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Sees Passenger Flights By 2025 On Tiny Electric Plane: Norway

Norway tops the world league for per capita sales of electric cars

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People watch a test flight of a two-seat electric plane made by Slovenian firm Pipistrel at Oslo Airport, Norway, June 18, 2018.
People watch a test flight of a two-seat electric plane made by Slovenian firm Pipistrel at Oslo Airport, Norway, June 18, 2018. VOA

Norway tested a two-seater electric plane on Monday and predicted a start to passenger flights by 2025 if new aviation technologies match a green shift that has made Norwegians the world’s top buyers of electric cars.

Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen and Dag Falk-Petersen, head of state-run Avinor which runs most of Norway’s airports, took a few minutes’ flight around Oslo airport in an Alpha Electro G2 plane, built by Pipistrel in Slovenia.

“This is … a first example that we are moving fast forward” towards greener aviation, Solvik-Olsen told Reuters. “We do have to make sure it is safe – people won’t fly if they don’t trust it.”

He said plane makers such as Boeing and Airbus were developing electric aircraft and that battery prices were tumbling, making it feasible to reach a government goal of making all domestic flights in Norway electric by 2040.

Norwegian Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen and head of the Avinor Dag Falk-Petersen stand next to a two-seat electric plane made by Slovenian company Pipistrel at Oslo Airport, Norway, June 18, 2018.
Norwegian Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen and head of the Avinor Dag Falk-Petersen stand next to a two-seat electric plane made by Slovenian company Pipistrel at Oslo Airport, Norway, June 18, 2018. VOA

Asked when passenger flights in electric planes could start, Falk-Petersen, the pilot, said: “My best guess is before 2025 … It should all be electrified by 2040.”

The two said the plane, with a takeoff weight of 570 kg (1255 lb), was cramped and buffeted by winds but far quieter than a conventional plane run on fossil fuels.

Norway tops the world league for per capita sales of electric cars such as Teslas, Nissan Leafs or Volkswagen Golfs, backed by incentives such as big tax breaks, free parking and exemptions from road tolls.

In May 2018, 56 percent of all cars sold in Norway were either pure electric or hybrids against 46 percent in the same month of 2017, according to official statistics.

Norway, a mountainous country of five million people where fjords and remote islands mean many short-hop routes of less than 200 kms, would be ideal for electric planes, Solvik-Olsen said. Also, 98 percent of electricity in Norway is generated from clean hydro power.

Some opposition politicians said the government needed to do far more to meet green commitments in the 200-nation Paris climate agreement.

A two-seat electric plane made by Slovenian firm Pipistrel stands outside a hangar before a test flight at Oslo Airport, Norway, June 18, 2018.
A two-seat electric plane made by Slovenian firm Pipistrel stands outside a hangar before a test flight at Oslo Airport, Norway, June 18, 2018. VOA

“This is a start … but we have to make jet fuel a lot more expensive,” said Arild Hermstad, a leader of the Green Party.

The first electric planes flew across the English Channel in July 2015, including an Airbus E-Fan. French aviator Louis Bleriot who was first to fly across the Channel, in 1909, in a fossil-fuel powered plane.

Electric planes so far have big problems of weight, with bulky batteries and limited ranges. Both Falk-Petersen and Solvik-Olsen said they had been on strict diets before the flight.

Also read: Norway Emerges Leader, Having World’s Fastest Mobile Internet

“My wife is happy about it,” Solvik-Olsen said. (VOA)

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Every Second Car to Be Electric by 2050: Experts

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Electric car
In 2050, every second car on the streets could be electric which would reduce global CO2 emissions. IANS

In 2050, every second car on the streets could be electric which would reduce global CO2 emissions by up to 1.5 gigatons per year — equivalent to the total current CO2 emissions of Russia, a new study has predicted.

Under current conditions, driving an electric car is better for the climate than conventional petrol cars in 95 per cent of the world, said researchers. It is a known fact that electric cars are friendlier to the environment and produce fewer greenhouse gases than petrol vehicles.

“The answer is clear: to reduce carbon emissions, we should choose electric cars and household heat pumps over fossil-fuel alternatives,” said study lead author Florian Knobloch from the Radboud University in the Netherlands.

The study, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, found that average lifetime emissions from electric cars are up to 70 per cent lower than petrol cars in countries like Sweden and France (which get most of their electricity from renewables and nuclear), and around 30 per cent lower in the UK.

Electric car
Under current conditions, driving an electric car is better for the climate than conventional petrol cars in 95 per cent of the world, said researchers. Pixabay

In a few years, even inefficient electric cars will be less emission-intensive than most new petrol cars in most countries, as electricity generation is expected to be less carbon-intensive than today. The research team also looked at electric household heat pumps, and found that these too produce lower emissions than fossil-fuel alternatives in 95 per cent of the world. Heat pumps could reduce global CO2 emissions in 2050 by up to 0.8 gigatons per year – roughly equal to Germany’s current annual emissions, it added.

