When improper waste disposal procedures are producing islands of trash, it may be time to consider the weight of environmental issues. One by one, communities are diverting themselves from fossil fuels to pursue more environmentally friendly energy options. For state-owned vehicles in Sri Lanka, electric and hybrid cars will be stepping in as replacements as early as 2025.
Private owners have until 2040 to replace their cars, tuk-tuks and motorcycles, when the country plans to no longer allow any fossil fuel-burning vehicles on its roads… said [Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera].
Home to roughly 6.8 million vehicles, Sri Lanka’s transition into electric will benefit the country immensely. To encourage a hassle-free switch, the government is encouraging consumers by cutting taxes on electric cars.
“The tax on electric cars will be reduced by over a million rupees (S$8,851) to encourage motorists to switch to clean energy,” Mr. Samaraweera told parliament.
On the other hand, Samaraweera is also hiking carbon and import taxes to discourage keeping gas vehicles. With inflation on the rise, Sri Lanka’s bumpy ride will hopefully segue into smoother (and sustainable) sailing.
With a slew of electric vehicles hitting the market, manufacturers are scrambling to follow up with high-tech tires. So far, the likes of Harvard and Michelin have come up with airless and self-healing wheels. While both aren’t yet commercially available, NASA is already lifting the bar with its titanium tire.
Instead of atoms deforming as the spring is moved, they instead re-arrange themselves as the tire is stressed. It’s known as a “shape memory alloy,” and means that the tire can be deformed virtually limitlessly, and still snap back to its original shape.
In short, the tire can never get a flat. As NASA’s brainchild, the tire mainly adheres to space explorations. Still, it could hypothetically exist on regular vehicles with some tweaks.
You can’t exactly use a metal wheel on the highway and expect much grip, but a metal frame could… be coated with a higher-friction material to give a tire that’s grippy and deformable for off-roading.
With NASA, I don’t imagine anything comes as a steal — but if it saves me a tire change, I’ll take it.
In view of the escalating rate of vehicular accidents, tech societies are turning to wearable devices for sleepy drivers. Despite the success of products such as Steer, drunk driving remains to be a pressing predicament. Keeping reckless drivers off the road may be difficult, but not if General Motors has its foot in the door. The automobile manufacturer is mass producing a self-driving car without manual controls.
It’ll be possible for humans to stop the car – GM says customers having an emergency “may end the ride by making a stop request, and the vehicle will pull to the side of the road at the next available safe place.”
As with any drastic change, motor aficionados are voicing concerns regarding safety laws. Testing prototypes in San Francisco, GM is confident in its sleek, new model. The Cruise AV may be unique, but it isn’t the first of its kind.
“Mercedes-Benz will make an electric or hybrid version of all its cars by 2022, and they’re not alone. Volvo will go all electric by next year. Ford has plans for an electric F-150 truck and an electric Mustang.”
It’s a lot of competition to face, but hopefully safety remains a priority.
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…)