Posts by Finn Thieme

Am I the first user of Starlink Internet in Germany?

I was recently surprised by the notification coming from Starlink: My area will be available for beta testing!

So with no delay, I ordered my Starlink package and here it is:

My Starlink package

Well, to be honest this was already last month. So after setting this up, I already had the chance to test it a lot.

Speed and Latency history of past 14 days with Starlink
Speed and Latency history of past 14 days with Starlink

I have made some speed tests and used it for my daily work (Mainly Teams conferences). I can say: The speed is stunning good, the uptime is nice but when it comes to video conferencing, I sometimes have some short connection issues.

Anyways: I am really glad to be able to do video conferences from my home office without having to fear that my bandwidth will be a problem.

Speedtest with Starlink
A Speedtest I just did while writing

Agile Roles: What is a Product Owner in SAFe?

Most recently, I was creating my first YouTube video, explaining what a Product Owner in a Scaled Agile Framework is doing!

The role of the Product Owner (PO) is a very important one in the SCRUM framework and also in SAFe environments.

The Video is in German, but you can use subtitles and have them

The questions I am answering are:

  • What is the core task of a product owner (PO)?
  • What are typical interfaces of the product owner (PO)?
  • What would happen if you don’t have a Product Owner (PO)?
  • What should a good product owner (PO) bring to the table? What are skills that are important?
  • What do you enjoy most about your Product Owners (PO) tasks?
  • What was the biggest challenge as a Product Owner (PO) and how did you solve it?
  • Extra question: How is a traditional project manager different from a product owner (PO)?
  • What would you recommend someone to do if they want to develop Product Owners (PO)?
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Product Owner in a Scaled Agile Framework

For more details, interesting Product Owners (PO) courses & workshops feel free to check out agilizer-academy.de or agilizer.de or our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJVfrLbbQHdevxIRsSEvePg

Top Solid-State Battery News that will take E-mobility Forward

With the evolution of electric vehicles, a lot of debate has been started on its operational pros and cons along with its manufacturing hinges. Batteries being the powerhouse of electric vehicles, became the pivot of such debates. As of now, the normal practice involves the usage of lithium-ion cells for powering up electric vehicles. This whole infrastructure, spreading over hundreds to thousands of cells makes up for a complete battery pack for electric vehicles. As these batteries are rechargeable and the same ones that are being used in smartphones, so there are chances that this is what made manufacturers pick lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries. However, as it takes much more power to energize an EV as compared to a smartphone, so the EV battery breakthrough has always been anticipated. Its efficiency, cost, and durability are what called for such anticipation. With the breaking out of solid-state battery news, efforts towards making EV batteries sustainable have ramped up. Though this news is indeed a blessing in disguise for both EV enthusiasts and manufacturers, but there is a need to thoroughly investigate the matter that are solid-state batteries sustainable? To know the answer, keep reading!

What is a Solid-State Battery?

From the manufacturing point of view, solid-state batteries use solid electrolytes and solid electrodes to power up the connected loads, which in this case is an electric vehicle. On the other hand, lithium-ion batteries use polymer gel or liquid electrolytes. This change of the matter, i.e. from liquid to solid, has the high potential to put forward the foundations of EV battery breakthrough. Let’s find out in more detail that how solid-state battery news can prove to lay down the foundations of EV batteries sustainable future.

How Solid-State Batteries can Revolutionize the EV Industry?

Electric vehicles have a substantial role in taking forward the green initiatives of e-mobility. While being solely energized by a battery source, there is no doubt in the expected contribution of solid-state batteries for the EV battery breakthrough. Following are some of the ways in which solid-state batteries are set to revolutionize the EV industry:

  • Charging Time: Depending on the overall architecture and battery size of the EV, it almost takes about an hour to charge an EV battery at the Level-2 charging stations. However, with solid-state batteries taking over, there are estimates that charging time will go below 10 minutes.
  • No Overheating: Since electrolyte will be a solid material, so it won’t get as hot as a liquid electrolyte, like in the case of Li-ion batteries. So, it is highly projected that solid-state batteries will be more heat resistant than lithium-ion batteries.
  • Longer Driving Ranges: Typically, lithium-ion batteries deliver an energy density of around 700 watt-hours per liter (Wh/l). With such energy density, they can deliver a driving range of around 500 km per full charge. However, with the solid-state battery news rolling out, the solid-state battery energy density is expected to stand around 1000 Wh/l. Subsequently, this energy density of 1000 Wh/l will make EVs capable of driving up to 700 km without any need for recharging.
  • More Safety: The typical EV batteries contain liquid electrolytes which pose a greater risk in case of electrolyte leakage or any other associated calamity. However, with the adoption of solid-state batteries, this risk will be mitigated as such batteries contain solid electrolytes. Unlike liquid electrolytes, such electrolytes do not cause any flammable calamity.
  • Compact Size: Usually in the EV, the bottom portion of the vehicle contains battery cells, and to provide more range per charge, more battery cells are needed in the vehicle. Solid-state batteries are doing to be in compact size as compared to lithium-ion batteries. Therefore, more number of battery cells can be placed in the vehicle in lesser space, eventually increasing the range per charge.

In a nutshell, these relevancies for the EV industry itself answer the long posing question of are solid-state batteries sustainable? Indeed, the EV batteries sustainable future with solid-state batteries has been long-waited and it is now set to revolutionize the EV industry.

