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Tag Archives: Eco-friendly

Porsche 918 Spyder Does A Hybrid Race Car Right, Hurts A Lot In The Wallet

By David Ponce

Gas electric hybrids don’t mean “pedestrian underpowered gas sippers” in the world of luxury race cars. The Porsche 918 Spyder is a prime example of this. While word of its existence is not new, early prototypes are now hitting the track and getting ready for production. The car now officially gets from 0 to 62mph in less than three seconds, and sets its top speed at a blistering 200mph. The combined power of the 4.6 litre V8 and the electric motors work out to a staggering 770 bhp, which propels the car through the Nurgburgring in 7 minutes and 22 seconds. This is a full 10 seconds faster than the Carrera GT. The body is light and rigid thanks to its carbon reinforced plastic monocoque and of course braking regenerates the battery while the ceramic brake system takes care of the bulk of the stoppage. And while these kinds of numbers would normally be associated with some serious gas guzzling… the 918 Spyder sips 3 litres per 100kms. This works out to 94mpg! Yeah, you’re not going to get that figure if you drive with your pedal to the metal, but no mileage figure ever refers to that driving style.

Now for the fun bit. Porsche is only making 918 of these, and chances are, you won’t be able to afford one. It’s expensive highway robbery: $845,000. Yeah, that’s almost a cool million.

[ Porsche’s Website ] VIA [ Engadget ]

That Little Blue Sphere Is How Much Water Is On Earth — Total

By David Ponce

We like to think of our planet as made up entirely of water. After all, over 70% of its surface is covered in H2O. But the truth is that there’s comparatively very little of it. We’re not saying there isn’t much water. Just that if you put all the water (the oceans, the lakes, the water in the air and frozen up in ice and snow) in one place and compare it to the volume of the entire planet, it ain’t much. As you can see in the image above, created by the US Geological Survey, all the earth’s water would make up a ball with a diameter of 860 miles. The Earth itself in comparison has a diameter of about 7,900 miles. 860 miles isn’t much: it’s the distance from Salt Lake City, Utak to Topeka, Kansas and represents a volume of 332.5 million cubic miles (mi3).

The USGS article that gave us the above picture also has a fascinating lists of water facts. Here’s one: “About 3,100 mi3 (12,900 km3) of water, mostly in the form of water vapor, is in the atmosphere at any one time. If it all fell as precipitation at once, the Earth would be covered with only about 1 inch of water.”

Want more, and links, hit the jump.

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BMW Unveils i8 Spyder Concept

By David Ponce

BMW is going to town with their i8 cars. The above is the third instalment in their electric-gas hybrids: the i8 Spyder. It’s a shorter car, and one with two less spots for passengers. And one less roof. And while some might find it ugly, we think it looks awesome! Some specs:

96 kW/131 hp on the front, coupled with a 164 kW/223 hp gasoline engine on the back, which accelerate the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5 seconds, with a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

As far as fuel consumption goes, BMW claims 3 liters per 100 km (62 miles), with 30 kilometres (19 miles) of autonomy on electric power alone.

There’s even a rumour that BMW will stash two electric scooters in the trunk, though there aren’t much details on these. The New York Auto Show is coming up, and so is Beijing’s so we should have more information then. Considering BMW plans to make the other i8 cars, pretty much as-is, there’s a good chance that the Spyder version will see production at some point in the future, unlike so many such futuristic looking concepts.

VIA [ DVice ]

The Berlin Boombox Ia Made Of Cardboard, Is Eco-Friendly

By David Ponce

We read somewhere that the consumer electronic device with the highest rate of acceptance in American households was the boombox. It was accepted faster than the CD player (came in 2nd) or even the VCR (4th). And despite it falling out of fashion in the mid 90’s or so, like so many trends, it seems to be making a comeback these days. So that’s why we’re not surprised to hear of the Berlin Boombox, a cardboard boombox that you assemble yourself. It comes with all the electronic parts, including an amplifier, and assembly just takes minutes and requires no specific knowledge. It features a phone dock, but with a 3.5mm jack so you can use almost any music player and not just an iPhone or iPod.

It’s currently under funding on Kickstarter, and it costs $50 to pre-order with delivery in June. Not a bad price considering just how unique a product you’re getting. Plus, when you’re done with it you can just put it in the recycle bin.

