Tesla has unveiled its latest structural battery pack with 4680 cells during a Gigafactory Berlin tour ahead of Model Y production at the new factory. Inspired by the aerospace innovation of building airplane wings as fuel tanks instead of building the fuel tanks inside the wings, Tesla decided to build a battery pack that acts as a body structure, linking the front and rear underbody parts. Using its expertise in giant casting parts, Tesla can connect a big single-piece rear and front underbody to this structural battery pack. This reduces the number of parts, the total mass of the battery pack, and improves efficiency and ultimately the range of its electric vehicles.
Gogoro in partnership with China’s Yadea, the largest electric two-wheel manufacturer in the world, unveiled electric scooters designed to work with Gogoro’s hot-swappable batteries, branded “Huan Huan” in China. The system allows users to buy scooters without a battery, making the initial purchase cheaper. Users then “rent” batteries via a subscription and are charged per Ah of electricity used. When their battery gets low, they can head to a “GoStation” and swap for a freshly charged one in as little as six seconds. The company uses cloud tech to ensure users can find batteries easily and that they don’t overload energy grids.
A study of young men who participate regularly in brief dips in cold water with hot sauna sessions finds that winter swimming may allow the body to adapt to extreme temperatures. The findings suggest that routinely alternating swims or dips in chilly water with sauna sessions might affect how brown fat burns energy and produces heat. Upon cold exposure, the activity of brown fat tissue increased in both groups. But the swimmers showed much higher heat production in response to cool temperatures. “Winter swimmers burned more calories than control subjects during cooling, possibly in part due to higher heat production.”
A new study set out to investigate how cognitive-behavioral group therapy (CBGT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) shift neurobiological substrates. They found a significant increase in the blood oxygen level-dependent percentage signal among the cognitive-behavioral group therapy cohort: When they reappraised negative self-beliefs, that decision translated into activity in the brain. The same brain reaction was not seen in the mindfulness group: However, when it came to people reporting how they felt, both forms of therapies lessened social anxiety and its related symptoms.
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. acquired Norwegian solar panel maker REC Solar Holdings AS, and a 40% stake in Indian builder of renewable projects Sterling & Wilson Solar Ltd in a bid by the oil-to-retail conglomerate to extend its dominance into alternative energy. The two acquisitions will help Reliance New Energy Solar expand in green energy markets globally, including the U.S., Europe, Australia and elsewhere in Asia. “It is in line with our strategy of investing in new and advanced technologies and operating capabilities aimed at achieving Reliance’s goal of enabling 100 GW clean and green energy before the end of this decade.”
Mercedes-Benz is pouring more resources into its cutting-edge research and design capabilities in China as the centre of gravity of the new auto world shifts eastwards. In a drive to create a “home away from home”, Mercedes-Benz is doubling down on bases in Beijing and Shanghai to stay ahead of regulations and consumer trends in a car market that outstrips the United States and Germany combined. Mercedes-Benz has also invested significantly in upgrading its Chinese design studio and has moved the whole team from Beijing to Shanghai, a megalopolis of about 25 million people known as the car design capital of China.
The U.N. Human Rights Council recognised access to a clean and healthy environment as a fundamental right, formally adding its weight to the global fight against climate change and its devastating consequences. The resolution, first discussed in the 1990s, is not legally binding but has the potential to shape global standards. Lawyers involved in climate litigation say it could help them build arguments in cases involving the environment and human rights. “This has life-changing potential in a world where the global environmental crisis causes more than nine million premature deaths every year.”
Singapore and Japan have the most powerful passports in the world. Holders of passports from the two countries can travel without a prior visa to 192 destinations. In the latest update, South Korea and Germany are tied for second place, with such access to 190 countries. The gap in travel freedom is at its widest since the index was started in 2006, with Singaporean and Japanese passport holders able to visit 166 more destinations than Afghan citizens, who can travel to only 26 nations worldwide without a visa. The index showed that countries in the global north with high-ranking passports have enforced some of the most stringent inbound Covid-19 travel restrictions.