Latest Solid-State Battery News and Development

Since the realization of anticipations related to EV battery breakthrough via solid-state battery news, a lot of work is being done to forego any of the implications. Every R&D institute, university’s research centers, and companies research units have started ventures to work on EV batteries sustainable research projects on solid-state batteries and answer the primary question that are solid-state batteries sustainable?

Samsung Solid-State Battery

In all such pursuits, Samsung took the lead, as Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) has announced that it has developed a solid-state battery which is all set to revolutionize the whole EV industry. According to them, their solid-state battery will cover the distance from Melbourne to Sydney, or vice versa, in one single charge. Not only does the battery’s energy density is improved, but its size has also been shrunk to half. With these developments, it clearly means that without any allocation of extra space to store the battery in EV, the range of EV can be doubled. For example, Tesla Model S currently delivers the range of about 700 km with Li-ion battery. However, if this battery pack is replaced with Samsung’s solid-state battery pack, then it’s range would experience a whopping shift to 1400 km. In addition to this, charging cycles have also been improved. This Samsung developed solid-state battery can be recharged for over one thousand times, which means that it can deliver one million kilometers in its total driving range. As of now, a prototype has been developed so as to assess the performance parameters of this battery. This is why its price has not been announced yet. However, given the compact size, longer life, and enhanced number of cycles, it is indeed going to reshape the future of e-mobility.

Toyota and Panasonic Partnership to build Solid-State Battery

Not only has Samsung contributed to this EV battery breakthrough, another big name in the automobile industry, Toyota, has also played its cards in making EV batteries sustainable. Toyota has partnered with Panasonic to build a solid-state battery prototype. Toyota was all set to showcase its working prototype on the occasion of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but due to coronavirus, it has been rescheduled to 2021 and so is the revelation of their solid-state battery prototype. It seems as if there are some glitches in Toyota’s design and they took advantage of Olympics games rescheduling for improving their prototype. This insight is validated by the remarks of Executive Vice President of Toyota’s powertrain company where he said that though Toyota has a working prototype, they are still looking for ways to harness the true potential of solid-state batteries.

Conclusion

For years, EV battery breakthrough was a long pending thing. The efforts were not only centered on improving the battery infrastructure but EV batteries sustainable nature was also a very anticipated thing. Lithium-ion batteries are power-hungry, costly and take more space to be affixed in an EV. This bottleneck is what motivated researchers to come up with something that shall take forward the e-mobility and improves the efficiency of EVs. With the solid-state battery news, the rays of hope have been lit to a greater degree. Solid-state batteries have the right credentials to remove all the bottlenecks that were created by the lithium-ion batteries. From decreased space allocation to offering high energy density, solid-state batteries are set to embark on the future of electric vehicles. To the questions that are solid-state batteries sustainable? A simple YES! is a short yet comprehensive answer that is going to be validated very soon.

If you want to learn more about EV performance optimization, click here.

References

  1. https://www.samsungsdi.com/column/all/detail/54344.html
  2. https://www.ilika.com/latest-news/how-does-solid-state-battery-technology-power-electric-vehicles
  3. https://www.energyville.be/en/press/expert-talk-solid-state-batteries-electric-cars-larger-autonomy
  4. https://www.energyville.be/en/press/expert-talk-solid-state-batteries-electric-cars-larger-autonomy
  5. https://www.whichcar.com.au/car-news/samsung-solid-state-battery-breakthrough
  6. https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a33435923/toyota-solid-state-battery-2025/

Home vs Commercial EV Charging – Same Goals, Different Challenges

The wholesome benefits of electric vehicle (EV) cannot be reaped unless associated infrastructure is not put in place. While being less reliant on fossil fuels, EV is a great way to bolster initiatives, such as carbon-free environment. As of now, EV sales make up to 8% of global vehicle sales. This percentage is expected to rise to 1/3rd of global sales by the end of the year 2020. Furthermore, the demand for EVs will grow to such an enormous degree by the year 2030 that they will account for 51% of the auto market. Seeing this trend, automobile manufacturers have pledged to invest $300 billion towards EVs and EV charging infrastructure development. While these developments are very appreciable to their core, but in essence, it indicates towards one sheer gray area which is lethal enough to destroy the novelty of electrical vehicles. This gray area pertains to the EV charging commercial and residential EV charging home issues. This tussle of home vs commercial EV charging is very imperative to be dealt with. To understand this, a quick overview of EV charging can prove to be beneficial.

There are three levels that are prevalent pertaining to EV charging. Level 1 charging is the slowest but most readily available source of EV charging. This typical residential EV charging uses a 110V supply line to charge an EV. Level 2 EV charging is relatively faster than Level 1 and uses a supply voltage of over 200V (typically 220V) to charge an EV. Generally, it can charge an EV at a rate of 12 to 60 miles per hour. Level 3 chargers are the fastest and distinguished EV chargers. Unlike Level-1 and Level-2, they use Direct Current (DC) to charge an EV. Their voltage rating is as high as 800V and charges a typical EV up to 80% in just 20 to 30 minutes. However, as opposed to the other two levels, these types of EV chargers cannot be used as residential EV charging, and therefore, can only be installed as EV charging commercial units.

