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Women Are Hurt More By Climate Causes & Impacts

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New reporting highlights the disproportionate burden, caused at both ends of the climate change cycle, borne by women.

In Minnesota, where Enbridge is seeking to build its controversial Line 3 tar sands oil pipeline, warnings from Indigenous groups over the link between the influx of extractive industry workers and sexual violence are coming to fruition, the Guardian reports. Crisis centers in the area are seeing the results, with one center saying it has received more than 40 reports from women and girls in northwestern Minnesota of harassment and assault from Line 3 workers. At least two Line 3 workers, both from out-of-state, have been charged with sex trafficking crimes.

The impacts of climate change also disproportionately burden women, 19th* News reports. Women have a lower life expectancy than men after natural disasters and experts are calling for the Biden administration to focus its gear aid toward women because they are more at risk for violence, PTSD, anxiety, and other acute distress disorders after extreme weather disasters. With 70% of American women serving as family or informal caregivers, incorporating caregiving and childcare into disaster response is also critical.

“The federal government could learn to listen to what is needed at the community level,” Dr. Alessandra Jerolleman, associate professor of emergency management at Jacksonville State University, told 19th* News. “There’s often a really strong focus on efficiency when federal dollars are being spent, and inefficiency tends to equal speed. And so it’s often much easier to render assistance to certain groups than it is to others. Unfortunately, how that seems to often play out is that upper middle class and higher get assistance a little more readily and other folks whose situations are more complicated get left out.”

Sources: Line 3: The Guardian; Disaster relief: 19th* News

Originally published by Nexus Media.

Featured photo by Lesly Derksen on Unsplash


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/06/08/women-are-hurt-more-by-climate-causes-impacts/

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Auto Dealerships Win Big in Connecticut — at the Expense of Tesla, Rivian, and Clean Air

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The EV Freedom Bill in Connecticut that so many were hoping would pass didn’t. Auto dealerships lobbied hard to fight this bill — and they won. One is even suing Tesla because they want to prevent Tesla from selling to its customers in their town. They are also suing that town.

The clutch of the dealerships also extends to so-called EV advocates, such as Plug In America, which changed its stand from supportive and in favor to neutral after pressure from the dealerships.

This shows not only the power the dealerships have over our elected officials, but also shows that we have so much work to do as advocates.

Companies such as Tesla and Rivian are not allowed to sell directly to their customers in many states, including Connecticut. Instead, EV buyers have to go out of state to pick up their cars, which is highly inconvenient. The CT Post reported that the legislation failed yet supporters such as the EV Club of Connecticut, Tesla Owners Club of Connecticut, and other EV supporters are not giving up.

James Chen, Rivian’s vice president of public policy and chief regulatory council (who we recently interviewed in depth on this matter), shared his thoughts to the CT Post in a statement. “Although the bill did not advance to completion, our broad coalition will continue to fight for consumer choice and the widespread availability of electric vehicles to all Connecticut residents,” said Chen. Chen has been doing this for several years, originally at Tesla. “Limiting sales of electric vehicles to a single method of distribution in (the) state is the wrong choice for the free market and blocks Connecticut from achieving its climate and economic development goals.”

Why This Is A Big Deal

Like many states, Connecticut has a plan to take on climate change. Last year, the state declared that it wanted to put more EVs on its roads. Energy News Network noted that the state committed to deploying 125,000 to 150,000 EVs by 2025 while adding that progress will be tough. Considering that 84% of the EVs sold in Connecticut are bought directly from manufacturers and the state ruled in favor of dealerships, I think “tough” is putting it mildly.

Advocates are not giving up, though. I chatted with the Tesla Owners Club of Connecticut and they emphasized this as well.

“We are stronger with every passing year. Our key is our members. We have the BEST, most passionate members. We will win soon enough, trust me.”

How To Buy A Tesla In Connecticut

You can still purchase a Tesla in Connecticut directly from Tesla, or a Rivian from Rivian, but you will have to jump through some hoops to get it home. Tinker Try It At Home explained it in a blog post. Connecticut residents can test drive, order, and take delivery of a new Tesla, and so far, 5,879 have done this.

