Volta Zero is an electric delivery truck built just for cities

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DPD will start using the EV to deliver parcels in London next year.

 Volta Trucks

A Swedish startup named Volta Trucks has unveiled its first vehicle: an electric truck designed specifically for city parcel and freight deliveries. The Volta Zero is scheduled to start production in the UK in 2022, and the company is aiming to have as many as 500 vehicles on the road by the end of that year. While it’s far from the first EV designed with parcel delivery in mind — Amazon plans to use electric vans from Rivian and Mercedes—Benz to deliver customers’ orders — Volta Trucks has forged significant partnerships that could give it a role in shaping the future of deliveries.

European delivery service DPD will launch a pilot test using the Volta Zero to service customers within London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone in the first quarter of 2021. The company also told Reuters that it has “well progressed with another seven or eight customers.”

Continue reading… “Volta Zero is an electric delivery truck built just for cities”

Japan’s Sky Drive ‘flying car’ successfully carries out test flight with a person aboard

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A contraption that looked like a slick motorcycle with propellers lifted several feet off the ground

 The vehicle hovered in the air, over a netted area, for four minutes.

The decades-old dream of zipping around in the sky as simply as driving on highways may be becoming less illusory.

Japan’s SkyDrive, among the myriads of “flying car” projects around the world, has carried out a successful though modest test flight with one person aboard.

In a video shown to reporters on Friday, a contraption that looked like a slick motorcycle with propellers lifted several feet off the ground, and hovered in a netted area for four minutes.

Continue reading… “Japan’s Sky Drive ‘flying car’ successfully carries out test flight with a person aboard”

Sometime soon, your car will park itself in urban garages

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A Ford Escape automatically stops as a pedestrian crosses in front during a self park demonstration, Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020 in Detroit.

Ford, Bosch and real estate company Bedrock are teaming up to test technology that will let vehicles park by themselves in parking decks. The companies are testing the technology using floor-mounted sensors and computers that can control mainly existing features in the Ford Escape.

They say the technology is likely to arrive before widespread use of fully autonomous vehicles because sensors and computers inside parking decks can be used.

Continue reading… “Sometime soon, your car will park itself in urban garages”

Electric Brand’s eBussy modular electric van can turn into 10 different vehicles

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Sucks to suck, Optimus Prime.

When it comes time to buy a new vehicle, you usually need to make some choices. Are you looking for a sedan, an SUV, a minivan? If you’ve committed to a pickup truck, you can’t later turn it into a sports car. Which sucks, because most of us use our vehicles for many different purposes, and it’d be great if you could just swap out parts depending on your plans.

That’s one of the driving ideas behind the eBussy, an electric microbus concept from a German company called Electric Brands. The (sigh, unfortunately named) eBussy sports a retro-cute exterior evoking the swinging ‘60s, and a battery that promises a range of 124 miles on a charge. (You can also configure it with a larger battery for about 373 miles worth of driving range.) Roof-mounted solar panels help recharge while you’re driving, and regenerative braking can extend the range.

Continue reading… “Electric Brand’s eBussy modular electric van can turn into 10 different vehicles”

Welcome to the age of the all-electric hypercar

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Boasting up to 2,000bhp with no fuel cap, a trio of new releases from Lotus, Pininfarina and Rimac are here for when your Ferrari just isn’t fast enough

Same old story. You wait ages for one 2,000bhp, all-electric hypercar to arrive, and then three come along at once. Three underdog brands with very different backstories, three cars that are almost impossible to resist comparing, each with startlingly similar statistics and almost identical price tags that sound more like government furlough bill

In Cambiano, the 1,900bhp Pininfarina Battista will become the most powerful Italian road-legal car ever — itself quite a record — and the first to be badged by the coachbuilder and design house behind some of the most beautiful sports cars of the 20th century (the Ferrari 250GT, Cisitalia 202 and Fiat 124 Spider among them), now launching as a carmaker in its own right.

In Norfolk, the £2.2m Lotus Evija is about to enter production as the most powerful road car in the world, in what is the latest comeback chapter for the British sports car maker that is impossible to introduce without using the word “plucky”.

And in Croatia, Rimac is the no-bullshit start-up-cum-electric-powerhouse that is finalising its ultra-technical C_Two hypercar, which has a top speed of 415kmph and promises 0–100kmph acceleration in the time it takes to read the words “faster than a motorbike”. For the record, 1.85 seconds.

Continue reading… “Welcome to the age of the all-electric hypercar”

Why wireless vehicle charging makes sense for smart cities

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Image of proposed wireless charging stations

Investments we make today in urban EV infrastructure must take into account future requirements for ride sharing, transit and utilities

 

As the world’s population grows increasingly urban — it’s expected that by 2050, 70 per cent of individuals will live in urban areas — it’s critical for these regions to have the infrastructure in place to support quick, convenient and electric mobility. From autonomous vehicles, to electric urban transit, to effective energy management by utilities, successful deployment depends on cities investing in the proper accompanying charging infrastructure. To that end, there’s a good case to be made that investing in wireless charging is critical for the prosperity of urban areas.

