Giant H2 Bus to Carry 104 Passengers

A 43-foot hydrogen behemoth will take to the streets of Belgium early next month. Rolling in with three axles, a tank of hydrogen and plenty Sodium Nickel Chloride batteries, the new zero-emissions passenger bus will be the largest of its kind. Built as a joint venture between bus manufacturer Van Hool and United Technologies Corp., the mega hybrid will join Europe’s "HyFleet" project. HyFleet is an international panel on a mission to pollinate the European countryside with transit buses powered by H2.

The queen of HyFleet’s fleet will cart over 100 passengers distances of over 217 miles before an H2 fill-up is required. The bus has a 40kg tank on board and the numerous batteries on board can keep 53 kWh of electricity on board to zap the monstrous electric motor. Despite all these impressive techno-stats, the bus’s greatest asset is just being so frikin’ big. The last H2 bus that came along only held 70 riders, so the Van Hool/UTC bus is a money tree in cost-per-rider category.

Via Green Car Congress

I Got Solar in Strange Places

Solar Power is cropping up in some weird places. While it’ll take some time for sunlight to become the fuel of the future, already solar power is being adopted by individuals and communities you might not expect.

The city of Rizhao, for example, is a poor coastal city in China. While the per-capita income is significantly lower than surrounding cities, almost every flat surface is covered in solar panels. Of course, these aren’t the electricity-creating kind, they’re the hot-water-creating kind. 99% of the hot water in the city comes from roof-top solar, and all the streetlights are powered by photovoltaics. Though it’s a poor city, Rizhao has turned solar power into an economic engine while becomming one of the ten cleanest cities in China.

And then there’s the Amish. You wouldn’t think that the Amish would be early adopters of anything (as many of them aren’t ready to embrace innovations such as buttons on pants) but solar seems to be right up their alley. Amish families are the leading per-capita adopters of solar in Pennsylvania. Their values of self-sufficiency and moderation are served perfectly by the panels.

So, as it turns out, poor people in China and the Amish are leading the way into the future. It’s about time we caught up.

Via Green Options
and Wired Blogs

A Concept of the Future

This year’s Frankfurt Auto Show will finally debut the highly anticipated Volkswagen “Concept A” mini SUV. It’s production is scheduled for a 2008 rollout competing against the BMW X3.

The Concept A is motivated by the 1.4 liter direct injection Twin Charger engine from the Golf GT. Among its dynamic features are opposing opening wind doors, 20-inch wheels, 4Motion all-drive system coupled with VW’s DSG transmission and of course the VW braking system. One of the central aspects of its ingenious design is the combination of a sports car aesthetics with SUV elements. Certainly this a brainchild of a new era in Volkswagen. A glimpse into the future.

Folding BIke Bag Charges iPods

A backpack that recharges your gadgets isn’t even news anymore, but what if it could also turn into a bike? Frag Woodall, a student of University of Technology Sydney, has designed a backpack, called the Everglide, that amazingly is a backpack bike than can charge your iPod.

The backpack can be carried normally, wheeled like luggage or, converted into a bicycle. Instead of utilizing photovoltaics, it charges handheld devices by using “frictionless magnetic dynamo technology.” Carbon fiber and aluminum materials make it lightweight and durable. His inspiration for the Everglide came from wanting to address the problems of bicycles being heavy and difficult to store and carry after the user is done riding.

Despite it looking like a funky scooter, there definitely is a need for a convenient bike like this. In any case, it could always be a fun way to power a lightbulb during a power outtage… or your iPod.

VW Golf GT Sport: New GTI Inspired Trim Level For TSI & TDI Versions

Volkswagen announced a few changes in its Golf range as its set to replace the existing Sport and GT trim levels with a single all-new model, the Golf GT Sport. As you can see in the picture, visual changes are restricted up front, and specifically to the pitch-black grille section along with the darkened headlights insert which help forge a visual link with the sporty Golf GTI and R32 variants.

Aerorider: Three-Wheeled Enclosed Electric Bike

Yet another EcoGeek 3 wheel wonder, the Aerorider is “the ultimate single seat hybrid: sensational, comfortable, sporty and relaxing”.

The Aerorider is a hybrid – human and electric powered vehicle that can achieve 45km/h (28 mph) cruise and the ability to overcome hills without breaking into a sweat. The single bucket seat supports your entire body placing you in a position to comfortably focus on pedaling. Pedaling efficiency is maximized by the “recumbent” position where you are seated with the pedals out in front.

In the United States the Aerorider is considered a bicycle and can go wherever a bike is permitted.

Battery range, usually the Achilles Heel in an electric vehicle, depends on how the Aerorider is used and on the terrain. The more you pedal the greater the range, slopes and frequent acceleration reduce it, so range varies between twenty and eighty kilometers. Various battery options allow the Aerorider to be tailored for your needs. The battery charger can be plugged into a standard household outlet. The more advanced batteries, which are lighter and smaller, can be removed from the vehicle.

The Aerorider is currently under development in Amsterdam.

Brand Origin Study: Lexus is American, Saab’s German and Hyundai’s Japanese!

Brand what? Listen to this; according to Anderson Analytics latest brand origin study that sampled 1,000 US College students at over 375 US universities during the fall 2006 semester, 33.7% of the participants believed that Lexus is an American firm while 55,7% said that Hyundai’s Japanese. Forty-nine percent thought Swedish carmaker Volvo to be German while 58.4% said Land Rover is an American

Tuning Humour: The BMW A3…

This fella has serious issues to solve, and we mean really, really serious issues. Kitsch plastic add-ons aside, why the hell would you stick a reversed BMW kidney-grille on a first-gen Audi A3 hatch? Seriously now, why? Can’t even begin to start imagining what his next project will look like. -Thanks for the pic Mike!

2008 Peugeot 207 CC Roland Garros

Coinciding with the Roland-Garros tennis tournament, Peugeot presented yet another special version of one its models bearing the name of the famous French Open. Based on the 207 CC 1.6 (120HP), the Roland-Garros is offered exclusively in a bright yellow colour reminiscent of a tennis ball (…). Colour aside, the 207 CC Roland-Garros features special badges and a longer standard equipment list.

Belgian Bus Company Suggests We Park Our Cars On Their Buses Or In A… Canal!

Either way, make your life easier and take a bus next time you visit the city. Or at least that’s what Belgian bus company De Lijn is saying in its playful campaign in an attempt to persuade people to use public transport instead of cars. De Lijn’s first campaign includes a bus with an MG parked on its rooftop suggesting that they’ll let people park their cars on one of their busses if they

VW Replacing 1.6 FSI Engine With 122Hp 1.4 TSI, Available With New 7Speed DSG

One of VW’s most, if not the most, popular petrol engines in its European range, the 115Hp 1.6-liter FSI, is soon to be replaced by the company’s new 122Hp 1.4-litre TSI. Based on the 1.4-litre TSI that combines a supercharger and a turbocharger (available in 140Hp and 170Hp guises), the new unit uses just a turbocharger. The new engine is planned to be fitted to the Golf, Golf Plus, Golf Estate,

2008 Audi RS6 Scooped?

These pictures were shot by an Audi fan in a parking lot somewhere in Spain and from the looks of it, we could be looking at the upcoming RS6. Just to set things straight, we have no official or unofficial confirmation that Audi’s readying a top-notch A6, only rumours and various spy pics like these. The differences we spotted between the current S6 and the RS6 pictured here include wider flares,