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Electric Cars Ascendant?

18 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 24 September 2013

It has taken a century to catch on – but now everyone is doing it. It was 100 years ago that the US carmaker Henry Ford got together with Thomas Edison to create Ford’s first electrified vehicle. Cheap oil and limited battery technology meant that the car never went into production. Now virtually all carmakers have one. And at the world’s biggest car show last week in Frankfurt, electric cars were touted as one of the big trends of this year. Abby D’Arcy takes a quick test drive around Frankfurt.

Hacking a Power Wheelchair
Alejandro Kalamakuokalani Ako was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy which limits his ability to move. The ability to explore one’s environment as a toddler is really important to development so his parents looked into assistive technology. Their health insurance paid for a medical stroller when he was nine-months old but the family were told they would need to wait five years for a powered wheelchair. Rather than wait, Alejandro’s father, Shea, took it upon himself to hack a wheelchair his son could control. He tells Click about the results.

Digging the Past
BBC World Service researchers have been developing a prototype that allow volunteers to search, browse and listen to over 36000 English language factual radio programmes from the BBC World Service radio archive spanning the past 45 years. To fine tune this facility researchers have been working with volunteers to explore the archive and refine the search tools, validating and adding tags that describe the programmes. The researchers join Click to dig back into the past.

(Photo: A Ford Focus electric concept car with a home charging unit. Credit: AFP/Getty Images)


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