Science & Tech Round-Up: High price-tags and limited range putting a damper on electric cars sales – The Post

Science & Tech Round-Up: High price-tags and limited range putting a damper on electric cars sales

In other stories, we need an IT ministry, Enhedslisten contends, and green initiatives are taking place in Bornholm, Jammerbugt and all across Denmark

The best way to boost electric car sales would be lower prices and more charging points (photo: pxhere)
May 21st, 2019 9:50 am| by Stephen Gadd

The will, at least, is there: a new study by the Bilbranchen car organisation reveals that four out of ten Danes would like their next car to be an electric or hybrid one. But before that can happen, several obstacles have to be satisfactorily overcome, such as the cost compared to conventional cars, the limited range and a shortage of chargers, reports DI Business.

Price, though, is the most important factor. “The price problems won’t solve themselves in the foreseeable future. That’s why we’ll still need long-term measures to support sales of green vehicles for a number of years to come,” said Thomas Møller Sørensen, who oversees the automobile industry at Dansk Industri.

In my back yard, please!
Better batteries have improved the range of electric cars significantly in recent years, but the limited possibilities for charging cars when and where the need arises need also to be urgently addressed.

Sørensen points out that things will get better. “This is a problem that will gradually be solved as the green vehicle fleet grows larger and more players see potential in fulfilling that need – also for fast charging,” he said.

An IT ministry could be on the cards
According to Enhedslisten, Alternativet and Socialdemokratiet, Denmark needs an IT ministry when the next government is formed. The ministry should be responsible for matters of data security and ethics for future public IT projects, reports Politiken. Enhedslisten is behind the suggestion and it wants to focus on privacy, transparency and other ethical considerations associated with data collection by the state. Radikale is also supportive of the security aspects, but the party’s IT spokesperson told Politiken she was worried that a little ministry would find it a difficult task, so she would rather see this handled by one of the existing ministries such as the Economy and Interior Ministry.

Everybody out! – for the sake of the climate
Friday May 24 will see young people taking to the streets worldwide for another climate strike. The Danish branch of Fridays For Future, the movement inspired by Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, is organising 26 strikes in 24 different Danish towns and cities. Thunberg herself, meanwhile, will be speaking on May 25 at Christiansborg Palace Square after a climate march that starts at 13:00.

Bornholm totally rubbish-free by 2030?
The rubbish-burning incinerator on Bornholm is due to be replaced shortly, but as an alternative the municipality-run waste management company BOFA has put forward a daring new plan: to do away completely with all waste on the island by 2030 through recycling. “By 2032 we aim to reuse or recycle everything,” revealed Jens Hjul-Nielsen, the CEO of BOFA, a key architect behind the rubbish-free vision. “How we get to that point is an exciting process because there is so much we don’t yet know. We have a vision, but no clear-cut plan on how to get there.”

University and Microsoft testing new quantum computer platform
A quantum computer harnesses some of the phenomena of quantum mechanics to deliver huge leaps forward in processing power, outstripping even the most capable supercomputers. Google and IBM are already using one technique and now researchers from the University of Copenhagen and Microsoft have teamed up to develop a new kind of quantum computer, reports Ingeniøren. Their so-called topological quantum computer will employ two-dimensional quasiparticles called anyons. The advantage of this technique is that the computer is more stable, but the topological quantum bits are very difficult to produce.

Danish companies open supply base in UK
The Danish firms Comtec Int and HeliPPE have opened a supply base in Grimsby to supply services to the offshore wind industry. Located at Grimsby’s new GRO Centre, the Offshore Wind Supply Base will service rental personal protective equipment on site, as well as carry out legally required inspections. According to the companies, the base is strategically positioned to be integral to the growth of the Humber’s offshore wind sector as it is located close to projects and major operators such as Ørsted, Siemens and MHI Vestas.

Preserving a venerable boatbuilding tradition
Fishermen and other activists from Denmark’s Jammerbugt Municipality are hoping to preserve the noble Danish tradition of clinker-built oaken boats, reports Euronews. These are flexible enough to land directly on sandy beaches, and this traditional way of coastal fishing is more friendly to the marine environment than large-scale industrial methods. The Ocean in Balance association has launched a public campaign to raise funds to build 10 new boats for the younger generation of small-scale coastal fishermen.