Sustainability Science
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Sustainability Science
How might we keep the lights on, water flowing, and natural world vaguely intact? It starts with grabbing innovative ideas/examples to help kick down our limits and inspire a more sustainable world. We implement with rigorous science backed by hard data.
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U.S. taxpayers duped into shelling out $51 million in green subsidies for 'clean' VW vehicles

U.S. taxpayers duped into shelling out $51 million in green subsidies for 'clean' VW vehicles | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The federal government paid out as much as $51 million in green car subsidies for Volkswagen diesel vehicles based on falsified pollution test results, according to a Times analysis of the federal incentives.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

This is incredible and inexcusable.  

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Are electric cars greener than traditional gas-powered cars? Depends on where you live.

Are electric cars greener than traditional gas-powered cars? Depends on where you live. | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Nowhere do automakers sell more hybrid vehicles than California, with its unique combination of environmental consciousness, high gas prices and traffic-choked highways.

But new hybrid models will be in short supply at this week's Los Angeles Auto Show — one sign that the technology is still struggling to break out of its green-car niche, experts say.

PIRatE Lab's insight:

There is nothing new about this analyses, but it is an updating of older efforts with the most recent numbers out there.  It is true that using coal-fired power to juice your your car is problematic, but for most of the county (e.g. coastal areas) most of us would be better off switching to electric transportation systems.  Also, the best possible solution is to power our vehicles with locally-generated power, such as roof top or garage-top solar panels.  

 

The trick is getting this into everyone's hands in an easy, turn-key manner.  I think the tone of this piece misses that key point.  This is an evolving conversation and new technology.  It also needs to be one part of a broad spectrum of approaches to de-carbonizing our energy markets.  Falling back onto the old mantra of "it doesn't work everywhere all the time" is a bit ho-hum and overly simplistic.  Kind of the way some folks feel it is necessary to write an op-ed about their research to get increased attention for it.

 

For those interested in the actual study, you can find it here:

 

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~mansur/papers/GraffZivin_Kotchen_Mansur_MargEmit.pdf

 

There is also an interesting story, in a similar vein, from the LA Times about faltering gas-electric hybrid vehicles at this week's LA Auto show:

 

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-la-auto-show-no-hybrids-20141121-story.html

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Gas, Hybrid and Electric Cars [Infographic]

Gas, Hybrid and Electric Cars [Infographic] | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it

Already, electric and hybrid cars are surpassing gas engine cars in not only miles per gallon and sustainability, but also affordability.

For example, the 2013 electric Nissan Leaf runs costs from $28,800 to $34,840. This affordable midsize car gets 75 miles on a full charge and has a refuel time of just seven hours at 240 volts.

Find more information at the link.


Via Lauren Moss
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Spy photos capture next-generation Toyota Prius weeks before debut

Spy photos capture next-generation Toyota Prius weeks before debut | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
The next Toyota Prius will largely abandon the eco-chic egg shape of its previous three generations in favor of a more traditional sedan profile, spy shots of the new car revealed Friday.
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Since 1997, Toyota has sold 6 million hybrids (1 million of those just in the past 9 months)

Since 1997, Toyota has sold 6 million hybrids (1 million of those just in the past 9 months) | Sustainability Science | Scoop.it
From a very humble beginning with the original Japanese Prius in 1997 Toyota's hybrids have come a long way, with 1 million sold in just the past 9 months.
PIRatE Lab's insight:

Wow.  Very interesting to see the increasing rate of unit sales.  I bought mine the year they sold 68,000 in the U.S.

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