EcoModo - The Best of TreeHugger

treehugger-gizmodo-week102.jpgThis week at TreeHugger: The ultimate in cutting edge technology: a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle, converted to run on electric power — wonder what Herbie would think of that? DIE Moto, the diesel-engined super-motorbike, broke the land-speed record for a compression-ignition engine two-wheeler, zipping along at 130 mph. Lastly, when you think "super-efficient appliances," you think "famed anthropologist Jane Goodall," right? No? Here's a reason to change your mind.In what has be a sign that real technological innovation peaked with the 1971 Volkswagen Beetle, a high-schooler from Alaska has transformed a vintage punch-buggy into a lean, mean, 100% electric machine. Bart Grabman, a senior at an Alaskan high school, managed to track down a kit online that contained all the parts necessary for the conversion for $3,500; a little sweat equity and some good ol' American can-do attitude later, he'll never have to pump gas into his Beetle again. Perhaps we musn't weep for the future, after all.

The DIE Moto, the bad-ass diesel-powered motorcycle Frankensteined together to break the land-speed record for diesel two-wheelers, has done so, at long last. Checking in at 130 mph, the run at the Bonneville Salt Flats busted the old record but came up short of the bike's ambition of 160 mph. Ah well, it'll always have Utah...

Lastly, when you think "super-efficient home appliances" you think "famed anthropologist Jane Goodall," right? No? Really? Okay, well, Kenmore is giving you a reason to, starting with its newly unveiled Elite dishwasher with Ultra Wash technology, the SteamCare Washer and Dryer lines. The machines themselves sport some pretty impressive numbers — the Ultra Wash uses only 75 watts of energy, the same required to turn on a light bulb, for example — and Jane Goodall Institute's Roots & Shoots Program has partnered up to help spread the good word. A bit surprisingly, the understanding of chimpanzee behaviour does relate to selling appliances to people at Sears.

TreeHugger's EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.

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