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The e-bike Mamachari is Japan’s moms favorite smart idea
If you are lucky enough to live in an area where biking is encouraged and a widespread activity, you will surely have witnessed the forced versatility of this mode of transportation. Entire households can fit on the small frame of this iron horse; pets, several children, suitcases and boxes included. Those skilled in biking can juggle umbrellas, smartphones and backpacks seemingly without difficulties, while still somehow paying attention to the surrounding traffic as well. Now, if you are even luckier to have visited Japan in recent years, you might recognise the term Mamachari. Loosely translated at ‘mom-bikes’, this ingenious piece of engineering has taken the notion of bike-travel and combined it with all the much needed features that make our daily life a lot easier.   Still ‘just an e-bike’, but much more than that While the Mamachari, that are a common sight in virtually all regions in the Asian country, might appear to be a no-frills, purely functional object at a first glance; those who dare to look closer will be stunned by its possibilities. Without any real difficulties, it can be transformed into a grocery getter, an easy commuter bike, a pizza delivery service or a taxi ride for your kids to school.   Various western manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon and introduced their own version of the iconic Japanese bicycle. Take the Cero One. This self-proclaimed cargo bike is uncompromising in its ambition to match and possibly even improve the mom-bike. Yet it has paid significant attention to the design as well. Most people will not even discern this cargo bike from the regular ones driving down the street. Equipped with handy baskets and rackets The large rear wheel does not only make for a cool look, it also supports the extra weight that the bike can carry. This extra weight can be stored in a wide collection of modular baskets and rackets, adding up to some 12 pieces in total that are designed to fit any kind of carry-on luggage. When this heavy load gets too much, you will be happy to find out that the built-in electric motor can take you on a trip of up to 93 miles. As for its purpose? Japanese designer Kiyoshi Iwai claims that “ [the] goal was to design and build a modern version of the Japanese Mamachari, a practical utility bike that could be used by almost anyone as a replacement for a car in their daily lives .”   Cycling towards a better environment So, in short, the goal is to find a sustainable car replacement. While some people might be hesitant to go for a grocery run on their two-wheeler, anticipating the heavy bags on the return trip, the Cero One wants to take away those concerns. It wants to replace the car and other polluting means of transportation for daily chores such as picking up the kids, delivering pizzas or mail, or commuting to work.   Or, as Iwai puts it: “ The CERO One allows urban dwellers to do almost anything they'd do in a car, but more quickly and efficiently. A powerful electric motor and wide range of accessories make the bike perfect for getting around town as well as carrying almost anything, whether that's groceries, pizza for delivery or precious cargo .” Biking for a more  sustainable way of living And even though it has an electric motor, it technically still is a bike - meaning that it will be better for your health as well. Biking is a stress-relieving, fun way of getting around. It allows you to enjoy the outdoors whilst working on a sustainable, healthy lifestyle that includes sufficient exercise. You can take part in bike races, or even enjoy the very therapeutic activity of bike repairs. Even more importantly, when taking your kids to school on a bike, you will teach them that it is not normal to be chauffeured around by car everywhere they go.   These values of sustainability, health and exercise will become more and more valuable in years to come. Why not get a head start by finding your own smart utility bike? Mamachari is not just an object. It is a way of living, a statement that shares your values with the world. Whether you are a mom, a dad, or a young professional making his way through town: it will make your life better. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/cycling
If you are lucky enough to live in an area where biking is encouraged and a widespread activity, you will surely have witnessed the forced versatility of this mode of transportation. Entire households can fit on the small frame of this iron horse; pets, several children, suitcases and boxes included. Those skilled in biking can juggle umbrellas, smartphones and backpacks seemingly without difficulties, while still somehow paying attention to the surrounding traffic as well. Now, if you are even luckier to have visited Japan in recent years, you might recognise the term Mamachari. Loosely translated at ‘mom-bikes’, this ingenious piece of engineering has taken the notion of bike-travel and combined it with all the much needed features that make our daily life a lot easier.   Still ‘just an e-bike’, but much more than that While the Mamachari, that are a common sight in virtually all regions in the Asian country, might appear to be a no-frills, purely functional object at a first glance; those who dare to look closer will be stunned by its possibilities. Without any real difficulties, it can be transformed into a grocery getter, an easy commuter bike, a pizza delivery service or a taxi ride for your kids to school.   Various western manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon and introduced their own version of the iconic Japanese bicycle. Take the Cero One. This self-proclaimed cargo bike is uncompromising in its ambition to match and possibly even improve the mom-bike. Yet it has paid significant attention to the design as well. Most people will not even discern this cargo bike from the regular ones driving down the street. Equipped with handy baskets and rackets The large rear wheel does not only make for a cool look, it also supports the extra weight that the bike can carry. This extra weight can be stored in a wide collection of modular baskets and rackets, adding up to some 12 pieces in total that are designed to fit any kind of carry-on luggage. When this heavy load gets too much, you will be happy to find out that the built-in electric motor can take you on a trip of up to 93 miles. As for its purpose? Japanese designer Kiyoshi Iwai claims that “ [the] goal was to design and build a modern version of the Japanese Mamachari, a practical utility bike that could be used by almost anyone as a replacement for a car in their daily lives .”   