Green Car Reports: Russia Mandates Every Gas Station Must Have EV Charging

Thanks to a single, sweeping decree, Russia could soon become a much more hospitable place for electric cars.

The country is currently home to just a small number of electric cars, and its charging infrastructure is relatively undeveloped.

But the national government now requires that all gas stations in the country must be equipped for electric-car charging in little more than a year, by November 2016.

American-Statesman: With Energy Prices Dropping, LCRA Mulls Withdrawal of Wind Contract

When the Lower Colorado River Authority agreed six years ago to purchase wind power from a Corpus Christi area wind farm, the nonprofit utility’s general manager called it “a good business deal for our customers.”

But what looked like a good deal then has less shimmer today: The price of wind power is now half the 2009 rate the utility locked into place. That has left the LCRA, which sells wholesale power to dozens of Central Texas communities, mulling a costly, fraught escape from the contract.

Gizmodo: Ultra-Thin Carbon Nanotube Heaters Will Warm Electric Cars Without Draining Batteries

Since all of the electronics in an electric car are reliant on the same battery as its motor, driving around in the winter with the heater blasting can greatly reduce its range. But a new type of ultra-thin, and ultra-efficient, heating panel covered in carbon nanotubes might change that.

Developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart, Germany, the new ultra-thin panel heaters, made by coating a film in a layer of conductive carbon nanotubes just a few micrometers thick, can actually be installed almost anywhere.

Wall Street Journal: Stephen Colbert Thinks Elon Musk Might Be a Supervillain

Mars is a “fixer-upper” that can be transformed into an Earth-like planet, Elon Musk says. All you need is some nuclear bombs.

Mr. Musk, the Tesla and PayPal co-founder who has a hand in advanced-technology businesses like solar power and rockets, appeared Wednesday on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show. Mr. Colbert couldn’t decide if the billionaire, who is sometimes called a real-life Tony Stark, is intent on saving the world -- or destroying it.

McClatchy: Oil Boom a Loser for North Dakota Cities, Study Finds

While the massive Bakken oil boom drew hordes of job seekers and international attention to the remote prairies of North Dakota and Montana in recent years, it’s turned into a money loser for most cities and counties in the region.

Crime in Dunn County, N.D., in the heart of the nation’s oil boom, skyrocketed 60 percent in just three years, and the road maintenance budget soared from $1.5 million to $25 million.

The local government couldn’t keep up, with demand for services outpacing the growth in tax revenue by as much as 40 percent. The problem continues as the drop in oil prices in the past year means increasingly less money for the county to spend on projects -- while drilling, the truck traffic that eats up the roads, and demand for community services haven’t stopped.