Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

2019 Lexus ES Sedan Breaks Cover in Beijing

Point-counterpoint, as Lexus adds F Sport, as well as hybrid versions.

by on Apr.24, 2018

Lexus aimed to put more "passion" into the design and performance of the 2019 ES.

After a series of fan dance teases, Lexus has finally pulled the wraps off its seventh-generation in a dual presentation at the Beijing Motor Show and near its old U.S. corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.

One of the first models ever introduced by the Japanese automaker, the ES has long been known for its comfort, reliability and value, though it has also helped Lexus earn a reputation for plain vanilla design and performance. The luxury arm of Toyota Motor Corp. is determined not to let that happen again.

News Now!

“The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan,” said Yasuo Kojino, the 2019 model’s chief designer. “For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge the traditional expectations of buyers.”

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Musk Gets Preliminary Approval for Testing Tunnel in L.A.

Los Angelse City Council must provide a final approval.

by on Apr.20, 2018

Elon Musk's Boring Co. got preliminary approval for a proof of concept tunnel under Los Angeles.

The City of Los Angeles has approved Elon Musk to be more boring, er, to do more boring of tunnels that is.

Actually, Los Angeles City Council’s public works committee approved an environmental review exemption for a tunnel that Musk, through his Boring Co., wants to dig to test his underground transportation system.

Pushing the Envelope!

The committee approved the measure noting it was in favor of any idea that could help alleviate the crippling traffic jams that so often plague the city and surrounding areas. The motion now heads to the full City Council for approval. (more…)

Walmart Set to Add Super Fast-Chargers in 34 States

Chargers will deliver up to 200 miles in 10 minutes.

by on Apr.19, 2018

The new Walmart chargers will be capable of boosting range by as much as 20 miles a minute.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer could soon operate one of the nation’s larger vehicle charging networks.

The Arkansas-based company is partnering up with Electrify America to set up 100 fast-charger stations at stores in 34 states by mid-2019. That’s part of 2,000 chargers Electrify America aims to have in place by then at 500 stations across the U.S.

Electrifying!

“Along with providing our customers with an enhanced shopping experience through added convenience, this initiative also allows us to contribute to the expansion of our nation’s EV charging station infrastructure,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President of Energy for Walmart, Inc.

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Slot Car-Like eRoad Debuts Outside Stockholm – Could Eliminate Range Anxiety

System would allow an EV to constantly stay charged.

by on Apr.16, 2018

A truck using the eRoad heads from Stockholm out towards the city's Arlanda Airport

Battery-cars are great – as long as you don’t worry about running out of power without a place to charge back up. But a consortium set up by the Swedish Transport Administration may have come up with a solution for range anxiety it has dubbed eRoadArlanda.

The pilot project, which stretches for 1.2 miles between the capital city of Stockholm with Arlanda Airport, allows electrified vehicles to draw power from an underground electrical grid so that their batteries never run down.

Electrifying News!

It works much like an oversized slot car track, explained Hans Säll, the chief executive of eRoadArlanda, who said, “There is no electricity on the surface. There are two tracks, just like an outlet in the wall. Five or six centimeters down is where the electricity is.”

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FCA Continuing Diesel Settlement Talks with DOJ, CARB

Discussions centering on potential penalties for automaker.

by on Apr.11, 2018

The 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is part of the group of vehicles that allegedly used a cheat device to beat emissions tests.

Despite repeatedly denying any wrongdoing, Fiat Chrysler is in talks with the U.S. Justice Department and California Air Resources Board to reach a settlement about accusations it used illegal used software to beat diesel emissions tests.

The discussions, which according to multiple reports, are very far along, address allegations that FCA used the software, in a manner similar to Volkswagen’s diesel testing cheat device, for 104,000 U.S. diesel vehicles – mostly light trucks – sold since 2014.

Diesel News!

According to Reuters, Ken Feinberg, an adviser in the process, at a federal court hearing in San Francisco revealed that government lawyers and Fiat Chrysler were swapping documents as part of the settlement process, which was moving “at a rather swift pace.” (more…)

Gas Prices on the Rise as Summer Driving Season Nears

Current average price nears last year's high mark.

by on Apr.11, 2018

Drivers can expect to start paying more at the pump as summer approaches.

Gasoline is getting more expensive and with the summer driving season just ahead prices are already closing in on last year’s high, according to AAA.

