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Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2100 on: July 15, 2017, 08:57:52 PM »
U.S.:  Long before the combustion engine, the hybrid car is facing obsolescence
Hybrid cars are becoming the VCR/DVD-combo players of the automotive world.

Just 2% of US auto sales last year were of cars with both electric motors and internal combustion engines, according to a report published this month by New York-based consulting firm AlixPartners. That’s down from a peak of 3.1% in 2013.

So what’s behind the drop in demand? Technology. Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking), a drilling method that led to a boom in US oil- and natural-gas production, has driven down the cost of gasoline. Prices at the pump are currently just $2.40 a gallon, according to the US Energy Information Administration, a government statistics agency, a decline of nearly 35% since 2013. Cheap gas has also rekindled Americans’ love of trucks and SUVs.

Meanwhile hybrids, marketed in part as a way for price-conscious consumers to curtail gasoline costs, no longer have as compelling a value proposition.

At the same time, environmentally conscious consumers have more and cheaper options than ever for owning a fully electric car, thanks to improved battery technology that makes it possible to drive EVs over longer distances. (The fracking boom also drove down natural gas prices, which makes electricity cheaper too.)
...
https://qz.com/1029464/what-percent-of-us-car-sales-are-hybrids/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2101 on: July 15, 2017, 09:15:44 PM »
From the Oil and Gas Issues thread:

The times, they are a'changin:

"OPEC quintupled its forecast for sales of plug-in EVs, and oil producers from Exxon Mobil Corp. to BP Plc also revised up their outlooks in the past year, ..."

"The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries raised its 2040 EV fleet prediction to 266 million from the 46 million it anticipated a year ago."

"    The International Energy Agency more than doubled its central forecast for EVs, raising its 2030 EV fleet size estimate from to 58 million from 23 million.
    Exxon Mobil boosted its 2040 estimate to about 100 million from 65 million.
    BP anticipates 100 million EVs on the road by 2035, a 40 percent increase in its outlook compared with a year ago.
    Statoil ASA, the Norwegian state oil company, says EVs will account for a 30 percent of new sales by 2030. "

"Yet even as oil majors lift their outlook, they remain much less optimistic than the automakers. The world’s top automakers have a combined plan to sell 6 million EVs a year by 2025, rising to 8 million in 2030, ..."

Read the whole thing:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-14/big-oil-just-woke-up-to-the-threat-of-rising-electric-car-demand

sidd
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TerryM

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2102 on: July 15, 2017, 10:19:31 PM »
U.S.:  Long before the combustion engine, the hybrid car is facing obsolescence
Hybrid cars are becoming the VCR/DVD-combo players of the automotive world.

Just 2% of US auto sales last year were of cars with both electric motors and internal combustion engines, according to a report published this month by New York-based consulting firm AlixPartners. That’s down from a peak of 3.1% in 2013.

So what’s behind the drop in demand? Technology. Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking), a drilling method that led to a boom in US oil- and natural-gas production, has driven down the cost of gasoline. Prices at the pump are currently just $2.40 a gallon, according to the US Energy Information Administration, a government statistics agency, a decline of nearly 35% since 2013. Cheap gas has also rekindled Americans’ love of trucks and SUVs.

Meanwhile hybrids, marketed in part as a way for price-conscious consumers to curtail gasoline costs, no longer have as compelling a value proposition.

At the same time, environmentally conscious consumers have more and cheaper options than ever for owning a fully electric car, thanks to improved battery technology that makes it possible to drive EVs over longer distances. (The fracking boom also drove down natural gas prices, which makes electricity cheaper too.)
...
https://qz.com/1029464/what-percent-of-us-car-sales-are-hybrids/
It's strange to me that plugin hybrid garners such a small share of the market. In trying to maintain a one car family a plugin hybrid would be my preference at this stage of the buildout of charging stations. While I'm sure I could make it across country on electricity, a gasoline option would certainly ease my mind when heading beyond familiar regions.
Terry

oren

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2103 on: July 16, 2017, 01:08:31 AM »
It's strange to me that plugin hybrid garners such a small share of the market. In trying to maintain a one car family a plugin hybrid would be my preference at this stage of the buildout of charging stations. While I'm sure I could make it across country on electricity, a gasoline option would certainly ease my mind when heading beyond familiar regions.
Terry
+1

Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2104 on: July 16, 2017, 02:19:38 AM »
And here's Elon Musk's latest prediction: more than half of new vehicles will be electric and almost all autonomous in the US within 10 years
https://electrek.co/2017/07/15/elon-musk-more-than-half-of-new-vehicles-will-be-electric-and-almost-all-autonomous-in-the-us-within-10-years/

The conference video shows him quite concerned about the advent of unregulated Artificial Intelligence.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2105 on: July 16, 2017, 02:38:59 AM »
...
It's strange to me that plugin hybrid garners such a small share of the market. In trying to maintain a one car family a plugin hybrid would be my preference at this stage of the buildout of charging stations. While I'm sure I could make it across country on electricity, a gasoline option would certainly ease my mind when heading beyond familiar regions.
Terry

Terry,
The "problem" may be that the batteries in hybrids are very small, offering only a few miles of electric driving before the gas kicks in.  Although this is addressed in some models that have a gasoline range extender that charges the battery, it may be that many people interested in driving electric are finding that the newer pure battery EVs have a range that more than meets their needs without using gas.

