Solar Sidewalk Can Charge E-Vehicles

Much is on the horizon for the up-and-coming solar industry. For e-vehicles in particular, perks such as recharging solar highways and free energy are on the market. But as technology continues to remodel itself, owning an electric SUV isn’t easy as pie. Hoping to relieve the hassle of scant charging ports, startup Platio is building solar-powered sidewalks.

“It is important for us to find key partners who support innovative technologies and can give us a chance to try new fields of applications,” Miklós Illyés, co-founder of Platio. “With the help of Prologis, we managed to install our first solution for EV charging stations, which is a significant milestone for us and our mission to contribute to e-mobility.”

The 50 square foot structure can generate up to a peak of 720 watts. When not in use, it conveniently powers adjacent office buildings. Despite other pressing development issues regarding mass production, passersby seem most concerned about slipping.

Aluminum oxide provides plenty of friction in both hot and cold areas. Clear hydrophobic polymer can also be used to prevent water from forming between the person’s shoe and the surface of the sidewalk.

And there you have it, folks. A simple, non-slip solution to an everyday, clean commute.

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Swedish Startup Provides Free Solar Power With Car

As electric vehicles increase in sustainability, they also decrease in parts. Built with only 580 components, the XYT eco car is tiny, but in every way efficient. Banking on the “less is more” theme of newer hybrids, Swedish group Uniti has treats in store for its buyers. Along with its “smartphone car”, the startup is throwing in five years of free electricity for eager consumers.

“Today, there are many new possibilities,” Tobias Ekman, Uniti’s innovation manager, said… “The car and the driving experience has been digitalized in order to increase safety, comfort, and driving pleasure while minimizing environmental impact.”

At $17,560, its features seem entirely worth it — and some 1,000 preordering customers can vouch for that. The car is a jack of all trades, seating up to five passengers and running 185 miles on one charge. The fun apparently doesn’t end there.

It’s optimized for urban and highway driving; and has an auxiliary battery that can be removed for indoor charging, or charged while still inside the vehicle.

Could Uniti’s brainchild be the iPhone of all vehicles? Seems likely.

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Wireless Battery Is Powered By Air

The era of Energizer batteries has climaxed. Nowadays, the electrochemical cells are powered by unusual sources, spit included. Other new devices don’t even need them. At any rate, updated technology can’t phase them out entirely — so inventor group Ossia has paved middle ground. The solution? A battery that only requires air to charge.

[Ossia’s Cota] transmitter broadcasts a directed and concentrated RF signal towards a given device in a room, which is absorbed by the gadget’s own RF antennas inside, and turned into usable power.

Alas, for gadgets such as iPhones and Fitbits, RF antennas will have to be external. But, as tech circles are, Ossia has an alternative up its sleeve: the Cota Forever Battery.

Featuring the exact same size, form factor, and power output of a traditional AA battery, it can be inserted into a battery-powered device to instantly and easily make it compatible with Cota wireless power transmitters.

Ever dream of never having to switch out obnoxious television remote batteries? It may be time to wake up — the future’s just arrived!

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China’s Solar Highway Recharges Electric Vehicles

Solar energy is taking over the power grid. It’s in building materials and even wallpaper, allowing homes to become more efficient and eco-friendly. For Chinese development group Qilu, the power of solar stretches beyond the comfort of a household. It recently tested its first solar road — and saw it through to success!

The solar road is made up of an insulating layer on the bottom, photovoltaic panels in the middle, and transparent concrete on top.

The road itself will power street lights, signs, CCTV cameras, toll gates, and even recharge e-vehicles. Extra produced energy (which it apparently is capable of generating) will go to the state grid. The project cost Qilu well over 50 million euros, but considering its expertise in solar, China will likely bounce back.

Xu did not reveal the cost of the Jinan solar road but said it was half of similar projects in other countries. “With the development of solar power in China, the cost can be further reduced,” he said.

Looks like EV enthusiasts won’t have to worry about running on empty! (Except, maybe, iPhone carriers…)

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Meet The Toilet That Charges Your iPhone

Over the years, on-the-toilet entertainment has evolved from browsing tabloid magazines to swiping right on the latest smartphone. If you haven’t felt an impending sense of doom when forgetting to charge your phone means having to finish your business without any source of amusement, you are one of very few people. The LooWatt hopes to alleviate this problem with an eco-friendly toilet that also serves as a charging port.

Technology company LooWatt has developed a brand-new kind of toilet. For one, it doesn’t use any water; instead, it traps human waste in a biodegradable film, which is then sealed and transported to a central facility.  At that facility, the excrement is turned into electricity that can charge cellphones and into fertilizer that can help grow plants.

How exactly does the LooWatt work?

Step 1. Take a number one (or a number two, whatever). Step 2. Waste is collected in biodegradable bags, and transported to a central ‘digester’. Step 3. Decomposition creates biogas, which is siphoned off and stored. Step 4. Biogas is used to power a generator, cleanly creating electricity. Step 5. The electricity charges your smartphone.

That seems like one heck of a toilet! While the LooWatt is not yet commercially available, you might stumble upon it as a port-a-potty.

Anyone for a number two?

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