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Major car companies partner for Europe-wide EV charging network

Engadget

A group of the biggest names in the car industry have announced a joint partnership to develop a Europe-wide high-power charging (HPC) network for electric vehicles. The venture, named IONITY, draws on expertise from BMW, Daimler, Ford, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, and aims to launch 400 HPC stations by 2020. The first 20 stations will open this year, located in Germany, Norway and Austria at intervals of 120 kilometers, with around 100 more expected further afield in 2018. Each HPC point will support a variety of electric cars, and let multiple customers charge up at the same time. And at 350kW capacity per point, charging times will be significantly reduced, juicing up a Porsche Mission E (on the market in 2019) to 80 percent in just 15 minutes -- that's a range of 400 kilometers in the same time it takes to grab a coffee.


UK's 4G mobile coverage 'worse than Albania, Panama and Peru'

The Independent - Tech

Britain is "languishing in the digital slow lane" with 4G connectivity lagging behind the networks of countries like Romania, Albania, Panama and Peru, according to the Government's official infrastructure advisers. Market provision of mobile services has left too many "digital deserts" and "not spots" where users cannot get 4G signals, even within major city centres, the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) found. It called on the Government to step in to ensure that basic talk, text and data services are available to all Britons, wherever they live, work and travel, and to make the country ready for next-generation 5G communications. The NIC was asked in March to advise ministers on how the UK can become a "world leader" in the deployment of 5G, which potentially offers ultra-fast, ultra-reliable, ultra-high capacity seamless connectivity to support future technologies like augmented reality, connected vehicles and the "Internet of things". London has UK's best 4G coverage, but slowest speeds But the Commission found that there was still much work to be done to haul the UK out of its 54th position in global rankings for 4G, with typical users able to access the service only 53% of the time.


Sell last gasoline car by 2035 to meet climate goals, study says

The Japan Times

OSLO – The last gasoline-powered car will have to be sold by about 2035 to put the world on track to limit global warming to the most stringent goal set by world leaders last year, a study said on Thursday. The report, by a Climate Action Tracker (CAT) backed by three European research groups, said a drastic shift was needed toward clean electric cars and fuel efficiency since transport emits about 14 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions. Last December, world leaders at a Paris summit set a goal of limiting a rise in temperatures to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times while "pursuing efforts" for a much tougher 1.5 C ceiling. "We calculate that the last gasoline/diesel car will have to be sold by roughly 2035," the CAT report said, to make the car fleet consistent with staying below 1.5 C. It assumes the last fossil-fuel vehicles would be on the roads until 2050. The CAT is one of the main groups that monitors government actions to restrict global warming and includes researchers who are authors on U.N. climate reports.


Nissan's latest EV conceals the hottest of hot desks

Engadget

To prove the versatility of electric vehicles -- and probably just for the heck of it -- Nissan has transformed its workhorse e-NV200 electric van into a mobile office with a 106-mile range. UK-based design shop Studio Hardie took the humble delivery van/London taxi and loaded it up with all the slick amenities of a modern co-working space, from the minimalist leather-and-chrome desk chairs to the "barista quality" espresso machine. Judging by the company's buzzword-laden press announcement, Nissan sees the awkwardly named e-NV200 WORKSPACe as the future of office work -- not just the future of transportation. The concept, "not only highlights the customizable potential of its electric van," the release says, "it paints a picture of what desk-based employment could look like in the future as hot-desking and flexible working grows in popularity across the globe." To give digital nomads or office-free desk jockeys a comfortable place to work, Studio Hardie has built out the van's cargo area with a fold-out desk with a touchscreen HP computer, smartphone-controlled LED lighting, a wireless phone charger, Bluetooth speakers, a micro-fridge tucked into a drawer and the aforementioned pop-up coffee machine concealed beneath a countertop.


Japan makes big push for hydrogen fuel cells scorned by Elon Musk as impractical

The Japan Times

Elon Musk may think hydrogen-powered vehicles are rubbish, but Toyota Motor Corp. and a cadre of Japan's leading manufacturers are betting otherwise -- and not just on cars. With the blessing of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Toyota is at the forefront of Japan's efforts to use hydrogen and fuel cells to power cars, heat homes and keep factories running. Other companies pursuing the technology include Panasonic Corp., Toshiba Corp. and JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. Japan's enthusiasm for hydrogen contrasts with growing momentum for electric cars in the U.S. and Europe, where automakers from Volkswagen AG to General Motors Co. are working on dozens of models due to be released in the next few years. It's one of the few ways the nation can both cut emissions and its reliance on imported fuels as it winds down nuclear power following the meltdown at Fukushima. "It's about increasing the number of players and putting in place hydrogen infrastructure in the most appropriate locations so that (the) hydrogen business becomes viable in 10 to 15 years," said Taiyo Kawai, project general manager at Toyota's R&D and Engineering Management Division.