These EV chargers make money for their building-owner hosts

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Los Angeles-based EV charging startup Xeal, which uses predictive AI software to maximize the profits of charging stations, will boost passive income for commercial and residential building owners. It’s just successfully closed its seed investment round.

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Nano-diamond self-charging batteries could disrupt energy as we know it

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NDB makes remarkable claims about its self-charging nano-diamond battery, here seen mocked up as a circuit board component

California company NDB says its nano-diamond batteries will absolutely upend the energy equation, acting like tiny nuclear generators. They will blow any energy density comparison out of the water, lasting anywhere from a decade to 28,000 years without ever needing a charge. They will offer higher power density than lithium-ion. They will be nigh-on indestructible and totally safe in an electric car crash. And in some applications, like electric cars, they stand to be considerably cheaper than current lithium-ion packs despite their huge advantages.

The heart of each cell is a small piece of recycled nuclear waste. NDB uses graphite nuclear reactor parts that have absorbed radiation from nuclear fuel rods and have themselves become radioactive. Untreated, it’s high-grade nuclear waste: dangerous, difficult and expensive to store, with a very long half-life.

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Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 5 refuels phones 50% in 5 minutes, 100% in 15

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Wireless recharging has become increasingly popular over the past few years due to its convenience — just drop your phone on a pad and pick it up later — but wired charging is faster, and some ultra-high-speed options have emerged this month to power next-generation phones. Today, Qualcomm is adding its latest innovations to the mix under the name Quick Charge 5, a wired platform that promises to fully recharge upcoming phones in 15 minutes or go from zero to 50% in only five minutes.

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Hands-free wireless electric vehicle charging for the 21st Century

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In yet another sign that electric vehicles are a more sustainable solution for 21st century personal mobility than gas mobiles, researchers have propelled electricity through 11 inches of thin air, from an in-ground charging system all the way up into the waiting battery pack of a hybrid electric UPS truck, all without using their hands. What, they couldn’t try this on a Tesla?

“Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated on Feb. 27 a 20-kilowatt, bi-directional wireless charging system on a medium-class hybrid electric delivery truck” by Brittany Cramer/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Dept. of Energy.

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Tesla’s readying a ‘million mile’ battery that could greatly lower the cost of EVs

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Reportedly coming first to China

Tesla is getting ready to introduce a long rumored lower-cost, longer-lasting battery for its electric vehicles in China sometime later this year or early next year, according to a new report from Reuters. The battery — which has been colloquially called a “million mile” battery in reference to how long it can last in a car before breaking down — is being co-developed with Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) and was designed in part by battery experts recruited by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla is already the industry leader when it comes to squeezing range out of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, and it’s expected to reveal more about the new technology at an upcoming “Battery Day” for investors. Musk told investors and analysts earlier this year that the information “will blow your mind. It blows my mind.” The company originally planned to hold the event in April, but has had to reschedule it until at least late May thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company held a similar event focused on self-driving technology in April 2019.

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Japan to build world’s first all-electric tanker equipped with li-ion batteries

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Japanese shipping company Asahi Tanker has announced it plans to build two “world first” zero-emission electric propulsion tankers which will be powered by lithium-ion batteries.

The little that is known about the details is available only through what appears to be a shaky English translation. But it does give the specifications of the two new vessels that will use the “e5 tanker” planned and designed by e5 Labl – a joint effort announced in August 2019 between Asahi Tanker, Exeno Yamamizu Corp, Mitsui and Mitsubishi Corporation.

Set to work as a marine fuel supply vessel in Tokyo Bay, the new battery-powered tanker will measure in with a gross tonnage of approximately 499 tonnes and be able to reach speeds of around 11 knots.

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Tesla’s readying a ‘million mile’ battery that could greatly lower the cost of EVs

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Reportedly coming first to China

 Tesla is getting ready to introduce a long rumored lower-cost, longer-lasting battery for its electric vehicles in China sometime later this year or early next year, according to a new report from Reuters. The battery — which has been colloquially called a “million mile” battery in reference to how long it can last in a car before breaking down — is being co-developed with Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) and was designed in part by battery experts recruited by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla is already the industry leader when it comes to squeezing range out of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, and it’s expected to reveal more about the new technology at an upcoming “Battery Day” for investors. Musk told investors and analysts earlier this year that the information “will blow your mind. It blows my mind.” The company originally planned to hold the event in April, but has had to reschedule it until at least late May thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company held a similar event focused on self-driving technology in April 2019.

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Tesla’s ‘million-mile battery’ could sound the death knell for combustion engines

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New battery tech may make EVs cost the same as traditional smog spitters.

