Green News

BIXI: Montreal’s Bicycle-Taxi service

Posted by Environment Smart on 09/23 at 11:40 AM
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The city of Montreal has just unveiled its new self-service, bike-rental system on September 21st. BIXI, the bicycle-taxi rental program modelled after the successful Vélib program in Paris.

Montreal is starting the program with only 40 bicycle for rent at the moment. The plan is to grow to 2,400 BIXIs by next spring. Paris currently provides more than 10,000 bicycle in its Vélib program.

‘BIXIs will be available at 300 stations across the city and are intended for short trips within the city. “You ride it and you return it, and [for] the first half hour there’s no charge,” Mayor Gérald Tremblay said Sunday.

The service will cost $28 a month, or $78 for seven months. Users can buy a day pass for $5.

“We sincerely believe that a lot of citizens who are not presently commuting with a bicycle will use the bicycles,” Mayor Tremblay said.

In addition to being a program that encourages an environmentally friendly mode of transportation around the city, the BIXI bikes are also made of 100 per cent recyclable aluminum. The bike parking stations are powered by solar energy.

About the author: Environment Smart

Paint on solar panels. It’s about time!

Posted by TheGreen on 07/11 at 04:04 PM
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Imagine turning the windows in your house into solar panels, just by painting them with an organic transparent dye. This die is claimed will absorb and transport light to photovoltaic cells that sit in the window frames. There it is converted to electricity. You can even paint this on regular solar panels to further increase the efficiency of current solar panels. Though I can’t see it being a huge increase as the solar light that creates the power in the first place is being absorbed by the dye. The team at MIT found that using specific combinations of dye—where each dye absorbs a different wavelength of light—they were able to avoid light being lost as it travelled to the solar cells in the window frames.

It is not that the dye will create the electricity, it merely acts as an efficient transporter of light. This means concentrating light into specific areas on a surface. This would be a huge boon to the electric car auto industry also, and I assume you could paint this die onto your roof or house walls too. Now if they can come up with a spray to cover your driveway, that would be cool. Or better yet, cover all the roads with a spray on dye that would concentrate the lights energy into collectors by the side of the road. Okay, I am getting a bit carried away, but one day… you read it here first.

About the author: TheGreen

The little eletric garden tractor

Posted by TheGreen on 05/30 at 11:56 AM
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My cousin and I have been toying with the idea of building an electric lawn tractor. In our search for other people’s stories on the internet, we have come up with quite a few interesting ways to build an electric tractor. It is obvious we would need a welder, and a few spare lawn tractors to start out with.

Here are a couple of the links we have found so far:

Renewables.com
Econogics

If you are in the southern quebec or eastern ontario area, and have experince in toying with electric tractors or any electric vehicles for that matter, please feel free to drop us a note. We’d be happy to hear from you.

About the author: TheGreen

Electric garden tractor, made in Canada eh

Posted by TheGreen on 05/26 at 04:08 PM
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Are you in the market for a lawn tractor for your property. Look no further. You can now get an electric lawn tractor made right here in Canada. There is no pricing available on their site, but it looks interesting. I sent them an email today and will post more details as I get them.

About the author: TheGreen

A Canadian Car company? Really? But not in Canada eh!

Posted by TheGreen on 04/15 at 04:57 PM
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Today a relative from Calgary sent me a harmless little link to a Canadian Car company. Yes, a true blue (red) Canadian Car company. Actually, it is right here in Quebec, just a couple hours from my house. In St-Jerome Quebec is a tiny little car company starting to make some impressively large headlines. This is great right? It gets better.

This tiny little Canadian Car company is producing Electric cars which are now sold around the world, in the United States, Europe, Mexico. Wait a minute, isn’t Canada part of the world? Yes it is, but our Conservative Government, led by Mr Stephen Harper seems hell bent on destroying this little company. The Canadian Federal government fought to not allow the Zero Emission, No Noise (Z.E.N.N) car on Canadian roads. Despite the fact that many other countries allow the car, our government until just a few months ago, appeared to be doing nothing to help our own home grown electric car company get going. Now if you listen to the news, you will hear how fast the Canadian government is helping pull oil out of the ground in the Alberta Tar sands to help the US fight its war in Iraq. You will hear that our Canadian government is helping to NOT meet green house reduction targets, and now you will hear that the Canadian government tried to destroy what appears to be an incredibly smart company. Sounds like our government is a wee bit oil hungry.

In Toronto, one father is worried about all the pollution and his kids have asthma, so he is doubly worried. He thinks the Zenn car is great! Rick Mercer did a report on the Zenn car in November 2007, and he thinks the Zenn car is incredible! On November 7th 2007, our Canadian Federal Government has approved the sale of this little low speed vehicle (LSV) in Canada. It is about time too. Unfortunately the battle has not ended. It is now up to each province to pass low speed vehicle regulations. Of our ten provinces guess which is the only one that has such regulations already in place. If you guess British Colmbia, you are a smart cookie. All nine other provinces need to create regulations for LSV’s before this amazing little car can be driven here. The next province to get regulations in place might just be Quebec:

Aside from British Columbia, several provinces including Quebec and Ontario have
expressed an interest in developing on-road regulations for low-speed vehicles.  ZENN
Motor Company enjoyed positive meetings with the province of Ontario in June 2007
and the Minister of Transportation of Quebec recently announced her intentions of fast-
tracking low-speed vehicle legislation in Quebec.

So lets get together and push our provincial governments to get LSV regulations in place as soon as possible. Not only is this little car extremely affordable, but it is also an amazing piece of technology. Especially for us in Quebec, where electricity is produced in a moderately environmentally safe way (compared to coal). Please pass this story on to your friends and family. Lets let the world know about the ZENN Canadian made car.

About the author: TheGreen