Cycling towards a better environment So, in short, the goal is to find a sustainable car replacement. While some people might be hesitant to go for a grocery run on their two-wheeler, anticipating the heavy bags on the return trip, the Cero One wants to take away those concerns. It wants to replace the car and other polluting means of transportation for daily chores such as picking up the kids, delivering pizzas or mail, or commuting to work.   Or, as Iwai puts it: “ The CERO One allows urban dwellers to do almost anything they'd do in a car, but more quickly and efficiently. A powerful electric motor and wide range of accessories make the bike perfect for getting around town as well as carrying almost anything, whether that's groceries, pizza for delivery or precious cargo .” Biking for a more  sustainable way of living And even though it has an electric motor, it technically still is a bike - meaning that it will be better for your health as well. Biking is a stress-relieving, fun way of getting around. It allows you to enjoy the outdoors whilst working on a sustainable, healthy lifestyle that includes sufficient exercise. You can take part in bike races, or even enjoy the very therapeutic activity of bike repairs. Even more importantly, when taking your kids to school on a bike, you will teach them that it is not normal to be chauffeured around by car everywhere they go.   These values of sustainability, health and exercise will become more and more valuable in years to come. Why not get a head start by finding your own smart utility bike? Mamachari is not just an object. It is a way of living, a statement that shares your values with the world. Whether you are a mom, a dad, or a young professional making his way through town: it will make your life better. https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/cycling
The e-bike Mamachari is Japan’s moms favorite smart idea
The e-bike Mamachari is Japan’s moms favorite smart idea
A solar powered car made from plastic waste. Follow Clean2Antartca on Antartica
WhatsOrb is an official partner from Clean2Antartica Since November 2018, WhatsOr is an official sponsor from the Clean2Antartica project. Adventure for Change. Waste meets adventure Two people are heading for the South Pole in a vehicle made of plastic waste, powered by the sun. Join us, because creating a cleaner world is an adventure for everyone. How did the Clean2Antartica challenge start? Liesbeth and Edwin (Netherlands) were making dinner, when they tossed away another plastic packaging. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They turned around their trashcan and their mindset. Why is plastic suddenly worthless? Why do we blame the government or the supermarket? Leaving your comfort zone all the way to Antartica The next day they went to the butcher with their own reusable packaging. An uncomfortable situation, but a moment of success that set off a personal adventure. Liesbeth and Edwin went from the discomfort of their own trash to taking on the freezing challenge of Antarctica. Start small, but start today to ‘recycle plastic waste How do you go from the kitchen table to Antarctica? By starting, failing, and adjusting. People said it's impossible. They said plastic waste wouldn't be good enough, the car would fail. But here we are, ready to be the first to reach the South Pole with clean technology. Liesbeth and Edwin don't want to set a record. They want to inspire you to take your own step for a better a world. Expedition to Antarctica by ‘plastic waste car powered by solar An expedition for a cleaner world on the coldest continent on earth. A test of man and machine, to inspire a personal adventure at home. Photo by: Clean2Antartica Leaving the comfort zone From Antarctica’s base camp, Liesbeth and Edwin will drive to the South Pole and back. A journey of 2400 km through an icy desert where the sun never sets. In -30°C, man and machine will be tested on the driest, coldest, and highest continent on the planet. This is about the power of embracing discomfort. Whether it's about an expedition or taking the first steps to reduce your plastic . A zero waste continent: Antartica Antarctica contains 90% of the world’s ice and belongs to no one. It is zero waste by law, making it the perfect destination for a zero waste adventure. We can learn from Antarctica and make sure it stays that way. We also want to raise awareness for the Antarctic treaty. If not extended in 2048, the continent will be opened for commercial exploitation. Adventure with purpose We want people to rediscover their world. To experiment with plastic waste and explore a world of possibilities. Our expedition is a spark for personal adventure. It has all the charm of a classical expedition and the purpose of creating a better world. Going on an adventure, at home or far away, can make us better humans. We arrived on the South pole. -27 °C. The expedition with the  solar powered car has started! “We got a little impatient here in our Mission Control Center. Rumors went that the expedition team had already landed on Monday and that turned out to be true. Nevertheless, we had contact with them for the first time on Wednesday. Exciting! Photo by: Clean2Antartica Bad weather and a small incident with the wheel of the Solar Voyager caused some delay, but we have good news. We see movement in our Mission Control Center, it looks like they are going to drive today! Yes, that did not look too good. The suspension of the front wheel had been shot off. Probably because two rings were not installed properly. Fortunately everything was still complete and the Solar Voyager could continue. This accident has ensured that the team is even sharper. Hopefully this will not cause any further problems in the expedition.” Episodes Antarctica: Our start and many more adventures with the solar waste car Rough start! Strong wind and a crash, but they arrived at Union Glacier. Episode 3, the arrival on Union Glacier. And as Liesbeth says, we’re ready to rock and roll! All systems work. Panels are tested. Food is packed. On Monday, we leave for Union Glacier, for our first steps on Antartica. Follow the mission our Antarctica. Check out the expedition videos and stay tuned for new updates about this adventure. https://www.clean2antarctica.nl/en https://www.whatsorb.com/news/electric-car-sion-attracts-5-000-reservations-for-it-s-unique-solar-battery-concept
