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Volvo’s C40 Recharge is a solid second stab at an EV

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Volvo has made no secret of its plans to go green by 2030, first unveiling the XC40 Recharge SUV in 2019, then partnering with the Geely corporation to develop its performance EV Polestar line. And come early next year, the XC will be joined by a sleeker, curvier sibling dubbed the C40 Recharge. The C stands for coupe.

Understand, the XC40 and C40 are very much the same vehicle, at least under the hood. The two — along with the Polestar 2 — all share the same Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform that Volvo plans to build its future EV fleet on top of. As such, the C40 and XC40 offer literally identical performance profiles. They share a 78 kWh (75 kWh effective) battery pack which produces 408 HP and 486 lb-ft of torque across all four wheels, giving both cars a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds, a 112 mph top speed and an estimated 210 miles of range.

Volvo C40 Recharge

Volvo

And, like its predecessor, the C40 Recharge will do so at rates up to 150kW on an L3 DC charger, enabling it to refill its power cells from basically dead to 80 percent capacity in 40 minutes. The C40 Recharge can also accept power from Level 2 (220V) sources, requiring around 8 hours to fully charge. You can, technically, charge the C40 on a standard 110V outlet — Volvo includes an adapter for doing so standard — but the company is positioning that charging level as more of a trickle-charge, topping-off option than one for actually, fully refilling a completely depleted battery.

As a Volvo rep explained to Engadget on Wednesday, the company envisions drivers using Level 3 DC fast charging stations located along their commutes more as quick recharge points — stopping for 5-10 minutes at a time, grabbing a cup of coffee as they wait — while using an in-home L2 charger to fully replenish the charge overnight, like an drivable cell phone.

Volvo C40 Recharge

Volvo

On the outside, the C and XC are easily discernible. While the XC40 adheres to the classic tenets of SUV styling, the C actually stands around 3 inches shorter overall and features a broadly curved roofline that falls away into an upturned spoiler — resulting in the coupe designation. I for one am smitten with the styling, especially the Fjord Blue paint scheme, which mimics the color of Sweden’s local waters, as well as the all-glass roof.

The interior is even more impressive. For one thing, you won’t find a speck of leather in there. The floor mats are produced from recycled water bottles, as are the startlingly realistic faux-suede seats. “It’s a very practical, sustainable solution, trying to get us away from traditional luxuries,” Volvo’s design rep told Engadget. “I think our future of luxury is more about the simplicity of something. Not, how many layers of wood and how many buttons you can have, it’s more about the experience.” One unique aspect of that experience are the highlight panels that run throughout the C40 Recharge’s cabin, which depict topographical features of a Swedish national park.

Volvo C40 Recharge

Volvo

The cabin itself is quite minimalist though you’ll find a host of storage spaces subtly placed around the front seats with slick holders for everything from travel mugs to credit cards. The dashboard consists of the front-and-center Android Auto infotainment system, a series of physical buttons and knobs controlling the audio playback, front and rear defrost, and hazards sit just below. While I personally am a fan of tactile controls, C40 drivers won’t have a whole much use for them on account of the ever-present Android Assistant. You’ll be able to control the stereo, make calls, send texts, adjust the climate controls and even turn on the heated steering wheel. The Assistant’s knack for locating and evaluating charging stations along your route should prove especially helpful to range-wary EV adopters, Volvo reps explained on Wednesday, by not only alerting drivers to where these stations are but also what kind of connections they offer and the status of the vehicle’s battery once it arrives.

Volvo has yet to officially announce its MSRP for the C40 Recharge so it’ll be interesting to see how it might compare to its expected competition, assuming the C40 ends up being priced roughly around $54,000 like its XC predecessor. For example the Model Y Long Range starts from $52,490 and gets a 100 miles-plus more distance using an equivalently sized battery pack. The Audi Q4 e-tron on the other hand manages to achieve the same range on a surprisingly tiny 52 kWh pack. To be fair though, its 0-60 is 9 seconds flat and they’re only for sale in Europe for the moment. Then you’ve got the ID.4 which starts at $40,000 and boasts 50 miles more range but, in my opinion at least, doesn’t offer quite the same level of refinement that I saw in the C40 Recharge.

