Buying a used car is always a risk—even with good documentation and service records, it is still hard to know how well a vehicle has been maintained and whether it has been abused. The good news about used electric vehicles is that EVs, with fewer moving parts than traditional gasoline powered vehicles, have been shown to be mechanically robust and reliable, requiring little beyond routine maintenance. In addition, because of their limited range, they often have accumulated quite low mileage for their year, another positive.
But there is one major concern: the battery pack.
The condition of the lithium ion battery pack that powers EVs depends enormously on how it has been treated during its lifetime. Repeated fast charging, completely depleting the battery, or operation at hot or cold temperature extremes can result in a battery pack with reduced capability when compared to when it was new.
Just normal aging of a pack can result in a reduction of around 5% capacity per year. Many car makers placed warranties on their battery packs, typically 8 years or 100,000 miles.
There were about 425,000 electric buses in service in the world’s cities last year. Almost all—99 percent of them—were in China. The booming industrial city of Shenzhen, in particular, is one of only a few cities to have fully electrified its fleet. The rest of the globe, meanwhile, is racing to catch up, and falling further behind.
It’s not the lack of ambition that’s stopping them …
What prevents cities from adopting electric buses en masse is a mix of technological, financial, and institutional challenges, according to a pair of reports from the World Resource Institute looking at efforts in 16 cities at various stages of adopting e-buses.
Researchers at Stanford University have developed a “mixing entropy battery” (MEB) that can harness energy from the mixing of fresh and salt water. The energy created this way is sometimes called “blue energy.” According to a Stanford news release, the team’s objective is to apply the technology to coastal wastewater treatment plants and to use the electricity generated to make the plants energy-independent and carbon-neutral.
“Blue energy is an immense and untapped source of renewable energy,” said Kristian Dubrawski, a postdoctoral scholar in civil and environmental engineering at Stanford. “Our battery is a major step toward practically capturing that energy without membranes, moving parts or energy input.”
The Stanford battery isn’t the only technology available to capture blue energy, but it’s the first to use battery electrochemistry instead of pressure or membranes.
Volkswagen Group recently unveiled the results of a special project with Autodesk showing how technology is transforming automotive design and manufacturing processes.
An engineering team from Volkswagen’s Innovation and Engineering Center California (IECC) reconceptualized and retrofitted an iconic 1962 VW Microbus with cutting-edge technologies such as electric propulsion and generative that are likely to play a big part of the auto industry’s future.
It’s early days for both companies, which are still defining their service-level products. For that reason, they have not come on the radar for analysts who cover the low-power, wide-area networks (LPWANs) that LoRa and NB-IoT currently dominate and where the HaLow version of Wi-Fi is debuting this year.
LoRa uses unlicensed 800- to 900-MHz bands, which is inexpensive but subject to interference and requires users to set up their own networks. Narrowband-IoT, a low-cost version of LTE, typically uses higher frequencies with less range and penetration than the ISM bands.
IBM unveiled details on Thursday of how it will integrate Red Hat products and services, following its $34 billion acquisition. And the strategy is surprisingly simple and compelling. Simple enough to fit in a tweet.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift are the foundation for IBM’s multicloud strategy, running IBM’s own middleware providing management, orchestration, compliance and security.
That’s 180 characters — plenty of room for emoji and animated GIFs.
With the semiconductor industry mired in a downturn and the world’s two largest economies embroiled in a trade war, it came as a bit of a shock that EDA revenue had one of its strongest-ever growth quarters in the first quarter.
First-quarter EDA revenue came in at $2.6 billion, up 16.3% compared to the first quarter of 2018. The four-quarter moving average of EDA sales — which compares the most recent four quarters to the prior four quarters — increased by 6.1%, according to the Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance.
EDA revenue, of course, doesn’t track exactly in line with the semiconductor industry that it services.
On Wednesday, Qualcomm — the San Diego-based fabless chip vendor with perhaps the heaviest exposure to the China woes — disappointed Wall Street with its fiscal fourth-quarter forecast and warned of China-related headwinds for the next two quarters.
“The Huawei export ban, along with the pivot from 4G to 5G — which accelerated over the past couple of months — has contributed to industry conditions, particularly in China, that we expect will bring great headwinds in our next two fiscal quarters,” said Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm’s CEO, in a conference call with analysts.
Qualcomm said that it expects its overall sales to be down by 12% to 26% year over year in the current quarter and expects its modem chipset shipments to be down about 4% sequentially and down 31% to 40% year over year.