Author Archives: Nigel

Full Name: Nigel Powell Website:
Info: Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don't we all?
Eco Friendly April 7, 2021 posted by Nigel

Biofil – The world’s first chip-fat powered EV charger?

Trust the Aussies to do something different. What you’re looking at here is a ‘standard’ 50kW DC electric vehicle fast charger. What makes the Biofil different is the fact that it’s hooked up to a biodiesel electric generator. Which uses the waste cooking fat from the service station (or rest stop for you Americans) fryers to do the deed. The problem is simple. Many of Australia’s roadside restaurants are so remote they’re off grid, which makes it hard to offer…

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Biofil – The world’s first chip-fat powered EV charger?
Eco Friendly April 5, 2021 posted by Nigel

Hempearth – world’s first plane made from hemp aims to fly high

Hempearth, a Canadian cannabis company, has announced plans to build an airplane using hemp as a key component.  There’s little argument that hemp is the wonder plant of the ages. Despite being associated with its naughty cousin, marijuana, hemp has been put to thousands of vital uses over the ages. Not only has it been used for rope, but also fabric, medicine and a super food. But this latest incarnation is taking things to a whole new level.

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Hempearth – world’s first plane made from hemp aims to fly high
Eco Friendly April 2, 2021 posted by Nigel

Gocycle G4 – the world’s most stylish e-bike continues the trend

Twelve years ago next month, we first reported on a new electric bike which was making waves. The designer, Richard Thorpe, had come out of F1 motor racing design and applied those principles to making the most stylish and downright ‘cool’ e-bike the world had ever seen. It weighed 16kgs, had a range of up to 20 miles and a price tag of £1158.  We road tested it, and then followed up a year later with a comparison test between…

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Gocycle G4 – the world’s most stylish e-bike continues the trend
Eco Friendly March 22, 2021 posted by Nigel

Evanesto – from plastic pots to compost lots

There’s just too much plastic in the world. We’re drowning in it. But an enterprising French company hopes to change all that with the invention of a compound called Evanesto. The enzyme based material is added to conventional PLA plastic at the manufacturing stage, which then turns it into something which can be composted in less than 200 days. Proper compost. The company, called Carbiolice, claim that the enzymes can be used for all forms of plastic packaging, tableware or…

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Evanesto – from plastic pots to compost lots
Eco Friendly March 8, 2021 posted by Nigel

ZedPods – modular pre built homes designed to be installed above car parks

Zedpods are a clever new take on modular, ready made housing. The blocks are prefabricated in a huge factory warehouse in central England, then shipped on-site for assembly.  What makes them extra interesting is the fact that one version is designed to sit on top of car parks, using a stilt type system. This leaves the car par open for use by the public, while offering affordable eco housing above. Very neat. The first installation has already gone up in…

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ZedPods – modular pre built homes designed to be installed above car parks
Eco Friendly February 25, 2021 posted by Nigel

Kill The ECT – before it kills the planet

If you haven’t heard of the Energy Charter Treaty, that should be no surprise. It’s a semi-secret international treaty which grants corporations in the energy sector enormous power to sue states at international investment tribunals for billions of dollars, for example, if a government decides to stop new oil or gas pipelines or to phase out coal.  And boy are they using it. It was set up in the mid 90s and in the last decade alone there have been…

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Kill The ECT – before it kills the planet
Eco Friendly February 15, 2021 posted by Nigel

SQ4D: First robot printed house goes on the open market. Say hello to a new era…?

There’s been no shortage of news about the rise and rise of 3D printed homes over the past few years. But now we have the first commericial real estate sale of one. In New York. no less. The SQ4D 3D printed house has been listed on Zillow.com for a hair under $300,000. Which is apparently less than half the price of its neighbours.  Of course we’re wondering whether being in the middle of a mega pandemic could have some effect,…

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SQ4D: First robot printed house goes on the open market. Say hello to a new era…?
Electric Cars January 28, 2021 posted by Nigel

Nissan Winter Camper shows how not to launch a new EV

The newly announced Nissan Winter Camper Van is a classic case of marketing over reality. For one thing any EV maker which thinks that 124 miles of range is enough to justify a high price and glossy photos, deserves to be beaten over the head with a wet mackerel. The base NV200 EV is a great short range city van, as we showed in our launch review, but the range of this camper in winter will probably drop to around…

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Nissan Winter Camper shows how not to launch a new EV
general January 4, 2021 posted by Nigel

Happy New Year!

So 2020 is over. Thank goodness. Now it’s just that pesky 2021 hangover to deal with. And it looks like it will be a doozy. Pandemics apparently don’t know when it’s time to leave the party and go home, so we’re going to be stuck with it for a while longer. The good news is the start of the vaccine roll-out, which should eventually bring some summer cheer. In the meantime, here’s wishing you all a safe and healthy year,…

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Happy New Year!
Eco Friendly December 12, 2020 posted by Nigel

Monarch Electric Tractor – new driverless $50K smart tractor could be a game changer for small farms

The new Monarch 100% Electric Tractor was launched earlier this week in the USA, and it looks to be a real breakthrough product for farmers. The low cost 3 in 1 workhorse can operate not only as a tractor, but also an ATV and a field generator if remote power is needed (e.g. for on the spot welding). And that’s not to say it lacks in the tractor features either. It offers 10 hours autonomous operation, with a 4-5 hour…

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Monarch Electric Tractor – new driverless $50K smart tractor could be a game changer for small farms
Electric Cars November 30, 2020 posted by Nigel

GM Connect & Cruise – get ready for a world of after-market EV conversion kits

EV crates are suddenly all the rage. These kits contain packaged electric motor components designed to let you upgrade/convert your old gas guzzler to a sleek new electric vehicle. Swindon Powertrain got a head start earlier with its PowerTrain set up, and the Revolt guys will happily drop a Tesla EV crate system into your cherished classic car – for a price! These kits come with a variety of options included, including full transmissions and stuff, and typically batteries are…

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GM Connect & Cruise – get ready for a world of after-market EV conversion kits
Electric Cars November 23, 2020 posted by Nigel

eDumper – and you thought EVs were limited to cars and golf carts?

So you remember when we all used to laugh at electric cars? Call them glorified golf carts? Yeah well about that. Tesla clearly broke the ice with the original Sportster, but now the whole battery powered thing is moving in an entirely new direction. Heavy industrial machinery. Take for instance, this Swiss made eDumper.  The fully electric dump truck ain’t no Tonka Toy (look it up).  The beast is expected to move 300,000 tons of rock every year for the…

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eDumper – and you thought EVs were limited to cars and golf carts?
Electric Cars November 4, 2020 posted by Nigel

eBussy – EV van car camper concept looks neat but implausible

So, another day, another EV. The latest in the flood of electric vehicle concepts is this eBussy. Not just a vehicle, mind you. More a work of art. It comes in modular form, which means it can be converted into various types of EV, ranging from a standard van, to a pick up to camper and so on. You get the picture. Ambitious right? Well so are the specs, price and delivery. It’s scheduled to have a starting price of…

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eBussy – EV van car camper concept looks neat but implausible