Ola S1 Pro electric scooters are reportedly receiving an upgrade to the vehicle control unit (VCU) in order to accommodate future updates and to mitigate heating issues, pre-emptively preventing further recalls. New Ola S1 Pro units are being shipped with an upgraded VCU with more RAM and onboard storage, according to a report. The company is also tipped to soon perform VCU upgrades for older units. The company, which issued a recall of 1,441 electric scooters last month, is yet to announce any plans to upgrade the VCU on units that have been sold in the country.
According to a report by 91Mobiles citing tipster Yogesh Brar, Ola Electric could soon adopt a recall schedule or perform home visits to in order to upgrade the VCU on electric scooters that shipped before March. The older VCU available on those models does not have enough RAM and storage for future updates, according to the report. The revelation comes amid multiple complaints from users claiming their scooter switches on reverse mode or shuts down automatically, and an instance of the company’s Ola Electric S1 Pro scooter catching fire in Pune in March.
The purported new VCU that is being used by the SoftBank-backed company on new and existing Ola S1 Pro scooters is said to have more RAM and onboard storage — enough to accommodate updates in the future. However, it is worth noting that the company has not revealed any plans to perform upgrades to units that have been shipped, or a change in the VCU configuration for future units. Gadgets 360 has reached out to Ola Electric and will update this article when the company responds.
The report does not specify the specifications of the new VCU. When the Ola S1 and Ola S1 Pro were launched, the company had revealed that the VCU was powered by an octa-core processor with 3GB of RAM, and offers 4G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. The company’s official website currently lists the available RAM as 3GB.
When the Ola S1 Pro was launched, the company had also revealed that it would be equipped with a Battery Management System that “actively monitors the battery for optimal durability, performance, range and safety.” According to the tipster, the company is closely monitoring the health of battery cells and battery packs, which can be controlled via the VCU. With several important aspects such as speed, thermal levels, charging control, voltage, power efficiency, diagnosis and monitoring controlled by the VCU, the upgrade could allow for improved software updates that could address some of the issues affecting Ola S1 Pro owners, according to the report.
Last month, Ola Electric stated it would recall 1,441 of its electric scooters, weeks after one of the company’s vehicles caught fire, which prompted an investigation into the incident. The company revealed that it would conduct a diagnostic and health check of scooters in a specific batch, and issued a recall of 1,441 vehicles. The firm had also revealed the preliminary assessment of the vehicle that caught fire revealed that it was an isolated one, and that the recalls were a pre-emptive measure.
Hyundai to Build First EV and Battery Manufacturing Unit in Georgia in 2023, Plans to Invest $5.54 Billion
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Group said on Friday it plans to invest about $5.54 billion (roughly Rs. 43,110 crore) to build its first dedicated full electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturing facilities in the United States.
Hyundai will break ground on its new facility in Georgia in early 2023 and is expected to begin commercial production in the first half of 2025 with an annual capacity of 300,000 EV units, the company said in a statement.
The South Korean auto group said it intends to create about 8,100 jobs.
Hyundai Motor Group, which houses Hyundai and Kia, added that the battery manufacturing facility will be established through a strategic partnership, details of which will be disclosed at a later stage.
Reuters reported last week that Hyundai was in talks to build an EV manufacturing plant in the United States and had held discussions with Georgia officials.
The plant is a key part of Hyundai’s $7.4 billion (roughly Rs. 57,585 crore) planned investment in the United States through 2025 to foster future mobility. The state of Georgia expects to attract another $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,780 crore) in additional investment from non-affiliated Hyundai Motor Group suppliers on top of the investment.
Hyundai’s battery supplier, SK Innovation’s battery unit SK On, has built two adjacent plants in Georgia. The first, which mostly supplies Volkswagen, started production in the first quarter. The second, which will supply Ford Motor, is set to begin production early next year.
SK On will supply the battery for the Ioniq 7, a source previously told Reuters. SK On said it cannot comment on supply deals involving specific customers.
Hyundai’s US investment coincides with US President Biden’s arrival in South Korea on Friday.
The South Korean auto group, which is among the world’s five biggest automakers by vehicle sales, has production sites in Alabama and Georgia. In April, Hyundai Motor said it plans to invest $300 million (roughly Rs. 2,330 crore) to add EVs in its Montgomery assembly.
Separately, Hyundai Motor Group said Wednesday it plans to invest KRW 21 trillion (roughly Rs. 1,28,300 crore) through 2030 for the expansion of its EV business in South Korea.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
Elon Musk to Discuss Amazon’s Connectivity, Protection With Brazil’s President Bolsonaro on Upcoming Visit
Elon Musk is due to arrive in Brazil on Friday to discuss “connectivity and protection of the Amazon” with far-right President Jair Bolsonaro’s government, Communications Minister Fábio Faria announced in a tweet.
The visit by Musk, the SpaceX, and Tesla chief executive who is in talks to buy social network Twitter, comes after he met with Faria in November in Austin, Texas. They spoke about using SpaceX technology to bring the internet to rural schools, and cut back on illegal Amazon deforestation.
