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Porsche Claims It Can Double Tesla’s Fast-Charging Rate

The new, all-electric Taycan will come with a mighty thirst. This charging technology will slake it

18 min read
Illustration of people charging their cars at a charging station.
Illustration: McKibillo

On the A13 highway in Germany, a harried mom pulls into a rest stop, her two restless teenagers in the back of the family’s electric SUV. She steers toward a row of 24 sleek, refrigerator-size obelisks, most already tethered to a vehicle, and parks in front of the unoccupied one she’d reserved en route. Unhooking the cable, she inserts the plug on its end into a port in the car’s rear left flank, behind a flap that resembles the fuel door of earlier decades. She and the teens head to the bathrooms and a warm café for the 15 minutes it’ll take to recharge the car.

On the way, they glance over at the travel plaza’s fossil-fuel section. It’s like a little slum, with oil stains on the tarmac, the smell of petrol fumes in the air, and drivers standing at their vehicles squeezing the grimy handles of fuel nozzles. At the fast charger she’s using, on the other hand, the whole process requires no human intervention beyond plugging in. Her SUV identified itself to the charging kiosk, her charging network authorized payment, and voilà, the torrent of electrons began. The cost of the recharge will be added to the amount the charging network deducts monthly from her payment account.

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Poll: Would You Want to Work a Shorter Week?

Weigh in with your thoughts on a four-day workweek

2 min read
Person holding a giant sized pencil standing next to a giant sized calendar with days crossed out to show a four-day workweek.
iStock

When I worked for a company in Texas a few years ago, one of the benefits I enjoyed was a four-and-a-half-day workweek. The system enabled my colleagues and me to run some personal errands, see our doctors, and pick up our kids from school, among other activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic required many companies to adopt a flexible work schedule to keep their operations open. Many allowed their employees to work from home full time. Nowadays plenty of those employers are trying to persuade their workers to return to the office full time, but they are facing some resistance.

One solution some companies are trying is a four-day, 32-hour workweek for the same pay.

​Does your company offer a four-day workweek?

Would you like to work a four-day workweek?

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Xiaomi’s Humanoid Drummer Beats Expectations

Solving drum-playing helped quest for whole-body control

3 min read
A black and white humanoid robot sits at an electronic drum kit

When Xiaomi announced its CyberOne humanoid robot a couple of months back, it wasn’t entirely clear what the company was actually going to do with the robot. Our guess was that rather than pretending that CyberOne was going to have some sort of practical purpose, Xiaomi would use it as a way of exploring possibilities with technology that may have useful applications elsewhere, but there were no explicit suggestions that there would be any actual research to come out of it. In a nice surprise, Xiaomi roboticists have taught the robot to do something that is, if not exactly useful, at least loud: to play the drums.

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Solving Automotive Design Challenges With Simulation

Learn about low-frequency electromagnetic simulations and see a live demonstration of COMSOL Multiphysics software

1 min read

The development of new hybrid and battery electric vehicles introduces numerous design challenges. Many of these challenges are static or low-frequency electromagnetic by nature, as the devices involved in such designs are much smaller than the operating wavelength. Examples include sensors (such as MEMS sensors), transformers, and motors. Many of these challenges include multiple physics. For instance, sensors activated by acoustic energy as well as heat transfer in electric motors and power electronics combine low-frequency electromagnetic simulations with acoustic and heat transfer simulations, respectively.

Multiphysics simulation makes it possible to account for such phenomena in designs and can provide design engineers with the tools needed for developing products more effectively and optimizing device performance.

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