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Jul 12, 2020

EVs, batteries and the multi-million-tonne scrap heap

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

As sales of electric vehicles start to soar, the thorny issue of what to do with end-of-life lithium-ion batteries isn’t going away. We look at the problem and explore the solutions.

To say that the legacy of today’s electric vehicles is set to be a mountain of lithium-ion battery waste would be kind. In 2017, when worldwide sales of electric vehicles exceeded one million cars per year for the first time, calculations from UK-based University of Birmingham researchers revealed stark figures. These vehicles alone are destined to leave some 250,000 tonnes of unprocessed battery waste when they eventually reach the scrap heap in 2027. This is just the beginning.

Latest modelling from the Paris-based International Energy Agency indicates the number of electric cars on the road will lie between 125 million and 220 million by 2030. Given this, come the middle of this century, the 250,000-tonne waste figure looks meagre against the tens of millions of tonnes of waste that could follow. And to make matters worse, recycling is playing catch-up.

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Jul 12, 2020

Elon Musk Hints About His Wish to Set Up Tesla’s Second Gigafactory in Asia

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, sustainability, transportation

We need one in Nigeria too.


Elon Musk has come to hint about his wish to set up Tesla’s second gigafactory in Asia. As he responded to queries on the Twitter handle, he indicated that the location of the second outlet won’t be necessarily inside China.

The soaring market

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Jul 12, 2020

New details about U.S. Army’s Infantry Squad Vehicle revealed

Posted by in category: transportation

Last month, the U.S. Department of Defense and GM Defense LLC announced an agreement worth about $214,3 million to build, field and sustain the Army’s new Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV).

The ISV program will provide Infantry Brigade Combat Teams an additive lightweight vehicle to move Soldiers and their equipment quickly over complex and difficult cross-country terrain. Designed to provide rapid ground mobility, the expeditionary ISV is a light and agile all-terrain troop carrier intended to transport a nine-Soldier infantry squad moving throughout the battlefield.

The total production ISV contract award value is $214.3 million to procure the initial Army Procurement Objective of 649. The approved Army Acquisition Objective is 2,065 vehicles.

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Jul 11, 2020

Boeing finishes deliveries of AH-64E and CH-47F to Indian air force

Posted by in category: transportation

Boeing has finished deliveries of its AH-64E Apache attack helicopter and CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopter to the Indian air force.

The US manufacturer delivered the final five of 22 Apaches ordered by New Delhi in June, it says. The remaining five of 15 Chinooks ordered by the air force were delivered in March.

Boeing AH-64E Apache

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Jul 9, 2020

Eco-friendly A.I. may solve aviation’s biggest problem

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI, transportation

Big data company Openairlines claims to be helping make flying more eco-friendly through in-depth data analysis, but it may be saving more money than fuel.

Jul 9, 2020

Robo-Trucks Are Where Self-Driving Revolution Begins

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, transportation

The United States Postal Service’s pilot program with self-driving truck start-up TuSimple helps steer 18-wheelers hauling U.S. mail from Arizona to Texas, with minimum human intervention.

Jul 9, 2020

Tesla ‘very close’ to level 5 autonomous driving technology, Musk says

Posted by in categories: Elon Musk, robotics/AI, sustainability, transportation

SHANGHAI/BEIJING — U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc is “very close” to achieving level 5 autonomous driving technology, Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Thursday, referring to the capability to navigate roads without any driver input.

Musk added that he was confident Tesla would attain basic functionality of the technology this year, in remarks made via a video message at the opening of Shanghai’s annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC).

The California-based automaker currently builds cars with an autopilot driver assistance system.

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Jul 9, 2020

Electrons in the fast lane: Microscopic structures could improve perovskite solar cells

Posted by in categories: solar power, sustainability, transportation

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these electron highways could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

When convert sunlight into electricity, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light. Traditionally, this light-absorbing material is silicon, but perovskites could prove to be a cheaper alternative. The electrons excited by the sunlight are collected by special contacts on the top and bottom of the cell. However, if the electrons remain in the material for too long, they can lose their energy again. To minimize losses, they should therefore reach the contacts as quickly as possible.

Microscopically small structures in the perovskites—so-called ferroelastic twin domains—could be helpful in this respect: They can influence how fast the electrons move. An international research group led by Stefan Weber at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz discovered this phenomenon. The stripe-shaped structures that the scientists investigated form spontaneously during the fabrication of the by mechanical stress in the material. By combining two microscopy methods, the researchers were able to show that electrons move much faster parallel to the stripes than perpendicular to them. “The domains act as tiny highways for electrons,” compares Stefan Weber.

Jul 8, 2020

Owners of electric vehicles to be paid to plug into the grid to help avoid blackouts

Posted by in categories: sustainability, transportation

Electric vehicles are still relatively expensive but a trial to help them power the national grid in times of need could see owners being paid. That could make them a lot more attractive.

Jul 8, 2020

Bosch previews its gorgeous vision for future full-suspension electric bikes

Posted by in categories: futurism, transportation

Today Bosch unveiled a new concept for a futuristic full-suspension on and off-road electric bike that incorporates and showcases a number of different Bosch technologies.

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