WhatsOrb is an official partner from Clean2Antartica Since November 2018, WhatsOr is an official sponsor from the Clean2Antartica project. Adventure for Change. Waste meets adventure Two people are heading for the South Pole in a vehicle made of plastic waste, powered by the sun. Join us, because creating a cleaner world is an adventure for everyone. How did the Clean2Antartica challenge start? Liesbeth and Edwin (Netherlands) were making dinner, when they tossed away another plastic packaging. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They turned around their trashcan and their mindset. Why is plastic suddenly worthless? Why do we blame the government or the supermarket? Leaving your comfort zone all the way to Antartica The next day they went to the butcher with their own reusable packaging. An uncomfortable situation, but a moment of success that set off a personal adventure. Liesbeth and Edwin went from the discomfort of their own trash to taking on the freezing challenge of Antarctica. Start small, but start today to ‘recycle plastic waste How do you go from the kitchen table to Antarctica? By starting, failing, and adjusting. People said it's impossible. They said plastic waste wouldn't be good enough, the car would fail. But here we are, ready to be the first to reach the South Pole with clean technology. Liesbeth and Edwin don't want to set a record. They want to inspire you to take your own step for a better a world. Expedition to Antarctica by ‘plastic waste car powered by solar An expedition for a cleaner world on the coldest continent on earth. A test of man and machine, to inspire a personal adventure at home. Photo by: Clean2Antartica Leaving the comfort zone From Antarctica’s base camp, Liesbeth and Edwin will drive to the South Pole and back. A journey of 2400 km through an icy desert where the sun never sets. In -30°C, man and machine will be tested on the driest, coldest, and highest continent on the planet. This is about the power of embracing discomfort. Whether it's about an expedition or taking the first steps to reduce your plastic . A zero waste continent: Antartica Antarctica contains 90% of the world’s ice and belongs to no one. It is zero waste by law, making it the perfect destination for a zero waste adventure. We can learn from Antarctica and make sure it stays that way. We also want to raise awareness for the Antarctic treaty. If not extended in 2048, the continent will be opened for commercial exploitation. Adventure with purpose We want people to rediscover their world. To experiment with plastic waste and explore a world of possibilities. Our expedition is a spark for personal adventure. It has all the charm of a classical expedition and the purpose of creating a better world. Going on an adventure, at home or far away, can make us better humans. We arrived on the South pole. -27 °C. The expedition with the  solar powered car has started! “We got a little impatient here in our Mission Control Center. Rumors went that the expedition team had already landed on Monday and that turned out to be true. Nevertheless, we had contact with them for the first time on Wednesday. Exciting! Photo by: Clean2Antartica Bad weather and a small incident with the wheel of the Solar Voyager caused some delay, but we have good news. We see movement in our Mission Control Center, it looks like they are going to drive today! Yes, that did not look too good. The suspension of the front wheel had been shot off. Probably because two rings were not installed properly. Fortunately everything was still complete and the Solar Voyager could continue. This accident has ensured that the team is even sharper. Hopefully this will not cause any further problems in the expedition.” Episodes Antarctica: Our start and many more adventures with the solar waste car Rough start! Strong wind and a crash, but they arrived at Union Glacier. Episode 3, the arrival on Union Glacier. And as Liesbeth says, we’re ready to rock and roll! All systems work. Panels are tested. Food is packed. On Monday, we leave for Union Glacier, for our first steps on Antartica. Follow the mission our Antarctica. Check out the expedition videos and stay tuned for new updates about this adventure. https://www.clean2antarctica.nl/en https://www.whatsorb.com/news/electric-car-sion-attracts-5-000-reservations-for-it-s-unique-solar-battery-concept
A solar powered car made from plastic waste. Follow Clean2Antartca on Antartica
A solar powered car made from plastic waste. Follow Clean2Antartca on Antartica
A Sexy electric vehicle. Vespa, meets Tesla and Apple
One will be hard pressed to go out on the street and not see one of them whizzing by. They are almost as common a sight as cars and bikes: scooters. Not rarely produced in cool, eye-catching colours, and equipped with all kinds of attractive extras, this modern mode of electric transport is enjoying an ever-increasing popularity. Dubious reputation The romantic image of exciting, sexy Italian-blooded scooters has surely captured the imagination of many. Although just as many would be quick to highlight their not quite so attractive side: the riding style of the owners, sometimes showing a rather shocking absence of any kind of adherence to traffic rules, is frowned upon in most areas of the world.   