Published on March 31st, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan1
Xtra Electric Car, Bicycling, Clean Transport News
March 31st, 2016 by Zachary Shahan
I know we already publish more clean transport stories than most readers can consume, but the arena is getting so popular that there’s a lot of bike, rail, bus, electric car, and even Tesla news that we can never get to. Below are several stories I think are worth a read, or at least a glance, if you have time.
Bicycling, Walking, & Transit
WeCycle Atlanta uses donated bicycles to reward students who complete a 4 week educational program that teaches them about growing their own food, recycling and sustainability.
It was 2012, and Leah Golby was sitting in a meeting she’d been looking forward to for three years. A recently elected city councilor for the 10th Ward of Albany, N.Y., Golby had heard years of lobbying from 10th Ward residents for a redesign of Madison Avenue, a four-lane thoroughfare just south of downtown. Albany was finally holding a work session about a road diet for the street.
The American Public Transit Association (APTA) recently released its February Savings Report. The association releases a monthly savings report in order to analyze how much money the average two-person household can save by taking public transportation and using one less automobile. The average commuter is looking at a savings of more than $754 a month.
On a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, actor and frequent narrator Morgan Freeman lent his signature voice to a segment exploring the “pedestrian experience” on Hollywood Boulevard via a hidden street camera. Noting a certain unsuspecting gentleman and his ‘selfie stick,’ Freeman unleashes a laugh-out-loud minute of commentary which should rouse a genuine laugh.
Plug-in hybrid sales are exploding in Europe and the UK, where demand is stronger than manufacturers predicted. Will that trend carry over to the US market?
Still without Poland, the European market had more than 13,000 registrations in January, a 46% increase over February 2015, with the EV market returning to previous growth rate, it seems the December sales hangover experienced last month is now surpassed.
Volkswagen just gave the BUDD-e concept car its NYC debut at the New York International Auto Show. This follows the concept’s official unveiling at the January Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The BUDD-e electric vehicle (EV) concept is notable because, as we’ve reported previously, it’s Volkswagen’s first vehicle based on the new Modular Electric Platform.
If like me you’re waiting for your 2017 Volt to be delivered… You can now read the manual while waiting!
Massachusetts offers a $2,500 rebate for new buyers of electric vehicles which could get even better. The Joint Committee on Transportation is working on a bill that would allow EV drivers to use the highway occupancy vehicles lanes on all state highways. In addition, it would increase access to charging stations in the state, and require information about charging power and compatibility of each station to be posted online.
If you’re on the fence with ordering a Tesla Model X, just know that you will never see this level of detail and engineering, in any production vehicle, ever again. If you’re an existing Model X owner, know that you’re driving a “once in a lifetime” classic.
Over the weekend, Tesla quietly dropped any reference to a Model X with the 70 kWh battery. It also deleted reference to a 90D version. And then it added them back. Are new batteries about to be announced by the company? Or just website glitches?
I found almost the exact 2017 Volt that I wanted online at a dealer about 45 minutes away:
- Comfort Package
- Bose Audio
- Siren Red Tintcoat
Only thing missing was ash interior, but I could live without it. So I decided to schedule a test drive. Unfortunately, they just sold the one I wanted. So I test drove a loaded Premier trim instead.
I live in Southern California and over the past week I took my family to Palm Springs for a short Spring Break vacation. We went to the ACE Hotel, a place we have been many times. I pulled up in my Volt and asked a hotel employee if they had any EV charging stations. His face lit up and proudly pointed over “there.” What he was referring to was a new Tesla Supercharger station. This hotel took two prime parking spots in the front of the hotel and reserved them for Tesla only and the non-standard Tesla charger. Meaning only a $76,000 + Tesla can park and charge. After further investigation they did have a 120 volt outlet in the back of the hotel in cord distance to a parking spot without any charging adapter — so basically “bring your own portable charger” and “park in the back.”
Back in the early days of the Third Age of the Electric Car, the need for range and the ability to go long distances in a 100% electric car was a hot topic, because EVs needed to get out of their natural habitat (metropolitan areas) and avoid mistakes of past lives.
