Tag Archives: TIOTW

How BlaBlaCar fills empty car seats

One of the biggest problems with private cars is that they are underused. The average occupancy of a car in Britain is 1.2, and globally it’s 1.5. Most of the world’s car are driving around with empty seats, often taking just one person to work, or out on an errand. Every empty seat in a […]

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How Riversimple sell mobility as a service

Back in 2010 I wrote about RiverSimple, a company in Wales making a hydrogen fuel cell car on circular economy and open source principles. It was a radical business model and a cute little prototype, but everything went rather quiet for quite a long time. Then I was in the Science Museum recently and saw […]

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Sono launches its solar car

In January I asked how far we were from a self charging solar car. At the time there was nothing on the market, just two or three prototypes that involve some kind of solar charging. That changed a couple of weeks ago with the launch of the Sion, from German start-up Sono Motors. Last year […]

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Transport innovation of the week: distance-based road taxes

The Wolfson Economics Prize is run by Policy Exchange and seeks to encourage innovative ideas in economics. It has run three times in the past, each time with a specific question. This year’s was on transport, with entries invited in response to this question: ‘How can we pay for better, safer, more reliable roads in […]

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Hype, hyperloop and the hovertrain

If you’ve ever traveled on Britain’s East Coast mainline, you may have idly looked out the train window around Peterborough and seen this curious sight. It looks like a plane with no wings, perched on a concrete beam. It is in fact all that remains of the hovertrain, a prototype high speed rail system that […]

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Would driverless cars be better for the environment?

Last week I was with the Royal Society at their Emerging Technologies conference, where we were discussing how various technologies were going to impact society. In the work stream that I was part of, we talked about cultured meats and insect protein, solar with battery storage, and the internet of things. We also talked about […]

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How to cut aviation emissions? Abolish first class seats

As we’ve discussed before, aviation is a particular problem in climate change circles. It’s not included in international negotiations, and there are no immediate technological solutions. So here’s a practical and relatively easy step we could take – limit the number of seats given over to luxury travel. The logic is simple: the Airbus 380 […]

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Car tyres in a circular economy

Last week I wrote about the various options for dealing with the world’s waste tyres. We can recycle them, grind them up into asphalt, or burn them for energy. But clearly, the easiest solution is stop generating a mountain of 1.5 billion waste tyres every single year. In a circular economy, the basic philosophy is […]

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When will we reach electric car price parity?

For several years, the energy world has been waiting for the point at which solar power becomes as cheap as coal power. From this moment of ‘grid parity‘, it makes little sense to keep building fossil fuel generation. Solar power becomes the default option. It’s been predicted for a while, and most of the world […]

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Kenya’s bike culture – and how it can survive development

If you’ve spent any time in East Africa, this bike will be familiar to you: You will also know that they easily lend themselves to carrying sacks, crates, stacks of firewood, or passengers. Cargo platforms can be added front and back, making them very versatile machines. Like Ford’s Model T, they come ‘in any colour […]

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