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Tesla
Epic fail. That’s what first crossed my mind as I watched the window break (twice!) during Tesla’s Cybertruck launch. Instead, the unfortunate incident brought immediate worldwide attention to Tesla’s new truck — mainstream press, social media, and (of course) meme makers all gobbled it up. Fast forward, and Elon Musk’s crazy concept for the Cybertruck is now considered genius.

In fact, Elon Musk actually forecasts failure at the beginning of his bold and audacious ventures. According to Marcel Schwantes (via Inc.), Musk demonstrates “a healthy amount of humility” when starting a project. For example, at an interview at an energy conference in Norway, Musk said, “You should take the approach that you’re wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong.”

As Musk points out, “When you first start a company, there’s lots of optimism and things are great. Happiness, at first, is high. Then, you encounter all sorts of issues and happiness will steadily decline and you’ll go through a whole world of hurt.” But, if you take your medicine and learn from your failures, there’s an upside. “Eventually, if you succeed … you will finally get back to happiness,” says Musk.

By acknowledging that failure is a likely outcome, Schwantes says, “you’ll be able to spot impending issues earlier and minimize the inevitable pain and suffering Musk describes.” In fact, Musk has a trick for keeping him abreast of potential pitfalls. He actively seeks out constructive criticism from close friends and confidants.

“A well thought out critique of whatever you’re doing is as valuable as gold. You should seek that from everyone you can but particularly your friends. Usually, your friends know what’s wrong, but they don’t want to tell you because they don’t want to hurt you,” says Musk. Even if you don’t agree with their feedback, Musk says, “You at least want to listen very carefully to what they say.”

In short, Musk believes failure is necessary on the path of success. He says, “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” It’s something Elon Musk accepts and embraces. Don’t believe me? Check out this revealing infographic of Musk’s many failures as he built Paypal, Tesla, and SpaceX into the trailblazing companies they are today.
Electrek
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been talking a lot about Tesla Network lately, part of Tesla’s “Master Plan, Part Deux” which will enable Tesla cars with full self-driving hardware to operate as autonomous robotaxis to generate revenue for owners and for Tesla itself.

This is all still a ways off, but that hasn’t stopped Musk and others from theorizing about what might happen when the technological problems behind self-driving are solved. Recently, Musk stated that any Tesla bought today is an “appreciating asset” due to its potential to be used to generate revenue in the future. But an asset wouldn’t really appreciate unless a new, similar asset couldn’t be bought at the same price. So now, Musk has committed to making that happen, stating that once robotaxis become possible, Tesla will likely stop selling cars to consumers, at least at anywhere near the same price.

The exchange came, as it often does, as part of a nighttime tweetstorm from Musk. Among various other questions about the timeline for upgrading HW2+ hardware to Tesla’s new FSD computer and a comment about Tesla’s potential to have a million-robotaxi-fleet by the end of next year, Musk was asked whether prospective buyers would be able to keep buying Teslas well into the future, or if their potential as a revenue generating asset would make that price unattainable for a typical consumer. And Musk answered, short and sweet, in one word: "Yes"

This plan is not unexpected for those of us who have been following Tesla’s robotaxi aspirations, but this is the first time Musk has stated explicitly that consumers have a limited time to buy a car at anything close to what most consumers would consider a reasonable price.

The concept here relies on a few assumptions. 1) That Tesla will be able to make a car that can drive itself fully, at all times, with no human inside it. 2) That a car driving itself will be safer and cheaper to operate than a car with a human driver in it, since the human driver won’t need to be paid. 3) That these robotaxis will be able to make enough money driving themselves around that the potential profits will significantly eclipse the purchase price + running costs of a $40,000-$50,000 car even when the time value of money is taken into account.

If all those things become true, then Tesla has a choice between selling a car for $40,000 once or keeping that car and operating it as a robotaxi and generating perhaps ten times that amount over the life of the vehicle. If that’s the case, then the company would be foolish to sell the car and miss out on that future profit potential.

