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Step Aside, Tesla: This New Solar-Powered Car Could Be the Future of the Automotive Industry

A Dutch startup company has just introduced the world’s first solar-powered long-range vehicle.

Elias Marat



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(TMU) — Dutch startup company Lightyear is challenging the idea that Tesla and the array of electric cars being pumped out by the automotive industry are the future of sustainable transportation.

The company has just introduced the world’s first solar-powered long-range vehicle—a futuristic five-seat sedan teeming with solar panels on its exterior, called Lightyear One.

Lightyear was born out of Solar Team Eindhoven, based out of Eindhoven University of Technology, and has been seeking to capitalize on its technology since 2012. The company was founded in 2016 after enjoying an influx of grants and investments following their exemplary work in various solar vehicle races.

The Lightyear One prototype was introduced last week to a small audience of investors, partners, customers and media outlets, but has already secured 100 orders to be filled by 2021.

Co-founder and CEO Lex Hoefsloot said:

“This moment represents a new era of driving. Two years of dreaming, thinking and working hard have led to this milestone, which is a giant leap towards achieving our mission of making clean mobility available to everyone.”

The Lightyear One sports an aerodynamic form similar to the 1980s Citroën CX and a unique wheel motor system that does away with the need for a transmission, granting the vehicle more space for a larger battery.

The company is aiming to follow the laws of physics so that the plug-in car can get “the most out of every ray of sunshine,” according to a press release.

The company added:

“The main goal of this project is to fill in where electric cars fall short, because research has shown that range and the lack of charging options are becoming the top concerns to most people when considering electric cars.”

The car allegedly has only half of the energy consumption needs of similar cars on a battery that’s only two-thirds the size of the Tesla S but with much greater range in ideal conditions.

The roof and hood are covered in five square meters of integrated solar cells in durable safety glass. The car is also constructed using light, high-tech materials that fulfill passenger safety standards, according to the company.

Lightyear One can also be plugged in, charging up to 248 miles at night from any household electrical outlet. The company claims that the car can drive nearly 500 miles (800 kilometers) on a single charge provided it has sufficient sunlight for the solar panels, and 250 miles in circumstances where it can’t receive a solar charge.

While the car is initially priced at around $135,000—a steep price that may appeal more to luxury consumers than popular markets—Hoefsloot is sure that advancements in solar cars will eventually lead to a drop in prices. The company already has a lower-priced model in the works.

And with low operating costs per mile plus its minimal environmental footprint, Hoefsloot is sure that the Lightyear One may help reduce global CO2 emissions caused by private transportation vehicles.

Hoefsloot said:

“This will prove to be our most important tipping point in the near future, and it will pave the way for a car fleet that is one hundred percent sustainable.”

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons |

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Cliffhanger: Mountain Biker Saved From “Imminent Death” After Falling Into Canyon

Elias Marat



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A Southern California mountain biker is likely counting his blessings after he was rescued from what authorities describe as “imminent death”” after falling from the side of a cliff in the Angeles National Forest.

The mountain biker, described as an older man, fell into the canyon at Mt. Wilson on Thursday morning and was dangling hundreds of feet above the ground before his fellow bikers, and eventually a special team from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, rescued him.

For some time the man dangled by a thin cord around his ankle that was tied to his bicycle while hanging on for dear life “like a cat,” Capt. Tom Giandomenico of the LASD special enforcement bureau told the Los Angeles Times.

“He knew he was in such a precarious situation. He was just scared to even rotate his head to look at us. He just didn’t want to move a muscle,” LASD Deputy Richard Thomsen told CBSLA.

Additionally, when the helicopter team arrived it wasn’t just a matter of simply hoisting the man to safety, as the air generated by the helicopter’s rotor would have sent the man plummeting to “imminent death,” Giandomenico added.

“Because he was head-down on the rock face there, that dropped probably a good 40 feet before it hit some soft dirt and a boulder,” Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Helbring said. “And beyond that was hundreds of feet down to the bottom of the canyon.”

Instead, one of the members of the special enforcement team composed of former SWAT officers devised a plan to rappel down to the man and move him to a ledge below, from which the two could be airlifted to safety.

However, due to a lack of boulders or trees, there was nothing to tie a rope to – and thus no way to rappel down to anything.

So instead, the special enforcement team used the man’s brother and another friend to be their anchor, a plan that ultimately succeeded.

Giandomenico called the rescue “one of the more significant, courageous maneuvers I’ve seen.”

“Heroic, in my opinion,” he added.

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Rare Creature Photographed Alive In The Wild For The First Time Ever

Elias Marat



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Advances in the methods used by researchers to watch wildlife have allowed for the photographing of a rare creature whose image had never been captured in the wild before.

Researchers in the West African nation of Togo were able to spot the rare Walter’s duiker, a rare species of petite African antelope, for the first time in the wild thanks to camera traps equipped with motion sensors.

In addition to the Walter’s duiker, the camera traps were also able to discover rare species of aardvarks and a mongoose, reports Gizmodo.

At a time when the extinction of entire species is becoming more common worldwide, such devices should help conservationists not only preserve creatures sought by bushmeat hunters but also spot rare animals whose presence is elusive for human observers. In the past, biologists were forced to rely on the same hunters for information.

“Camera traps are a game changer when it comes to biodiversity survey fieldwork,” said University of Oxford wildlife biologist Neil D’Cruze.

“I’ve spent weeks roughing it in tropical forests seemingly devoid of any large mammal species,” D’Cruze continued. “Yet when you fire up the laptop and stick in the memory card from camera traps that have been sitting there patiently during the entire trip—and see species that were there with you the entire time —it’s like being given a glimpse into a parallel world.”

The Walter’s duiker was discovered in 2010 when specimens of bushmeat were compared to other duiker specimens. The new images of the creature are the first to have been seen.

Rare species like Walter’s duiker are often not listed as “endangered” by groups like the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to a lack of data.

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Formerly Homeless Man Enjoys New Life In First 3D-Printed Home In US

Elias Marat



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A formerly homeless man is now enjoying his advanced years in a comfortable, entirely 3D-printed tiny home – the very first of its kind in the entire U.S.

Tim Shea, 70, has struggled for much of his life with substance abuse, addiction, and homelessness.

However, the previously unhoused man is now the first person to live in a 3D-printed tiny home, which is now being touted as a model of engineering and sustainability, reports Green Matters.

The 400-square-foot 3D-printed tiny home was printed by nonprofit New Story and construction technology company ICON in the Austin, Texas, area in March 2018 before Shea moved into the location in September.

In 2019, New Story and ICON have also printed a similar community of tiny homes in Mexico, hoping to make good on the use of the technology as a tool to provide homes to the extremely poor.

According to Shea, his new domicile has made all the difference in the world.

“When I found out I’d be the first person in America to move into a 3D-printed home, I thought it was pretty awesome,” Shea told NY Post. “The very people I used to run away from, I’m running to. If you’ve been on both sides of the fence, you know some people just need a little encouragement and support.”

From start to finish, the process of printing and assembling these homes takes only 48 hours and relies on only 70 to 80 percent of the raw building material that conventional housing requires.

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