Meet the New Exclusive Ride Share Coming to 20 Cities

  • March 5, 2021

What’s happening? Luxury ride-hailing firm Blacklane is introducing an on-demand chauffeur service in 20 cities worldwide. 

Why is this important? It’s old school meets new school. Blacklane customers want the amenities and service of a chauffeured car along with the practicality of a ride-hailing app.

How will this be important? Competition to Uber Black & Lyft Lux.

Business Insider | A high-end car service backed by Daimler is launching in 8 US cities as it attempts to compete with Uber and Lyft

Record Breaking EV Bus Purchase

  • March 4, 2021

What’s happening? Montgomery County, Md., Public Schools Board of Education has ordered 326 new EV buses. The largest single order.

Why is this important? Funding was a package deal with the Maryland Energy Administration awarding an $817,000 grant to help offset the costs of electrification.  

How will this be important?The school is looking to offset the costs, as the buses will be used as vehicle-to-grid energy storage when not ferrying children around.

Ars Technica | Maryland school district places largest-ever order for electric buses

1st California. Next Virginia? EV Standards.

  • February 26, 2021

What’s happening? Virginia passed California’s emissions standards, creating more aggressive fuel-efficiency targets for vehicles sold in the state.

Why is this important?  Virginia Auto Dealers Association supports this legislation that did not include California’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate.

How will this be important? New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Colorado have adopted California’s standards. Nevada is considering it.

Green Car reports | Virginia adopts EV-boosting California clean car standards, with support of dealers

AutoNews | Va. dealers pivot on emissions rules

Anatomy of a Ride Share Safety Bill

  • February 26, 2021

What’s happening? Congress is considering Sami’s Law HR 1082 (117th Congress) that would require a digital access system to allow passengers to verify the ride-sharing car in advance.

Why is this important? Several states have passed safety bills after a series of assaults and homicides.

How will this be important? Safety is and always will be a legislative and regulatory opening. | Ride-sharing bill named for N.J. woman killed by fake Uber driver gets new chance to pass

Cost/Benefit Electrifying City Buses

  • February 25, 2021

What’s happening? New Jersey is spending $100 Million to electrify garbage trucks, school buses and passenger buses. Funding sources include proceeds the state realized from a greenhouse gas initiative and the Volkswagen settlement.

Why is this important? Funding for electrification goes beyond public transit and includes $36 million for the state’s industrial areas and ports to begin using electric equipment.

How will this be important? An electrification transit bill is an avenue for industrial electrification too.

AP | NJ earmarks $100M to build up electric truck, bus fleets

EV Chargers Lure Foot Traffic

  • February 25, 2021

What’s happening? San Fernando, CA is installing Tesla superchargers in city parking lots to encourage visitors.

Why is this important? The private-public partnership to bring charging to San Fernando has brought lawsuits from Environmental Justice Groups and a real estate developer calling the chargers potentially disruptive.

How will this be important? Revitalization packages include an EV charger angle.

Daily News Los Angeles | City to Install Tesla Superchargers to Bring Foot Traffic

Anatomy of Transportation Tax Proposal

  • February 25, 2021

What’s happening? Washington State is trying to figure out how to fund its transportation system by raising the gas tax  3 cents a gallon; imposing a 2 cent sales taxes on bicycles and bike parts; 20-cents-per-trip surcharge and ferry passengers would pay an extra 25 cents per crossing for transit riders; & Uber and Lyft would pay an additional 50 cents per ride

Why is this important? Supporters also want to levy a carbon fee as well as a tax on luxury aircraft and yachts; $15 per ton fee on carbon emissions

How will this be important? The tax discussion shows issues like climate change and the sharing economy factor into transportation taxes in the new economy.

 The Seattle Times | Washington Proposal Would Impose Wide Transportation Tax

Flying Taxis. Round 2.

  • February 12, 2021

What’s the deal? First, North Carolina had the first pilotless flying taxi and now United is going to buy up to 200 flying taxis from an electric aircraft startup.

Why is this important? The purchase is to lift United’s clean air footprint.

