The Green Wrap-up 23.April, 2013

Tuk-tuks are the three-wheeled passenger vehicles commonly used in Asia, and they’re often noisy and most-certainly-not-emissions-free. To counter the current state, Japanese start-up company Terra Motors has launched an electric tuk-tuk and thinks its electric tricycle will be a cost competitive taxi in Asia.
Occidental College recently powered up an urban hillside solar array that combines science, engineering, urban design and art. Occidental faculty collaborated with the environment design and research firm, Lettuce Office, to create a subtle shifting, rotating design that challenges the design of normal, utilitarian solar arrays.
IBM solar collector magnifies sun by 2,000x (without cooking itself), costs 3x less than similar systemsConcentrating the sun’s ray onto solar photovoltaic (PV) modules requires walking the fine line between optimizing power output and not literally melting your very expensive super-high-efficiency solar cells. A team led by IBM Research seems to have found a way to push back the line. They have created a High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal (HCPVT) system that is capable of concentrating the power of 2,000 suns onto hundreds of triple junction photovoltaic chips measuring a single square centimeter each (they even claim to be able to keep temperatures safe up to 5,000x).
Toyota announced that the company had sold its 5 millionth hybrid car. According to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association, Toyota hybrid models Prius and Aqua (Prius C in America) took the first and second spots in FY 2012 sales by model in Japan. Last year 40% of the vehicles Toyota sold in Japan and 14% globally were hybrids.
Fossil fuel cheerleaders take note: Renewable energy ain’t going nowhere — and it may prove to be the better bet in the long run. By 2030, renewables will account for 70 percent of new power supply worldwide, according to projections released Monday from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Since 2005, driving in the United States has been steadily declining. One theory for the decrease is the Great Recession. But the U.S. economy is growing again, so are people driving more? Doug Short takes a look at the latest data, on vehicle miles traveled, from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • GreenJoyment(Ally): I have to agree to some extent with one of the comments on this article. I have two teenage sisters and it seems to me like it’s become much harder for young people to get jobs than it was when I was in high school. When parents are increasingly cash-strapped and minimum-wage jobs are being snapped up by older people with more experience, kids have little opportunity to pay for a vehicle.

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