A new type of automotive battery technology could be used to increase the range of electric vehicles (EVs) by up to five times.
Scientists at the University of Michigan have developed a solution that enables lithium-sulpher batteries, which have a much higher capacity than the lithium-ion technology currently used in EVs, to be used in automotive applications.
Lithium-sulpher batteries were previously unsuitable for EVs as they could only be cycled (discharged and recharged) 10 times, rather than the 1,000-plus that’s required.
Now that much more research is going into EVs, rather than ICE vehicles, the developments will keep coming – IMHO! For example:
A new fabrication technique could allow solid-state automotive lithium-ion batteries to adopt nonflammable ceramic electrolytes using the same production processes as in batteries made with conventional liquid electrolytes.
It could be the piece of equipment that does the most important test you will ever carry out! The test that stops you being killed by electric shock. The device is deliberately very simple. The image top left is a test with the leads connected together. The next image is a safe 12V reading but the bottom image shows a dangerous reading (mains voltage with my PV panels working in this case).
Industry Specialist Hayley Pells informs FSB Wales Response to Charging Strategy
A Welsh Government Consultation seeking to gather views on the draft strategy for electric vehicle charging in Wales has been responded to by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) lobbying on behalf of the small business owners of Wales.
The strategy sets out where we are now in Wales providing vehicle electric charging, our changing needs for the decade, and how they can be met.
Dr Llŷr ap Gareth, Head of Policy for Wales FSB, has written the response considering the needs of the many small businesses of Wales, from rural areas to urban environments. Contextualising the needs of the organisations represented by the FSB whilst being mindful of capability of the technology, Llŷr worked with Hayley Pells, newly appointed to the Wales Policy Unit of the FSB to create the document, using her automotive industry insight in addition to the wealth of knowledge the FSB has regarding the needs of small business in Wales.
“There is a risk that small business can be left out of the EV ecosystem, whereas larger organisations may have greater resources to include this new technology into their environments, I am incredibly happy to assist the FSB with their efforts in this, especially as they have been instrumental in the growth of my own small business.” said Hayley Pells. Commenting further on the consultation, Llŷr ap Gareth stated “for businesses to move to electric vehicle stock, it’s important that appropriate infrastructure supports their needs and so it’s likewise important that those needs are heard in this strategy”.
Opening on the 2nd December 2020, the draft Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging strategy for Wales closes for responses on 24th February 2020.
Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric available to order now amid surging interest in battery-powered cars
The first of five electric Volvo cars to be launched in the next five years
Capable of more than 249 miles on a single charge, versus average UK daily drive distance of 30 miles
Fast-charging potential: 80% of capacity in 40 minutes
Will deliver running-cost savings and tax benefits typical of electric cars
First Volvo to include pioneering Google Android-powered infotainment system
No internal combustion engine means extra storage space
One of the safest cars on the road
Launch expands Volvo’s already market-leading range of plug-in vehicles
XC40 Recharge Pure Electric P8 available from £53,155
UK deliveries anticipated from early 2021
The Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric – Volvo’s first all-electric car – is now available for UK customers to order.
The first of five fully electric cars to be launched by the Swedish company over the next five years, the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric P8 is capable of a travelling more than 249 miles on a single charge, and can be charged to 80% of its battery capacity in as little as 40 minutes using a fast charger. Being an electric car, it will deliver significant savings to owners in running costs, as well as tax benefits.
Inside, the car benefits from the company’s brand-new infotainment system powered by Google Android, as well as taking the XC40’s already renowned use of interior space even further.
Kristian Elvefors, Volvo Car UK’s Managing Director, said: “For Volvo Cars, the future is electric. The battery-powered XC40 spearheads our ambitious sustainability strategy, while bringing the huge benefits of electric driving – and more – to an already award-winning package.”
A milestone in one of the automotive industry’s boldest electrification strategies
Volvo’s first entrant into the compact premium SUV segment when it was launched in 2018, the XC40 has seen unprecedented success, winning a host of prestigious awards – including European Car of the Year in 2018 – and quickly becoming the firm’s best-selling model in the UK. The Recharge Pure Electric variant comes at the perfect time, with almost three quarters of consumers considering an all-electric car for their next purchase1.
The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric marks a major milestone in Volvo Cars’ electrification strategy, which is one of the boldest from any traditional car maker. As part of a long-term ambition to be climate-neutral by 2040, the company aims to reduce tailpipe emissions by 50% per car, and for half of all new vehicles it sells globally to be pure electric, by 2025.
The all-electric XC40 also expands Volvo’s already comprehensive range of plug-in vehicles, now sold under the Recharge brand, with customers already able to purchase a plug-in hybrid version of every model in the Volvo range.
While the recently launched plug-in hybrid XC40 is ideal for those making the transition to electric driving – its 28-mile electric range is backed up by a petrol engine for greater distances – the Pure Electric is the perfect car for those ready to commit to all-electric motoring. The average distance driven each day by UK motorists is 30 miles2, so its 249-plus-mile range more than covers most people’s daily requirements – especially if home or workplace charging is installed meaning a full charge at the start of each journey.
The XC40 P8’s long range does not come at the expense of performance, with its twin electric motors producing 408hp to deliver a 0-62mph time of only 4.9 seconds.
Interior design: making clever even cleverer
While the XC40 already follows the principle of doing more with less, the Recharge Pure Electric version takes this even further. The lack of an internal combustion engine frees up space for an additional 30-litre storage compartment or ‘frunk’ under the front bonnet, while the placement of the batteries under the centre of the car means space is not compromised elsewhere.
As with any other XC40, the battery-powered version comes equipped with clever interior touches such as a removable waste bin, a fold-out hook in the glove compartment for bags, and a useful boot divider complete with hooks for keeping shopping bags separate and upright. A pair of sizeable front door bins come courtesy of the traditionally door-housed speakers being moved to the base of the windscreen.
The interior of the battery-powered XC40 also carries over the strong focus on sustainability from other variants, with the door linings and carpets made from 97% recycled plastic bottles.
The all-electric XC40 marks the debut of Volvo Cars’ brand-new Android-powered infotainment system, which gives customers unprecedented personalisation increased intuitiveness and new embedded Google technologies and services.
Total integration of Android Automotive OS, Google’s open-source Android platform, means services such as Google Maps, Google Assistant and other automotive apps will be built in.
For the first time on a Volvo car, software and operating system updates will be available over the air, meaning an XC40 Recharge Pure Electric will improve over its lifetime rather than being at its peak on leaving the factory.
One of the safest cars on the road
In spite of the challenges presented by the lack of an internal combustion engine, the electric XC40 is one of the safest cars on the market. Volvo Cars’ safety engineers have totally redeveloped the frontal crash structure, while introducing a new and unique safety structure for the passengers and battery – helping to keep occupants as safe as they are in any other Volvo.
The fully electric XC40 SUV – Volvo’s first electric car and one of the safest on the road
The XC40 Recharge Pure Electric is also the first Volvo to feature a new version of Pilot Assist, the driver-assistance technology that deploys steering, acceleration and braking support to help take the strain during long motorway journeys and sitting in traffic. The system now uses Google Maps for information such as speed limits and curves in the road to improve its functionality.
A new Emergency Stop Assist function is now included, meaning that if the driver is not holding the steering wheel while Pilot Assist is activated, the driver will be warned in different stages until the vehicle is brought to a safe stop.