By Nandini Derasari

Electric school bus operated by Ocean View School District in Oxnard, California. Source: School Transport News

Isn’t it interesting that electrifying buses not only helps reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions but also helps in earning money? The initiative taken by the California state government in the US to mitigate GHG emissions is a new way to encourage schools to electrify their buses.

The schools of the districts can claim carbon credits based on metric tons of carbon emissions avoided when they operate and charge electric buses. This Cap-and-Trade programme is run by the California Air Resource Board. Schools can sell their carbon credits in the market under the state’s “Low Carbon Fuel Standard…


By Roshan Toshniwal

Charles Kettering (centre) installing his electric starter in an early Buick Automobile. Photo courtesy Automobile Hall of Fame

The Internal combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles were extremely noisy and required manual effort to change gears and start the vehicles. Additionally, the vehicle could either get a bump start (pushing the vehicle down a slope) or hand-cranked making it inconvenient and dangerous. The person cranking the engine could get seriously injured due to the kickback if the handle continued to turn after the engine had started.

In 1908, one such incident triggered Henry Leland, the founder of Cadillac and Lincoln to initiate a safe solution to yanking the crank, leading to the invention of an electric starter…


By Sayani Mandal

With his famous essay, Thomas Schelling attacks the psychological drivers behind our decisions — imagine a fundraiser towards a medical procedure for a six-year old in a remote village to prolong her life by five years. Everyone swamps them with nickels and dimes to save her life. However, let the fundraiser be towards the only district hospital that may shut down due to lack of funds — how many would open their checkbook for a contribution?

His essay intends to contrast the motivation of saving “identified” lives with “statistical” lives — by creating an emotional impact and…


By Apoorv Kulkarni

Alt text: A black Ford car developed by Virginia Tech University. A blind man with a white cane is standing next to it, and a photographer is taking pictures of the car. National Association of the Blind is written in yellow on the car bonnet. The front door displays information for making donations to support the Blind Driver Challenge.
Alt text: A black Ford car developed by Virginia Tech University. A blind man with a white cane is standing next to it, and a photographer is taking pictures of the car. National Association of the Blind is written in yellow on the car bonnet. The front door displays information for making donations to support the Blind Driver Challenge.

Driving is predominantly a visual activity,. Therefore, many believe that people living with blindness or low-vision may not be able to independently operate a vehicle… Well at least not until self-driving cars become commercially available. However, in 2004, the National Federation of the Blind issued the Blind Driver Innovation Challenge to empower a blind person to actively make driving decisions such as steering, speed, breaking, etc. This was obviously different from developing an autonomous car where a computer would make all the driving decisions.

In 2011, the Virginia Tech University and Torc Robotics made history by successfully…


By Anish Michael

What does soybean have to do with a car? Well, in 1941, Henry Ford attempted to bring farming closer to the automobile industry and built a car made out of soybean! His goal was to make use of renewable products to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency and circumvent the metal shortage resulting from World War II.

Mystery still surrounds the actual composition used to build the car, however, theories swing between the use of soybeans, wheat, hemp, flax and ramie to just soybean fibre in a formaldehyde mix. Safe to say some form of soybean was…


By Yash Narain

Source: Atlas Obscura. (DINODIA PHOTOS/ALAMY)

In an era of pervasive standardisation and incessant cross country communication, it is well-nigh unimaginable to picture a world with each major city having its own local time. Yet, until several decades into the 19th century most cities set their clocks by the movement of the sun. Bombay, for instance, differed with neighbouring Poona by seven minutes.

Before the advent of high speed rail transport, travellers rarely encountered problems on this front. One could simply adjust their watch as one walked or rode in a carriage to a different town. The railways, however, began to shrink travel…


By Shilpi Samantray

Source: Google Images

Electric vehicles are ushering in a paradigm shift in mobility, not only redefining transportation as a whole but quickening the pace of the evolution of how people commute, towards a more sustainable future. This shift, bolstered by a series of policy initiatives like the recent FAME II amendment that are setting the stage for a smooth transition, can be the catalyst for India to accelerate its EV adoption. Added benefits of lower running and maintenance costs, and macro benefits of reduced pollution and import dependency on fossil fuels, will further accelerate EV proliferation in India.

Estimates suggest…

Ola Mobility Institute

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