Connect with us

Published

on

A tidal turbine weighing 680 metric tons and dubbed “the world’s most powerful” has started grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, an archipelago located north of mainland Scotland.

The news marks another major step forward for the U.K.’s nascent marine energy sector. 

In an announcement Wednesday, Scottish engineering firm Orbital Marine Power explained how its 2 megawatt O2 turbine had been anchored in a body of water called the Fall of Warness, with a subsea cable linking it to a local electricity network on land. 

It’s expected that the turbine, which is 74-meters long, will “operate in the waters off Orkney for the next 15 years” and have “the capacity to meet the annual electricity demand of around 2,000 UK homes.”

The turbine is also set to send power to a land-based electrolyzer that will generate so-called green hydrogen. In a statement, Orbital Marine Power’s CEO Andrew Scott described Wednesday’s news as “a major milestone for the O2.”

Funding for the O2’s construction has come from public lenders via Abundance Investment. The Scottish government has also provided £3.4 million (around $4.72 million) of support through its Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.

Michael Matheson, the Scottish government’s cabinet secretary for net zero, energy and transport said his country was “ideally-placed to harness the enormous global market for marine energy.”

“The deployment of Orbital Marine Power’s O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine, is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in our journey to net zero,” he went on to add.

Looking to the future, Orbital Marine Power said it was “setting its sights” on the commercialization of its tech via the deployment of multi-megawatt arrays.

With miles of coastline, the U.K. as a whole is home to a number of projects related to marine energy.

In April, it was announced that a year-long research project focusing on the potential of tidal, wave and floating wind technology had secured support from Marine-i, a program centered around innovation in areas such as marine energy.

The project will be based on the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago located off the southwest coast of England, and led by Isles of Scilly Community Venture, Planet A Energy and Waves4Power.

There’s also potential when it comes to rivers. Back in March, the Port of London Authority gave the go ahead for trials of tidal energy technology on a section of the River Thames, a move which could eventually help to decarbonize operations connected to the river.

While interest in marine-based energy systems appears to be growing, the current footprint of the industry and its technologies remains small.

Figures from Ocean Energy Europe show that only 260 kilowatts (kW) of tidal stream capacity was added in Europe last year, while just 200 kW of wave energy was installed.

By contrast, 2020 saw 14.7 gigawatts of wind energy capacity installed in Europe, according to industry body WindEurope.

Continue Reading

Environment

CEO says Ford is ‘getting close’ to Level 3 autonomous driving that enables ‘hands and eyes off’

Published

on

By

CEO says Ford is 'getting close' to Level 3 autonomous driving that enables 'hands and eyes off'

In a recent interview, Ford CEO Jim Farley discussed the American automaker’s progress in autonomous driving, stating that it has achieved Level 3, which allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road. However, it’ll still be a while before Ford customers get to test it out.

Autonomous driving remains a hot topic in the world of EV innovation, but much like the 1960s vision of a post-millennium future full of flying cars, true self-driving vehicles are taking much longer to come to reality than anticipated.

Despite its name, Tesla’s “Full-Self Driving” feature is not even close to the Level 4 standard that truly represents such capabilities. In fact, Tesla’s Autopilot is not even Level 3 by SAE standards; the only automaker to deliver vehicles with that level of autonomy is Mercedes-Benz and its Drive Pilot ADAS. Still, that feature is only authorized to operate on approved highways in the US at speeds below 40 mph.

Level 3 autonomy means the driver can take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road, and the car will be in control (and liable for any accidents). Most automakers, like Ford, have achieved Level 2 autonomous driving, which enables hands-free but eyes up.

In fact, Ford’s BlueCruise won Consumer Reports’ top spot for driver assistance systems in 2023, beating out GM’s Super Cruise. Tesla placed seventh. Recently, Ford CEO Jim Farley shared an update on the automaker’s progress in autonomous driving, which has already reached Level 3 at the prototype stage.