The study examined the current and future emissions of different types of vehicles and home heating options worldwide. It divided the world into 59 regions to account for differences in power generation and technology.

In 53 of these regions – including all of Europe, the US and China – the findings show electric cars and heat pumps are already less emission-intensive than fossil-fuel alternatives. These 53 regions represent 95 per cent of global transport and heating demand and, with energy production decarbonising worldwide, Knobloch said the “last few debatable cases will soon disappear”.

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The researchers carried out a life-cycle assessment in which they not only calculated greenhouse gas emissions generated when using cars and heating systems, but also in the production chain and waste processing. “Taking into account emissions from manufacturing and ongoing energy use, it’s clear that we should encourage the switch to electric cars and household heat pumps without any regrets,” Knobloch noted. (IANS)

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“India Should be Seen as An Important Player To Combat Climate Change”, Says Norway

Both the countries agreed on the importance of delivering concrete, scalable solutions for ocean health and wealth at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon in June 2020

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Climate Change
On Sunday, both countries stressed the need to strengthen bilateral cooperation on environment and climate change, particularly marine pollution. Pixabay

Norway on Sunday said that it saw India as an important player against climate change and that both countries could play leading role in tackling the global issues of environment and climate change.

Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar and Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Sveinung Rotevatn met at the Mahatma Mandir here to discuss bilateral and global issues on climate and environment.

A Conference Of Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species will be held at the venue from Monday to Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the event via videoconferencing. It is for the first time that the triennial event would be held in the country.

On Sunday, both countries stressed the need to strengthen bilateral cooperation on environment and climate change, particularly marine pollution.

“We, particularly Norway, see India as an important player in action against climate change problems. We are impressed by India’s efforts in curbing plastic waste handling, especially through the drive launched by the Indian Prime Minister, through ‘Say No to Plastic’,” said Rotevatn.

India has banned the use of single-use plastic in the country.

“Year 2020 will be the Super Year for Environment. India is rich in biodiversity and we expect that both countries help each other through technology and research, so that more work can be carried out for environmental conservation,” Javadekar said.

Climate Change
Norway on Sunday said that it saw India as an important player against climate change and that both countries could play leading role in tackling the global issues of environment and climate change. Pixabay

The Minister said that India had initiated an ocean dialogue with Norway to address marine plastic litter. Both the countries have formed joint working groups on blue economy with sustainable development.

Both Ministers recognised that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol for phasing out use of hydroflourocarbons (HFCs)could prevent up to 0.4 degrees Celsius of warming by the end of the century. It was agreed to continue the projects supported by Norway on issues related to HFCs.

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Both the countries agreed on the importance of delivering concrete, scalable solutions for ocean health and wealth at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon in June 2020. (IANS)

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New Electric Car by Sony Leaves Car Makers Worried: Report

Why car makers should be afraid of Sony's electric car

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Sony car
CES 2020 came in the form of a new concept car unveiled by the entertainment and tech giant Sony - a move that must make traditional car makers worried. (Representational Image). Pixabay

One of the biggest surprises at this year’s CES 2020 came in the form of a new concept car unveiled by the entertainment and tech giant Sony – a move that must make traditional car makers worried, says a new report.

According to data-driven market research company Cascend, the car was built by Sony’s internal AI and robotics team (who makes their robotic dog, Aibo) with (significant) engineering support from Austria-based automotive contract manufacturer Magna Steyr.

“With increasing sensors, displays, controllers and infotainment, vehicles are becoming more-and-more like electronics products,” said the report.

Sony already makes display and infotainment systems which are becoming much more important parts of the car and controls.

Sony_logo
Called the Sony Vision-S, the concept car is an electric concept sedan. Pixabay

Sony also makes high-res CMOS optical cameras and sensors, solid state lidar, radar and time-of-flight sensors — integrated into an advanced driver assistance system which Sony calls its ‘Safety Cocoon’,” the report added.

Called the Sony Vision-S, the concept car is an electric concept sedan.

It comes equipped with a phenomenal 33 different sensors both outside and inside the car, a widescreen display, 360 degree audio, and always-on connectivity, with some pieces coming from industry players like BlackBerry and Bosch.

Vision S is also powered by a “newly-designed EV platform” — engineered by automotive supplier Magna.

“Sony outsourced much of the “car stuff” from autoparts makers powered by an EV “platform” (supposedly engineered by auto supplier Magna) that Sony expects will be able to power other vehicles (like SUVs),” the report said.

Electric vehicles are a massive disruption in car-makers’ manufacturing processes. Their core technologies around combustion engines, drive trains, suspension and body design (over 100 years of development) aren’t particularly relevant.

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“And because of this, new EV companies (which aren’t traditional car makers) are springing up everywhere,” said the report.

China understands they can leapfrog traditional car makers (of which they have basically none) to become a powerhouse in EV and are investing heavily. (IANS)