Impact Tech | January 14, 2021

Sustainability is the new new thing at the Consumer Electronics Show

Amy Cortese
ImpactAlpha Editor

Amy Cortese

ImpactAlpha, Jan. 14 – Last January, some 170,000 attendees and 4,400 exhibitors flocked to Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. The lighter carbon footprint from the millions of air miles saved by this year’s virtual CES was complemented by a raft of climate-friendly tech debuts amid the usual gaming headsets and wireless gizmos. 

Electric everything. General Motors dangled a dozen or so new electric vehicles, including the EV600 electric van and the EP1 electric pallet for warehouses. It also showed off an electric vertical take-off and landing “Cadillac” air taxi. GM’s Mary Barra touted an “an all-electric future” with 2021 as GM’s “turning point to electric vehicles and a net-zero carbon future.” For self-charging EVs with built in solar cells, check out Germany’s EV Sono Motors and Lightyear One in the Netherlands.

Air to water. AcquaTap is a portable device that pulls clean water out of the air. Exaeris Water Innovations says the product can produce up to five gallons of water a day. GoSun, known for solar-powered ovens, launched a solar-powered water purifier for drinking, bathing and cooking. 

Smart homes. Schneider Electric was among the companies featuring smart home tech to address demand for sustainable, smart and efficient homes. “Our homes are expected to become the single largest greenhouse gas emitters over the next decade,” said Schneider’s Manish Pant. Schneider’s new Square D Energy Center integrates electricity from solar panels, energy storage and the utility grid into one panel and lets customers manage and optimize energy use via an app.

Advanced mapping. Location data provider Here Technologies unveiled 3D maps of 75 cities that can be used as building blocks to help “transform supply chains, transportation and mobility networks and overall consumer experiences,” said the company’s Jorgen Behrens. Also on tap: a new EV routing tool that takes into account account topography, road geometry and real-time traffic data to optimize routes for private and commercial electric vehicles.