The Challenges of Commercial and Residential EV Charging

The basic idea behind EV charging commercial and home units seems to be very similar, which in actual is indeed similar. But like any other conflicting thing, there is a thin margin line which emerges as a challenge in the form of home vs commercial EV charging. To have a better understanding, let’s discuss the respective challenges separately. Following are the challenges for both EV charging home and EV charging commercial:

Challenges of Residential EV Charging

Tesla EV charging home unit

Below is the overview of challenges related to residential EV charging:

  • Property Ownership: Property ownership poses a very gross concern for setting EV charging home units. It won’t involve much of a hassle for property owners or homeowners, but those who live in a shared vicinity or multi-tenant building such as apartments, face a lot of hardships in charging their EVs at their place of residence. Such people first of all have to face several regulatory issues, such as the consent of the homeowner or other person using the same building. Secondly, they also have to face an infrastructural limitation where residential properties aren’t equipped with the extra incremental load handling strategies. So, even if a homeowner or other stakeholders permit to charge EVs, regulatory penalties may tend to lose the efficacy of charging EVs at home.
  • Slower Charging: Most of the residences host Level-1 chargers which charge an EV at an extremely slower rate. Typically, a person has to plug his/her vehicle overnight or more than that to charge it fully. While Level-2 chargers are also available for residential EV charging but the associated infrastructural cost bars many EV drivers to either commute to far-flung public charging stations or to rely on slow charging of Level-1 EV chargers.
  • Ampere Rating: It is also one of the major EV charging home challenges. While most of the EVs get charged on the 32A EV chargers, but it has been seen that most of the latest EVs, such as Tesla 3, features 48A EV charging, whereas Chevy Bolt uses a 40A charger to get charged. Since it seems that future EVs will feature more ampere ratings charging capabilities to decrement the charging time. Therefore, it is a very pinnacle challenge for the residential EV drivers to choose such a charging port or infrastructure which shall meet their future EV charging aspirations.

Challenges of Commercial EV Charging

Tesla EV charging commercial station

Following is the overview of key EV charging commercial challenges:

  • Demand Charges: It is a very prominent challenge when it comes to commercial EV charging. Once someone sets up commercial EV charging stations, demand charges come as a resistive force. In the form of demand charges, EV charging commercial station owners have to pay a fixed amount per month just for the reason that a large amount of energy is at their disposal. Consequently, this cost is passed on to the customers which ultimately results in the costly EV charging for the end consumer.
  • Bureaucratic Hurdles: For setting up an EV charging commercial setup, a person has to experience a lot of bureaucratic hardships. From import duties to getting permissions and licenses, there is a lot involved for the person who pursues the establishment of a commercial EV charging station. Subsequently, it increases the overall time frame to establish a commercial EV charger, and therefore, depreciates the morale of those who are interested in widening the spread of EV charger network.
  • Location: It is one of the most common as well as most talked EV charging commercial challenges. It is said that 95% of EV charging occurs at home. It is also due to the reason that commercial EV charging stations aren’t located near to the load centers or the locality where sheer demand of EV charging ports exist. People are becoming immune to the residential EV charging and this trend is depreciating the cause of increasing public or commercial charging stations.

Conclusion

The growth of EVs is highly dependent on the implacable enactment of residential EV charging units as well as EV charging commercial stations. Amid home vs commercial EV charging tussle, the sheer global commitment towards reducing the carbon emissions will hamper. This can only be avoided if challenges are mitigated with clarity and sound strategy. The implications of EV charging home units are very easy to mitigate by promoting the culture of public charging. However, those who still want to charge their EVs at home and want to mitigate the challenge of ampere ratings, it is advised to equip residential charging with a 40A charger. On the other hand, challenges related to commercial EV charging will need to be dealt with stringent measures too. The viable solution is to proceed with the multidisciplinary approach of easy processing and promoting people to opt for commercial charging. In this way, the process of establishing the commercial EV charging station will be eased up along with the un-burdening of the residential electrical network. In either way, the private sector will come forward to establish EV charging stations on their own with their attractive sales and advertising mechanisms. This will ultimately result in increased EV charging stations, boosting commercial activity, meeting the carbon emission goals, and easing the life of those who own EV and couldn’t charge them at home due to being in the shared vicinity.

Want to know specific about Germany EV charging requirements, click here.

References

  1. http://www.autonews.com/mobility-report/ev-sales-growing-faster-expected
  2. https://evcharging.enelx.com/news/blog/550-different-ev-charging-levels
  3. https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/18/residential-ev-charging-top-brands-home-solar-renters-vs-owners-cleantechnica-report/
  4. https://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-challenges-of-ev-charging-10-things-to-know/

Can you get an Electric Bike on a Budget? 5 Options and Selection Tips

In the midst of climate implications, a decline in global oil reserves and unexpected fluctuations in the fuel prices, electric bicycle news brought a sigh of relief for many daily commuters and environment-advocates. Unlike conventional bikes, electric bikes are quite environment-friendly as they do not emit any carbon emissions. Furthermore, their compactness also gives the users leverage to swim through congested traffic. It is the sheer demand for electric bikes which made it the $15.42 billion market in 2019. The Asia Pacific is the largest as well as the fastest-growing market for electric bikes. With China being the chief exporter of electric bikes, the sales of electric bikes are projected to experience CAGR (Cumulative Annual Growth Rate) of 6.21% for the period 2020-2025. Like any other source of mobility, electric bikes also have a lot of range from low-grade models to high-grade models. However, the best trade-off is found in affordable electric bikes. While best budget electric bikes are quite reasonable on the budget, they host all those features that buyers could typically expect in the 21st century’s e-bikes. Let’s find out to know that what should a buyer consider while opting for affordable electric bikes and what are the best budget electric bikes?