Volvo C40 Recharge

Volvo

The C40 is expected to hit US streets in the first quarter of 2022 but it will not be available for sale through Volvo dealerships. You’ll be able to see them at the dealership, sure, as well as test drive them, pick yours up from there and get it serviced there if you buy one. However the purchase process itself happens exclusively online. You can reserve one today for $500 at the Volvo website.

This is but the second step in Volvo’s efforts to transition to EVs. The company plans to release a new electric model every year until 2025 as part of its larger goal of becoming completely carbon neutral by 2040. Rumored to be coming next: a fully-electric XC90 Recharge.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/volvos-c-40-recharge-knocks-the-ass-off-its-xc-40-predecessor-and-we-love-them-for-it-163057786.html?src=rss

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What is the Freedom Phone and Should You Buy It?

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If you haven’t yet heard of it, the Freedom Phone is a much-hyped new device that promises “free speech and privacy” to its users. Funded by Erik Finman, the self-made Bitcoin millionaire who bought $1,000 worth of the cryptocurrency when it was just $12 a coin. That investment was made when Finman was 12; by the time he turned 18, he was a millionaire. Now 22, Finman is promoting the Freedom Phone as “a free speech and privacy first focused phone. With features like tracking blockers and an uncensorable app store.”

Critics (mostly security experts) say that the phone is little more than a re-vamped budget phone from China but priced like an iPhone XR. Very little is known about the features or even the OS at this point but the phone is clearly being marketing to ‘conservative America’ as a device that is all about “Not just making America great. But also making a great phone.”

The Freedom Phone website offers very little information but is loaded with Buy buttons. The site promotes high-level features such as tracking blockers, an “uncensored App Store”, “Pre-loaded Apps”, a mobile OS based on free speech, “Large Storage”, a 6-inch screen, easy phone switching, etc. but fails to go any deeper into the actual specs of the phone or the operating system.

Although the site claims that the device ships in August, it’s surprising that not much information is available about the device or its performance so close to its release.

Some speculate that the phone is merely a bid by a newfound millionaire to take advantage of conservatives who are irked by ex-President Donald Trump being blocked from social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Although Trump is slowly losing support within the party, millions of Americans are still behind him:

According to a new NBC News poll, 44% of Republicans say they support the former president more than they support the Republican Party. That is a decline from 50% and the first time since July 2019 that party supporters outnumbered Trump supporters.

We don’t know what the pre-order levels look like with the Freedom Phone, but we suspect that it’s not entirely an unpopular device among conservatives who still expect Trump to make another bid for the White House. Even celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner, ex-Olympian and gubernatorial candidate for California, have pledged their support should he decide to run in 2024.

As for the Freedom Phone itself, there are too many questions left unanswered, such as whether or not it works with 5G networks, what kind of internal specs it offers, and what the specific privacy implementations are. Should you buy it? Well, if you have $500 to burn, go for it. However, since none of the critical information we typically use to assess the worth and value of a phone is available, we don’t recommend it.

From the image, it looks like any other budget Android phone. Is there more to it than that? Follow this story on 1redDrop as we track the story around the Freedom Phone.

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Source: https://1reddrop.com/2021/07/24/what-is-the-freedom-phone-and-should-you-buy-it/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-is-the-freedom-phone-and-should-you-buy-it

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Esports

How to unlock Pokémon in Pokémon UNITE, all Unite License costs

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Pokémon UNITE launched with a relatively small roster of playable Pokémon, but TiMi Studio and The Pokémon Company have already confirmed that the game will be getting multiple new Pokémon in the near future. 

