Volkswagen Beetle ‘Chicken’ Coupe… I Mean Coop.

Chicken’s love beetles so this Volkswagen chicken coop makes perfect sense. Reduce, reuse, repurpose! [Imgur]

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Volkswagen Chattanooga Will Get 12.5% Of Their Power From Solar Panels.

Volkswagen Chattanooga plant solar park.From Volkswagen of America (via CSRwire):

“Volkswagen today ‘powered up’ the largest single solar installation at an automotive manufacturing facility in the United States and the biggest solar installation in the state of Tennessee.

The Volkswagen Chattanooga Solar Park occupies 33 acres, or half of the 66-acre land parcel adjacent to VW’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. The solar park contains 33,600 solar modules from JA Solar designed to produce 13.1 gigawatt hours of electricity per year – equivalent to the energy consumed annually by around 1,200 homes in the area.

The electricity produced from the solar park is expected to meet 12.5% of the energy needs of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant during full production and 100% during non-production periods.”

So who’d you rather – electric vehicle built with nonrenewable energy or gas powered car built with renewable solar power? [Volkswagen]

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The Toyota Prius Definitely Needs The Optical Camouflage System Developed At Keio University.

Rear view of a Toyota Prius.Prius owners know what I’m talking about. When backing up in the Toyota Prius, turning around and looking above the rear seat through the angled rear windows gives you a viewing area that can only be compared to a supermax prison window; it’s like looking through a crack. The rear camera on the Prius is great and my kids love making faces in it but getting a good look at what you’re reversing into you is not its forté.

The optical camouflage system developed at Keio University is the solution and makes the backseat appear transparent while giving the driver a full-view of what’s behind their vehicle. I don’t care if it works out that the kids get a low-power video player – the optical camouflage system is a must have for the Prius. [DigInfo via Core77]

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Portland’s NO Off-Street Parking Apartments Leads To More On-Street Parking – Not Fewer Cars.

On-street parking clogged neighborhood.You’d think in-city apartments built with easy access to mass transit and without parking garages would discourage car ownership but that’s not happening in Portland – there’s just too much free parking on the neighboring streets. In a study put together for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 72% of the apartment residents surveyed (with and without off-street parking) owned a car. Of the car owners, 64% make their daily commute by biking, walking, riding mass transit or carpooling/ridesharing to work.

There’s a great quote in the study from the car owners:

“A common trend in this study is that people are reluctant to get rid of their vehicles. One of the questions the survey asked was what amenities would reduce the respondent’s need for motorized vehicle ownership. Many people stated that there were no amenities that would reduce their need for a vehicle.”

And the quote is coming from mass-transit riding – bicycling – walking Portlandians!

Convincing people to live car-free may be a mistake. Encouraging people to drive less is probably a better way to go. [Oregon Live]

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TEDTalks Spoofed By The Onion In “Compost-Fueled [Compostable] Cars: Wouldn’t That Be Great?” Video.


The Onion
does a great job spoofing the TEDTalks videos. Funny video with a “be cautious of green” message. [Gizmodo]

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Can You Drive A 2012 Tesla Model S From Los Angeles To Las Vegas On A Single Charge?

On a recent episode of Wide Open Throttle (WOT), host Jessi Lang and Motor Trend’s Technical Director Frank Markus attempted to drive Elon Musk’s 2012 Tesla Model S from Los Angeles to Las Vegas on a single charge. In order to accomplish this 220+ mile trip on one charge, Lang and Markus had to drive with the air conditioner turned off and they drove up hills below the speed limit. Watch the video to see how if they were successful.

Of course Jessi Lang and Frank Marcus aren’t the first to push a car to it’s range limits. Cosmo Kramer, of Kramerica Corporation, attempted a similar feat on an episode of Seinfeld. Yes, Kramer was driving a gas powered car but the sentiment is the same. Giddy up! [Treehugger]

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