The blog gives you 3 steps on how to do this:

  • Schedule a test drive at the Milford Connecticut Service Center.
  • Place your order online.
  • Take delivery at Tesla Mt. Kisco in New York.

There’s even a Q&A section on the blog that covers taxes, temporary plates, and other information.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/06/20/auto-dealerships-win-big-in-connecticut-at-the-expense-of-tesla-rivian-and-clean-air/

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24% Plugin Vehicle Market Share In Germany!

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The German plugin vehicle market scored over 54,000 registrations last month, with both technologies rising fast (+380% year over year for BEVs and +303% YoY for PHEVs). As a result, last month’s plugin share ended at 24% (12% BEV), and BEVs were just 436 units away from beating plugin hybrids — the closest that pure electrics have been from beating their PHEV rivals this year. It looks like BEVs are on their way to recovering the upper hand over their technology rivals.

The yearly plugin vehicle market share remained at 22% (10% BEV), so this market is firmly in The Disruption Zone and well ahead of last year’s score of 14% plugin vehicle market share. Will we see final 2021 market share hit 25%?

Looking at last month’s best sellers, the Tesla Model 3 had a strong mid-quarter month, hitting 2,749 registrations, and while that wasn’t enough to reach best seller status (better luck in June with perhaps 4,500 deliveries?), the sports sedan did manage to get in the way of the two Volkswagen frontrunners. However, the little old e-Up won its 3rd best seller trophy this year, while the ID.3 hatchback closed out the podium with 2,252 registrations, 123 more than the Volkswagen Golf PHEV. Yes, that means there were 3 Volkswagens in the top 4 spots!

In the 5th spot, we have a surprise, with the Ford Kuga PHEV beating its own record and registering 1,703 units. In 7th we have a rising star, with the Skoda Enyaq jumping into the first half of the table in only its second full month on the market, which could mean that the Czech EV will jump into the top 5 soon.

One model that continues to underperform is the Volkswagen ID.4, ending the month just in 10th, with 1,277 registrations. Beaten at home by its Czech sibling Enyaq?… Ouch, that must have hurt!

In the second half of the table, a reference goes out to the consistent performances of the Opel Corsa EV, again in #12, while its Stellantis partner, the Fiat 500e, joined the table in #15 thanks to a record 941 deliveries. That’s a small feat for the little Italian, considering that both the VW e-Up and Smart Fortwo EV have a strong grip on the EV city car category in Germany.

Highlighting the feverish new model launch rhythm of the Volkswagen Group, we have two new faces in the top 20 coming from the German conglomerate, with the Spanish Cupra Formentor PHEV showing up in #18 thanks to a record 879 deliveries of the sporty crossover, and the Audi Q3 PHEV also debuting in the table, at #19 in this case thanks to 858 registrations, also a record performance.

Outside this top 20, a mention goes out to two important landings for Hyundai. The PHEV version of the popular Tucson SUV got its first 549 registrations, a strong showing for a landing month, so we better keep an eye on this plugin SUV. Also, the Korean automaker registered its first 175 units of the brand new Ioniq 5, an XL retro-hatchback that thinks its an SUV while the truth is that beyond that unique personality lies a very competent (hatchback? crossover?) vehicle, with top notch specs and some unique features. Let’s hope the higher than expected price (and/or production constraints) will not create obstacles to a vehicle that has everything needed to become a success story.

And, finally, a reference is due for two local EVs that are slowly ramping up deliveries, with the BMW iX3 scoring a record 261 registrations while the Mercedes EQA is at 231 registrations.

Regarding the 2021 table, the small Volkswagen e-Up continues to gain ground over the competition, so the veteran EV is currently the favorite for the 2021 Best Seller award (assuming VW doesn’t limit production…). Behind it, the Tesla Model 3 jumped two positions, to 3rd, and should profit from Tesla’s usual end-of-quarter peak to surpass runner-up Volkswagen ID.3 in June.

Another model on the rise was the Renault Zoe, which climbed to 7th, thus making it 6 BEVs in the top 7 positions.

In the second half of the table, there’s more to talk about. The BMW i3 had a good month, with the sporty hatchback jumping two spots to #11, surpassing its sibling BMW 330e PHEV and establishing itself as the best selling BMW model on the table.

