Zee.Aero, Geely, Furrer+Frey, Tesla.
Larry in the sky with… Zee.Aero, a firm that is developing a flying car and sits right next to Google’s HQ in Silicon Valley. It turned out Alphabet CEO Larry Page is the start-up’s secret funder under the disguise of GUS (for: the guy upstairs). According to Bloomberg, the Google boss invested 100m dollars and also has stakes in another firm building vehicles for vertical take-off. Called Kitty Hawk, it is headed by Google’s former chief for the self-driving car programme, Sebastian Thrun. Telling, is it not?
Swatch battery deal: Geely is the first industrial partner to utilise the “super battery” reportedly developed by Swatch subsidiary Belenos and ETH Zurich. The Chinese firm will start testing the power packs in cars and motorbikes and may start production in China already by 2017. Previous reports spoke of interest from Germany and Korea also.
Tractor swapping: Long-haul trucking could soon become electric with this idea from Swiss Furrer+Frey. They propose to exchange the whole tractor including the battery so the trailer would just be towed by a new and fully charged machine, while the other stays put to be reenergised.
Durable Tesla batteries: Power packs of the Model S lose just about 5 percent of their capacity during their first 50,000 miles, reports Plug-in America, which has analysed data from 500 Tesla cars and 12m miles driven. Degradation slows over time as batteries still have 92% capacity after 100,000 miles.