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A company that creates electric flying cars wants them to be the future of sports, and the first race could happen this year

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  • Airspeeder just completed its first funding round for electric flying car races in April
  • The company’s goal is to create a new motorsport of racing electric flying cars with expert pilots.
  • MK4s are the flying cars that will race, with trials starting this year. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The first electric flying car races of the 21st century could take place as early as this year, according to Alauda, which developed the Airspeeder electric flying car.

The first Airspeeder prototype debuted in summer 2019, and now the company is at what it calls an advanced stage of testing. Test pilots from the US Air Force were recruited to test earlier versions of the flying car, and it’s now ready to begin testing the newest MK4 model that will be used in races, though tests are currently on hold because of coronavirus restrictions. 

Alauda plans for MK4 races to be the next popular motorsport at the intersection of science fiction and gaming, drawing fans of other racing sports and esports. Once races can proceed, the sport will be available to stream globally, and spectators will be limited to a few luxury VIPs.

Take a look at the Airspeeder here. 

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/airspeeder-electric-flying-cars-being-tested-in-australia-for-sports-2020-4

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Hydrogen vs. electric: Nikola’s CEO reveals why businesses should buy the Nikola Two hydrogen-fueled truck instead of the battery-powered Tesla Semi (NKLA)

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  • Nikola says its Nikola Two hydrogen-powered semi truck will have 500-750 miles of range, compared to the 300-500 miles Tesla has said its Semi will be able to drive between charges.
  • Battery-powered vehicles require a trade-off between range and storage capacity, Nikola CEO Mark Russell told Business Insider.
  • More range means a bigger battery, and less room for freight.
  • Are you a current or former Nikola employee? Do you have an opinion about what it’s like to work there? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com, on Signal at 646-768-4712, or via his encrypted email address mmatousek@protonmail.com.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has mocked the idea that hydrogen fuel cells could serve as a viable alternative to batteries as a power source for electric vehicles. But, according to the electric-vehicle startup Nikola, which, among other products, plans to make semi trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells, its models will have a range advantage over Tesla’s freight truck, the Semi, which will run on batteries.

“Diesel’s more energy-dense than a battery. Hydrogen’s more energy-dense than diesel fuel. So we can get a freight load a long way with just a little bit of hydrogen,” Nikola CEO Mark Russell said in an interview with Business Insider.

The Nikola Two semi truck will have 500-750 miles of range, the startup says, compared to the 300-500 miles offered by the Semi. Of course, like the other electric-vehicle startups that have promised head-turning specs, Nikola has not yet delivered any vehicles (it plans to release a battery-powered semi truck next year, with its hydrogen-powered models to follow in 2023), so it remains to be seen whether the production version of the Nikola Two will live up to the expectations the company has set.

But there’s a simple reason the Nikola Two will be able to travel farther than the Semi between refuelings, according to Russell. Batteries are heavy and take up space, creating a trade-off between a semi truck’s capacity and range. If you want more range, you’ll need a bigger battery, which means you won’t have as much room to carry freight. Russell gave as an example Anheuser-Busch, which has pre-ordered up to 800 semi trucks from Nikola. Anheuser-Busch transports beer from Los Angeles to Phoenix every day, Russell said, on a route that spans over 400 miles.

“If you tried to do that with batteries — to go 400 miles — then your battery is so big and heavy that you would have to take several pallets of beer, thousands of pounds of beer off of that truck and replace it with extra batteries to get that far,” he said.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

One potential issue with hydrogen-powered vehicles, and a possible reason why they’re not as popular with consumers as battery-powered vehicles, is that they require new refueling infrastructure; you can’t plug in a hydrogen-powered vehicle at your home or business. To address that concern, Nikola is building a network of fueling stations that will begin in California and eventually spread across North America and Europe. The cost of fuel will be included in the lease agreements it signs with customers.

Are you a current or former Nikola employee? Do you have an opinion about what it’s like to work there? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com, on Signal at 646-768-4712, or via his encrypted email address mmatousek@protonmail.com.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/nikola-ceo-biggest-reason-buy-nikola-two-tesla-semi-2020-7

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Trump’s FDA commissioner won’t defend the president’s baseless claim that 99% of COVID-19 cases are ‘totally harmless’

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  • The head of the Food and Drug Administration on Sunday dodged questions on President Donald Trump’s baseless claim that 99% of COVID-19 cases are “totally harmless.”
  • “I’m not going to get into who’s right and who is wrong,” Dr. Stephen Hahn said during a CNN interview. 
  • Coronavirus cases are surging in the US, which has the highest number of confirmed cases and reported fatalities in the world. 
  • Trump has made a plethora of false and misleading claims on COVID-19, while repeatedly downplaying the threat of the virus, which has killed nearly 130,000 people in the US.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories

Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn on Sunday would neither defend nor explicitly contradict President Donald Trump’s baseless assertion that 99% of COVID-19 cases are “totally harmless.” 

On CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Dana Bash said she couldn’t find a single health expert to back-up Trump’s assertion, asking Hahn for his take. 

“We know that cases are surging in the country,” Hahn said. “The way out of this for all Americans is to follow the CDC and the White House task force guidelines. Social distance, wear a mask if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t social distance, good hand hygiene … and if you’re near someone who’s vulnerable, and you think you’ve been exposed, please take care and avoid exposing that person.”

Bash continued to press Hahn on the president’s unsubstantiated claim that 99% are “harmless,” noting that data from the Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention show only about one-third of COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic. She also pointed to the fact the World Health Organization has said about 20% of people with coronavirus are “sick enough to need oxygen or hospital care.” 

“It’s not true,” Bash said of Trump’s assertion. “This is really important, probably one of the most important misclaims or, frankly, lies that the president has put out there,” Bash added. “It really affects people’s health. If they hear the president saying 99% of people are fine — they’re going to change their behavior, potentially get sick, infect other people.” 

When asked how that made Hahn feel as a member of the White House coronavirus task force, the FDA chief said: “We absolutely must take this seriously, we must institute these public health measures, we cannot back off from those. It’s critically important for Americans to follow those guidelines and to protect the most vulnerable.” 

Refusing to let up, Bash then flatly asked Hahn if Trump was “wrong” to say 99% of cases are “totally harmless.”

“I’m not going to get into who’s right and who is wrong,” Hahn said in response. 

During a July 4th celebration in Washington, DC, on Saturday, Trump said: “Now we have tested almost 40 million people. By so doing, we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless. Results that no other country can show because no other country has the testing that we have, not in terms of the numbers or in terms of quality.”

Trump has made a slew of false or baseless statements on the coronavirus pandemic since it began months ago and repeatedly embellished America’s testing capacity while falsely claiming that the recent surge in cases is due to increased testing. 

Speaking of the alarming uptick in cases last week, Assistant Health Secretary Brett Giroir, the coronavirus testing czar, said, “We do believe this is a real increase in cases because the percent positivities are going up. So, this is real increases in cases.”

“I think it’s pretty obvious that we are not going in the right direction,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on Thursday regarding the spread of COVID-19 in the US. 

The president spent weeks downplaying the threat of the virus in the early days of the outbreak, and he’s been excoriated by many of the nation’s leading health experts over his handling of the virus.

In late February, Trump told Americans the number of cases in the US would be “close to zero” in a couple of days. At the time, top public health officials were warning that cases would go up, urging Americans to prepare for severe disruptions to daily life. 

In April, Trump suggested that people could inject household disinfectants to cure the virus, prompting bleach manufacturers to warn Americans against injecting or ingesting their products under any circumstances. Medical experts condemned Trump’s comments as irresponsible and dangerous. 

As of Sunday morning, there were over 2.8 million reported cases of COVID-19 in the US, alongside almost 130,000 confirmed fatalities, per Johns Hopkins.

A vaccine is widely viewed as the surest path toward defeating the virus. In another Sunday morning interview with ABC’s “This Week,” Hahn declined to back-up Trump’s claim that a vaccine would be ready “long before the end of the year.”

“I can’t predict when a vaccine will be available,” Hahn said.

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Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/fda-commissioner-wont-defend-trump-99-percent-coronavirus-cases-harmless-2020-7

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OnePlus, the small tech company taking on Apple and Samsung, is about to launch a super-cheap 5G smartphone — here’s everything we know about it so far

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  • OnePlus is gearing up to release its next smartphone, the OnePlus Nord, which will cost less than $500.
  • The phone is expected to feature a flat, simple design, a multi-camera setup, and 5G connectivity.
  • The Nord will be noticeably cheaper than the recently launched OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, which cost $700 and $900, respectively.
  • The launch would come as smartphone makers like Samsung and Apple are launching more competitively priced phones like the iPhone SE and series of Galaxy A devices. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

OnePlus launched the $700 OnePlus 8 and $900 OnePlus 8 Pro earlier this year, but the company is already planning its next major smartphone launch: The OnePlus Nord.

Unlike the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, the Nord is expected to represent a return to the company’s roots of launching affordable smartphones that undercut the prices of devices launched by Samsung and Apple. The company has somewhat strayed from that vision by launching phones with higher prices at a time when the industry is gravitating toward less expensive phones.

If the leaks turn out to be true, we can expect the sub-$500 OnePlus Nord to challenge premium devices like the iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20 with a triple-lens camera and 5G support.

Here’s everything we know about the OnePlus Nord, which is expected to debut this month.  

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/oneplus-nord-specs-price-pre-order-rumors-2020-7

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