As the charging infrastructure is built out, and more new 200-mile+ EVs become available, distance travel in an EV will become less worrisome.  (FYI, there are apps and websites like PlugShare that show the locations of chargers even in far-flung regions, to help plan a road trip. :) )  But you are right that the EV situation today does not yet meet everyone's perceived requirements.
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2106 on: July 16, 2017, 05:59:27 AM »
Several years ago when we were replacing my wife's car, plug-in electrics weren't , as far as I know, available, so we got another regular Prius.  I think the 'better' emissions vehicles are only sold in California and other similarly regulated states (as far as the USA is concerned).
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etienne

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2107 on: July 16, 2017, 09:05:15 AM »
I see the hybrid car as a temporary solution. Having 2 motors means having twice the load, twice the costs and twice the maintenance. I hope the loading infrastructure has developped enough when my older car's life is over (probably 5 more years). I believe that on the battery side, that improvement will be enough for my needs.
A rented car for holidays is not a solution for me because I have 2 kids and 2 dogs, so cleaning the car after the holidays would really be an issue.

oren

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2108 on: July 16, 2017, 12:53:00 PM »
We own one family car that normally serves for many small city trips, therefore my wish for some kind of electric car. But every now and then we go on long trips, and there is no charging infrastructure anywhere here, so I need a gasoline backup. But if a gasoline generator can charge the battery, then there is really no need for a full hybrid with its cost, weight and maintenance.

Andreas T

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2109 on: July 16, 2017, 04:09:35 PM »
If it is possible to wait longer for the charging, of course almost any electrical socket becomes part of the charging infrastructure. In that sense there are more charging points than petrol stations. I know this isn't what you need when you want to cover distances the way we're used to with fuel burning cars.  I have no experience of driving or owning an electric car, but find reading some of the owners stories inspiring: https://www.tesla.com/de_AT/customer-stories/ireland-to-morocco-with-our-model-s

numerobis

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2110 on: July 16, 2017, 05:09:26 PM »
Etienne: most rental cars I've had didn't specify any cleaning other than a charge if they caught you smoking.

A rental car agency wants to get 5-10x return on their investment. If you need this car fewer than 10% of the days in the year, you'd save money by renting.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2111 on: July 16, 2017, 06:21:27 PM »
When ICEVs first took to roads drivers used to send drums of gasoline ahead by horse and waggon when they wanted to take an excursion beyond the existing fueling infrastructure.  It didn't take long for enough gas stations to open so that people could go most places.  (Might have to strap on a couple of jerry cans for some trips.)

This, too, shall happen with EVs.  Tesla is far ahead of the rest of the industry.  It's been possible to drive most places in the US in a Tesla for a couple of years.  Western Europe looks well covered.

https://www.tesla.com/supercharger   (Scroll down page to see maps.)

This year, 2017, Tesla is doubling the number of Superchargers available for their customers.  And as Model 3 sales move into the 500,000 per year (and higher) range we'll see many more chargers installed.

The rest of the auto industry is lagging behind Tesla.  Mostly they seem to be waiting for someone else to build the chargers their EVs will need.  And no one is likely to build an extensive charging system if there aren't EVs on the road to use them.  (This game of "No, you go first" is likely to result in Tesla taking a larger and larger share of the car market.)

Bob Wallace

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2112 on: July 16, 2017, 06:25:03 PM »
We own one family car that normally serves for many small city trips, therefore my wish for some kind of electric car. But every now and then we go on long trips, and there is no charging infrastructure anywhere here, so I need a gasoline backup. But if a gasoline generator can charge the battery, then there is really no need for a full hybrid with its cost, weight and maintenance.

A PHEV might be the best option for you.  With something like a Chevy Volt you could drive an electric most of the time but have the fuel range you want for longer trips.

You might want to look at the data for how often you take trips that would be outside the range of an EV.  If the number is low then consider renting a car for those trips.  Every year we'll see more and more rapid chargers open which would extend your EV range and lower the need to rent an ICEV.

etienne

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2113 on: July 16, 2017, 06:43:06 PM »
Etienne: most rental cars I've had didn't specify any cleaning other than a charge if they caught you smoking.

A rental car agency wants to get 5-10x return on their investment. If you need this car fewer than 10% of the days in the year, you'd save money by renting.

Well, I use the "holiday sized car" 1 or 2 days a week, 4 weeks a year and maybe 15 week-ends. But the car is only 5 years old, so we have some times before asking us complicated questions.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2114 on: July 17, 2017, 05:47:30 PM »
Shell to start deploying fast-charging EV stations with Allego at its gas stations
https://electrek.co/2017/07/17/shell-ev-fast-charging-station-allego-gas-stations/
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2115 on: July 17, 2017, 06:46:38 PM »
from Bloomberg
It’s classic subprime: hasty loans, rapid defaults, and, at times, outright fraud.

Only this isn’t the U.S. housing market circa 2007. It’s the U.S. auto industry circa 2017.

A decade after the mortgage debacle, the financial industry has embraced another type of subprime debt: auto loans. And, like last time, the risks are spreading as they’re bundled into securities for investors worldwide.

Subprime car loans have been around for ages, and no one is suggesting they’ll unleash the next crisis. But since the Great Recession, business has exploded. In 2009, $2.5 billion of new subprime auto bonds were sold. In 2016, $26 billion were, topping average pre-crisis levels, according to Wells Fargo & Co.
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Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2116 on: July 18, 2017, 03:49:18 PM »
"General Motors has extended a shutdown at the Michigan factory that builds the new Chevrolet Bolt electric car as part of a broader effort to get control of bulging inventories of unsold vehicles in the United States."

