Published on September 19th, 2015 | by Zachary Shahan61
Apple & Google Dominate Frankfurt Buzz, VW Cheated & May Be Fined $18 Billion, BMW i3 Boom In Denmark… (Clean Transport Highlights)
September 19th, 2015 by Zachary Shahan
Here’s some more good (and crazy) clean transportation news for you weekend reading pleasure:
The Frankfurt Motor Show saw lots of gorgeous new models (check out the Audi e-tron quattro and Porsche Mission E, for example), but the buzz all week was not about new cars and new trends — it was about what Apple and Google are planning in the next few years. The world of cars is in transition. No longer do carmakers focus on cubic inches, horsepower, or camshafts. Now they talk about connected cars, self-parking cars, and autonomous-driving cars.
Danish BMW i3 sales surged in August owing to large orders relating to the new DriveNow carsharing program in Copenhagen, according to recent reports. Altogether, 407 BMW i3s were sold during the month (400 of those units being related the new carsharing program) — representing a huge increase over earlier months (100 BMW i3s were sold total during January–July).
One of the interesting and challenging things about many types of clean technology is that they are more efficient and save money in the long term but cost more upfront. We’ve seen this with solar panels, LEDs, electric cars, and electric buses. An important component of the electric car market — charging stations — also cost a decent chunk of change. In order to help businesses, organizations, institutions, and government entities that don’t want to drop a bunch of money on a charging station, EV Connect has launched what the first “charging-as-a-service system” (EV CaaS).
Those living in Europe who want access to more places to charge their Tesla electric vehicles (EVs) other than Supercharger stations, their own home, or third-party/public charging stations, will be happy to hear that Tesla is now planning to expand the “Destination Charging” program to the European continent (well, it’s really a subcontinent I suppose, isn’t it?).
— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) September 16, 2015
As you probably know already, I’m deciding between a BMW i3, Nissan LEAF, and Tesla Model S. After looking at the long-distance routes I’d like to take in whichever car I choose, I realized the i3 REx would be quite useful. But how is driving on the REx?
Samsung SDI is showcasing its various lithium-ion electric vehicle (EV) battery technologies at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week, according to recent reports. Interestingly, the company represents the only globally prominent battery manufacturer at the motor show.
Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was in an expansive mood at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week. He said in a press release, “We are in the process of reinventing Europe’s largest automaker, laying the technological, economic and structural foundations.” Winterkorn said Volkswagen will have a total of 20 electric and plug-in hybrid models on the road by 2020. They will run the gamut from compact cars to large sedans like the next Phaeton and Audi A8. “No commitment to electro-mobility can be any clearer than that,” he said.
A new study of the second-largest bikesharing program in the United States has found that the deployment of the schemes in cities can significantly ameliorate urban traffic congestion.
KIA officials announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show this week that the KIA Optima sedan will soon be offered as a wagon, based on the the SportSpace concept. But wait, there’s more good news. The KIA Optima wagon will also have a plug-in hybrid option and a GT version.
Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympics and plans to use the games to showcase the advantages of “clean hydrogen power” as it strives to build what prime minister Shinzo Abe and Tokyo governor Yoichi Masuzoe call a hydrogen society. Masuzoe told the Wall Street Journal recently, “The first Tokyo Olympics, 50 years ago, left a bullet train system as a legacy. I want to leave a hydrogen society as a legacy for the next Tokyo Olympics.”
Unnamed sources within Volkswagen have confirmed that the German automaker fitted its “clean” TDi diesel cars with devices meant to detect when the car is undergoing official emissions testing, and will activate full emissions controls only during the official test. That confession comes after findings from West Virginia University, which uncovered the defeat devices, led to company officials being questioned by both CARB and the EPA.