Musk is likely to meet with nationalist firebrand Bolsonaro just as his own personal politics drift to the right. On Wednesday, Musk said that he previously voted for Democrats, but he will now vote for Republicans.
“They have become the party of division & hate, so I can no longer support them and will vote Republican,” he tweeted.
Bolsonaro, who celebrated Twitter’s announcement of its acceptance of Musk’s initial bid for the company, has been trying for years to lure Tesla to Brazil.
Musk’s visit was first reported by newspaper O Globo. The event he will attend in an upscale hotel near Sao Paulo will also be attended by several businessmen, including Telecom Italia Chief Executive Pietro Labriola and Banco BTG Pactual Andre Esteves, O Globo said.
Bolsonaro was slow to acknowledge US President Joe Biden’s win and has not yet spoken to the Democrat since he took office, seeing relations between the two largest democracies in the Americas chill.
Bolsonaro, who idolises Trump, has also been shunned for his proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
Indian Railways, IIT Madras Collaborate to Develop Country’s First Indigenous Hyperloop
The Ministry of Railways will collaborate with IIT Madras for the development of an “indigenous” Hyperloop system and will also help set-up a Centre of Excellence for Hyperloop Technologies at the premier institute, officials said Thursday.
In 2017, the then Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had expressed his interest in the Hyperloop technology, saying that India would be keenly watching the project and since then, several rounds of talks over the proposed project had been held between the ministry and US-based Hyperloop One, but nothing substantial emerged.
To usher into a new era of transportation, Indian Railways has come together with @iitmadras to develop a hyperloop technology based transportation system.
Indian Railways will extend financial support of Rs. 8.34 cr to IIT Madras for this project. pic.twitter.com/xUoMyxj9QU
— Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia) May 20, 2022
Hyperloop works on a technology that would use magnetic levitation in low-pressure tubes to transport people and goods at airplane-like speeds.
The low energy requirement and the significant role that this technology can play in making India Carbon neutral, makes Hyperloop mode of transportation an attractive proposition for Indian Railways, the ministry said in a statement.
“Ministry of Railways had therefore been looking for potential partners and domain experts for joint collaborative working on development of this emerging and evolving concept for transportation of passengers and cargo.
“The Ministry of Railways was informed that a team comprising 70 students, named “Avishkar Hyperloop”, formed by IIT Madras in 2017, has been applying scalability and frugal engineering concepts for development of Hyperloop based transportation system with an aim is to make India proud by showcasing its technologies to the world,” the statement said.
“Collaboration with IIT Madras for development of an Indigenous Hyperloop system and setting-up of a “Centre of Excellence for Hyperloop Technologies” at IIT Madras,” the Railways said.
The group had finished in top-10 global ranking at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition-2019 and was the only Asian team to do so. The student team “Avishkar Hyperloop” had also bagged the ‘Most Scalable Design Award’ at the European Hyperloop Week – 2021.
IIT Madras approached Ministry of Railways in March-2022 with a proposal for collaborative working on development of contactless pod prototype and development of first-of-its-kind Hyperloop Test Facility at its Discovery Campus (at Thaiyur). Once established, the proposed facility would offer world’s largest Hyperloop Vacuum Tube that can be used as Test Bed for further research on Hyperloop by Indian Railways.
The institute sought support from the Railways for manufacturing assistance, formulation of safety regulations and access to its electrical testing facilities.
It has also requested for funding support by Ministry of Railways for taking this project ahead. The estimated cost of the Project, as conveyed by IIT Madras, is Rs. 8.34 crore.
The project deliverables for IR would included detailed design documentation for Pod, Tube & Track, detailed testing and performance data for pod prototype and vacuum tube, provide IR with Hyperloop track as a testing platform for development of Pod technology in the interim and provide training to Railway Personnel for Hyperloop technologies.
The institute has also proposed to establish a “Centre of Excellence for Hyperloop Technologies” at IIT Madras through existing CRR (Centre of Railway Research) at IIT Madras.
The existing CRR (Centre of Railway Research) at IIT Madras is located in MSRC building of the institute and has been functioning since 2017 with the funding support from Ministry of Railways.
Five projects are under progress with the existing CRR at IIT Madras and it has been providing training to railway engineers on subjects like Lean Manufacturing, Condition Monitoring and Concrete Testing and analysis. The plan, officials said is to build a 500m tube (diameter 2m) and track capable of supporting various propulsion and levitation system configurations to enable rapid development of pod technology. The tube will be at par with the Virgin Hyperloop facility in USA in terms of functionality but will significantly outperform it in terms of cost, the statement from the Railways said.
The hyperloop concept has been promoted by Elon Musk and SpaceX, and other companies or organizations have been encouraged to collaborate and develop the technology. Virgin Hyperloop conducted the first human trial in November 2020 at its test site in Las Vegas, reaching a top speed of 172km/hr (108mph).
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