How will this be important? Regulatory approval and any local and state approvals are still forthcoming.

Wall Street Journal | United Airlines to Buy 200 Flying Electric Taxis to Take You to the Airport

Checking in on the TX Attorney General Opinion. Big Truck Fines.

  • February 11, 2021

What’s the deal? The Texas Attorney general is answering the burning question, the potential punishment for a violation of the maximum vehicle weight limit established by the executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation under Transportation Code section 621.102.

Why should I care? The Opinions quotes precedent that says if the Legislature was silent, we have to assume that silence was intentional. But, the statute has a catch all section for punishments, and that applies here. Because no statute specifies the penalty for violating section 621.102, operating a vehicle in excess of the maximum weight set by the executive director under that section is subject to the catch-all penalties in section 621.507.

How can this impact me? If the Legislature made an oops daisy, then they’ll amend Section 621.102 with specific penalty provisions.

Texas Attorney General Opinion KP-0354

Where we were in Ausgust 2020:

Burning Questions About Fines for Overweight Vehicles

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will be answering whether overweight vehicle fines apply to vehicles that would have been in compliance except for the fact that the roadway on which they are traveling have been re-designated for a lower weight capacity?

Why should we care about this? Because it will impact the amount of fines that can be collected by local governments during a time when transportation related fine and tax revenue are low.


Where do states stand on EV policies?

  • February 11, 2021

What’s the deal? American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy is ranking state policies that promote electric transportation. They created 6 categories. Like Defcon, Defcon 1 is the highest exalted level, and 6 is oh, yeah, those guys, pay no mind, it’s no biggie.

Why should we care? California and New York lead Tier 1. Texas, Georgia andMichigan roundup Tier 6.

How can this impact me? The categories that ACEEE looks at cover a lot of ground that impacts us all. They considered planning & goal setting, incentives, transportation system efficiency, electric grid optimization, equity & outcomes.

Governing | States Show Limited Progress With Electric Vehicle Policies

Lege Trend: No New Gas Cars after 2030

  • February 11, 2021

What’s the deal? Washington State is considering legislation to prohibit the sale of gas vehicles after 2030. HB 124 (2021 | WA) & SB 5256 (2021 | WA)

Why should we care? The State Attorney General Office noted that legislation would bring legal action challenging the state’s authority to prohibit the sale of gas cars under the Clean Air Act.

How can this impact me? The roadmap to EV vehicles is being written in building codes that require charger infrastructure or plans for infrastructure, regulatory decisions on ownership, pricing, and installation of chargers, and the plethora of partnerships that are emerging. partnerships include tech companies that deploy the software, developers who are building with chargers in mind, EV manufacturers, utilities, and more.

Seattle Times via Governing | Washington State Proposes Banning New Gas Vehicles in 2030

Ride Share Embraces Alcohol Delivery

  • February 11, 2021

What’s the deal? Uber bought Drizly, the alcohol delivery service, for $1.1. Billion. Some say it is ” a gamechanger that could “turbocharge” the growth of online-enabled alcohol delivery. ” Alcohol delivery grew by 80% in 2020.

Why should we care? There’s a host of issues involved here. (1) the roll back of regulations on businesses that were deemed burdensome (2) will pandemic regulatory roll backs stick? (3) Can third parties deliver alcohol? (4) If 3rd parties can deliver alcohol can they deliver sealed bottles? does it include cocktails from bars and restaurants?

How can this impact me? We’ve all opened up to delivery more. It’s like the 1930s delivery of eggs or milk or ice, without as much of the racism and sexism. Delivery of goods and services is here to stay and our prohibition era rules don’t match current economic forces.

Governing | A Chance to Liberate Booze Delivery — if Government Allows It

UTSA Sustainability Grant for Improved Walkability

  • February 5, 2021

What’s the deal? UTSA received a grant from TxDOT to promote modes of non-motorized transportation that reduce the use of single-occupant vehicles through increased use of buses, walking, biking, scooters, skateboards, and electric vehicles.

