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Meet Volta Zero, an electric cargo bus for city hauling

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Folks, you’re looking at Volta Zero, Europe’s first all-electric commercial cargo bus. Volta Trucks is the brains behind the Zero, and the startup has an impressive resume. Volta is widely known as the first commercial vehicle manufacturer in Europe to have a proprietary e-Axle electric drivetrain.

Unlike other electric vehicles, the Zero’s e-Axle drivetrain comprises the electric motor, transmission, and axle in a single lightweight unit. Meanwhile, the modular lithium-ion phosphate battery pack is situated between the chassis rails. This design enables Volta to build tailor-made trucks for any commercial application.

“Commercial vehicles form the lifeblood of commerce and livelihoods in cities, but today’s large trucks dangerously impose themselves on our streets and dominate their surroundings,” said Rob Fowler, CEO of Volta Trucks. “With the launch of Volta Zero, we are changing the face of road transport.”

Don’t get us wrong, the Volta Zero is still a huge bus and is bigger than Rivian’s Amazon electric delivery van. Measuring almost 10-meters long and 3.5-meters in width, the body panels are crafted from renewable biodegradable resins and flax fibers. Developed by Swiss company Bcomp in collaboration with the European Space Agency, the Zero’s body panels are touted to be as strong and light as carbon-fiber, and yet uses 75-percent less CO2 to produce. The unique weave is processed using canola oil by British company Bamd to form the panels.

Despite this, the Volta Zero still weighs close to 16 tons, but it has a unique driving position to give the driver an edge when cruising narrow streets. Similar to a McLaren F1 or GMA T.50, the swiveling driver’s chair is situated in the middle of the cabin. This means having a 220-degree view of the outside environment. The driver also sits 1.8-meters lower to the ground for better inter-city visibility. Meanwhile, larger windows and a 360-degree camera allows for easier maneuverability while eliminating blind spots around the vehicle.

The Volta Zero has a top speed of 56 mph. Equipped with a 160 to 200 kWh battery pack, it achieves around 125 miles of range. And with up to 37.3 cubic meters (1,317 cubic feet) of cargo space, it has a maximum payload capacity of 9.6 tons.

Prototype testing of Volta Zero begins later next year, while the first production units are expected to arrive in early or mid-2022. The Zero also comes with standard ADAS driving aids including active steering, reversing assistant, lane change assist, lane departure warning, and an A.I.-based vehicle monitoring system.

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The Most Expensive NFTs Ever Purchased

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One of the earliest examples of an NFT collection on the Ethereum blockchain, CryptoPunks have grown to be among the most valuable collections in the world. They are a set of 10,000 unique, algorithmically-generated “Punk” characters that, according to their creators Larva Labs, served as the inspiration for the ERC-721 standard, an interface that now powers that majority of Ethereum-based NFTs. A CryptoPunk’s value is determined by the rarity of its attributes: the rarer the attributes, the more valuable the NFT.

CryptoPunk #5822 is one of the rarest of all, which explains its incredible selling price. Firstly, it has just one attribute, a feature that only 2% of the collection shares. That single attribute is a bandana, which is rare in itself, as only 5% of the collection sport one. The Punk’s skin type is alien, which is the biggest factor in pushing up this NFT’s value, as only 0.09% of the collection share this skin, a total of 9 NFTs out of a collection of 10,000. Punk #5822 was bought by Deepak Thapliyal, CEO of blockchain tech company Chain, for 8,000 ETH, roughly $23.7 million USD at the time of sale.

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Self-Repairing Electronics Are Closer To Reality Than You Think

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A research group led by Professor Yehonadav Bekenstein from the Faculty of Materials Sciences and Engineering and the Solid-State Institute at Technion was studying perovskite nanoparticles for their potential to provide a green alternative to toxic lead materials used heavily in electronics. In doing so, they found something unexpected.

The team found on a microscopic level that the nanocrystals moved a hole (damage) through the areas of a structure to self-heal. Surprised by this, the researchers drew up a code to analyze microscopic videos and understand the dynamics and movements within the crystal. The researchers realized that the damaged area, or hole, formed on the surface of the nanoparticles, then moved to energetically stable areas inside, and was finally “spontaneously ejected” out. Researchers explained that through this self-healing process, the nanocrystals essentially reverted back to being undamaged (per Technion). 

Researchers with Technion believe that this discovery is a key step toward understanding the processes by which perovskite nanoparticles can heal themselves. The team also thinks that perovskite nanoparticles should be used in solar panels and other electronic devices. The full study, published by Advanced Functional Materials and made available at the Wiley Online Library, is titled “Self-Healing of Crystal Voids in Double Perovskite Nanocrystals Is Related to Surface Passivation.”

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This Astonishing Vision AMG Sports EV Will Somehow Spawn Production Electric Cars

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It’s no secret that Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance division has been downsizing from high-strung, gas-fed internal combustion engines to lower-displacement mills infused with some form of hybrid or mild hybridization. The incoming AMG C63 S, for instance, will make do without its raucous 4.0-liter bi-turbo engine. Instead, it will have a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a mild-hybrid powertrain. The Manhart CR 700 is one of the last modified C 63 S wagons with AMG’s muscular turbocharged V8 motor.

Meanwhile, the Vision AMG concept harks the beginning of a zero-emissions future without sacrificing style or the brand’s hallmark “AMG driving experience.” The Vision AMG has innovative axial flux motors (similar to Vision EQXX) developed by Mercedes subsidiary YASA. The brand claims its new electric motors are smaller, lighter, and produce more power than conventional electric motors. Mercedes-AMG did not mention motor outputs, battery sizes, or range numbers. Still, it did say Vision AMG’s drivetrain would be “developed entirely from scratch,” including a new high-performance, high-voltage battery, and a “revolutionary drive technology,” said Mercedes-AMG.

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