Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Will electric bikes save the world?



 "According to the US Bureau of Transportation Statistics, more than half of all trips in the US are under 3 miles.  A University of Oxford study found that swapping a car for a bike just once a day slashed an individual's transportation emissions by a whopping 67%. Another study found choosing an e-bike for 15% of one's miles traveled cut their transportation emissions by 12%.  Fast, fun, and convenient, e-bikes are already helping people make that kind of shift in their daily lives. "

* * * * *

While many cities in the US don't have good bicycle infrasctructure, e-bikes should make that somewhat easier as they gain popularity, since travel distance for the average rider will substantially increase.  This will make a larger part of the city available to any plan to ride a bike rather than a car.  E-bikes don't need special charging stations, plus they can contribute to better health by exercise and less pollution.  It's a win-win so long as we design our cities so there's not a fight between motorized vehicles and bikes.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

silicon batteries next step from lithium ion?



Batteries made with silicon instead of graphite — the commonly used material in battery anodes today — have been shown to enable significantly higher energy density and faster charging. 

“Silicon anode has 10 times higher energy density than graphite,” according to CEO Kang Sun of Amprius Technologies, one of the companies working on the technology.

“We’ve demonstrated that we can charge to 80 percent in under six minutes,” added Jon Bornstein, the company’s chief operating officer. Amprius is already working with Airbus, the U.S. Army, AeroVironment and BAE Systems on early iterations of its silicon-anode batteries. 

* * * * *

 Is it easy to switch battery production plants to a new method easily?  I certainly hope so.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

How many people ride their bike to work?

 "Despite all of the recreational opportunities for bicyclists within the Black Hills region, bicycling is
the least utilized method of commuting to work in the Rapid City Area. According to American
Community Survey (ACS) data for 2017, only 0.4% of residents commute to work via bicycling.
Pedestrians made up 3.7% of work commuters, and transit riders made up 0.6% of work

* * * * *

At least here in South Dakota, not many people bike to work.  While Rapid City has a very nice bike trail that winds along the creek, much of the city has no real bike trail, so you're fighting cars in many places.  Hopefully bikes can be given a higher transportation status so more people will choose that method, weather permitting, of course.

Monday, April 10, 2023

We can live without cars!



"If there was efficient mass transit so that everyone can sort of theoretically get around, I would say [that] is pretty close to what is in place in Europe," Fulton told Salon, where Europeans have managed to maintain a functioning society despite using cars far less often than Americans.

Yet Europe is still an imperfect example because even there, automobiles are so ubiquitous that they still consume a large chunk of transportation time. The key difference is that while Americans overwhelmingly rely on cars to get around, Europeans have an infrastructure that mixes cars more robustly with alternatives like buses, trains, bicycling and even walking. Fulton noted that the environmental situation in Europe is better than that in America because Europeans rely less on cars, which suggests that there are lessons from their experience.

* * * * *

This is a good article that goes into many advantages of reducing our reliance on cars, such as the environment, job advancement, etc.  It can be done as other countries have already shown.


Thursday, March 16, 2023

Will cities give land back to humans from cars?



"But a reliance on cars for work and life is ingrained in the DNA of most American environments, and there has been vigorous pushback. Newly proposed bike lanes have become politically explosive and cities have struggled to formalize once-popular streeteries. Business owners worry that fewer parking spaces means fewer customers. Some warn of gentrification, others of gridlock.

With traffic returning to pre-virus levels — and bringing with it an alarming rise in pedestrian deaths — the future of America’s streets still hangs in the balance."

* * * * *

The United States has long ago given over its cities to cars.  We need to look to Europe to see how to make cities human-centric again.



Monday, March 13, 2023

City buses will save the day



Today, there’s renewed interest in improving bus service in the U.S., inspired by innovations around the globe. The Brazilian city of Curitiba, which is well known for its innovations in urban planning, set a model in the 1970s when it adopted bus rapid transit – buses that run in dedicated lanes, with streamlined boarding systems and priority at traffic signals.

Curitiba helped popularize bi-articulated buses, which are extra-long with flexible connectors that let the buses bend around corners. These buses, which can carry large numbers of passengers, now are in wide use in Europe, Latin America and Asia. 

Cities across the globe, led by London, have also aggressively expanded contactless payment systems, which speed up the boarding process. Advanced bus systems and new technologies like these flourish in regions where politicians strongly support transit as a public service.

* * * * *

Buses do not replace cars, they reduce the number of cars needed in a city.  They are cheaper for the rider than owning a car.  If the city sets up a useable system, cities can reduce the severe impact cars have on the air, and the areas dedicated to vehicles.



Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Drowning the world in plastic



An unprecedented rise in plastic pollution has been uncovered by scientists, who have calculated that more than 170tn plastic particles are afloat in the oceans.

They have called for a reduction in the production of plastics, warning that “cleanup is futile” if they continue to be pumped into the environment at the current rate.

* * * * *

I think what's needed in business today is not first how to make money, but first how to do no harm.  If you CAN make money burying the earth in your product, should you be allowed to?