Battery Breakthrough Could Triple EV Range

12 Dec by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Battery Breakthrough Could Triple EV Range

Photo via Noya Fields/Flickr

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New research at the University of Waterloo in Canada could lead to the development of batteries with triple the range of current battery technology for electric vehicles.

Quanan Pang, who led the research while a PhD candidate at Waterloo, and his fellow researchers made a breakthrough involving the use of negative electrodes made of lithium metal. The material has the potential to dramatically increase battery storage technology.

With increased energy density and therefore energy capacity, electric vehicles could see as much as three times the range on a single charge.

“This will mean cheap, safe, long-lasting batteries that give people much more range in their electric vehicles,” said Pang.

In developing the technology, two challenges arose for researchers. The first involved a risk of fires and explosions caused by microscopic structural changes to the lithium metal during repeated charge-discharge cycles. The second involved a reaction that creates corrosion and limits both how well the electrodes work and how long they last.

Researchers were able to solve both problems by adding a compound of phosphorus and sulfure to the electrolyte liquid carrying a charge within batteries.

The full research paper was published in the journal Joule.

“We wanted a simple, scalable way to protect the lithium metal,” said Pang, now a post-doctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “With this solution, we just add the compound and it works by itself.”

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12 Dec by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

FTR Trucking Conditions Index Spikes in October

The FTR Trucking Conditions Index for October, jumped to a reading of 9.48, way up from the previous month's level of 3.5.

A strong economy, pressure from hurricane recovery, and the upcoming ELD mandate have all created a tight market resulting in improved contract rates, according to FTR. While the TCI has hit a very high level, FTR believes there is potential for further upside during the first half of 2018.

“The TCI is nearing a double-digit number, which indicates that there are big opportunities for carriers with regard to both rates and the loads they choose to carry. Of course, there are still quite a few ‘ifs' in the near future,” said Jonathan Starks, COO of FTR. “If the economy can continue to grow at around a 3% rate in Q4 and 2018Q1, we will see freight demand maxing out any excess capacity.”

Any gains seen early next year will likely be followed by softening in industry conditions in the second half of 2018 due to slower freight growth, but it should still maintain solid conditions for carriers.

“If the ELD implementation and enforcement stay on track, the spring will bring capacity utilization over 100% and the freight transportation market will be scrambling to align loads and trucks,” said Starks. “If severe winter weather comes into play, transportation managers will be facing their toughest year since 2004. Carriers should be prepared for big changes, and big opportunities.”

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12 Dec by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Zonar Confirms ELD Data Transfer Works in FMCSA Testing

Zonar has successfully completed testing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to confirm that data transfer works between its Zonar Logs electronic logging solution and an authorized safety official's laptop.

The successful test meets the ELD mandate requirement for drivers to be able to transmit log data electronically while roadside to FMCSA's ELD monitoring software (eRODS) that state and federal law enforcement will use to check hours of service compliance when the mandate goes into effect on Dec. 18.

Zonar's ELD was able to transfer eight days of electronic logs successfully to the roadside inspector while roadside, with the data populating automatically in the monitoring system.

The testing took place on Dec. 5. Zonar participated with FMCSA on an ELD Data Transfer Demo Training exercise at the Dumfries, Va., Motor Carrier Service Center weigh station. The purpose of the exercise was to test a carrier's capability, while in a controlled environment, to electronically transmit ELD data wirelessly to law enforcement.

"Zonar is ELD self-certified and third-party validated by industry veteran and former FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg, and has successfully tested its ELD with FMCSA," said Fred Fakkema, vice president of compliance at Zonar. "With this end to end testing with federal regulators and a staff of compliance experts available, our customers and prospects can select our ELD solution with the utmost confidence."

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12 Dec by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

PepsiCo Orders 100 Tesla Semis

Photo: Tesla

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PepsiCo is the latest large fleet to make a significant investment in the recently announced Tesla Semi electric heavy-duty truck, reportedly ordering 100 vehicles.

This tops the 40-truck order from Anheuser-Busch, which had been the most substantial pre-order of the yet-to-be-released electric truck. Other high profile pre-orders have coem from such well-known companies as J.B. Hunt and Walmart.

It will be awhile before PepsiCo receives the Teslas -- the trucks are expected to go into production in 2019 – and the final price will depend on the model and spec of the trucks received by the beverage maker.

The base model Tesla Semi is priced at $150,000 while a version with advertised 500-mile range begins at $180,000. It costs $20,000 to pre-order either model of Tesla Semi --- unless a buyer opts to splurge on a special edition Founders Series Tesla Semi, which costs $200,000 to reserve and buy.

In a Reuters report, PepsiCo executives said they were evaluating which routes would be best suited for the Tesla's maximum range of 500 miles, but declined to say how much it paid for the pre-orders or if the company would be buying or leasing the trucks.

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