Why should we care? UTSA says the time is right to improve sustainability since COVID has people avoiding transit. UTSA will expand its  Tito Bradshaw Bike Repair Shop ,with a mobile bike repair shop.

How can this impact me? Partnerships, study them, learn from them. Emulate the successful partnerships. Especially look to how EV fits in the UTSA plan.

UTSA Today | Sustainability grant will help improve campus walkability, air quality

CT Steps into Pay as You Go Mileage Tax

  • February 5, 2021

What’s the deal? CT is considering Assembly Bill 6080 that would bring back the mileage tax. The CT legislature voted it down in 2017, and public opinion in 2015 wasn’t favorable.

Why should we care? States have low revenue because of COVID, the gas tax has been under performing. Solutions are needed. States from WA to MO are pilot testing mileage tax.

How can this impact me? If you drive, ride in a car, have clients who drive or ride in cars, or are driven, we should all pay attention. Plus,t here is the data security element on whether the sensors track your movements.

Yankee Institute | Mileage tax study returns with new bill

Climate Change Bill Hits Ride Share.

  • February 5, 2021

What’s the deal? in Washington State’s HB 1075 (2021 | WA), a provision requires the state Department of Ecology to set mandatory emission reduction targets for ride-hailing services. It’s the California system from 2018.

Why should we care? Studies have shown that ride share increases emissions. The bill will require companies to report annually on emissions reductions.

How can this impact me? Requiring private companies to report on compliance is popular in the state quest for information and the cleansing power of sunlight.

CrossCut | Uber, Lyft would need to cut emissions under WA state plan

New EV Partnership. Houston + Uber + BP

  • February 4, 2021

What’s the deal? This week Houston’s mayor  announced the partnership to forward the deployment of BP’s rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs & help the city’s Uber drivers make the transition to EVs. 

Why should we care? EV is a replete with partnerships and opportunities. So many moving parts, the infrastructure, the electric distribution, the vehicles, the drivers, the transportation stakeholders, the environmental aspect. Let’s not forget the Texas Medical Center and the healthcare stakeholders who say that if Houston were to electrify its transportation system by 2050, it would save 148 lives; prevent 3,333 asthma attacks; and spare $1.7 billion annually.

How can this impact me? There’s no going backwards as more companies announce moves to EV only and announce their own carbon neutral policies and goals.

Smart Cities Dive | Houston, Uber and BP partner to aid EV transition for drivers

GM all EV by 2035

  • February 4, 2021

What’s the deal? GM announced that it will move to all EV vehicles by 2035.  BY 2040 GM looks to have all global products and plants to be carbon neutral.

There’s a snazzy Super Bowl ad with Will Farrell. He wants to take his American indignation to Norway who is has gone all EV. In the commercial Will Farrell ends up in Sweden and not Norway. Geographically closer than the usual Sweden – Switzerland mixup. GM signed the UN’s signed the Business Ambition Pledge for 1.5-degree Celsius.

Why should we care? BP has announced its move from fossil fuels. GM is leaving gas cars in the dust. Times are changing. We either stay still and let it pass us by or we move forward.

How does this impact me? Unless you can fly, which would be super cool, then you’re going to need access to a car.

Governing | General Motors Aims for All Zero Emission Vehicles by 2035

Net Zero Carbon Fuels

  • January 29, 2021

What’s the deal? Amazon is investing big in a startup, Infinium, that is all about net zero carbon fuels for transportation for long hauls of big trucks or air travel. Its part of Amazon’s $2 Billion Climate Pledge Fund

Why should we care? Amazon created the $2 Billion Climate Pledge Fund in June. It’s moving fast to each the goal of net-zero by 2040.

Why does this matter to me? Every major company is either writing a sustainability report annually, being asked to talk about, or their investors are asking them to act.

Geek Wire | Amazon invests in startup producing ‘net-zero carbon fuels’ for transportation

CNBC | Start-up tackling decarbonization of trucking sector gets funding from Amazon climate fund, Grantham

Which Came First the EV or the Charging Network?

