Oxford To Ban Non-Electric Vehicles To Cut Emissions

The steady rise of electric vehicles will soon leave petrol and diesel cars in the dust. BMW is launching electric buses all over Europe, while the London Taxi Company is replacing old cabs. A few months later, the U.K. remains on top of the eco-ladder, with Oxford planning to eliminate non-electric vehicles.

The scheme aims to cut levels of nitrogen dioxide, the majority of which comes from traffic fumes, by three-quarters.

To give distributors leeway, Oxford will be imposing the ban in 2020, increasing the affected zone by 2035. We all know electric vehicles aren’t the most affordable, so locals may have to do some walking. The plan is projected to cost £7 million, but the city council deems the shift will be well worth it.

Oxford city councillor John Tanner said a “step change” is urgently needed as toxic air pollution is “damaging the health” of residents.

It’s a bold move, Oxford, but hopefully a successful one.

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Dubai Is Test-Flying A Two-Seater Taxi Drone

Since Margot Krasojevic’s conceptualization of the dragonfly bridge, it was only about time that flying vehicles came to light. Dubai is fast-tracking this reality, test-flying a two-seater taxi drone that transports passengers autonomously.

The [Autonomous Air Taxi] is environmentally friendly, powered by electricity, and the prototype version has a maximum flight time of 30 minutes, at a cruising speed of 50 km/h (31 mph), and a maximum airspeed of 100 km/h (62 mph).

As it would, the notion of a crew-less flying taxi may be somewhat petrifying. However, the AAT comes with emergency parachutes and batteries, so you can rest — or fly — easy. Developers also plan to create an accompanying booking app, much like Uber, but for the skies.

“Encouraging innovation and adopting the latest technologies contribute not only to the country’s development but also build bridges into the future,” Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said in a statement.

Dubai hopes that by 2030, 25% of transportation methods will be autonomous. With many organizations working towards a more efficient traveling system, there is much to look forward to in the future.

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Zero-Emissions Train Is First Of Its Kind

As a solar-powered train, it may not be the first, but Byron Bay’s eco-railway is completely emissions-free. Carrying up to 100 passengers, the refurbished antique-on-wheels is a breakthrough in clean commuting.

“Of course the major difference is it’s got solar panels on the roof so it can recharge itself. For those cloudy days we’ve also got 30 kilowatts of solar panels in this [station’s] roof here so we can also plug it in.” [says mastermind and businessman Brian Flannery.]

The resort-owner-slash-techie hopes the train will also draw in tourists. Still, the project itself is a giant leap towards greener transport systems. The “red rattler” is also bringing disused tracks back into business, drawing old and new together.

“I think everyone knows that Byron’s very conscious about anything to do with the environment,” [Byron Bay Railroad Company’s Jeremy Holmes] said. It’s really nice to be able to run a train that’s zero emissions and powered by the sun.”

Running on a three-kilometer track, the solar train has (literally) a long way to go. But I can’t say I’m not impressed with where it stands.

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Electric Biodegradable Car Is Made From Resin

We are entering an era of electric automobiles. From buses to taxis, morning commutes are now all about saving energy. However, these Dutch students are taking the next step in environmentally-friendly technology. They have grown an electric biodegradable car made of sugar beets and flax.

The car is covered with sheets of Dutch-grown flax, has a similar strength-to-weight ratio to fiberglass and weighs only 310kg.

“Only the wheels and suspension systems are not yet of bio-based materials,”

Unfortunately, there is no word on the sweet ride’s commercial development, as it wouldn’t sustain a crash. Still, the team at the Eindhoven University of Technology hopes to at least give it a run. After all, the car (named Lina), proves a vital point.

“Energy that is saved while driving the car is now spent during the production phase,”

Lina, which uses minimal energy in-drive, also uses minimal energy to produce. Hopefully, if not Lina, a car equally as efficient hits the road in the near future.

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First Solar-Powered Train Launched In India

After its record-breaking tree-planting stint, it seems India is going full-steam ahead on the sustainability train. And I mean literally. India just launched a 12.5-mile routed solar-powered train that runs for up to 72 hours on a single charge.

The diesel-electric hybrid train has six coach cars with solar panels embedded in their roofs. Roughly 50 solar-harvesting coaches are set to be launched in the next several days, running primarily along commuter routes.

The new design is not only an attempt at convenience for commuters, it’s also aiming towards producing renewable energy.

The new trains are a part of Indian Railways’s plan to establish an energy-generation capacity of 1 gigawatt of solar and 130 megawatts of wind power in the next five years. The state-owned company has been using train-mounted solar panels since 2015 to power interior lights and air conditioning, but their newest train is the first in the world to use solar power.

India’s efforts towards becoming a more energy-conscious country are not going unnoticed. The U.K. also plans to start manufacturing solar-powered trains in the near future. Congratulations, India!

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