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Electric

Space

"World's first battery-powered rocket" readied for launch

Though there have been tremendous advances in space technology in recent years, when it comes to getting into space, we're still like cavemen trying to get beyond the breakers on a floating log – at least, that's the view of New Zealand-based company Rocket Lab. In the hopes of increasing the number of satellite launches to over 100 a year and placing constellations of small satellites into orbit numbering in the thousands, the company has developed a "battery-powered" rocket engine to lift its Electron launch vehicle at almost a tenth of the cost of conventional boosters. Read More

Aircraft

Siemens' world-record electric aircraft motor punches above its weight

Researchers at Siemens have created a new prototype electric motor specifically designed for aircraft that weighs in at just 50 kg (110 lb) and is claimed to produce about 260 kW (348 hp) at just 2,500 RPM. With a quoted power five times greater than any comparable powerplant, the new motor promises enough grunt to get aircraft with take-off weights of up to 1,800 kg (2 ton) off the ground. Read More

Environment

Electric cars to become mini power plants in California’s energy grid

The California utility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), has begun bidding energy resources from fleets of electric vehicles and storage systems into the state’s wholesale power market. The pilot program, one of the first of its kind, is meant to provide insights into how electric vehicles and other kinds of distributed energy resources can make the grid more reliable and efficient.Read More

Aircraft

Could this 18-motor wing be the future of electric aircraft?

It might look like it was designed by a six-year-old, with 18 motors crammed onto a too-thin wing, but the Hybrid-Electric Integrated Systems Testbed (HEIST) experimental wing demonstrator could be the future of electric aircraft. A key component of NASA'S Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology (LEAPTech) project, it is designed to test whether electric propulsion can allow for a tighter wing design leading to greater efficiency and safety.Read More

Space

First satellites with all-electric propulsion call home

The launch of two new communications satellites may not seem like news these days, but it is when they're the first satellites with all-electric propulsion. Boeing announced that the two 702SP small platform satellites, called ABS-3A and EUTELSAT 115 West B, that launched on Sunday evening are sending back signals to mission control as they power towards geosynchronous orbit under ion drive.Read More

Marine

Savannah, the world's first hybrid superyacht

If F1 racers can be hybrids, then why not superyachts? That seems to be the thinking of Feadship De Voogt Naval Architects as it launched "the world’s first hybrid superyacht," Savannah, last Saturday. The centerpiece of a James Bond-themed launch ceremony for the new owner and the people involved in the yacht's construction over the last three years, the Savannah not only boasts a novel power plant, but is also the first superyacht to be entirely metallic painted save for the mast domes.Read More

Urban Transport

Terra Motors targets Indian market with R6 electric rickshaw

Rickshaws are a part of life across much of Asia for tourists and locals alike. However, the gasoline-powered versions of these three-wheeled vehicles are rarely environmentally friendly, creating smog and noise-pollution. Japanese company Terra Motors has developed a new, electric rickshaw it hopes will improve environmental degradation and also save on fuel costs for drivers. Read More

Automotive

Pilot production begins for electric- and gas-powered honeycomb-composite Spira4u

We first drove the Spira4u in its first prototype form six years ago and we were mightily impressed. Conceived as a low cost (both to manufacture and run), hyper-economical vehicle to mitigate the world's 1.25 million road deaths each year, the Spira4u went on to become a finalist in the Automotive XPrize. It was never intended to run against the world's biggest universities and brightest minds – it was always intended for production. Now it's there and seeking to license its design across the globe.Read More

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