  • January 29, 2021

What’s the deal? Harvard Business Review is deep diving into the 2 methods of EV manufacturers. There’s the Tesla style, slow rollout of models that simultaneously built a network of charging stations. The other style is every other manufacturer that is solely focused on building a better EV.

Why should we care? Two parts of an industry are playing 2 different games. And to paraphrase Picasso, you’ve got to know the rules of the game to play it well.

Why does this matter to me? Whether EVs are about platform of charging stations or building the best EV, the stakeholder pool is deep and wide: utilities, local governments, generators, manufacturers, batter makers, charging station platforms, construction…

HBR | How Tesla’s Charging Stations Left Other Manufacturers in the Dust

AI meets EV. Artificial Intelligence Saves Charging.

  • January 29, 2021

What’s the deal? Google announced the use of Artificial Intelligence to give EVs the best routes to limit charging needs.

Why should we care? Streamlining EV use means less charging. Utilities, charging station owners, charging station manufacturers and more benefit from EV charging.

Why does this matter to me? EV use is growing. EV innovation is growing. EV regulations and legislation are at their nascent. Opportunity abounds.

The Verge | Google’s using AI to plan electric car trips because EV charging is still a nightmare

Recycling EV Batteries. New Frontier

  • January 28, 2021

What’s the deal? As the number of electric vehicles grows, so does the need to recycle electric vehicle batteries.

Why should we care? There could be an incentive program attached to recycling EV batteries. Environmental concerns of contaminating water and soil, if EV batteries are not recycled. Less than 5% are currently recycled.

Why does this matter to me? Opportunities. Innovation. New Rules. New Incentive Programs. 3 states have extended producer responsibility laws mandating that manufacturers take back lithium-ion batteries.

Route Fifty | Electric Cars’ Looming Recycling Problem

Anatomy of an Electric Bus Fleet Infrastructure Upgrade

  • January 28, 2021

What’s the deal? NYC Port Authority is welcoming electric buses. Electric buses means stations need room for charging stations.

Why should we care? Electric fleets are expanding. Cost effective rationale is that electric vehicles have a lower cost to maintain.

Why does this matter to me? Maybe you represent a company the offers electric fleets, construction, utilities or charging stations. Lots of stakeholders in the land of electric buses.

NY Daily News via Governing | N.Y.C. to Upgrade Bus Terminal for Space, Electric Chargers

Ranking. Public EV Chargers by State

  • January 22, 2021

Highest number of public EV chargers per capita : Vermont

Lowest number of public EV chargers per capita : Alaska

The big states:

  • 33rd TX
  • 3rd CA
  • 39th OH
  • 21st FL
  • 30th IL
  • 34th PA
  • 20th AZ
  • 19th NY

Clean Technica | Vermont — Highest Number Of Public Electric Vehicle Chargers Per Capita

Trucking Regulations and Warehouses

  • January 22, 2021

Where: California

The proposal: Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions hold warehouses accountable for the use of zero- or net-zero-emissions trucks at their facilities

Who would it apply to?

  • operators of warehouses
  • warehouse size at least 100,000 square feet of indoor space, contained in a single building

Examples of how warehouses would earn points?

  • Own a truck fleet= 126 WAIRE points by acquiring at least one zero-emissions (or net-zero-emissions) Class 8 truck
  • 51 points = annual number of truck trips taken to and from its facility by those trucks, even if the truck belongs to another party
  • Point awards will vary for different truck classes, and the warehouse would be responsible for tracking all truck trips.

Transport Dive | California proposes points system to track zero-emissions trucks at warehouses

What’s happening to California’s clean air automotive regulations?

  • January 22, 2021

A brief history:

  • The Trump Administration sought to repeal California’s clean air automotive standards
  • California’s clean air automotive standards were sought by the major car manufacturers seeking regulatory certainty
  • Day 1 Executive Order by President Biden directed revision of fuel economy standards

Sacramento Bee | Biden moves to end Trump’s attack on California car, air quality regulations

Compare & Contrast TX v. CA: Digital License Plates

  • January 22, 2021

Texas HB 1105 (2021 | TX) is expanding digital license plates beyond fleets & government cars to include passenger cars.

