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President Biden wants half of new vehicles to be zero-emissions by 2030

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President Biden is throwing more of his weight behind electric cars. Biden is signing an Executive Order that sets a target for half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to have some form of zero-emissions driving, whether it’s a pure EV, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The move is meant to not only promote clean transportation and limit climate change, but help the US “outcompete” a Chinese car industry that’s quickly shifting toward electrified vehicles.

In sync with the order, the EPA and NHTSA will outline how they plan to undo the Trump administration’s rollbacks of emissions and fuel efficiency standards. The two agencies will collaborate using standards built on the “momentum” from an agreement between California and automakers BMW, Ford, Honda, Volvo and VW. The EPA’s proposed rules would take effect in the 2023 model year, while the NHTSA’s would arrive in the 2024 model year. The team-up would have the standards mesh until model year 2026.

The Biden administration has rallied support from domestic brands for the effort. Ford, GM and Stellantis have declared a “shared aspiration” to meet the 2030 target and otherwise support Biden’s vehicle electrification policies.

It’s a significant goal. EVs have represented about 2 percent of US car sales for the past three years, according to the International Energy Agency and Pew Research. While the pandemic might have played a role in limiting 2020 sales, meeting the 2030 target would fundamentally transform the US car market, not to mention the charging infrastructure needed to support it.

However, it might drag behind some states, not to mention car makers. California and Massachusetts will ban all sales of new gas-based cars by 2035. GM also plans to exclusively sell EVs by that year, while Ford will go completely electric in Europe by 2030. Brands like Volvo and Stellantis’ Fiat badge have also committed to full electrification by 2030. However ambitious the Biden plan might be, it could seem relatively modest in some respects.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/president-biden-2030-ev-target-134025373.html?src=rss
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jon Fingas

Electric cars have much lower life cycle emissions, new study confirms

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Enlarge / If we’re serious about decarbonizing, the internal combustion engine has to go by 2030-2035, according to a new study. (credit: Reinhard Krull/EyeEm/Getty Images)

If you listen to electric vehicle naysayers, switching to EVs is pointless because even if the cars are vastly more efficient than ones that use internal combustion engines—and they are—that doesn’t take into account the amount of carbon required to build and then scrap them. Well, rest easy because it’s not true. Today in the US market, a medium-sized battery EV already has 60–68 percent lower lifetime carbon emissions than a comparable car with an internal combustion engine. And the gap is only going to increase as we use more renewable electricity.

That finding comes from a white paper (pdf) published by Georg Bieker at the International Council on Clean Transportation. The comprehensive study compares the lifetime carbon emissions, both today and in 2030, of midsized vehicles in Europe, the US, China, and India, across a wide range of powertrain types, including gasoline, diesel, hybrid EVs (HEVs), plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs), battery EVs (BEVs), and fuel cell EVs (FCEVs). (The ICCT is the same organization that funded the research into VW Group’s diesel emissions.)

The study takes into account the carbon emissions that result from the various fuels (fossil fuels, biofuels, electricity, hydrogen, and e-fuels), as well as the emissions that result from manufacturing and then recycling or disposing of vehicles and their various components. Bieker has also factored in real-world fuel or energy consumption—something that is especially important when it comes to PHEVs, according to the report. Finally, the study accounts for the fact that energy production should become less carbon-intensive over time, based on stated government objectives.

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2021/07/electric-cars-have-much-lower-life-cycle-emissions-new-study-confirms/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jonathan M. Gitlin

China plans to build the first ‘clean’ commercial nuclear reactor

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Are you intrigued by the possibility of using nuclear reactors to curb emissions, but worried about their water use and long-term safety? There might be an impending solution. LiveSciencereports that China has outlined plans to build the first ‘clean’ commercial nuclear reactor using liquid thorium and molten salt.

The first prototype reactor should be ready in August, with the first tests due in September. A full-scale commercial reactor should be ready by 2030.

The technology should not only be kinder to the environment, but mitigate some political controversy. Conventional uranium reactors produce waste that stays extremely radioactive for up to 10,000 years, requiring lead containers and extensive security. The waste also includes plutonium-239, an isotope crucial to nuclear weapons. They also risk spilling dramatic levels of radiation in the event of a leak, as seen in Chernobyl. They also need large volumes of water, ruling out use in arid climates.

Thorium reactors, however, dissolve their key element into fluoride salt that mostly outputs uranium-233 you can recycle through other reactions. Other leftovers in the reaction have a half-life of ‘just’ 500 years — still not spectacular, but much safer. If there is a leak, the molten salt cools enough that it effectively seals in the thorium and prevents significant leaks. The technology doesn’t require water, and can’t easily be used to produce nuclear weapons. You can build reactors in the desert, far away from most cities, and without raising concerns that it will add to nuclear weapon stockpiles.

