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The UK’s first electric ferry runs on old Nissan Leaf batteries

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Earlier today, here on SHIFT, we looked at the results of a survey from UK consumer magazine Which?, which showed battery degradation in EVs is really nothing to worry about.

There is an issue, though. It seems that battery degradation is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things that the power packs will outlive the rest of the car. So what to do with all those surplus cells?

Use them to power boats, of course! It was maritime week in the UK recently after all.

[Read: What audience intelligence data tells us about the 2020 US presidential election]

A collaboration between boatyard Voyager Marine, Cornwall and South coast-based ferry tour operator Plymouth Boat Trips has seen a bunch of used Nissan Leaf batteries get repurposed to power what they say is the UK’s first all-electric sea going ferry. Last week, the boat undertook its maiden voyage.

By means of a reality check, it’s not really a ferry in the same way a transcontinental boat is a ferry. It’s closer to being an electrified fishing boat, but that doesn’t sound quite as sexy, so I”ll let them off.

The boat, called e-Voyager, was designed and developed by folks at the University of Plymouth, the University of Exeter, Teignbridge Propellers, and EV Parts. It didn’t come cheap: the whole project, funded by a Maritime Research and Innovation (MarRI-UK) initiative and the Department for Transport (DfT), cost around £1.4 million ($1.8 million USD).

EV parts, an engineering company that specializes in components for electric vehicle fabrication, designed the boat’s battery storage and motor arrangement to replace its original diesel motor. The Nissan Leaf batteries are linked up to provide 400 volts of power to the motors.

It’s eerily quiet, take a look in the video below.

Right now, the boat is being tested by regulatory bodies so that it can be used for public use and begin ferrying passengers to their destinations.

That’s all well and good but what about charging? Well, Plymouth City Council are helping out with that and are going to install three 22 kWh chargers where the boat will moor up. Plymouth Boat Trips says that it’ll take three hours overnight to fully charge the vessel. Operators expect it to be able to complete its journeys on a single full charge, and will top up during the day as it needs to.

Ok, ok. Electric boats are nowhere near as exciting as say the Pininfarina Battista or the Rimac C_Two, but researchers at Plymouth University believe the knowledge gained from this project will scale up and be useful to large commercial vessels. Eventually, this could help realize the UK governments goal of reducing emissions in the marine sector by 50% by 20250.

What’s more, it uses old EV batteries. There’s a lot of concern about what will happen to EV batteries when the cars they’re built into eventually die. Besides recycling them, they can also be repurposed and reused. If we’re really going to cut emissions in a meaningful way, this is the kind of sustainable and circular thinking we need to explore.


SHIFT is brought to you by Polestar. It’s time to accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility. That is why Polestar combines electric driving with cutting-edge design and thrilling performance. Find out how.

Published October 23, 2020 — 12:28 UTC

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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