And Tesla shared some numbers showing that they think this will be the case. At their recent Autonomy Investor Day, they showed a slide suggesting that an average robotaxi would be able to bring in $330,000 worth of profits over its useful lifetime. In keeping with this projection, Tesla recently raised the price of the still-unreleased full self-driving option (just a couple months after temporarily lowering it in a pretty shady way).

So this is what Musk is getting at when he says that consumers have a limited time to buy a car. All of a sudden, a $40,000 Model 3 would need to cost six figures for the equation to pencil out for Tesla, and consumers will likely balk at that. This, then, would give Tesla little reason to retain a large retail presence and they would likely focus on offering robotaxi services or possibly fleet sales.

Theoretically, Tesla could still sell cars at high prices, but Musk’s laconic answer suggests that Tesla plans otherwise. Tesla has already stated that they plan to buy back leased Model 3s and put them into service as robotaxis after the lease term is up.

This is Tesla’s “master plan,” anyway. Tesla owners will be able to use cars they already own to participate in the robotaxi fleet, but if Tesla can make more profit by keeping those cars themselves, they will do so. Musk recently indicated that Tesla is thinking about opening up Tesla Network early as a human-driven Uber/Lyft competitor so owners can make a little cash on the side with ridesharing before full self-driving is achieved.

An autonomous robotaxi fleet isn’t just Tesla’s idea, either. Several companies are aiming for the same thing, including Uber, Waymo and others. Tesla’s approach differs in that they do not use LIDAR and other compa
COBE and Rasmus Hjortshøj – COAST
Copenhagen-based architectural firm COBE has just unveiled what are possibly the most beautiful and sustainable electric vehicle charging stations in the world. Built entirely from recyclable materials and powered by solar energy, these ultra-fast charging stations not only recharge a vehicle in just 15 minutes but also offer drivers a welcoming place to rest and relax. The first COBE-designed EV charging station was installed on the E20 motorway in the Danish city of Fredericia, with 47 more planned along Scandinavian highways: seven more in Denmark, 20 in Sweden and 20 in Norway.

Created in partnership with Powered by E.ON Drive & Clever, the COBE-designed EV charging station consists of a series of “trees” made primarily from certified wood. The tree-inspired structures feature a canopy that provides shade and protection from the elements, while also providing space for a green roof and solar panels. The modular structures are scalable so that multiple “tree” structures can be combined into a “grove.”

The Fredericia charging station features a “grove” of 12 “trees” with a 400-square-meter canopy. The Danish Society for Nature Conservation helped select the plantings that surround the charging station to enhance biodiversity and create a calming, “zen-like” atmosphere radically different from a traditional gas station setting.

“Electric vehicles are the way of the future,” said Dan Stubbergaard, architect and founder of COBE. “With our design, we offer EV drivers a time-out and an opportunity to mentally recharge in a green oasis. The energy and the technology are green, so we wanted the architecture, the materials and the concept to reflect that. So, we designed a charging station in sustainable materials placed in a clean, calm setting with trees and plantings that offer people a dose of mindfulness on the highway.”

The firm’s design of the ultra-fast EV charging station won the infrastructure award of the 2018 Danish Building Awards and is being implemented across Scandinavia with support from EU Commission projects Connecting Europe Facility and High Speed Electric Mobility Across Europe.


Shutterstock
On Thursday, the city of Amsterdam announced its plan to replace all gasoline and diesel-powered cars and motorcycles with electric vehicles by 2030. The plan is an attempt to address unhealthy and alarming rates of air pollution in the city due to high traffic.

Currently, toxic air pollution in Amsterdam exceeds European Union standards. In 2018, the Dutch health council called on the government to develop a plan to address toxic amounts of nitrogen dioxide and particle matter, specifically in the congested cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

“Pollution often is a silent killer and is one of the greatest health hazards in Amsterdam,” said Sharon Dijksma, the city’s traffic councilor. According to Dijksma, Amsterdam residents lose an average of one year off their life expectancy due to air pollution.