[ Project Page ]

Bike Planter Lets You Bring Your Plants On Your Bike Ride

By David Ponce

Let’s face it, there are a lot of people who ride bikes because they love the environment. No, let’s clarify that: they’re in love with the environment. It’s like them and the environment, sitting in a tree… Speaking of trees, there’s now a little device that lets these nature aficionados display their affections even more loudly. It’s called a Bike Planter and is a 3D printed plant pot that attaches to your bike frame. It’s hand painted in red and has a little yellow elastic to secure the thing. It measures 2.3” tall, 1.4” wide, and 1” deep and costs $45. Plants not included.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ LikeCool ]

Water Pebble Watches Usage, Helps You Cut Down

By David Ponce

Taking a shower is already better than taking a bath when it comes to how much water you use. That’s of course unless you’re a girl, in which case you likely spend upwards of one hour in there, doing heaven knows what and making an appreciable dent into your town’s fresh water reserves. That needs to stop. The Water Pebble, which has been around for a couple of years, is a bit like a smoker’s nicotine patch. You put it at the bottom of the shower where it initially monitors how much you use. It then uses a series of lights to gradually cut down from that initial baseline.

It’s a $10 gadget, so we don’t really know if it’s sophisticated enough to detect between multiple users. But at that price, everyone in the household can get their own and save the planet and all those green things.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

House Of Marley Bag Of Rhythm Ready For Sale

By David Ponce

One of the highlights at this past CES was seeing Bob Marley’s son pitching products for the House Of Marley. Yes, Bob Marley had a son. Who knew?! Turns out they have a bunch of audio products that share an eco-friendly vision. The Bag Of Rhythm is the Marley interpretation of a boombox, with green components.

Essentially everything about this monster is recycled or recyclable – not that you’d ever want to recycle such a lovely amalgamation – and is made to give you a unique experience as well as vision. The wood you’ve got here is FSC certified Birch, the canvas is durable and will bring you back to your army days, and the plastic throughout the setup is entirely recyclable as well. The packaging is recycled as well, so you’ll have nothing you need to throw away when you get the device in the mail; you get to recycle it instead.

The speakers you see here are both 4.5-inch high-definition woofers, but there’s also two 1-inch tweeters and 32 watts of power and DSP Sound Processing.

The music is fed to the machine via an iPod/iPhone dock (or an AUX line in for anything else), which recharges the device, presumably when plugged in. It’ll ship later this month for $349.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Slashgear ]

EcoSpeed App Can Save You Up To 30% In Fuel

By David Ponce

Here’s the thing about driving and consumption and pollution: a lot has to do with how you drive. It’s all that stopping and going, and how you step on the pedal; whether you smash it or tickle it. But it’s possible to change all that and the EcoSpeed application teaches you how. It does two things. First, it can give you a route to your destination that may not be the shortest distance, but that has the lowest likelihood of stops. It avoids traffic lights and traffic, and calculates things in such a way that even with the additional mileage, you end up spending less gas and don’t necessarily take much longer to get to where you’re going.

The second part addresses your habits. Since your phone has an accelerometer, it can tell how you’re driving and scream at you to ease up on the pedal mashing. With all this coaching, EcoSpeed claims you can shave up to 30% in your fuel consumption, and consequently on your polluting.

The app should be free and available in March for Android and iOS devices.

[ EcoSpeed Demo ] VIA [ Wired Gadgets ]

Bracketron’s GreenZero Chargers Puts A Silver Bullet Through The Vampires

By David Ponce

Lord, that’s a terrible headline, but that’s the way I roll, baby! It looks like now that the term “vampire electronics” is gaining some traction in the minds of conscious gadget shoppers, more and more manufacturers are trying to make a buck off our fears of spending a few too many dollars on wasted electricity. Granted, it’s with little dollars that you make big ones, but I’m getting a little annoyed at the green veneer for profiteering. Anyway, back to the point, Bracketron’s GreenZero charger is pretty simple: it detects when your device is done charging and cuts off standby power. There. Money saved and now mother nature will hug you in your dreams.

It’s $23 and comes in iPhone and microUSB flavors. It’ll be unveiled at CES next week.

[ Press Release ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]