HIGH 5! Here is the news update of the latest trends from the global technology and startup scene. HIGH 5 is published by Lab1886. This week’s topics are:
Free Now in Berlin +++ Commodity prices +++ Efficient electric prototype +++ Blockchain platform +++ Electric aircraft engine
Shared // Cities
Competing with Uber and others, Free Now launched its “Ride” service in Berlin on Wednesday. Vehicles and chauffeurs can be booked by app in the city center. The service has 700 registered drivers and should be cheaper than regular taxis. It is already available in Hamburg, with four more cities to follow by the end of the year.
Electric // Prototypes
Light vehicle pioneer Aptera Motors aims to build the most efficient electric car in the world. The planned prototype’s ultralight body resembles an aircraft fuselage; its three wheels are driven by hub motors. These features, plus a 100 kWh battery, should deliver a range of 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles). This would make the vehicle three times more energy-efficient than a conventional EV.
Source: IEEE Spectrum
Electric // Resources
As the main raw material in EV batteries, lithium is in high demand – but supply is also plentiful on the global market due to increased output from Australian mines and declining Chinese demand in response to EV subsidy cuts. So the price of lithium carbonate is 13 percent down on last year. But this won’t automatically cause battery prices to fall, because cobalt and nickel are scarce – and consequently expensive.
Source: Green Car Report
Connected // Blockchain
Earn money while driving: Continental, Hewlett Packard and technology developer crossbar.io have unveiled a blockchain-based data trading platform. Drivers can earn digital currency by providing manufacturers and other suppliers with their vehicle data. Thanks to the blockchain technology, this information can be transmitted securely.
Aerial Mobility // Electric
The main obstacle to e-aviation is developing lighter battery-powered drives. Collins Aerospace has set up a high-voltage laboratory for research into batteries with higher energy densities. Initially, research will focus on hybrid-electric drives, but ultimately, the company aims to develop an all-electric aircraft turbine with a one-megawatt output. The technology could be used in air taxis, but would also enable scheduled electric flights.
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