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Published on January 10th, 2018 | by Derek Markham

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Cleantech News Roundup: Audi Truck, Tesla Autopilot 2, Bioplastics, Volvo Sustainability, & Hippie Pants

January 10th, 2018 by  


We’ve got stories about Tesla Autopilot 2, Audi electric truck concept art, a proposal for how EVs should sound, bioplastics, a weird front-wheel drive bike, a whole heckuva lot of pollution and litigation news, a green Christmas in Denmark, the myth of “the” blockchain, homemade natural deodorant that actually works, hippie pants, and more in today’s cleantech news roundup.

In today’s fast-paced internet media environment, you’re bound to miss a lot of news if you aren’t obsessively following cleantech and clean transport topics across a great many sites. The good news is that in addition to the obsessive coverage we maintain here on CleanTechnica, the team at Important Media also publishes their work on a handful of our other sites as well, which is where you’ll find stories that don’t necessarily fit perfectly on CleanTechnica, but which are still relevant to the bigger picture of building a cleaner and healthier future for us all.

Clean Transport

Incredible Electric Truck Concept Art for Audi (Part 1 of 2)
Incredible Electric Truck Concept Art for Audi (Part 2 of 2)

Artem Smirnov and Vladimir Panchenko are young industrial designers. More importantly, for our purposes, they are car enthusiasts of the first order. As such, they fully understand that the future of the automobile is especially bright right now- and they’re using their talent and optimism to show just how bright it is.

Sustainable and Profitable – the Golden Combination for Volvo

Volvo Cars’ focus on sustainability is not just beneficial for people and the planet. It is also good for the company’s balance sheet. Here are some of the reasons why.

Lynk & Co. May Build Cars in South Carolina

Volvo and its parent company, Geely, are considering building the millennial-friendly Lynk & Co. branded cars in the US. If that happens, the cars could start being built on Volvo’s South Carolina assembly line by as early as 2019.

Electric Cars Should Sound Like KITT from Knight Rider

All this nonsense talk about Linkin Park being tapped to develop electric car sounds for Mercedes got me thinking about what electric cars should, you know, sound like. Should they make mechanical engine sounds? Should they make ridiculous Star Trek sounds, like that Brabus-tuned Tesla Roadster? I know what I think they should sound like: KITT.

Elon Musk Hints Autopilot 2 Will Be Awesome

This is of special interest to many Model 3 reservation holders, because we wonder if it will be worth it opting for the full self-driving feature right away.

Bellcycle is a weird front-wheel drive bike that you assemble yourself

With a totally unique upright riding position, front wheel drive, and the ability to assemble it in different configurations, the Bellcycle might just be weird enough to catch on.

Study: Cyclists Don’t Break Traffic Laws Any More Than Drivers Do

A study commissioned by the Florida Department of Transportation provides new insight into how cyclists and drivers interact, and found that motorists and dangerous street design — not cyclist behavior — are the primary factors that put cyclists at risk.

(Un) Clean Tech

Pennsylvania Orders Halt To Pipeline Based On “Egregious” Violations Of Safety & Environmental Laws

On January 3, Pennsylvania officials finally had enough of Sunoco Pipeline LP, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners. On that date, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered Sunoco to stop work immediately on the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Its order was based on what officials called “egregious and willful violations” of safety and environmental laws.

India Has Spent Under A Quarter Of Funds Available For Ganges River Cleanup Over Last 2 Years, Auditor Finds

A federal audit has found that India’s government has only spent well under a quarter of the funds available to it for cleaning up the Ganges River over the last 2 years – with the audit determining that poor financial management and planning were the primary causes.

Swiss Consumer Protection Group Representing 6,000 VW Diesel Car Owners Seeking Damages For Excess Emissions

A Switzerland-based consumer protection group has filed a new lawsuit against Volkswagen on behalf of 6,000 owners of diesel cars manufactured by the company in relation to the “Dieselgate” emissions scandal.

Particulate Pollution Is Killing Off Thousands In Denmark Each Year — New Report From University Of Copenhagen

A new report from the University of Copenhagen states that particulate matter from burning wood and traffic causes at least 2000 heart disease related deaths every year in Denmark (population 5.7 million with a total 60,000 deaths per year).

Fiat Chrysler Holding Settlement Talks With Diesel Vehicle Owners In US In Relation To Allegations Of Excessive Emissions

Fiat Chrysler lawyers are now holding discussions with lawyers representing various owners and owners groups of diesel vehicles in the US that are in the process of suing the prominent auto manufacturer, in relation to allegations of excess emissions in old diesel models.

