Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

tv   Click  BBC News  November 21, 2020 3:30pm-4:01pm GMT

3:30 pm
imagine for a moment you want to get out of your time—share. you might come to this business. welcome, from the time—share termination team uk. we found 5—star google reviews from many customers, but are they really? that picture is actually of a government minister in tanzania. how about david 7 no, he didn't write that one either. never heard of them! time to give them a call. some of them have never heard of you. there is no evidence the company has done anything wrong, and it says it has now launched an investigation. as for richard, in his fight against fakes, he is now taking legal action against google. a final attempt to set
3:31 pm
the record straight. angus crawford, bbc news. freak ice storms in russia's far east have prompted a state of emergency, with thousands left without power. but one man's thankful after a near miss in the city of vladivostok. here he is in the red jacket, clearing snow off his car as something catches his eye. that something was a huge concrete slab breaking off from the side of the building next to him. he may have escaped unharmed — not sure the same can be said for the car. that has left us all a bit speechless. now it's time for a look
3:32 pm
at the weather with nick miller. an area of cloud and occasional rain pushing very slowly further south through england and wales during the rest of today and into tonight. and by the end of tonight, that will be sitting across southern england. clearer skies behind it. a few showers into northern ireland overnight. lots of showers still running into the north and west of scotland. wintry on the higher hills. still driven along by strong winds, particularly in the northern isles. only very slowly easing tomorrow. and where you have got clear skies, temperatures in the cold spots will fall close to freezing, so it mayjust see a touch of frost going into tomorrow. but there will be plenty of sunny spells around us. southern england staying rather cloudy with patchy rain. it mayjust push back towards parts of south wales as the day goes on. elsewhere, you may catch a shower in north—west england or northern ireland — a bit more especially into western scotland. it will be a cooler dayjust about wherever you are tomorrow, but then again, there are these sunny spells to be had. a weatherfront bringing more rain into parts of scotland and northern ireland on monday and tuesday. pushing further south through england and wales on wednesday, and a mainly
3:33 pm
dry end to the week. borisjohnson is facing questions about whether he tried to tone down an independent report which said home secretary priti patel broke the ministerial code by bullying staff an online summit of the world's biggest economies is underway in saudi arabia : top of the agenda the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout. an alternative to a covid vaccine for people... at least eight people have been killed and more than 30 injured ina have been killed and more than 30 injured in a rocket attack in cobble. the firebreak lockdown is over but the visitors remain locked down, how tourism businesses in wales are struggling to stay afloat. now it's time for click.
3:34 pm
taking to the roads, looking at electric vehicles. this week, we are back on the road in our electric motors. i'm digging up the truth around battery tech. laura has the low—down on charging them up. and chris is using all of that power to take some fabulous photos. welcome to click. i know, i'm not on the sofa! don't panic, though — i brought it with me. no, i have not made a dash for it. i am in an electric car on a 300—mile trip across the uk. this is a lockdown mission to find
3:35 pm
out if an electric vehicle revolution is about to happen. across the world, governments are pulling up ambitious targets for environmentally friendly transport. the eu aims to reduce its greenhouse gases by 80% in the next 30 years and electric vehicles are a big part of that plan. the uk this week announced its ambition to stop selling cars that are wholly powered by petrol and diesel by the year 2030. so many more of us, it seems, will be buying electric cars in the next few years, and lara has some tips for you on that later in the show. but first, i'm off to a place that may hold the key to the future of european electric cars. cornwall is known for its fish, its stunning views and its tourism. but it has not always been that way.