GM Extends summer Plant Shutdown(s) to Rein In Chevy Bolt Supply
Cutting vehicle production also cuts GM's revenue and potentially profits.
...
GM is cutting production at other plants to work down what Automotive News calculated as a 126-day supply of passenger cars as of July 1.

GM has extended summer vacation shutdowns at three other North American assembly plants. The assembly plant at Lordstown, Ohio, that makes the Chevrolet Cruze and a plant near Kansas City, Miss., that produces the Malibu sedan both have three additional weeks of downtime. An assembly plant in Oshawa, Ontario, will be idled for two extra weeks to reduce inventories of the Chevrolet Impala large sedan.

"Shutdown periods vary by plant based on launch timing of new or refreshed models across the portfolio and our ongoing efforts to align production with market demand," GM said in a statement.
http://fortune.com/2017/07/17/gm-shutdown-chevy-bolt-supply/

Chevy Bolt EV inventories are piling up, GM temporarily shuts down factory
The automaker says that the Orion shutdown is  “due solely to softening sales of the Sonic”, which is also produced at the factory, but GM also confirmed to Reuters that Bolt EV inventories increased from 104 days to 111 days of stock last month, which is significantly higher than the 70 days the company is aiming for.

It’s why they are adding 3 more weeks to their usual summer factory shutdown in order to get back to more reasonable levels of inventories.

Furthermore, the Chevy Bolt EV is supposedly going “nationwide” next month, which at first glance could have fixed the inventory issue, but the new markets are small compared to where the Bolt EV is already available.
https://electrek.co/2017/07/18/gm-chevy-bolt-ev-inventory-factory-shutdown/

GM's Chevy Bolt EV has not been made in sufficient volume to suggest it is anything more than a compliance car, making just enough to allow the production of the company’s gas guzzling SUVs and trucks. The Bolt is made on a slow production line that also makes the Sonic.  It has done well in some markets, not as much in others — but GM is supposed to make more to sell in Europe (under the Opel brand), where it is highly anticipated.  The question remains as to how Tesla’s (slow ramp up of the) Model 3 will affect Bolt sales, but GM's current slowdown appears to be the result of slow sales overall, not just the Bolt.

Following the 2008 slowdown, U.S. auto manufacturers kept up production to retain jobs.  This time, they say they will be cutting back.
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TerryM

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2117 on: July 18, 2017, 04:32:08 PM »
Not statistical at all, but 3 auto workers that I met in the elevator were all complaining of the overtime they have been working in the past few months. One works for Toyota, the other two for different outfits that build components for the interiors of many brands of auto.


Not at all what I would have expected.


Our huge frame building factory that built frames for everyone from Jeep to Mercedes closed up and has been bulldozed since 2008. A shame since they built lighter, stronger frames than were otherwise available because of some extremely expensive forming equipment they possessed.


Terry
BTW - I'm in Cambridge Ontario and the factories involved extend outward as far as Ingersoll

Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2118 on: July 19, 2017, 09:34:31 PM »
“Improved access to transportation from fully-autonomous vehicles would save $19 billion in health care costs from missed doctor’s appointments and help improve job prospects for some 2 million disabled people.”

Blind ‘Drivers’ Step Up to Shape U.S. Push for Driverless Cars
The revolution in self-driving cars holds promise for a segment of the population that thought they’d never be able to operate a vehicle: the blind. Advocates for the estimated 1.3 million legally blind people in the U.S., and millions more with other disabilities, have joined automakers and technology companies in lobbying Congress to help spur the roll out of self-driving vehicles.

A panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to advance the first legislation on driverless cars. Advocates for the blind have let lawmakers know they have a special set of concerns: They want accessibility incorporated into car design and states to steer clear of laws that would prohibit the blind from one day sitting in the driver’s seat.
...
Florida, Michigan and New York already have laws that require operators of automated vehicles to have a driver’s license, which mandates a vision test. What’s more, even states lacking statutes with such requirements would likely defer to current law, creating a de facto driver’s license requirement, according to Amanda Essex, transportation policy specialist at the National Conference of State Legislatures.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-19/blind-drivers-step-up-to-shape-u-s-push-for-driverless-cars
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sidd

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2119 on: July 20, 2017, 06:14:18 AM »
Re: "They want accessibility incorporated into car design and states to steer clear of laws that would prohibit the blind from one day sitting in the driver’s seat."

This sounds weird. This is Level 5 automation, which is not there yet. Although I would like to see Stevie Wonder laying rubber in a muscle car.


TerryM

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2120 on: July 20, 2017, 08:07:02 AM »
Think of all the drunks being driven home by their cars, the breathalyzer firms being shuttered, and of course the MADD ads we won't be subjected to.


How many municipalities will fail without income from speeding tickets. How many hard working traffic cops will be demoted to foot patrol, kindergarten cops, or mall cops. Municipal Court Justices, bailiffs and jailers, all competing for jobs at the newly automated McDonalds, or being retrained as bicycle mechanics.


The inhumanity of it all.
Terry


Perhaps this is what they had in mind when they put braille symbols on my drive through ATM  ;)







Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2121 on: July 20, 2017, 08:40:35 PM »
Re: "They want accessibility incorporated into car design and states to steer clear of laws that would prohibit the blind from one day sitting in the driver’s seat."