Ford autonomous
Ford’s Level 2 BlueCruise autonomous driving feature / Source: Ford Motor Company

Ford CEO: Level 3 autonomous driving coming in 2026

In a recent interview with Bloomberg TV, Ford CEO Jim Farley relayed that the company has already been testing out Level 3 autonomous driving, and the technology is about two years away from making its way to passenger EVs. Per Farley:

We’re getting really close. We can do it now pretty regularly with a prototype, but doing it in a cost-effective way is just the progress we’re going to need to make.

Level 3 autonomy will allow you to go hands and eyes off the road on the highway in a couple years so then your car becomes like an office. You could do a conference call and all sorts of stuff.

Farley didn’t share any details of how Ford intends to achieve Level 3 autonomous driving or whether the automaker is exploring LiDAR or vision camera technologies… or both. In 2022, Ford absorbed its autonomous driving arm, Argo AI, stating that full self-driving was too far off.

Given the quick success of hands-free driving through Level 2 ADAS, Level 3 feels like a natural next step for the industry and feels much more plausible than full autonomy being promised by other automakers. All eyes will be on 2026 to see if Ford can deliver a mass-market EV with Level 3 autonomous driving capabilities.

We will keep enjoying hands free driving with BlueCruise, Super Cruise, and Autopilot until then.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Continue Reading

Environment

Steep discounts boost EV registrations in April as Toyota, Ford, Rivian lead growth

Published

on

By

Steep discounts boost EV registrations in April as Toyota, Ford, Rivian lead growth

Ford, Rivian, and Toyota led the growth in April as US EV registrations perked up. The growth comes after drastic price cuts and other incentives led to over $10,000 in savings on some models.

Despite talk of cooldown, electric vehicle sales are still growing. Leading EV brands, except Tesla, saw significant growth in April 2024 registrations compared to the previous year.

According to new S&P Global Mobility vehicle data (via Automotive News), EV registrations were up 14% in April. With 102,317 electric cars registered in April, EVs accounted for 7.4% of total light-vehicle registrations.

EVs outpaced the overall light-vehicle market, which had a 7.3% gain. The report notes that the growth was driven by “bonus cash, subsidized financing and lease deals,” as many EV prices reach price parity with their comparable ICE models.

“Automakers are bringing EV prices down to the ICE level and it’s moving the merchandise,” according to Tom Libby, associate director of industry analysis at S&P Global Mobility.

April-EV-registrations
2024 Ford F-150 Lightning Flash (Source: Ford)

Significant deals charge up April EV registrations

Several electric models had double-digit registration growth in April compared to the year before. Leading the way was Toyota’s bZ4X, with 4,666 registrations, up 646% YOY.

However, to be fair, Toyota only sold 625 bZ4X models last April after a slow ramp-up following a recall in 2022 that halted production.

April-EV-registrations
Ford Mustang Mach E at a Tesla Supercharger (Source: Ford)

Ford’s Mustang Mach-E had the second-highest growth at 287%. In April, 5,538 Mach-Es were handed over, up from 1,384 last year. The growth comes after Ford slashed prices and introduced new lease incentives earlier this year.

The Ford F-150 Lightning, America’s best-selling electric pickup, had 96% more registrations (2,509 vs 1,282) in April than the year before. Ford also introduced significant incentives on the EV pickup.

Place Top 10 EV models in April April 2024 Registrations April 2023 Registrations % Change YOY
1 Tesla Model Y 32,922 34,542 -4.7%
2 Tesla Model 3 8,912 19,844 -55.1%
3 Ford Mustang Mach-E 5,358 1,384 +287.1%
4 Toyota bZ4X 4,666 625 +646.6%
5 Hyundai IONIQ 5 4,078 2,117 +92.6%
6 Rivian R1S 2,855 1,259 +126.8%
7 Ford F-150 Lightning 2,509 1,282 +95.7%
8 Tesla Cybertruck 2,181 0 N/A
9 Kia EV6 2,178 1,124 +93.8%
10 Tesla Model X 2,094 1,883 +5.8%
Top ten EV models by registrations in April 2024 (Source: S&P Global Mobility)

Rivian’s R1S also saw triple-digit year-over-year growth in registrations. The R1S had 2,855 registrations, up 127% from the 1,259 in April 2023.

