Even though in recent years we have been able to witness advances in the technology of batteries in electric cars, to this day autonomy continues to be the main barrier that prevents these vehicles from being compared to cars with combustion engines.
The researchers continue to work hard to overcome this obstacle, so that sooner than later, we will be able to see electric cars with greater autonomy on the market.
This will allow drivers to make longer trips, something that is currently not possible due to the limited capacity of electric vehicle batteries, as well as the absence of sufficient charging points on many of the routes.
This problem could be solved soon, thanks to the latest advances. A team of researchers from the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the Samsung R&D Institute Japan (SRJ) have presented an innovative solid-state battery technology characterized by offering high performance and long life.
According to the results of the study, this technology could allow an electric car to travel up to 800 km on a single charge, in addition to offering a very long service life of up to 1,000 charge cycles.
Solid-state battery technology is not new, and researchers around the world have been working on it for several years. Unlike conventional lithium batteries, the electrolyte is not liquid, but solid.
This component is the one that is in charge of serving as a bridge between the cathode and the anode so that they can transfer their charge, releasing or collecting energy.
One of the advantages of solid-state batteries is that they support a higher energy density, which opens the door to offer greater capacity and, therefore, greater autonomy for electric cars.
What happens is that the lithium metal anodes commonly used in solid-state batteries are prone to dendrite growth, a problem that produces adverse effects that reduce the life and safety of the component.
To solve this problem, Samsung researchers have used for the first time an anode made with a silver-carbon composite layer (Ag-C). In testing, this prototype demonstrated increased capacity, longer life, and also improved overall safety.
Also, this compound allowed reducing the volume of the battery, approximately 50% compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries.
“The product of this study could be the seed of technology for safer, high-performance batteries in the future,” explains Dongmin In, project leader. “In the future, we will continue to develop and refine solid-state battery materials and manufacturing technologies to take electric car battery innovation to the next level.”
In this new car you don’t need keys to open its doors, just your face and its Face ID
We do not usually talk much about cars at Tecnoxplora, because we usually do so when they offer us some type of functionality closely related to technology, as is the case with this new vehicle that Cadillac has presented in China.
It is the XT 4 , a vehicle that is not new, it had already been presented last year, but that in its landing in the Asian country has added an interesting function. It involves the introduction of an identification system similar to Apple’s Face ID that allows the car to be opened “by the face” without the need for keys or traditional cards.
Access your car as if it were already open
We are not going to discover how a car is opened, the arrival of remote controls meant a great leap in comfort when opening cars, later the cards arrived, which with having them stored in our pocket allowed us to access and start Car.
But these methods have a problem, and that is that the moment the keys or the card fall into someone else’s hands, we lose control of the car. In this case, Cadillac has incorporated into the Chinese version of its XT4 a facial scanner similar to the one used by iPhones in their front camera, to identify users and unlock the phone just by looking at it.
In this case it is a facial recognition system that is in the door frame. This system has three cameras, two infrared and one RGB . According to Cadillac, it can capture up to 106 unique points of our face to differentiate ourselves from other people. Once the vehicle has been identified, it is unlocked in just two seconds .
A system that allows you to store up to eight faces, so they could use it, or open all of them just by showing their face at the door. A method that seems quite simple to use thanks to its location. Since with the simple gesture of approaching the door to open the vehicle, it should have already identified us, even in low light conditions thanks to infrared cameras.
But it is not the only alternative opening method that this Cadillac has, because the firm has also included a fingerprint reader to be able to open the car just by placing our finger on it.
It is also possible to access it by entering a PIN that will also open the door. It seems that this method of opening the car with Face ID for the moment will be exclusive to the Chinese model, and it is not known if it will be taken to the West at some point.
Something that would make sense, if we take into account that in Asia there are not so many reluctance to face scanning. Although we do not take into account the success of Face ID on iPhones around the world, this function would also be expected in Cadillacs in other regions.
In any case, it serves as an example of what they have evolved and what they have ahead to evolve cars together with technology.
