MIT researchers have developed another interesting way to boost the efficiency of the typical silicon solar cell. Read more »
A lawsuit against battery startup Envia — from its former CEO and two other former employees — looks headed for dismissal. Read more »
Chip startup Adapteva raised a $3.6 million Series B round today, but the interesting story is how long it took to get here and how it almost didn’t get the funds. Read more »
I’m all for a revolution in energy and cars, but it can happen faster if we understand the dynamics of how these sectors work. Read more »
Individuals will soon be able to invest in SolarCity’s solar panel projects, following its acquisition of a small startup called Common Assets. Read more »
Plastics and chemicals that have ditched crude oil, could be the result of a new partnership between a startup and a Brazilian petrochemical giant. Read more »
Google’s acquisition of Nest is about energy, the smart home and expanding it’s expertise and interest in robots. Why? Because the smart home will be comprised of many robots working together. Read more »
Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has written a 2,000-word open letter to 60 Minutes and CBS in response to their recent “Cleantech Crash” report, which featured lengthy interviews with Khosla and a tour of one of Khosla’s portfolio companies. He asserts that there are numerous errors in the piece, that the journalists who made it were practicing “agenda-driven bastardization of news reporting,” and that the story “grossly misrepresented the state of the sustainable energy industry.”
You can read the entire letter here. He also says in the letter that Khosla Venture’s “cleantech portfolio is profitable.” Here’s my take on the 60 Minutes piece; here’s NRG CEO David Crane’s response; and here’s clean power entrepreneur and investor Jigar Shah’s take.
Google keeps on keepin’ on with its latest support of a wind farm near its Oklahoma data center. Read more »
Tesla sent many more cars than expected to customers last quarter, but is meanwhile dealing with a recall over charging overheating. Read more »
The Galaxy S5 is rumored to feature a larger, higher-res display than its predecessor, so why not a higher-capacity, fast-charging battery to go with it? Read more »
After Google said it would acquire Nest, we scrapped our post CES round up to talk about the deal’s implications. Check out the podcast to see if Kevin is keeping his Nest. Read more »
Here’s my take on who wins and who loses in Google’s planned $3.2 billion purchase of Nest, from investors to competitors to industries. Read more »
Despite the impression audiences may have gotten from a recent 60 Minutes segment, cleantech will make a return on investment to consumers, the environment and government loan programs. Read more »
Electric car company Tesla Motors announced on Friday that it’s pushed an over-the-air software update to its Model S cars that will stop overheating while charging in the event that the electrical outlet has faulty wiring, corrosion or physical damage. Tesla also sent its customers a new charger wall adapter that will address the same overheating issues. The move follows an incident where a garage caught on fire in Irvine, Calif., which may or may not have been caused by charging a Tesla Model S, and Jalopnik and Bloomberg note that there have been several issues with overheating while charging last year.
Android in the automobile would spur two things the connected car sorely lacks: A unified app platform in the infotainment system and a vibrant developer community. Read more »
Tesla’s Model X is supposed to launch to its first customers at the end of this year and in early 2015, but already the car is starting to be seen driving around the streets near Tesla’s design shop in Los Angeles. InsideEVs posted these pics, and says it seems to be the only fully operational Model X yet in existence. We took these pics of the Model X prototype in early 2012.
Look for the next generation of batteries, particularly for the power grid, to come out this year from some interesting startups. Read more »
A funky battery that’s made of natural materials and uses liquid tanks is being developed in a lab at Harvard. If the breakthrough makes it to market it could be a low cost energy storage option for clean power. Read more »
A new resonance extension to the Qi wireless standard lets your devices be even farther from a charging pad. That makes it easier for furniture and other objects to recharge your phone or tablet. Read more »
While batteries for the power grid might not be all that sexy of a topic, Aquion Energy is using water and salt, it’s backed by Bill Gates, and it’s aiming to commercialize its battery this year. Read more »
After buying thousands of dollars in connected devices, plus a hard reset of my Hue light bulbs, I wonder how we’re going to uninstall the connected devices in our homes. Read more »
QNX is partnering with Nokia’s Here mapping division and Qualcomm’s brand-spanking new automotive infotainment division to develop new connected car technologies. Read more »
Tegra chipsets are making their way into new Audis and other vehicles in the form of Nvidia’s new Visual Computing Module line. Nvidia hopes make cars future-proof with its new upgradable design. Read more »
Those of us steeped in the energy business would be happy to discuss it with 60 Minutes. We’re already creating many new jobs that address the need for more energy while staving off the impact of climate change. Read more »
The Staples Connect platform promises some support for cool devices and more radio protocols. Meanwhile Lowe’s’ Iris platform adds some energy conservation products and voice control. Read more »
Two of venture firm Venrock’s energy investors, Matt Trevithick and Matthew Nordan, have left the firm. Trevithick is an accomplished investor who was one of my first interviews after I launched the cleantech site. We’ve published many pieces from Nordan on the state of cleantech venture capital on this site, and Nordan has launched a clean energy project development company focused on China called MNL Partners (which is keeping a low profile). Both investors worked on Venrock’s Nest deal.
At CES Ford unveiled five new apps for its Sync AppLink connected infotainment system: Domino’s Pizza, ADT, Parkmobile, Parkopedia and Gracenote HABU. It’s also launching its first developer conference in June. Read more »
Startup View raises a whopper of a round from the private equity firm associated with the Walmart heirs. Can another $100 million deliver on-demand tinting windows across the country? Read more »
Audi’s 4G cars in the U.S. will be linked to AT&T’s LTE network — another big win in the automotive space for AT&T. In future Audi connected cars Nvidia and Google will also be major players. Read more »
Apple plans to continue building and owning solar panel farms near its data centers, following its first in North Carolina, and another reported in Reno, Nevada. Now it’s planning one in Oregon. Read more »
AT&T launched a new program at CES called Drive with the aim of moving beyond supplying mere connectivity to future vehicles. AT&T wants to become a key technology supplier in the dashboard. Read more »
Amprius’ lithium ion batteries can deliver gadgets that last 25 percent longer between charges. The company is now working on commercializing those batteries and even looking at using them for electric cars. Read more »
2014 is going to be a major overhaul year for GM when it comes to the connected car. The majority of Chevy’s new 2015 vehicles will get LTE connectivity as well as an in-dash upgrade. Read more »
60 Minutes just aired one of the more mainstream looks yet at the Silicon Valley cleantech rise and fall. While they got some things right they also got some wrong. My take here. Read more »
I spent the last few days playing with the voice controlled Honeywell Thermostat (just the voice control, not the temperature control stuff) and learned a few things about how one might want to use voice for the smart home. Read more »
Ford’s smartphone centric approach to the connected car is paying off. By relying on the handset to deliver the data link and run infotainment apps, Ford is able to retroactively connect millions of unconnected cars. Read more »
Now that Airbnb has grown up, has a huge valuation, and is causing fear in the hotel lobby in cities across the world, can the traveler experience get a little better, please? Read more »
A report says Nest is raising another whopper of a funding round. Here’s why it needs such a large chunk of change now. Read more »
Battery maker A123 Systems, which had its own brush with bankruptcy in 2012, wants to buy bankrupt car maker Fisker. The independent A123 made batteries for Fisker’s hybrid Karma car, but was acquired by Wanxiang Group of Hangzhou, China at auction after the bankruptcy filing. A123 is now part of Wangxiang’s U.S. subsidiary, which wants to purchase the car maker.
Both Fisker and A123 received grant or loan money from the U.S. Department of Energy.