This week at TreeHugger: The folks at Tesla (makers of the zippy new electric roadster) are just getting started; confirming that there are new models in the works. As far as we're concerned, they can't get here fast enough, but until then, we're glad to see that scooters are more popular than ever; they might just be the new cars. Speaking of two-wheelers, check out this folding bike that's a leap forward in both style and design. Lastly, some industrious folks in Greenland have decided that if global warming will kill us all, at least they'll be really drunk when the apocalypse comes.
Elon Musk, the chairman of Tesla Motors, along with making ass-kicking electric cars, has obviously been in the gadget market for some time now; he writes on his company's blog: "Almost any new technology initially has high unit cost before it can be optimized and this is no less true for electric cars." This is good news, though: his company is planning on making more cars, and they'll just get cheaper and cheaper. Watch out for some new wheels, code named White Star, scheduled for 2008, that'll be a sporty four door family car at roughly half the $89k price point of the Tesla Roadster; the third model will be even more affordable.
Until the electric cars of the future are here, though, it looks like scooters will have to be the new cars. Domestic sales of scooters are going through the roof as budget- and environment-minded consumers look for relief from high prices at the pump, and as sexier models come on the market. The report we read said that "scooters with engine sizes of 150ccs or less...jumped some 200% to 48,000 by 2004 from about 16,000 in 1999, and they continue to rise..."
Scooters are pretty cool, but there's something to be said for a gadget that you can ride until you don't want to ride anymore, fold it up and carry it around like a briefcase. Such is the case with the concept design called the Locust, by Czech designer Josef Cadek, who dreamed up the circular frame and overhang mounted wheels that allow for a more compact and visually pleasing folded state. Because folding requires severing the drivetrain, Cadek replaced the conventional chain with a toothed belt system that can be disengaged.
Lastly, a sign that the apocalypse may be upon us: A brewery in Greenland is producing beer using water melted from the island's ice cap. They claim that the water is over 2,000 years old, and free of minerals and pollutants, which makes sense considering that it's been locked up as ice and is now springing forth as a result of our warming globe. The beer is made in the first ever Inuit microbrewery, and the whole scenario seems somewhat reminiscent of the old "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" adage; in this case, perhaps something like "when life gives you global warming, make beer" is more applicable.
TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.