Biden, in a Push to Phase Out Gas Cars, Will Tighten Pollution Rules – The New York Times

“. . . In a joint statement, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis — the auto company formed this year after the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot — announced their “shared aspiration” to achieve sales of 40 to 50 percent electric vehicles by 2030.

But they need government support to translate aspirations into action, they wrote. “This represents a dramatic shift from the U.S. market today that can be achieved only with the timely deployment of the full suite of electrification policies,” the automakers said in the statement.

Specifically, the automakers said that they could not meet the target of 40 to 50 percent electric vehicle sales unless Congress spends billions of dollars on incentives for car buyers, a charging network, investments in research and development and incentives to expand the electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains.

Mr. Biden has asked Congress for $174 billion to pay for a network of 500,000 charging stations. The pending infrastructure bill, which could pass the Senate as soon as this week, includes just a fraction of that: $7.5 billion. A second bill, which could move through Congress this fall, could include more spending on electric vehicles, consumer tax incentives and research. But neither bill is guaranteed to pass in the closely divided Congress.”  . . .

What if Highways Were Electric? Germany Is Testing the Idea. – The New York Times

“OBER-RAMSTADT, Germany — On a highway south of Frankfurt recently, Thomas Schmieder maneuvered his Scania tractor-trailer and its load of house paint into the far right lane. Then he flicked a switch you won’t find on most truck dashboards.

Outside the cab a contraption started to unfold from the roof, looking like a clothes-drying rack with an upside-down sled welded to the top. As Mr. Schmieder continued driving, a video display showed the metal skids rising up and pushing gently against wires running overhead.

The cab became very quiet as the diesel engine cut out and electric motors took over. The truck was still a truck, but now it was powered like many trains or street cars.

There’s a debate over how to make the trucking industry free of emissions, and whether batteries or hydrogen fuel cells are the best way to fire up electric motors in big vehicles. Mr. Schmieder was part of a test of a third alternative: a system that feeds electricity to trucks as they drive, using wires strung above the roadway and a pantograph mounted on the cab.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
This seems like a weirdly ugly idea, but in a terrific direction. I would, in my shameful ignorance, visualize electric trains and monorails that get their electricity from the track, if that is possible. Could it possibly be flood proof? But trucks would have containers just like on ships, that already exists, and put their container on the electric train system, and another truck would pick it up at the other end of the train line system. It could be slower than regular highway speeds, and allow for locals as well as expresses, like the wonderful Paris subway system, only it would be an above ground system, and take up at least half of the current highways that we have now, for individual cars and trucks. This system could move people as well as cargo, and would be all electric. Where would you get all that electricity in the next 50 to 100 years? Probably from the 20 or so new designs for nuclear energy, such as the one designed by the Bill Gates team. These new plants are smaller, and cannot explode or melt down. The Gates version, runs on spent nuclear fuel, so it besides theoretically being safe, will reduce our nuclear waste storage issue.

PAID POST by Volkswagen in NYT— Volkswagen ID.4: The Journey to An All-Electric Automotive Future

“Ready for an electric vehicle future?
The Volkswagen ID.4 may be the electric vehicle that carries you into it.

(MSRP $40k, range 250 miles)

The world is on the precipice of a revolution, but it’s not necessarily the one most people would think of. In his recent book, “The Global Rise of the Modern Plug-In Electric Vehicle,” John D. Graham, a professor at Indiana University, wrote that the current moment in electric vehicle (EV) adoption is at least as radical as the invention of the gasoline-powered engine. Consider how huge that is: as major a difference as going from a horse and buggy to a sedan.

The EV’s moment stems from a perfect mix of government support, consumer interest, regulation and price. In March of this year, the United States reached the benchmark of 100,000 public EV charging stations, and the Biden administration committed $15 billion to fund a network of an additional 500,000. There is more variety coming to the EV market than ever, including cars with zero direct emissions like Volkswagen’s all-electric ID.4, which is the first truly versatile electric crossover SUV. Taken together, our society is moving beyond simply talking about electric vehicles changing the world, and actually starting to make the switch.”

”  . . . There are, of course, simpler reasons to get behind the wheel of an electric SUV: All-wheel drive is available on the ID.4 later in 2021; and the $39,9954 MSRP of the ID.4 Pro doesn’t even account for the potential federal tax credit of up to $7,5005. It also includes three years of unlimited public DC fast charging at no additional cost6 at Electrify America stations, the largest fast-charging network in the country. ”  (range 250 miles, plus or minus about 10)

Farhad Manjoo | Summer Travel Post-Covid Has Arrived. Earth Can’t Handle It. – The New York Times

Opinion Columnist

“To cruise or not to cruise? To safari or stay put? To fly — perchance to hang glide or kite surf into some un-Instagrammed country. So goes the great moral dilemma now lurking in the travel and tourism industry, perhaps the beating heart of global consumerist extravagance. Now that our year-plus fast is close to over, shall we commence gorging once more?

