This startup designed an electric cargo ship to cross the ocean

Until recently, most experts would have argued that battery-electric ships weren’t feasible for traveling across oceans.

BY ADELE PETERS

Designing an electric cargo ship isn’t as easy as making an electric car—and until recently, most experts would have argued that battery-electric ships weren’t feasible for traveling across oceans. A giant cargo ship might theoretically need a battery that weighs 1.6 billion pounds, more than the ship could carry. But one startup plans to soon begin crossing the Pacific with smaller electric ships that swap batteries at ports along the way, in a system that it says could prove cheaper than shipping with fossil fuels.

“We started with the problem of decarbonizing ocean freight, and finding a way to make it not cost more,” says Steven Henderson, cofounder and CEO of the startup, called Fleetzero, part of the most recent cohort at the tech accelerator Y Combinator. Henderson and cofounder Michael Carter both worked in the shipping industry and saw that there was a major challenge with the industry’s goals to cut emissions: The existing alternatives were far more expensive than the status quo. Ammonia or green hydrogen power, for example, could cost as much as four times more than the heavy fuel oil that ships use today. Engines also had to be redesigned to burn alternative liquid fuels, adding to the cost. “We realized that this isn’t good for the industry if this is our future, and not good for the world if rates go up,” says Carter. The company’s new approach means that customers will see no change to their freight costs.

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UPS Tries Out ‘eQuad’ Electric Bikes For Urban Deliveries

 Luke Wake, UPS vice president of fleet maintenance and engineering, shows off “eQuad” electric bikes

UPS was trying out a four-wheeled “eQuad” electric cargo bike for deliveries in densely packed urban areas, where bikes have better and easier access, to complement its push into electric vehicles.

UPS said on Friday it was trying out a four-wheeled “eQuad” electric cargo bike for deliveries in densely packed urban areas, where bikes have better and easier access, to complement its push into electric vehicles.

The package-delivery giant is trialing around 100 of the electric bikes, designed and built by British firm Fernhay, in seven European markets and will also launch trials in the United States and some Asian markets, Luke Wake, UPS vice president of fleet maintenance and engineering, told Reuters.

UPS said it would also use four-wheeled electric bikes from other manufacturers for the trials, but did not disclose names.

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Why The Future Of Long-Haul Trucking Is Battery Electric

In a factsheet, T&E examines the progress to reaching zero emissions in the freight sector and shows how EU truck CO2 standards can make or break the transition.

There is increasing consensus among European truck manufacturers and industry stakeholders that battery electric trucks will play a dominant role in the decarbonisation of the road freight sector, including for long-haul. With trucks being heavily used capital goods, the advantage of battery electric vehicles in terms of lower fuel and maintenance costs grows with increasing mileage, making them particularly competitive for long-haul transport.

Ambitious CO2 standards in the upcoming revision can create the necessary market certainty to enable truckmakers to scale up their production of zero-emission trucks and for logistics companies to transition their fleets to zero emission. To find out more, download the factsheet.

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Auto Service Companies Are Preparing For The Electric Vehicle Revolution

By Peter McGuthriey.

The auto industry’s burgeoning transition to electric vehicles poses new challenges to auto service centers, as higher hybrid and EV adoption rates require companies to understand and manage new hardware.

One such service company is Bridgestone Americas, which owns roughly 2,200 tire and vehicle service centers across the U.S, as detailed in a report last month from Forbes.

As electric motors and battery cell-operated motors become more common, Bridgestone’s service and tire centers require new equipment and updated training for technicians.

While current EV sales volume is still fairly low for the U.S. auto market, Bridgestone Retail Operations President Marko Ibrahim says the company is already making moves to be ready for the expected transition to electric and hybrid models in the years ahead.

“We don’t wait until demand is set, because then we’re behind,” Ibrahim said. “We try to anticipate where the puck is going, and we try to get there first.”

The U.S. auto market only had 24 different EVs available in 2020, that number is expected to increase to 153 by 2025, according to General Motors (GM) Chief Economist Elaine Buckberg in a recent web conference hosted by the Society of Automotive Analysts.

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America’s Best-Selling Electric Vehicles Ride on Two Wheels

Import data shows e-bikes outpacing electric cars in 2021.

By Ira Boudway

The U.S. electric bike market continues to boom according to the latest figures from the Light Electric Vehicle Association. The U.S. imported nearly 790,000 electric two-wheelers in 2021 according to LEVA’s estimate, up from 463,000 in 2020. While not a sales figure, LEVA’s tally is a useful proxy for the state of the U.S. e-bike market. The trade group’s research suggests that e-bikes are the best-selling EVs in the country. Americans bought 652,000 electric cars in 2021, including plug-in hybrids, according to data from BloombergNEF:

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Self-propelled Airstream eStream is the future of travel trailers

Battery-powered camper is remote controlled

By Gary Gastelu|

Electric Ford F-150 Lightning revealed

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning pickup has been revealed with a starting price under $40G. The all-electric truck is the most powerful F-150 ever and offers a range up to 300 miles per charge.

This could really help put some punch in your campfire ghost stories.

The Airstream eStream concept travel trailer is battery-powered and self-propelled. (Airstream)

Airstream has built a self-powered electric travel trailer concept that can be maneuvered remotely without it being attached to a towing vehicle.

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FedEx will soon start making deliveries using electric vans from GM

FedEx’s new electric delivery vans from GM’s BrightDrop. 

By Tim Levin 

  • FedEx received the first electric delivery vans from GM’s BrightDrop. 
  • The EV600 goes 250 miles on a charge and has 600 cubic feet of cargo space. 
  • FedEx has ordered 500 of the vehicles, which will start making deliveries soon. 