Most people will be familiar with the absolute chaos that reigns on the roads in South-East Asia, in countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, where entire families - including family pets - are crowded together on one tiny scooter to travel to and fro. Not only worryingly hazardous for those riding these  Motorised bicycles , but also dangerous for society as a whole. Road safety, the constant exhaust of fossil fuels and other harmful emissions related to the production and use… just a handful of the issues that accompanied the rising popularity of scooters. Meet the new electric vehicle, the appscooter About time that someone stood up and changed something about this. That ‘someone’ is the Dutch electric scooter company Bolt Mobility. Their mission? To protect those on the scooter, as well as those directly around it ánd the environment . Their brainchild? The AppScooter, a fully electric scooter that uses modular batteries - which provide it with a 240 km range.   And while some electric scooter companies forgot about the most important part of their branding - the look and feel of the scooter itself -, it is clear that Bolt did not skimp on its design stage. This is probably why their end product is best described as the lovechild of a full-blooded Italian Vespa and a bold, adventurous Tesla. At the same time, it boasts some high-tech, smart features that would not be out of place in a James Bond movie.   Smartphone  on wheels The AppScooter is a fully connected device, and can be integrated with an iPhone or Android smartphone through a touchscreen. Through this connection, it provides its rider will all kind of information and data, including turn-by-turn GPS navigation, easy music selection and a hands-free call answering option. Some might fear that this is actually making them more of a road hazard, but rest assured that this will not be the case: in order to control those functions, you do not have to let go of the handlebars. The controls are built in those very same handlebars, allowing you to control your display and smartphone for those functions that you need on your journey. Only when your scooter has come to a full stop, all other options offered by the system - including a wide range of Android apps - will be available to you. And, in the true explorer’s spirit: the scooter has two integrated cameras, that can be used to capture high-quality footage of your journeys. After finishing your recording, you can easily upload the video to your social media channels. Planning to go on quite a long ride? Rest assured that the 65L (2.3 cubic feet) storage area is more than enough (at about 4x the storage of a Vespa) to bring along all the things that you need. Fully electric vehicle Most importantly: the AppScooter is clean. It is innovative in its ability to include up to six modular battery packs, each of those would provide it with a range of roughly 67 km - adding up to the total range of 240 km mentioned before. These batteries are made up of Panasonic cells that closely resemble those used by Tesla, as well as a similar double fuse design. In order to fully enjoy this range, you would have to be cruising somewhere around 20 km/h. It will not be your fastest scooter, but probably your most reliable and cleanest one. What lies ahead? While it is too early to say whether AppScooter is, in fact, that perfect product - the final production and delivery is slated to start sometime next year -, its unique mix of the cool, sophisticated Tesla attributes with the cute, authentic Vespa appeal and the hi-tech functionalities of the latest iPhone makes it a product to watch. And with its competitive price of about $3,500, it does not quite require you to break the bank either. The AppScooter definitely has a bright future ahead of it. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/transportation
One will be hard pressed to go out on the street and not see one of them whizzing by. They are almost as common a sight as cars and bikes: scooters. Not rarely produced in cool, eye-catching colours, and equipped with all kinds of attractive extras, this modern mode of electric transport is enjoying an ever-increasing popularity. Dubious reputation The romantic image of exciting, sexy Italian-blooded scooters has surely captured the imagination of many. Although just as many would be quick to highlight their not quite so attractive side: the riding style of the owners, sometimes showing a rather shocking absence of any kind of adherence to traffic rules, is frowned upon in most areas of the world.   Most people will be familiar with the absolute chaos that reigns on the roads in South-East Asia, in countries such as Thailand and Vietnam, where entire families - including family pets - are crowded together on one tiny scooter to travel to and fro. Not only worryingly hazardous for those riding these  Motorised bicycles , but also dangerous for society as a whole. Road safety, the constant exhaust of fossil fuels and other harmful emissions related to the production and use… just a handful of the issues that accompanied the rising popularity of scooters. Meet the new electric vehicle, the appscooter About time that someone stood up and changed something about this. That ‘someone’ is the Dutch electric scooter company Bolt Mobility. Their mission? To protect those on the scooter, as well as those directly around it ánd the environment . Their brainchild? The AppScooter, a fully electric scooter that uses modular batteries - which provide it with a 240 km range.   And while some electric scooter companies forgot about the most important part of their branding - the look and feel of the scooter itself -, it is clear that Bolt did not skimp on its design stage. This is probably why their end product is best described as the lovechild of a full-blooded Italian Vespa and a bold, adventurous Tesla. At the same time, it boasts some high-tech, smart features that would not be out of place in a James Bond movie.   