China is accordingly building the first commercial reactor in Wuwei, a desert city in the country’s Gansu province. Officials also see this as a way to foster China’s international expansion — it plans up to 30 in countries participating in the company’s “Belt and Road” investment initiative. In theory, China can extend its political influence without contributing to nuclear arms proliferation.

That might worry the US and other political rivals that are behind on thorium reactors. The US-based Natrium reactor, for instance, is still in development. Even so, it might go a long way toward fighting climate change and meeting China’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2060. The country is still heavily dependent on coal energy, and there’s no guarantee renewable sources will keep up with demand by themselves. Thorium reactors could help China wean itself off coal relatively quickly, especially small-scale reactors that could be built over shorter periods and fill gaps where larger plants would be excessive.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/china-molten-salt-thorium-clean-nuclear-reactor-214210381.html?src=rss
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Jon Fingas

Concrete buildings could become rechargeable batteries you can live in

Concrete is the most widely consumed material in the world after water. Now, researchers have been exploring how it can be used to store electricity to eventually transform concrete buildings into rechargeable batteries that we live and work in. The engineers from Sweden’s Chalmers University of Technology demonstrated a prototype concrete battery that holds 10 times more power than previous approaches, you’d need 200 square meters of concrete batter to “provide about 8 percent of [a typical home’s] daily electricity consumption,” says researcher Emma Zhang. — Read the rest

Source: https://boingboing.net/2021/07/19/concrete-buildings-could-become-rechargeable-batteries-you-can-live-in.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=concrete-buildings-could-become-rechargeable-batteries-you-can-live-in
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The Article Was Written/Published By: David Pescovitz

GM just cut a big deal to tackle EV’s dirty secret

GM plans to use US-sourced lithium in its next-generation batteries for electric vehicles, tapping a new – and potentially less environmentally damaging – supply for the essential but controversial metal. Lithium batteries are a key part of EV expansion, both for GM and indeed all automakers looking to electrification, but the rare metal has some significant drawbacks along with it. … Continue reading

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/gm-just-cut-a-big-deal-to-tackle-evs-dirty-secret-02680884/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Chris Davies

Volvo’s New Concept Recharge EV Doesn’t Mimic Combustion Engine Cars

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Volvo recently committed to an all-EV future, but to date, all of its electric cars have been redesigns of existing combustion engine models. Now, Volvo’s new Concept Recharge EV shows that its future products will stand out from the rest of its lineup by abandoning the “unnecessary elements” of traditional cars, such as the front grille.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/90772/volvos-new-concept-recharge-ev-doesnt-mimic-combustion-engine-cars/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Andrew Heinzman

Fiat Will Transition to All Electric Vehicles Starting in 2025

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Fiat plans to go all-electric within the next decade, starting by transitioning several vehicles to electric-only in 2025. And while the Italian brand already offers several electric vehicles, this radical change for the company will increase more as we approach the year 2030.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

Source: https://www.reviewgeek.com/86692/fiat-will-transition-to-all-electric-vehicles-starting-in-2025/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Cory Gunther

This Solar Crypto Mine Plan Is Stranger Than Fiction

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A Montana crypto empire wants to build out one of the nation’s largest solar projects, promising it will power a technological revolution in the state. But some residents are worried about the impact the project could have on their community–and it brings up a question of whether installing huge renewable energy…

Read more…

Source: https://earther.gizmodo.com/this-solar-crypto-mine-plan-is-stranger-than-fiction-1846966085
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Molly Taft

Microsoft, the Linux Foundation, and others team up to make software sustainable

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Microsoft is still working to go fully carbon negative by the end of the decade, but effectively grappling with climate change isn’t just one company’s responsibility. As part of its virtual Build developer conference, the folks in Redmond — along with Accenture, GitHub, ThoughtWorks and the Linux Foundation — have announced the launch of the Green Software Foundation to help make software engineering more sustainable.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/green-software-foundation-microsoft-build-linux-github-accenture-150050755.html
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California ridesharing services must use zero-emissions vehicles starting in 2023

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has announced that in accordance with the implementation of SB 1014 of 2018, a regulation has been adopted that will require ridesharing companies to begin the electrification of their California fleets starting in 2023. CARB says the move is an another step towards meeting California’s 2030 climate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by … Continue reading

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/california-ridesharing-services-must-use-zero-emissions-vehicles-starting-in-2023-21673870/
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Shane McGlaun

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