Refreshing our Recollection | READ THE BILLl | Procurement for Electric License Plates

  • November 8, 2018

Where are digital license plates being tested? Sacramento city cars are pilot testing digital license plates.

Are other locations on the horizon?  Yes, Texas & Florida

The company pushing digital license plates: The 

What else can digital license plates do?

  • track mileage
  • set geofence notifications

Cost of a digital license plate: $699 for individual consumers, plus installation, as well as a monthly fee of about $7.

The 2013 California legislation: A DMV bill calling for a study of  “alternatives to stickers, tabs, license plates, and registration cards.”  SB 806 (2013 | CA)

NPR | Digital License Plates Roll Out In California

Meet the EV Delivery Service

  • January 14, 2021

Who is the new EV delivery van manufacturer? BrightDrop

Is BrightDrop brought to us by a parent manufacturer? Yes, GM

Anything we should think about when we think about GM? Yes, GM has a woman CEO,  Mary Barra

How EV will these delivery vans be?

  • Not only are the vehicles EV
  • They will also have electric pallets that move parcels from the warehouse to the van and from the van to the lobby

BrightDrop is headed to FedEx like Rivian’s EV delivery vehicle is headed to Amazon.

Motor Trend | Meet BrightDrop, the EV-Based Delivery Business From GM

Add a new self driving vehicle to your legislative & regulatory list

  • January 14, 2021

Welcome to the 1st in the world, self driving water taxi

Who is home to this gem? Knoxville, TN

The company behind self driving water taxis? Buffalo Automation

How does it work? By an app, Mayday, which functions like ride share apps.

What’s the power source for this water taxi? Solar

Knoxville News Sentinel | World’s first self-driving water taxi is ready to ferry passengers in Knoxville

COVID Vaccine Rollout + Transportation Companies

  • January 14, 2021

Transportation Network Companies like Uber, Lyft etc. are finding their way into vaccine access in these ways:

  • Uber has partnered with Moderna to help get people to vaccines, plus to get Uber drivers vaccinated. Here’s their press release.
  • Lyft’s healthcare unit has been working with the Biden administration to solve the logistics problem of vaccination
  • Lyft partnered with J.P. Morgan, United Way and Anthem late last year to offer high-risk, low-income, uninsured people transportation to vaccine sites
  • Uber offered to assist the Biden administration and to share data with the administration | Uber Teams With Moderna, Joins Lyft In Asking Biden For Part In Vaccine Push

Local Revenue Hunt: Trolling Penalties

  • January 14, 2021

What would be penalized? Empty ride share vehicles “trolling” for riders during rush hour

What is the estimated revenue? $80M per year

Any other touted benefits of trolling penalties?Reduce congestion

Crains Business New York | Trolling penalties for Uber and Lyft could add $80M to city budget

Anatomy of a High Speed Rail Project Slowdown

  • January 14, 2021

Where: California

What did the one of California’s built train contractors tell California high-speed rail officials was slowing down the project?

  • rapid turnover of state officials
  • delays in obtaining land for the rail,
  • state’s failure to secure agreements with outside parties, including utilities and freight railroads

What does the high speed rail authority say? Disagrees.

Los Angeles Times | Contradicting State, Bullet Train Contractor Reveals Delays

TNC Niche. Meet the New Kid who found a Ride Share- COVID Solution

  • January 8, 2021

Who: Helping Hands Community

What does Helping Hands Community offer? streamlines how food banks and social service organizations deliver food, medicine and other necessities to senior citizens and those who are immunocompromised

Who is delivering to those in need?

  • Volunteers sign up in the app to deliver goods to people in their local communities.
  •  The APP also connects service providers to drivers with ride-sharing applications such as Uber and Lyft

How is the app structured? It is a nonprofit platform is completely volunteer-run with about 150 people from companies such as Google, Apple and Amazon

The Bulletin | Bend man creates online platform for those in need during pandemic

Largest Wildlife OverPass Opens in Texas

  • January 7, 2021

San Antonio, TX is home to the largest U.S. wildlife overpass. Studies say wildlife bridges can reduce animal- car accidents by 80%.