Smartphone  on wheels The AppScooter is a fully connected device, and can be integrated with an iPhone or Android smartphone through a touchscreen. Through this connection, it provides its rider will all kind of information and data, including turn-by-turn GPS navigation, easy music selection and a hands-free call answering option. Some might fear that this is actually making them more of a road hazard, but rest assured that this will not be the case: in order to control those functions, you do not have to let go of the handlebars. The controls are built in those very same handlebars, allowing you to control your display and smartphone for those functions that you need on your journey. Only when your scooter has come to a full stop, all other options offered by the system - including a wide range of Android apps - will be available to you. And, in the true explorer’s spirit: the scooter has two integrated cameras, that can be used to capture high-quality footage of your journeys. After finishing your recording, you can easily upload the video to your social media channels. Planning to go on quite a long ride? Rest assured that the 65L (2.3 cubic feet) storage area is more than enough (at about 4x the storage of a Vespa) to bring along all the things that you need. Fully electric vehicle Most importantly: the AppScooter is clean. It is innovative in its ability to include up to six modular battery packs, each of those would provide it with a range of roughly 67 km - adding up to the total range of 240 km mentioned before. These batteries are made up of Panasonic cells that closely resemble those used by Tesla, as well as a similar double fuse design. In order to fully enjoy this range, you would have to be cruising somewhere around 20 km/h. It will not be your fastest scooter, but probably your most reliable and cleanest one. What lies ahead? While it is too early to say whether AppScooter is, in fact, that perfect product - the final production and delivery is slated to start sometime next year -, its unique mix of the cool, sophisticated Tesla attributes with the cute, authentic Vespa appeal and the hi-tech functionalities of the latest iPhone makes it a product to watch. And with its competitive price of about $3,500, it does not quite require you to break the bank either. The AppScooter definitely has a bright future ahead of it. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/transportation
A Sexy electric vehicle. Vespa, meets Tesla and Apple
A Sexy electric vehicle. Vespa, meets Tesla and Apple
ELECTRIC CARS: TRULY GREEN OR A NEW KIND OF LIABILITY?
The electric car truly is the kind of stuff that science fiction dreams are made of. Driving around without the sound or smell of typical cars, and upon coming home, plugging in the car in the reload station. And once it is fully charged, off you go again, without ever having to bother with filling up the tank at smelly, crowded gas stations. Most of us are longingly staring at the Teslas zooming past in the street, or throwing somewhat jealous glances at the reserved parking spots, exclusive for electric charging. Governments have made it clear that they are looking to subsidise these vehicles, to move towards an economy that is largely fuelled by electric cars , motorcycles, busses, planes… and phase out the polluting, gas guzzling products of the fossil fuel industry. GREATER, BETTER, CLEANER? While the retail price of electric cars still far outweigh that of ‘regular’ cars, there are increasingly more subsidies and grants available for those who are seriously considering ‘a car with a plug’. And yes, they will still be more expensive (ranging anywhere between € 20,000 and € 10,000), even though the savings will start to flow in almost instantly, as the average cost of electricity required for fuelling the car adds up to some hundred euros, perhaps, or maximum € 600-700 per year (depending on the exact car brand and type chosen and the kilometers driven in a year). This puts it at roughly 30% to 50% of the cost for fuel. Additionally, the maintenance costs are likely to be lower as well - there are fewer moving parts and a system that is generally easier to understand and repair when needed. Not to mention the cheaper insurances and tax discounts offered for electric cars.   CARBON EMISSIONS One of the major selling points for the electric car is its zero emissions promise. Whereas regular gas-powered vehicles pump out carbon dioxide while driving, the claim used to be that electric cars do not have any (as they are not burning fossil fuels while driving). Yet this is not entirely true, as there have been instances in which the electric car actually produced higher amounts of CO2 per kilometer driven in its lifetime.   What has to be added to this, though, is that this was a result of the size of the car and hinged on the word ‘lifetime’. For example, if you place a rather big Tesla car opposite a regular compact or economy-sized car, this will lead to a negative outcome for the Tesla. Whereas if you put it head-to-head with a similar sized car, it will always come out on top. The crux in this is the cost of car production, battery manufacturing, and projected recycling opportunities. All or this adds to the lifetime CO2 emission, so logic dictates that a larger car, with more parts, will get a higher rating than a smaller ‘regular’ car. Or, as the US Department of Energy put it, considering all, “an electric car like the Tesla Model S has almost four times lower CO2 per mile than an equivalent gas-powered car.” USE OF ‘DIRTY’ ENERGY Some people will claim that it hardly matters anyway. With an electric car, you are merely shifting the pollution source: instead of using fuel and gas, you are employing electricity, that still largely depends on coal and natural gasses for its production as well. Hence, fossil fuels are used no matter what, and so pollution will be the same as well. Right?   No, not exactly. While it cannot be denied that electricity production still largely hinges on fossil fuels, there is a clear shift towards renewable energy sources . Depending on the exact region, renewable energy sources already make up a significant part of the power needs. Tesla’s Elon Musk has pledged a switch to fully renewable energy sources for the production of their Tesla, using nothing but wind and solar energy to manufacture the cars. Especially in the wake of the Paris Agreement, energy is predicted to become increasingly more sustainable. LITHIUM BATTERIES A final, unavoidable note must be made regarding the lithium batteries that are commonly used in electric cars. This rare element is not only difficult to mine, but also potentially hazardous to those processing it. So, its creation is relatively hard on the environment: if only considering the huge amounts of water that are required for the mining (a staggering 1.9 million liters per tonne of lithium) and the adverse effects that the released chemicals have on the local environment and population alone. And yes, this battery will eliminate the need for similarly polluting elements, but the huge (ethical and environmental) pressure that its production puts on primarily third world countries is worrying. SO, WHAT TO DRIVE? There are undoubtedly aspects of the electric car that are far from desirable. And no, it is not the end-product that we have been able to witness in science-fiction pop culture hits, effortlessly floating on air. Yet the current electric car does take a significant bite out of the emission of its gas counterparts. For now it may be a question of being ‘the lesser evil’, but the great progress made in more sustainable production processes of the car and electricity alike, shows great promise. The electric car is driving down the right road! