VIA Motors

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Though most plants don’t move at speeds that we humans notice, many plants are remarkably active, as seen in the timelapse animations above. Much of this motion is driven by water flow inside the plant. The two plants above are phototropic–they move in response to light. The motion is actuated via a specialized motor cell called the pulvinus, which is located at the base of the leaf where it meets the stem. Unlike animal cells, plant cells have stiff outer walls that allow them to maintain an internal pressure–or turgor pressure–that differs from the outside environment. In fact, it’s not unusual for a plant’s cell to hold a pressure equivalent to 5 atmospheres! The plant manipulates this turgor pressure by controlling the transport of ions across cell membranes. Pump more ions into a cell, and osmosis will cause water to flow into the area of high solute (ion) concentration. This causes the cell to swell and raises the turgor pressure, resulting in the plant’s leaf moving. (Image credit: L. Miller and A. Hoover, source; additional research credit: J. Dumais and Y. Forterre)

People Of 1939 View The World of Tomorrow - Photo: Corbis (via WIRED)

General Motors’ Futurama exhibit let visitors view the world of tomorrow from comfortable, moving chairs while touring a vast scale model of the American countryside. Covering more than 35,000 square feet, Futurama was the largest scale model ever constructed, including more than 500,000 buildings, 1 million trees and 50,000 motor vehicles — many in motion.

VIA X-Truck (Electric Truck)

VIA Motors is a privately-ownedelectric vehiclecompany founded in 2010 that has developed a proprietary extended-range drive technology called VIA V-Drive that is designed for use in full-size pickup trucks, vans and SUVs. It purchases standard GM vehicles, replaces their powerplants with its own and then sells them to fleets under the VTRUX brand.

Former GM VP Bob Lutz became its chairman in 2011. Known as “the father of the Volt” – among other vehicles, that is, Lutz has been a champion of electric vehicles for a long timt, but his vision of EVs is somewhat different than what most people have come to expect…

The X-Truck uses two of VIA’s VR-300 electric motors and ditches the V6 in favor of 5.3-liter V8 that charges a 24kWh, liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack. VIA’s eREV models typically run the first 40 miles (65 km) on electric power alone before the gasoline engine kicks in to start charging the battery.

In spite of the EPA not having tested the vehicle yet, the company says it expects to get “over 100 mpg in typical local daily driving” – or, as Lutz put it, “it can deliver the torque of a monster truck with the fuel economy of a Prius”.

(story from Carscoop)

VIA Motors unveiled SölTRUX, a photovoltaic truck bed cover (also known as tonneau top) that can extend the range of one of its trucks by up to 10 miles.

VIA Motors will first offer the PV-powered charger on its modified Silverado trucks as an accessory, but the company plans to offer a similar option for its passenger and cargo vans.

Read the full story on SolarReviews

The new Lamborghini Huracán Avio special edition! via Motor Trend

Not much is known about this limited edition (250 units) Lambo yet, but ‘Avio’ means aviation in Italian. You can see it’s in matte blue with white stripes in a Gordini-style, but seeing as Lamborghini have collaborated with Boeing in the past to produce aerospace derived composites for the Sesto Elemento, and the fact that there was an Aventador ‘Boeing’ edition, it could mean that this car has more carbon fibre parts making it a lighter version. We don’t think that there will be a power upgrade, as Lamborghini will be producing a Superleggera version soon.

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