3:36 pm
for most of its modern historical life, cornwall has been a centre for mining. silver, tin and copper were all pulled out of the ground to support the expanding british empire. at one point in the early 19th century, this was the greatest copper—producing region in the world. but, as globalisation took hold, cornish mining became too expensive to compete internationally and so, the mines were closed. but all that is changing. traces of an element discovered in cornwall in the 19th century have suddenly become rather important. this is lithium mica granite, and the important word there is ‘lithium'. as in the lithium ion batteries in your phone, in your computer
3:37 pm
and your electric car. and some think that cornwall may be the best place in europe to supply it. there is lithium in the czech republic, but the boss of one company realised that the rock here in cornwall was made of the same stuff. we followed it up with a field trip and the first rock that andrew picked up had ore—grade lithium in it. british lithium is prospecting here in cornwall and once they find a rich seam of lithium mica granite, they plan to build an open quarry, a lot like this one. what is the ecological impact of a mine like this? the footprint of a mine is actually very small, so the mine we are proposing will produce about a third of the total lithium requirement to the uk, should the whole industry transform to an electric one from an internal combustion. and the quarry will be quite modest
3:38 pm
— smaller than this, actually. most of the development is a refinery. now, there are obvious advantages of a country making its own products rather than importing them, but there is actually another very important reason why batteries specifically need to be home—grown. lithium batteries are very bulky, they are heavy and they're a dangerous good to transport. a model s tesla has got half a ton of battery in it, so it is a major component of the car, so battery makers colocate with electric vehicle makers. you picture a tesla factory — they have got chemicals and metals going in one end and cars driving out the other. now, if we want to have an electric car industry in the uk, we have to have a battery industry here. so what things can we do to attract a lithium battery industry in the uk? one thing is to have the only domestic source of the major component in europe — there is none produced in the whole of europe. and so it could be that cornwall,
3:39 pm
along with the czech republic, become vital as europe's hunger for lithium grows. so the amount of lithium we need in the uk and also globally is going to increase dramatically over the next few years by — so we calculate by 2035, we will need five times as much lithium as we are mining now, so that is quite an increase. but at this stage, companies like british lithium are still trying to work out where the lithium is. so i'm off to their lab to find out what happens to all of the samples that they are digging out. and in the meantime, lara has been off on her own adventure. my armchair is looking a bit different this week as well, as i am also out and about. this hybrid bmw uses geofencing to automatically switch from petrol to electric in a particular location. in this instance, it is when i enter the london congestion charge zone. i'd imagine that most people who buy a plug—in hybrid want to be on electric as much as they can be,
3:40 pm
so would actuallyjust preset it to be on electric, unless they were on a long journey, so this idea is possibly a bit of a gimmick but i guess it could help keep cities less polluted. of course, the benefit of having a hybrid vehicle like this is that you don't need to worry about charging on a long journey. but this week, i'm going to be looking at a surprise bonus of having an all—electric vehicle, and the importance of planning. there's been a rapid increase in the number of electric cars sold in the uk — and i'm talking pure electric. almost double were sold this year, compared to last. but for many of us, buying an electric vehicle is still a new experience and there are a few things that you need to think about. electric is great in the city and over recent years, there has been an increasing number of charging points emerging on our high streets. but for longer journeys, things can
3:41 pm
get a little bit trickier. the range an electric car can drive before needing a boost has increased greatly. there are now many on the market advertised to be able to do around 280 miles on a single charge. while all electric cars show a calculation of how long you should be able to drive for, they are rarely accurate. if you're a smoother driver, you will definitely benefit from an electric car. in terms of the weather, that is another impact that can affect electric car range. generally when it is colder, range falls. you might expect to see something like a 20%, maybe 25% drop off in range at the most extreme points in winter. weight also is an impact so if you have a heavy load, that will give you a lower range as well — potentially again in the sort of 25% region. but if you do run out ofjuice on a longerjourney, then most motorway service stations do have chargers. and in the majority of cases, they will have rapid chargers. but ‘rapid' means different things to different cars.
3:42 pm
it is not only about how fast the charging point, but also the speed your car can charge — the combination determining how long a stop you would need to make at the services. most motorways have 50 kilowatt chargers. an average electric car would be able to boost its battery by 90 miles in 30 minutes at one. here on this forecourt, though, the chargers can triple that power. one other thing to know — your battery can only do the fast charging up to a certain point. when it reaches about 80%, the charging slows right down. if i'm taking the car on a long journey, i need to first check to see where the chargers are and if they are working, and then i need to plan for the charger beyond that, in case they are busy. and often when i get to the charger, they are not working properly or they are taken by somebody else and i have to use
3:43 pm
my contingency plan. so planning is definitely required to drive long distances. but if you are near a motorway and you have some time to spare, you should be ok. in rural areas, though, the electric car revolution may be harder to kick—start. there are certainly comparisons with electric vehicle charging infrastructure and broadband. there's lots of private investment going into ev charge points but it's focused very much on urban areas, where those companies are going to make a return. in rural areas where it is more sparsely populated, there are not the same returns, so they not been prioritised by those companies. to boost driver confidence, it's now essential that the infrastructure reaches across the country. if it's not done right, once again, rural areas risk being left behind. price has been a major sticking point for electric car ownership but in recent years, have they actually become cheaper to own?