This sounds weird. This is Level 5 automation, which is not there yet. Although I would like to see Stevie Wonder laying rubber in a muscle car.

Right. In an autonomous car of the future, there won't be a "driver's seat." No steering wheel, no control pedals.  With voice commands, any seat could be the driver's seat.

But I think they are referring to the next few years, while full autonomy is gradually added to "manual" cars.  If a "vehicle operator" is required to have a drivers license, and that license requires a vision test, the blind will be unable to take advantage of the new technology.  New regulations are needed to re-define the requirements for a Level 5 autonomous car operator.

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Bob Wallace

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2122 on: July 20, 2017, 09:14:00 PM »
Re: "They want accessibility incorporated into car design and states to steer clear of laws that would prohibit the blind from one day sitting in the driver’s seat."

This sounds weird. This is Level 5 automation, which is not there yet. Although I would like to see Stevie Wonder laying rubber in a muscle car.

Right. In an autonomous car of the future, there won't be a "driver's seat." No steering wheel, no control pedals.  With voice commands, any seat could be the driver's seat.

But I think they are referring to the next few years, while full autonomy is gradually added to "manual" cars.  If a "vehicle operator" is required to have a drivers license, and that license requires a vision test, the blind will be unable to take advantage of the new technology.  New regulations are needed to re-define the requirements for a Level 5 autonomous car operator.

From Wiki-

SAE automated vehicle classifications:
Level 0: Automated system issues warnings but has no vehicle control.

Level 1 (”hands on”): Driver and automated system shares control over the vehicle. An example would be Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) where the driver controls steering and the automated system controls speed. Using Parking Assistance, steering is automated while speed is manual. The driver must be ready to retake full control at any time. Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA) Type II is a further example of level 1 self driving.

Level 2 (”hands off”): The automated system takes full control of the vehicle (accelerating, braking, and steering). The driver must monitor the driving and be prepared to immediately intervene at any time if the automated system fails to respond properly. The shorthand ”hands off” is not meant to be taken literally. In fact, contact between hand and wheel is often mandatory during SAE 2 driving, to confirm that the driver is ready to intervene.

Level 3 (”eyes off”): The driver can safely turn their attention away from the driving tasks, e.g. the driver can text or watch a movie. The vehicle will handle situations that call for an immediate response, like emergency braking. The driver must still be prepared to intervene within some limited time, specified by the manufacturer, when called upon by the vehicle to do so.

Level 4 (”mind off”): As level 3, but no driver attention is ever required for safety, i.e. the driver may safely go to sleep or leave the driver's seat. Self driving is supported only in limited areas (geofenced) or under special circumstances, like traffic jams. Outside of these areas or circumstances, the vehicle must be able to safely abort the trip, i.e. park the car, if the driver does not retake control.

Level 5 (”wheel optional”): No human intervention is required. An example would be a robotic taxi.

I suspect some in government don't really believe Level 5 is possible.  Although there already are Level 5 vehicles operating in restricted areas.


Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2123 on: July 21, 2017, 12:24:09 AM »
CarbonBrief: Factcheck: How much power will UK electric vehicles need?
Electric vehicles (EVs) could grow more than twice as fast over the next 10 years as expected just a year ago, potentially posing major challenges for the UK’s electricity grid.

That’s according to National Grid’s latest Future Energy Scenarios, published today. The annual report presents a wide range of possible futures, partly in order to flag those challenges, so that they can be planned for and avoided. It does not make forecasts of what is most likely to happen.

In one scenario, where 100% of cars go electric but smart charging and shared autonomous vehicles help manage the impact on the grid, peak demand could be limited to around 6 gigawatts (GW) in 2050. This is equivalent to 10% of the current 60GW peak demand on a cold winter’s day.

Yet in today’s media reports, several headline writers presented a more extreme scenario – in which no efforts are made to manage the impact of EVs on the grid – as a racing certainty.

Carbon Brief runs through the misleading headlines and picks out the other key points raised by this year’s Future Energy Scenarios....
https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-how-much-power-will-uk-electric-vehicles-need
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Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2124 on: July 21, 2017, 11:34:26 PM »
Audi to update 850,000 cars as diesel recalls widen
German automaker Audi says it will fit up to 850,000 diesel cars with new software to improve their emissions performance, following a similar move by rival Daimler as the auto industry tries to get ahead of public controversy over the technology.

Audi, the luxury brand of the Volkswagen Group, announced the voluntary retrofitting program on Friday. The company said in a statement that it "aims to maintain the future viability of diesel engines" and believes the program "will counteract possible bans on vehicles with diesel engines."

The free program, which will apply to Europe and other markets outside the U.S. and Canada, applies to cars with six-cylinder and eight-cylinder diesel engines. The service action also applies to Porsche and Volkswagen models with the same types of engines.

On Tuesday, Daimler said it will voluntarily recall 3 million Mercedes-Benz cars with diesel engines in Europe to improve their emissions performance.
...
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/21/audi-to-update-850000-cars-as-diesel-recalls-widen.html
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Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2125 on: July 22, 2017, 02:58:16 PM »
34 new fast-charging stations with energy storage for EVs to be deployed along Trans-Canada Highway
Good news for Canadian electric car drivers or soon-to-be electric car drivers. A new network of DC fast-charging stations has been announced to cover the Trans-Canada Highway in a currently underserved region between Ontario and Manitoba.