The overpass connects 2 sections of the Phil Hardberger Park.

Funding sources for the wildlife bridge:

  • $10 million in private funding
  • City voters approved a $13 million bond

Similar bridges are planned for Houston and Los Angeles.

Wildlife bridges originated in France in the 1950s .

Route Fifty | The Largest Wildlife Bridge in the U.S. Opens in San Antonio

+1 Local Government to Move Police Fleet to EV

  • January 7, 2021

The city: Spokane, WA

Initial Step: Pilot EV Program for 4 patrol cars plus EV replacements for 2 K-9 units and 2 tahoes

The EV benefits: lower maintenance costs and longer life spans for EVs

Spokesman Review via Governing | Spokane Wants to Switch to Electric Police Vehicles

Anatomy of a Local Transit Plan to Combat Racism

  • January 7, 2021

Where: San Francisco

How will San Francisco Transit Authority transportation plan combat racism?

 90 action steps to root out racism in seven areas — hiring, promotion, discipline, leadership, professional development, organizational culture and boards

Why is the transit agency working to combat racism? A review of agency employee sanctions, it was discovered that harsher sanctions were imposted against black employees for committing the same acts as white employees.

San Francisco Chronicle via Governing | San Francisco Transit Agency Adopts Plan to Combat Racism

SFMTA Racial Equity Plan

2020 Recap: Smarties.

  • December 18, 2020

If there was a transportation program in 2020, it was a smart something. Smart cities. Smart lamp posts. Smart traffic lights. Bikes that power street lights. Electric Vehicles that could power buildings. Smart roads that generate solar energy.

Smart cars.  Smart Concrete that can power EVs or store solar energy. Smart funding choices showed that  cities save money by switching to EV fleets, especially their police cars. Fewer repairs. Lower fuel costs. To make incentives for EVs smarter, the UK came up with a green license plate. A very smart and savvy partnership in Asia between ride share and telecoms.

The amount of new technology is transportation is mind boggling. This year we talked about flying pod cars, driverless trucks, hyperloops, electric dirt bikes, solar truck beds, and a University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics at Texas A&M. 

New Study. Reasons why Pacific Northwest Should Plan for High Speed Rail.

  • December 11, 2020

Where: Washington, Oregon & British Columbia

Step 1: Creating a coordinating entity between the 3 governments

Step 2: Choose the high speed option: high speed rail, magnetic levitation trains or a hyperloop

Step 3: Funding with a mix of state, federal, & private contributions from train operators or beneficiaries

Step 4: broader coalition of support and “ensure deep and equitable local engagement across the corridor.”

Astorian | Study says Northwest states, Canada should formalize interest in bullet train

COVID. Pros and Cons of Car Free Streets.

  • December 10, 2020

The Pros of streets that local governments have closed to through traffic because of COVID:

  • restaurants and cafes have COVID appropriate dining space
  • bars have benefited from outdoor drinking space

The Cons of streets that local governments have closed to through traffic because of COVID:

  • Retailers say it limits customer access to their storefronts

Streets Blog Chicago | Car-free streets have helped restaurants — don’t blame them for poor sales at your gift shop

What is a Green License Plate?

  • December 10, 2020

Green License Plates are new vehicle registration plates launched in the UK for Electric Vehicles (EVs).

A survey from Nissan says 28% of customers are more likely to buy an EV because of green license plates.

What benefits are there for green license plates? Easier to apply incentives or benefits like discounted parking for charging EVs.

Automotive World | ‘Green number plates’ will boost EV demand ahead of 2030 deadline, according to Nissan poll

New Local Fleet: Cargo Electric Bikes

  • December 10, 2020

Where: Portland, Oregon

What’s a cargo electric bike?

  • electric-assist cargo bike with enough storage space to handle trash and debris
  • can hold up to 881 lbs
  • 3 wheels
  •  250-watt engine

How is the fleet being used in Oregon?

