Inhabitat's Week in Green: The Tesla Model S gets an upgrade

The EV benefits from a larger battery, updated design and "bioweapon defense mode."
Inhabitat
Inhabitat|04.17.16

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Inhabitat's Week in Green: The Tesla Model S gets an upgrade
The Tesla Model S is one of the highest-rated electric cars ever, and it just got even better. This week the automaker rolled out an upgrade that gives the vehicle a bigger battery, a refreshed exterior and a "bioweapon defense mode." Meanwhile, the Solar Impulse sun-powered airplane is getting set to fly across the Pacific Ocean after a lengthy stop in Hawaii. Stephen Hawking teamed up with Russian billionaire Yuri Milner on a plan to send postage-stamp sized spaceships to Alpha Centauri in search of life. IKEA announced plans to launch a chainless bicycle later this year, and a popular new bike/stroller hybrid hit the market only to sell out in a matter of hours.Stormy weather is the bane of most solar panels, but a new type of graphene photovoltaic is able to turn rain into clean energy. In other energy news, a device called the Watly is able to provide internet, solar power and drinking water for communities in need. Researchers floated plans to power the entire planet with a fleet of 2,500 orbiting solar panels. And Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners unveiled plans for a vertical Skyfarm that produces wind power and fresh veggies.

In design news, a team of researchers just created the strongest material in the world: an exotic form of carbon called carbyne. Scientists also developed a biodegradable alternative to plastic packaging that's made from seaweed. The Milan Furniture Fair is the world's largest design event, and this week we hit the shows to bring you 14 incredible lamps, including chandeliers grown from crystal and a "LightGarden" that turns any wall into a work of art. We also spotted the world's first "digitally transformable sofa," which shifts shape with the tap of a smartphone, and we showed you how to make a sliding LEGO table that stores bricks and acts as a building base.
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