The Dutch government’s goal is to replace all polluting cars, buses, boats and motorcycles with electric vehicles or hydrogen powered vehicles. The plan will be rolled out in phases over the next decade, including:

By 2020:
All cars built before 2005 will be banned from the city.

By 2022:
All polluting public buses and taxis will be banned.

By 2025:
All polluting boats and mopeds will also be banned. The city will also increase the number of electric vehicle charging stations in order to reach a total of at least 23,000.

Although climate activists are mostly supportive of the initiative, some groups fear that this car ban will unfairly affect poor families who cannot afford electric vehicles. The loudest voice of dissent comes from the Rai Association, an automotive industry lobbying group, which argues that the ban will shut low income families out of the city.

However, supporters argue that electric vehicles have become increasingly less expensive and that the price is expected to steadily decline over the next 11 years.

The government also plans to use subsidies and parking permits to incentivize drivers to switch to cleaner cars.
The Drive
esla's "Autonomy Day" presentation showcased a typically ambitious plan for the electric vehicle maker's future, in which the company would operate fleets of its off-lease vehicles as fully autonomous robotaxis with each car earning an estimated $30,000 in gross profits per year. Though questions remain about Tesla's ability to even develop the self-driving technology needed to make this dream a reality, there are signs of trouble with the plan among companies operating human-driven fleets of Teslas today. Assuming Tesla can develop the technology for unprecedented autonomy using its relatively meager sensor suite, are the more prosaic aspects of Tesla's vehicles in fact well-suited for fleet duty?

There are signs that the brand's premium sports sedans may not be well-suited for high-utilization fleet applications in the news this week, starting with a Chinese ride hailing company's extremely public demand for compensation from Tesla. The Global Times reports that Shenma Zhuanche, a premium ride hailing firm headquartered in Sichuan Province, has rented time on three Times Square billboards with which to air its grievances with Tesla who supplies 278 of the vehicles used in Shenma's fleet of high-end vehicles. According to Shenma, some 20% of its Teslas experienced electromechanical malfunctions that caused the company direct economic losses of nearly $1 million since it started buying Teslas in 2016.

Shenma is demanding that Tesla repair its allegedly defective vehicles, compensate it for associated losses and admit that its cars have quality problems. The company alleges that Tesla's problem is not simply that its cars have quality problems, but that its after-sales service is "unsatisfactory" and that on average each repair keeps vehicles out of the fleet for some 45 days according to Technode. The company says it hopes to give Tesla the opportunity to address these shortcomings.

Another example of a Tesla fleet company experiencing challenges keeping its vehicles operating comes from The Netherlands, which has been a prime market for Tesla fleets due to major tax incentives for electric vehicles. The company EC-Rent, which had crowdfunded a small fleet of Teslas for rent costing between €249 and €349 per day. According to a notice on the company's website (and confirmed in a subsequent tweet), EC-Rent has experienced some of the same issues as Shenma:

Due to increasing technical defects and the lack of a fast delivery of parts from Tesla, we had to halt half of our Teslas in our rental fleet from mid-December. Since this is no longer tenable and a solution does not seem to be within reach, our activities are currently discontinued. We are investigating the possibilities for a restart (possibly in a different form). We will know more within a few weeks. Unfortunately, we cannot accept bookings until that time, not even on models other than the Teslas."

