Nikola unveils its hydrogen-powered semi-truck

It’s not just passenger vehicles that are moving away from gasoline, big rigs are also saying goodbye to fossil fuels. In Salt Lake City today the hydrogen-powered Nikola One long haul truck was unveiled. According to the truck maker, the semi will be in production and ready to transport goods in 2020.

The class 8 truck (the giant ones that transport goods) will have a range of 800 to 1,200 miles between refueling. If the company delivers on that range, the One — if running at peak efficiency — could get from San Francisco to Cheyenne, Wyoming on one tank of gas. And the fuel needed for that trip will be included in the 72-month leasing program that company is offering.

To solve the limited supply of hydrogen along the highways of the United States and Canada, Nikola also announced its plans to build stations to refuel its new trucks in both countries. The company will start breaking ground on the refueling stops in 2018 and they will open in 2019.

Without those hydrogen stations, it won’t matter how impressive the range of Nikola One is if it can’t be counted on to transport goods everywhere because it might run out of juice. Yet when it is on the road, the semi’s tech will be making the most of its trip.

According to CEO Trevor Milton, the truck’s navigation system will determine the most lucrative route between destinations. The dash will have a large display sort of like the one found in a Tesla.

Nikola is still determining where it’ll actually build its new trucks and says it will figure that out sometime during the first half of 2017. Once those semis are built they will be sold, serviced and warrantied by trucking company Ryder’s over 800 locations thanks to a agreement announced today.

The company also introduced the Nikola Two with the same range performance as the One but a smaller cab and more maneuverability. Like the One, it’ll be available in 2020. Both trucks will have an electric motor connected to each wheel which should help with take off thanks to torque vectoring and braking.

No word on pricing on either truck. But Milton said that information will be shared soon.

Source: Nikola

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HBO and Cinemax Come to Amazon Prime – Cable Cutting War Continues

More great news this week for cord cutters as Amazon Prime subscribers will now be able to access programming from HBO and Cinemax. HBO will be available on Prime for $14.99 a month, while the Cinemax add-on will cost $9.99 a month, Amazon said in a press release that went out on the wire today. HBO …more

The post HBO and Cinemax Come to Amazon Prime – Cable Cutting War Continues appeared first on Legit Reviews.

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Chevy beats Tesla to a sub $30,000 long-range EV

Oregon and California residents can now buy an electric car with an EPA range of 238 miles for under $30,000. Chevy’s pricing configurator for its Bolt EV is now online, and as expected, the base LT model with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay (or Android Auto) and a rear vision camera costs $37,495, or exactly $29,995 after the $7,500 federal tax credit. If you get the premier model with all the options (including driver assist features) it’ll cost $44,950, or $37,450 after US tax credits. As Chevy warned earlier, the DC fast charge option is $750 extra on all models.

If you live in one of the many US states which add their own EV incentives (like California, which will probably offer a $2,500 credit) you could pay as little as $27,495 for a base Bolt — well under the median price for a car in the US. With fuel savings included, the cost of ownership will be even less, especially if you have your own solar panels.

Chevy reportedly loses as much as $9,000 on every Bolt it sells, according to a Bloomberg report. However, hitting EV targets allows it to sell more of its profitable, gasoline-powered vehicles in green-centric states like California and New York. It’s also a way for GM to lure young buyers who would otherwise avoid what they see as a stodgy company. "It’s a statement about what we can do for the Chevy brand," Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney said.

However, keep the US tax credit EV manufacturing caps in mind. The Bolt has nearly the same pricing as the Tesla Model 3, so Chevy will probably sell a lot of them — possibly in the hundreds of thousands, depending on production capacity. The federal government caps the EV tax credit at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer, including all of GM, not just Chevy. The Hybrid Volt qualifes as an EV, as does the Cadillac SVR, so total sales from GM could hit 100,000 by the end of this year.

Unless the tax credit is extended for manufacturers, it will be reduced and eventually eliminated after 200,000 sold. That will probably happen by next year for GM (and Tesla too, for anyone not already on its pre-order list). In other words, you should think about ordering a Bolt soon if you want to get the full discount. It’s available now in Oregon and California, and will arrive in other states in early 2017.

Via: Techno Buffalo

Source: Chevrolet

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Princess Cruises Hit With Largest-Ever Criminal Penalty For ‘Deliberate Pollution’

A Princess Cruise Line ship leaves Buenos Aires’ port in Argentina in 2012.

Natacha Pisarenko/AP


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Natacha Pisarenko/AP

A Princess Cruise Line ship leaves Buenos Aires’ port in Argentina in 2012.