What to Consider while searching for Affordable Electric Bikes?

With the electric bicycle news rolling all around, it narrates that there are dozens of electric bikes available today. Therefore, it is not an easy task to choose the best one.  Following are the five key points which a buyer must consider while buying an affordable electric bike:

  • Understand the purpose: It is very important to understand the purpose for which an electric bike is to be bought. For example, if someone is looking to buy for long distances, then the 400Wh battery would serve the purpose. However, if someone is opting for an e-bike for the sake of comfort, then step-through frame e-bikes are best.
  • Warranty: In pursuit of affordable electric bikes, do not fall in warranty traps, as gambled in electric bicycle news. In any case, the warranty does matter. Therefore, always look for an e-bike that offers a warranty on the parts, battery, and motor.
  • Durability: Choose a bike whose manufacturing quality is of the type that ensures durability to sustain for over five to ten years. Moreover, the battery should be durable enough to last for at least 600 to 800 full charge cycles.
  • Test Ride: If e-bike belongs to a famous brand, then this does not mean that it will be best for everyone. Sort the suitable models and take a test ride before making a final decision.
  • Choice of Retailer: This consideration is very important from the aspect of warranty claims and after-sale services. If the retailer is of good reputation, then first of all he/she will guide in the best possible way. Secondly, the retailer will also help in the future regarding e-bike maintenance or warranty claims. Moreover, from the retailer of a good reputation, one can expect high quality and genuine electric bikes.

Top 5 Best Budget Electric Bikes

Above mentioned consideration does not come into real play unless viable options are available. There are many electric bikes in the market but choosing the best budget electric bikes is sometimes as hard as choosing the best parking spot in a busy city station. However, for the ease of many, following are the five most affordable electricity bikes:

RadMission

Person riding red RadMission e-bike

This super-affordable electricity bike is manufactured by the Rad Power Bikes. RadMission can reach a top speed of 25 km/h with the 250W geared hub motor. It is powered through a 504Wh Lithium-ion battery with a payload capacity of 125Kg. It has a LED control panel, 40 Lux headlight, and the range of 40-72 Km. It is available at the introductory price of €1,099 or $1,267.

Gtech eBike City

Gtech eBike City, also termed as affordable and convenient e-bike in electric bicycle news

Gtech eBike City is one of the most affordable electric bikes with a price tag of £995 or $1,267. It can go up to 30 miles in one single charge with the 36V 5.6Ah Lithium-ion battery. It has the linear-pull brakes with the 17-inch aluminum frame. Besides that, it has the 250W rear hub motor and takes about 3 hours to get fully charged. It weighs just 1.4kg and comes with the 2 years of warranty.

Propella 7-Speed

Propella 7-Speed - Carrying the rise of electric bicycle news all around

This 250W rear hub motor power e-bike is amongst the best budget electric bikes. Propella 7-Speed has the 250Wh Samsung-manufactured Lithium-ion battery with the charging time of 2.5 hours. It has the 5-level pedal assist with the LCD, displaying speed odometer, battery status, and time. It can achieve the top speed of 29 km/h with the driving range of 25-40 miles or 40-64 Km. With the overall weight of 16.8 kg, this splendid e-bike is available against the payment of $1,299 along with a 1-year warranty.

Jetson Metro Folding Electric Bike

Fold-able and affordable electric bike makes it convenient to carry anywhere

Metro Folding Electric Bike is an incredible option for those who like compactness. It is equipped with the 36V 5.6Ah lithium-ion battery driving 250W hub motor. It is designed to reach the top speed of 15.5 mph along with the max range up to 25 miles. It has a 16-inch wheel with the 3-level pedal assist and 4 hours of charging time. The price tag of $799.99 makes it one of the most affordable electric bikes.

Aventon Pace 350

Eye-catching and budget friendly electric bike - Pace 350

With the estimated range of 25-40 miles, this exciting e-bike is priced at the rate of $1,099. This bike is equipped with the 5-level pedal assist and 350W rear hub motor. Its 417.6Wh Samsung-manufactured li-ion cell battery gets recharged in about 3-4 hours with the 36V 2A fast charger. This best budget electricity bike comes with the LCD display along with a cadence sensor.

Conclusion

In addition to the emission-free and compact mode of commute, the cost of buying plays a major role in deciding which model of electric bike should be bought. At the end of the day, the value of money is what matters. It is the only thing which gives peace of mind to the buyer that if he/she has bought a little expensive e-bike out of best budget electric bikes, then given the extent of comfort and features, it’s worth it. As the electric bicycle news is rolling all around and from the above-mentioned options, it is quite evident that under a decent budget, many options are available for buying a quality electric bike. From the above-suggested electric bikes, it can very well be concluded that Propella 7-Speed offers great value of money. Take its mileage or the top speed, it aces through other affordable electric bikes. The inclusion of LCD display and the 5-level pedal assist makes it the first choice for anyone looking for a budget-friendly electric bike. It’s 250W powerful motor will assist the rider in climbing through steeper hills and terrains. In a nutshell, yes! you can definitely get an electric bike on budget and Propella 7-Speed is a clear example of it.

