Each year, we sit on the edge of our seats in anticipation of the new technologies being unveiled at CES. Over the years, the global technology event has seen the debut of many products that rapidly found their way into the hearts and homes of people around the world. The VCR, CD player, and HD TV were all originally revealed at CES, and companies of all sizes come from far and wide to nab a little piece of the world’s attention for their gizmos. During the three-day event, there’s no telling how many new products are put on display, but some are cooler than others. In this article, we’ll share what we think are some of the most exciting green gadgets and eco-friendly vehicles in the 48-year history of the event.
As in most years, many of the technological developments and products unveiled at CES were announced weeks or months prior to the event. This gives technophiles everywhere plenty of time to wonder, hope, debate, and basically get good and curious about what might come. But on the big day, when details of the long-awaited announcements come to light, we’re like kids in a candy store. We’re stoked to share our favorite new products launched at CES this week, and it’s no surprise that more than one electric vehicle made the list.
GM has finally debuted what has been touted as the first “electric car for the masses.” The 2017 Chevy Bolt EV can reportedly travel up to 200 miles on a single charge, but it comes with a pricetag under $30,000. The Bolt’s debut means Chevy has done what Tesla has not been able to do, which is develop an all-electric vehicle that the average person can actually afford, given that Tesla’s models start at $70,000. Chevy’s EV, says Chevrolet chief Alan Batey, “is what we mean by leading, not following.” The Bolt will be on the streets before the end of this year.
SCiO is a pocket-sized spectrometer capable of measuring the molecular makeup of just about anything. Since we first covered it, Consumer Physics has sold over 1,000 DevKits that allow researchers, scientists and other advanced “makers” around the world create their own applications in industries as varied as cosmetics and food. One of the first of these developers won the CES Best of Innovation Award with their DietSensor app, which collects and reports nutritional data to the user. The company has now unveiled a new app called SCiO Workshop which allows everyday people without a background in science to use the scanner to create mini “applets.” The data consumers collect will contribute to an unprecedented database of the molecular fingerprint of various objects, including pharmaceuticals, food, water, cosmetics and more. The SCiO sells for $249 and will be shipped in May.
Crazy, insane, and ridiculous are all words that have been used this week to describe the high-powered electric concept car from Faraday Futures. In one of the most highly anticipated announcements of CES, the company shows off the FFZERO1, its 1,000-horsepower supercar that looks awfully reminiscent of the Batmobile. The car can go zero to 60 in three seconds and reach top speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. The California-based company, which has been operating in stealth mode for the past year and a half, suggested this model will be used drum up interest (and perhaps investors) in its proposed billion-dollar Nevada factory.
Volkswagen has been tantalizing the world for years with clues about an all-electric version of its acclaimed microbus, and now it’s here. Back in 2011, the car maker released a concept van with a small electric motor that hinted at what might be ahead. This week, VW finally unveiled the BUDD-e, which is packed full with technological wonders that the first buyers of the original Microbus couldn’t have dreamed. With this concept vehicle, VW seeks to reboot the groovy counterculture icon with a clean electric engine powered by a 101-kWh battery pack, a 373-mile range, and a top speed of 93 miles per hour. VW didn’t mention an intended release date, but the hinted that 2019 might be the year it releases an all-electric van model.
Gogoro’s new home battery charger seeks to make life a lot easier for the scooter contingent and bolster international support for a company with some exciting products. At last year’s CES, the electric scooter maker revealed its first model with swappable batteries, the Smartscooter, which may soon be available in the U.S. and other countries. Those models are currently only sold in Taiwan, but they are very popular due to the public battery-swapping stations which allow riders to trade in their dead battery for a fully charged one at no cost. The GoCharge charger piques the interest of international riders in places where there is no battery-swapping network, but the company hopes to encourage new programs to start up. If you pledge to make your charging station open to the public at least 12 hours a day, Gogoro will foot the bill.
No CES would be complete without at least one piece of technology that seems too good and too wild to be true. This year, that is the Ehang 184. Revealed by Chinese dronemaker Ehang, the vehicle is a self-piloting electric quadcopter with the ability to carry one passenger. Conference attendees got to ooh and aah over the concept chopper’s prototype model in a showroom in Vegas, and the company provided a video to show off the high-flying antics. However, the unveiling was met with a ton of legitimate skepticism, as there is no human passenger shown in the video or any of the still images from the drone maker, and since such a vehicle is downright illegal in the U.S., it wasn’t possible to arrange a demo. Time will tell whether the Ehang 184 is what it purports to be, and whether self-piloting aircraft will be the next wave of green transportation.