Volkswagen launches WeShare all-electric car sharing service

Making good on plans revealed last year to debut an EV-exclusive car sharing service, Volkswagen is actually launching its fleet for customers – debuting WeShare, a new shared service similar to Car2Go or GM’s Maven, but featuring only all-electric vehicles. Initially, WeShare will be available only in Berlin, where it’s launching today with 1,500 Volkswagen e-Golf […]

Lightyear One debuts as the first long-range solar-powered electric car

Electric cars are better for the environment than fossil fuel-burning vehicles, but they still rely on the grid, which can be variously dirty or clean depending on what sources it uses for its energy. The new Lightyear One is a prototype vehicle that would improve that by collecting the power it needs to run from […]

Scientists discover a new way to provide plants the nutrients they need to thrive

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered a new method for delivering key nutrients to plant roots – without having to ensure they’re present in the soil where the plants are growing. The landmark study greatly increases the efficiency of surface delivery of nutrients and pesticides to plants. Currently, when crops are sprayed with stuff […]

Climate change, AI and ethical leadership in ‘big tech’, with Amazon principal UX design lead Maren Costa

“I just want to be proud of the company that I work for,” Maren Costa told me recently. Costa is a Principal UX Design Lead at Amazon, for which she has worked since 2002. I was referred to her because of her leadership in the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice group I covered earlier this […]

Nissan’s zero-emission ice cream van uses old EV batteries to keep things cool

File ice cream vans under “things I never thought posed a significant risk to the environment but might actually.” Nissan has developed a new concept vehicle that addresses the problem of all the emissions generated by conventional ice cream vans, and older models in particular, which pump out a lot of greenhouse gases while idling […]

Climate justice and environmental ethics in tech, with Amazon engineer Rajit Iftikhar

Nearly 8,000 Amazon employees, many in prestigious engineering and design roles, have recently signed a petition calling on Jeff Bezos and the Amazon Board of Directors to dramatically shift the giant company’s approach to climate change. By deploying a kind of corporate social disobedience such as speaking out dramatically at shareholders meetings, and by engaging […]

Rivian and ‘Free Solo’ star Alex Honnold team up to build solar microgrid with used EV batteries

Rivian, the once secretive company that made its public debut in November with an electric pickup truck and SUV, plans to give its batteries a second life and put them to work in a solar microgrid project in Puerto Rico. The automaker is teaming up with The Honnold Foundation, an organization started by Alex Honnold, […]

Zume buys packaging company, with eyes on plant-based plastic alternative

Zume Inc. (they of the robotic pizza) has acquired Southern California-based Pivot, designer of plant-based packaging material. Along with the deal, Zume will be opening a 70,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in the area. Zume notes that it has actually been in the food packaging industry in one form or other since 2016, when it introduced a […]

Tesla says solar roof is on its third iteration, currently installing in 8 states

Tesla is currently installing its solar roof product in eight states, according to Elon Musk, speaking at the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday. The solar roof-tile project has had a relatively long genesis since being unveiled three years ago, in 2016. In 2017, the company claimed its first-ever installations of the Tesla solar roof, […]

Embraer’s new EmbraerX eVTOL concept is accessible, autonomous and courteous

[embedded content] Short-distance commuter air travel has come a long way in the past few years — at least when it comes to concepts. The latest vision from Embraer of how we’ll get around in the city skies of the (near?) future involves some of what we’ve already seen, and highlights a few things that […]