“Gas prices are only a penny away from topping the $2.67 high of 2017,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokeswoman. A year ago, the average price of gasoline across the nation was $2.39 per gallon.

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“The price is likely to increase as spring brings warmer weather and the switchover to summer blend gasoline, but hopefully we will only see mild jumps in coming weeks,” Casselano said. (more…)

Greensboro, NC and Honolulu Top Best/Worst Places to Drive

GPS app Waze releases annual driver satisfaction survey.

by on Apr.09, 2018

Greensboro, North Carolina, was topped the Waze Driver Satisfaction Index for 2017.

Drivers in every city in the country can find something that makes commuting around their town or metropolis the worst or best, but GPS app Waze has compiled a list of the best and worst cities to drive in the U.S. for 2017.

Called Waze’s annual Driver Satisfaction Index, the company uses driving data from its millions of users across America to rank the 61 best and worst metropolitan areas. The best? Greensboro, North Carolina while the worst is Honolulu, Hawaii.

Industry News!

Greensboro topped the list of best places to drive, which is determined using six different metrics, with a score of 8.7. At the other end was Honolulu with a 4.69 score. The U.S. average is 7.55, according to Waze. (more…)

Cadillac Exposed!

Here's how brand boss de Nysschen plans to use a new fleet of cars, crossovers and EVs to double U.S. and Chinese sales and even – finally – crash Europe. Exclusively on TheDetroitBureau.com.

by on Apr.06, 2018

Cadillac President John de Nysschen had two big intros in NY, including the CT6 V-Sport.

Cadillac is covering both ends of the spectrum at this month’s New York International Auto Show, offering up both the new entry-luxury XT4 sport-utility vehicle, as well as a high-performance version of its flagship sedan, the new CT6 V-Sport.

The two mark the start of an unprecedented product roll-out that, Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen announced during a NYIAS news briefing, will add 11 models to the brand’s line-up by 2021. But that’s only a glimpse at what’s actually coming, the South African-born executive revealed in an exclusive interview with TheDetroitBureau.com.

The Last Word!

Long positioned as “the standard of the world,” Cadillac fell off its perch in the 1990s, dethroned by high-line European and Asian imports like Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It’s had a few false starts in its bid to regain its former glory. But de Nysschen has put in place a do-or-die strategy that is aimed at more than doubling Caddy’s global volume with a mix of new products, advanced powertrains and a new approach to sales and service. Much will depend on the booming Chinese luxury market, but the Caddy chief is also determined to take on key rivals in their home, European market.

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Daimler Remains Committed to Diesel Engine Use

Shareholders express concerns about continued investment.

by on Apr.05, 2018

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche attempted to assuage concerns of investors about the future of diesel engines.

Daimler AG management insists the diesel engine has bright future, but the company’s shareholders are growing more skeptical and are raising questions about whether they should remain part of the company’s product portfolio in the face of stringent, new emission standards.

Shareholders, mainly representatives of investment funds holding shares of Daimler AG, raised questions about whether, in the aftermath of the scandal around the cheating on the emissions tests used by Volkswagen, it was wise for Daimler and Mercedes-Benz to continue investing in diesel technology.

Industry News!

The question, coming during a meeting in Germany from German shareholders, indicate how the fallout from the “Dieselgate” scandal continues to impact a technology that up until VW’s troubles emerged in 2015 was the pride of the German auto industry. (more…)

EPA Rolling Back CAFE in Move Likely to Set Up Legal Battle with California

The Trump Administration wants to eliminate the California waiver and adopt one national mileage standard.

by on Apr.02, 2018

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt plans to rollback CAFE - and eliminate the CA waiver.

In a widely expected move, Trump EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has confirmed the agency will roll back the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards, though by how much is not yet clear.

The news was largely hailed by the auto industry, which had challenged the 54.5 mpg target it initially agreed to under the Obama Administration. But the announcement drew significant criticism from consumer groups, environmentalists and, in particular, California regulators. Under current Clean Air standards, that state has the right to set its own standards which are normally even tougher than the EPA rules. But Pruitt signaled his intention of revoking that authority, something likely to touch off a legal battle that could delay any steps the EPA takes.

Breaking News!

“The Obama EPA’s determination was wrong,” Pruitt said in a statement Monday. “Obama’s EPA cut the midterm evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality and set the standards too high.”

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