BMW group has joined the likes of Tesla and Volvo in bringing more EVs to the world’s streets.
The company announced that all brands and model series can be electrified, and will offer a full-electric or hybrid plug-in drivetrain as an option to internal combustion engine vehicles. The company predicts that electrified vehicles will account for 15 to 25 percent of its sales by 2025, according to a company press release.
The announcement by BMW is a signal that international car manufacturers are reacting to the EV movement spurred by companies like Tesla. Volvo announced earlier this month that it’s aiming to have 1 million EVs on the road by 2025, and Volkswagen is hoping to list its electric I.D. for $7,000 less than the Model 3.
BMW group currently offers nine electrified options, ranging from the BMW i3 to the latest fully electric MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4. Additional electrified models will be brought to market “in the coming years and beyond 2020,” and future vehicle design will lead to more fully-electric vehicles.
The company also said it was confident that it has the manufacturing and production processes in place to handle a bigger switch to electric.
“Our adaptable production system is innovative and able to react rapidly to changing customer demand,” said Oliver Zipse, BMW AG Management Board member for Production. “If required, we can increase production of electric drivetrain motor components quickly and efficiently, in line with market developments.”
While the announcement can be seen as a major step toward electrification, the company acknowledged that “factors such as regulation, incentives and charging infrastructure will play a major role in determining the scale of electrification,” according to the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
As more and more manufacturers fall into line with EV trends, Tesla fans continue to laud CEO Elon Musk and his company for being among the first to make electrified vehicles a practical, possible option for drivers. While the release of the Model 3 will put their loyalty to the test, it’s likely that many will view this announcement as another major car manufacturer joining a market that Tesla is already light years ahead in.
BMW’s announcement comes just a day after the company denied Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. that it colluded with other German automakers on the prices of emissions equipment that wasn’t safe for the environment.
The luxury vehicle giant is currently being investigated by the European Commission as to whether the company was involved in working with Daimler and Volkswagen to reduce costs of crucial technology that mislead the public on emissions.
As the auto markets shift toward electrification, the Model 3 will be Tesla’s ultimate test of its ability to do a land-grab on market share ahead of upcoming competition with companies like BMW and Volvo.
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Vantablack is a substance made of carbon nanotubes and is the blackest substance known, absorbing up to 99.965% of radiation in the visible spectrum. Exclusive rights of Vantablack for artistic use have recently been given to the artist Anish Kapoor.
The name comes from the term "Vertically Aligned NanoTube Arrays".
Vantablack is composed of a forest of vertical tubes which are "grown". When light strikes vantablack, instead of bouncing off, it becomes trapped and is continually deflected among the tubes, eventually becoming absorbed and dissipating into heat.
Vantablack was an improvement over previous similar substances developed at the time. Vantablack absorbs 99.965% of visible light. Also, this new material can be created at 400 °C (752 °F); NASA had developed a similar substance that could be grown at 750 °C (1,380 °F). Vantablack can be grown on materials that cannot withstand higher temperatures.
The outgassing and particle fallout levels of Vantablack are low. The high levels in similar substances in the past had prevented their commercial usefulness. Vantablack also has greater resistance to mechanical vibration, and has greater thermal stability.
Early development was carried out at the National Physical Laboratory (UK), although the term "Vanta" wasn't coined until sometime later. The substance is now being developed by Surrey NanoSystems.
This substance has many potential applications, including preventing stray light from entering telescopes, and improving the performance of infrared cameras both on Earth and in space, Ben Jensen, Chief Technology Officer, Surrey NanoSystems, has explained: "For example, it reduces stray-light, improving the ability of sensitive telescopes to see the faintest stars... Its ultra-low reflectance improves the sensitivity of terrestrial, space and air-borne instrumentation."
Vantablack may also increase the absorption of heat in materials used in concentrated solar power technology, as well as military applications such as thermal camouflage. The emissivity of Vantablack and scalability support a wide range of applications.
The material is being used creatively by artist Anish Kapoor who said, "It's effectively like a paint... Imagine a space that's so dark that as you walk in you lose all sense of where you are, what you are, and especially all sense of time." The color was exclusively licensed to Kapoor's studio for artistic use, outraging some other artists who would be unable to use it.However, the manufacturer has explained that Vantablack is also subject to export controls by the UK, and due to its temperature and physical requirements is not practical for use in many types of art.
In 2015, production was scaled up to satisfy the needs of buyers in the aerospace and defense sectors. The first orders were delivered in July 2014.
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