Right from the start, players will get to pick one of several Pokémon to unlock after finishing the tutorial. 

From there, TiMi has also made a handful of Pokémon obtainable through various events and challenges, which players will just need to complete and participate in to obtain. However, the main method for unlocking the Pokémon you want to use is by purchasing their Unite License. 

A Unite License is the item you need to get in order to fully unlock a Pokémon for your roster, which means you can use them at any time in any mode. There is also a rotation of Pokémon that players can use without unlocking in standard mode. 

So if there is a Pokémon you really want to play as in UNITE but you’re not sure what ways you can unlock it, here is every method possible in the game. 

Free to obtain Pokémon 

Starter choice

Once you boot up the game, you are thrown right into a tutorial to learn the basics of UNITE’s gameplay. Once completed, you get to pick one of five Pokémon to unlock instantly. 

This will act as your “starter” for this game, which simply means it is the first Pokémon you have access to for online matchmaking. No other aspect of the game is impacted by this decision, other than you will need to obtain the other four options later. 

Here are the five Pokémon you can choose from after the tutorial. 

  • Pikachu
  • Charizard
  • Snorlax
  • Talonflame
  • Eldegoss

Challenge and event rewards

After unlocking their starter, players will be able to get a few other Pokémon simply by playing the game, completing challenges, and logging in every day. 

Some of these Pokémon will only be available in this way for a limited period of time, so you should pay extra attention to those options and make sure you get them if you don’t want to purchase their Unlock License later. 

It is also important to note that, if you purchase a Pokémon’s Unite License and then later receive it as a reward, you will still get something from the duplicate. Typically it will be the equivalent number of Aeos Coins that you would have spent unlocking them anyway, so you just get that amount back.

Related: All trainer level requirements and rewards in Pokémon UNITE

Here are all of the Pokémon you can currently unlock for free by playing the game. 

  • Zeraora
    • Free bonus for players who download UNITE prior to Aug. 31
  • Slowbro
    • Reach Trainer Level 2
  • Venusaur
    • Reach Trainer Level 5
  • Alolan Ninetails
    • Day two bonus for the “14 Day Welcome Gifts” event
  • Cinderace
    • Day eight bonus for the “14 Day Welcome Gifts” event
  • Greninja
    • Day 14 bonus for the “14 Day Welcome Gifts” event
  • Crustle
    • Complete all seven steps of the Beginner Challenge

Unite License prices

If you want to play a Pokémon that isn’t available for free via the starter selection, challenges, or events, you will need to purchase their Unite License from the Unite Battle Commission shop. 

You will have the option of paying in the basic Aeos Coin currency or using premium Aeos Gems. However, once you purchase a Pokémon’s Unite License, you don’t need to buy it again. 

Here are all of the costs in both coins and gems for every Pokémon in the game. 

  • 6,000 Aeos Coins or 345 Aeos Gems
    • Charizard
    • Eldegoss
    • Pikachu
    • Slowbro
    • Snorlax
    • Talonflame
  • 8,000 Aeos Coins or 460 Aeos Gems
    • Alolan Ninetails
    • Cinderace
    • Cramorant
    • Crustle
    • Machamp
    • Mr. Mime
    • Venusaur
    • Wigglytuff
  • 10,000 Aeos Coins or 575 Aeos Gems
    • Absol
    • Garchomp
    • Genfar
    • Greninja

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Source: https://dotesports.com/news/how-to-unlock-pokemon-in-pokemon-unite-all-unite-license-costs

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Do Electric Vehicles Pollute As Much As Gas-Powered Ones?

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No. The answer to the question posed in the title, “Do Electric Vehicles Pollute as Much as Gas-Powered Ones?” is unequivocally no. As electric vehicles have gained consumer interest and market share over the past decade, some studies have emerged to supposedly refute claims that EVs are better for the environment. The counter-argument went that something like, “EVs pollute because the energy needed to manufacture the ever-important battery — in additional to the emissions from electricity generation — makes EVs pollute worse than a gas-powered car.”

