Russian tycoon aims to revolutionize auto making one micro-plant at a time

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The Arrival’s bus
  • Owner of Arrival Ltd., Denis Sverdlov believes that micro-factories will help reduce production costs compared to huge plants.
  • His company aims to start producing electric buses and vans next year.

Russian-born entrepreneur Denis Sverdlov wants to revolutionize automaking, replacing Henry Ford’s century-old conveyor-belt assembly lines with tiny factories that cost far less.

While most of the industry aims for big sales numbers that will keep huge plants busy, his Arrival Ltd., which will start producing electric buses and vans next year, is betting that doing just the opposite will help reduce production costs. Its micro-factories need about $50 million in investment, compared with $1 billion for conventional ones, and 10 of of them could make as many vehicles as a traditional outlet for half the capital expenditures and in a 10th of the space, it says.

“Arrival has spent the last five years developing our unique model and proprietary technology and is now laser-focused on delivery,” Sverdlov, who’s founder and chief executive officer, said in a Zoom interview. “We are not using metal stamping, welding and paint shops. Instead, we are using aluminum for chassis, proprietary composites for bodies and structural adhesive.”

Continue reading… “Russian tycoon aims to revolutionize auto making one micro-plant at a time”

Japan Set To Abolish Gas Powered Cars By Mid 2030s

Tyler Durden's PhotoBY TYLER DURDEN

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As if the speculative EV mania needed any more fuel thrown on its fireJapan is joining numerous other countries – and California – in setting a date to make all new cars electric and “eco friendly” by the mid 2030’s.

The country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has said they are considering abolishing conventional cars and shifting purely to hybrids and electrics within the next 10 to 20 years, according to Nikkei

The move is part of a broader plan for the entire country to go “zero emissions” by 2050. Vehicles made up 16% of the country’s total emissions in 2018, according to the report. An official announcement is expected later this month at a conference attended by experts and car industry executives. This will be followed by more concrete plans and timelines. 

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Mini Urbanaut concept hints at how its cars could look in a decade

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Mini Urbanaut concept hints at how its cars could look by the time new petrol and diesel vehicles are banned – and it can convert into a living room on wheels at the push of a button

  • Mini has unveiled an electric and self-driving compact car concept it sees as a vision for vehicles sold in 2030
  • At a turn of a switch, the Urbanaut mini-MPV doubles as a relaxing sanctuary for drivers and passengers
  • It features a comfortable sofa in the rear, fold-down dashboard day-bed, rotating chairs and a dining table
  • The windscreen swings open from the top hinges to provide what designers have called a ‘street balcony’

Continue reading… “Mini Urbanaut concept hints at how its cars could look in a decade”

Tesla opens world’s largest Supercharger station

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It is located between two of Tesla’s biggest markets.

Tesla has been quickly expanding its Supercharger network lately and it just reached another milestone by opening the world’s new largest Supercharger station.

Tesla’s fleet is growing at a fast pace and the automaker is adding more electric vehicles to the road than any other automaker.

At the same time, the company is trying to keep up its infrastructure, like service centers, mobile service fleet, and charging infrastructure in order to support its growing fleet.

Tesla’s charging infrastructure mainly consists of the Supercharger network, arguably one of the company’s greatest assets.

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Honda launching world’s first production car with ‘eyes-off’ self-driving tech by mid 2021

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Japanese officials approved Honda’s Automated Drive feature to be deployed on the upcoming Honda Legend.

Honda has received regulatory approval from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) to begin selling vehicles equipped with Level 3 autonomous driving, the automaker announced on Wednesday.

In a press release, Honda highlighted that it would begin the sale of the Honda Legend equipped with its all-new “Traffic Jam Pilot” feature by the end of the company’s fiscal year (March 31, 2021). The feature is reportedly similar to GM’s Super Cruise and Ford’s Active Drive Assist in the sense that all road conditions must be perfect before Traffic Jam Pilot can be activated.

However, unlike the current domestic offerings where the driver is still technically in control of the vehicle, SAE J3016 defines Level 3 as a vehicle-operated functionality while engaged.

Continue reading… “Honda launching world’s first production car with ‘eyes-off’ self-driving tech by mid 2021”

Quantum sensors could let autonomous cars ‘see’ around corners

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High-precision metrology based on the peculiarities of the subatomic world

Quantum computers get all the hype, but quantum sensors could be equally transformative, enabling autonomous vehicles that can “see” around corners, underwater navigation systems, early-warning systems for volcanic activity and earthquakes, and portable scanners that monitor a person’s brain activity during daily life.

Quantum sensors reach extreme levels of precision by exploiting the quantum nature of matter—using the difference between, for example, electrons in different energy states as a base unit. Atomic clocks illustrate this principle. The world time standard is based on the fact that electrons in cesium 133 atoms complete a specific transition 9,192,631,770 times a second; this is the oscillation that other clocks are tuned against. Other quantum sensors use atomic transitions to detect minuscule changes in motion and tiny differences in gravitational, electric and magnetic fields.

There are other ways to build a quantum sensor, however. For example, researchers at the University of Birmingham in England are working to develop free-falling, supercooled atoms to detect tiny changes in local gravity. This kind of quantum gravimeter would be capable of detecting buried pipes, cables and other objects that today can be reliably found only by digging. Seafaring ships could use similar technology to detect underwater objects.

Continue reading… “Quantum sensors could let autonomous cars ‘see’ around corners”

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.

Continue reading… “Getting a country from moderate/high EV purchase rate to 100% EV market share – some ideas”

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.

Continue reading… “Caterpillar bets on self-driving machines impervious to pandemics”

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.

Continue reading… “Drone truck startup Einride unveils new driverless vehicles for autonomous freight hauling”

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