 Tesla has long been locked in a battle with fundamental chemistry to reach its holy grail: the point on the curve at which its electric vehicles can be sold at a price comparable to gasoline cars. The company might be reaching that inflection point, with Reuters reporting that Tesla will soon introduce a low-cost, long-life battery in its Model 3 sedan in China. Given Tesla’s ongoing ascent and technological dominance in the EV sector, the news must be giving rival carmaker’s execs sleepless nights.

The report comes as Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been teasing a “Battery Day” expected to take place in June, where he says the company’s announcements will make it “one of the most exciting days in Tesla’s history.”

Musk has made it clear repeatedly that the cost per kilowatt-hour of Tesla’s batteries has been a major roadblock to selling the cars at a price competitive with traditional internal combustion vehicles. That, in turn, has been an obstacle to their mass adoption. But beyond boosting sales, Musk envisions the new batteries having a second life on the power grid as storage devices, which could help him achieve another goal: A move to a sustainable-energy focused economy.

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Peer-to-peer highway EV charging would use telescoping cables between moving cars

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Imagine a future where your EV was getting low on charge ­on a highway road trip – so you deploy a telescoping charging cable to another EV and borrow a few kilowatt-hours. An engineering professor at the University of Florida believes it’s not far-fetched.

We’ve seen a host of mobile EV charging van concepts. And there are proposed solutions for stationary robots to connect a vehicle to a charger, like what Kuka Robotics demonstrated last year (shown above).

The new idea is to merge the two so EVs on the move can connect with one another and with mobile charging stations. (Apple filed a patent for something similar in 2018.)

A few weeks ago, Swarup Bhunia and his colleagues at UoF’s electrical and computer engineering department posted a paper explaining how it would work. Here’s part of the Abstract:

We propose Peer-to-Peer Car Charging (P2C2), a highly scalable novel technique for charging EVs on the go with minimal cost overhead. We allow EVs to share charge among each other based on the instructions from a cloud-based control system.

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If you’re living with an electric car, what type of house you have is more important than you think

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If you live in a flat or don’t have off-road parking, running an electric vehicle may be more difficult than you think, writes Sean O’Grady

If there is one hard lesson I have learned about living with an electric car, it is that it is not for everyone. At least not for now.

Sure, there are loads of great things you can say about electrification – all true. When you next get a chance to go to a pub with friends and family, you can argue the toss over whether they are in reality, “well- to wheel” greener than an equivalent vehicle with an internal combustion engine. I’ve seen different versions of that, with different assumptions about the electricity required to manufacture them, the energy need to extract scarce minerals for the batteries, and whether scrapping perfectly sound petrol/diesel/hybrid vehicles. (Generally I think the electrics are, like-for-like still always greener within almost any parameters, and will eventually “break even” over their lifetime in their environmental benefits). You can, over anther pint, enjoy a rational discussion about whether the usual price premium attached electric cars makes sense over any given mileage – balancing price/lease costs with far lower fuel costs and maintenance bills (the more miles you do, the more sensible the electric option can be). You can also take a view on whether they take the “fun” out of driving or not (they don’t, on the whole). And so on.

But the most salient fact is not what kind of electric car you want, but what kind of dwelling you inhabit. If you live in a flat, say, or a terraced house without any off-street parking (and therefore an easy way to charge your vehicle up), the electric car seems to be an impractical proposition. If you do have a way of plugging one in to a faster charging external wall socket, then you’re fine, in principle. It’s about a simple as that. That is why many of the complaints about the very real inadequacy and unreliability of the charging network is a bit beside the point. You shouldn’t need to recharge all that often away from home. You take the car, drive around for a bit, come home and plug it in ready for the next day.

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Researchers create stretchable super capacitors for our next wearables

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Carbon nanotube forests improve the stretchable supercapacitor’s performanceDuke University

The supercapacitors still functioned well when stretched to eight times their original size.

Imagine a new type of supercapacitor that can be repeatedly stretched to eight times its original size, yet still retaining its full functionality. Only after 10,000 cycles of charging and recharging does it start to lose a little percentage of its energy performance.

Researchers from Duke University and Michigan State University (MSU) have done just that. The team sees their novel supercapacitor as part of a power-independent, stretchable, flexible electronic system that could be used in wearable electronics or biomedical devices.

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Volkswagen’s latest robot makes charging your electric vehicle as easy as charging your phone!

With the world’s population under quarantine, nature is showing signs of coming back to life, literally! With reports coming in globally – dolphins in the ports of Cagliari, China seeing clear blue skies to even fishes swimming in clear canal water of Venice, it is obvious that when humanity makes a true effort to save the world, nature responds! But present circumstances kept aside, how easy is it to make such eco-friendly changes to our infrastructure that can affect the population on such a global scale? This is one of the questions the designers at Volkswagen plan to resolve with their latest creation – the Mobile Charging Robots!

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