3:44 pm
we've tried to simplify the figures based on a mid—range car over the course of four years. buying this electric car over the same model with petrol would set you back around an extra a0%. yet the electric should depreciate less, have lower running costs, and no road tax. you are likely to spend around one quarter on electricity than what you'd spend on fuel. evs are expensive. but if you think about it, you know, if you look at a mobile phone, that's a £500 or £600 device, so actually, what you are finding is that paying for it as you go — so the phone, the insurance and the text and data — is a way you are happy to pay for that. it's then a mobile device as a service. so with evs, bundling a monthly price with the car, the insurance, the service, the maintenance and the energy could be the way, actually, we consume cars in the future.
3:45 pm
hello and welcome to the week in tech. it was the week that chinese smartphone manufacturer 0ppo showed off a concept rolling phone screen which can transform into a tablet. amazon started selling prescription drugs online to us customers at significant discounts. and twitter and facebook ceos were cross—examined for the second time in three weeks by us senators, this time facing questions about their compa ny‘s role in the us election. facebook also separately announced it would extend its ban on political ads for at least another month. it was a very eventful week for tesla's ceo elon musk, who saw his personal fortune go up by $15 billion, overtaking mark zuckerberg as the third richest person in the world. also this week, mr musk tested positive for the coronavirus and his rocket company spacex sent four astronauts into space. robot vacuum cleaners could be accessed remotely to eavesdrop in the home, even without a microphone on board.
3:46 pm
lidar sensors were hacked on the xiaomi roborock vacuum by researchers at the university of maryland, picking up acoustic signals from the room. and finally this week, we saw how a magnetic spray could turn everyday objects like pills into mini robots. a team from city university of hong kong show the uses of the m—spray, such as guiding a catheter inside the body or distributing medicine. the object's locomotion is controlled by manipulating the magnetic field around it. the spray can be absorbed or excreted by the body, making targeted drug delivery possible. this week, i've been putting four of the latest smartphone cameras to the test to see how they stack up. the iphone 12 pro max, the google pixel 5, the huawei mate a0 pro and the iphone 12. i have been using the mini version, but it has the exact same camera as the regular size iphone 12. let's talk about lenses,
3:47 pm
and the trendy thing at the moment is to add a super—wide lens so you can zoom out and fit a bit more into your picture. i actually prefer a telephoto lens, because i feel that you cannot always get closer to something you want to zoom in on, but you can quite often take a few steps back to get further away. all four of these phones have a super—wide lens, but only two of them have a telephoto lens and huawei's has the biggest optical zoom. here's how that looks in practice, because i saw some ducks in the park and i took these photos from about two metres away. here's as close as i could get without digitally cropping on the iphone 12 and the pixel 5. now here is the 2.5 times zoom on the iphone 12 pro max. we're getting a bit closer. but look how close i got with the huawei camera. this duck was working my camera! gorgeous! and it really does make a difference. later in the park, i saw a squirrel and my instinct was quickly grab the huawei, and this is how it turned out — and this was taken on a camera phone. so the zoom here blew the other
3:48 pm
phones out of the water. to test the phones in low light, i went into central london after dark which, as you can imagine, is pretty much deserted at the moment, apart from every now and then you'd see a social media influencer and their camera operator striking a pose and having a little photo shoot. i went down to the tate britain, which at the moment is lit up for diwali. all of these were taken on the super—wide cameras and all of them looked great — although i think the huawei just edges ahead because take a look at how much detail it preserved in these beautiful tiles. those were the super—wide shots. with the regular wide camera, apple and huawei both say they have made improvements this year to let in more light. here are some photos from the wide cameras. both iphones took a decent shot. the pixel did too — although again, it was darker and grainier than the others. and then the mate a0 pro captured this and i was blown away. look again how much detail is preserved. i also took some portrait mode shots here, which came out very nicely. you'll notice the one from the iphone 12 pro max is more zoomed in, because it defaults
3:49 pm
to the telephoto lens for portraits. i have to say both iphones and the pixel captured quite a lot of lens flare from these neon lights. i did not mind in this particular context — it looks quite artistic — but the huawei did not have any lens flare. in fact, the mate a0 pro was so consistently impressive that whenever we were taking extra shots or i wanted a quick one done of me in a nice location, i'd say, "let's do it on the huawei — it's going to get the better shot". now, all four of these phones also offer night mode and to test that out, we went to stjames‘s park at night, and it was very dark. this is all the iphone 12 could see without engaging night mode. and the iphone 12 pro max does have an extra trick, because it has that lidar scanner to detect depth, it can also take blurry background portrait mode shots with night mode switched on. it was very impressive. but what's more impressive is that the mate a0 pro can do this without engaging night mode. this was just a regular portrait mode snap taken instantly, without a long exposure in near darkness.