Study: Micro Plastics Found In Mussels In “Pristine” Arctic Waters (As Well As In UK, China, Canada, Chile, Belgium…)

A new study from the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) has now found tiny bits of plastic in the insides of mussels living in “apparently pristine” waters in Norway’s Arctic region.

Bioplastics — The Real Deal Or a Scam? It Depends On Priorities

The Danish startup POND has found a way to replace traditional resin in different materials with biodegradable resin. They are at least 95% biobased and fully degradable in nature. They are suitable to bind all natural fibers such as flax, hemp, pineapple, palm leaves, and cotton, resulting in fully biodegradable products.

Iran’s Air Pollution Problems Are Growing Fast, As Evidenced By Recent Events

The air pollution problems facing Iran, in particular those facing the country’s populous capital Tehran, seem to be growing rapidly based on recent events. As a result of dangerous levels of air pollution, schools in Tehran and in many other large cities throughout the country as well, were closed last week.

Vanadium Emissions Surged Last 2 Decades — Increasing Use Of Heavy Oils, Tar Sands, Bitumen, Etc.

The growing use of heavy oils, tar sands, bitumen, petroleum coke, etc., by industry since 2000 or so has resulted in rapidly surging levels of vanadium emissions, according to a new study from Duke University.

The Private Company Selling Off America’s Public Lands

EnergyNet, an online auction company from Amarillo, Texas, is set to make a fortune from oil and gas leases under the Trump administration. And good luck finding a way to protest.

Cleantech

Dreaming Of A Green Christmas — 100% Clean Power In Denmark

Thanks to the decades of experience with wind power in the country, the management of energy has become very efficient. Denmark has one of the worlds most resilient power grids, despite depending so much on renewables. Solar and wind is winning, while oil and coal is losing. Fast. That’s the new reality.

California Will Spend $1 Billion on Low-income, Multifamily Solar

California is ready to spend $1 billion over the next decade on rooftop solar installation for low-income residents. In December, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved the creation of the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program. Funded by the statewide greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, it will provide $100 million in annual solar installation incentives for the owners of affordable multifamily buildings.

There Is No Such Thing as “the” Blockchain

Blockchain, a piece of bitcoin’s technological plumbing, has recently become the buzzword of all buzzwords in the business world. If you don’t quite know what blockchain is, it’s easier to imagine that it is whatever you want it to be. But before we can begin to search for the real potential amid the mass of blockchain conjecture and hype, we need to clear up what exactly we mean when we say blockchain.

Clean Living

Green, Clean DIY Laundry Soap

You don’t have to break the bank buying expensive organic detergents. Instead, you can make your own laundry soap with surprisingly little money and effort.

Product Review: Green Guru Travel Kit

Ever wonder what happens to tents, banners, bike tubes, wetsuits, yoga mats, and other products after their useful life is done? The Green Guru Travel Kit is made from upcycled fabrics from other products that have already had a life of their own.

Homemade natural deodorant that actually works for men

Got stinky pits? Of course you do, like me, you’re a sweaty, gross dude (or the partner of such a dude that was desperate enough to google how to get his pits to stop stinking so bad). Many men are becoming chemically sensitive to the nasty chemical deodorants on the market, and have started to opt for a natural brand, like Tom’s of Maine or Jason. Both are good, but neither worked for me very well, and I’ve had a lot of my dude friends confide that they only last a few hours before the stank returns.

Choose #GreenEverywhere in your Life with prAna Clothing

I’m a serious minimalist when it comes to clothes. I have only a handful of items that I wear in pretty regular rotation, and most of my stuff is from the thrift store. But when I do buy new, I prefer to choose really sustainable brands that are doing good for people and planet (and making adorable things to wear).

Gorgeous Cotton Hippie Pants for the Hippie in All of Us

These pants are my new favorite everyday pants. They are cozy enough to lounge about the house and even to sleep in, yet cute enough to wear out to the farmer’s market or to lunch with a simple black tee or tank. They are really lightweight too, so if I take them to the beach and get caught in the waves, they dry quickly and easily, and don’t act like sand magnets like jeans do.

Beautiful gold jewelry comes from recycled computer motherboards

Dell has partnered with designer Nikki Reid to create a jewelry line that has 99% less impact on the planet than if it were traditionally mined.

How to Boost Your Immune System after the Holiday Binge

If you claim you haven’t had a holiday binge, you’re not lying to me, you’re lying to yourself. No mortal is impervious to the alluring aromas of the Thanksgiving turkey and the Christmas chocolate pudding frenzy, and as a result of that comfort food fiesta, our bodies need time and help to recover.

New Year’s Resolution: Sleep longer, sleep deeper, and sleep smarter:


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About the Author

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!



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