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MM: Road Eases EV Range Anxiety; A Luxury Vehicle For Falconers

In this Manufacturing Minute episode, a road to ease electric vehicle range anxiety and a luxury vehicle with falconers in mind.

Electric Road Charging

Electric vehicles are poised to take a chunk of the auto market, but some potential buyers are still skeptical citing vehicle range anxiety without a robust recharging infrastructure as their greatest fear. But what if EVs were able to draw power directly from the road? Well Renault, Qualcomm Technologies and Vedecom, a sustainable transportation company, have teamed up in Europe to make that happen. 

At a 328 ft. test track built near Paris, the team recently demonstrated their dynamic wireless electric vehicle charging (DEVC) system being developed as part of the European Union FABRIC project. The track includes a series of embedded pads which wirelessly transmits up to 20 kilowatts of power to receivers installed on the undersides of the test vehicles—for this demonstration, they used two Renault Kangoo ZE EVs. 

The test track was able to charge the EV’s batteries at speeds of more than 62 mph, making it viable as a diverted lane along roadways and further testing will address issues such as vehicle identification to bill the appropriate owner, proper power level between track and vehicle, as well as variations in speed and alignment as a vehicle travels over the track for optimal charging. 

SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK? 

Could this help address the range anxiety issue? Could a system like this lead to more commercial EV trucking adoption? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below. 

Finally, A Luxury Vehicle With Falconers In Mind

Bentley isn’t known for its mass market appeal, especially when it comes to its bespoke customization packages.

Last year, for instance, Bentley turned the Bentayga into a work vehicle crafted specifically for fly fisherman. But, as though outfitting a luxury car with fly fishing equipment isn’t niche enough, the automaker has bested itself in this year’s limited-release customization package. 

The 2017 theme is falconry. Because nothing says luxury like a car designed for those who strap birds of prey to their arm, right? 

This year’s Bentayga comes with two cabinets in the boot: the first is to help the falconer look after his birds and the other, rightfully so, is meant to store refreshments. There’s also storage space for falconry equipment and another compartment for falconry essentials such as a GPS bird-tracker, binoculars and special bird hoods. Bentley even notes that customers can over customized falconry gloves to match the trim of their car. 

And yes, there’s even an elegant design made from hand-sanded wood depicting a falcon in flight. Bentley hasn’t yet announced the price of the falconry package, but I’m willing to guess that its target audience isn’t the most budget-conscious crowd.

SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK? 

Is Bentley taking the move to mass customization a step too far? Do you know of similar ostentatious ideas from other automakers? Tweet me your thoughts @MnetNews or leave your comments in the section below.

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