3:50 pm
let's take a quick look at video stabilisation. the iphone 12 pro max is trying something new for apple — it has sensor shift stabilisation, so it's moving the camera sensor around to counteracts your hand movements, and it worked very well. in these shots, jogging in the park alongside my friend, the pro max definitely produced the most stable video. of course, there is more to a phone than just the cameras. the elephant in the room is that huawei still does not have access to google play services, due to that us trade blacklist, and that means many of the most popular apps are missing from the platform, including from its own huawei app gallery, but there is no denying that, when it comes to the camera — at least from my testing — the huawei one is a generation ahead of the competition. that was chris with a truly illuminating report. back at british lithium's cornwall lab, i met with their ceo — the man who discovered that first rock — to find out how can cornwall might be the answer to our battery problems.
3:51 pm
now, it used to be that all lithium came from brines, created by water being pumped up from underground and then left to dry in massive lakes. the lithium could then be extracted from the salt left behind. but all that is changing. as the lithium industry is growing, those brine lakes cannot keep up — they take 10—20 years of evaporating to get going — so the world has switched over to hard rock, with western australia leading the charge. and now we are coming in with unconventional hard rocks, like we see with tesla in nevada, bacanora in mexico, the czech republic and here in cornwall, with this lithium microgranite. so the first stage of exploration is we need to drill some diamond holes to see what is in the ground — not just at surface but deep underground — so these holes are about 200—300 metres each. a diamond rig produces drill core, which looks like this, and it does two things. we can crush it down and get an analytical test of lithium content, but also it is useful
3:52 pm
for logging it. what is the difference between the lithium that you get here in cornwall and the lithium that there is in australia? the lithium in australia is about twice the grade to what we see here. but in australia, the seam's about 3—6 metres thick, where here we get 120 metres of continuous mineralization. so each of these cores was joined on top of each other to the depth of 100 or so metres. each box is about 3 metres. so we are going down the hole this way, and as you can see, this is continuous mineralisation all the way down the hole. so to work out if this rock contains enough lithium worth mining, they need to send the rocks off for analysis and, before that, their geologist needs to get the mica out. so this is a lithium mica phlogopite, actually, with very coarse lithium mica flakes in it. actually, with sieving it, we should get some of mica flakes these to separate. this is a small operation at the moment, because they're still trying to find the best place to put the mine by seeing which drill holes contain
3:53 pm
the most lithium. this is prospecting at the very edge — the modern—day equivalent of prospectors at the american frontier hacking at rocks with pick axes and panning for gold in rivers. you can see the quite coarse micro crystals in there still. if you have mica, is there definitely lithium in there, or is it possible that you can get mica without lithium ? mica is a very common mineral so it is very important to be able to recognise which ones have lithium in them and which ones don't. so the crushed minerals from each core are bagged separately and sent off to the lab. the results will show which location yielded the most lithium, at which point they know that have struck gold — well, lithium. so the data that we have got at the moment is a good indication that we are on the right track. at what point will you say "we will put the mine here?" do you think it will be in the next year or the next five years or...? i think it would be in the next one or two years.
