May 17, 2020

Econogo's Low-Maintenance Electric Vehicle

lithium batteries
Electric Vehicles
2 min
The Econogo Yogo provides power and retro style with a removable lithium battery that’s as easy to charge as your iPhone


Written by Sharise Cruz

Anyone who’s ever owned or operated an electric vehicle can attest that charging the battery can be a time-consuming hassle. Typically, electric vehicles require the user to run a cord from an electricity socket to the location where the vehicle is parked. Econogo is attempting to eliminate that potential tangle by creating the Yogo—the UK’s first electric scooter with removable lithium batteries.

So, basically, if you have an hour to spare, you can hang out in your home while the Yogo’s 50V battery gets charged up for 22 miles of riding distance. If you spring for a second battery, you can store it under the seat. When your first battery starts to run low, you just have to flip Econogo’s patented SureSwitch to connect to the second battery and double your range.

In order to compete with other motor bikes on the market, the Yogo has to look great. It stands up to the challenge—the design is sleek and stylish and is available in black and cream. Econogo’s website promises that customization will be available shortly.

Additionally, the Yogo’s removable battery provides an extra layer of security. Nobody can zip off on your new ride if you take the lightweight battery with you while it’s parked. The batteries feature cushioned handles to make them a breeze to carry around.

The Yogo isn’t meant for high-speed freeway riding, but it’s perfect for city traveling or trips from the home to the office and can hit up to 40 miles per hour.

Econogo is a budding new brand with great potential, impressive business savvy and an eco-friendly eye.  Founder James South was inspired to create the brand and its signature scooter during a visit to Asia. The entrepreneur, who spent his time travelling and playing professional poker online, took a two-year trip to Shanghai, where he witnessed operations at several battery factories as well as an abundance of emission free electric scooters (with impractical built-in batteries). He created the Yogo with the most innovative elements of his travels in mind, and his crafty business was awarded Venture Candy’s Green Business award in 2010.

South says that Econogo is a one-man operation, as he has tackled the majority of the company’s marketing, financing, sales and website management, but he does admit that his girlfriend has been helping him out.

The Yogo costs £1,999 (roughly $3,238.21, or even more roughly, slightly less than a Vespa).

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Oct 19, 2020

Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process

Scott Birch
3 min
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States
Nevada firm aims to become the primary manganese producer in the United States...

Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.

Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.

The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content. 

In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.

Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.

"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president. 

“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.

"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.

Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.

Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.

A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.

The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.

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