This New User-Replaceable Battery Could Power a Tesla for 1,500+ Miles

Aluminum-air fuel cell
John McLellan

A British engineer has developed a new battery that can be used to power electric cars for upwards of 1,500 miles before they need to be recharged. Deals are being made to begin production and distribution in the UK.

Trevor Jackson, a 58-year-old inventor from Tavistock, Devon, had a career that included working for Rolls-Royce to help design nuclear reactors and a position in the Royal Navy as a lieutenant on nuclear submarines.

A new electrolyte formula is at the core of Jackson’s invention for the high-powered car battery. The formula is said to be top secret but the electrolyte uses lower-purity metal and is described as being non-poisonous or caustic to the extent that Jackson reportedly drank some when demonstrating it to investors—not something you’d do with the toxic substances in most batteries.

More accurately, the new device should be described as a fuel cell and not a battery, DailyMail notes. Compared to the conventional lithium-ion batteries currently powering today’s electronics, Jackson’s aluminum-air fuel cell reportedly generates nine times as much energy (nine times as many kilowatt-hours of electricity per kilogram).

Whereas the existing Tesla Model S can travel for about 370 miles from one charge, the same vehicle could travel up to 2,700 miles if equipped with a version of Jackson’s aluminum-air fuel cell that weighed the same as its lithium-ion battery, or 1,500 miles for a version of the cell that was the same size as the Tesla’s lithium-ion battery. What’s more, Jackson claims that while the Tesla battery costs around £30,000, an aluminum-air cell could power the same car for £5,000.

DailyMail notes that the average British family only travels around 7,900 miles every year, in which case those individuals would only need to swap their fuel cell a few times a year. It’s thought that the new aluminum-air fuel cell will also be useful for industrial applications with large vehicles that typically strain the limitations of lithium-ion batteries. The aluminum-air cells could power large trucks or buses, which would otherwise require lithium-ion batteries that are practically as heavy as the freight being hauled.

Jackson is in discussions with two aircraft makers to use his new fuel cell in propeller planes for short-haul passenger and cargo flights. He has also signed a multi-million-pound deal to start manufacturing the fuel cell on a large scale in the UK, where Austin Electric will be shipping thousands of them in electric vehicles next year.

There are also plans in the works to produce three-wheeler taxis and electric bikes for the Asian market, as well as conversion kits that can transform standard gas and diesel vehicles into hybrids with rear wheels powered by aluminum-air fuel cells and electric motors. Jackson anticipates that conversion kits will be available early next year and each conversion will cost around £3,500.

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Save up to $40 on Amazon Fire Tablets and Kindle E-Readers

An Amazon Kindle

If you’ve been waiting for a heavy discount on Amazon’s devices, now might be the time to get your wallet out. The company has reduced prices by as much as $40 on many of its Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers.

In some cases, this pricing has previously only been offered during sales events that were limited to Amazon Prime subscribers. However, this promotion is available to everyone. The discounted items include the standard Fire 7 and Fire 8, Kids Edition Fire 7 and Fire 8, as well as the new 10th-gen Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite.

Although the Fire 7’s price has only been reduced by $10, that puts the device at $39.99 as it was previously only $49.99. If you’d prefer a bigger display and beefier battery, the Fire 8 has been discounted to $59.99 from $79.99.

Likewise, the Fire 7 Kids Edition is now priced at $69.99 and the Fire 8 Kids Edition is $99.99—both being $30 off their usual rate. Amazon’s “Kids Edition” products come with a protective cover, one year of access to kid-friendly content through FreeTime Unlimited, and a two-year worry-free guarantee that Amazon will replace any devices your kids break.

Amazon’s 10th-generation Kindle (the newest one) has seen its price cut by $25 from $89.99 to $64.99. Key features include an integrated front light for reading in the dark and weeks-long battery life. Alternatively, the Kindle Paperwhite with its ultra-sharp 300 ppi display is now only $89.99, $40 off from $129.99.

It’s not just Amazon US who has these types of deals going on right now. Amazon UK currently offers similar discounts on the Fire 7 (£15 off, now only £35), Fire 8 (£20 off, now only £60), and the Kindle Paperwhite (£30 off, now only £90).

Source: Engadget

Motorola Razr Returns? Event Scheduled for November 13

The original Motorola Razr
Lenscap Photography/

“You’re going to flip,” reads an invitation that Motorola has begun sending out to media for an event that will almost surely involve the unveiling of a fresh take on the old school Razr flip phone.

Scheduled for the evening of November 13, the event will be hosted in downtown Los Angeles and will feature the “highly anticipated unveiling of a reinvented icon.” The event will include appearances from special guests and music performers along with “a journey through immersive experiences.”

Motorola invitation GIF, save the date November 13

When Motorola discussed the idea of resurrecting the Razr with CNET in December 2018, the company itself noted that while people are yearning for a new take on the Razr, the phone would have to be revived in a way that isn’t gimmicky and manages to deliver an incredible experience. “We’ve got to figure out how to deliver a breakthrough,” said Raul Pierce, co-designer of the original Razr.

