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Earlier this year Ford Motor announced that their fully autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid vehicles will hit California’s public roads in 2016. The Department of Transportation’s Secretary Anthony Foxx continues the momentum with his announcement that the Obama administration plans to invest $4 billion over the next ten years to pave the way for autonomous technologies. While America is innovating in autonomous and connected vehicles, China is on track to lead the world in electric vehicle (EV) sales. Last year alone Chinese company BYD sold over 60,000 plug-in vehicles, mostly in its home country. Autoblog suggests that government incentives, combined with disincentives for driving a polluting vehicle could mean China will soon lead the world in EV sales.
Could General Motors be poised to turn their new Chevy Bolt into a mass market vehicle in the United States? Consumer Reports recently tested it out and the word “impressive” was ubiquitous in their review. The Bolt is expected to roll off the production line at the end of the year offering 200 miles of range for $30,000 (after a $7,500 federal tax credit). Innovations in fueling infrastructure in Southern California will help grow the market. Southern California Edison (SCE) just got approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to begin implementing their $22 million “Charge Ready” program to install 1500 charging stations in their service territory. Education and outreach, including for business customers, will be provided to raise awareness of transportation electrification options.
XL Hybrids has announced a pilot program using their hybrid conversion technology in Denver on two step vans used for delivering construction supplies. BMC provides building materials and construction services and looks forward to achieving the fuel efficiency and emission reductions others have realized with the XL Hybrids system.
Kudos to San Joaquin Regional Transit District General Manager/CEO Donna DeMartino who is the recipient of the Sacramento Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar’s Woman of the Year Award. Among her many accomplishments, DeMartino has brought to fruition a bus rapid transit system and brought new hybrid and electric bus technologies into their fleet. CALSTART is pleased to be working with San Joaquin RTD as we’ve officially opened the San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center, which is funded through a competitive California Energy Commission (CEC) solicitation. CALSTART’s Joseph Oldham, a life-long Valley resident, is the Director of the Center and his aim is to advance clean transportation solutions in the region.
Transportation challenges can take many forms and the Wall Street Journal identified one in Durham, North Carolina where an underpass has plagued countless trucks because of a 100 year old train trestle that is 11 feet and 8 inches tall, about two feet lower than the minimum for standard sized trucks. Documenting the traffic infrastructure logistics problem is Jurgen Henn, a systems analyst who works in a nearby office and has a camera at the ready to document more than 100 trucks that have had their tops shaved off. You can check it out here.
DOT Unveils Autonomous Vehicle Development Plan, MotorAuthority
Tesla and BYD Kings of the EV Market, CheatSheet
The Growing Electric Vehicle Market in China, Autoblog
Electric Chevy Bolt Promises Long Range, Low Price, Consumer Reports
Regulators Green-Light SCE’s $22 Million EV Charging Program, NGT News
XL Hybrids Trial by BMC in Denver, Fleets & Fuels
RTD General Manager Honored by Sacramento Group, Central Valley Business Journal
Center Helps California Transportation Stay on Track, Scienceblog
The Joys of Watching a Bridge Shave the Tops off Trucks, The Wall Street Journal