Natacha Pisarenko/AP

Princess Cruise Lines will pay a $40 million fine for “deliberate pollution of the seas and intentional acts to cover it up,” according to the Department of Justice, which calls it “the largest-ever criminal penalty involving deliberate vessel pollution.”

The California-based cruise operator also agreed to plead guilty to seven felony charges over illegal practices on five ships dating back, in at least one case, to 2005.

The Justice Department said in a statement that Princess illegally dumped contaminated waste and oil from its Caribbean Princess ship for eight years — a practice that was exposed by a whistleblowing engineer in 2013.

The engineer quit his job over the dumping when the ship docked in the U.K. and alerted British authorities, who notified the U.S. Coast Guard. He said other engineers were using a device called a “magic pipe” to bypass the ship’s water treatment system and unload oily waste into the ocean.

Then, other engineers attempted to hide the evidence of illegal dumping before British investigators could board the ship, according to the Justice Department. The statement read: “The chief engineer and senior first engineer ordered a cover-up, including removal of the magic pipe and directing subordinates to lie.” This continued during a subsequent investigation led by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Justice Department said the deliberate pollution was likely an attempt to cut costs: “The chief engineer that ordered the dumping off the coast of England told subordinate engineers that it cost too much to properly offload the waste in ports and that the shore-side superintendent who he reported to would not want to pay the expense.”

In addition to the illegal waste dumping from the Caribbean Princess, the Department of Justice says it uncovered illegal practices on four other Princess ships:

  • “One practice was to open a salt water valve when bilge waste was being processed by the oily water separator and oil content monitor. The purpose was to prevent the oil content monitor from otherwise alarming and stopping the overboard discharge.”
  • “The second practice involved discharges of oily bilge water originating from the overflow of graywater tanks into the machinery space bilges. This waste was pumped back into the graywater system rather than being processed as oily bilge waste.”

Some discharges likely took place within U.S. waters, the Justice Department says.

“The pollution in this case was the result of more than just bad actors on one ship,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden says. “It reflects very poorly on Princess’s culture and management.”

In a statement to NPR, Princess Cruises says it is “extremely disappointed about the inexcusable actions of our employees.” It says it launched an internal investigation in 2013. And “although we had policies and procedures in place, it became apparent they were not fully effective,” the statement reads. “We are very sorry that this happened and have taken additional steps to ensure we meet or exceed all environmental requirements.

Princess Cruises is a subsidiary of Miami-based Carnival Corp., and the plea agreement requires ships from eight of Carnival’s companies to submit to court-supervised monitoring of environmental compliance for the next five years.

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China Turns Big Data into Big Brother

It was a drab, chill day in November, and the clocks were striking thirteen. As the woman passed through Hangzhou Railway Station, she moved quickly through the ticket gates—though not quickly enough to avoid detection by the transport authority, which noticed her failure to swipe the correct transit pass. It was too late. She had received a black mark on government records that would make it harder than ever for her to travel in the future.

That’s a reimagining of the introduction to George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. But it’s also set to become a reality for citizens of China if the government’s dream of an authoritarian big-data scheme comes to fruition.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Chinese government is now testing systems that will be used to create digital records of citizens’ social and financial behavior. In turn, these will be used to create a so-called social credit score, which will determine whether individuals have access to services, from travel and education to loans and insurance cover. Some citizens—such as lawyers and journalists—will be more closely monitored.

Planning documents apparently describe the system as being created to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.” The Journal claims that the system will at first log “infractions such as fare cheating, jaywalking and violating family-planning rules” but will be expanded in the future—potentially even to Internet activity.

Some aspects of the system are already in testing, but there are some challenges to implementing such a far-reaching apparatus. It’s difficult to centralize all that data, check it for accuracy, and process it, for example—let alone feed it back into the system to control everyday life. And China has data from 1.4 billion people to handle.

As the Financial Times reported earlier this year, it’s not currently well-equipped to do so. Speaking about the nation’s attempts to probe citizen data to measure creditworthiness, Wang Zhicheng of Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management told the newspaper, “China has a long way to go before it actually assigns everyone a score. If it wants to do that, it needs to work on the accuracy of the data. At the moment it’s ‘garbage in, garbage out.’”

Not that such issues are likely to stop officials from pursuing such a goal. The nation’s citizens already have to deal with strict Internet censorship, and Jack Ma, the founder of Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba, recently called on the government to use sweeping data analysis to identify criminals.

If China can work out how to corral its data across government departments, cities, and districts, the scoring system will simply be another Big Brother tactic in the nation’s increasingly totalitarian approach to governance.

(Read more: The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Bloomberg, “The Best and Worst Internet Experience in the World”)

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