Those are encouraging words and it will be interesting to see what Motorola has whipped up. We anticipate a more modern foldable device, perhaps with dual screens or a single folding display, which seems about the only thing Motorola could do for this phone to be anything more than just the old Razr with faster chips and a sharper screen.

Less encouraging words come from a January 2019 report in the Wall Street Journal, where it was claimed that the new Razer would cost $1,500 and only around 200,000 units would be produced. Speculation suggests that the new Razr will have a modern Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 2,730mAh battery, 4GB or 6GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of storage, and color options including white, black, and gold.

We’ll find out soon enough how accurate that is.

Source: CNET

See the Big Picture with Arlo’s New Doorbell Camera

Arlo Video Doorbell

Smarthome device maker Arlo has announced its first doorbell camera with features that include a 180-degree diagonal field of view and a square 1:1 aspect ratio that captures as much video vertically as it does horizontally.

Arlo says its doorbell camera is designed to capture what most other video doorbells can’t because of their wide aspect ratio. The Arlo Video Doorbell boasts an industry-leading vertical field of view that is better equipped to capture the full picture of your front porch and anyone who might be standing on it.

Along with recording HD video, the Arlo Video Doorbell has two-way audio for voice communication. The device supports direct-to-mobile video calls as well as personalized alerts for events such as package delivery.

When someone presses your Arlo Video Doorbell, it will automatically send a live HD video call right to your smartphone. If you can’t take the call, you can respond by sending a pre-recorded message of your choosing.

Arlo Video Doorbell 1:1 Aspect Ratio vs. 16:9

Camera specifications include a 12x digital zoom and video modes for capturing in 1536 x 1536, 1080 x 1080, and 720 x 720. Night vision is enabled high powered infrared 850nm LEDs with an IR Cut Filter. Here’s the Arlo Video Doorbell’s full feature list:

  • Optimized front entry view: Industry-leading vertical field-of-view with an optimized 1:1 aspect ratio.
  • Motion detection and alerts: Receive alerts when motion is detected.
  • Video call: Calls your phone directly so you never miss a visitor.
  • Quick reply messages: Pre-recorded messages to quickly reply to visitors.
  • Night vision: See who’s at your door at night, even without a light on.
  • HD video: Capture vivid detail in bright and dark areas with HDR.
  • Zoom: Zoom in on a subject while on a live video call.
  • Silent mode: Disables push notifications and silences chime.
  • Weather-resistant design: Designed to withstand heat, cold, rain or sun.
  • Tamper detection: Siren can be triggered if someone attempts to remove the doorbell.

The Arlo Video Doorbell connects to an existing mechanical or digital chime for easy installation and for a source of continuous power. Units are currently available for pre-order at Best Buy and other resellers for $149.99. Of note, the purchase includes a three month trial for Alro’s subscription-based AI service called Arlo Smart, which adds another layer of features and personalization.

Source: Arlo

Chrome OS Users Now Have a Logitech Keyboard to Call Their Own

Logitech Made For Google Wireless Mouse Keyboard

Accompanying the new hardware that Google unveiled yesterday, Logitech has announced a new keyboard and mouse which are branded as being “Made for Google” as they have features tailored toward being used on Google’s Chrome OS.

The combo is comprised of a Logitech M355 mouse and K580 keyboard. The mouse is a pretty standard affair with wireless connectivity via USB and Bluetooth, an 18 month battery life when using a single AA battery, and a compact oval design that measures only an inch thick. Buttons include right and left click as well as a scroll wheel.

There’s nothing hugely indicative of the Logitech 355 mouse being enhanced for Chrome OS, but the K580 keyboard has a whole row of Chrome OS shortcut keys along with a key for Google Assistant. The K580 keyboard was originally launched with different shortcut keys, but this Google-branded variant has shortcuts that resemble more of what you’d find on a Chromebook.

Logitech Wireless Mouse Keyboard

Both versions of the K580 can be paired with several devices at the same time—such as a PC and/or smartphone. The board even has a cradle in the top bezel where you can prop up your phone, and there’s an easy switch button that lets you quickly toggle the keyboard between up to three different devices.

The K580 features a relatively sleek design with low profile scissor switch keys in a compact package, measuring 14.7 x 12.8 x 5.6 inches and weighing 1.2 pounds. The board connects to devices wirelessly for up to 33 feet over Bluetooth or through a USB dongle, and it can run for up to 24 months on two AAA batteries (which are included).

The Logitech M355 Portable Wireless Mouse for Chrome OS is available soon through Google’s online store for $29.99, while the K580 Slim Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard for Chrome OS is going for $49.99 with free shipping. Logitech follows in the steps of accessory maker Brydge, which released a more expensive Chrome OS keyboard last year.

Source: Logitech/Google