Posts Tagged ‘hybrid bus’

Will you start the new year in search for a bus door?

Circulating for a while on the net I hope that by sharing this small quiz it is possible for most of you start 2012 in a good way

 

Commute Greener!

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Be positive, enjoy weekend and go by…

Hope you are having a great weekend, maybe you did some parkour?
On youtube I enjoyed above with reference to VANOC Sustainability National Video Contest and to Recycle. Which favorites do you have on youtube or other sources?

Final countdown, the song by Europe can be heard together with some extreme skiing compilation as another way going through nature. It is essential to care for the environment at the same time as there are many ways to go around…

Going around is a common activity in cities, this one is presented as the best trial biker of the world while being accompanied by music that seems to sing ‘only to show you are wrong’. I rather think there are many ways to be right…

Skateboarding often shows that ‘balance is movement’ and I got this through a very positive ski instructor. Her hat also had a funny, and serious message: ‘Drop cliffs, not bombs’. There are ways to go up on a mountain and then almost flying like a missile:

The Wingsuit proximity flying shows adrenaline in a need for speed.

Bockers are not making you that fast but still giving a thrill, as you may have seen already last weekend. The trick made by Welsh Bockers and Jurassic Jumpers while Powerbocking are certainly more exciting. Way to go, way to go…

Freeride in the nature accompanied by a lyrics to Wake up!

Last Paradise is the youtube description of above. Let’s make sure we change many of the current behaviors so that we rather help to create more paradise feelings by also including innovation perspectives. A new week soon begins, please take action, go by better means of transit and Commute Greener!
/magnus

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CO2 saving commute, the new Chinese … bus?

Hi!

I’m both exiting and sceptical today… The whole “green” community on the Internet seems to be talking about the new Chinese commute option. Or I should say possible future option. The new "Bus"It is a bus that should be able to take  1400 commuters, without disturbing the regular traffic. The “bus” is hollow, letting cars drive under it while it drive along rail or painted support lines. Now this is one heck of an idea. This hulking monster is supposed to run of electricity and solar power too, with minimal disturbance to regular traffic. It sounds to good to be true, right? Well, maybe, buses in Shanghai and several cities run of electricity so it may be possible. There are still some major logistic problems to sort out, even when all the engineering is done but the Chinese are resourceful.They may pull this one off.

The most exiting thing about this project, in my opinion, is that it may cut the car traffic by 30 %. That is a lot of CO2, which is even more important in a growing economy like China were more and more are getting a car. It is also an interesting example of looking outside the box, even if the basic idea isn’t new (if you are going to trust rumours and blog comments… I have never heard of it before). I have written several times about the importance of good options and infrastructure for commuters. Sometimes driving is the only option, but this monster may make it possible for massive amounts of people to choose to let the car rest. Options can lead to curiosity, and humans are curious by nature.

Another good thing with this project is that it have opened up debate on the internet. I am not much for spectacle, but this kind of thing draws so much attention that people may start to look at their own city, and their own options. That in turn may well lead to a political debate about alternative or better public transportation. That is of course speculation.

This kind of project can’t be easy to implement. Chinese cities have such a vast amount of commuters so this kind of solution make sense. Could a smaller version be used in the west? Would it be needed here? It is too soon to say, in my opinion. But this project is exciting.

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I’m off

Fredrik

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Fighting oil and CO2-the search for new fuel

Hi!

CO2 is a huge problem. Well, that’s a no brainer. Transportation is a huge contributor of CO2, even if energy and industry, as well as our homes play big parts. One way to reduce CO2 emissions from transportation is alternate fuels. Oil will have to go. After all it is not an infinite resource. Ethanol, gas, and electricity powered vehicles are already on the market, and are getting more and more common. Ideally their fuel should all be produced in a climate smart way, but that is not always the case.

I admit that this is not my area of expertise (environmental management is more my cup of tea), but if electricity from a coal plant is used in an electric car, should it really be called clean? Can ethanol from grain grown in Brazil (example) and transported by ship (fueled by dirty high sulphur oil) to Europe or North America to be processed and then transported to gas stations be called clean? Considering that oil is also transported long distances for processing and distribution ethanol may still be a better alternative. And what about availability? Is there an infrastructure for ethanol developed in the region? What I am getting at is that the question of alternative fuels is way more complicated then just the CO2 emissions from a car with a petrol engine vs. an ethanol car. These are complicated questions, and I don’t have a good answer to them.  If ethanol is produced and used locally, for example coming rest products from wood industry (pulp/paper mills, saw mills etc.), it may be a good replacement in the future. And as far as emissions go, it is better then oil.