A third example comes from Sweden, where mestmotor.se reports that UmeĂĄ Eltaxi has filed for bankruptcy blaming in part the Tesla Model S that it had operated as part of its all-electric fleet. Vice President and marketing manager Mohammed Al-Nasser had some harsh words for the California automaker, which line up with what Shanma and EC-Rent have said and implied about using its vehicles in fleet applications:

"Nothing has worked. Tesla does the worst cars. It has been too much wrong, for poor quality and when the closest workshops are in Stockholm, the costs have become unreasonably high. In the end, we did not see any opportunity to continue with these cars but chose to put the company into bankruptcy at its own request, "

Another small Tesla taxi company also went bankrupt last year due to the challenges of operating a fleet of Teslas, causing its owner to lose the home he had mortgaged to start the "One Hundred Percent Electric Company" or "OHPEC." Though Bernard Brommel of Auckland, New Zealand didn't mention the reliability and repair time issues that other struggling Tesla fleet operators did, he blamed the high cost of Tesla's cars, the challenge of marketing a new company, and issues with charging as the reasons OHPEC went under. With free chargers increasingly busy and others costing a kickback to use, recharging times stretched to some 90 minutes including the time to drive to one that was available to commercial operators like OHPEC. A Quebec-based electric taxi com
BILLY H.C. KWOK FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
BYD, which built the battery in your ’90s cellphone, now produces more EVs than anyone—and it wants to sell them to you, soon.

On the floor of a cavernous factory in southern China, dozens of unfinished cars, freshly painted in cherry red or dark silver, dangled 6 feet above a spotless concrete floor. Their engines had been installed a few moments earlier, but they were still skeletal, more the promise of vehicles than the real thing. As they drifted down the line, a sledlike robot scooted into position beneath each chassis, slowing to match its speed.

The robot carried a crucial payload: a battery about the size and shape of a double mattress, wrapped in a gray plastic casing. Suddenly, an accordion lift extended upward from the sled and inserted the battery into the car’s undercarriage. Workers in blue jumpsuits and white cotton gloves moved swiftly to the battery’s edges, carrying rivet guns connected by curling red cables to a supply of compressed air. Once the battery was rattled into place, the accordion retracted, sending its robot host scurrying off in search of fresh cargo.

Americans associate electric cars with the luxury of Tesla, the unrivaled conveyance of choice for the Sand Hill Road set. But these newly assembled vehicles, part of a family of SUVs called the Tang that retails from about 240,000 yuan ($35,700), are aimed squarely at middle-class drivers in the world’s largest electric vehicle market, China. Their manufacturer, BYD Co., is in turn the No. 1 producer of plug-in vehicles globally, attracting a tiny fraction of the attention of Elon Musk’s company while powering, to a significant extent, a transition to electrified mobility that’s moving faster in China than in any other country. Founded in Shenzhen in the mid-1990s as a manufacturer of batteries for brick-size cellphones and digital cameras, BYD now has about a quarter-million employees and sells as many as 30,000 pure EVs or plug-in hybrids in China every month, most of them anything but status symbols. Its cheapest model, the e1, starts at 60,000 yuan ($8,950) after subsidies.

BYD’s cars and other vehicles—a Tonka set of electric buses, forklifts, utility vans, street sweepers, and garbage trucks—run exclusively on batteries the company manufactures itself. Its sprawling Chinese facilities can produce almost 30 gigawatt-hours of power annually, more than enough to run every iPhone ever made. Last year, BYD opened one of the world’s largest battery plants, a 10 million-square-foot facility in Qinghai province, and in February it broke ground on another of similar size. This empire has made a billionaire of its founder and chairman, a former government chemist named Wang Chuanfu. It’s also been a boon for another high-net-worth individual, Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bought a 10 percent stake in BYD a decade ago.

Even for a nation of superlatives, China has adopted EVs at a stunning pace. Thanks to generous government subsidies and municipal regulations that make owning an internal combustion vehicle in many cities inconvenient, expensive, or both, China accounts for more than half the world’s purchases of electric cars. More EVs were sold in Shanghai last year than in Germany, France, or the U.K.; the city of Hangzhou, smallish by Chinese standards, had higher sales than all of Japan. Virtually all of Shenzhen’s 20,000 taxis are electric BYDs, compared with fewer than 20 of any make in New York. More than 500,000 electric buses ply Chinese roads, compared with fewer than 1,000 in the U.S.
Tesla
The factory, which currently makes battery packs and electric motors for the Model 3, will eventually be the biggest building in the world–with the world’s largest rooftop solar array.

