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Category: Post Car Society

Solar Cell manufacturing yield

The MIT is reporting on its own research, trying to explain why certain high-efficiency solar modules are losing efficiency after a few months of operation The difference seems to be in the manufacturing process, in which lower temperatures during firing and keeping out certain impurities seems to reflect favourably on the stability of the produced cells.

Getting higher yield and better long-term stability is key to achieving cheaper solar modules, which will in turn lead to cheaper electricity from sustainable sources.

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Daimler to convert engine production to electric in Untertürkheim

Elektrek reports:Daimler to convert engine production to electric at its largest factory, fewer workers required causing labor issues

According to that, the Untertürkheim Plant is going to be the place where Daimler will be developing and building their electric motors. Currently 19k people are working there, specialised in ICE building and construction. Electric motors are simpler, have less parts and are easier to construct, so less people will be needed.

The transition will be challenging and structurally transformative for the whole region.


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Opel: Giving up or going all in?

GM is considering one of two strategies: Giving up and selling the Opel Brand to Peugot, or going all-in electric cars, with the sell-off being more likely.

Selling off Opel would likely kill the Ampera, though.

Being deep into the red for many years, Opel does not have the resources to do both, develop electric cars and new models with ICE, says CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann in an article in Automotive News.

The purported end-date for ICE cars at Opel is weird, though, because they speak about 2030. That’s actually quite late, considering that Smart is ending ICE variants in North America and Norway this year.


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Theft of solar modules on the rise

Die Klimaretter are reporting: Theft of solar modules on the rise (article in German).

The article makes and supports the claim that solar modules are being stolen by organized crime in Germany, and explains ways to make that harder to perform and the goods easier to track. Solutions include marking and registration of all modules, GPS/GSM combos in components and special screws that require specific tools to remove panels without damaging them.

Wind turbines are also subject to theft and damage, but here mostly for the copper cables in them.

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Open Fast Charging Alliance: Fast Carge operators in 6 countries partner

Five operators of fast charge networks for electric vehicles  in six european countries just announced to cooperate, reports electrek, creating a unified network of more than 500 fast chargers. Operators are Fastned (Netherlands), Sodetrel (France), Smatrics (Austria), Grønn Kontakt (Norway) and GOtthard FASTcharge (Switzerland). Notably absent, Germany.

The alliance will establish bilateral roaming agreements between themselves, allowing drivers that are members of one network to charge in all of these networks.

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Video: 20 Years of continuous improvement in crash safety

Continual improvement is sometimes hard to see, because each iteration, each incremental step itself is tiny so that the actual change escapes our attention.

Also, just living our lives, our time sense is sometimes distorted. Me for example, I was almost 30 already in the late Nineties, and while that is already 20 years ago, it feels like yesterday to me.

So car safety in the Nineties, compared to now? It was crap. Check this out:

We do learn, and things do get better. Change is not radical, most of the time it’s evolutionary. And to make it visible, you have to look really hard and contract now and then.

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CO2 down in Germany

ecomento reports (article in German) the amount of CO2 emissions in Germany are very slightly down (actually 0.3% less than last year are more like stable), despite more CO2 emissions due to traffic. On the other hand, we are down almost 28% compared to 1990, so there is actual progress.

Savings are mostly in the energy production sector, the German Energiewende actually works. The savings are eaten up by traffic, because Germany is way behind when it comes to electric mobility.

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