Organic Transit Powers West

CL90849 300x200 Organic Transit Powers WestOrganic Transit, manufacturer of the ELFpedal/electric vehicle, is moving to a larger facility in Durham and opening a West Coast manufacturing center in San Jose. Organic Transit has outgrown the old retail furniture store where it began in 2011 in downtown Durham.  The new location, located just a few blocks away near Durham’s Central Park District, is 7,500 square feet, much more appropriate than the present location.   The company will use sustainable design in the building renovation and implement a higher-volume manufacturing process.

The company builds the ELF, a pedal and solar electric powered vehicle.”We love the old building, and it was perfect for getting us into business,” said Rob Cotter, Organic Transit Founder and CEO,  “But like Henry Ford realized 100 years ago, we need more room for a proper assembly line to increase our productivity.” “We will utilize recycled and upcycled materials in our build out.  And the building is being prepared with skylights, LED lighting, edible gardens, green walls and bee hives.”

Organic Transit is also opening a San Jose manufacturing facility in partnership with Good Karma Bikes, a non-profit that trains homeless individuals to become bicycle mechanics. Cotter said the San Jose location will also be a base to make local deliveries of vehicles and act as a regional maintenance facility.

Tesla EV Model S Hitting The Road This Week

tesla model s screen 300x212 Tesla EV Model S Hitting The Road This WeekSF Gate is reporting on the progress on Elon Musk‘s Telsa Tesla Model S 300x2152 Tesla EV Model S Hitting The Road This WeekModel S electric vehicle – which will be making it’s first deliveries this Friday. Elon Musk  received Wall Street Journal Innovator of The Year Award Award in 2011.  Tesla Motors  is growing its network of retail stores across the United States in preparation for deliveries of Model S, the world’s first premium electric sedan.  Tesla recently  opened  its first U.S. store of the year at The Westchester shopping center in White Plains, New York. Tesla is reinventing the car-buying experience with its unique retail model. Tesla Westchester, the first store of its kind on the East Coast, will feature a hands-on exhibit of the Model S drivetrain, a Design Studio where customers can customize their own Model S, and an interactive touchscreen experience designed to engage and inform customers about Tesla’s advanced technology and the benefits of driving electric. The store will open with four Model S Betas on display, a record number of vehicles at a Tesla store opening.

Our sales strategy is very different from the rest of the automotive industry — we put our stores in high foot-traffic locations so we can tell as many people as possible about Tesla’s incredible cars,” says George Blankenship, Tesla’s vice president of worldwide sales and ownership experience. “Opening our own stores allows us to ensure consumers interested in learning more about Tesla will receive an amazing customer experience from the moment they walk through the door.”

Tesla Westchester will be the 22nd company-owned store worldwide. The company will open four additional stores this summer at 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California, Fashion Square in Scottsdale, Arizona, Washington Square in Portland, Oregon, and on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Florida. These stores will expand Tesla’s “new retail experience” to both new and existing markets.Model S was designed from the ground up as an electric car. Engineered for performance, it offers a premium ride, great handling and accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in as little as 4.4 seconds. With seating for five adults and two children in optional rear-facing seats, plus ample cargo space, Model S blends smart design with cutting-edge technology. The 17″ in-dash touchscreen with wireless capabilities allows for streaming radio, navigation and web browsing. Model S is offered with three battery pack options to suit a variety of drivers’ needs, and can be recharged using any conventional outlet. Tesla has more than 10,000 reservations for Model S worldwide.

Organic Farming  Legislation Introduced In Congress

Californians To Vote On GMO Food Labeling

201205 omag safe to eat 600x411 300x205 Californians To Vote  On GMO Food LabelingTwo nights ago, The California Secretary of State’s office announced that the Right to Know initiative to label genetically engineered foods will be on the state’s November ballot. The historic initiative would be the first law in the United States requiring labeling of a wide range of genetically engineered foods.“We’re thrilled that Californians will have the opportunity this November to vote for the right to know what’s in our food,” said Stacy Malkan, a spokesperson for the California Right to Know campaign. “This initiative is pretty simple. It’s about our fundamental right to make informed choices about the food we eat and feed our families.”The initiative requires labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are plants or meats that have had their DNA artificially altered by genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. Nine out of ten voters in the U.S. and in California back labeling, according to recent polls (see Mellman 2012, Reuters 2010, Zogby 2012). An April poll by San Francisco TV station KCBS found 91% backed labeling.