If you want to know about top electric cars of 2020, click here.

References

  1. https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/e-bike-market
  2. https://newwheel.net/electric-bike-basics/top-ten-tips-for-buying-an-ebike
  3. https://radpowerbikes.eu/products/radmission-electric-metro-bike#specs
  4. https://www.gtech.co.uk/ebikes/ebike-city.html
  5. https://www.propella.bike/products/7-speed
  6. https://ridejetson.com/products/metro-folding-electric-bike
  7. https://www.aventon.com/products/aventon-pace-350-e-bike

EV Performance Optimization for Mobility Bottleneck Removal – A 2020 Perspective

Electric vehicles define the future of mobility. In the times when the whole world is facing shrinking of global oil reserves, the electric vehicle seems like a beacon of light for future mobility. Realizing the relevance of EVs in the future, many countries have already taken keen steps to make EVs a norm in society along with efforts on EV performance optimization. Furthermore, the emerging popularity of renewable energy sources, mainly solar energy, is also complementing EVs. The demand or popularity of EVs in the future can be guessed from the statistics, where China has the highest number of EVs with 3.3 million units. On the other hand, the US is the second-biggest EV market with 1.4 million units. It is being forecasted that by the year 2025, the EVs will capture 84% of the Chinese market share. Obviously, this motivates other nations especially the US and European nations to ramp up their EV reliance, thus leading to the sheer demand of EVs including advancements in EV performance and charger optimization.

But there is a point to ponder whether our current infrastructure and EV technology are rich enough to sustain such emerging demands? Do our mobility network and EV performance parameters are capable enough to welcome such a huge number of EVs? There is a need to look for EV charger optimization so as to not worsen the situation of the mobility bottleneck. Furthermore, it is also imperative to cater to EV performance optimization so that forecasted benefits both from environmental as well as financial perspectives can be capitalized. It must be cleared that the mobility bottleneck is nothing like a conventional traffic jam. Instead it such a localized type of traffic choking where disruption is caused by way of some physical constraints such as road construction, closure of specific lane, and poor mobility or transport infrastructure. Let’s try to establish this matter of correlation in more detail.

How EV Performance Optimization can be seen in the 2020’s Perspective?

Seeing through the EVs in 2020’s perspective is very important. First of all, it is the start of a new decade, the strategies made this year shall have long-lasting effects towards meeting our 2030 goals, provided this consideration is made. Secondly, but most importantly, 2020 is also a year of pandemic and economic recession. In the near history, the world hasn’t experienced what has been experienced now. So, this new world order provides us with a platform to revamp our strategies and move more sustainably towards the future. Therefore, the 2020’s perspective is very pivotal in this sense. In continuation of this, there are two key areas for EV performance optimization in the 2020’s perspective:

EV Charging Optimization

EV charging optimization is one of the main constituents of EV performance optimization. While a prominent number of EVs are forecasted to be penetrated into the system, there is a need to look forward to potential issues related to EV charging and their impact on the overall power system or national grid. In the situation when 50 million EV units are expected to roll out by the year 2025 and about 125 million by the year 2030, there is a chance of substantial impact on national grids. Furthermore, to entertain such a large number of EVs, both charging infrastructure as well as power systems, should be stern enough to meet consumers’ demand. There is a chance of harmonic distortion which may further lead to deteriorating power quality. This implication may affect both EV users as well as domestic electricity users. Since level 1 EV chargers are slow chargers so they require EVs to be connected overnight. This overnight EV charging penetration will lead to the disturbance in the peak load curve. Both of these factors lead to the loss of cost-benefit as consumers will pay more by facing penalties owing to lowering the power quality along with more electricity consumption during peak times.

The above-mentioned implications can be dealt with the employment of EV charging optimization strategies. Ideally, this implication can be dealt by increasing the network capacity or providing power to the EV charging stations from the designated power grid. In this way, harmonic distribution and power quality deterioration will be reduced to a much greater degree. Even if any such condition arises, it won’t affect the regular domestic or industrial consumers. Moreover, EV charging optimization can also be ensured by appreciating the installation of charge controllers in the EVs. Such charge controllers prevent any peak power prices thus leveraging EV users to maintain the cost-effectiveness of EVs. Another approach to achieve EV charging optimization is to make use of smart charging mechanisms where the mode of EV charging is handled by the electricity utility or the EV charging station. This system can either be centralized or decentralized, as per the demand of EV in that particular vicinity.

Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency of electric vehicles is another important determinant of EV performance optimization. This is the only factor that has substantial contribution towards cost-benefit and high-grade performance. To achieve energy efficiency, EV’s weight constraint has a major role. Lighter the weight, less will be energy consumption from batteries, as EV motors won’t have to exert more power to perform their respective functions. This will enable EVs to drive more without altering the battery capacity. For example, if heavyweight EV could go up to 350 miles in one full charging, then the light EV of the same specs can go up to 400, or in other words, substantially more than that of heavy-weighted EV. However, this should not be perceived as analogous to choosing lighter materials. Instead, this point enables engineers to remove material while keeping the strength and stiffness of the EV intact as per the standard comfort and safety guidelines.

