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October 16, 2016

The Prius Prime’s efficiency, and more in the week that was

by John_A

What does Tesla have up its sleeve? The automaker is planning to unveil a mysterious new product on Monday, and speculation so far ranges from the finalized Model 3 to a major Autopilot update. Meanwhile, the Toyota Prius Prime received a spectacular 133 MPGe rating, making it the most efficient electrified vehicle you can buy in the US. A new European law could require all new homes to install electric vehicle chargers. And Vello launched the world’s first folding electric bike that can power itself.
Scientists around the world are working to crack fusion power, and MIT’s reactor recently set a new world record for plasma pressure. Bill Nye the Science Guy is getting into the energy game by backing a revolutionary solar company that could cut the cost of photovoltaics by 60 percent. Researchers in the UK transmitted data across a national electricity grid for the first time, marking a big step forward for smart grids. The Los Alamos National Laboratory found a way to scale up quantum dot solar window technology, and Egypt’s first solar-powered village rose from the desert in Bahariya Oasis.

A giant farm has risen in the Australian desert, and it’s able to grow 17,000 tons of vegetables a year with nothing more than seawater and sunshine. In other design and technology news, the Jellyfish Lodge is a self-sufficient floating house that purifies polluted waterways while growing healthy food. A new wind-powered gadget called the Water Seer can pull 11 gallons of drinking water from thin air every day. The world’s first “space nation” is preparing to launch a satellite that will help protect earth from asteroids. And CuteCircuit has developed a “Sound Shirt” that allows deaf people to feel classical music.

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