The Impact

Your AC isn’t good for the environment

To: The Impact Readers

Howdy 🤠

The weather has turned a corner and we are all spending more time outside on our balconies or near our windows soaking up the fresh air. Maybe the idea of working from home and reducing the needs for unnecessary travel will be a positive we can take away from all this and appreciate.

In Your Inbox: Progress updates in EV Charging; Micro-plastics and how to remain productive during your stay at home…oh and an awesome interview with the CEO of Nelumbo on Big Feet!


Progress in Portable EV Charging

Mercedes Electric Vehicle

In times of uncertainty, you just might be crazy enough to consider purchasing that Tesla Model 3 you’ve been dreaming of. But what exactly does making that purchase mean?

How often do you need to charge the vehicle? How far can you go without recharging? At your destination, are there EV chargers? These just may be some of the questions you think about.

There are some startups that are working on this line of issues, known as range anxiety.

Portable Charging:
SparkCharge is creating portable, ultrafast, and modular charging stations for EVs.

Route Planning:
Chargetrip offers smart navigation for EVs by using algorithms to alleviate charge congestion and optimize for total travel-time and travel-costs.

Demand Response/Timing:
Weave Grid dynamically manages consumer electricity demand to optimize when to charge EVs in a region.

Allied Market Research estimates that the global electric vehicle market is projected to reach $802.81 billion by 2027, with North America making up roughly 25% of that. To say the least, EV adoption will be growing rapidly over the next decade. These problems need to be thought through and executed upon before massive EV adoption.

One of the main benefits of EV adoption is the reduction in CO2 emissions from vehicles. After considering the CO2 emissions from manufacturing, an EV’s emissions are 18% lower than a fossil-fuelled car over its lifetime. Switching to renewable energy for manufacturing would decrease overall CO2 emissions by 60%.

It is clear that the adoption of EVs is a key piece to reduce CO2 emissions to fight climate change. As more people make the transition, the need for range anxiety solutions and state incentives will drive the democratization of EV charging infrastructure.

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This week in “Huh, that’s kinda obvious now that I think of it but now there’s a study that proves that it’s actually way worse than we ever thought” … researchers recorded the highest concentration on micro-plastic currently measured in any deep-sea setting. And their measurement doesn’t account for the plastics particles that have degraded beyond being able to be identified.

You probably know about the giant floating Great Pacific Garbage Patch. But not all Plastic floats. Human activity is creating garbage patches on the ocean floor, too. Specifically micro-plastics. Specifically in biodiversity hotspots.

In fact, about 70% of marine debris sinks to the bottom of the ocean and only around 1% floats on the surface.

The overwhelming majority of marine life lives in these biodiversity hotspots that are already being threatened by over-fishing, mass-bleaching events, and other human activity. And now they’re being filled with micro-plastics. 70% percent of Earth’s oxygen production happens in our oceans and research is pointing that it has already declined by 40% since 1950 due to human-caused ocean warming. We need healthy oceans.


We’re all feeling it – it’s hard to be productive during COVID. With the neverending onslaught of worrying/depressing/frustrating 2020 news. With the sudden uncertainty of the next few weeks, let alone months. With a jolting shift to working at home surrounded by your family without a coworker in sight.

It can be tough to get into the zone and sometimes impossible to measure up to pre-COVID levels. But we live in a different world now – life is different, so productivity needs to be measured differently, too.

CGP Grey dropped a new video this week on how to stay sane, mentally & physically ok, and get through this pandemic. We couldn’t have said it better, so it’s embedded here. 100% worth a watch!

Beyond The Great Lockdown, it’s also just fantastic general life advice, as well as an especially relevant place to start to get through a depressive episode.


Your A/C Probably Sucks!

Your A/C probably Sucks. And Could be damaging the environment more than you think… Tune in as Ian Sumner speaks with Liam Berryman about what role material science plays in solving the climate crisis, and why your A/C Sucks.

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