Kia’s EV6 had 94% more registrations, with 2,178, compared to 1,124 in April 2023. Meanwhile, the Hyundai IONIQ 5 continued its hot streak with 4,078 registrations, up 93% YOY.

Rivian-R1S-EV-registrations-April
Rivian R1S (Source: Rivian)

Tesla was the only automaker in the top ten, with EV registrations slipping in April. The Model Y had 32,922 registrations, down 4.7% from 35,542. Tesla’s Model 3 registrations were down 55% YOY with 8,912.

Although many reports suggest Tesla is dragging down the sector, several events, like the new Model 3 launch, contributed to fewer registrations.

Hyundai-new-IONIQ-model
Hyundai IONIQ 5 (Source: Hyundai)

The momentum is expected to continue, with several automakers introducing even more discounts and savings opportunities this month.

Ford slashed Mustang Mach-E lease prices in June with an up to 400% discount. Hyundai is offering a $7,500 cash bonus on all EV models, including the IONIQ 5, IONIQ 6, and new Kona Electric.

Several new EVs are already hitting the market with significant discounts. Chevy Equinox EV lease prices fell to as low as $379 per month, while the Blazer EV is listed as low as $369 per month.

If you’re looking for a new EV, now is the perfect time to start shopping. We can help you get started today. You can use our links below to find deals on popular EV models in your area.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Continue Reading

Environment

Tesloid’s Model Y Camping Tent Gen 2 released – here are all the new features

Published

on

By

Tesloid’s Model Y Camping Tent Gen 2 released – here are all the new features

Drive a Tesla Model Y? Love the outdoors? Then you’re going to love Tesloid’s Model Y Camping Tent – Gen 2! Keep reading to learn more about all its terrific new features, plus get free expedited shipping US-wide!

Model Y Camping Tent – Gen 2

Popular US accessory maker Tesloid‘s “big, tiny home” for your Model Y lets you have outdoor fun without the hassle – no leaky pup tents, no sleeping on the cold ground. It’s 100% waterproof, and you sleep on a mattress in the back of the car. (Model Y Camping Tent – Gen 2 fits all model years of the Model Y.)

Teslas are perfect for camping – no toxic tailpipe emissions! – so you can back your Model Y right into the tent. Suppose it gets too chilly or hot when you’re ready to sleep. In that case, Model Ys have the Camp Mode feature that maintains cabin temperature and powers electronics using the USB ports and low-voltage outlet without draining the car’s battery. 

When you want to go out in your Model Y, you can close off and seal the tent, even on the side that connects to the car.

What’s new with Gen 2

Tesloid has taken a great Model Y Camping Tent and made it even better. Gen 2 is more robust – it has a dome-shaped exoskeleton that can withstand stronger winds, plus three sets of straps to mount it to the car. And like Gen 1, it’s bug-proof.

Model Y Camping Tent – Gen 2 only takes 15 minutes to set up and 10 minutes to take down – nearly half the time of setting up Gen 1. Plus, when folded up, it fits inside the frunk, leaving the trunk wide open for all your other gear.

Gen 2 has a tighter seal around the Model Y, and it comes with lightweight fiberglass poles and sturdy ripstop fabric.

Model Y Camping Tent – Gen 2 has 40% more floor space, with a 7-foot ceiling, 9.5 ft x 9.5 ft floor space, and 25 square feet of awning. And that’s not including the sleeping area inside the car. It also now features skylights and a flap that lets you easily access your charge port.

Photo: Tesloid

Let’s go camping, Tesla-style

You can order the Model Y Camping Tent – Gen 2 from the Tesloid website today for $499.99, and Tesloid offers free expedited shipping US-wide.

Tesloid also offers a Model Y Camping Bundle for a discounted price of $549.98 that includes an inflatable mattress specially designed to fit the back of the Model Y. Get ready to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing comfort.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Continue Reading

Trending