Author Archives: Kaczmarek Paweł

Ford announced that it will go all-electric in Europe by 2030

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Whether we like it or not, everything seems to indicate that the future of cars is electric. A few days after Jaguar informed that it will only offer electric cars from 2025, carmaker Ford follows the same path. It says its cars line-up in Europe will be fully electric by the year 2030. 

Ford emphasis the transition process to EV-production over the next decade. The company’s plan is to achieve by 2024 commercial vehicle lineup which will be “zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid.” By 2026, Ford claims “100 percent” of its passenger vehicle lineup will be the same. Moreover, by 2030, carmaker expects two-thirds of its commercial vehicle sales to be all-electric or plug-in hybrid, while all of its passenger vehicles sold will be entirely electric. 

Automaker said it will spend $1 billion to update its factory in Cologne, in order to produce fully electric cars. “Our announcement today to transform our Cologne facility, the home of our operations in Germany for 90 years, is one of the most significant Ford has made in over a generation,” said Stuart Rowley, president of Ford in Europe. “It underlines our commitment to Europe and a modern future with electric vehicles at the heart of our strategy for growth.”

Ford, having a 15 percent share of the local market, is the biggest car brand to make such a statement in Europe.

Multiple European countries have set goals to ban conventional gas-powered vehicles and trucks, with Norway targeting 2025 and France as well as United Kingdom – 2030 and 2040, respectively. There are also ambitious targets in many states in the US, with California leading the pack, vowing to outlaw the selling of gas-powered cars by 2035.

The initiative of Ford to step up its electrification plans is intended to persuade those on Wall Street who have been anxious about the potential of the company to keep up with Tesla, which over the last few years has been the only carmaker to successfully develop an EV business.

Automotive electrification is definitely an expensive and tough process for all car producers. However, it will be soon inevitable to meet standards and stay in the market. 

Source:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56084500

Volkswagen’s mobile charging robot

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Everything seems to indicate that the future of cars is electric. However, automotive industry is facing a real challenge when it comes to the charging infrastructure. In comparison to gasoline cars, which can be refuelled in minutes, almost everywhere, recharging an electric car is definitely more complex. Due to that automotive brands constantly come up with new ideas and projects concerning chargers, which simplify charging process. 

Volkswagen Group has recently developed a mobile electric vehicle charger that can autonomously reach parking area, recharge electric vehicle and then came back to its dock station without the intervention of humans. 

The charging robot prototype can be started via an app launched by the vehicle owner as well as through communication with the car itself. Once the connecting process begins, the mobile charger turns on — its “face” lights up, and two digital eyes open on the display. Afterwards it takes the battery trailer, heads for the vehicle and plugs it into the charging socket. The mobile charger opens the charging socket flap as well as connects or disconnects the plug fully autonomously. The mobile charger is also able to move and then connect the vehicle to an energy storage unit. When car is done charging the robot collects the battery and brings it back to the charging racks. The charging system is designed especially with a view to VW models, although it should work with other electric vehicles. 

The mobile charging robot doesn’t have a release date yet. The company communicated that it has reached prototype status and it will be “comprehensively further developed.” Volkswagen is already building out large fast-charging networks in the US and Europe as well as creating various charging products including a DC wallbox that charges up to 22 kilowatts. “Setting up an efficient charging infrastructure for the future is a central task that challenges the entire sector,” Volkswagen Group Components CEO Thomas Schmall said in a statement. “We are developing solutions to help avoid costly stand-alone measures. The mobile charging robot and our flexible quick-charging station are just two of these solutions.”

The prototype, which VW Group created, shows that automakers focuses on expanding charging infrastructure over the next few years to meet the expected demand that will arise as car manufacturers produce and sell more electric vehicles which are gaining in popularity lately.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/12/28/22202913/volkswagen-charging-robot-electric-cars-vw

https://www.engadget.com/vw-mobile-ev-charging-robot-prototype-164836111.html

On demand groceries delivery in only 10 minutes

Reading Time: 2 minutesEach of us at least once experienced “emergency” shopping, such as when we are missing a key ingredient, or quickly replenishing our fridge based on what we fancy consuming at the moment. Thanks to the new on-demand grocery delivery startup „Gorillas”, you can now do it without leaving home, and enjoy your purchase as soon as 10 minutes after placing the order. 

Gorillas

 

Founded by Kağan Sümer and Jörg Kattner in May this year and operating in Berlin and Cologne, Gorillas delivers groceries within an average of ten minutes. Unlike most popular economy models, it employs deliverers directly and is highlighting its ability to get fresh groceries, along with other household items, to shoppers at very short period of time and at retail prices. The idea is that the startup can address a large part of the groceries market that falls outside of a weekly bulk shop.

Gorillas CEO Kağan Sümer emphasises the lack of supermarkets that are focused on the needs of the consumers. Nowadays mass supermarkets, and their delivery models, are designed so that the consumer organises their grocery shopping around the needs of the supermarket and supply chain. The most popular long shelf life products with longer expiry dates encourage us to shop in bulk, instead of buying products that we actually need at the moment.  

“The biggest problem is that bulk purchases are super served. What I mean by that is this: all of the supermarket infrastructure is shaped around bulk purchases,” tells Sümer. 

Company’s mission was to serve people with what they need and when they need it. Its hypothesis was that people would appreciate this form of shopping and shift their interaction with groceries to more on demand purchases.

But how is it possible to deliver orders in only 10 minutes? “Through our network of centrally located fulfilment centres we are able to service customers in a small delivery radius. Ultimately we strive to deliver an efficient and fast service with full transparency on delivery times,” explains the Gorillas CEO. 