Interestingly, the stations will be equipped with energy storage systems in order to make sure it can deliver fast-charging even where there are grid limitations.
...
The project, which is expected to cost CAD $17.3 million (USD $13.6 million) and is partially funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), is a partnership between 3 energy storage companies: eCAMION, based in Toronto, Dallas-based Leclanché North America, part of Switzerland’s Leclanché SA and SGEM based in Geneva....
https://electrek.co/2017/07/21/fast-charging-stations-trans-canada-highway/

The comments under the article mention locations of other Canadian fast-charger stations.
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Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2126 on: July 22, 2017, 04:12:40 PM »
Here's a helpful list of announced future EVs (in the U.S., only, for now).
2020 should be awesome! ;) Or a frustrating time, filled with empty promises and carmaker tears.

http://evadoption.com/future-evs/
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Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2127 on: July 22, 2017, 04:26:49 PM »
Union of Concerned Scientists:

"US electric vehicle (EV) sales are up 45% for the twelve-month period from July 2016 through June 2017, compared to the prior twelve-month period."
There is one category notably lacking among US EVs sales: the pickup truck. The best-selling light-duty vehicle in the US has for 35 years been the Ford F-series, with 820,799 units sold in 2016 (this is more than double the sales of the top-selling car in 2016, the Toyota Camry).

Some companies perform aftermarket conversions to turn trucks into plug-in hybrids, and others have announced plans to build brand-new electric pickup trucks (such as Tesla, Via, Havelaar, and Workhorse). Trucks have a wide range of needs and duty cycles, and not all applications would be suited to electrification at present. There are definitely engineering challenges to resolve.

Still, a plug-in version of the F-150 could serve the needs of many owners, and could propel Ford to the top of the EV sales charts. This is not in Ford’s plans at the moment (although a basic hybrid F-150 is), but what if the company experiences positive results from its other electric and plug-in products? Might we see an electric F-150? Or would the Chevy Silverado or Dodge Ram (the #2 and #3 selling vehicles in 2016) have plug-in versions first?

The pickup truck market is too big to ignore. As battery technology continues to improve, it should become easier to make electrification work for at least part of this segment.

http://blog.ucsusa.org/peter-oconnor/electric-car-rolling-sales-numbers
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Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2128 on: July 23, 2017, 03:56:13 AM »
All of Tesla’s seat options are now vegan
...Tesla’s mission statement is “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”  While many are attracted to Teslas simply because of their incredible performance or for other reasons, it’s obvious that the point of an electric car company is to offer consumers a more environmentally-friendly choice.  So, naturally, this would mean that many of Tesla’s customers would seek out an interior which doesn’t rely on bovine agriculture (which, while tasty, has quite a large environmental impact).  And since there’s significant overlap between vegetarians/vegans and electric car buyers, this seems like a natural move by Tesla.

For any buyers who are worried about this because they traditionally prefer leather seats, Tesla’s vegan interiors have been getting good reviews from owners and seem quite durable and comfortable....
https://electrek.co/2017/07/22/tesla-seat-options-now-vegan/
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Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2129 on: July 23, 2017, 03:10:48 PM »
Re: "They want accessibility incorporated into car design and states to steer clear of laws that would prohibit the blind from one day sitting in the driver’s seat."

This sounds weird. This is Level 5 automation, which is not there yet. Although I would like to see Stevie Wonder laying rubber in a muscle car.

Although Elon Musk said recently that in 10 to 20 years, owning a purely manually-driven car will be "a hobby, like owning a horse," he has also said some people like to drive their cars, so he doesn't think steering controls will disappear soon.

I am reminded of this Nissan ID Concept video, which has manual controls that fold away when the car becomes fully autonomous.  So the idea of a "driver's seat" may be with us for a while yet, and the blind don't want to be shut out of the new technology due to a technicality of the law.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9zZ2h2MRCe0
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« Reply #2130 on: July 23, 2017, 04:47:41 PM »
I am reminded of this Nissan ID Concept video, which has manual controls that fold away when the car becomes fully autonomous. 

I suspect we'll go through three phases with fully self-driving cars. 

In the first phase cars will look much like they do today.  There will be a driver's seat, steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal.  I really doubt that many drivers would accept a car without the ability for them to take over driving when we first reach Level 5. 

And I suspect we may get Level 5 cars that aren't fully Level 5 in 100% of conditions.  A quarter mile of my ride home is a single lane, barely clinging on the side of a mountain, unpaved road.  Cars may have to 'learn' to drive that road (especially in the snow).  Humans are going to have to do the training by manually driving it a few times.

Second phase would use foldaway controls, even joysticks, in order to allow humans to manually drive if necessary.  This might be unneeded, but buyers might demand the ability to take over and drive out of difficult situations.

Third phase will be the self-driving living rooms.  Get in and do whatever you like.  Your living room will stop at  your destination. 

I wonder if we'll end up with Level 5 cars that can be remotely driven by someone if the car gets stuck/confused.  I wouldn't be surprised if cars always maintained the ability for humans to take over.  It could be done with something as simple as a touchscreen.   

ghoti

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« Reply #2131 on: July 23, 2017, 05:14:04 PM »
I wonder if we'll end up with Level 5 cars that can be remotely driven by someone if the car gets stuck/confused.  I wouldn't be surprised if cars always maintained the ability for humans to take over.  It could be done with something as simple as a touchscreen.

