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Ford reveals electric range, set to overtake fuel by 2022

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At the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany this week, Ford revealed its most comprehensive line-up of electrified vehicles, which it says will surpass sales of conventional petrol- and diesel-models by the end of 2022 in Europe.

Earlier this year, Ford announced that every new Ford passenger vehicle nameplate will include an electrified option – either a mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric – delivering one of the most comprehensive line-ups of electrified options for European customers. The company is launching 17 electrified vehicles in Europe by 2024, including eight in 2019.

Ford expects electrified powertrains to account for more than half of the company’s passenger vehicle sales by the end of 2022, creating a tipping point for Ford’s electrified vehicle sales versus conventional petrol and diesel sales. By this time, the company also expects to have sold 1 million electrified passenger vehicles.

“With electrification fast becoming the mainstream, we are substantially increasing the number of electrified models and powertrain options for our customers to choose from to suit their needs,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe. “By making it easier than ever to seamlessly shift into an electrified vehicle, we expect the majority of our passenger vehicle sales to be electrified by the end of 2022.”

Ford’s fully electrified Frankfurt show stand features the most extensive line-up of electrified vehicles that Ford has yet displayed, including:

  • The all-new Kuga Plug-In Hybrid variant of the all-new mid-size SUV – Ford’s most electrified vehicle ever and the first Ford to offer mild-hybrid, self-charging full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains
  • The all-new Explorer Plug-In Hybrid seven-seat SUV and the new Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid eight-seat people-mover – each offering pure-electric driving capability alongside the driving range and freedom offered by a traditional combustion engine
  • The new Puma EcoBoost Hybrid SUV-inspired compact crossover, featuring sophisticated mild-hybrid technology for reduced CO2 emissions, optimised fuel-efficiency, and a more responsive and rewarding driving experience, shown in stylish Titanium X specification for the first time
  • The Ford Mondeo Hybrid wagon, featuring self-charging, full-hybrid, petrol-electric powertrain technology that offers a compelling alternative to diesel and offers pure electric driving for refinement particularly in city and stop-start driving scenarios

Ford’s new Mustang-inspired all-electric performance SUV will arrive in 2020, with a targeted pure-electric driving range of 600 km (more than 370 miles) calculated using the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), and fast-charging capability.

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to electrification – every customer’s circumstances and travel needs are different,” said Joerg Beyer, executive director, Engineering, Ford of Europe. “Our strategy is to pair the right electrified powertrain option to the right vehicle, helping our customers make their electrified vehicle experience easy and enjoyable.”

Seamless charging solutions

Ford will partner with six leading energy suppliers across Europe to provide home charging wall box installation services and green energy tariffs for plug-in hybrid customers, enabling simpler, faster and more affordable charging of electrified vehicles.

Ford recently announced it is set to work with Centrica to offer services in the U.K. and Ireland. Ford’s energy partners will also make their installation services available to support Ford’s dealership networks across Europe.

Ford’s wall box solution will deliver up to 50 per cent more charging power than a typical domestic socket to reduce at-home charging times by up to one-third for customers of Ford’s plug-in hybrid models.

“Our partnerships with leading energy suppliers including Centrica allow us to offer a one-stop shop for charging, including supply, installation, and special green energy tariffs for our fast charging wall box,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing Sales & Service, Ford of Europe.

Ford is also introducing a new smartphone and tablet application that will enable its plug-in hybrid vehicle owners and operators to easily locate, navigate to and pay for charging. In partnership with NewMotion, Ford offers access to the largest public charging network with extensive coverage across Europe. The new app will deliver simplified access and payment for Ford customers at more than 118,000 charging points in 30 countries. Customers will be able to seamlessly utilise charging points across many markets, initiating and paying for charging services from a single account for a simplified ownership experience.

In addition, in combination with the available FordPass Connect on-board modem, the FordPass mobile app enables Ford plug-in hybrid drivers to remotely monitor their vehicle’s charge status.