Long gone are the days of a simple key to open your car’s door and turn on the ignition. Keys today aren’t even really keys in the traditional sense. With many cars, you only need to have the key on you and as you grab the handle of the vehicle the door will unlock. Then, you get into the vehicle and instead of inserting the key into an ignition, you simply push a button and the car will turn on. This is, in fact how the BMW i3 works, as long as you ordered the car with the optional Comfort Access feature.
Executives from Renault and Audi told separate audiences this week that the electric car revolution won’t happen until an infrastructure of high power charging stations is in place. The only question is, who will pay for them?
Danish car designer Henrik Fisker appears to have moved on from his eponymous company and the Karma plug-in luxury sedan. Fisker Automotive is now Karma Automotive, and is working its way back from bankruptcy under the wing of Chinese automotive supplier Wanxiang.
Tesla has begun shipping its cars to Norway on LNG powered ferries owned by Nor Lines. Going by sea will eliminate the diesel emissions from hundreds of car transports a year.
BorgWarner’s eGearDrive® transmission will propel the Geely EC7-EV sedan. The Chinese automaker’s first mass-produced electric vehicle is powered by a 129 horsepower electric motor with a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph).
Season 2 of Formula E allows the teams to come up with innovative new power unit solutions — you can see the different designs here.
If you’ve ever dreamed about watching Formula E racing driver Daniel Abt get naked and sing Taylor Swift songs, you’ll want to pay attention.
Lithium-metal anodes are favored for use in next-generation rechargeable Li-air or Li-sulfur batteries due to a tenfold higher theoretical specific capacity than graphite (3,860 mAh/g vs. 372 mAh/g); light weight and lowest anode potential. However, safety issues resulting from dendrite formation and instability caused by volume expansion have hampered development and deployment of commercially viable solutions.
If monks can sell caskets direct-to-public, bypassing the middleman as they did after hurricane Katrina, then Tesla should be able to sell cars direct-to-public too. That’s the tack Tesla will take in federal court. If challenged on relevance, Tesla’s legal team has Exhibit A totally in the bag…
Tesla has filed for trademark protection for the official logo of its new Model 3. It is using the E from the company name instead of the number 3. That letter is similar to the number 3 in Chinese.
With all the buzz surrounding the upcoming Model 3 unveil and how Tesla will likely book 100,000 reservations within the first 24 hours of reservation opening, we decided to do a little math of our own to see what that may mean given some basic assumptions. We know that there are 221 Tesla stores worldwide that will begin taking Model 3 reservation at 10 am local time. Of those stores, there’s a high probability – based on feedback from staff at Tesla stores regarding the volume of inquiries around the Model 3 March 31st in-store reservation process – that hundreds of people will already be lined up, many of which camped overnight to guarantee their early spot in line, before the store opens. It’s important to note that we are assuming 24 hours from a 10am Pacific time opening and not 10am from the Sydney Australia Tesla Store which is 18 hours ahead.
First, Tesla was a joke. Then it intrigued some influential auto execs with its battery tech — even landed a couple of supply contracts and investments from Toyota and Daimler. Then it prodded everyone to re-assess their their half-assed EV programs and make them at least three-quarter assed.
Now comes the really humbling stage, which is “me too.” Imitating Tesla may be embarrassing and risky to your brand, but ignoring Tesla carries even more risk. You want to be the next Oldsmobile?
Demand for Tesla Energy batteries could max out Gig 1, Musk has said. Yet it’s very possible that demand for Model ☰ could also gobble up the capacity of Gig 1. You realize what this means? It means the state governors who lost out on Gig 1 should jump into their dumpsters and brush the coffee grounds off their “come hither” proposals. They might get another shot. Remember the word tracks?
A team from the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed a novel, environmentally friendly low-cost battery. The new aluminum-graphite dual-ion battery (AGDIB) offers significantly reduced weight, volume, and fabrication cost, as well as higher energy density, in comparison with conventional LIBs.
This is it: the semi-official list of the 11 best fuel efficient motorcycles your money will be able to buy in 2016, courtesy of Gas2. Enjoy!
Reuters.com recently reported that Altamonte Springs, Florida, will be the first U.S. city to subsidize Uber services in an attempt to reduce traffic and increase transit ridership. The Orlando suburb has currently allocated $500,000 to cover 20% of Uber trips within city limits and 25% of trips to or from a SunRail station.