Electric vehicles with four independent electric motors on each wheel are another way to achieve EV performance optimization. There are three reasons due to which such methodology can prove beneficial for yielding expected energy efficiency. First of all, the absence of mechanical links dismisses the probability of friction loses and makes sure that all four wheels work independently. Secondly, independent motors ease the implementation of certain control strategies such as traction control, antilock braking system, and vehicle stability control. Thirdly, the respective energy characterization of each of these motors will provide a better way to control them, thereby amounting to energy conservation and so does the optimized performance.

Mobility Bottleneck and EVs

Mobility bottleneck is going to be a serious concern for future mobility. While EVs seem to be a feasible solution both from financial as well as environmental perspective. But these benefits could go in vain if considerations related to EV performance optimization are not held in place. EV charging optimization has a considerable role in curtailing mobility bottleneck. Since EVs take a lot of time to charge, so in a condition where fast charging capabilities are not enacted, our highways will experience serious mobility bottleneck as a lot of EVs will have to wait in the queue to get recharged. Furthermore, mobility bottleneck will result in more waiting times which further result in discharging the batteries without even stretching through a mile. This will lead to more charging time, long waiting queues, and most of all, a higher cost in terms of charging a vehicle. All these characteristics will result in losing the cost-benefit of EVs. On the other hand, energy efficiency can result in more driving ranges, thus giving more leverage to EV batteries to sustain for a longer time. Consequently, it will result in less discharging times and letting people commute more in a single full charge.

In a nutshell, both of the above measures are quite rich in their respective essence and are thus very pertinent to be adopted. With these measures, not only will mobility bottlenecks be removed, but the efficiency and the cost-saving aspect of EVs can also be ensured.

Now more about EVs post COVID-19 industry forecast by clicking here.

References

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/244292/number-of-electric-vehicles-by-country/
  2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/989924/china-share-of-pure-electric-vehicle-in-new-energy-passenger-vehicle-sales/
  3. https://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/13/7/1545/htm
  4. https://www.altair.com/e-mobility/
  5. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1687814018765549

Model S Redesign Chances: Reality Check

Being one of the top-selling electric cars, Tesla Model S has a lot in its credentials. Model S was first launched in 2012 as a fully electric sedan car. As of now, its Long-Range variant has an EPA range of 402 miles, which is higher than any other electric car. This was reported in many publications and was also confirmed by Elon Musk in his tweet. As far as the performance of Model S is concerned, it has the quickest acceleration capability. It is capable of achieving a speed jump of 0-60 mph in just 2.3 seconds. Being equipped with the dual motors, Model S is an All-wheel-drive variant that lets it keeps torque and traction under control. Other exciting features of Model S include the top speed of 163 mph, autopilot, 12 ultrasonic sensors to ensure collision-free driving, 17-inch driver display, 100 kWh battery size, seating capacity of five adults, and over the air updates. Altogether, Model S offers what one would like to have in the 21st century’s electric car. There are some speculations about Model S redesign in the new Model S 2020. To have a clear view about any Model S refresh chances, let’s have a thorough look over recent changes and the probability of any further redesign modifications.

Recent Model S Refresh Upgrades

Since 2012, the year when the first Model S was launched, Tesla S has gone through a lot of changes. However, it won’t be wrong to say that though only a few modifications were made since its inception, but still, Model S hasn’t experienced the full redesigning or what one would typically call as Model S redesign.

Following are some of the changes or modifications that have been done for Model S over the last five years:

  • Ludicrous Mode: Tesla introduced the ludicrous mode in the Model S in the year 2015. With this ludicrous mode, 0-60 mph was brought down to just 2.8 seconds. This feature was made available with a whopping price tag of $10,000.
  • Launch Mode: Launch mode was introduced in 2015, allowing Model S to acquire quicker acceleration right from the starting line.
  • Front Grille: In 2016, Tesla removed the faux-front grille and gave Model S a cleaner and smoother outlook. This upgrade gave Model S the impression that of a facelift.
  • Glass Roof: In 2016, Tesla introduced three roof options for prospective buyers which included painted roof, solid glass roof, and panoramic roof.
  • Performance Improvements: The year 2017 brought a lot of performance improvements for the Tesla Model S. The 60 KWh battery option was discontinued. This performance improvement must not be confused with the already introduced ludicrous mode. The ludicrous mode was available at the premium price, whereas these performance changes were made in the base version. With these changes, the 0-60 mph acceleration time for Model S75 dropped to 4.3 whereas the time for S75D dropped to 4.2 seconds. Moreover, the time frame for achieving the same acceleration jump for Model S100D was modified to be around 4.1 seconds. In addition to this, the range of 90D improved to 294 miles, whereas that of P90D was increased to about 270 miles. With these series of software and hardware improvements, power liftgate and glass roof became a standard in Tesla S cars.
  • Simplified Product Offerings: With the base idea of simplified product offerings, Tesla discontinued many earlier options in the year 2018. Some of the 2018 changes include removal of a panoramic sunroof, removal of black interior, removal of back child seat along with 21-inches black arachnid wheels. Furthermore, they also discontinued referral programs.
  • Improved Range and Battery Size: In 2019, Tesla S was launched with an enhanced battery size of 100 KWh. While the first version of Tesla S had an EPA range of 265 miles, the 2019’s Long Range variant was capable of driving up to 370 miles in one full charge. In addition to this, low rolling resistance tires were also introduced.
  • Raven: Tesla S has recently got into a powertrain reconfiguration named as “Raven”. In this reconfiguration, battery upgradation along with featuring rear motor as that of Tesla 3 was done. With this reconfiguration, both Long Range and Performance variants can provide more range per full charging. As per the EPA reports, with the raven power train, a Long-range variant was able to drive up to 391 miles, whereas Elon Musk rejected this figure. According to Elon Musk, EPA tests were faulty and Tesla S has been reconfigured to reach the range of 400 miles. However, in addition to motor upgradation, this reconfiguration also equipped Model S with the new adaptive air suspension. This air suspension system is still adjustable as per the user’s input. For example, a driver can tell the car to lower its suspension so as to reduce its coefficient of drag on the highway. This adaptive air suspension now additionally features damping modes namely Comfort, Standard, and Sporting.

