There will be a plug-in Hybrid Jeep Wrangler in 2020

 The Jeep Wrangler, the car most people are probably thinking of when they hear about “a Jeep,” will take a leap forward into the world of alternative powertrains in 2020 when it gets a plug-in hybrid variant. The PHEV version of the Wrangler was announced at the LA Auto Show this week (via Roadshow) alongside an EcoDiesel and standard gas versions. There’s not much… Read More

GM and Cruise on track to field a self-driving ride hailing service by 2019

 GM and Cruise have articulated more specifically when they want to put their self-driving service on the roads, at today’s investor call for the company from San Francisco. GM said that they can make it happen within two years, with a fleet ready to go to work by 2019 based on the company’s current rate of progress. The commercial launch was previously revealed to happen within… Read More

Climate-friendly architecture thanks to natural folding mechanisms

Mobile components on buildings whose design was copied from naturally occurring solutions — that is the subject of new research. The aim is to outfit them with drive elements that can move without energy input. Serving as a model here are pine cones, which utilize the varying swelling behaviors of their tissue to open when moist or close when dry.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171130122759.htm

‘Magnetoelectric’ material shows promise as memory for electronics

Smartphones and computers wouldn’t be nearly as useful without room for lots of apps, music and videos. Devices tend to store that information in two ways: through electric fields (think of a flash drive) or through magnetic fields (like a computer’s spinning hard disk). Each method has advantages and disadvantages. However, in the future, our electronics could benefit from the best of each, say researchers.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171129130952.htm

Expect GM Cruise self-driving vehicles to arrive in ‘quarters, not years’

 GM and Cruise are still reluctant to put any specific timeframes on their plans for self-driving vehicle deployment, but the company is getting a bit more specific about its intent to bring self-driving to market. It wants to do so only when it can manage it safely, at scale, and in busy urban markets where it’ll have the largest impact, according to GM President Dan Ammann – and… Read More

Switchable solar window developed

Thermochromic windows capable of converting sunlight into electricity at a high efficiency have been developed. Relying on such advanced materials as perovskites and single-walled carbon nanotubes, the new technology responds to heat by transforming from transparent to tinted. As the window darkens, it generates electricity.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171128120153.htm

Atomistic calculations predict that boron incorporation increases the efficiency of LEDs

Recent computational work on BInGaN alloys for efficient LEDs in the visible range has brought about some new discoveries, report researchers.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171128102935.htm

Lucid moves its electric car ambitions into a spacious new HQ

 Lucid, one of the companies that looks like it could have the best chance to potentially field a true all-electric competitor to Tesla’s Model S, is moving its headquarters to a new facility in Newark, California — one with twice the space of its current base of operations in Menlo Park. Read More

Harvesting the sun for power and produce: Agrophotovoltaics increases the land use efficiency by over 60 percent

Until now, acreage was designated for either photovoltaics or photosynthesis, that is, to generate electricity or grow crops. An agrophotovoltaics (APV) pilot project, however, has now demonstrated that both uses are compatible. Dual use of land is resource efficient, reduces competition for land and additionally opens up a new source of income for farmers, say researchers.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171127124817.htm

Scientists develop artificial photosynthesis device for greener ethylene production

A newly developed device could reduce the carbon footprint of ethylene production, report scientists.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171124084755.htm