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Germany

Beyond Electric Cars: Inside Audi's Big Bet On "Power-To-Gas" Technology

German carmaker Audi has commissioned Etogas Ltd. to build the planet's first power-to-gas plant to fuel cars with transformed wind and solar energy. Could this "windgas" technology make today's electric cars obsolete?

Driving toward the future?
Driving toward the future?
Horst Hamm

WERLTE —For all the talk about the imminent end of the oil era, nearly 99% of the cars, trucks and planes currently operating are still petroluem-powered. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has insisted that change is on the way: in 2011 she predicted that as many as one million electric cars will be in use on Germany's roads as early as 2020. And yet, as of Jan. 1, 2015, there were only about 19,000 electric cars registered in the whole of Germany, according to the Federal Motor Transport.

There are a couple of reasons this. For one thing, electric cars don't have the kind of mileage range drivers prefer. Also, Germany lacks the infrastructure necessary to charge electric cars at regular intervals. The state hasn't even agreed on a universal standard for electric fuel stations.

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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