Clean Transport & Energy News Roundup (Solar Bus Shelter, Musk vs Utilities, Electric Railcar, Tesla Semi…)

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In today’s clean energy and transport news roundup, used cars are moving at an electrifying pace, EV sales in the US follow the cool factor, don’t miss the solar bus (shelter), how Swede it is at this electric railcar competition, the NHTSA head won’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good for autonomous driving, Musk’s newest master plan is a full frontal (assault) for utilities, semi-sweet big rig revelations, and more.

[CleanTechnica isn’t the only Important Media site to cover clean energy & transport news, and if you’re looking for more stories on electric mobility, bicycles, solar and wind energy, and other related issues, we’ve got them at sites such as Solar Love, Planetsave, Bikocity, Gas2, and EV Obsession.]

These used cars move fast, even sitting still:

During the 2013–2015 time period, 5 out of the 10 best-selling used cars were electrified in some way — “best-selling” in this case refers to the speed at which units moved once on the dealers’ lots. This is according to figures recently released by iSeeCars.

It’s a good news/bad news kinda EV sales story:

Why are cars that cost so much like the Tesla Model S and Model X outselling far less expensive cars? There is no clear answer to that question, but Tesla’s Supercharger network has to be a big part of the answer. Then there is the “cool” factor involved with driving a Tesla.

Gimme shelter! A smart solar bus shelter, that is:

Inspired by the process of photosynthesis in plants, SS35, as the top winning shelter is titled, offers a solar-powered canopy built among the trees. Built atop a wooden structure complementing the natural landscape, the canopy incorporates both natural light and solar energy through the innovative use of opalescent glass and solar panels. The solar energy generates sufficient electricity to provide LED lighting, Wi-Fi internet service, and a digital billboard.

Definitely not your run-of-the-mill railcar:

The Eximus 1 managed to achieve an efficiency rate of 0.84 watt-hours for every kilometer traveled by each passenger, according to the competition’s organizers. That figure actually represents a record for a railcar vehicle.

NHTSA head not ready to throw autonomous driving baby out with the bathwater:

[Mark Rosekind, head of the NHTSA] told the Automated Vehicle Symposium in San Francisco this week, “No one incident will stop the NHTSA from promoting highly automated driving development.” He went on to say the government would still work to promote self driving cars by providing a framework to support the development of autonomous technology, even though his agency has opened an investigation into the fatal crash.

Musk’s new master plan could deux something to utility industry:

Musk is preparing a full frontal assault and has shown time and time again he is not a man who backs down from a challenge. His vision of the future is clear. Free, renewable, sustainable solar power for all and a total reboot of the utility industries that have enjoyed a monopoly since the days when Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse were creating the first electrical grids.

BMW i3 sales rise in Germany on tide of EV subsidies:

Following the implementation of plug-in electric vehicle subsidies in Germany, BMW i3 sales in the European country rose notably, according to recent reports. To be more specific, deliveries from the middle of July onward in Germany rose “many times over” according to the German publication Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

East bound and down, loaded up and (electric) truckin’:

How will Tesla resolve the size/weight/cost/range conundrum presented by all-electric heavy trucks? We have no idea, at the moment. But it’s in Elon’s Master Plan Part Deux, so somewhere within Tesla Motors the wheels are turning. Elon says we can expect to see something in about a year’s time. Figure by the end of the decade, knowing Musk’s reputation for flexible timetables.

ICYMI: It’s a new moon! No, it’s a mini-moon! No, it’s a quasi-satellite!


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Derek Markham

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.

Derek Markham has 574 posts and counting. See all posts by Derek Markham