3:54 pm
so the lithium from cornwall may one day end up in the batteries inside electric cars. and those lithium batteries might notjust power you car — they might also power your home. lara has been looking at a scheme currently being trialled on some nissan electric vehicles which allows your car battery to be used as a mini power station. meet david. he lives near luton with his family and his electric car. but unlike most electric car users, his car battery acts as an energy store that can also power up his home. i'm on the vehicle to grid trial. it has completely changed the way use my electricity. i don't have to run things during the night now. it all happens through the charger on his wall, which converts the type of current used to either power a car or provide electricity at home.
3:55 pm
each night, david sets the amount of electricity he wants to buy from the grid to run his car the next morning. you could set a schedule. so for example, i tell it that at 6 o'clock in the morning, i need enough energy in my car to be able to get to work and back. whatever‘s left over in the battery the next day when he gets home from work can be used in the house via the charger. essentially, i'm buying my energy quite cheaply — it's around 15p per kilowatt hour — but when i am exporting it from the vehicle, i am getting paid 3ip per kilowatt hour. david is buying the energy to store in his car during off—peak times and sells it back during peak hours, when the prices are higher. this pilot scheme is run by the energy company 0v0, but only works on certain nissan evs. at peak times, when the kids come home from school and turn on their computers and plug their phones
3:56 pm
in and turn all the lights on, it is not such a big deal. and anything remaining after a day's use gets sold back to the grid. overall, david's made a profit of around £700—£900 in the last year, although most customers on the scheme made closer to £300 on average. and david isjoined here by the other 319 on the 0v0 trial. but how viable is this project in reality? customers on the trial are getting the chargers for free, yet to buy one would set you back £a,000. so it all depends on the uk regulator and treasury as to how much you can actually sell this electricity for. if you look at something like hinkley point power station, which may cost about £20 billion — if the sum of all the houses, the 20 million houses in the country at the peak times can use this technology and come off the grid,
3:57 pm
we might offset building another nuclear power station. so then it becomes the simple sums of is it worth giving people enough incentive to offset building a nuclear power station? but it is only going to work for those who have off—street parking, and even for those who do, well, your electrical system needs to be up to dealing with it. but for customers like david, who are on the trial, there is an appeal of being both green and economical. i think it's terrible that 90% of the time, 90% of vehicles are sitting, doing nothing. so the benefit with having electric vehicles is you have got a huge energy storage device sitting on your drive, you've invested all that money in a car, why not use it more of the time, rather than it sitting, doing nothing? that was lara, and that's it for our ev special on the road. wow! it has been an adventure!
3:58 pm
back to the sofa next week. still, if you'd like to get in touch with us in the meantime, you can. we live on youtube, facebook, instagram and twitter at @bbcclick. thanks for watching and we'll see you soon. cloud moving slowly further south through england and wales, and by the end of the night it will be sitting across southern england. clear skies behind it, a few showers into northern ireland overnight, and into northern ireland overnight, and into scotland, wintry on the high hills, driven along by strong winds particularly in the northern isles. slowly easing there tomorrow. where
3:59 pm
there are clear skies, temperatures in the cold spots will falter freezing, so a touch of frost tomorrow, but plenty of sunny spells, southern england staying cloudy with patchy rain, which might push back towards parts of south wales as the day goes on. elsewhere, a shower in north—west england and northern ireland, and especially western scotland, and a cooler day wherever you are tomorrow. sunny spells to be had. a weather front bringing more rain into scotland and northern ireland on monday and tuesday, pushing further south or england and wales on wednesday, and a mainly dry end to the week.
4:00 pm
this is bbc news. the headlines at four... borisjohnson is facing questions about whether he tried to tone down an independent report which said home secretary priti patel broke the ministerial code by bullying staff. none of us want to see bullying or poor practices within the workplace, and the home secretary has been clear that she would never want to do that intentionally. an online summit of the world's biggest economies is under way in saudi arabia. top of the agenda — the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout. an alternative to a covid vaccine for people without functioning immune systems is entering its final stage of trials. a rocket attack on the afghan capital, kabul —


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on