The California Right to Know initiative is backed by a broad array of consumer, health and environmental groups, businesses and farmers. Major endorsers include Public Citizen, Sierra Club, American Public Health Association, United Farm Workers, California Certified Organic Farmers, Organic Consumers Association, Consumer Federation of America, Nature’s Path, Lundberg Family Farms, Organic Valley, Dr. Bronner’s, Eden Foods,, Center for Food Safety, Food Democracy Now! and the California State Grange. Grant Lundberg, CEO of Lundberg Family Farms in the Sacramento Valley, noted that the United States stands out as one of the few developed nations that does not provide consumers with simple labels to inform them if their food has been genetically engineered. “More than 40 other countries — including all of Europe, Japan and even China — already label genetically engineered food. Californians deserve to be able to make informed choices too,” Lundberg said.

In March, more than one million people submitted comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on a petition for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods, more than any other petition in FDA history. Twenty states have tried to legislate GMO labeling, but none have succeeded due to intense opposition from corporate special interests.“All eyes are on California, and the voters of this state will support our right to know what’s in our food when they vote this November,” said Stacy Malkan from the Right to Know campaign.

Nanosolar Raises New Capital

Will Solar Energy Generation Silence EV Critics ?

bmwelec2 300x192 Will Solar Energy Generation Silence EV Critics ?Hybrid and electric vehicles are neither clean nor green according to a new environmental book, Green Illusions (June 2012, University of Nebraska Press), written by University of California – Berkeley visiting scholar Ozzie Zehner. Green Illusions exposes numerous hidden side effects of new hybrid and electric cars, such as the Tesla, Leaf, Fisker Karma, and Prius. The analysis considers mining impacts, toxins, energy use, suburban sprawl and carbon footprints of production. From an environmental perspective, Zehner argues that hybrids and electric cars are no better than gasoline vehicles, a conclusion backed by a National Academy of Sciences report.

Shifting from gasoline to electric vehicles is like switching a smoking habit from cloves to menthols,” asserts Zehner. “It isn’t acceptable for doctors to promote menthol cigarettes — should environmentally minded people promote alternative fuel cars?” In a California radio interview yesterday, Zehner pointed out that the higher cost of electric cars reflects the greater quantities of fossil fuels used to build them. He argued that electric cars do not eliminate the negative side effects of vehicular travel. They merely shift the problems elsewhere. Most electric vehicle studies compare traditional gasoline fuel to electric car charging, which relies primarily on coal, natural gas and nuclear power. However, fueling activities represent only a portion of a car’s total environmental impact. Zehner points out that the larger impact comes from manufacturing the car. The added copper, aluminum, rare earth metals and other materials necessary for electric car production offset any benefit achieved during the entire charging lifecycle.

Even if mining companies clean up their operations and engineers increase battery storage capacity there is still a bigger problem looming on the horizon, argues Zehner. “Alternative-fuel vehicles stand to define and spread patterns of ‘sustainable living’ that cannot be easily sustained without cars. Suburban infrastructure maintenance and road construction induce ecological consequences beyond the side effects of the vehicle itself.”Instead of subsidizing electric cars, Zehner advocates for lawmakers to support smarter urban design policies that focus on walking, bicycling and public transit.