It seemed like the Pro Pilot concept Nissan presented includes remote/call center support for driving situations the car doesn't understand. It sounded cumbersome to me but I can see it being way better than a self-driving car stuck immobile because of conflicting rules.

Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2132 on: July 23, 2017, 05:15:32 PM »
… A quarter mile of my ride home is a single lane, barely clinging on the side of a mountain, unpaved road.  Cars may have to 'learn' to drive that road (especially in the snow).  Humans are going to have to do the training by manually driving it a few times.

I was fascinated by the stories, in the early days of the Tesla Autopilot, about cars unexpectedly taking exit lanes, or refusing to engage at all on some tricky roads — but after a week or two of driving those routes, the car stopped diving toward the exits, and they drove just fine on routes it had previously considered unacceptable.

Artificial Intelligence and computer learning!  By the fleet as a whole, as well as individual cars.  Every Tesla built today has a supercomputer on top of the glove box....


I wonder if we'll end up with Level 5 cars that can be remotely driven by someone if the car gets stuck/confused.  I wouldn't be surprised if cars always maintained the ability for humans to take over.  It could be done with something as simple as a touchscreen.   

Musk mentioned at the Governor’s conference that hacking was one of his greatest concerns — “if someone hacked the Tesla fleet and sent all the cars to Rhode Island… that would be the end of Tesla” — and suggested there would always be a kill switch [which could make the car slow down, pull to the side of the road, and stop, which Teslas on Autopilot do now if they do not get feedback from the driver for a minute or two], or have some way for the occupants to take over.
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« Reply #2133 on: July 23, 2017, 05:29:40 PM »
It seemed like the Pro Pilot concept Nissan presented includes remote/call center support for driving situations the car doesn't understand. It sounded cumbersome to me but I can see it being way better than a self-driving car stuck immobile because of conflicting rules.

I was fascinated by the stories, in the early days of the Tesla Autopilot, about cars unexpectedly taking exit lanes, or refusing to engage at all on some tricky roads — but after a week or two of driving those routes, the car stopped diving toward the exits, and they drove just fine on routes it had previously considered unacceptable.

For the next year or so every Tesla that is sold (has been sold going back a few months) will have a self-driving system running in the background.  The cars will be learning what human drivers do in unusual situations.  They will be learning the not-yet mapped roads.  Tesla won't allow their cars to begin self-driving until the self-driving systems are capable of taking over from humans.  And doing a much better job of avoiding accidents than are humans.
--

Here's an interesting video showing a self-driving car learning (without human assistance) how to drive unmarked roads and around construction detours.

When one car learns, the fleet learns.



Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2134 on: July 23, 2017, 09:16:41 PM »
When Will an EV Crack the Top 25 Selling Autos in the US Ranking?
To date, no EV – either plugin hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric (BEV) – has come anywhere close to breaking into the top 25 sales chart for autos in the US. The 5,850 estimated units of the Tesla Model S sold in December of 2016, would rank 75th in the month of June 2017.
http://evadoption.com/when-will-an-ev-crack-the-top-25-selling-autos-in-the-us-ranking/

- Article has a handy chart of the top 25 selling vehicles in the U.S. for June 2017.

- The Tesla Model 3 could break into the top 25 by the end of this year. (Musk's latest estimate is 20,000 a month in December.)
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Bob Wallace

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« Reply #2135 on: July 23, 2017, 09:42:02 PM »
When Will an EV Crack the Top 25 Selling Autos in the US Ranking?
To date, no EV – either plugin hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric (BEV) – has come anywhere close to breaking into the top 25 sales chart for autos in the US. The 5,850 estimated units of the Tesla Model S sold in December of 2016, would rank 75th in the month of June 2017.
http://evadoption.com/when-will-an-ev-crack-the-top-25-selling-autos-in-the-us-ranking/

- Article has a handy chart of the top 25 selling vehicles in the U.S. for June 2017.

- The Tesla Model 3 could break into the top 25 by the end of this year. (Musk's latest estimate is 20,000 a month in December.)


At least by sometime in 2018.  The Model 3 should be coming out of the plant at a rate of 400,000/year, 33,333/month.  Assume 50% are exported to Europe and Asia.  That's roughly 16,000 per month which would get them close to the top 20.

Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2136 on: July 23, 2017, 10:00:09 PM »
"At least by sometime in 2018.  The Model 3 should be coming out of the plant at a rate of 400,000/year, 33,333/month.  Assume 50% are exported to Europe and Asia.  That's roughly 16,000 per month which would get them close to the top 20."

The 20,000 Model 3s a month Musk estimates for December is more than enough to get into the top U.S. 25.  Remember, his cautious rollout involves deliveries limited to California at first, then move east through the U.S.  Foreign countries (except maybe Canada) don't expect to see any Model 3s until well into 2018.  Musk is also keenly aware that U.S. buyers are looking anxiously at the 200,000 U.S. sales limit which can get the full $7,500 tax credit.  He may allow a few foreign sales as needed to get that magic vehicle to happen at the beginning of a quarter, in order to maximize the time the credit will be available, but I suspect that's about all.
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Bob Wallace

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« Reply #2137 on: July 23, 2017, 10:10:34 PM »
Ah, OK.  I had assumed a good portion of the early M3s would be exported. 
--

I went ahead and put down my deposit on a M3 last week.  I suspect that I really want a Model Y (more cargo room).  But a M3 might work for me, it would just take more planning.

