Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Solar Powered

The TURANOR PlanetSolar cruises past Tahiti

Solar technology has evolved beyond just your grandpa's big, bulky photovoltaic panels on the roof. Advances in flexible, hyper-efficient and nano-scale materials of late has made it possible for solar cells to begin popping up in all kinds of shapes and places you might not expect. Here's a quick rundown of some surprising spots where solar technology dwells – be sure to flip through the gallery to get a full grasp on the scale of the increasingly solar-powered landscape.  Read More

The Lucid Stead is based in Joshua Tree, San Bernadino County, California (Photo: Steve Ki...

What lives in the desert, changes color throughout the day, and is powered by sustainable energy? That would be the chameleon-like Lucid Stead, by artist Phillip K Smith III: an Arduino-equipped, solar-powered shack in Joshua Tree, San Bernadino County, California.  Read More

Solar energy powers the ZingBox

What's cooler than a boom box for loads of street cred? A boom box powered with solar energy, of course. Aron Zingman, a designer from Cambridge, Massachusetts, has created just that – an updated version of the 80s music-playing icon. He named the unit after himself (ZingBox), which should make him quite popular in the outdoor party circuit.  Read More

Samsung's Digital Villages are powered by the Sun

Combining solar power, health care and education is the concept behind Samsung’s Digital Villages, a project recently launched in South Africa as the kick-off a larger plan that includes units in Ethiopia and Gabon by the end of 2013. The Digital Village is also designed to help local traders develop their business with a sustainable and low-cost alternative to fossil fuels.  Read More

 2,000 shipping containers are planned to be transformed into water purifying stations

Joining forces with engineering firm Deka R&D, Coca-Cola has launched a project which will see the transformation of approximately 2,000 shipping containers into water purifying stations. Dubbed Ekocenter, the shipping container module has been designed to provide isolated and developing communities with facilities to produce safe drinking water, as well as access to wireless internet technology and solar powered charging.  Read More

The new Spirit Solar Powered Lighting Column can be powered 100-percent by the sun

Street lights are one of things people in heavily populated areas tend to take for granted. They make walking and driving a safer, more pleasant experience, but they also account for a significant chunk of a city's energy usage. Solar powered street lights offer a solution for places where electricity is at a premium, or locations that are off the grid completely and the Spirit Solar Powered Lighting Column is the first example we've seen which rolls the post and the panels together in a standalone design.  Read More

Nuon Team preparing for business time (Photo: World Solar Challenge)

Delft University's Nuon Solar Team has won the Challenger class of the World Solar Challenge. Its solar-powered Nuna 7 vehicle arrived in Adelaide at 10:03 a.m. on the morning of the fifth day of the event, having led from the front for the full 3,021 km from Darwin, crossing Australia from north coast to south in a total of a little over 33 hours. That puts its average speed at an impressive 91 km/h (57 mph).  Read More

The university's first-of-its-kind Solar Walk (Photo: The George Washington University)

We typically see photovoltaic panels up on roofs, as they're broad, open surfaces that receive a lot of sunlight. You know what else spends a lot of time in the scorching sun, though? Sidewalks. With that in mind, a team at Washington DC's The George Washington University has created what is claimed to be "the first walkable solar-paneled pathway in the world."  Read More

Artist's impression of a massive asteroid impact (Image: NASA/Don Davis)

Last year, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow put forward the idea of using fleets of laser-toting satellites to deflect potentially dangerous objects away from Earth. Now, Dr. Richard Fork, principal investigator for the Laser Science and Engineering Laboratory at the University of Alabama and his team have refined the idea, saying that it’s not only feasible, but could handle anything up to the size of a comet.  Read More

Gizmag tries out Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies' i-H2GO hydrogen-powered car

At the end of last month, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies began shipments of its latest hydrogen fuel cell-powered remote-control toy car, the i-H2GO. Like its predecessor, the H2GO, it runs on hydrogen obtained from user-supplied water. The main thing that's new about the i-H2GO, however, is the fact that it is now controlled using a free app on the user's existing smartphone. I got my hands on an early production model, mainly just so that I could truthfully say "I've driven a fuel cell car."  Read More

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