Viking River Cruises Organic And Solar

Viking River Cruises Organic And Solar

6a00d8341c565553ef0168e911d989970c 800wi 300x199 Viking River Cruises Organic And SolarThis year may mark the 15th anniversary for Viking River Cruises—and with the launch of six new ships in a single season, the most significant year in the company’s history—but the world’s leading river cruise line has plans to continue momentum in 2013 and beyond. Viking River Cruises today announced its complete 2013 cruise program, offering guests a broader selection of choices than any other river cruise line—from ships and staterooms to destinations and pace of exploration. Viking’s 2013 program introduces four inspiring new itineraries and two new land tour extensions, as well as the launch of an additional six Viking Longships and the complete refurbishment of its Russian fleet. In addition to the six state-of-the-art Viking Longships launching in 2012, Viking will continue expansion in 2013 with the launch of six additional Viking Longships—Viking Bragi, Viking Forseti Viking Rinda, Viking Skadi, Viking Tor and Viking Var. Designed by celebrated maritime architects Yran & Storbraaten—the team behind the Disney Dream and the Yachts of Seabourn—the new ships integrate patent-pending  technology and innovations such as diesel-electric hybrid engines, solar panels and onboard organic herb gardens.

“We take pride in the way we design experiences for our guests—from carefully-crafted itineraries that focus on the destination to excursion choices that allow travelers to set their own pace each day,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking River Cruises. “By providing guests with the opportunity to tailor every aspect of their cruise, we ensure they have the most personal and unforgettable vacation possible.”

budapest view 240x180 tcm43 11672 Viking River Cruises Organic And SolarWith diverse and scenic cruise itineraries in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, China and Southeast Asia, Viking guests experience the heart of a destination along its waterways and during culturally rich shore excursions. And with the world’s largest fleet of river cruise ships, Viking offers guests the most stateroom choices—with the new Viking Longships featuring the largest suites sailing Europe’s waterways. With a vast network of contacts and an intimate understanding of each port city, Viking Concierges can reserve a table at the best restaurant, recommend specialty shops, order theater tickets and even arrange for a private guide and car service.

Lights Camera Food… Farmers Going To LA

GE Opens Electric And Hybrid Vehicle Innovation Center

20120531 053112green04 33 300x207 GE Opens Electric And Hybrid Vehicle Innovation CenterThe first-of-its-kind center reinforces GE’s commitment to the11gefleet0530 300x196 GE Opens Electric And Hybrid Vehicle Innovation Center deployment of more efficient vehicles in its fleet and in customer fleets. Showcasing the latest in a growing array of alternative fuel vehicles in electric, natural gas, propane, hydrogen and other formats, the center gives GE’s commercial customers the opportunity to learn about and test drive numerous alternative fuel cars and trucks in a single location with assistance from GE’s fleet, transportation, energy and advanced technology experts.“We believe that businesses, through their company fleets, can lead the way in putting drivers across the country and around the world into cleaner, more productive vehicles,” said Deb Frodl, chief strategy officer for GE Capital Fleet Services and global alternative fuel leader for GE. “The best way to accelerate adoption of alternative fuel cars and trucks is to experience them. Once they get behind the wheel, they can see that these vehicles are real and ready for action.”

Through our Vehicle Innovation Center, we are committed to sharing alternative fuel vehicle technologies and solutions with our customers and helping them put more of these vehicles on the road.” Located on the campus of GE’s fleet management business headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minn., the center features a private half-mile driving course and a vehicle center that includes alternative fuel vehicles from 20 automotive manufacturers. With 6,000 square feet of classrooms and showrooms, the center also allows visitors access to a variety of products and solutions from GE’s ecomagination portfolio, including solutions for the smart grid, Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in a Box, fuel savings mobile applications, and other advanced energy and infrastructure technologies.

The center supports GE’s broader ecomagination business strategy – to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technology though innovation and R&D investment. GE Capital Fleet Services will run the center in collaboration with other GE businesses and GE energy and transportation experts around the world.“The city of Eden Prairie is delighted and proud to be the home of GE’s Vehicle Innovation Center, “ said Nancy Tyra-Lukens, mayor of Eden Prairie. “This is truly a world-class facility and we are pleased to have GE working on the future of sustainable transportation right here in our own community.

Fukushima Fallout (2012)