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- Bicycling to Solve Traffic Congestion in Penang 07/12/2013
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- Dead End in Brazil: Interview with Bolivar Torres, O Globo Brazil. 26/11/2013
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- Sustainable Penang: Final Phase 1 Report 21/11/2013
- Come out and claim the road – by Sunita Narain 20/11/2013
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Category Archives: Auto industry
Just to be sure that we are all getting off on the right foot on this, let me excerpt a few lines from the WP entry on brainstorming. All this is well trod terrain, but just to be sure:
Brainstorming – what we are calling here a thinking exercise — is a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a range of insights on a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members. Continue reading
This is a collaborative thinking exercise addressing essentially a single question. But one of many parts. What is the “modern motor car” going to look like in the decade immediately ahead? Will it be more of the same? Or will it mutate into a very different form of mobility? Who is going to own it? And how is it going to be used? Where will it be driven (and eventually parked)? Will it be piloted by a warm sapient human being, or will it be driverless? Will it still have wheels, doors and tires? What will be its impact on the environment? And what will be the impact of the “environment” on it? On public safety? On quality of life for all. Will it be efficient, economic and equitable? Who will make them and where? Is it going to create or destroy jobs? And how fast is all of this going to occur? . . . Continue reading
Those premium German car companies must know something we don’t! BMW announced it was getting into the one-way carsharing business in Munich, with a fleet of 300 BMW 1-series and Minis, starting in April; followed by 500 vehicles in Berlin. They’re calling it “Premium Carsharing”. Continue reading
A sustainable transport system is a system of choices – quite the opposite in many ways of the old all-car no-choice model that all too often spends most of its time in taking up scarce space but not moving. With this very much in view, the City of Paris has just stepped up to the plate and is now in the process of bringing into service what they propose will be a new link in the chain of sustainable transport options: a carsharing system not quite like any other. No less than three thousand cars to come on line in shared service in just nine months – and electric cars at that – working out of 1000 to 1200 stations spotted over not only the central city but a number of surrounding communities as well. The biggest and most daring carshare bet of all time. Continue reading
Here we go again. Green power? A nice little electric car is a great way to get around in a city. I should know since I drove one in Paris for the better part of a decade (eyes right). Whether or not it is a good idea to multiply the kinds of cars that the main players have in mind (definitely not the one you see here) by say one billion or even some notable fraction of that is another matter. Have a look at this good attempt from Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Europe and Transport and Environment to make some sense out of this one, where often enthusiasm and self-interest way outpace solid information. And then let’s talk about it.
Green power for electric cars
Harvesting the climate potential of electric vehicles
Harvesting the climate potential of electric vehicles
- A study by CE Delft
- Commissioned by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Europe and Transport and Environment
Transport is the sector with the fastest growing greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. Since 1990 its emissions have increased by 38%. (Including emissions from international shipping and aviation. Source: Statistical Pocketbook Energy and Transport 2009.)
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso recognised this problem in September 2009 in his ‘political guidelines for the next Commission’. He said: “the next Commission needs to maintain the momentum towards decarbonising the transport sector as well as the development of clean and electric cars.”
A number of European countries have launched national programmes and promotion strategies for electric cars ranging from support for research and development to purchase incentives. But current EU policies offer no guarantee that more electric vehicles on Europe’s roads will lead to savings in carbon emissions over coming years.
Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Europe and Transport and Environment have commissioned a study that:
• Analyses the impact of electric vehicles on the European power sector and on CO2 emissions.
• Assesses how policies should be changed in order to maximise greenhouse gas emission savings from the introduction of electric vehicles.
The report is released as the EU begins to develop its electric vehicle initiative and action plan (announced for May 2010).
The study finds that electric vehicles can in principle substantially contribute to decarbonising road passenger transport. They compare favourably to (even advanced) internal combustion engine cars in that:
- They are substantially more efficient than conventional vehicles.
- They can be fuelled with electricity generated from a large range of energy sources, including renewable sources with virtually zero CO2 emissions.
- They have no direct emissions.
- They can charge up with energy generated by renewables when there is a surplus of supply.
However, increasing the number of electric vehicles without a change in current legislation could result in:
- An increase in oil consumption and CO2 emissions in the EU car sector, compared to a situation without electric vehicles.- An increase in coal- and nuclear-based electricity production, instead of an increase in energy production from renewable sources.