When they show up in a showroom I'll go and take a look.  And then I'll watch to see how they perform in snow.  Ideally I want four wheel drive.  I don't know if that will be an option when my number comes up.  And I probably won't pull the trigger until I'm sure autonomous driving will happen. 

Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2138 on: July 23, 2017, 10:55:20 PM »
Ah, OK.  I had assumed a good portion of the early M3s would be exported. 
--

I went ahead and put down my deposit on a M3 last week.  I suspect that I really want a Model Y (more cargo room).  But a M3 might work for me, it would just take more planning.

When they show up in a showroom I'll go and take a look.  And then I'll watch to see how they perform in snow.  Ideally I want four wheel drive.  I don't know if that will be an option when my number comes up.  And I probably won't pull the trigger until I'm sure autonomous driving will happen.

Wow!  Congrats!  Dual-motor should be available early 2018 (but you probably saw that reservations made now likely won't be filled until mid-2018).  You can hold your reservation until they offer the options you want -- or even use it toward another model.
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Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2139 on: July 24, 2017, 01:38:32 PM »
Toyota could finally start mass producing electric cars thanks to China
Toyota has long been one of the most reticent large automakers when it comes to producing all-electric vehicles. It had no problems with hybrids, e.g. the Prius, but the Japanese automaker would only produce the bare minimum when it came to zero-emission mandates, e.g. the Rav4 EV in California, and they quickly lobbied to change those mandates.

They are now doing the same in China, where the government is about to ramp up its electric car mandate, and while Toyota, like almost all other automakers, tried to stop the mandate, it looks it’s going to happen and it might finally force the automaker to mass produce EVs.

Now Japan’s Nikkei is out with a new report stating that Toyota is indeed considering the mass production of EVs to comply to China’s mandate and that they are again focusing on SUVs.
...
The main thing that has slowed down Toyota’s development of battery-powered vehicles is their commitment to hydrogen fuel cells. As we previously reported, the few automakers who are still entrenched in fuel cell hydrogen technology are slowly succumbing to physics and going battery-electric instead.

Yet automakers like Hyundai and Toyota still insist that the long-term future is hydrogen, but in order to comply with current zero-emission mandates, they are turning to batteries.
...
https://electrek.co/2017/07/24/toyota-mass-producing-electric-cars-china/
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Bob Wallace

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« Reply #2140 on: July 24, 2017, 05:18:09 PM »
the few automakers who are still entrenched in fuel cell hydrogen technology are slowly succumbing to physics

I love that phrase....

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« Reply #2141 on: July 25, 2017, 05:15:45 PM »
There was some talk of "Smart Cities" and I came across this article on Fox News.
America’s first smart city is almost 2,500 miles from Silicon Valley. So it’s not San Francisco. It’s also 1,200 miles from Austin, Texas, home to one of America’s fastest-growing STEM workforces. It’s not Portland, Ore., Denver, Kansas City or Pittsburgh, either — though all were finalists in the 2016 Smart City Challenge.

America’s first smart city is Columbus, Ohio — the fastest-growing city in the Buckeye State and the second largest city in the Midwest, after Chicago.

Now, with $40 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation and another $10 million from Vulcan Inc., a company founded by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, Columbus — “The Crossroads of Ohio” — is poised to become the blueprint for the future of urban planning.
...
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« Reply #2142 on: July 26, 2017, 03:19:01 AM »
UK to follow France in banning petrol and diesel cars by 2040 – going all electric
After France announced earlier this month that it plans on banning new petrol and diesel cars by 2040, now the British government is about to announce similar measures this week.

The move is in reaction to increasingly poorer air quality in the country and especially in urban regions – like London.

A government spokesman said via The Guardian:

“Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible. That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious £3bn programme to clean up dirty air around our roads.”

Previous versions of the plan were believed to be too weak to have any impact, but the government has now reportedly updated it to include the ban by 2040.

It’s later than others’ goals, like Norway aiming for 2025, but those are just goals while France and UK seem to be actually talking about a government enforced “ban” on new car sales that are not “zero emission vehicles” like electric vehicles.

The UK recently started to think of more initiative to accelerate the deployment of electric cars, like the possibility to make gas stations install electric car chargers, which was introduced last month.

There’s already a £4,500 “plug-in grant” offered as a direct incentive to buy electric vehicles. It helped the country significantly increase its EV fleet, which now accounts for a record 4.2% share of new vehicles registered in the UK.

This new initiative that would ban petrol and diesel cars would also include the funding of the plug-in grant and other programs to facilitate the adoption of EVs in preparation for the ban.

The full plan is expected to be released in full later this week.
https://electrek.co/2017/07/25/uk-banning-new-petrol-diesel-cars-2040-all-electric/
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Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2143 on: July 26, 2017, 01:58:20 PM »
Tesla Model 3 reveal, and handover of key[card]s to first owners this Friday!  Probably live-streamed -- I'll post details when they are announced.

In the meantime....

Tesla Model 3: top 10 cars that reservations holders are replacing with the new EV
A Facebook group of Model 3 reservation holders took a poll of the vehicles that they are replacing with their upcoming Model 3.

Over 150 reservation holders answered the interesting but admittedly unscientific poll
and we compiled the top 10 here:

BMW 3 Series: 21
Nissan Leaf: 15
Toyota Prius: 13
Chevy Volt: 12
BMW i3: 12
Audi A4: 10
Chevy Bolt EV: 8
VW eGolf: 6
BMW 5 Series: 5
Honda Civic: 5

Electrek’s Take
There are a few interesting things manifesting from these results. Mainly that the top car, the BMW 3 Series, is actually a vehicle that Tesla CEO Elon Musk named when listing cars that they plan the Model 3 to compete with.

