Editor Blogs

November 2017
Having spent the last three days at SPS IPC Drives in Nuremberg, I’m once again blown away by the scale and organisation of a German event. The exhibitors filled 11 halls in Nuremberg’s Messe and it was attended by many tens of thousands of engineers. Despite the huge numbers, everything run like clockwork f
Elon Musk Built the World's Largest Battery in 100 Days On a Dare
One time, I bet a friend I could finish an entire pizza. Elon Musk just bet an entire continent that he could build the world’s largest battery. Basically the same, right? The genesis of this challenge was a Twitter exchange between Musk, the real-life Iron Man and CEO of Tesla, and Mike Cannon-Brookes, CEO of Au
Shell Plans to Deploy Quick-Recharge Stations by 2019
We’ve spilled buckets of digital ink about “range anxiety,” the biggest roadblock to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Royal Dutch Shell and a coterie of automakers may have finally ended this insidious ailment ... by 2019. Shell and IONITY – a joint venture between BMW, Daimler, Ford, and Volkswagen
This Company Uses Turkey Poop for Biofuel
To paraphrase Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park, this is one big pile of @#*&. When you’re gorging on Thanksgiving turkey, you probably don’t give much thought to what becomes of the bird’s droppings. Why would you? I’d say turkey poop ranks alongside religion and politics for “undesirable dinner conversation.
UPS to Convert 66% of its NYC Delivery Trucks to Electric
What can brown do for you? Howzabout switching to alternative energy? In the land of Yankees, Metropolitans, and Seinfeld. UPS and Unique Electric Solutions LLC (UES LLC) will work to convert the famously wood-hued delivery trucks from diesel to electric. Unique Energy Solutions’ system will feature a 225kW S
Tesla's New 200K Roadster Goes 620 Miles Between Charges
Tesla has set a new record for electric vehicles with its next-gen Roadster, with a ludicrous 620 mile range between charges. But all this muscle won’t come cheap – the new Roadster will set you back $200,000. The company actually revealed the Roadster alongside its brand new electric big rig, no slouch, itself, with a range of 500 miles. And while both wi
Flexible Rubber Film Generates Electricity When Stressed
Researchers from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) have created a new material that generates electricity when stressed, with a wealth of potential applications in the energy harvesting and wearable sectors. According to Empa, the flexible rubber film – made of po
iOS Update Boosts Wireless Charging Rate by 50%
Consumers have a shaky relationship with iOS updates (including claims of planned obsolescence), but this is the coolest perk I’ve ever seen -- iOS 11.2 makes iPhone X and 8 wireless charging 50% faster. The latest iOS software update boosts the wireless charging rate from 5 w to 7.5 w, and you won’t nee
Lamborghini Develops
Lamborghini is aiming to deliver the “sports car of the future,” and in collaboration with MIT, they’ve developed their new concept vehicle, the “Terzo Millennio.” This “electric super sports car” includes many of the usual bells and whistles like regenerative braking, and to maximize the car
There’s no doubt the big news in tech this week was Intel announcing that it would incorporate AMD graphics technology in its processors. The two companies have had a fierce rivalry that goes back decades, so this week’s announcement came as a bit of a surprise. Intel has worked closely with Nvidia in the pa
Germany to Debut World's First Hydrogen Trains in 2021
The world’s first hydrogen-powered passenger trains are set to debut in Germany in 2021. And while they won’t break any speed records – chugging along at a top speed of 140 kilometers per hour (87 mph) – they’ll set new standards for clean mass transit. The Coradia iLint trains – a collaboratio
Generating Heat From Paved Surfaces
A professor of civil and environmental engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio has received a large grant to develop a technology that generates energy from hot pavements. Much like incandescent bulbs, the thermal energy generated from paved surfaces is normally wasted, dispersed as heat –
Ford Partners With Chinese Automaker to Bring Electric Cars to China
As part of its mandate to electrify 70% of its Chinese sales by 2025, Ford has signed a joint venture with China’s Zotye Auto. The rebranded “Zotye Ford Automobile Co.” will bring electric cars to the world’s most egregious polluter. As explained by CNET, foreign automakers who wish to open shop in
House Bill Would End $7,500 Electric Vehicle Tax Credit
Plan on buying an all-electric or hybrid vehicle? Make haste to your local dealer – a bill under consideration in the House would gut the $7,500 EV federal tax credit by December 31st. The proposed bill by House Republicans would ax the EV federal tax credit to pay for a slew of tax cuts. As explained by A
New Technology Could Recharge Electric Cars in Five Minutes ... Maybe
Lately, we’ve discussed a lithium-ion battery that can be recharged in six minutes and charging cellphones in seconds. Howzabout recharging an electric car in five minutes? “Range anxiety” is the single biggest concern with electric and hybrid vehicles, and this (very understandable) fear is closely linked with recharge times. You
Researchers working independently at universities on the opposite side of the globe have made progress in making Li-ion batteries safer and more efficient by replacing liquid electrolytes with solids. As the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 showed, although we rely heavily on Li-ion batteries, they are by no