Cleantech News Roundup: Chicago Hyperloop, Retro E-Moped, Fiat 500E, Green Crowdfunding

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We’ve got stories about Chicago-Cleveland Hyperloop,  a retro electric moped, an electric motorcycle at 24 Hours of LeMans, crowdfunded green ventures, the current state of democracy in the US, 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. And if you want even more cleantech news, join our LinkedIn group CleanTech Enthusiasts.

Clean-ish Transport

Cleveland – Chicago Sign First Hyperloop Agreement

It’s almost too exciting to really take seriously, but here we are. It looks like Ol’ Musky‘s bats*** crazy Hyperloop tax dodge rail concept is going to happen. It’s not just “going to happen”, either. It’s going happen first with a 28 minute direct route from Chicago (where I am) to Cleveland (where many of my favorite people are).

Electric Motorcycle Set to Take On 24 Hours of LeMans

The Sarolea Manx 7 electric motorcycle evolved from the company’s early Isle of Man TT Zero efforts. Efforts which eventually netted Robert Wilson an amazing 4th place finish in 2014 against other, much more well-funded racing efforts from the racing establishment. Now, Sarolea has an even bigger victory in mind: the 24 Hours of LeMans.

K-Speed Honda Super Cub is the Sikkest Moped of 2018

To celebrate the launch of the 2018 Honda Super Cub, Honda wanted to do something special. As such, they reached out to the bike-building experts K Speed Customs and asked them to produce a Super Cub that would be truly memorable. This is that thing, and it is an awesome, awesome thing.

Video: How Volvo is Working to Eliminate Turbo Lag

Despite sounding like they were dreamed up by a 10-year old kid in a schoolyard, the Volvo Drive-E family of engines are both supercharged and turbocharged. That set up allows Volvo to get maximum power and efficiency from the relatively small, 2.0 liter engines across the RPM range.

ECub 2 = Retro Classic Moped w/ an Electric Heart

Combining advanced li-ion batteries from Tesla development partner Panasonic and the best-selling and beloved Honda Cub chassis, the eCub 2 is a retro electric moped from the genius motorcycling minds at Shanghai Customs.

2018 Fiat 500e is Somehow Worse, Even 5 Years On

Fiat’s 500e electric mini-car thing first went on sale for $32,000 back in 2013. It was a lot of fun, and we’ve been super excited about it for a while. The thing is, even after 5 years, the 500e hasn’t followed in the footsteps of cars like the Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model S in improving its all-electric driving range. In fact, the Fiat 500e has actually gotten worse.

Formula 1 2018: Haas is First to Unveil New Car

Haas F1 has become the first constructor to reveal the 2018 challenger that will be piloted by Kevin Magnussen and Romain Gorsjean. It’s an event which is worth noting double, too, since the Haas VF18 is also the first Formula 1 race car to be revealed with a fully integrated version of the controversial “halo” safety system that’s been made mandatory this year.

Formula 1 2018: Williams Launch FW41 (Kinda)

Williams became the second Formula 1 team to reveal its 2018 competitor … sorta. And, I say “sorta,” because Williams didn’t actually show a car during its official reveal. Instead, it showed a rendering. Check it out for yourself.

John McGuinnes v. TT Isle of Man Video Game

Of all the thousands of riders who have come to the Isle of Man, no man alive knows it quite like John McGuinnes — a racing legend who has won the event a staggering 23 times. The guy is tough, fast, and wily enough to live through an event like the TT many, many times … and he really seems to dig this new video game.

Week in Review, February 11: Tesla’s Dreams, Progress, and Woes

Let’s take a look in this edition of the Week in Review at Tesla’s dreams, yes, and its progress, certainly, but also its woes from the perspectives of the Tesla insiders as well as how others less embedded within the Tesla culture interpreted the company’s statements.

Week in Review, February 18: The State of Electric Trucking — Tesla and Its Competitors

In this edition of the Week in Review, we look at the recent stories about electric trucking, with the goal to figure how quickly – and if – short- and long-haul transport will be moving toward an all-electric future.

Week in Review, February 25: Green Transportation Is Essential and Often Complicated

Sometimes the most important stories about green transportation and climate change aren’t as glamorous, sexy, or intriguing as those about fast cars or exclusive automotive auctions — but they may be more important than those that make the media headlines. So, for this edition, we’ll move from new data on transportation and climate change to stories about how a couple of companies are investing today in a vision of a zero-emissions future tomorrow.


While popular and well-known platforms like IndieGoGo, Kickstarter and GoFundMe have financed everything from movies by indie darlings, television reprisals of cult favorites, and dream high school proms, this avenue is not to be underestimated as a way you can invest in companies dedicated to environmentalism and social good. Here are some exciting green ventures that you can invest in through crowdfunding.

The US has never really been a real country … it’s more just a collection of much smaller countries that were temporarily wealthy enough that they could pretend to get along. At this point, it’s probably best for either: 1) a devolvement of further powers back to the state level, or 2) a genuine controlled dismantling of the whole (which will probably never occur).

Looking at the US, what percentage of Americans understand the point of balance of power or checks and balances? What percentage of Americans can name 5 members of Congress? What percentage of Americans can name their own representatives in Congress? What percentage of Americans can tell you where their representatives in Congress stand on 5 major issues, or what their voting record is? What percentage of Americans can explain why the president shouldn’t be allowed to fire the FBI director(s) investigating him? What percentage of Americans can tell you what legislation is being debated in Congress, or what legislation would actually help the issues they care about? This is the problem with our democracy.

The Republican Party is the party that supports putting more and more wealth into the hands of the rich and super rich. That also means the Republican Party is the party that favors sucking more and more wealth from the middle class and the poor and putting it into the bank accounts of the rich and super rich.

Is democracy the best societal avenue for humans to go down? That’s a question many of us in democratic countries don’t typically ask. The assumed answer is: “duh.” But democracy does indeed have its drawbacks. Tyranny of the masses is no small concern.

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Derek Markham

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.

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