1. Ensuring that electric vehicles reduce CO2 emissions from the car sector
Existing EU legislation on car emissions allows manufacturers to use sales of electric vehicles to offset the continued production of gas-guzzling cars. So-called ‘super credits’ for electric vehicles allow carmakers to sell 3.5 high-emitting cars for every electric car they sell, without affecting the overall CO2 target for their fleet. The report shows that this has the effect of actually increasing oil consumption and associated CO2 emissions, compared to a situation without electric vehicles. It finds that increasing sales of electric cars to 10% of total car sales could lead to a 20% increase in both the oil consumption and CO2 emissions of the overall fleet (conventional and electric vehicles).
The so-called ‘super credits’ for electric vehicles also reduce the contribution of electric vehicles to reaching the transport target of the EU’s renewable energy directive. The directive requires that 10% of the energy supply for the transport sector in 2020 come from renewable sources (biofuels and renewable electricity). Biofuels and renewable electricity for vehicles are in direct competition to achieve this target. As long as biofuels remain largely unsustainable, renewable electricity is the greenest option.
a) Abolish so-called super credits for electric vehicles granted under EU legislation on CO2 emissions from cars and under forthcoming legislation on CO2 emissions from vans.
b) Ensure binding and ambitious 2020 targets for CO2 emissions from cars and vans that will increase overall efficiency for both combustion and electric vehicles.
2. Ensuring that the additional electricity demand resulting from the uptake in electric vehicles is met by additional renewable electricity
Carbon emissions from electric vehicles depend on the type of electricity they consume. When charged on renewable electricity, electric vehicles have a greenhouse gas impact of nearly zero. Charging them on electricity produced with coal results in equal or higher emissions than for comparable conventional vehicles.
The additional power demand for electric vehicles is expected to be relatively low. Assuming an uptake of up to 30 million battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles on EU roads, the increase would be less than 3% compared to current EU demand. But without demand management, any increase in energy consumption could simply increase fossil fuel and nuclear energy production. (Increasing electricity demand from transport is therefore likely to have an upward effect on the CO2 price in the EU’s emissions trading scheme. This effect has not been fully studied in this report, but is expected to remain small in the coming decade, as the additional electricity demand will be limited.)
In order to avoid these market distortions, EU member states should boost the supply of renewable electricity. They should also monitor and report estimates of the share of renewable electricity used in cars for the purpose of reaching their 10% renewable energy transport target. This would stimulate the deployment of smart charging technologies that favour renewables and create an attractive market for electric vehicles.
c) Encourage member states to raise their renewable electricity targets in line with the additional demand for electric vehicles.
3. Enabling the use of renewable electricity in electric vehicles
To enable a greater share of renewable electricity in the power mix and in electric vehicles, the electricity system should be made more flexible to allow for the integration of energy from variable renewable sources, such as wind and solar energy. Electric vehicles can play an important role in this development, as they combine long periods of connection to the grid with large storage capacity in their batteries. But they will only do so if they are equipped with on¬board metering systems. These would help them manage electricity input and primarily be charged when surplus electricity – mostly from renewables like wind and solar – is available on the power grid. Unless charging is properly managed, electric vehicles will not play a role in enabling the future renewable energy system.
To guarantee that car manufacturers apply the necessary technology for smart metering, the technology needs to be standardised and enforced through EU legislation. The standardisation and compatibility of such hardware and the ability of cars and electricity grids to exchange information would guarantee that drivers of electric vehicles could charge up anywhere.
e) Develop smart cars and smart grids that are able to exchange data and that favour the use of renewable electricity.
f) Standardise charging technology to ensure that every driver can charge up anywhere in Europe.
# # #
Greenpeace – Franziska Achterberg: Greenpeace EU transport policy advisor, +32 (0)498 362403 (mobile), email@example.com.
Transport & Environment – Jos Dings: Director, Transport & Environment, +32 (0)498 51 53 19 (mobile), firstname.lastname@example.org.
CE Delft – Bettina Kampman: Senior researcher/consultant,
+31 (0)15-2150171, +31 (0)6 21520939 (mobile), email@example.com.
In the interest of fairness, now that you have heard from a high source about how best to deal with all those common people getting in your way in India’s crowded streets, you now have a chance to spend a few minutes with Ms. Veronica Moss, who has some points to make about the dangers of ceding valuable public space to ordinary people in the middle of New York City.
Just in today from our friends at StreetFilms in New York. In their words:
Veronica Moss Visits Times Square
by Clarence Eckerson, Jr. on November 16, 2009 |
It is a rare day when anyone gets the matters which concern us all here quite as wrong as our friends from Bosch have it here. (One of a series of particularly egregious advertising abuses on the part of certain old mobility purveyors who just do not seem to be able to resist the temptation.)