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New Hampshire is first state to allow flying cars on the road

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Will New Hampshire suddenly look like GTA 5? No, but the state’s ready to let them hit the road legally.

This is the Switchblade, which was supposed to arrive last year.

We’ve been promised flying cars for seemingly decades, and although we still don’t have one ready for production, New Hampshire has gone ahead and given them the OK.

On Wednesday, the Granite State passed House Bill 1182, aka the “Jetson Bill,” into law, and the transportation bill includes a prevision that makes flying cars legal on public roads. There aren’t any to hit the roads today, but it’s a future forward gesture, I suppose.

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24 million EVs is the limit for current U.S. power grid until 2028

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This PNNL study could help the U.S. power system keep ahead of the EV adoption curve.

 Getting the world to work without oil will not be easy. Apart from increasing EV adoption, we have to make sure the world can cope with them. Think about it: would the power grid stand too many electric cars demanding a charge at the same time? PNNL – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – answered that question with a study saying the current US power grid can handle 24 million EVs until 2028. If the demand increases, we’ll need improvements.

It may seem far-fetched considering the entire US now has 1.5 million EVs on the roads, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Demand for EVs tends to grow, especially when electric pickup trucks such as the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T are available.

Continue reading… “24 million EVs is the limit for current U.S. power grid until 2028”

Quarterly sales of new cars in California down almost 50%

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Rosendo Nevarez makes the rounds at John Hine Mazda in Mission Valley on May 26, cleaning surfaces to maintain hygiene standards during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The numbers are in and the economic consequences wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic landed a body blow to new car sales in California, with dealers reporting a drop of 48.9 percent in the second quarter of this year compared to the same three-month period of 2019. Year-to-date vehicle sales are off 26.9 percent.

The statistics reflect the full effect of safety and social distancing protocols that kicked in by mid-March and dramatically curtailed or even temporarily shuttered some showrooms across the state.

“Obviously, with the fuller impact of the pandemic, it was very clear sales were going to drop at the end of the first quarter, beginning of the second quarter,” said Brian Maas, president of the California New Car Dealers Association. “The good news is they didn’t drop nearly as far as we initially feared. And while a nearly 27 percent drop is not ideal, it’s a lot better than it could have been.”

Dealerships have reported signs the market is regaining some footing as the economy tries to crawl back to some sense of normalcy. Economists with the new car dealers association predict new vehicle registrations in California will finish the year 22 percent lower than in 2019, falling from 2.09 million units to 1.63 million. They project the number to rise to 1.81 million in 2021.

Continue reading… “Quarterly sales of new cars in California down almost 50%”

Tesla launches its own car wrap service

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Tesla has launched its own car wrap service through delivery centers starting with five cities in China. Could it be introduced in other markets?

Over the last few years, Tesla has reduced the number of color options on its vehicles in order to streamline production and facilitate repairs at service centers.

It resulted in many owners turning to wraps in order to get different colors and differentiate their vehicle from the increasingly larger Tesla fleet.

They had to rely on third-party suppliers and installers to wrap their cars.

But now Tesla is launching its own service through delivery centers in China.

The official Tesla customer service Weibo account announced it yesterday:

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Long-range 4D imaging radar on a chip unveiled

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Developer of affordable imaging radars for the automotive industry, RFISee is unveiling the first Phased Array 4D imaging radar on a chip. RFISee’s all weather radar has proven its ability to detect cars from 500 meters and pedestrians from 200 meters, with an angular resolution greater than 1°.

The company’s engineers have adapted Phased Array antenna technology, used in military systems including the F-35 fighter jet and in air defence systems, while at the same time reducing the price to the current level of automotive sensors. Prototypes of RFISee’s radar are under evaluation by top automotive OEMs and Tier-1s.

Unlike many traditional and new types of radar, RFISee’s patented 4D imaging radar uses a powerful focused beam based on proprietary Phased Array radar technology. The focused beam created by dozens of transmitters rapidly scans the field of view. The receivers ensure a much-improved radar image, a better signal to noise ratio, and a detection range of obstacles such as cars and pedestrians that is six times broader when compared to existing radars. The competitive edge of RFISee’s radar prototype has already been proven in extensive testing.

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What the future of fuel cell EVs looks like…

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Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are considered by the most, as two competing technologies. Although both technologies power an electric motor, they have different properties and each of them is well suited for some uses more than others.

BEVs market is increasing, with the major automotive companies, like BMW, and Mercedes, starting to introduce into the market an increasing number of electric battery vehicles, in parallel to the main BEVs company like Tesla, and Toyota. FCEVs on the other hand are still at the demonstration stage.

In April 2019 Daimler stepped back from the development of the GLC F-Cell, after many years of investigation of fuel cells technologies. Besides this decision, Daimler did not completely abandon the hydrogen powertrain, but mostly shifted its focus to a different application. In fact, a collaboration with Volvo to develop fuel cell heavy-duty vehicles will possibly begin in September 2020, which will define a new chapter for the hydrogen technologies.

Continue reading… “What the future of fuel cell EVs looks like…”

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