Green Deals: TP-Link Smart Light Switch $15, more

Amazon offers the TP-Link HS200 Smart Light Switch for $14.99. Free shipping is available with a Prime membership or in orders over $25. As a comparison, it typically goes for $20.  Easily outfit your home with voice-controlled switches thanks to this TP-Link bundle. If you’re not ready to replace individual bulbs, these smart switches are an easy way to control existing light fixtures. Rated 4.2/5 stars.

Head below for more deals on smart sprinkler systems, and of course Electrek’s best EV buying and leasing deals. Also, check out the new Electrek Tesla Shop for the best Tesla accessories.


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Source: Charge Forward

New class of cobalt-free cathodes could enhance energy density of Li-ion batteries

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers have developed a new family of cathodes with the potential to replace the costly cobalt-based cathodes typically found in today’s lithium-ion batteries.

The new class, called NFA (nickel, iron, aluminum), is a derivative of lithium nickelate that’s used as a cathode material. These novel cathodes are designed to be fast-charging, energy-dense, cost-effective and longer-lasting.

Cobalt, which makes up a significant portion of the cost of current lithium-ion batteries, is largely mined overseas, often in controversial conditions. Finding an alternative material to cobalt that can be manufactured cost-effectively has become a priority of battery researchers.

ORNL scientists tested the performance of the NFA class of cathodes and determined that they are promising substitutes for cobalt-based cathodes, as described in Advanced Materials and the Journal of Power Sources. Researchers used neutron diffraction, Mossbauer spectroscopy and other advanced characterization techniques to investigate NFA’s atomic- and micro-structures as well as electrochemical properties.

“Our investigations into the charging and discharging behavior of NFA showed that these cathodes undergo similar electrochemical reactions as cobalt-based cathodes and deliver high enough specific capacities to meet the battery energy density demands,” said Belharouak.

Belharouak added that not only does NFA perform as well as cobalt-based cathodes, but the process to manufacture the NFA cathodes can be integrated into existing global cathode manufacturing processes.

“Lithium nickelate has long been researched as the material of choice for making cathodes, but it suffers from intrinsic structural and electrochemical instabilities,” he said. “In our research, we replaced some of the nickel with iron and aluminum to enhance the cathode’s stability. Iron and aluminum are cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly materials.”

Connecticut DOT orders up to 75 New Flyer Xcelsior CHARGE electric buses

Bus manufacturer New Flyer has won a contract for 12 Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric transit buses from the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), with options to purchase up to 63 more over five years. The purchase was supported by Federal Transit Administration funds.

CTDOT, which owns and operates nearly all public transportation services in Connecticut, representing more than 27 million annual trips, is a longtime New Flyer customer.

“For over 25 years, we have supported CTDOT with reliable transportation, delivering over 900 New Flyer buses and MCI coaches,” said New Flyer President Chris Stoddart. “Every Xcelsior CHARGE bus on Connecticut roads will reduce up to 160 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year, delivering immediate benefits with cleaner, quieter, more sustainable mobility.”

New Flyer also offers infrastructure development through New Flyer Infrastructure Solutions. The company currently has over 35,000 transit buses on the road (New Flyer, NABI, and Orion), of which 8,600 are powered by electric motors and battery propulsion and 1,900 are zero-emission.

Meanwhile, New Flyer is pursuing autonomous vehicle technology in partnership with CTDOT, Robotic Research, and the Center for Transportation and the Environment. The company plans to deploy a battery-electric Level 4 automated transit bus on CTfastrak, a regional rapid transit system currently operating between Hartford and New Britain.

“We are thrilled to be developing—and soon operating—the first full-sized automated buses in revenue service in North America,” said Dennis Solensky, Transit Administrator, CTDOT.

Electrify America collaborates with EVNoire to promote EV access in California African-American communities

Fast charging network operator Electrify America has announced a collaboration with EVNoire Mobility Intelligence Consulting Group in a campaign to increase awareness of EVs in African-American communities throughout California.

EVNoire’s market research shows many African-American communities in California and nationally have a growing interest in adopting electric vehicles.

EA’s investment will support EVNoire’s development of a communications campaign focused on research, education and engagement, with the goal of ensuring that underrepresented communities interested in EV adoption have access to all of the financial assistance and case management support available. EVNoire’s initiatives will help consumers navigate California’s significant offerings of incentives and resources for EV buyers.

The collaboration with Electrify America will help expand EVNoire’s Drive the Future California campaign, an initiative that will educate California’s African-American communities on the opportunities and benefits of driving electric.  The campaign will showcase a variety of real-world, affordable EV options, and will engage EVNoire’s network of members and EV enthusiasts to share their EV experiences.

“Electrify America is proud to join with EVNoire’s mission to bring E-Mobility opportunities and climate justice to all communities, especially those who are impacted worst and first by transportation emissions,” said Electrify America Social Responsibility Manager Will Berry. “We are committed to EV education and accessibility to diverse communities across California and the nation to help support a clean transportation future that benefits everyone.”

“EVNoire is on the forefront of accelerating EV adoption by creating best practices with e-mobility, equity and environmental public health for all communities including underserved and diverse communities across the US,” said Dr. Shelly Francis, co-founder of EVNoire. “Support from Electrify America will help enable continued community engagement efforts and drive EV adoption for equitable clean transportation solutions.”

EGEB: China debuts 385 mph prototype magnetic levitation train

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • A high-speed prototype maglev train has debuted in China – and it’s clean energy transport.
  • New Jersey’s Ocean Wind offshore wind farm will feature GE’s huge Haliade-X 12MW wind turbines.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.


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Source: Charge Forward

Rivian announces new $2.6 billion investment as it can’t stop raising money

Rivian has already been impressing us with its capacity raise money, and the electric pickup truck startup is not slowing down, as it has a new $2.6 billion investment.


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Source: Charge Forward