When it’s fully complete, Tesla’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, will be the largest building in the world, sprawling over 15 million square feet on a plot of land more than three times larger than Central Park. The building, which Elon Musk has called “the machine that builds the machine,” will eventually also be the first large-scale battery factory to run on 100% renewable energy. The factory currently makes battery packs and electric motors for the Model 3 car, along with the company’s Powerwall and Powerpack battery storage.

Designing the factory from scratch “provided some great opportunities to rethink manufacturing,” says Rodney Westmoreland, director of construction management for Tesla. “We look at challenges from first principles–breaking things down to the very basics of physics and what’s possible–since we’re doing something that has never been done before. As a result, our teams of mechanical, electrical, and manufacturing engineers have spent the last few years creatively building a sustainably powered facility with no onsite combustion of fossil fuels. This was critical to our mission of moving the world to a sustainable energy future.” A new environmental impact report released on April 15 includes a case study on the factory’s sustainable design.

On the roof–designed to accommodate solar power–a solar installation that is currently underway will eventually include around 200,000 solar panels that can provide most of the building’s energy when paired with Tesla’s batteries. When it’s finished, it will be the largest rooftop solar array in the world.

Inside the factory, high-energy manufacturing processes that would normally be powered by natural gas have been redesigned to avoid fossil fuels by maximizing energy efficiency. Waste heat from equipment like compressors or high-temperature ovens can be used both to run the equipment efficiently and to help keep the factory warm in the winter. LED lights and a lighting system designed to reduce power use means that lighting the building can save 144 megawatt-hours of energy in a month versus traditional lighting setups (the equivalent, the company says, of the energy needed to drive a Model S 480,000 miles).

The company has been working with vendors to find new techniques to make it possible to meet its goals. The process “pushes the general contractors and design-build firms to change the way that they think, hire, and construct,” says Westmoreland. “For example, Tesla engineers partnered with our equipment vendors to look at ways we could reverse-engineer air compressors to handle incredibly [hot] waste heat, which makes our factory and equipment more efficient. These have become solutions that vendors can use throughout the industry.”

Because manufacturing batteries is so energy intensive, the equipment in the factory generates so much heat that it’s necessary to pump chilled water through the building to cool it down–something that normally also takes a huge amount of energy. To solve the problem, Tesla designed a unique chilled water plant that makes use of the desert climate: When the air is cool at night, the plant generates more chilled water than needed, and that extra water can be used during the day. The system, which uses one of the largest thermal storage tanks in the world, will cut electricity used in the process by up to 40%, and cut water consumption up to 60%. “Up front, it seems quite monumental to design, construct, and estimate, but ultimately it eliminates the need for numerous chillers and the amount of energy required to run them,” Westmoreland says.

In parts of the manufacturing process that require dry air, the factory can pull in desert air to reduce the use of dehumidifiers. A heat pump helps power another process that coats part of the battery cell with a solvent. (Liquid waste from the process is also refined and recycled onsite, rather than shipping it to a separate processing center, eliminating the need for 30 tanker trucks a week.)
Bloomerg
“We’ll give Elon Musk and the Boring Company credit for at least trying.”

It is good for smart people to spend their time coming up with genuinely innovative methods of overhauling this country's crumbling transportation infrastructure, and for diligent public servants to invest accordingly in promising technologies. It is, however, perhaps the height of Silicon Valley's terminal delusions of grandeur to decide that turning expensive electric vehicles into tiny train cars will accomplish anything other than enriching the already very rich people who manufacture them.

