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Bill Pugliano / Stringer / Getty Images

By Fiona E. McNeill

The Michigan community of Flint has become a byword for lead poisoning. Elon Musk recently entered the fray. He tweeted a promise to pay to fix the water in any house in Flint that had water contamination above acceptable levels set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Tesla Model Y. Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the company's second mass-market electric vehicle at its Southern California design studio Thursday night: the Model Y.

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Tesla Model 3 cars arriving at a port in Shanghai. Zhao Yun / VCG via Getty Images

Three years after it was first announced, Tesla's Model 3 is now available for $35,000 in the United States, The Verge reported Thursday.

"We are incredibly excited to announce that the standard Model 3, with 220 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.6 seconds is now available at $35,000!" the company announced in a blog post. "Although lower in cost, it is built to achieve the same perfect 5-star safety rating as the longer-ranged version, which has the lowest probability of injury of any car ever tested by the U.S. Government."

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150-megawatt energy storage system (ESS) for Korea Zinc. Hyundai Electric

South Korea's Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems will soon complete a massive lithium ion battery in the industrial city of Ulsan.

When it goes live in three months, Hyundai's 150-megawatt system will overtake Tesla's 100-megawatt facility in South Australia as the world's largest industrial energy storage system, Independent.ie reported. Sorry, Elon Musk.

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In the event of World War III, the only way for humanity to survive is to colonize Mars or the moon, according to Elon Musk.

"I'm not predicting that we're about to enter the dark ages, but there's some probability that we will, particularly if there's a third world war," the SpaceX and Tesla founder said during a question and answer session at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference in Austin on Sunday ahead of President Donald Trump's possible nuclear talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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Toyota Yaris hybrid 2017.

Kārlis Dambrāns / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

One of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. is from burning fossil fuels for transportation, so accelerating the electrification of our planes, trains and automobiles is crucial in a clean energy future.

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Powerwall residential battery with solar panels. Tesla

Tesla's plans to build the world's largest virtual power plant in South Australia will proceed after all.

The $800 million (US $634 million) project—struck in February by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill—involves installing solar panels and batteries on 50,000 homes to function as an interconnected power plant.

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A Tesla Model S at a supercharger station. Public Herald / Flickr

Government subsidies for electric vehicles and solar panels are an important tool to help accelerate a clean energy economy. However, a top White House economic advisor said on Monday that the Trump administration is looking to end such federal incentives, Reuters reported.

Sweeteners for purchasing EVs and other Obama-era items could be eliminated in as little as two years, according to Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House National Economic Council.

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Nissan Energy Solar

Nissan, the maker of the world's top-selling electric vehicle, officially rolled out on Thursday a seamless solar energy and battery storage system for homes in the UK.

The venture, called Nissan Energy Solar, allows homeowners to generate, store and charge EVs with their own renewable energy, which can reduce household energy bills by an estimated 66 percent, the company touts.

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Tesla's Powerpack battery system in South Australia is charged by a nearby wind farm. Tesla

Since switching on in December, Tesla's massive battery in South Australia has already drastically lowered prices in the region's frequency and ancillary services market (FCAS) and has taken a major share of that market, Renew Economy reported.

During Australian Energy Week, McKinsey and Co. partner Godart van Gendt boasted about the stunning efficiency of the 100-megawatt Powerpack system, which is connected to Neoen's Hornsdale wind farm.

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A learning garden from Kimbal Musk's nonprofit called Big Green. The Kitchen Community

Kimbal Musk's nonprofit organization, The Kitchen Community, is expanding into a new, national nonprofit called Big Green, to build hundreds of outdoor Learning Garden classrooms across America.

Learning Gardens teach children an understanding of food, healthy eating and garden skills through experiential learning and garden-based education that tie into existing school curriculum, such as math, science and literacy.

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When Angad Daryani was a child in Mumbai, he used to suffer from the air pollution there. "Growing up, I had asthma," he told CNN in a profile Wednesday. "I used to have a lot of breathing problems growing up in India."

Now, at the ripe old age of 19, he is working on an invention that could filter pollutants from the air of city skies and help other children breathe easier.

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Mario Gutiérrez / Getty Images

By Jim Motavalli

The future of the auto industry is increasingly likely to be electric—although you wouldn't necessarily know that from sales numbers. Just under 200,000 plug-in cars were sold in the United States last year (out of a new-car market of 17.25 million). In California, cars with plugs made up 4.6 percent of the new-car market in 2017, while nationwide the number increased only slightly, to 1.16 percent of total auto sales. But 2018 is shaping up to be better, with 36 percent higher EV sales in the first four months than in the same period the previous year.

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Ta'u, an island in American Samoa, runs nearly 100 percent on renewable energy thanks to Tesla technology. Photo credit: Tesla

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló responded positively to Tesla CEO Elon Musk's offer to help restore the island's hurricane-wrecked power grid with the company's batteries and solar panels.

"Let's talk," the governor tweeted to Musk Thursday evening. "Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your #TeslaTechnologies? PR could be that flagship project."

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South Australia officially activated the world's biggest battery on Friday. The feat was achieved much to the credit of Elon Musk, who made a daring bet to “get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free."

Musk was responding to a challenge from Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes to help fix the Australian state's electricity woes. Losing the bet would have cost the Tesla CEO "probably $50 million or more."

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Tesla's massive Powerpack battery system in South Australia is charged by a nearby wind farm. Tesla

Elon Musk has won an audacious bet he made back in March to build a battery system for South Australia in “100 days from contract signature or it is free."

The 100-megawatt Powerpack system is the world's largest, or three times bigger than Tesla and Edison's battery at Mira Loma in Ontario, California.

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This was a year of tug-of-war for the environment. With Donald Trump becoming president of the U.S. at a time when wildfires, hurricanes, and floods were devastating the country, it was challenging for scientists, activists and concerned citizens to get their voices heard. But several stood out as global leaders on climate and helped give rise to those who were silenced. Below are 14 of the most notable influencers of 2017 and how they fought for a cleaner, safer environment for all.

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Tesla's Powerpack system in South Australia. Tesla

Tesla has already built the world's largest battery in South Australia, a lightning-fast system that switched on in December and recently saved the energy market millions during an outage.

Now, the Elon Musk-headed venture is vying to build another massive Powerpack system in Colorado for Xcel Energy Inc., an electric utility operating in eight Western and Midwestern states.

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Tesla is sending its Powerwall system to Puerto Rico as the island deals with widespread power loss in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

According to Electrek, the company has been quietly shipping hundreds of battery packs to be paired with solar panels to Puerto Rico ever since the storm cleared.

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