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 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
Eco Friendly October 16, 2020 posted by Nigel

TreeCard – this free debit card plants trees when you shop

OK so we’re not huge fans of clever marketing disguised as environmental action, but the pedigree of this new initiative seems sound. The Ecosia people – who plant trees when you use their search tools – have just released a new free debit card called TreeCard. The idea is that for every $60 you spend, they will plant a tree in your forest. It’s cute, and while some may consider it a gimmick, the fact is that Ecosia has already…

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TreeCard – this free debit card plants trees when you shop
Eco Friendly October 7, 2020 posted by Nigel

Maybe some good news on climate change for once?

It’s not often nowadays that we hear good things about climate change and the issues we face, but maybe there is some upbeat news to share after all. Even though this last September has already been declared the hottest ever on record, none other than Professor Michael Mann has come out pitching with some optimistic info. For those who don’t know Dr Mann is one of the foremost climate scientists in the world, and part of the team which created…

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Maybe some good news on climate change for once?
Eco Friendly October 1, 2020 posted by Nigel

Beagle Button – helping us shop better through our browser

It’s hard to be a responsible citizen nowadays. No matter how hard we try, there’s always a chance that we’ll buy the wrong product by selecting something which can harm the environment. Here’s where the Beagle Button comes in. Rather like those coupon finding browser extensions that litter the landscape, the Beagle tool is there to help us make better buying decisions. Only it’s not about saving money, but saving the planet. It sits in the browser and pops up…

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Beagle Button – helping us shop better through our browser
Eco Friendly September 24, 2020 posted by Nigel

Oceanbird – wind powered cargo vessel is a revolution in the making

The old tea clippers of the 19th century may have been slow, but they had one big advantage over modern freighters. They ran on wind. Now an enterprising Swedish company is attempting to combine modern technology with good old renewable wind energy to turn the environmental cost of shipping goods around the world on its head. The Oceanbird is a huge cargo ship which can carry up to 7000 cars (electric we hope), and will be able to cross the…

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Oceanbird – wind powered cargo vessel is a revolution in the making
Awesome September 16, 2020 posted by Nigel

Maker Hand – this $30 prosthetic hand could turn the market upside down

It’s well known that prosthetic limbs usually cost…ahem…an arm and a leg. And sure there have been attempts to bring the cost down over the years. But this new Maker Hand looks like it turn the whole market for prosthetics on its head.  The parts including filament, rubber bands etc cost around $30, and it’s made on a conventional home scale 3D printer. The inventor says it takes around one to two days to print, and then another day to…

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Maker Hand – this $30 prosthetic hand could turn the market upside down
Eco Friendly September 8, 2020 posted by Nigel

Could Lithium Sulfur batteries be the game changer we’re hoping for?

UK company Oxis Energy is planning to shake up the electric transportation industry with a newly developed lithium sulfur battery. The new technology apparently provides five times the energy density of a conventional Li-Ion battery, as well as being lighter and safer. The company is pushing for its battery to be used in applications where weight is a key factor – such as electric aircraft. This is not pie in the sky stuff either. Back in July the company announced…

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Could Lithium Sulfur batteries be the game changer we’re hoping for?