This, more or less, is the conclusion at which a trio of Virginia transportation officials recently arrived after traveling to Southern California to test out Elon Musk's much-hyped tunneling venture, hopeful that it could one day revolutionize commuting in the greater Washington area. Suffice it to say that their firsthand reviews of the experience, which involved strapping themselves into a Tesla that made its way through a 1.14-mile tunnel beneath a Los Angeles industrial park, are unlikely to appear in The Boring Company's marketing materials anytime soon. From the Virginia Mercury:

“It’s a car in a very small tunnel,” Michael McLaughlin, Virginia’s chief of rail transportation, told members of the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s public transit subcommittee on Wednesday.

“If one day we decide it’s feasible, we’ll obviously come back to you.”

When Musk conceived of The Boring Company—famously, via a series of frustrated tweets posted in the midst of an L.A. traffic jam—he pledged a network of subterranean luggage carousels, on top of which vehicles would park before being magically WHOOSHED from one end of town to the other at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. Since then, he has pivoted to a system in which cars are equipped with "tracking wheels" that flip out from underneath the front bumper and run along rails built into the tunnel. Astute students of transportation will note that this ostensibly paradigm-wrecking technology bears a remarkable resemblance to "the train."

Last winter, a Chicago alderman who traveled to L.A. for his own test ride politely described it as "a little bumpy," noting that the Model X in which he traveled had reached a top speed of 34 miles per hour. Traffic-weary residents of northern Virginia will note that this description could easily apply to "the Metro that already exists," only if it were equipped with smaller trains that are capable of allowing fewer people to reach their intended destinations. So far, in what is probably a coincidence, only vehicles manufactured by Musk's Tesla company are compatible with the service.

Scott Kasprowicz, another Virginia Transportation Board member who gave it the proverbial college try, sounds as if he left feeling equally baffled by, uh, whatever he had just endured.

I think there’s a lot of show going on here...I don’t mean to suggest that they don’t have a serious plan in mind, but I don’t consider the steps they’ve taken to date to be substantive. They’ve purchased a used boring machine. They’ve put a bore in the neighborhood where they developed the SpaceX product, and they’ve taken a Model 3 and put guidewheels on it and they’re running it through the tunnel at 60 miles per hour. None of that, I think, is really significant from a standpoint of moving this process forward.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
Last week, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) announced its unexpected decision to abandon physical retailing locations and move to online-only sales. Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, stated that online sales would lower the company’s operating expenses and allow the automaker to reduce its vehicle prices, thus increasing sales volume and helping it edge closer to consistent profitability. But Tesla’s decision shocked the industry as it was counter to many of its previous retailing and growth plans, and from most vantage points, it doesn’t make much sense (legally, practically, or fiscally) to many industry experts.

The legal argument…

On the day of the announcement, Musk held a private invitation-only conference call with journalists, who asked if the move would face opposition from state regulators that enforce franchise laws. Musk explained that online-only sales would allow Tesla to circumvent them, saying, “I’m sure the franchise dealers will try to oppose us in some way, but to do so would be a fundamental restraint on interstate commerce and violate the Constitution. So, good luck with that.”

The concept of using online sales to bypass franchise laws isn’t new to Tesla. For example, In Texas, where direct to consumer new vehicle sales are prohibited, customers must buy a vehicle online, then Tesla ships their car from states where it’s licensed to sell. But if Tesla closes its retail locations in states where it legally operates, it’s not clear if it will lose its licensing. Leonard Bellavia, a lawyer and franchise law expert disagrees with Musk’s legal opinion, “The statement by Musk that state dealer franchise laws prohibiting factory direct sales are unconstitutional is an overly simplistic and rather bald-faced generalization.” And while Tesla plans to close its retail sales locations, it intends to expand its service network, which is also fraught with legal issues, according to Bellavia, “An online sale only model would require both a sales and service facility to satisfy state licensing authorities, which defeats the purpose of online sales.” Musk didn’t address the service-related legal issues in his announcement.

