Archive for the ‘energy’ Category

Scotland hopes to lead the drive towards all-electric vehicles

April 29, 2009

The city of Glasgow is striving to become ‘Electric Motor City’ under an ambitious $250 million dollar plan to create, encourage and spread sustainable transportation options throughout Scotland. Glasgow has been selected as one of five urban areas in the UK to pilot the use of electric vehicles over the next two years. A plan to test 30 electric vehicles in Glasgow has just been given the go-ahead and the government also plans to give drivers who buy new all-electric vehicles a substantial tax break.

Electric vehicles are powered by battery-driven motors and therefore produce none of the polluting emissions that traditional cars produce. They also operate much more quietly than traditional vehicles. However, their range is limited without being recharged.

Environmental and transportation groups have applauded the plan, although they highlight the importance of using renewable and clean energy sources for the charging of the vehicles. Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, warns against using coal or nuclear sources of energy, and instead argues that, “We can use renewable power from the wind and tides.” Seeing as Irfan Rabbani, executive member for the environment, has publicly announced the City Council’s goal to make Glasgow “one of the most sustainable cities in Europe,” this just may happen!

Want to check out an all-electric car for yourself? Check out this video on the new Chevy Volt, which will debut to the public in 2010.

I-GO Car Sharing applauds Center for Neighborhood Technology, recipient of 2009 MacArthur Award

April 28, 2009

I-GO Car Sharing is proud to be a part of the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), which on Tuesday, April 28, was one of only eight organizations around the world to be selected for the 2009 MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions.

“The MacArthur Foundation has a long history of supporting organizations around the world like these that demonstrate the creativity, drive, and vision to make the world more just and peaceful,” said MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton. “These organizations may be small but their impact is tremendous. From protecting human rights to improving urban neighborhoods to conserving biodiversity, they are blazing new paths and finding fresh solutions to some of our most difficult challenges.”

It was CNT—one of the country’s most venerable and innovative think tanks committed to urban sustainability issues—that originally launched I-GO Car Sharing in 2002. We remain closely attached to them to this day—both in terms of mission and literally: I-GO’s HQ is housed in the same LEED-certified-platinum office building in Wicker Park.

The accolades weren’t just from the MacArthur Foundation.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn: “The Center for Neighborhood Technology is an innovative and creative organization that has maintained a strong focus on sustainability for over 30 years,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. “The new technologies and ideas CNT has developed have kept Illinois at the forefront of green innovation, and this award is a fitting tribute.”

Sadhu Johnston, Chief Environmental Officer, City of Chicago: “Building a green city takes more than leadership from city government—it takes strong partners in the community. CNT has been and continues to be a valuable partner in the development and implementation of Chicago’s Climate Action Plan. Their in-depth analysis, along with their experience in implementing programs in transportation and energy, effectively demonstrate how and why cities are the solution to climate change.”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We encourage everyone to read up on this remarkable, prescient organization that has been waaaaay ahead of the green curve since its founding three decades ago. Reinventing a “smart energy grid” for the nation may be the green topic du jour now. But CNT has been talking smart grid long before the greenwashing bandwagon hoppers grabbed ahold of those coattails.

Besides I-GO, they’ve created other green consumer programs:

  • CNT Energy’s Power Smart Pricing helps residential consumers cut energy costs and reduce their peak energy use through hourly price signals. The plan was adopted by ComEd and other electricity providers in the Midwest.
  • The Energy Savers program offers a one-stop shop for energy audits and loans to finance improvements that substantially reduce natural gas and electricity use in multifamily buildings. Reductions in energy consumption lower the operating costs of rental properties, keeping them affordable for the long term.

No doubt they’ll keep innovating for another 30 years and beyond.

Congratulations CNT!