Balderdash!

A new study from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) proves that all the negative hype is nothing more than hooey.

“Results show that even for cars registered today, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have by far the lowest life-cycle GHG emissions.”

The findings have significant implications for policymakers seeking to substantially decarbonize road transport by 2050, in line with Paris Agreement objectives.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from global road transport in 2050 need to be dramatically lower than today’s levels. That’s clear. Light-duty vehicles, the vast majority of which are passenger cars, are responsible for the largest share of transport-related GHG emissions, currently about 5 Gt CO2 eq.

And what’s also evident is that only full battery EVs and hydrogen fuel-cell EVs have the potential to be very low-GHG pathways. It turns out that the emissions from manufacturing batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines are very small when compared to the GHG savings from the greater efficiency and cleaner energy supply of EVs compared to conventional vehicles.

Electric vehicles pollute far less than their legacy counterparts. Additionally, battery EVs can be expected to operate with progressively fewer upstream emissions over their lifetimes as electricity grids become green and the relative benefit of driving EVs compared to gasoline, diesel, and natural gas cars grows over time.

Studying How Much Electric Vehicles Pollute

The ICCT study, “A Global Comparison of the Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Combustion Engine and Electric Passenger Cars,” took into account the most relevant powertrain types —

  • internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs), including hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs);
  • plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs);
  • battery electric vehicles (BEVs); and,
  • fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

It also reviewed a variety of fuel types and power sources, including gasoline, diesel, natural gas, biofuels, e-fuels, hydrogen, and electricity.

As the average useful lifetime of a passenger car is between 15 and 18 years (for trucks and buses, it is often even longer), decarbonization policies will be most impactful if they reflect passenger cars transitioning to all EVs for new sales by the early 2030s. It is necessary in order to achieve deep decarbonization of the transport sector by 2050.

Importantly, the study also finds that natural gas does not offer climate benefits compared to gasoline and diesel, and many biofuel pathways do not, either. There is not likely to be sufficient supply of very low-GHG biofuels, biogas, and e-fuels to decarbonize internal combustion engine vehicles, and drivers of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles rely too much on the gasoline engine for this pathway to be a long-term climate solution.

The carbon intensity of the electricity consumed by charging BEVs and PHEVs is based on the average lifecycle GHG emissions of the different electric energy sources, their projected mix during the lifetime of the vehicles, and transmission and distribution losses in the electric grid. Note, also, that for renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy, the lifecycle GHG emissions are considered. In other words, the emissions corresponding to their construction and maintenance.

Distinct Measures of EVs’ Vast Superiority

The study analyzed 4 distinct dimensions to come up with its conclusions that electric vehicles pollute much less than gas-powered vehicles.

  • It considered the lifetime average carbon intensity of the fuel and electricity mixes, including biofuels and biogas. Based on stated policies, it accounts for changes in the carbon intensity during the useful lifetime of the vehicles.
  • It reviewed the fuel and electricity consumption in average real-world usage instead of solely relying on official test values. This is especially important for assessing the GHG emissions of PHEVs.
  • It used recent data on industrial-scale battery production and considers regional battery supply chains. This results in significantly lower battery production emissions than in earlier studies.
  • It incorporated the near-term global warming potential of methane leakage emissions of natural gas and natural gas-derived hydrogen pathways. Different from other GHGs, methane contributes several times more to global warming in the first 20 years after emission than is reflected by the 100-year global warming potential.

Here are the results.

Only battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles have the potential to achieve the magnitude of lifecycle GHG emissions reductions needed to meet Paris Agreement goals. The assessment finds that the lifecycle emissions over the lifetime of BEVs registered today in Europe, the United States, China, and India are already lower than a comparable gasoline car by 66%–69% in Europe, 60%–68% in the United States, 37%–45% in China, and 19%–34%
in India.

