More clean transport fun:
Perhaps more than any other feature on the Tesla Model X, Elon Musk has focused on the beauty, uniqueness, and complexity of the electric SUV’s 2nd-row seats. After plenty of speculating, we finally know for sure how they will work (well, to an extent) thanks to Signature reservation holder NigelM sharing images from the design studio on the Tesla Motors Club forum.
The “E-Mobility Index,” which examines electric car sales and model options in the world’s 7 largest automobile markets (Germany, France, Italy, the USA, Japan, China, and South Korea), has found that sales are still quite low (under 1% of all new car sales) in these markets on average, and the #1 reason for that is because automakers are doing a shitty job convincing buyers to choose electric vehicles.
The basic story that this broader story is based on is that the new 2016 Nissan LEAF SV and SL have an electric range of 107 miles according to the US EPA, but a whopping 155 miles according to the New European Driving Cycle. Being an electric car reporter, it is very inconvenient and even irritating dealing with the vast differences in rated range and efficiency between the different continents. And the blame is basically on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
The Smart ForTwo Electric (aka Smart Electric Drive) is arguably the cheapest electric car on the market. Obviously, though, it’s only practical for so many people. Daimler is soon going to unveil an updated version of the tiny electric car, but it will also roll out an electric version of the Smart ForFour.
BMW is without a doubt one of the large automakers most serious about the electric vehicle transition, or electrification of passenger transport. I put BMW #2 or #3, only behind Tesla and perhaps Nissan. The German premium-brand giant reinforced that yesterday at the Frankfurt Motor Show by focusing on the i brand right at the beginning of a speech by Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG. (h/t joanbowen)
The world’s first commercial Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for road freight trucks/vehicles was recently unveiled by Skeleton Technologies and Adgero SARL. The new system can reportedly reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions by 15–25% — depending upon traffic circumstances and terrain.
Last month, Bjorn Nyland of Norway managed to go 452.8 miles in his Tesla Model S P85D. This week, Corey Spencer broke Nyland’s record, and not by a little. He drove his Tesla Model S 85D nearly 100 miles further and still had a little more power left in the battery. His bottom gave out before the Tesla did.
Until now, the official position at Rolls Royce has been that electric cars are something for other companies to build. But the burden of new European Union emissions rules are forcing the staid old automaker (now owned by not-so-staid BMW) to rethink its position. Speaking to the press at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Torsten Muller-Otvos, head of the BMW division that owns Rolls Royce, said, “Suppose we find a battery technology that can offer ranges that are acceptable to our customers.” In that case, he told Automotive News, “I can definitely imagine a fully electric Rolls-Royce.”
A number of prominent auto manufacturers in the US are currently considering using “Gorilla Glass” as a means of cutting down total vehicle weight, thereby improving fuel economy, according to recent reports.
Those who use the popular ridesharing app Uber, and who also often stay at Hilton hotels, may be happy to hear that the two companies are now partnering together to offer a more streamlined means of traveling to and from hotels, airports, restaurants, etc.
It’s all Elon Musk’s fault. He started this 2 years ago when he told the world about a dream (or nightmare) he had that is all about math. You see, wind resistance increases with the square of speed. That means it take 4 times as much energy to push something through the air at 200 mph as it does at 100 mph.
Seattle will implement a process by which neighborhoods can take the Tactical Urbanism practice of DIY sidewalks a step further—by officially approving local designs for sidewalks.
Innocent until proven guilty—unless you’re a pedestrian in the court of opinion.
On Monday, the Obama administration unveiled the “Smart Cities” Initiative for the United States, which recognizes cities as engines of growth and innovation and aims to address local challenges to improve the lives of the country’s growing urban population. The program specifically targets issues such as traffic congestion, resilience and climate change, and comes as a timely call to action.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) is exploring alignments for a new light rail line.
Cities traditionally thought of as car-centric are putting ambitious light rail plans at the center of ambitious plans for transit.
This morning, the U.S. Census Bureau released the American Community Survey (ACS), revealing new data on bicycle commuting in the United States. According to the ACS, 0.62% of commutes to work were made by bicycle in 2014, which represents a modest 0.5% increase from 2013. In total, the Census Bureau estimates that there were 904,463 bicycle commuters across the country in 2014. Since 2000, ACS data shows a 62% increase in bicycle commuting.
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