Musk said that Tesla aimed to position the Model 3 as a mid-luxury sedan competing with cars like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, and interestingly, both cars are in the top 10.

Another interesting thing is the fact that there are a lot of electric cars: 4 all-electric models, one plug-in hybrid, and one hybrid.

The Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, and VW e-Golf make sense since the owners likely liked their electric car ownership experience and now want a vehicle with longer range and potentially more features for roughly the same price.

The Chevy Bolt EV is more surprising since deliveries only started a few months ago and therefore, it would be a quick turnaround. With this said, once we have the full production specs and features of the Model 3, it should be interesting to compare them with the Bolt EV and then, that decision could seem easier.

It’s sad to see Model 3 taking just as much market shares from EVs as from gas-powered cars, but it’s good news for the used EV market.

Finally, another interesting insight from the results is BMW seems to be the automaker taking the biggest hit with 3 cars in the top 10.
https://electrek.co/2017/07/26/tesla-model-3-top-10-cars-being-replaced/
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Bob Wallace

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« Reply #2144 on: July 26, 2017, 04:59:41 PM »
People trading in their Leafs and other EVs are getting more range.  They, and people moving from Bolts, are also getting a well developed rapid change system along with Destination Chargers.

I couldn't use a Bolt.  There's no way to drive one from my house to SF or Sac in a reasonable amount of time due to a lack of a charging infrastructure.

Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2145 on: July 27, 2017, 03:18:30 AM »
Tesla Motors:  Watch the first Model 3 handovers on tesla.com this Friday at 8:45pm PT
https://twitter.com/teslamotors/status/890349578913849344

8:45pm Pacific Time
11:45pm Eastern
03:45 UTC
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« Reply #2146 on: July 27, 2017, 03:00:52 PM »
Australia to build ‘Electric Super Highway’ covering over 1,000 miles with fast-charging stations
Large countries with low population density are having more difficulties deploying electric car charging networks for long distance travel.

Australia is a great example, but they are trying to get ahead of the issue as the country announced today a new ‘Electric Super Highway’ to cover over 1,000 miles with fast-charging stations for electric cars by the end of the year.

The Queensland government announced the project in Brisbane today.

Considering there are currently fewer than 1,000 all-electric vehicles in the vast state populated with almost 5 million people, the move may seem premature, but the government hopes that it will spur EV sales in the region.

Environment Minister and Acting Main Roads Minister Steven Miles said:
“This project is ambitious, but we want as many people as possible on board the electric vehicle revolution, as part of our transition to a low emissions future. Today I’m announcing the first 18 towns and cities that make up phase one of the Electric Super Highway and will, once operational in the next six months, make it possible to drive an electric vehicle from the state’s southern border to the Far North. They will be available for use at no cost for the initial phase of the super highway so we can encourage as many people as possible to start using them.”

The fact that it will be free, at least at first, is not the only interesting aspect since they also plan to link the charging stations to their green energy credit system in order to power them with clean energy or at least offset their energy footprint. ...
https://electrek.co/2017/07/27/australia-electric-super-highway-fast-charging-stations/
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« Reply #2147 on: July 27, 2017, 03:45:59 PM »
Elon Musk predicted 1000km, OUR EV got 1200 on a single Charge

https://youtu.be/rbnvZlPZZQc
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« Reply #2148 on: July 27, 2017, 05:51:47 PM »
Excellent move on the part of the Queensland government.   All the car manufacturers aside from Tesla are just not dealing with the EV charging issue.  That's going to make the uptake of EVs slower.

If the Q-gov builds a system then they can run it for a few years while private industry gets their act together and then sell off the system and get their money back.

BTW, Tesla has a string of Supercharger stations that reach from the bottom of the proposed route to Melbourne a the south end of the coast.  It will be interesting to see if Tesla extends their system up to Cairns before the generic charger system is in place.

Sigmetnow

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« Reply #2149 on: July 28, 2017, 01:50:02 AM »
Los Angeles orders 60 electric buses from Chinese company BYD plant in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles makes important order of 60 new BYD all-electric buses
Los Angeles Metro and BYD just confirmed that the transportation system, one of the biggest in the US, just confirmed having placed one of the largest electric bus order ever: 60 new 40-ft BYD all-electric buses.

They are encouraging local manufacturing by ordering from BYD since even though it’s a Chinese company, it has an electric bus and truck division based in Los Angeles.

The new large order alone is expected to create 59 new manufacturing jobs at the BYD factory in Lancaster, according to the company.

In a press release, they explained where the buses are expected to operate:

“LA Metro is expected to use the buses to electrify the Silver Line bus service, which runs throughout the county, from El Monte into Downtown Los Angeles and then south to San Pedro. This route covers a number of communities that have seen significant advocacy around environmental justice, with a severe need for this kind of investment in improved air quality.”

BYD’s 40-ft buses are equipped with massive 324 kWh battery packs with lithium iron phosphate battery cells, which can be charged in just 4 hour using BYD’s 80 kW charging stations. It enables a range of roughly 160 miles, which generally easily covers most routes.

The bus can accommodate up to 40 passengers and has a top speed of 62 mph. ...
https://electrek.co/2017/07/27/los-angeles-byd-all-electric-buses/
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