In 2019, according to an industry trade group, the world spent about $9 trillion — nearly a tenth of global G.D.P. — on tourism. It was the 10th consecutive year of growth in travel, and expansion looked endless.”

Lithium Mining Projects May Not Be Green Friendly – The New York Times

Ivan Penn and 

“Atop a long-dormant volcano in northern Nevada, workers are preparing to start blasting and digging out a giant pit that will serve as the first new large-scale lithium mine in the United States in more than a decade — a new domestic supply of an essential ingredient in electric car batteries and renewable energy.

The mine, constructed on leased federal lands, could help address the near total reliance by the United States on foreign sources of lithium.

But the project, known as Lithium Americas, has drawn protests from members of a Native American tribe, ranchers and environmental groups because it is expected to use billions of gallons of precious ground water, potentially contaminating some of it for 300 years, while leaving behind a giant mound of waste.

“Blowing up a mountain isn’t green, no matter how much marketing spin people put on it,” said Max Wilbert, who has been living in a tent on the proposed mine site while two lawsuits seeking to block the project wend their way through federal courts.  . . . “

VW accidentally leaks new name for its U.S. operations: Voltswagen

  • Volkswagen is expected to change the name of its operations in the U.S. to “Voltswagen of America,” emphasizing the German automaker’s electric vehicle efforts.
  • A now unpublished press release called the change a “public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility.”
  • The release said “Voltswagen” will be placed as an exterior badge on all EV models with gas vehicles having the company’s iconic VW emblem only.

In this article

Volkswagen's ID Buzz vehicle.
Volkswagen’s ID Buzz vehicle.
Aeva

Editor’s Note: Volkswagen initially said it was going to rename its U.S. operations Voltswagen to signify its commitment to electrification of its fleet. The company confirmed Tuesday that the announcement was an elaborate April Fools’ joke. Our full story on the ‘joke’ is here. Below is the original story based on VW’s announcement of the name change.

Source: VW accidentally leaks new name for its U.S. operations: Voltswagen

How to Sell a Car | Edmunds


Here are 10 simple steps that will help you turn your used car into cash. Everything from pricing to advertising and negotiating is covered in this short, easy-to-follow process.

Steps to Selling Your Vehicle

1. Know the Market
2. Price Your Vehicle Competitively
3. Give Your Vehicle “Curb Appeal”
4. Where to Advertise Your Vehicle
5. Create Ads That Sell
6. Showing Your Vehicle
7. Negotiate for Your Best Price
8. Handling Complications
9. Finalize the Sale
10. After the Sale

Source: How to Sell a Car | Edmunds

The Age of Electric Cars Is Dawning Ahead of Schedule – The New York Times

“FRANKFURT — An electric Volkswagen ID.3 for the same price as a Golf. A Tesla Model 3 that costs as much as a BMW 3 Series. A Renault Zoe electric subcompact whose monthly lease payment might equal a nice dinner for two in Paris.

As car sales collapsed in Europe because of the pandemic, one category grew rapidly: electric vehicles. One reason is that purchase prices in Europe are coming tantalizingly close to the prices for cars with gasoline or diesel engines.

At the moment this near parity is possible only with government subsidies that, depending on the country, can cut more than $10,000 from the final price. Carmakers are offering deals on electric cars to meet stricter European Union regulations on carbon dioxide emissions. In Germany, an electric Renault Zoe can be leased for 139 euros a month, or $164.

Electric vehicles are not yet as popular in the United States, largely because government incentives are less generous. Battery-powered cars account for about 2 percent of new car sales in America, while in Europe the market share is approaching 5 percent. Including hybrids, the share rises to nearly 9 percent in Europe, according to Matthias Schmidt, an independent analyst in Berlin.”

The Teenage Tinkerer Behind an E-Bike Revolution – By Bradley Berman – The New York Times

By 

“The residents of Garberville, Calif., didn’t know what to make of 15-year-old Mike Radenbaugh and the odd motorized bikes he was concocting in his family’s garage.

It was 2005, the home-brew era for electric vehicles, and there he was, a high school freshman zooming by at up to 35 miles an hour, not even pedaling. He seemed to defy gravity as he ascended the region’s steep winding roads lined with 300-foot redwoods.

As the captain of the school’s mountain-bike racing team, he had collected a heap of spare frames and parts. Mr. Radenbaugh started tricking them out with old motorcycle-starter batteries, moped motors mail-ordered from Japan and crude powertrains held together with bungee cords, pipe clamps and thick layers of electrical tape. “I needed to find a solution where I had freedom as a young person without a lot of dollars,” he said.

Before long, he was making his 16-mile school commute on his electric Frankenbike.

Wires fried and batteries died. But after six months of experimentation, Mr. Radenbaugh had a semi-reliable electric bike. “It got better and better. And it got faster,” he said. “All of a sudden, I’d be riding into town passing slow cars. I quickly became known as the kooky e-bike guy in my little hometown.” “