Chances of Model S Redesign

There had been a lot of rumors about Model S redesign. Some people said that the new Model S 2020 will feature a lot of hardware as well as software modifications. There were speculations that the new Model S 2020 version will include a wireless device charger, a new set of two batteries, changes in car’s interior, modified charging ports, and a redesigned suspension. However, these rumors burst out when Elon Musk himself tweeted that no such Model S redesigns are under consideration. In his tweet, he categorically said that only minor changes are done, therefore no Model S refresh version is planned or being launched. These minor changes are related to interior modifications or some minor hardware/software upgradation. For example, Tesla has been reporting to test Model S and X with some new battery architectures.

Why Tesla is Reluctant to bring Major Changes in Model S?

There are many reasons for which Tesla is reluctant to bring any major changes or a Model S redesign. First of all, since Tesla is not an ordinary automobile manufacturer, so it will not follow what others used to do with their old models, i.e., redesigning. Secondly, Tesla is focusing more on launching the production of Model Y and 3S to the overseas markets. So, in such a situation, spending on model S redesigning would sound nothing but a matter of extravagance. Moreover, even though model S will be redesigned, it would still be a sedan with no substantial changes in range. This is so because nothing prominent has been achieved so far in improving battery technology. So, investing just on some exterior and interior touchups would not reward Tesla with much cost benefits. Secondly, the current Model S design and specification already seem catchy and make it dominant the EV industry significantly.

Conclusion

Model S has been the identity of Tesla for quite long. Though its sale has declined over the past few years, still it is amongst the top five electric cars in terms of sale. Traditionally, it has been seen that after a couple of years, automobile manufacturers tend to redesign the old model with a couple of interiors, exterior, and featural upgrades. But, for the CEO like Elon Musk, conventionality is a matter of disliking. Under the forward-looking leadership of Mr. Musk, rather than relying on product legacies, Tesla is looking forward to touching down new EV horizons. With the official denial from him, there is no doubt that apart from minor changes, Model S redesign is nothing but a rumor. New Model S 2020 is featuring some minor changes, but those aspiring for major changes, it’s better to look at other amazing Tesla cars.

References

  1. https://www.tesla.com/models
  2. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1272678634952617985
  3. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1148443699858292736
  4. https://www.motortrend.com/news/2019-tesla-model-s-5-important-updates/
  5. https://www.motortrend.com/news/tesla-raven-powertrain/
  6. https://electrek.co/2019/07/09/tesla-not-refresh-model-s-x-minor-changes-elon-musk/
  7. https://www.autonews.com/blogs/heres-why-tesla-doesnt-want-new-model-s

5 Ways to Demonstrate Agile Leadership in Virtual Environments

Agile in a broader perspective is an acronym for a mindset rather than a methodology. Agile is a mindset of rigorous collaborations, welcoming new ideas, redefining working norms, embracing change, increased customer-centric approaches, and most importantly, an effective way to optimize product life cycles. In a nutshell, agile is a paradigm of making complex things streamlined. Rigorous team meetings and co-located working spaces are an essential part of the agile implementation. But with the spread of COVID-19, agile has entered the regime of remote working. Owing to its attribute of embracing change and adapting to new technological horizons, agile has pretty much got fit into remote working. However, since adaptability always comes with the additional time cost, so same is the case with agile methodologies.

In this time, it is the responsibility of the agile leaders to buck up their teams. Agile leadership in virtual environments should facilitate their teams in the best possible manner so that they don’t feel disconnected in these troubling times. Starting from the quickly replicating in-person meetings with that of virtual meeting rooms to simplifying team problem solving and enabling fast-paced feedback and decision making, agile leaders have a lot to do in order to maintain the parent effectiveness and optimization of agile methodologies. To catch more insights about the role of agile leadership in virtual teams, let’s get to know about the key methods which shall give a beacon of light for agile leaders to continue with their agile journey.

Agile Leadership in Virtual Environments

In these special circumstances, special procedures are needed to cope up with the gross implications pertaining to leadership lag. In pursuit of maintaining the sheer advantages of agile methods, the following are the five key methods:

Creating a Safe Environment

Conventionally, it is discouraged to be failed at something. But when it comes to agile leadership in virtual teams, agile leaders should create a safe environment for their virtual teams where agile players can experiment. Giving teams the leverage to experiment shall enlighten them with the failures, and these failures shall provide them with a way to change their course of actions or brainstorming methodologies. Furthermore, given the implications pertaining to COVID-19, such a safe environment will allow teams to adapt more readily to these virtual ways of working. They shall experiment with new things and it is then the responsibility of the agile leader to create such a welcoming environment, where in case of any failures, teams shouldn’t be afraid of any adverse consequences.

