Report: Hydrogen for fuel-cell vehicles likely to reach price parity with gasoline by 2025

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Hydrogen fuel-cell cars face many roadblocks to mass adoption, but a new report claims they could achieve price parity with gasoline by 2025.

 Drafted by the California Energy Commission, the report lays out a plan for development of renewable hydrogen production plants in the state, predicting that future demand and costs will make this new infrastructure worthwhile.

“The key findings are that the dispensed price of hydrogen is likely to meet an interim target based on fuel economy-adjusted price parity with gasoline of $6.00 to $8.50 per kilogram by 2025,” the report said.

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The Self-Driving car race between Tesla, GM and Ford takes a big turn

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Tesla’s Autopilot uses a different guiding technology than GM’s Super Cruise and Ford’s new ADAS.

It took Tesla years to convince the old automobile world that electric is the future and drag the world’s largest gasoline carmakers into the race of electric vehicles. Now, the Elon Musk-run EV pioneer, which recently surpassed Toyota to become the world’s most valuable automaker, is leading a different game in the auto world: self-driving cars—or, more realistically, semi self-driving cars, at least for now.

Tesla’s hands-free driver assist system, Autopilot, has been in the market for nearly six years, with software updates released every few months, each edging the vehicle closer to fully self-driving. However, due to the inherent high risk of this feature (Autopilot is believed to have played a role in at least three fatal crashes due to driver misuse), most of Tesla’s EV rivals had been hesitant to develop competing technologies until recently.

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AI autonomous cars and the problem of where to drop off riders

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Having the AI self-driving car know where to drop off human passengers is a puzzling problem not high on the priority list of developers.

Determining where to best drop-off a passenger can be a problematic issue.

It seems relatively common and downright unnerving that oftentimes a ridesharing service or taxi unceremoniously opts to drop you off at a spot that is poorly chosen and raft with complications.

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Who will own the cars that drive themselves?

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Self-driving Uber vehicles in a lot in Pittsburgh. One vision of the future sees fleets of cars hailed as people need a lift and less private vehicle ownership.

 Fleets of vehicles roaming streets waiting to be hailed are more efficient. But the coronavirus has made people think twice about the future of car ownership even when autonomous tech arrives.

It was a difficult question even before the coronavirus pandemic hit: When self-driving cars eventually rule the roads, will Americans own their cars or make use of ride-hailing fleets?

The challenge is now threefold. Self-driving car technology had already reached a plateau, and getting to full Level 5 autonomy will be more difficult than many had thought. With the nation’s economy hobbled by the virus, investment is slowing. And to car owners, their private automobile is now a sanctuary, and it’s unclear how long that attitude will persist.

A CarGurus.com poll of 400 active car shoppers, conducted in May for this article, asked, “What is your overall opinion about the development of self-driving cars?” It showed 22 percent of customers were excited by the prospect. A survey of auto owners in 2019 showed 31 percent of them were excited for autonomous cars.

The question about the long-term future for the world’s cars is far from settled, and the experts (some of whom see disaster for the planet if people own autonomous cars as we own our cars now) differ sharply in their perception of where we’re heading.

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Germany requires all gas stations to provide EV charging

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As part of Germany’s new increased electric-vehicle incentive package, the country will require gas stations to offer EV charging. Details about the plan are not yet known, such as the timeline and type of required chargers. But EV advocates quickly praised the move as a boost to electric-car adoption.

BDEW, Germany’s association for energy and water industries, believes that at least 70,000 charging stations and 7,000 fast-charging stations are required to achieve a mass market for EVs in the country. BDEW reports that there are currently about 28,000 stations in Germany.

According to Reuters, electric cars made up only 1.8% of new passenger car registrations last year in Germany, with diesel and petrol cars accounting for 32% and 59.2%, respectively.

New German EV incentives double existing subsidies to €6,000 ($6,720) on electric vehicles costing up to €40,000 ($44,800). Germany will also implement higher taxes for fuel-thirsty, internal-combustion SUVs.

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Tesla announces massive Supercharger expansion in China to support growth

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Tesla announced plans to install 4,000 Superchargers in China this year alone in order to support its growth in the market.

 Over the last five years, Tesla has deployed over 2,500 Supercharger stalls in over 150 cities in China.

At their Shanghai office last week, the automaker announced its plan to deploy 4,000 Superchargers in the country in 2020 alone.

This is a massive acceleration of Supercharger deployment for Tesla in China.

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Are you brave enough to buy this Innotruck?

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Your chance to own a truck of the future.

Today you have the unique opportunity to purchase one of two Innotrucks ever built. This radical design study was sponsored by Siemens and led by designer Luigi Colani to design and construct their interpretation of the truck of the future. With a focus on efficiency and modernized design, the Innotruck was born. Now you have the opportunity to own this unique example thanks to a listing on the JamesEdition website.

