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Amazon launches one-hour Prime Now deliveries in Scotland

After spending the past year expanding its super-fast delivery service across England, Amazon’s finally taking Prime Now north of the border. The online retail giant announced today that it has begun offering one-hour deliveries on over 15,000 products to Prime subscribers in Glasgow, as well as free two-hour deliveries in Motherwell, Kilmarnock and Cumbernauld.

Although Glasgow is Scotland’s first Prime Now city, Glaswegians, along with customers in Edinburgh have enjoyed Amazon’s Prime Same Day service since November 2015. To mark the occasion, Amazon is offering £5 off everyone’s first Prime Now order with the code PRIMENOW5 and it’ll also throw in a 2-litre bottle of Irn-Bru Sugar Free. We’ve checked with Amazon UK’s Stereotype Dept. and there’s currently no word on whether battered Mars bars and haggis will also be included.

Source: Amazon UK

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Existing EV batteries could be recharged five times faster

Lithium-ion batteries have massively improved in the last half-decade, but there are still issues. The biggest, especially for EVs, is that charging takes too long to make them as useful as regular cars for highway driving. Researchers from the University of Warwick (WMG) have discovered that we may not need to be so patient, though. They developed a new type of sensor that measures internal battery temperatures and discovered that we can probably recharge them up to five times quicker without overheating problems.

Overcharging a lithium-ion battery anode can lead to lithium buildup, which can break through a battery's separator, create a short-circuit and cause catastrophic failure. That can cause the electrolyte to emit gases and literally blow up the battery, so manufacturers impose strict charging power limits to prevent it.

Those limits are based on hard-to-measure internal temperatures, however, which is where the WMG probe comes in. It's a fiber optic sensor, protected by a chemical layer that can be directly inserted into a lithium-ion cell to give highly precise thermal measurements without affecting its performance.

The team tested the sensor on standard 18650 li-ion cells, used in Tesla's Model S and X, among other EVs. They discovered that they can be charged five times faster than previously thought without damage. Such speeds would reduce battery life, but if used judiciously, the impact would be minimized, said lead researcher Dr. Tazdin Amietszajew.

Faster charging as always comes at the expense of overall battery life but many consumers would welcome the ability to charge a vehicle battery quickly when short journey times are required and then to switch to standard charge periods at other times.

There's still some work to do. While the research showed the li-ion cells can support higher temperatures, EVs and charging systems would have to have "precisely tuned profiles/limits" to prevent problems. It's also not clear how battery makers would install the sensors in the cells.

Nevertheless, it shows a lot of promise for much faster charging speeds in the near future. Even if battery capacities stayed the same, charging in 5 minutes instead of 25 could flip a lot of drivers over to the green side.

Via: Clean Technica

Source: University of Warwick

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