EARTHTALK – Solar Aesthetics: Rooftop Panels Never Looked So Good

TweetDear EarthTalk: Why do rooftop solar panels have to be so big and unsightly? Are there any better-looking alternatives out there? —Maise Lipscomb, Helena, MT If aesthetics is the reason you’ve been holding off on converting your home to solar power, 2017 just might be the year for you to take the renewables leap. For starters, several panel makers now sell “frameless” or “seamless” designs whereby photovoltaic panels appear to “float” on the roof surface, with sightlines unencumbered by big black metal framework apparatus. But getting rid of the framesRead More

EARTH TALK: What’s new with batteries these days?

TweetDear EarthTalk: I’ve heard that one of the big hurdles to growth in renewables is energy storage. What’s new in the world of battery technologies? And will better forms of storage really accelerate the development of solar, wind and other alternative forms of energy? —Maxwell Jay, Erie, PA It’s true that energy storage has been an Achilles heel in the emerging renewable energy sector, given the large environmental footprint required to produce and distribute our current crop of lithium ion and other types of batteries—and the fact that they doRead More

PHOTOS: Tesla shows off its Model X SUV inside Nordstrom in Troy, MI

TweetAmericaJR’s Jason Rzucidlo recently visited the Nordstrom store located inside the Somerset Collection in Troy, Mich. California-based automaker Tesla is displaying an all-new Model X electric sport utility vehicle within the women’s department of the store. Guests are invited to sit inside the vehicle and learn more information from representatives. However, customers are not able to purchase a Tesla vehicle at this location. Tesla’s dealer application was denied by the state of Michigan. Prospective buyers will have to order online or travel to Cleveland or Columbus to order a TeslaRead More

The $35,000 EV War Is On: How The Tesla Model 3 Stacks Up Against the Chevrolet Bolt EV

TweetLOS ANGELES — Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk unveiled the long-awaited Model 3 last night at a special event in Hawthorne, just a few minutes outside of Los Angeles. The California-based automaker will begin shipping their $35,000 pure electric cars to customers at the end of 2017. Meanwhile, General Motors is fighting back with its $35,000 Chevrolet Bolt EV. The Detroit-based automaker will begin production of the Bolt this summer with the first models arriving in dealerships by the fall. The end goal is to make electric cars affordable toRead More

EXCLUSIVE: Looking back at Southern California’s history of Auto Manufacturing

TweetLOS ANGELES — As a way to preview the L.A. Auto Show, we thought it was important to look back at auto manufacturing in Southern California. Detroit has always been known as the Motor City. However, GM, Ford and Chrysler also made their cars in the Southland. General Motors began producing advanced design trucks and cars like the Chevrolet Caprice, Chevelle and Nova at its manufacturing plant in Van Nuys. The last Monte Carlo rolled off the line in 1992 when production was moved to Quebec. Today, it is aRead More

WATCH: A History of Auto Manufacturing in Southern California (Exclusive)

TweetAs a way to preview the L.A. Auto Show, we thought it was important to take a look back at auto manufacturing here in Southern California. Detroit has always been known as the Motor City. However, GM, Ford and Chrysler also built their cars right here. AmericaJR.com’s Jason Rzucidlo visited the former sites of the GM plant in Van Nuys, the Ford factory in Pico Rivera and the Chrysler plant in Commerce. In addition, he gives you an inside look at the current Tesla assembly plant in Fremont and rareRead More