But Tesla’s legal issues aren’t limited to just franchise laws; there are also other state and local regulations that create a regulatory moat around online vehicle sales. In certain states and municipalities, a “wet signature” or in-person signature is required for some or all vehicle delivery paperwork. It’s also unclear how online-only sales will affect each state’s new car lemon laws, which were written based on sales occurring within the respective state.
Jorge Alcala/Unsplash
The city was planning on running on 50% renewables by that year. Now, it’s doubling its commitment.

A few blocks down the street from the White House, two dated 1970s office buildings are being combined and renovated into a space that will cut energy use and emissions by more than half. Soon, around half of the existing buildings in the city will also need to make changes under a new law.

It’s one piece of an ambitious climate bill, to be signed into law later today, which aims to help the city cut its carbon emissions by 50% in a little more than a decade. First, the law calls for 100% renewable electricity by 2032. “It’s the most ambitious renewable portfolio standard in the country,” says Mark Rodeffer, the chapter chair for D.C. Sierra Club. The deadline is 13 years earlier than those in California or Hawaii, which are also moving to 100% renewable electricity. More than 90 cities also have the same goal–including the larger city of San Francisco, which is aiming for 2030–though D.C.’s law, like the state laws in California and Hawaii, makes renewable energy a legal requirement for utilities, not a voluntary ambition. The law also calls for D.C. to increase its use of solar power, with a total of 10% of electricity coming from solar by 2041.

“I think it’s especially interesting because less than three years ago, [D.C.’s] renewable portfolio standard for 2032 was 50%,” says Jay Orfield, who works with the communities program at the nonprofit NRDC. “I think that speaks to a number of elements in support of renewables–the pricing continuing to come down, but then also realizing that action on climate change needs to be ramped up.”

The city is also moving to electric vehicles: By 2045, all city buses, taxis, limos, and other privately owned fleets with 50 or more passengers or vehicles will have to use zero-emission vehicles. But buildings are an especially important part of the overall plan, since they account for around three-quarters of the city’s emissions. The city already has a benchmarking program that requires the largest buildings to report their energy use. But that will expand to include any building larger than 10,000 square feet. Over a period of years, those buildings will also have to meet new standards for energy use, meaning they’ll likely have to do some renovation or tweak the automated systems that run heating and cooling.

“You can’t really tackle that chunk of emissions, and that chunk of electricity consumption, if you don’t tackle buildings,” says Anica Lan
Bosch
at CES 2019 bosch presents the future of transportation with its concept shuttle, an all electric, self-driving pod. the shuttle comprises a light, airy, minimalistic design, with a futuristic outer shell made of display screens and glass, and a spacious interior.

whilst traditionally bosch doesn’t actually build cars itself, it is one of the biggest suppliers to other manufacturers of cars. with this expertise, it believes that by 2020 there could be up to a million on-demand shuttles on the road, and up to 2.5 million by 2025. bosch presents this concept at time where autonomous road vehicles are in abundance so what sets this concept aside from the others? there isn’t a huge deal.

users can book a shuttle via smartphone, accessing a system which uses an algorithm that identifies the vehicle closest to the requested location and finds other users who wish to travel a similar route. the more passengers a single shuttle can transport, the cheaper the journey for everyone. this approach hopes to reduce the amount of traffic in cities and mitigates the impact on the environment.

bosch is developing the necessary software platforms to make this a reality with some special attention to the experience of the individual consumer. when the shuttle pulls up to the requested pick-up point, users again use their smartphones to identify themselves – thanks to bosch’s perfectly keyless digital access service. it recognizes the owner’s smartphone as unmistakably as a digital fingerprint and opens the vehicle only for them. every passenger always gets the seat that they reserved. bosch services don’t just end when a rideshare journey is over: the company’s camera-based system for the vehicle interior checks whether anyone has forgotten something and informs them directly via smartphone (unless they’ve forgotten that). the camera can also detect gum on the seat or an overturned coffee cup – in other words, whether the shuttle needs cleaning – and can make the necessary arrangements immediately.