Cash for clunkers is a worldwide virus often presented as a medicine for a very sick patient. (See World Streets ‘Cash for Clunkers‘, 12 Aug. 09, ). This dispatch just in from Enrico Bonfatti, editor of our sister publication, Nuova Mobilità, translates an article posted in N/M in Italian last Friday. Apparently the Italian political establishment is no better at this than any of the dozen or so governments who are desperately scrambling to hold on to an irredeemable past. At high cost to taxpayers and to the future.
Following the World Streets 12 August post on the funds and impacts of the US program for scrapping old cars for new– (Mr. Meter on America’s “Cash for Clunkers” — we invite you to read the analysis from an Italian perspective as presented by Italy’s “NoAuto” association in response to the Minister of Economic Development Claudio Scajola’s proposal to relaunch of the 2010 program of incentives for the purchase of “green cars” in support of the country’s ailing car industry, the estimated cost of which is in the area of € 400-500 millions. What will we get for our money?
Rome. 8 October 2009.
Yes for new mobility — no to incentives for the car
In these days the media are back to talking about actions in support of the automobile. The association NoAuto believes that a new round of incentives to subsidize new car purchases would be a grave error in both industrial and transport policies.
1. Because such incentives produce only temporary effects.
The European car market is saturated, and the only markets expected to grow are those of the large emerging countries (China, India, Brazil, etc.). However these are and will be served by local production. It is therefore economically wrong and socially irresponsible to continue to support an industry in a permanent structural decline. What is needed instead is a vast program of industrial reconstruction and reshaping for the future.
2. Because the car-oriented mobility system is in the midst of a permanent crisis.
The historic promises of the car (speed, flexibility, comfort) are now a mirage. Our cities are gripped by congestion and made unhealthy and unsafe by pollution, noise and accidents: all the direct result of growing figures in car flows, which in recent years has been repeatedly supported by incentives to purchase newer and “greener” car. Thus supporting the purchase of more cars at the public’s expense is wrong from the transport policy’s point of view too.
3. A European solution
For these reasons, NoAuto believes that we would do better to scrap these costly and ultimately ineffective stop-gap measures, and instead design and launch an innovative multi-partner, public-private reconstruction plan for improved new mobility, to be applied primarily to the urban and local scale .
NoAuto believes that such a plan should created and promoted not only nationally, but could be developed into a powerful and timely European policy, that could include budget improvements for the Action Plan for Urban Mobility that the European Commission has just issued on September, 30th.
In brief, the extraordinary plan for new mobility in and around our cities should rely on two main lines of action:
1. Creation of a National (or European) Fund for New Mobility . . .
to support local authorities’ plans to improve public transport, walking, cycling and innovative transport modes (carsharing, city logistics, etc.). At the regional level funds should not be aimed to support single modes of transport, but rather should be strategically integrated into overall policy reforms plans and policies (packages of measures), and looking beyond the city centers to deal with the problems of the surrounding lower density areas as well.
At the national level the legislative framework of “Piani Urbani della Mobilità” (Urban Mobility Plans) which was introduced many years ago, should now be brought up to date and modified to meet new needs (not so much new, as uncovered) and – most of all – to find the necessary funds as will be required to support the transition process over the ten to fifteen years directly ahead. This funding of first rate new mobility programs for our cities and the country can easily come out of savings that can result from the rationalization of the much larger amounts which traditionally get spent on big transportation infrastructure projects, which themselves support inefficient use of resources. It is time to put “old mobility” (the no-choice, car-based system) behind us and move up to efficient mobility.
At the European level the New Mobility Plan should be dealt with in a separate section within the European funding schemes for local or regional transportation networks.
2. A European plan to convert the car industry, . . .
which accompanies the transition to the new urban mobility system. A plan built on three pillars:
a) The strategic use of unemployment wages and other kinds of “social bumpers” and professional training to avoid “social butchery” among workers in the sector, while at the same time facilitating the transition to a New Mobility Agenda and the jobs that will go with it;
b) Placement of extraordinary orders by administrations and public companies for the development of green transport modes and products (trains, metro, tram , buses, vans, taxis, bicycles, including by grouping purchases to drive down unit costs);
c) Funding to support to integration of producers of components, services and systems for the new urban mobility: research centers, local authorities, partners of credit, specialized consultants, public interest groups working in the field, media projects, etc.
Also in this case an action at the European level is required because it will help us to attain the critical mass needed to ensure such actions. Among other things, a joint European Union position could overcome any possible objection on “State aid” \.
For these reasons NoAuto now calls for a political initiative as broad-based as possible, involving the many experiences of mobilization against unsustainable transportation plans and projects, and, more importantly, finally starting a confrontation with the car sector workers that abroad is already being performed.
A good starting point could be to resume and revive the ideas and proposals that have been launched in recent months – for example by workers of the FIAT plant in Pomigliano d’Arco.
