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Electric Vehicles Are in the Spotlight at Detroit’s 2019 Auto Show

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“Now I can park on the street and charge up, and anyone else in the neighborhood who has a Tesla can, too,” Mr. Torrella said.

Charging time is another issue. Even Tesla’s Superchargers require 40 minutes to provide an 80 percent charge. Doing the trick at home is generally an overnight job.

Automakers are trying to address those challenges. G.M., Nissan, Volkswagen and others are working with partners to install more chargers. They are getting help from Electrify America, a company that Volkswagen funded as part of its agreement to settle lawsuits over its deception on diesel emissions. With a budget of $2 billion, Electrify America is aiming to install an initial wave of 600 chargers at gas stations, and 1,500 at office parks and apartment buildings. Three more waves are to follow.

But even so, Electrify America’s network will probably provide only 10 percent of the country’s charging needs by 2021, the company’s chief executive, Giovanni Palazzo, said at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

“We can’t make it happen on our own,” he said. “We need more players.”

Electrify America is also hoping to install 350-kilowatt chargers within the next few years, which in theory could provide a full charge in about 15 minutes. About 80 percent of the chargers currently installed use 120 kilowatts, Mr. Palazzo said.

One advantage that automakers are counting on is the wider variety of cars they will bring to the market. The Model 3, the Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan Leaf are all small cars, a type of vehicle that fewer Americans are buying. Like Ford, Nissan is working on a roomier, S.U.V.-like model that it thinks will have wider appeal.

“There’s not a lot of variety right now, but as more vehicles come up in the small and midsize S.U.V. body styles, it will bring in more people,” said Brian Maragno, Nissan’s director of E.V. sales and marketing strategy. “The market, in just a couple of years, is going to look very different.”

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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