Ford also is a founder member and shareholder in the IONITY consortium that aims to build 400 fast-charging stations in key European locations by 2020, with a charging capacity of 350 kW. This enables a significant reduction in charging times for all-electric vehicles compared with existing systems – ideal for long distance journeys.

Making it easier than ever to Go Electric

Ford’s new Go Electric experience also debuts at the show, helping de-mystify electrification for customers. Visitors to the Go Electric experience will discover interactive exhibits, immersive experiences and an exciting, world-first electric vehicle acceleration simulator.

At Go Electric, consumers will find a range of experiences designed to help them better understand electrified driving technologies from today and tomorrow, and discover which solutions are best for them.

Go Electric experiences include:

  • A world-first electric vehicle acceleration simulator, replicating the thrill of unbroken linear acceleration delivered by all-electric performance
  • An augmented reality journey explaining the different electrified propulsion options offered by Ford and how each works – from the 48-volt mild-hybrid technology of the all-new Ford Puma to Ford’s forthcoming Mustang-inspired all-electric performance SUV
  • An interactive touchscreen experience designed to help customers understand which electrified technologies and products best suits their lifestyle
  • A hands-on interactive exhibit using real charging hardware to help customers understand how quickly plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles can be charged in multiple scenarios

Show-goers will be able to visit Go Electric at the Frankfurt Motor Show until September 22 before the experience embarks on a European tour, moving to Italy, France, Spain and the U.K. through 2019 and early 2020.

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Dell plans 50/50 gender split; 1:1 recycling and reuse

Dell Technologies has unveiled an ambitious 2030 target for a social impact plan called Progress Made Real.

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Dell Technologies has declared a decade of responsibility and innovation to ramp up the company’s social impact worldwide. At the company’s Dell Technologies Summit in Austin, Texas, last week, chairman and CEO Michael Dell unveiled a set of ambitious goals in a plan called 2030 Progress Made Real.

“Unlocking the power of data will advance humanity more than any other force over the next decade,” said Dell. “We are committed to making that power broadly available to communities around the world, so we can all move forward together.”

Over the next decade, he said, Dell Technologies will use its global scale, broad technology portfolio and expertise to yield meaningful and measurable impact on society and the planet. 

The plan sets the following goals for the company:

Advance sustainability 

·        Recycle an equivalent product for every product a customer buys

·        Lead the circular economy with more than half of all product content being made from recycled or renewable material 

·        Use 100% recycled or renewable material in all packaging 

·        Deliver future-ready skills development for workers in their supply chain

·        Drive a comprehensive science-based climate program, setting emissions goals across facilities, supply chain and operations to customer use of our products including partnering with suppliers to meet a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 60% per unit revenue by 2030

Cultivate inclusion

·        Acquire, develop and retain women so they account for 50% of the company’s global workforce and 40% of global people managers

·        Acquire, develop and retain black/African American and Hispanic team members so they account for 25% of the company’s U.S. workforce and 15% of U.S. people managers 

·        Educate 95% of all team members on an annual basis about unconscious bias, harassment, micro-aggressions and privilege 

Transform lives

·        Advance the health, education and economic opportunity of 1 billion people

·        Digitally transform 1,000 nonprofit organisations

·        Achieve 75% team member participation in charitable giving and volunteerism in communities

The company says ethics and privacy are foundational to its corporate and social impact strategies and are essential to executing the 2030 goals. To this end, it is fully automating data control processes, making it easier for customers to access, delete or share their personal data. The company will use digital tools to make it easier to get insights from, measure and monitor compliance issues using digital data. 

In addition to seeking customer input, Dell Technologies engaged third parties, considered the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and Business Roundtable’s Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation, and surveyed team members to assess the most critical issues and opportunities they see in their work and the world.

“We have a great responsibility to apply the full power of Dell Technologies to transform lives and society,” said Karen Quintos, chief customer officer at Dell Technologies. “By combining our technology portfolio, global scale, team member talent and customer partnerships, we can drive significant positive impact. Our 2030 agenda is comprehensive and deeply embedded across the business. The moonshot goals stretch us to go far beyond incremental change. In some cases, we’re still working to uncover how we’ll get there – but we know that significant change and innovation starts with deep commitment.”

