Clean Transport & Energy News Roundup (Autopilot & Transit, 26K MPGe Car, Electric Motorcycle Tour, Ukraine…)

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In this edition of the clean transport and energy news roundup, the question over autopilot’s threat to transit, a Pokemon Go Tesla hack that wasn’t, a 26,135 mpg(e) car, a transcontinental electric motorcycle tour, plug-ins are a dead end, and Trump talks out of the side of his head, as well as articles on the Ukraine, road safety, Volvo, Uber, Model Y, 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, CleanTechies, Planetsave, Bikocity, Gas2, and EV Obsession.]

Autopilot vs. public transit:

What do you think? Does the Tesla Model S really pose a threat to public transit? Will its Autopilot feature contribute to urban sprawl? Let’s do a comparison and see which mode of transportation, ultimately, wins out.

The Tesla Pokemon GO hack that never was:

With an Ethernet cable, some ingenuity, and a little luck, Jeff has managed to get Pokemon Go up and running on his Tesla, although with a couple of wrinkles. Like the fact that it was a hoax

Talk about hypermiling:

It may not look like much of a car, but the TUfast eLi14, created by a team from Germany’s Technical University of Munich, established a new world record for efficiency by getting the equivalent of 26,135 miles per gallon. Guiness Book of World Records officially awarded the title of Most Efficient Automobile to the university’s TUfast Eco Team on July 16.

Chevy Volt sales in US top 100K:

After a strong sales performance in July, the Chevy Volt is now the first car with a plug to sell more than 100,000 vehicles in the US market.  The Nissan LEAF was leading the sales parade in America until the second generation Volt was introduced last last year. Since then, Volt sales have zoomed while LEAF sales has slowed to a crawl.

Electric motorcycles STORM from Europe to China:

A group of students from Netherlands’ Eindhoven University of Technology have built an electric motorcycle they call the STORM Pulse. Later this month a pair of them will drive from Europe to China to bring the message of electric mobility to nations along the way. Yuri Steinbuch, the strategy manager of the group, said they chose a motorcycle because they wanted to demonstrate the possibilities of e-mobility to “real petrol heads.”

It’s all about that flow (cell):

Nunzio La Vecchia, the chief technology officer of NanoFlowcell and inventor of NanoFlowcell technology for energy storage, claims plugging in electric cars to recharge them is a “dead end.” Electric cars “take too long to charge, have too little range, and there are too few charging stations.”

To improve road safety, we need to upgrade our meatware:

[National Highway Traffic Safety Administration head] Rosekind told the group the auto industry has a tendency to lean heavily on technology solutions to improve safety, but changing human behavior must also be part of the solution. “In the auto industry, we’re always looking at changing the technology, because changing the human would be really hard.” He admitted, “We’re not going to change us. We can change our behavior, but that is really hard.”

Take it outside, guys:

This week, the negotiations boiled over into public view at what is ordinarily a very sedate industry conference in Michigan called the Management Briefing Seminars sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research. As usual, the fuse was lit by Diarmuid O’Connell, Tesla Motor’s combative vice president of business development who compared the majority of electric and plug-in cars available in the US to “kitchen appliances.” He called out the other car companies by saying, “The roadmap to sell EVs is apparent for everybody to see. The industry is not even trying,” he said.

Volvo may ditch diesel in favor of hybrid system:

Volvo’s new Compact Modular Architecture is specifically designed for the company’s T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain. The T5 uses Volvo’s new 1.5-liter 3 cylinder gas engine coupled to a new 7 speed dual clutch transmission. It also has a 74 horsepower electric motor and a 9.7 kWh battery. The company thinks the T5 system could replace diesel engines in its lineup in coming years.

Why? Y not?

During the Q2 earnings call with analysts and investors Wednesday evening, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the company is planning to offer a compact SUV. It will be the fourth mass market model for the company and will complete Elon’s dream of having a full lineup of passenger vehicles whose model names spell the word S E X Y. Musk indicated the Model Y would be built using the Model 3 chassis.

It’s like Uber, but for China:

Didi and Uber have now buried the hatchet. Didi will buy out Uber’s local business to create a new Chinese ride share business valued at $35 billion. Uber will be left with a 20% stake in the new company. Didi will have a 20% stake in Uber China. Both will have representatives on each other’s board of directors.

That time when The Donald didn’t know what he was talking about:

Donald Trump is ignorant about a lot of things but none more so that solar power and wind energy. Campaigning in Pennsylvania on Monday, the Republican nominee went on a rant against solar and wind. He criticized both for being way too expensive.

Solar leads Ukrainian renewables share:

Solar-powered electricity has claimed the biggest share in the renewable energy mix of Ukraine, closely trailed by wind energy production.

Philippines takes on carbon giants:

According international reports, the Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights has issued a complaint directed at 47 of the world’s largest carbon-emitting companies. The action is potentially seeking compensation for human rights damages related to 2013 super typhoon Yolanda, which resulted in the deaths of more than 6,000 people.

NY PSC votes for 50% clean energy standard, plus nuclear subsidies:

New York’s Clean Energy Standard mandates the state obtains half its power from renewable sources by 2030. Additionally, it guarantees income for three struggling upstate nuclear power plants to keep them operating.


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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.

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