Globalization Closes The Loop: Chinese Industry Has Started To Go To Cheaper Countries
China’s accession to the World Trade Organization was a point of no return for the global economy. During the following years, thousands of European and American companies would find in the Asian giant an inexhaustible source of cheap workers, stability, and logistics. Chinese economic success is largely explained by “outsourcing”, by attracting Western industries.
Now, globalization has closed the loop. China has begun to suffer the same effect.
Myanmar- The Financial Times tells it in this article: Some Chinese automakers are opening production plants in Myanmar. The country, traditionally dominated by the Japanese industry, experiences a renewed appetite for vehicles. In recent years, sales have increased fivefold. China wants to get a piece of the cake. And the best way to get it is by manufacturing there.
Transfer. Traditionally, Myanmar had imported parts made in China and other Asian countries and then assembled the cars at national plants. In recent years, brands such as The Shining Star Group (including the popular Changhe Q35 SUV) have opened factories to produce vehicles (in their entirety. One of them, in Mandalay, opened in August last year and aims to produce 5,000 annual cars.
Why? Cost and efficiency. Myanmar is poorer than in China, and its workers are paid less. Burmese consumers want access to versatile, functional, and cheap cars, unconcerned about the value of the most recognized Japanese brands; and they don’t want to pay the premium for importing foreign cars. One plus one, two: China finds it more profitable to make them abroad than to distribute the pieces from its plants.
Flashy- Nothing that has not happened in the last twenty years in other countries. What is unique here is the reversal of roles: until now, China has detracted from industry to other countries thanks to its low wages (it makes 30% of the cars); now the opposite has begun to happen. The country’s great competitive advantage, the cost that allowed it to fill the planet with “Made in China” products, is fading.
The future is more like “Made in Myanmar”.
Other countries. Or to Vietnam. Or to Indonesia. Or even to Mexico. They are three of the countries that are receiving the delocalized industry from China, focused on a conversion towards added value. Africa is also benefiting. A Chinese worker charges around € 500 a month; an Ethiopian, recipient of Chinese production, about € 30. Circumstance spread across the continent, where China has woven extensive relationships.
Including the USA- The circle has been completed to such an extent that some Chinese plants have landed in the United States, whose current president, Donald Trump, has for years accused China of “stealing” its industry. The most paradigmatic case is Fuyao, a manufacturer of automobile windows, the owner of a plant in Ohio, and the protagonist of the documentary American Factory. There are other examples, like Keer or the failed attempt at Tranlin Paper.
As they explain here, in this case, it is not about lower wages, but about efficiency and logistics: producing in China is still cheaper in terms of wages (although less and less every day), but there are associated costs (distribution, shipping, inventories, etc.) that balance the balance.
Tesla Factory Forced To Close Due To Coronavirus
Electric car manufacturing does not seem to be an essential service in the period of the pandemic in which we live. However, those responsible for Tesla’s factory, located in Fremont, California, do not seem to agree with the idea.
Alameda County officials do not regard the factory as an “essential service”. For this reason, they ordered it to be closed to help fight the spread of the new coronavirus.
However, they say the company can maintain “minimal basic operations”, as described in the Alameda County Health Order that provides, in addition to closing “non-essential” businesses, protection measures for local citizens.
The decision contradicts the opinion of Tesla’s head of human resources, Valerie Workman. She would have written in an email, sent to employees, that the company is considered an “essential business”, so it would be exempt from the closing order. “People need access to transportation and energy, and we are essential to provide them, “Workman wrote in the message.
In an internal memo, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, underestimated the pandemic. He said the risk of death from coronavirus is “much less than the risk of driving your car home”. The businessman also said that employees who feel bad or uncomfortable could stay at home. However, it is not clear whether the company will offer paid leave to these professionals.
The billionaire’s speech goes against all the recommendations of public health experts in the world. The demand for social isolation and constant hand washing is unanimous.
Also, it is recommended that people leave their homes only to perform essential activities, such as buying food or going to the doctor.
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