In 2012 Siemens and Luigi Colani debuted their futuristic truck design to a large crowd at the MobiliTec international trade fair in Germany to stunned crowds. The Innotruck reimagined what a tractor-trailer could be introducing aerodynamics and an eco-friendly drivetrain to combat the inefficiency of our current system.

The cab was integrated into the trailer portion allowing the drivetrain to sit below the drive independent from the trailer. The drive sits in a cockpit reminiscent of a fighter jet with a huge amount of glass allowing for optimal visibility. This space is connected to a beautiful living area catering to the needs of long haul truckers. To enter the cockpit area, the glass canopy opens up and the driver climbs in.

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Switching to electric vehicles will ruin our roads without a gas tax replacement

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What good are electric vehicles if our bridges and roads are still falling apart?

 Los Angeles, 2042. The sun rises on another day, the crystalline blue sky a reminder of how much smog levels have dropped since California banned the sale of gas-burning vehicles in the late 2030s.

Electric car adoption is still spreading across the country in fits and starts, but here in the cradle of zero-emissions rules, tax incentives and investments in a public fast-charging network have seen most drivers switch over. It’s been a long, tortuous process, but the future you were promised is finally here.

Anyway, time for work. You get dressed, slurp down some nutrient slurry and walk out to your Honda-E (in this vision, Honda eventually came to its senses and eventually released its cute EV in America). Easing out of your driveway, you make for the I-10 freeway—the same eight-lane disaster zone it’s always been—dodging giant potholes, random piles of gravel from abandoned roadworks projects and more than a few broken curb chunks. Ochre trails from rusting street signs and guardrails color the concrete everywhere.

Traffic still sucks; it’s been decades since Los Angeles attempted to repave its main arteries, let alone build a new one.

So, this is not exactly the future you were promised. Yet it’s a glimpse at a looming, oft-overlooked and critically important problem with the impending shift to EVs. Currently, a large majority of infrastructure projects (including mass transit) and maintenance in this country are funded by a single source: the gas tax, paid by consumers at the pump. An electric car makes no harmful emissions as it tootles along a road, but its driver also contributes nothing to that road’s upkeep while wearing it down all the same.

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Hands-free wireless electric vehicle charging for the 21st Century

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In yet another sign that electric vehicles are a more sustainable solution for 21st century personal mobility than gas mobiles, researchers have propelled electricity through 11 inches of thin air, from an in-ground charging system all the way up into the waiting battery pack of a hybrid electric UPS truck, all without using their hands. What, they couldn’t try this on a Tesla?

“Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers demonstrated on Feb. 27 a 20-kilowatt, bi-directional wireless charging system on a medium-class hybrid electric delivery truck” by Brittany Cramer/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US Dept. of Energy.

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Tesla’s readying a ‘million mile’ battery that could greatly lower the cost of EVs

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Reportedly coming first to China

 Tesla is getting ready to introduce a long rumored lower-cost, longer-lasting battery for its electric vehicles in China sometime later this year or early next year, according to a new report from Reuters. The battery — which has been colloquially called a “million mile” battery in reference to how long it can last in a car before breaking down — is being co-developed with Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd (CATL) and was designed in part by battery experts recruited by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Tesla is already the industry leader when it comes to squeezing range out of lithium-ion batteries in electric cars, and it’s expected to reveal more about the new technology at an upcoming “Battery Day” for investors. Musk told investors and analysts earlier this year that the information “will blow your mind. It blows my mind.” The company originally planned to hold the event in April, but has had to reschedule it until at least late May thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company held a similar event focused on self-driving technology in April 2019.

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Volvo CEO: Pandemic will rapidly accelerate shift to electric cars

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Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said that the coronavirus will accelerate the pace of change in the auto industry. He said the shift to EVs will be among the major changes that occur due to the pandemic.

Speaking at a Financial Times global digital conference, Samuelsson said:

Electrification will go faster. I think it would be naive to believe after some months, everything will return to normal, and our customers will come back into a showroom asking for diesel cars. They will ask even more for electric cars. And that is speeding up.

Moreover, he believes that any government efforts to subsidize the auto industry’s recovery should be based on supporting EVs and other new technology.

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Elon Musk’s Boring Company finishes digging Las Vegas tunnels

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The Boring Company’s test tunnel in Hawthorne, California. Image: The Boring Company

 The city’s Convention and Visitors Authority is still planning to open the ‘Loop’ in January 2021

Elon Musk’s Boring Company has completed digging a second tunnel underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center, marking the end of the first phase of the $52.5 million project to build a “people-mover” system to shuttle visitors from one side of the venue to the other. The first of the two tunnels was finished in February.

Workers will now turn their attention to completing the above-ground passenger stations on either end of the tunnels, as well as a third underground station in the middle of the system. The people-mover, which is being formally called the Convention Center Loop, is still scheduled to open to the public in January 2021 in time for the next Consumer Electronics Show — if CES happens, that is.

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