It is very interesting to follow the development of alternative fuels. I hope that in a (hopefully) not to distant future the norm will be alternative fuels, and that fossil fuels is in a clear minority on the roads.  Just look at fuel cells and biofuel from algae. While fuel cells are way to expensive right now, and genetic modification of algae is risky, expensive and in early stages of development, they may play a role in the future. One may even speculate if algae-fuel would be good as a carbon sink as the strains used use up lots of CO2 in their metabolism. The question is if it is worth the risk of genetic modified algae escaping into the oceans, and in a worst case scenario out-compete the regular species. And is the risk even there? Difficult ethical questions that the fuel industry will have to answer in the future.

The last “new” bio-fuel I would like to address is bio-gas, ie gas from sewage plants and similar facilities. Many buses and taxis in Sweden run on such gas, and it is a workable system, that even fit into the vision of a resource efficient society. I mean, even human excrements have their uses.

Next time you commute by bus, or take a cab, take a look at what fuel it run of. You may be surprised. Or not. Diesel is still one of the more common fuels for buses, but gas is getting more common, at least were there is infrastructure for it. Think and act for a positive climate change.

Well, that’s it. I’m off for today. You know the drill, follow us at facebook and twitter. And remember to Commute Greener!

/

Fredrik

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My Top Ten things to do on the commute!

Hi its me again!

I was planning to continue with the climate gasses and environmental problems today, but I think I will throw in a list of things to do when using the public transportation instead.

Commuting with public transportation doesn’t have to be boring, and while you get some time for yourself, you reduce your CO2 emissions, contribution to smog formation and all the other stuff I have mentioned before. There are lots of things you can do, that let you relax when you get home. Many are no brainers, but some of you may get an idea or two.

So, with no further delays:

  1. Read a book, or newspaper, or magazine. Take time to relax, take it easy and be well rested when you get home. This is by far my favourite on the list. I always have a book in the pocket of my jacket.
  2. Listen to music. Another no brainer. And a popular way to pass time. But people, please, respect your fellow commuters. Use headphones, and keep the volume manageable. No matter how good you think the music is, it will disturb the other passengers.
  3. Eat! Eating is often prohibited on buses and subways, but not on trains and ferries. Pack some sandwiches, and suddenly breakfast isn’t so stressful in the morning. Or on your way home, instead of going to McDonalds or something like that, eat a home made salad, sandwich. Save money and stay healthy!
  4. Work! Mobile work?I used to commute by train, 50 min one way. And I was always making the most of every minute. This was when I was a student, before I moved closer to the University though. The train ride was time when I could make mind maps, rewrite notes, read up on things or write on some report. I don’t study anymore, and now I usually commute by buss. But I still use the time to write down ideas for this blog, categorize things I have done and have to do, and so on.
  5. Sleep. The opposite of nr 4. But it sure is nice to take a nap on the train, early mornings are….  ZZZZzzzzzz
  6. Draw. Yes, I see people every day that use the time on the bus to draw pictures. Be creative, but keep it in a sketchbook… Who knows, it might become a habit, I find it addictive as….
  7. Sing and play. One of my best memories of commuting was when a young man seemingly imported directly from Woodstock took out his guitar and started to sing and play on the train. The whole train cart ended up singing with him, for more then one hour. But be sure to ask if it is ok if you are going to make a lot of noise. People might want to sleep, or work. Respect people.
  8. Put on your face! Applying make up seems to be a favourite of women, young and old. Especially in the morning. And it can be fun to watch to as one bump in the road can turn a tasteful makeup into something that looks like what you  see can on the Circus.
  9. Flirt! Yep, the crazy Danes have come up with red love seats on some buses in Copenhagen. Who knows, maybe you will find true love on the bus
  10. Socialise! I know, I know. The first six entries on the list are antisocial… But still, talk to people. I don’t know how it is in other countries, but Swedes seems to be afraid of contact. We have a reputation for being cold, but I think we are just shy… Talk to people for petes sake. Who knows, you may even find a new friend! A book, magazine or good music may even be a good conversation starter.

That’s it, that’s my 10 examples of what to do while commuting. Want to add something? You think I’m wrong, totally crazy? Drop a line here or at facebook

I’m off for now, but I’ll be back soon. And remember, Commute Greener!

/

Fredrik

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Carbon dioxide-you bad boy!


Guess what; today I’m going to go scientific on you!

I thought it would be fun to produce a series of blog entries about the most common climate and environmental problems, with some tips about how to reduce them. I will mainly focus on greenhouse gasses, but also particles and some other common problems will be discussed to. And of course I might throw in some fun lists and facts now and then to lighten up the mode.

It feels natural to start with carbon dioxide. Much is written about carbon dioxide today. Much of what is written is correct, but many get it wrong anyway. No I’m not talking about climate deniers. They can speak for themselves, and most certainly do. I’m talking about newspapers and magazines, but television is very guilty of this to. CO2 have gotten so much attention from everywhere that we tend to forget that there are many other causes for concern in our environment. But before I get started I need to say this…. WE NEED CO2! Plants use it in photosynthesis, to make sugar. It is not an evil gas that man has released on the world. But TO MUCH CO2 cause severe problems. And that’s what we got today.

