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July 5, 2015

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: next-gen EVs and bricklaying robots

by John_A

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.

Inhabitat's Week in Green

Now that the first wave of electric vehicles has established a strong foothold in the market, automakers are working on their successors — and the green cars of tomorrow will blow you away. For starters, they’ll be able to travel much farther. This past week, Volkswagen revealed that it’s working on an electric car with a 186-mile range; Chevrolet announced plans to begin producing the 200-mile Bolt EV in 2016; and reports indicate that the next-generation Nissan Leaf will be able to travel over 310 miles on a single charge. Hydrogen cars are also gaining traction — last week, Toyota announced that its Mirai is the only zero-emission vehicle that can travel 312 miles nonstop. Meanwhile, Tesla is tackling the range-anxiety problem by improving its charging network — and it just launched a next-generation Supercharger that is lighter, faster and cooled by liquid. If you’re looking for something even more futuristic, we have just the thing — the world’s first commercial jetpack is (finally) set to hit the market next year.

Meanwhile, revolutionary new technologies are enabling architects to design buildings that could never have been built 10 years ago. Dubai is an early adopter — this past week, the emirate announced plans to create the world’s first 3D-printed office building (complete with built-in furniture). Speaking of structures built by machines, a team of engineers has developed a bricklaying robot that can build an entire house in just two days. Even Paris is embracing the architecture of the future. The city is known for its strict building codes, but it just approved its first skyscraper in 40 years — and it’s shaped like a towering glass triangle.

Believe it or not, there’s a farm flourishing 100 feet below the streets of London — and it’s set to reap its first harvest this month. The indoor farm is called Growing Underground, and it’s using high-tech systems and bright pink grow lights to produce pea shoots, radishes and celery for commercial customers. Providing food for the hungry is a noble goal — and one Berkeley student has leveraged technology to feed almost 600,000 homeless people. Komal Ahmad’s app, Feeding Forward, makes it easy for anyone to donate leftover food to a good cause. Could 3D-printed meat be coming soon to a kitchen near you? That’s the promise behind “The Cultivator” — a solar-powered appliance that could let you print your own meat at home. And Adidas gave holiday beachgoers a reason to cheer by unveiling the world’s first pair of sneakers made of ocean garbage collected from the sea.

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