Getting a country from moderate/high EV purchase rate to 100% EV market share – some ideas

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 Norway just hit 82% plugin vehicle new car sales in September 2020. This raises the question: “Why are 18% of the purchases non-plugin vehicles?” That got me dreaming up ideas for how to get a country from moderate EV market share (5–10%, for example) to 100% EV market share. Perhaps some of those ideas could be effective in Norway now, and other countries later as they get closer and closer to a high percentage of plugin vehicles.

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Electric cars cost less to own- Consumer Reports agrees with us

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 We’ve been publishing “total cost of ownership” comparisons — well, forecasts — for years here on CleanTechnica. Actually, the first ones I published were probably 7 years ago or so. As electric car technology (esp. battery technology) has improved, the comparisons have gotten more and more compelling. Nowadays, any of the most advanced, most competitive electric vehicles on the market should easily outperform their gasoline-powered class competitors while costing less (unless you drive very little). Consumer Reports agrees.

Also, whereas I have to couch my analyses in paragraphs of disclaimers and notes about assumptions and disclaimers about notes about assumptions or else I’ll get chewed out by people who think I’m being too friendly to electric vehicles, Consumer Reports just blurted it out with almost no nuance in the very beginning of its press release:

“Owning a plug-in electric vehicle today will save consumers thousands of dollars compared to owning a gas-powered vehicle, according to a new analysis by Consumer Reports comparing electrics to CR’s top-rated vehicles, as well as the best-selling, most efficient, and best-performing gas-powered vehicles on the market.”

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GM to run robot cars in San Francisco without human backups

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General Motors’ Cruise autonomous vehicle unit says it will pull the human backup drivers from its vehicles in San Francisco by the end of the year.

 Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said in a statement that the company got a permit Thursday from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles to let the cars travel on their own.

The move follows last week’s announcement from Waymo that it would open its autonomous ride-hailing service to the public in the Phoenix area in vehicles without human drivers.

Waymo, a unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc., is hoping to eventually expand the service into California, where it already has a permit to run without human backups.

Cruise has reached the point where it’s confident that it can safely operate without humans in the cars, spokesman Ray Wert said. There’s no date for starting a ride service, which would require further government permission, he said.

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Caterpillar bets on self-driving machines impervious to pandemics

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Jason Ramshaw, Commercial Manager for Caterpillar Construction Digital & Technology, demonstrates the Cat Command remote control console to operate a 320 excavator at Caterpillar’s Construction Industries

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Question: How can a company like Caterpillar CAT.N try to counter a slump in sales of bulldozers and trucks during a pandemic that has made every human a potential disease vector?

Answer: Cut out human operators, perhaps?

Caterpillar’s autonomous driving technology, which can be bolted on to existing machines, is helping the U.S. heavy equipment maker mitigate the heavy impact of the coronavirus crisis on sales of its traditional workhorses.

With both small and large customers looking to protect their operations from future disruptions, demand has surged for machines that don’t require human operators on board.

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Battery Breakthrough enables ‘Holy Grail’ of super fast-charging electric cars

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Tesla vehicles and other electric cars have a range of around 500km but the battery takes around an hour to charge

Recharging a car could be almost as quick as refueling.

Engineers say they are close to achieving the “holy grail” of batteries after a major breakthrough brought forward the possibility of charging electric vehicles in mere minutes.

The advance could provide electric cars with 500km of range from just 10 minutes of charging, researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) said.

“The combination of high energy, high [charging] rate, and long cycle life is the holy grail of battery research, which is determined by one of the key components of the battery: the electrode materials,” said USTC professor Hengxing Ji.

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Drone truck startup Einride unveils new driverless vehicles for autonomous freight hauling

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The company’s cab-less prototypes are set to hit the road in 2021

Einride, the Swedish autonomous trucking startup, unveiled a new vehicle type that the company hopes to have on the road delivering freight starting in 2021. The vehicles, dubbed Autonomous Electric Transport (AET), came in four different variations. And much like Einride’s previous prototypes, they come without steering wheels, pedals, windshields, and, in general, no cab at all.

Einride has been in the business of releasing interesting, eye-catching prototype vehicles since it was founded in 2016. There was the cab-less Pod, released in 2017, which has been used in partnership with German logistics firm DB Schenker. The company also has electric trucks hauling freight for Oatly, the Swedish food producer. A year later, the company unveiled the T-Log, built to be more powerful than its predecessor for the job of (you guessed it) hauling tons of giant tree logs. Now it has a next-generation vehicle that it hopes it can put into production.