But the Climber of the Month was the Seat Leon PHEV, jumping 6 positions to #13, while the Opel Corsa EV continued to climb positions in the table as well, going up two spots to #15.

The Volkswagen ID.4 (finally!) joined the table, in #19, being the 8th model coming from the Volkswagen Group in this top 20.

In the brand ranking, Volkswagen (19%, up 1 percentage point) is clearly leading its home market, followed by Mercedes (11%, up 1 percentage point) and BMW (9%), while #4 Audi (7%) is not too far away.

Looking at the ranking by OEM, the Volkswagen Group has its domestic market well in control, with an impressive 36% share, followed at a distance by Daimler (16%) and the BMW Group (12%), while the Best Selling Foreign (well, mostly foreign…) Automotive Group is Stellantis (9%). Once again, without rocking the boat, Stellantis is delivering solid performances across Europe, and in Germany in particular, where it has a comfortable advantage over the #5 Hyundai-Kia collab and #6 Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/06/20/24-plugin-vehicle-market-share-in-germany/

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GEM Is A Gem In The Battery Recycling Industry That Was Inspired By A Toothpaste Experiment

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GEM Co., Ltd., which stands for “Green, Eco-manufacture,” has an interesting history. Today it is one of the largest battery recycling plants in China and has more than 10 years of experience in the industry. It’s had its up and downs, but through it all, it’s built a multi-directional and cross-regional battery waste recycling system.

I was actually looking at an initial news piece about the company’s latest investment when I stumbled onto an interview with its Chairman, Kaihua Xu, who wasn’t always an entrepreneur. He was previously an academic. It’s often small or mundane things that lead us on our paths in life, and for Xu, the success of an experiment with toothpaste was what inspired him to go in this direction.

How Toothpaste Led One Man Onto A Journey Into Battery Recycling

In a recent interview with Fastmarkets Industrial Minerals, GEM’s chairman, Kaihua Xu, spoke about the unlimited resources of recycling. The chairman has been focused on recycling in China since the mid-1990s and his company handles 10% of the recycling of electronic waste and 10% of discarded batteries in China. It also handles 5% of automobile recycling.

In this interview, he shared his story of how he got into recycling. As noted above, it started with toothpaste. He was studying at Central South University, a school that is well known for cultivating talents in metallurgy in China. Xu was researching the recycling of tin from toothpaste tubes as his college graduation project in 1985. I find this interesting because for as long as I can remember, we use plastic tubes for our toothpaste here.

“If I can extract tin from toothpaste tube wastes and produce the recycled tin into stannous sulfate, it will help to cut China’s dependence on imported cargoes,” Xu recalled.

This was during a time in which China relied on imports of stannous sulfate, a coloring pigment used in aluminum extrusion manufacturing. His project was successful and it inspired Xu to choose recycling as his academic direction.

GEM was the first company in China to adopt the idea of “resources are limited, recycling is unlimited,” and implemented urban mining. He shared the history of starting GEM and explained one of the reasons why GEM was founded in Shenzhen.

He noted that the city was a vibrant hub of consumer electronics in southern China and that it was a place where entrepreneurs could establish their business with minimal initial investments. This was due to the support of the local government.

“The other driver for us to do green industry in Shenzhen was that the European Union introduced the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) in electrical and electronic equipment,” Xu said. “That is also why the Shenzhen government supported us in the eco-industry because the city was the center for manufacturing consumer electronics.”

His interview is actually pretty moving and he shared some of the struggles his company has overcome while keeping the focus on recycling. There were some setbacks such as the pressures of capital flows, and at one time, the company could barely manage its operations. “Commercializing this technology needed a lot of investments. Besides, the business required a high occupation of capital, but the payment period for electronics manufacturers was quite long,” Xu said.

He also had two business partners who quit and was suddenly in a situation where he could barely afford the water and electricity fees for the operations or the employees’ salaries. However, he didn’t give up, and kept his focus on recycling.

“I had to stick to my initial aspiration. There needs to be someone who practiced those recycling innovations in manufacturing in order to solve the bottleneck of resources and the environment,” Xu said. “We were seeking light in the darkness.”