FedEx received the first electric delivery vans from BrightDrop, a new electric logistics and delivery business out of General Motors. It’s a major milestone in both giants’ efforts to electrify their businesses. 

FedEx took delivery of five BrightDrop EV600 vehicles at a FedEx Express facility in Inglewood, California, where they’ll be housed and operated. The vans are the first of 500 FedEx has ordered from the company.

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Ford and Purdue University Created a Cable That Fully Charges an EV in 5 Minutes

The new cable would be able to output four times more current than today’s best option. 

By BRYAN HOOD

Ford may have just figured out a way to get rid of range anxiety once and for all.

The Detroit auto giant has teamed up with Purdue University to build a prototype of a cable that could fully charge an EV’s battery in just five minutes. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done, but the cable could help overcome one of the last major obstacles standing in the way of battery-powered cars achieving mass acceptance.

EV driving ranges may finally be reaching acceptable levels, but slow charging times still make some drivers wary. The last couple years has seen charging times improve dramatically, but they’re still not great, especially when compared to the five minutes it takes to fill up a gas-powered car. Right now, the best you can hope for is around 20 minutes when connected to a DC fast charger. It’s even worse when you’re home. The Ford Mustang Mach-E is one of the more in-demand EVs on the market, but it takes 11 hours to charge to full capacity at home, even when connected to a Level 2 charging setup.

This is due in no small part to the fact that current charging cables just can’t handle the heat generated by the amount of power that would be needed to charge an EV as fast as gas can fill up a car. The cables connected to the Tesla Supercharger—currently the industry’s best charger—can handle a maximum of 520 amps of current. Ford and Purdue’s solution: Come up with a better method of cooling charging cables.

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Electric Geely Homtruck to take on Tesla Semi with autonomous driving and built-in apartment

Long-haul tractor has all the comforts of home

By Gary Gastelu

China’s Geely has unveiled an electric semi truck with all of the comforts of home for long-haul truckers.

The Geely Homtruck will be avaialble with an all-electric drivetrain.

The Homtruck, built by Geely’s Farizon Auto commercial truck unit, is equipped with a full mini-apartment that includes a bed, shower, toilet, electric kitchen and washing machine.

Geely said the Homtruck will be offered around the world with several powertrain options, including all-electric, range-extended electric and a hybrid with a methanol-burning internal combustion engine. A projected driving range between charges for the all-electric version was not announced.

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Segway introduces Apex H2 electric-hydrogen hybrid prototype

On track for a 2023 release date. 

 By: Dustin Wheelen Published by: Brian Potter 

When Segway unveiled its Apex H2 electric-hydrogen hybrid concept in April, 2021, it attracted many a naysayer—including us. While a hydrogen-powered motorcycle still seems out of the realm of feasibility in this day and age, that isn’t stopping Ninebot from pushing the Segway Apex H2 project forward.

Of course, most sceptics labelled the concept vaporware based not only on the fuel source but also due to the fact that the brand only offered rendered images. Now, Segway presents the Apex H2 in the flesh with a new prototype that remains surprisingly faithful to the original design.

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An e-Bus Starts Testing World’s First Wireless Electric Road, in Breakthrough Project

by Otilia Drăgan

After the 80-ton electric truck that was tested on 0.9 miles (1.4 km) of the ElectReon electrified roadway, a fully-electric bus was successfully launched as part of the groundbreaking SmartRoad Gotland Project. 8 photos

Several countries are promoting a carbon-neutral future by supporting electric vehicles, but Sweden, which is always one step ahead when it comes to innovations, is taking things even further, by introducing electric highways. It plans to have 1,240 miles (2,000 km) of electric highways by 2030, and become emissions-free by 2045.

To achieve these goals, the Swedish Transport Administration is funding four electric road demonstration projects implemented by several partners, in Italy, Germany, Sweden, and Israel. ElectrReon plays a leading part, as the provider of the in-road wireless EV charging technology. 

SmartRoad Gotland is the world’s first wireless electric inter-city road system, designed to be tested by an electric heavy-duty truck and an electric bus. The project’s electric road is 0,9-mile (1.4 km) long, located on the route between the airport and the center of Visby, on Gotland island, in Sweden.

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Michigan plans to build the country’s first wireless EV charging road

By Jena Brooker

Will it work?

To help Michigan reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced last month that the state will construct the nation’s first wireless electric vehicle charging road — a one-mile stretch in the Metro Detroit area. 

“Michigan was home to the first mile of paved road, and now we’re paving the way for the roads of tomorrow,” Whitmer said in a press release, “with innovative infrastructure that will support the economy and the environment.” 

A wireless EV road works like this: As a car drives over it, the vehicle’s battery is charged by pads or coils built under the surface of the street using magnetic induction. It doesn’t give the car a full charge, but it helps add some additional mileage to a vehicle before its next complete powering up.  

The project is still in the very early stages: The Michigan Department of Transportation began accepting proposals for the project on September 28. Until one is selected, it’s unknown exactly where the road will be, what it will look like, the precise cost, or how soon it could be operational. But some are questioning whether the project is worth it. Is it the best use of funds in a state with poor transit and crumbling infrastructure? And how will it even work, particularly in a place with harsh weather extremes like the Midwest? 

“It’s just not feasible or economically viable,” said Chris Mi, chair of the electrical and computer engineering department at San Diego State University who is an expert on electric vehicle charging. A one-mile demonstration is doable, he told Grist, but at the larger scale there are several practical and economic barriers. 

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