With a slogan: “Faster than you,” and a delivery fee of just €1.80 Gorillas company definitely hit the tastes of customers and already achieved a great success. That is why Gorillas plans expansion over Germany and promises to be available across Europe, operating over 60 fulfilment centres, by the end of Q2 next year. 

In my opinion company offers solution many people have been waiting for. If only this project manages to gain publicity, it can definitely initiate a new way of grocery shopping. 

 

Sources:

https://gorillas.io

https://thespoon.tech/germany-based-gorillas-raises-44m-for-speedy-grocery-delivery/

Izera – Polish electric car

Reading Time: 2 minutesIzera is the long-awaited first Polish electric car. The name of the brand, logo as well as two concept models were unveiled during online presentation which was held in July 2020 by ElectroMobility Poland. 

The brand name Izera is inspired by the Izery Mountains on Poland’s border with the Czech Republic. According to information gathered by Dziennik.pl, the company’s slogan, “a million reasons to drive on”, refers to an earlier statement by Polish government expressing hopes to have a million electric cars on Poland’s roads by 2025.

“The name is friendly and easy to pronounce and remember for people outside of Poland. Izera also has European ambitions and will be available outside of Poland,” explained Paweł Tomaszek of ElectroMobility Poland. The manufacturer ensures that Izera cars will be affordable and available in favourable monthly instalment plans.

ElectroMobility Poland, founded in 2016, is owned by the state energy companies: Tauron, PGE, Enea and Energa. The main idea of the project was to develop an electric car that uses components from Polish suppliers wherever possible. Unfortunately, as the presentation showed, this was only partly achieved. The prototypes were designed by a team of Polish stylists working in collaboration with designers from Italian company Torino Design. As reported by Bartłomiej Derski from the Polish publication WysokieNapiecie, the vehicle developers will purchase an existing electric car platform on which the electric car is to be based. According to EMP representatives, this is the only way to meet the tight schedule. EMP President Piotr Zaremba said that the company is under negotiations with two potential partners, and although he does not share the details, it seems clear that it will not be a Polish company. Automotive journalist Marek Wieruszewski emphasised that Izera would be a Polish electric car brand rather than a Polish electric car as such. 

However, only very limited information is available regarding specification and technical details. ElectroMobility Poland announced that the Izera would come with two battery variants of 40 and 60 kWh. The cars should be able to charge to 80% at a fast-charging station in 30 minutes and should have a range of 400 kilometres. Izera should be also capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in approximately 8 seconds and reach the maximum speed of 160 km/h. There is no specific parameters of electric motor or platform yet.

ElectroMobility Poland plans to open a factory and production line in mid-2021 in Silesia in southern Poland, with the first cars hitting the roads two years later. It expects to create around 3,500 jobs and a further 3,000 at a later stage. 

As for now it’s definitely too early to make any predictions regarding the Izera future. However, the competition within electric car industry is strong and constantly growing. It will be really hard to enter this market successfully in three years time, unless prices are actually very competitive.  

 

https://izera.pl

https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izera_(marka_samochodów)

https://www.motofakty.pl/artykul/polski-samochod-elektryczny-co-wiemy-o-marce-izera.html

Production car speed record & the controversy

Reading Time: 2 minutesThe SSC Tuatara claims to be the fastest production car in the world, after hitting the maximum speed of impressive 331 mph (532 km/h) and setting a two-way average of 316 mph (508 km/h) on a seven-mile stretch of closed road. Unfortunately, after analysing provided data, the official onboard video seems to have many incorrectnesses.

Shelby SuperCars (SSC) is an American car manufacturer founded in 1998. Brand gained recognisability back in 2007 when SSC Ultimate Aero set record for fastest production vehicle as verified by Guinness World Records, reaching a top speed 256 mph (412 km/h) averaged over two runs in opposite directions. Now, after 13 years of research and development SSC is back in the game with its latest gem – Tuatara model. The concept of this hypercar saw the light of day for the first time in 2011 – as the replacement for the Ultimate Aero. Tuatara weighs only 1,247 kg and is powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.9-litre flat-plane crank V8 producing 1,750 horsepower on E85 fuel. Of course, power is not everything. The Tuatara’s breathtaking performance comes to a great extent from the refined design of its carbon fibre bodywork as well as advanced technology. 

Tuatara

SSC announced that on 10th October, 2020, the Tuatara in production specification form broke a top speed record with one direction at 532,93 km/h  beating the previous record of the Koenigsegg Agera RS by astonishing 74,99 km/h (from 457,94 km/h). The run took place on the exactly same road – the Nevada Highway 160.

However, the ease with which Tuatara hit 500 km/h quickly started to raise some doubts. Shmee150 (British car vlogger and YouTuber) was one of the first who questioned the credibility of new record and provided exact analysis in his video. Indeed, after making some basic calculations it becomes clear that there are a number of areas that don’t quite add up. Starting from the time travelling between the fixed medians on the road and the painted street markings that certainly doesn’t match to the displayed speed, finishing on dashboard data being out of sync as well as technical side with the engine and gearbox configuration (gear ratios) which seem to be inconsistent. 

According to Julian Thomas, specialist and Racelogic (professional performance meter that become an industry standard way of measuring speed and acceleration) founder, the actual speed of Tuatara on the recorder run was only around 350 km/h.

The CEO of SSC in his official statement has already confirmed second attempt so there are no questions surrounding the record. Nevertheless, this situation will definitely leave a stain on it and the company itself. As for now, potential clients will probably hold off on placing orders until everything clears up. Let’s hope that SSC in the next run will prove that Tuatara is really capable of crossing the 500 km/h barrier.

 

Sources:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/31/success/ssc-tuatara-speed-record/index.html

https://www.topgear.com/car-news/supercars/sscs-tuatara-fastest-car-world-331mph-top-speed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSC_North_America