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All-electric race car made possible with electron beam metal 3D printing

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Supported by Innovate UK, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) works to speed up industrial growth in the UK by creating and embedding future skills and developing and proving manufacturing processes, such as 3D printing. The latter is specifically what the National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (NCAM), part of the MTC, focuses on, and its DRAMA research project spent the last three years setting up a stronger AM supply chain for aerospace. But the NCAM also supports automotive and motorsports AM applications: a perfect example of this can be found in the recent work its Coventry team has done to help Oxford Brookes Racing (OBR), the Oxford Brookes University‘s formula student racing team, reach its 2020 all-electric goal.

OBR is one of the top UK formula student racing (FSUK) teams, and has worked with the MTC on a number of projects before. So the team knew that its NCAM would be the perfect partner to help them take things to the next level.

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Hyundai delivers first fuel cell trucks to Switzerland

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LUCERNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – South Korean carmaker Hyundai on Wednesday presented the first seven hydrogen-powered trucks to customers in Switzerland, out of 50 such vehicles scheduled this year to bring zero-emission commercial vehicles to European roads.

For long haul, proponents say hydrogen-powered trucks have an advantage over electric rivals as they have a greater range and require less charging times but their uptake and mass production has been slow because they are expensive.

However, a McKinsey study in January said that once relative efficiencies of the power sources and lifetime costs of a truck are factored in, green hydrogen could reach cost parity with diesel by 2030.

Hyundai has been partnering with Swiss companies to build a value chain covering the production of green hydrogen from hydropower, hydrogen charging stations and the service and maintenance of the trucks.

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Hyundai creates division for walking robots and Transformer-like mobility vehicles

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The Korean automaker will dip its toes in the field of freaky-looking robots.

Remember the Hyundai Elevate concept from CES 2019? Probably not because so much happens at CES, it’s hard to keep track of the real breakthroughs, worthy attention-grabbers and the fluff. Well, we should definitely pay a little more attention to Hyundai and its Elevate concept because the Korean automaker announced a new division on Tuesday devoted to “ultimate mobility vehicles.”

If the Elevate concept defines what an “ultimate mobility vehicle” is, that means Hyundai just created a studio to design walking cars. They’re sort of freaky, honestly. The New Horizons Studio, as it’s called, will develop vehicles “to wander with unprecedented mobility,” the automaker said in the announcement. “Wander” is an appropriate word since the Elevate concept sports long legs that let the vehicle “walk” over what would typically be terrain a standard vehicle would never get past. Specifically, Hyundai imagined the Elevate as a perfect rescue vehicle to step over rocks, rubble and other debris with ease.

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Self-driving cars will hit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a landmark A.I. race

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Take a look at the ‘Road of the Future’

Next year, a squad of souped-up Dallara race cars will reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour as they zoom around the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway to discover whether a computer could be the next Mario Andretti.

The planned Indy Autonomous Challenge—taking place in October 2021 in Indianapolis—is intended for 31 university computer science and engineering teams to push the limits of current self-driving car technology. There will be no human racers sitting inside the cramped cockpits of the Dallara IL-15 race cars. Instead, onboard computer systems will take their place, outfitted with deep-learning software enabling the vehicles to drive themselves.

In order to win, a team’s autonomous car must be able to complete 20 laps—which equates to a little less than 50 miles in distance—and cross the finish line first in 25 minutes or less. At stake is a $1 million prize, with second- and third-place winners receiving a $250,000 and $50,000 award, respectively.

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PriestmanGoode designs autonomous on-demand passenger and cargo vehicles for Dromos

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PriestmanGoode has designed an electric and autonomous concept vehicle that would be part of a transport network providing private trips for passengers and urban freight delivery.

 The modular concept car was chosen as winner of a competition by autonomous network transit (ANT) company Dromos to imagine a vehicle that would run on its own dedicated road-like system.

Aiming to reimagine mass transit for the 21st century, Dromos’ brief was to design a safe, reliable and affordable vehicle that focuses on modularity, sustainability and flexibility of use.

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Scientists claim to have created an algorithm that makes self-driving cars ‘accident-proof’ – as long as human drivers drive legally

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  • New research presents algorithm that ensures a fail-safe trajectory for vehicles
  • It works on the principle that other human drivers act responsibly on the roads
  • Getting self-driving cars to react to unique situations is an obstacle in a roll out

An algorithm makes self-driving cars ‘accident-proof’ as long as other human drivers on the road act responsibly, scientists claim.

German researchers developed the algorithm with data collected from vehicles in the real-world and tested it in computer simulations.

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