In June 2019, Dell Technologies announced early completion of many of its 2020 goals. For example, through a global recycling network, it reached a 2020 goal of recycling 2-billion pounds of used electronics.  Through partnerships with the Government of India and Tata Trusts, it deployed a cloud-based analytics solution to deliver preventive healthcare to remote villages, reaching 11 million people who would otherwise not have these services. A range of additional social impact goals have also been reached (see graphic below)

* For the full list of 2030 goals, see delltechnologies.com/2030goals

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Behind the scenes of Netflix SA’s Queen Sono

South Africa’s first Netflix Original TV show, Queen Sono, is almost ready to air. Gadget’s BRYAN TURNER spoke to the show’s creators on set.

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In the heart of Johannesburg, a house is about to make history as one of the first homes to have a South African Netflix Original filmed inside. During filming, it’s surrounded by a dozen large trucks that carry props, camera equipment, set equipment and equipment needed to make this production a reality. 

We chatted with Queen Sono’s writer, director, and showrunner, Kagiso Lediga, on set recently. He also heads up Diprente, the Johannesburg-based production company behind the show.

“[Being writer and director] gives one the ability to carry out the vision,” says Lediga. “I mean, it’s not just that I’m wearing many hats. But there’s the other creators, other HODs: from production designer to cinematographer, to the other writers that I work with. So it’s great, I guess that being a showrunner you kind of have to touch on all of those.

“It’s a huge responsibility in terms of carrying out the narrative. You know, sometimes what’s great is when you come up with an idea, and then when you see it when, either you’re sitting behind the monitor, directing, or while you’re sitting and editing, and you’re like ‘Whoa, that’s exactly how we imagined it’.”

The show is an action-packed series that follows Queen Sono, a highly trained top spy in a South African agency whose purpose is to better the lives of African citizens. While taking on her most dangerous mission yet, she must also face changing relationships in her personal life.

Of course, the gravity of being a Netflix Original means that Queen Sono will be put on a global stage, and will be available to stream in over 40 countries. We asked the show’s Director of Photography, Motheo Moeng, how the show’s image has been carefully crafted for a local and global audience.

“Overall, the treatment of the show is based on the characters we have written, naturally, and other spy films that we have looked at,” says Moeng. “So the treatment of her visually, and the look to the show visually, had that in mind. So as much as you wanted to treat it as an African show, we were well aware that it had to have international appeal.”

It’s also dangerous work getting the show to be perfect, Moeng says.

“It’s like being in a boxing ring, so there are days when you’re getting punched, there are days when you have to stand up and go. But overall, I guess the banter between myself and the first aiders is interesting. Our jobs are a direct contrast to each other; I’m trying to constantly light and make things look pretty, and he has to make sure we make the day, so if you stick around for long enough, you’ll see the love-hate relationship between us.”

Stunt Coordinators Grant Powell and Filip-Ciprian ‘Chip’ Florian have us a quick insight into how to get the actors (and film crew) ready for a spy movie’s action.

“[Most productions] have the same demands because they all have the same elements,” says Powell. “It doesn’t matter how big the movie, they’re still an actor. An actor still has to be trained. I still have to deal with the psychology of that. Convincing them that they can do it. So it really doesn’t matter the scale of the film, you’re still dealing with the same elements, which is training an actor from scratch sometimes.

“There was a combat scene with Queen Sono and the baddies, and she kicks one of them out the window, which is Chip by the way. So he goes through plate glass, goes over the balcony, three stories up and lands on a car. I thought that was cool. We had three weeks prep, which is great for a local show. You never get that, you’re usually learning on the day. That’s why the audience will instantly see the quality will be better because of this preparation. That’s what’s going to make this show stand out over and above anything that’s ever been done locally.”

Queen Sono is expected to be released exclusively on Netflix in 2020.

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