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Utility vehicle manufacturer Polaris has launched a new electric 4-wheeler that it calls “the hardest-working, smoothest-riding UTV ever built.” The Ranger XP Kinetic features a new electric powertrain that Polaris developed in partnership with Zero Motorcycles.
Polaris points out that an electric powertrain offers many advantages for off-road utility vehicles. “It delivers smooth, precise control at low speeds, so customers will have full control and confidence while towing, backing up to a trailer or spraying a fence line. When it’s time to have some fun, the instantaneous torque also delivers quicker acceleration for an exhilarating ride.”
The absence of engine noise enables en route conversations, stealthy trips to hunting spots, and quiet operation around horses and other livestock. Fewer moving parts means less maintenance—scheduled maintenance costs are expected to be 70% less compared to similar gas-powered vehicles.
Choosing to build an ROV (recreational off-highway vehicle) may seem a strange move for a luxury car brand. However, Lexus says it wants to bring a premium experience to the off-road domain.
More significantly, the ROV Concept demonstrates an all-new hydrogen-burning combustion engine.
The plane used for the flight was one of United’s Boeing 737 Max 8s. More than 100 passengers, including the company’s CEO Scott Kirby, were on board the demonstration flight, which took off from Chicago’s O’Hare airport and landed at Washington, DC’s Reagan National Airport.
Airplanes are normally only permitted to fly with a maximum of 50 percent SAF on board. Any flight using SAF is currently blending SAF and conventional jet fuel in the same engine. But for this test, United received special permission to use 500 gallons of 100 percent SAF in one engine and the same amount of conventional fuel in the other.
The test was done to prove there are no operational differences between the two — and to set the stage for the future of aviation with more scalable uses of SAF.
Aviation history is cleared for takeoff.
— United Airlines (@united) December 1, 2021
During the 612-mile flight, the engine using SAF emitted 75 percent less carbon dioxide than an engine using conventional fuel normally would, according to United. They claim SAF is already compatible with existing plane fleets, so no engine modifications would be needed to accommodate the biofuel.
United CEO Scott Kirby, said in a statement »
Today’s SAF flight is not only a significant milestone for efforts to decarbonize our industry, but when combined with the surge in commitments to produce and purchase alternative fuels, we’re demonstrating the scalable and impactful way companies can join together and play a role in addressing the biggest challenge of our lifetimes.
United Airlines has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050 without relying on carbon offsets.
World Energy produced the SAF for the flight.
The Build Back Better spending bill, which passed the House last month and awaits action in the Senate, e-bikes could, for the first time, get a push from the federal government. Tucked among its more than 2,000 pages is a tax credit of up to $900 for e-bikes.
If the incentive survives intact, e-bike makers, which lobbied for its inclusion, will be taking a (battery-assisted) victory lap. “Tables will have turned if this goes through,” says Mike Radenbaugh, chief executive officer of the startup Rad Power Bikes. “We think that e-bikes should ultimately see a much bigger set of support…but we’re really excited to see us at least heading in the right direction.”
As it stands, the bill provides a credit of 30% for up to $3,000 spent on a new e-bike, excluding bikes that cost more than $4,000. (The credits also phase out according to household income beginning at $75,000 for a single taxpayer.) This is a comedown from the original proposal. In the bill that was introduced to the House, the credit covered 30% of spending up to $5,000 on bikes costing as much as $8,000.
Built by Yara to transport their mineral fertilizer stocks between the towns of Porsgrunn and Brevik, a trip which normally requires 40,000 trips by diesel truck per year, the Yara Birkeland will save around 1,000 tons of CO2 annually.
On November 19th, Yara Birkeland departed for a crewed maiden voyage—which included Norway’s prime minister—on a short 43-mile trip across the fjord from Horton to Oslo.
“We have been looking forward to this day for a long time,” stated Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara. “This is an excellent example of green transition in practice, and we hope this ship will be the start of a new type of emission-free container ships. There are a lot of places in the world with congested roads that will benefit from a high-tech solution like this.”
Onboard the 262-foot (80 meter) vessel is a 6.8 megawatt-hours battery pack that can generate 17 mph (28 kph). It can carry 3,200 tons of fertilizer, and should begin commercial operations next year while it carries out lengthy certification for its autonomous navigation technology.
Electric bicycles, better known as e-bikes, have moved from novelty to mainstream with breathtaking speed. They’ve been a boon to hard-working delivery persons during the pandemic (and their impatient customers), and commuters who don’t care to be a sweaty mess when they arrive. And while the scoffing tends to center around the “purity” of cycling—the idea that e-bike riders are somehow lazy cheaters—that electric assist is actually luring people off the couch for healthy exercise. That’s especially welcome for older or out-of-practice riders (which describes a whole lot of folks) who might otherwise avoid cycling entirely, put off by daunting hills or longer distances.
While powerful “Class 3” models especially are trying the patience of pedestrians in crowded cities like New York, with blazing assisted speeds approaching 30 mph, e-bikes are now front-and-center in discussions of future urban mobility. They’re a way to potentially free up precious street space, provide alternatives to automobiles and reduce energy consumption and harmful emissions. California, through its powerful Air Resources Board, recently allocated $10 million in rebates for e-bike buyers, a smaller-scale version of state or federal tax breaks for EV car buyers. The possibilities are fueling cool tech ideas, from covered, rain-proof cargo bikes; to pavement-embedded wireless chargers and automated stabilization systems to help senior riders. CityQ is taking pre-orders for a four-wheeled cargo “bike” that it touts as cycling “with a Tesla feeling.”
According to market research company NPD Group, the pandemic helped increase e-bike sales by 145 percent from 2019 to 2020, more than double the growth of traditional bikes. Exact figures on industry sales are hard to pin down; yet The New York Times quoted experts saying Americans bought roughly 500,000 e-bikes in 2020, compared to about 210,000 plug-in automobiles.