roads today. Hyundai fuel cell trucks are already in use in Switzerland.

Streamliner Design

Art Deco streamliner railway trains from the 1940s and 50s inspired the aesthetic of the HDC-6 Neptune truck. As far as locomotives go, the design of today’s bullet trains originated from these streamliners. Hyundai is sure that the story will be the same for the tractor-trailer trucks of tomorrow – they will originate from its Neptune trucks of today.

Photo Credit: Hyundai

Luc Donckerwolke, Chief Design Officer of HMG, said:

“The fuel cell powertrain gave us the opportunity to redefine the classical typology and architecture of the truck. The Hyundai Commercial Vehicles Design Team started with a white sheet of paper focusing on the new defined functionality resetting all standards in order to project commercial vehicles in the future.”

Not only is the body beautiful and the concept meaningful, but the form follows function as well. The shape of the round-nosed front enabled for a large grille that allows generous airflow into the fuel cell stacks and batteries. Seamlessly integrated into the grille are retractable steps for the driver to get in and out of the vehicle.

So, when will we see these trucks on the road? For now, it remains just a concept, so nobody knows.

This article (Hyundai Reveals Hydrogen-Powered Heavy-Duty Commercial Truck And Trailer) was originally created for Intelligent Living and is published here under Creative Commons.

Continue Reading

Our Facebook Page

Trending Now

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Censorship is hiding us from you.

Get breaking conscious news articles sent directly to your inbox!

You have Successfully Subscribed!