This is no time for closed government. The important thing is to begin to open up the debate to all the players, let the best ideas compete, and mobilize for another mobility. If not now, when?
NoAuto is an Italian public interest association promoting a system of mobility alternatives to the car: MORE public transport, safety for walking and cycling, decreased congestion and pollution, reconquest of urban space, healthier lives, are among the objectives. The weekly magazine ‘Carta’ (www.carta.org) hosts a regular feature of the association.
And now, a glance at Europe’s ‘cash-for-clunkers’ programs
By The Associated Press (AP) – 8 Aug. 2009
The popular “cash-for-clunkers” program that has encouraged consumers in Europe and the U.S. to trade in their old cars for newer and more efficient models was born in December 2008 when French President Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled a Euro 26 billion ($37.36 billion) stimulus plan to help the country ward off a recession.
To date, 11 countries in Europe offer similar plans.
* Germany offers Euro 2,500 to buyers of new or almost new cars who own cars that are nine years or older.
* France offers Euro 1,000 to scrap an older car that’s at least 10 years old.
* Italy offers Euro 1,500 for a car and Euro 2,500 for a light commercial vehicle for buyers who agree to scrap a car that is at least 10 years old.
* Spain offers Euro 2,000 on a purchase price of up to Euro 30,000; old car must be at least 10 years old.
* Portugal offers Euro 1,250 for scrapping a car that is 8 to 12 years old, or Euro 1,500 for a car that is older than 12 years.
* The Netherlands pays between Euro 750 to Euro 1,750 to scrap a car that is 9, 13 or 19-years-old.
* Austria offers Euro 1,500; car must be at least 12 years old.
* Romania offers Euro 900 to scrap a car that is at least 10 years old but limited the program to just 60,000 units.
* Slovakia offers Euro 1,100 toward a purchase price of up to Euro 18,800.
* Serbia offers Euro 1,000 on any new locally built Fiat Punto if a buyer trades in a 9-year-old car.
Source: Various governments, IHS Global Insight. – http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jOxyXvhSiYz–vOseImAnJ5Nl4xwD99U99I81
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
# # #
The very high cost of these programs:
It’s not the shameless draining of the taxpayer coffers that is the true cost of this folly. It is the fact that each time a high profile public “effort” is announced and grabs the headlines, it has the impact of giving a false sense of security that “something is being done” to counter the fundamental problems that underlie all this. This in turn generates either a sense of complacency, or in cases like this where the foolishness is so very apparent, discourages many from coming to grips with the real issues and choices. So CfC is a real step backward.
As will be seen in this latest report on carsharing developments in Japan, the period of quiet mainly slow growth appears to be heating up. The sharply divided attitudes of the auto industry suppliers is a clear sign of a very different future. Let’s stay tuned, there may be some interesting lessons for all of us.
The world automotive industry churns out new cars, buses and trucks at a clip of about 70 million vehicles per year. And whatever the difficulties facing certain manufacturers in countries and regions in which they are located, and whatever may be your personal preferences, it is not about to go away. What can World Streets do to help?
For starters we can tell you about the streets, the very place in which all those vehicles you design and produce have to make their way. And if you tune in here you will see that the world’s streets are changing fast, and in their new life they are very different from the ones that you planned for and cohabited with in the past. It will be important for you now to dig very deep to have a sophisticated understanding of what the streets of the (very near) future are going to look like. Because that’s where your product and your business is going to make it, or break. And the winners will be the first ones out of the gate.
Cars, buses and trucks are part of our mobility future. In addition to the new ones that are coming in at that healthy deca-million clip, we currently “enjoy” an inventory on the order of not far from one billion motor vehicles of all types and sizes in various parts of our gasping planet, not including, famously, the rising swarm of motorized two wheelers that are baffling planners and policy makers in cities around the world.
Of course 99 out of 100 of these vehicles burn fossil fuels, and most of them not very efficiently at that. The environmental and climate implications of this cocktail are of course enormous.
But, like it or not, motorized automobiles are part of our future and thus it would be cosmically silly to turn our back on them for reasons of personal preference or hopes that they might just go away.
For this reason the realities of automobiles, including the ways in which they are designed, produced, marketed, packaged, paid for, owned, used, and eventually disposed of are a very important component of the New Mobility Agenda. It is thus our intention to give this our full attention, and as of next week we will begin to post the first articles in this important series.
A hoped-for dialogue and synthesis between old and new mobility. Stay tuned. Better yet, jump in and be a part of it.
Share your ideas with the editor here via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to http://strangenewsnow.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html for the original of our well tempered image above.