Pandemic Forces Europe’s Largest Tech Event to Go Fully Online | Technology News

LISBON (Reuters) – Web Summit, Europe’s biggest technology conference, will be held entirely online in December due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced the cancellation or postponement of many major events this year, its organiser said on Thursday.

“Lisbon is still Web Summit’s home but with growing COVID-19 outbreaks across Europe, we have to think of what’s best for the people of Portugal and our attendees,” the conference’s founder Paddy Cosgrave said in a statement.

The decision, which came after the organiser said in June the event would take place in Lisbon as planned, followed talks with the Portuguese government and Lisbon’s mayor.

The event, which moved from Dublin to the Portuguese capital in 2016, attracts around 70,000 participants every year, drawing speakers from leading global tech companies and startups, as well as politicians.

Web Summit will be able to host 100,000 attendees online on its own conference platform, the organiser said, adding around 800 speakers will join the event, including Zoom chief executive Eric Yuan and Captain America star Chris Evans.

Portugal, which has so far reported a total of 81,256 cases and 2,040 deaths from the coronavirus, much lower than in neighbouring Spain, began lifting its lockdown on May 4.

But like most other European countries, it has seen the number of COVID-19 infections rise again after a summer lull.

“The safest and most reasonable answer is to host Web Summit fully online in 2020,” Cosgrave said. “We look forward to welcoming attendees back to Lisbon in 2021.”

(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Production of fully electric Volvo XC40 Recharge now underway

Despite dabbling in plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology for some years now, Volvo is just building its fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge SUV. The Swedish car maker has announced that production has begun on its first all-battery offering.

“Today is a momentous occasion for Volvo Cars and for all employees here in Ghent,” said Javier Varela, head of global industrial operations and quality, in an October 1 press release. “As we continue to electrify our line-up, the Ghent plant is a real trailblazer for our global manufacturing network.”

To accommodate the new production line, Volvo had to reduce its output of pre-production cars at its Ghent plant. It also had its staff undergo extensive electric car building training to ensure safe production, optimized workflow, and quality manufacture.

https://www.media.volvocars.com/
https://www.media.volvocars.com/

Volvo’s first fully-electric vehicle builds on the stellar safety standards of the original XC40. However, due to the absence of an internal combustion engine (ICE), the engineers had to rebuild the frontal structure from the ground up, complete with added reinforcing and stabilizing beams to ensure the EV still meets the brand’s high safety requirements. This was made possible by the use of the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA), an advanced vehicle platform co-developed within the Geely Group.

Aside from frontal reinforcements, the rear has also been galvanized to better distribute collision forces and direct these away from the cabin.

To keep occupants safe while ensuring the battery is well-protected from a collision, Volvo developed a unique safety structure that includes an aluminum safety cage embedded in the middle of the car’s body structure. This cage creates a crumple zone for the battery to keep it intact in case the unfortunate happens.

The all-wheel drive XC40 Recharge delivers an estimated 400kms of zero-emission travel on a single charge,

Ford drops the price of its all-electric Mustang Mach-E to stay ‘fully competitive’

Ford has slashed the price of its upcoming all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover by as much as $3,000 as the automaker seeks to stay competitive in an increasingly crowded and unsettled sector of the automotive market.

The price reductions, which were shared with dealerships and then posted Tuesday on the Mach-E Club owners’ forum, will be provided to everyone, including customers who already reserved a vehicle. TechCrunch confirmed the document with Ford.

Customers with existing reservations have until mid-October to make changes to their orders in light of the price change. The first Mustang Mach-E vehicles are expected to be delivered by the end of the year.

“Exceptional value has always been a hallmark of the Mustang brand. In addition to its great all-electric driving range and performance, we’re adjusting Mustang Mach-E pricing to remain fully competitive in a segment that is seeing dynamic price changes,” Ford said on the pricing sheet, the same language sent to TechCrunch by a spokesperson.

Automakers tweaking prices on vehicles is commonplace. But in the wild and wooly world of EVs, a marketplace that Tesla has long dominated, pricing can fluctuate often and quickly. Price changes are straightforward for EV companies like Tesla that use a direct sales model. It’s more complicated for legacy automakers such as Ford or GM that use the dealership model.

Ford cut prices on the base models of all Mach-E vehicles — effective Tuesday — except for the GT. The cost of Ford’s Mach-E premium models were reduced by $3,000. Ford cut the price of the CA Route 1 models by $2,000 and the “select” and “first” edition models by $1,000.

Ford unveiled the electric crossover last November. The vehicle marks a series of firsts for Ford and the Mustang badge. It’s the first vehicle to come out of Team