Carbon_dioxide_structure

First of all, what is this climate changing gas? Well, chemically speaking, it is one carbon atom connected to two oxygen atoms with double bindings. Ok, so it is not a very “advanced” chemical we are dealing with. It has a weight of about 44 g/mole (one mole being 6.0221415×1023 atoms or molecules of a substance ). So it is not very heavy either. And this is part of the problem. CO2 is a stable molecule that is quite light with a long turnover rate in the atmosphere, and that disperse over a large area. That every combustion produce CO2 doesn’t help…

Carbon dioxide is a natural gas. It has always existed. Natural emissions are not really a problem as they are neatly balanced by nature itself. Add in anthropogenic CO2 and we have a problem. Emissions from transportation, industry, homes etc are in excess of what is naturally emitted, which mean that we got too much of the stuff. Now to the second part of why anthropogenic CO2 is bad. It causes the greenhouse effect, by absorbing long wave radiation reflected from the surface of the earth. Atoms in molecules always vibrate in the bonds. Think about the bonds as springs. They move in certain wavelengths. Unfortunately, CO2 vibrates in the correct wavelength to absorb the rays reflected from the earth. The molecule then releases radiation in all directions, both up and towards the surface. Normaly this is no problem, as the carbon dioxide levels have been stable (sort of). But with more climate gasses (more than carbon is involved) we get more warming. This is of course the simplified version. The whole global warming scientific problem is extremely complex. And that is why there is so much controversy around it.

Still with me? You are not sleeping yet? I am impressed. Ok, I promise, no more science today. Now that we know why it is bad, we will talk about footprints and reduction. The fun stuff.

CO2 footprints is a measurement of how much CO2 is released from a country, company or an individual each year. It is a good way to show numbers, something that is often lacking. Commute Greener! is one way of keeping track on your own emissions. But you already know that. However, there are some ways to make driving less polluting. That is a very important. Eco Driving is one such thing. By making the car drink less you save money AND emissions. Skip gears, dont breake or accellerate to much and plan your driving. Also, remove any roofboxes when not in use. They add to fuel the consumption.

Carpooling or ridesharing is a great way of reducing the footprint and get to know your co-workers. Maybe you live close to each other? Can one of you pick the others up on the way to work, so you don’t have to ride separately? It is fun, save money and it is very comfortable.

19943_278471591412_236964916412_5098474_6595451_n

If you commute by public transportation, choose electric, hybrid or gas buses. They release a bit less CO2 and the fuel itself is produced by more friendly means then petrol. Mostly… I know it is difficult to know what fuel the bus use, but it might be the only way if you want to make your commuting greener. And if you usually drive to work, try taking the bus for two weeks . I am sure you will get used to it, and realise that you all of a sudden will have time for reading, making errands and relaxing on the way home.

The best way to almost remove your carbon footprint from commuting is of course to choose the bike, or your feet as mode of transportation.  There is a “take the bike to work week” campaign on the net. Many joined in, and have found that you CAN commute by bike. Start commuting by bike together with your co-workers. Start a competition of weight loss, CO2 saved, time it takes to get to work or something like that. It makes it much more fun.

I hope you have found this interesting. I did. Next update will be on Monday, and I have something way more fun than today planned. Feel free to comment, or to discuss this at our Facebook page.

Well, Im off

/

Fredrik

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Feel good feeling

Reflecting on current work, a day like this, gives me a ‘feel good’ feeling.

From having many local initiatives with Commute Greener! actions it certainly feels good to get positive reactions even on continental level so to say. The most recent example is while giving an update towards the European Parliament among other EU institutions this week. There is already a dedicated community for Commute Greener! MEP Olle Ludvigsson shared his view by emphasising the capability of individuals start to take small steps and how that adds up to large results.

It was great to work together with Dirk, Frederique, Sonia, Henrik and many more organised by the Volvo Group EU representative office. Thank you so much and for sure I’m looking forward to forthcoming video material as well. The progress may be followed on this Facebook page among other channels, by the way, you can make one more ‘Like this’.

The worlds cleanest bus was just outside the European Parliament and we were taken on a small tour driven by some people from Volvo Bus Belgium. They revealed some really great results from Luxembourg (stay tuned on this). Several times before I have been delighted to talk to Edvard Jobson (but most of the time there is the chance to follow him via his blog), however, now he were on the bus as well. Together with Jan-Eric Sundgren we talked about that the Volvo hybrid bus can come as low as 7 g CO2/km. To ride a bus is a very flexible way of commuting, something that certainly seems needed in Bruxells at the moment. Hope you have set your target to Commute Greener!
/magnus kuschel

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