One token of advice in this regard is to celebrate the failure of the week in parallel with celebrating success or achievement of the week. This shall allow agile teams to come up with new ideas with confidence and thus broadening their horizon.

Collaboration Tools

Agile leadership in virtual environments is a lot more than video conferences or telemeetings. Instead, it seems more effective to make use of file-sharing mechanisms, chatting sessions, and most of all, using Kanban boards to collaborate. There are plenty of available collaboration tools that agile leaders can use as per their convenience as well as in conjunction with their particular setting or agenda. For instance, Slido can be used to gather questions, Mentimeter can be used to engage the audience, Nureva for the brainstorming sessions, Google suit to share files, and Zoom to host virtual meetings.

To make sure that these collaborative tools give desired results, agile leaders should put some etiquettes in place. Some of them include being punctual in the virtual meetings, muting mics when not talking, remaining focused, and turning on a webcam.

Continuous Feedback

The efficacy of agile methodology is highly reliant on rigorous feedbacks. As agile allows organizations to develop strategies flexibly, it is mandatory to check the efficacy of such strategies. Take an example of a marketing company where agile leaders test different marketing campaigns over a short period of time rather than investing a lot of time and money in formulating a long-term marketing campaign with no or very few interim testing and feedback sessions. Such long-term plannings have a very sound chance to not meet the expected results, as their development phase wasn’t cross-checked and the rigorous feedback was not taken, thereby resulting in loss of finances as well as time in a long run.

One way to avoid such situations is to set a vision and strategy. After this, devise the program increments of six sprints, spanning over the timeframe of two weeks each. In each of these sprints, plot the high-level goals. Now whenever the respective sprints come up, divide the due tasks in a virtual Kanban board while visualizing the workflow. While the sprint progresses towards its end, document the achieved benefits and progress. Depending on the mutual understanding or business needs, share this document with the stakeholders so as to have their feedback. Based on the feedback, agile leadership in virtual teams can decide to either modify their strategy or may continue with the defined strategy to reach the end goal.

Deeper Relationship

In this time of virtual meetings and remote working, personal engagements are not possible. This lag expects from the agile leaders to devise ways to deepen their intra-team relationships. The agile leadership in virtual environments needs to prevail a sense of being connected amongst various agile groups and teams. For doing so, one approach is to get into a video interaction and also allocate 30 mins for tea/coffee breaks. In these 30 mins, do not turn off the audio as well as video. Try to have an informal conversation with each other along with a cup of coffee/tea and snacks. This interactive session will make them feel as if they are having a conversation with each other in the office.

Adaptiveness

Adaptiveness is key to be a successful agile leader. In this time of virtual working, the need to have such adaptive behavior increases manifold. Agile leaders are required to have a keen eye on changing internal and external events. They need to have a subtle approach towards analyzing these dynamics from the perspective of their organizations. Such type of situational awareness leverages agile leaders to find a way to adapt agile methodologies with respect to these changes.

Virtual environments have changed plenty of organizational dynamics. From contextual situations to organizational structures, everything has been affected. In this lieu, this adaptive behavior may help agile leaders to strike a balance between innovation and efficiency.

Conclusion

Leading an agile team is a very privileged assignment, but nowadays it is not less than a challenge. The norm of remote working and being away from cross-team collaborations as well as meetings have resulted in a number of challenges for agile leadership. This is why these special circumstances are demanding special measures from agile leadership in virtual teams. The methods like collaboration, feedback mechanisms, informal discussions, adaptiveness, and giving space to the agile team members by providing a safe environment, are the five key ways by which agile leadership in virtual environments can be made effective. By following these five approaches, agile leaders can maintain the efficacy, persistence, and sternness of the agile methodologies, while complying with the virtual mode of business operations.

Find out more about agile leadership during the Corona crisis, by clicking here.

References

  1. https://zenexmachina.com/how-leadership-can-promote-a-remote-agile-team-culture/
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/hennainam/2020/04/04/four-ways-to-be-an-agile-leader-in-virtual-environments/#3e4a409417db
  3. https://www.business2community.com/leadership/agile-leadership-a-comprehensive-guide-02257714

5 Ways to Demonstrate Agile Leadership in Virtual Environments

  1. Creating a Safe Environment

    Giving teams the leverage to experiment shall enlighten them with the failures, and these failures shall provide them with a way to change their course of actions or brainstorming methodologies.young woman reading book autonomous car

  2. Collaboration Tools

    It seems most effective to make use of file-sharing mechanisms, chatting sessions, and most of all, using Kanban boards to collaborate.

  3. Continuous Feedback

    The efficacy of agile methodology is highly reliant on rigorous feedbacks.zoom session

  4. Deeper Relationship

    The agile leadership in virtual environments needs to prevail a sense of being connected amongst various agile groups and teams.

  5. Adaptiveness

    Adaptiveness is key to be a successful agile leader. In this time of virtual working, the need to have such adaptive behavior increases manifold.Chef-Automotive-Designer with Rake Skulptures Futuristic Car Model from Plasticine Clay