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/battery
The electric car truly is the kind of stuff that science fiction dreams are made of. Driving around without the sound or smell of typical cars, and upon coming home, plugging in the car in the reload station. And once it is fully charged, off you go again, without ever having to bother with filling up the tank at smelly, crowded gas stations. Most of us are longingly staring at the Teslas zooming past in the street, or throwing somewhat jealous glances at the reserved parking spots, exclusive for electric charging. Governments have made it clear that they are looking to subsidise these vehicles, to move towards an economy that is largely fuelled by electric cars , motorcycles, busses, planes… and phase out the polluting, gas guzzling products of the fossil fuel industry. GREATER, BETTER, CLEANER? While the retail price of electric cars still far outweigh that of ‘regular’ cars, there are increasingly more subsidies and grants available for those who are seriously considering ‘a car with a plug’. And yes, they will still be more expensive (ranging anywhere between € 20,000 and € 10,000), even though the savings will start to flow in almost instantly, as the average cost of electricity required for fuelling the car adds up to some hundred euros, perhaps, or maximum € 600-700 per year (depending on the exact car brand and type chosen and the kilometers driven in a year). This puts it at roughly 30% to 50% of the cost for fuel. Additionally, the maintenance costs are likely to be lower as well - there are fewer moving parts and a system that is generally easier to understand and repair when needed. Not to mention the cheaper insurances and tax discounts offered for electric cars.   CARBON EMISSIONS One of the major selling points for the electric car is its zero emissions promise. Whereas regular gas-powered vehicles pump out carbon dioxide while driving, the claim used to be that electric cars do not have any (as they are not burning fossil fuels while driving). Yet this is not entirely true, as there have been instances in which the electric car actually produced higher amounts of CO2 per kilometer driven in its lifetime.   What has to be added to this, though, is that this was a result of the size of the car and hinged on the word ‘lifetime’. For example, if you place a rather big Tesla car opposite a regular compact or economy-sized car, this will lead to a negative outcome for the Tesla. Whereas if you put it head-to-head with a similar sized car, it will always come out on top. The crux in this is the cost of car production, battery manufacturing, and projected recycling opportunities. All or this adds to the lifetime CO2 emission, so logic dictates that a larger car, with more parts, will get a higher rating than a smaller ‘regular’ car. Or, as the US Department of Energy put it, considering all, “an electric car like the Tesla Model S has almost four times lower CO2 per mile than an equivalent gas-powered car.” USE OF ‘DIRTY’ ENERGY Some people will claim that it hardly matters anyway. With an electric car, you are merely shifting the pollution source: instead of using fuel and gas, you are employing electricity, that still largely depends on coal and natural gasses for its production as well. Hence, fossil fuels are used no matter what, and so pollution will be the same as well. Right?   No, not exactly. While it cannot be denied that electricity production still largely hinges on fossil fuels, there is a clear shift towards renewable energy sources . Depending on the exact region, renewable energy sources already make up a significant part of the power needs. Tesla’s Elon Musk has pledged a switch to fully renewable energy sources for the production of their Tesla, using nothing but wind and solar energy to manufacture the cars. Especially in the wake of the Paris Agreement, energy is predicted to become increasingly more sustainable. LITHIUM BATTERIES A final, unavoidable note must be made regarding the lithium batteries that are commonly used in electric cars. This rare element is not only difficult to mine, but also potentially hazardous to those processing it. So, its creation is relatively hard on the environment: if only considering the huge amounts of water that are required for the mining (a staggering 1.9 million liters per tonne of lithium) and the adverse effects that the released chemicals have on the local environment and population alone. And yes, this battery will eliminate the need for similarly polluting elements, but the huge (ethical and environmental) pressure that its production puts on primarily third world countries is worrying. SO, WHAT TO DRIVE? There are undoubtedly aspects of the electric car that are far from desirable. And no, it is not the end-product that we have been able to witness in science-fiction pop culture hits, effortlessly floating on air. Yet the current electric car does take a significant bite out of the emission of its gas counterparts. For now it may be a question of being ‘the lesser evil’, but the great progress made in more sustainable production processes of the car and electricity alike, shows great promise. The electric car is driving down the right road! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/battery
ELECTRIC CARS: TRULY GREEN OR A NEW KIND OF LIABILITY?