bosch has designed the interior of its concept vehicle to provide space for four passengers, seating them across from one another to maximize legroom and comfort. infotainment is provided on screens that can be used either by each passenger individually or in groups; for example, a family can watch a movie together as they travel somewhere for the weekend, or colleagues can work on a presentation on their way to the office.
Solar Builder
With opening a few months away, The Vineyards already is generating anticipation as Southern California’s newest upscale and pedestrian-friendly shopping and entertainment center. What’s more, The Vineyards will also feature some of the region’s latest and most sustainable operating systems and eco-friendly fixtures.

Rooftop solar panels will offset tenant electrical loads, power LED lights in common areas and send excess power back into the grid. Giant underground tanks have begun to capture and clean stormwater that will irrigate the carefully designed landscape, which happens to include rows of actual wine grapes. Mobile app-connected electric vehicle charging stations will be strategically placed throughout the parking lots, including two installed by Whole Foods Market, which will open a new flagship location in the spring of 2019. And interactive kiosks will help visitors to The Vineyards learn and appreciate the various ways that sustainability has driven the project’s design.

Shapell Liberty Investment Properties, The Vineyards developer, has carefully designed and implemented a range of features and construction methods to ensure a lower ecological footprint and to create a thriving community hub that will become the focal point for the surrounding north Los Angeles neighborhood. To celebrate and promote the sustainable features of the project, Shapell Liberty will seek LEED certification, a rare feat for developments of this scale – particularly shopping centers. The development will also seek SITES certification for its extensive landscape design, a badge of sustainable design comparable to LEED requirements for buildings.

“The sustainability concepts we and our tenants are bringing to The Vineyards are consistent with our and the community’s values. Our primary goal is to create a dynamic open-air experience; doing so while integrating the best and latest technologies and resources for a sustainable operation is the right thing to do,” said John Love, Vice President for Shapell Properties Inc. “Whole Foods and Kaiser Permanente were the first two major tenants to share in the vision of promoting sustainability, and more are jumping on board.”

Initially, there will be 15 charging stations available on a first-come basis when The Vineyards opens, with plans for up to 85 total electric vehicle (EV) charging stations as demand for those spaces increases. Shapell has selected ChargePoint to sup
Inhabitat
Global carbon emissions may be on the rise and poised to reach an all-time high this year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t positive climate news to talk about. If you are looking for some uplifting stories about the environment as we close out 2018 and head into the new year, here are six reasons to be hopeful in spite of climate change.

Plant-based meat

The carbon dioxide produced from burning fossil fuels is still the main greenhouse gas, but methane and nitrous oxide are more potent, and the levels are rising. Livestock farming is the main source of methane and nitrous oxide, and because the world loves meat and dairy, these gases are a huge factor in the battle against climate change. Simply put, if we don’t radically curb our meat consumption, we can’t beat global warming.

People all over the world are switching to vegetarian, vegan and flexitarian diets, and that is a step in the right direction. Bill Gates has invested in two plant-based burger companies that make food from plants that looks and tastes like meat. Major companies like Tyson, Danone and Nestle are also investing in plant-based products that have a tiny carbon footprint, so the market will continue to grow and offer a wide variety of plant-based foods.

The renewable energy revolution

Renewable energy is quickly becoming the new normal. Thanks to the cost of solar panels and wind turbines plummeting over the last decade, renewables are now cheaper than coal. There are already systems in place to shift from gas and oil to renewables.

Companies all over the world are committing to renewable energy, and now more than half of the new capacity for generating electricity is renewable.

Many parts of the world are already installing the cheapest electricity available. Last year, there was so much wind power in Germany that customers got free electricity.

Even in the U.S., despite President Trump’s rollback of key climate legislation, there has been $30 billion invested in renewable energy sources.