For medium-size cars projected to be registered in 2030, as the electricity mix continues to decarbonize, the lifecycle emissions gap between BEVs and gasoline vehicles increases to 74%–77% in Europe, 62%–76% in the United States, 48%–64% in China, and 30%–56% in India.

There is no realistic pathway for deep decarbonization of combustion engine vehicles. Hybrid EVs improve the efficiency of internal combustion engine vehicles by recovering braking energy and storing it in a battery that can then be used to support propulsion with an electric motor. In this study, HEVs were found to reduce lifecycle GHG emissions by only about 20% compared to conventional gasoline cars.

This study also analyzed the development of the average blend of biofuels and biogas in fossil diesel, gasoline, and natural gas based on current policies and projected supply. Across the four regions and all fuel types, the impact of future changes in the biofuel blends driven by current policies range from a negligible influence to a reduction of the lifecycle GHG emissions of gasoline, diesel, or natural gas vehicles by a maximum of 9%, even over the lifetime of cars registered in 2030.

Due to a number of factors, including competing demand from other sectors and high cost of production, it is not feasible to supply enough low-carbon biofuels such as residues and waste-based biodiesel, ethanol, or biomethane to substantially displace fossil fuels in combustion engine cars.

Final Thoughts

To reduce the GHG emissions of light-duty vehicles, many governments now follow two complementary approaches:

  1. They aim to reduce the fuel consumption of new vehicles by setting fleet average CO2 emission or fuel efficiency standards, and by providing incentives for vehicles with electric powertrains; and,
  2. They support the decarbonization of the electricity grid and incentivize the production of renewable and low-carbon fuels.

Given the continuous efforts to decarbonize electricity grids, BEVs are assumed to consume a less carbon-intensive electricity mix with each passing year of their lifetime. It’s time to support communities that are making the switch to electric transportation modes in our personal, regional, and professional capacities.


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Source: https://cleantechnica.com/2021/07/24/do-electric-vehicles-pollute-as-much-as-gas-powered-ones/

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Los Angeles Thieves stun OpTic Chicago, complete reverse sweep to cap Stage V group play

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The Los Angeles Thieves pulled off one of the most unlikely wins the Call of Duty League will see all season, coming down from a 2-0 deficit against OpTic Chicago to win 3-2 today and break OpTic’s four-match winning streak.

Chicago looked untouchable in the first two maps of the series, winning Moscow Hardpoint 250-72 and Express Search and Destroy 6-1. But from that point on, the series was all Thieves.

L.A. flipped a switch and started to pop off on every map. Kenny had himself a series, posting a 1.13 K/D over the series’ five games, including a dominant performance in map three. Kenny went 31-19 on Checkmate Control leading the Thieves to a 3-1 win in a map that L.A. had to have. 

“We knew that map three would be the swing map to at least get back in the series and make it close,” Kenny said after the series. “They were just dominating us one and two, so going into map three, like I said, we just went in confident, just played our game, and just said ‘play like we play in practice.’”

For OpTic, there’s no sugarcoating that this was a brutal collapse. Chicago were on the precipice of finishing Stage Five group play undefeated with a 5-0 record and heading into the final two events of the CDL season with a ton of momentum. Instead, they let a shaky Thieves team reverse sweep them to end their win streak. 

This loss isn’t the end of the world for OpTic, but they’ll need to regain heading into next week’s Stage Five Major. Chicago is a team that feeds on positive momentum, so they’ll need to ensure that this loss doesn’t carry over to their next set of matches. But not all is lost for OpTic. The team locked up the first seed in Group A for the Stage Five Major and will begin the event in the winners bracket. 

Both Chicago and L.A. will be back in action at the CDL Stage Five Major in Arlington, Texas starting on July 29.


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Source: https://dotesports.com/call-of-duty/news/la-thieves-stun-optic-chicago-reverse-sweep-cdl-stage-5-group-play

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