ELECTRIC CARS: TRULY GREEN OR A NEW KIND OF LIABILITY?
World Car Free Day –  re-thinking our daily commute
Every year we see sustainability-related events like  Sustainable House Day and  Zero Emissions Day  Also we have World Car Free Day. Taking place in September, this event “promotes improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking, and the development of communities where jobs are closer to home and where shopping is within walking distance”. It was established as a global event in 2000, but various projects of similar nature had taken place from time to time since 1956. Similar to Zero Emissions Day, World Car Free Day has set out a challenge: To spend one carefully prepared day without cars. To study and observe closely what exactly goes on during that day. Then, to reflect publicly and collectively on the lessons of this experience and on what might be prudently and creatively done next to build on these. We are going to focus on the last part of this challenge and look at the latest developments in eco-friendly transportation. Making public transport greener Copenhagen is a city with a green mission – the municipality has set a target of switching all of the city’s buses to electric power by 2030. And local operating company Movia is quickly moving towards reaching that goal – they have just announced that 41 new electric buses will join their fleet at once this year 2019. The Netherlands has an even more ambitious goal. Back in 2016, Environment Minister Dijksma has signed an agreement with all transport operators in the country that by 2025 all buses used in public transport should be electric or hydrogen-powered. By then, two of the country’s provinces (Noord-Brabant and Limburg) have already switched completely to electric vehicles and became the drivers behind that agreement. All electricity that powers the buses will be generated completely sustainably by solar panels or wind turbines in the region, lowering the CO2 emissions further. Buses aren’t the only type of public transport that the Dutch are making more sustainable – the trains are quickly becoming greener every year. Holland’s national train company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, became the world’s first railway company to get 100% of the energy needed to power its trains from wind. The company’s new goal is to re-use 75% of their waste by 2020. Trams have long been considered the cleanest form of public transport and the city of Melbourne, Australia is aiming to take it one step further. Back in January 2017, Victorian government has announced the construction of two new solar farms that will power the trams. With transport being the second largest and fastest growing contributor to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, changes like these can make a huge difference and highlight more opportunities for improvement. A small solution to a big problem While making public transport greener is important, it is also crucial to remember that the main challenge is getting the public to wave goodbye to their cars. One of the problems to solve is accessibility – most of the time smaller towns and villages simply do not have good access to public transport and thus living there makes owning a car a necessity rather than a luxury. The City of Candiac in Québec, Canada is currently hosting a long-term demonstration project for an autonomous electric shuttle that is aiming to promote use of public transport in such underserved areas. These shuttles have a capacity of 15 passengers and will run throughout the fall of 2018. Once winter season starts, the project will enter an experimentation phase without passengers to test the shuttle’s performance in winter conditions. This approach sounds very promising and hopefully we will see more similar projects taking place around the world. Other sustainable alternatives to cars Of course mass transit isn’t the only way to reduce the amount of cars on our roads. Malta’s Public Transport has teamed up with Ioscoot to introduce a more eco-friendly alternative to renting a car on the island – electric motorbikes. This initiative is set to become a solution to both carbon footprint and traffic problems. The service allows users to pick up and drop off scooters at designated spots and all they need is to download the app and have a valid moped licence. All of the  scooters have space for 2 passengers and have 2 helmets in different sizes in their storage compartments. Ioscoot is already offering this service in Madrid and Barcelona, where it is already quite successful. It is impossible to write about sustainable car alternatives without mentioning bicycles. More cities are adjusting their roads to include bike paths and are closing off inner cities for cars. Cycling offers many benefits, such as low cost, the ability to avoid traffic and of course it provides the exercise many of us have to time for otherwise. One of the biggest drawbacks of cycling is the question of storage – in some areas bike racks are hard to come by and hallway space is too valuable. And what about those situations where you happen to need your bicycle when you are at work or out with your friends, while it’s locked in front of your house? These reasons are exactly why bike-sharing is becoming incredibly popular. In 2008 there were only 128 bike-sharing services worldwide – today there are more than 1’600! Companies that are traditionally associated with cars – such as Uber and Lyft – are entering that market as well. There are a lot of efforts to make our commutes easier and “greener”, and while some of them are focused on the longer term many solutions are available to us today. So if you haven’t biked since you were in school – World Car Free Day is the perfect opportunity to brush up that skill! Are there any eco-friendly transport initiatives taking place in your area? Tell us all about them in the comments! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/general