Things began to look up when he changed the direction of the business from lead-free solder manufacturing to battery recycling in 2003. He had to solve two problems. The first was to find a business pattern that could generate cash. The second was to find venture capital to invest in the operations. After this, the company began recycling nickel and cobalt from battery waste material which was priced at a low cost. The company then produced the material into a nickel and cobalt powder which had high values.

Since then, the company set up a business model and supply chain that enables it to stand up to the competition in light of the increasing number of recycling companies. Xu touched upon this as well. “Recycling is a business that can be dated back in ancient Chinese history. But why were there no notable recycling enterprises in China? It was because we did not find a business model that combines technology, management, and profit-making,” he said.

He pointed out that GEM’s focus has been on technology innovations, since you need advanced technology to recycle electronics. He added that his company has invested 2.5 billion yuan ($387.4 million) in research and development over the past five years.

The interview is rather inspiring — a story of how someone didn’t give up on their dreams and kept on going. You can read the full interview here.

GEM’s Recent News: Investing 1.8 billion RMB Into A Battery Recycling & Precursor Production Plant

Gem recently announced that it will invest 1.8 billion RMB ($278.9 million) into a new battery recycling and precursor production plant in the Jiangsu province, north of Shanghai, China. The new plant will process battery scrap and have an output of 30,000 tonnes of NMC/NCA precursor, which are types of common cathode materials.

The plant will also process 10,000 tonnes of cobalt tetroxide and 3,000 tonnes of lithium-phosphate material, which is a first for GEM. The capacity will be over 120,000 tonnes of material on a cell level if the production is fed entirely by scrap metal.

Construction on the precursor plant is planned sometime this month, with staged commissioning between June 2022 and December 2023. The new plants will help GEM stand out in Shanghai in the same manner it already has done in Wuhan. In Wuhan, it has the full ability to disassemble vehicles, grade and repurpose batteries, and then recycle the batteries.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/06/20/gem-is-a-gem-in-the-battery-recycling-industry-that-was-inspired-by-a-toothpaste-experiment/

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NREL Announces Plans To Collaborate With Georgia Institute of Technology

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Georgia Institute of Technology have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to bolster the interactions, collaborations, and joint scientific output of both institutions.

The purpose of the MOU is to leverage the expansive capabilities and infrastructure of both institutions in a multidisciplinary approach; expose a pipeline of talent to challenges of practical importance and complex nature early in their academic programs; and introduce new ideas, science, and technology into the industrial and federal marketplace with jointly developed intellectual property.

Image courtesy of NREL, the U.S. Department of Energy.

“We are excited about this MOU, which will facilitate expanded collaboration between NREL and Georgia Tech’s esteemed faculty and first-rate students,” said Peter Green, deputy laboratory director and science and technology officer at NREL. “Together we will leverage the significant intellectual, research, and infrastructure capabilities of both institutions to address some of the critical large-scale, complex research challenges facing industry during the energy transition.”

It is anticipated the collaborative projects between the two institutions will:

  • Support goals that are complementary to those held by both institutions
  • Share and leverage specialized or unique research facilities and equipment
  • Increase inter-institutional collaborative engagement of faculty, staff, and students
  • Look for opportunities for additional joint research initiatives and joint appointments.

“Building deep, substantive partnerships to impact society’s most urgent challenges is a major priority for Georgia Tech’s research enterprise,” said Chaouki Abdallah, executive vice president for research at Georgia Tech. “We are excited about the possibilities for collaborative, innovative energy-related research with NREL, which has the potential to improve human lives and the world at large.”

The agreement also acknowledges that the energy research environment is evolving. Energy-related research topics are becoming more complex, and the pipeline of research talent is changing due to shifts in academic programs related to energy and the level of student interest in energy-related research as a career. The potential long-term benefits of creating and disseminating new energy technologies for the public good is regarded by the academic community as an increasingly important consideration for the nation’s economy and its prospects for energy security. Leaders from NREL and Georgia Tech agree that the outcomes from this memorandum of understanding will advance our ability to address this evolving landscape.

NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for the Energy Department by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

Article courtesy of NREL, the U.S. Department of Energy.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/06/20/nrel-announces-plans-to-collaborate-with-georgia-institute-of-technology/

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