Every year we see sustainability-related events like  Sustainable House Day and  Zero Emissions Day  Also we have World Car Free Day. Taking place in September, this event “promotes improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking, and the development of communities where jobs are closer to home and where shopping is within walking distance”. It was established as a global event in 2000, but various projects of similar nature had taken place from time to time since 1956. Similar to Zero Emissions Day, World Car Free Day has set out a challenge: To spend one carefully prepared day without cars. To study and observe closely what exactly goes on during that day. Then, to reflect publicly and collectively on the lessons of this experience and on what might be prudently and creatively done next to build on these. We are going to focus on the last part of this challenge and look at the latest developments in eco-friendly transportation. Making public transport greener Copenhagen is a city with a green mission – the municipality has set a target of switching all of the city’s buses to electric power by 2030. And local operating company Movia is quickly moving towards reaching that goal – they have just announced that 41 new electric buses will join their fleet at once this year 2019. The Netherlands has an even more ambitious goal. Back in 2016, Environment Minister Dijksma has signed an agreement with all transport operators in the country that by 2025 all buses used in public transport should be electric or hydrogen-powered. By then, two of the country’s provinces (Noord-Brabant and Limburg) have already switched completely to electric vehicles and became the drivers behind that agreement. All electricity that powers the buses will be generated completely sustainably by solar panels or wind turbines in the region, lowering the CO2 emissions further. Buses aren’t the only type of public transport that the Dutch are making more sustainable – the trains are quickly becoming greener every year. Holland’s national train company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen, became the world’s first railway company to get 100% of the energy needed to power its trains from wind. The company’s new goal is to re-use 75% of their waste by 2020. Trams have long been considered the cleanest form of public transport and the city of Melbourne, Australia is aiming to take it one step further. Back in January 2017, Victorian government has announced the construction of two new solar farms that will power the trams. With transport being the second largest and fastest growing contributor to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, changes like these can make a huge difference and highlight more opportunities for improvement. A small solution to a big problem While making public transport greener is important, it is also crucial to remember that the main challenge is getting the public to wave goodbye to their cars. One of the problems to solve is accessibility – most of the time smaller towns and villages simply do not have good access to public transport and thus living there makes owning a car a necessity rather than a luxury. The City of Candiac in Québec, Canada is currently hosting a long-term demonstration project for an autonomous electric shuttle that is aiming to promote use of public transport in such underserved areas. These shuttles have a capacity of 15 passengers and will run throughout the fall of 2018. Once winter season starts, the project will enter an experimentation phase without passengers to test the shuttle’s performance in winter conditions. This approach sounds very promising and hopefully we will see more similar projects taking place around the world. Other sustainable alternatives to cars Of course mass transit isn’t the only way to reduce the amount of cars on our roads. Malta’s Public Transport has teamed up with Ioscoot to introduce a more eco-friendly alternative to renting a car on the island – electric motorbikes. This initiative is set to become a solution to both carbon footprint and traffic problems. The service allows users to pick up and drop off scooters at designated spots and all they need is to download the app and have a valid moped licence. All of the  scooters have space for 2 passengers and have 2 helmets in different sizes in their storage compartments. Ioscoot is already offering this service in Madrid and Barcelona, where it is already quite successful. It is impossible to write about sustainable car alternatives without mentioning bicycles. More cities are adjusting their roads to include bike paths and are closing off inner cities for cars. Cycling offers many benefits, such as low cost, the ability to avoid traffic and of course it provides the exercise many of us have to time for otherwise. One of the biggest drawbacks of cycling is the question of storage – in some areas bike racks are hard to come by and hallway space is too valuable. And what about those situations where you happen to need your bicycle when you are at work or out with your friends, while it’s locked in front of your house? These reasons are exactly why bike-sharing is becoming incredibly popular. In 2008 there were only 128 bike-sharing services worldwide – today there are more than 1’600! Companies that are traditionally associated with cars – such as Uber and Lyft – are entering that market as well. There are a lot of efforts to make our commutes easier and “greener”, and while some of them are focused on the longer term many solutions are available to us today. So if you haven’t biked since you were in school – World Car Free Day is the perfect opportunity to brush up that skill! Are there any eco-friendly transport initiatives taking place in your area? Tell us all about them in the comments! https://www.whatsorb.com/solution/transportation/general
World Car Free Day –  re-thinking our daily commute
World Car Free Day – re-thinking our daily commute
Transportation

Easy transportation of goods is one of the backbones of our modern society. Unfortunately a lot of energy is involved in getter your goods from A to B. In these articles we try to tell you all about carbon neutral fuel and other sustainable efforts to move goods around the world.

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