  • park trail maintenance
  • park trash and debris clean-up

Route Fifty | Electric Cargo Bikes Are Debuting in City Fleets

Solar Paneled Roads in Georgia Pilot

  • December 4, 2020

Where: Peachtree Corners, GA

What: utilizing French-engineered road surface solar panels the city may charge:

  • A solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging station at city hall
  • Power to street lights
  • Provide power to backup for grid outages

What other unique achievements will this solar energy generating road bring?

  •  the country’s first road surface solar panels manufactured by Wattway
  • A one-of-a-kind autonomous vehicle lane

Smart Cities World | Peachtree Corners reveals solar roadway system

Germany Extends EV Incentives

  • December 4, 2020

In November 2020 Germany extended its Electric Vehicle (EV) incentives through 2025.

Which cars might get pushed out of incentives? By 2022, incentives my evaporate for hybrids

The Detroit Bureau | Germany Set to Extend EV Incentives to 2025

City Cost Savings with EV Police Cars

  • December 3, 2020

Fremont, California began swapping out traditional police cars with Teslas. Here are the cost savings the city points to:

  • $30,000 in fuel costs saved for the lifetime of the vehicle
  • Longer lasting vehicle
  • Fewer repair costs

The city plants to swap out parks and services cars for EVs too and estimates a total savings of $3 million over the next two decades with about $2.5 million directly attributed to police vehicle replacement.

San Francisco Chronicle via Governing | Fremont Looks to Expand All-Electric Police Car Fleet

COVID. Some Communities Oppose Road Closures for Restaurants & Walkability

  • December 3, 2020

Some local governments in response to reopening businesses during the pandemic have closed roads to open the roads to walking, biking, and outdoor restaurants and retail.

Turns out some ares aren’t interested in the option. They say:

  • the projects have bypassed the standard community approval process
  • it is a benefit for white and wealthy portions of cities
  • support empowering communities to design their solutions

Government Technology & Governing | Not All Neighborhoods Want Slow Streets. Here’s Why

Bonjour New Driverless Truck Company in Texas

  • December 3, 2020

Who: TuSimple

Tell me about TuSimple:

  • Offices in San Diego and Beijing
  • Building a nationwide freight network of driverless trucks
  • Building a hub at Fort Worth’s AllianceTexas development

What do TuSimple self driving trucks offer?

  • software knows what’s happening up to 3,000 feet up the road
  • ability to react to emergencies 10X faster than average human
  • already running self-driving trucks from Arizona to West Texas
  • Ft Worth hub extends the reach to Austin, Houston and San Antonio
  • By 2023 goal is to operate nationwide

Ft. Worth Star Telegram via Governing | Driverless Trucks Continue Their Momentum in Texas

New Rail To Connect Texas & Mexico

  • November 20, 2020

Where: San Agelo, Texas, the South Plains Lamesa Railroad will create a multi-commodity railroad transloading facility between central Texas and Mexico

The name for the new rail port: San Angelo Rail Port

How will the route run? South Plains Lamesa Railroad will connect to branch of the South Orient Rail Line Texas Pacifico Transportation to cross the border at Presidio.

Freight Waves | New rail port to connect Texas and Mexico

New Kid on the block. BLM and Ride Share

  • November 20, 2020

Meet Turo Seed Initiative.

Turo is a car-sharing marketplace.

Who is Turo partnering with for the Seed Initiative? Kiva to offer interest-free loans to Black people and folks from traditionally underserved communities to buy cars and then share them on Turo.

Why is Turo employing this financing model? To address systemic racism in lending and wealth inequality in the United States

Tech Crunch | Turo puts $1 million toward helping Black people make money sharing cars

Texas: Gas Tax Meets Electrics & Hybrids. New Fee Structure Proposal.

  • November 20, 2020

The legislation: HB 427 (2021 | TX)

What new fees are included in the proposal?

  • EVs would pay $200 additional for registration and an additional renewal fee
  • Hybrid additional fees would be $100
  • An identical bill from 2019 had a fiscal note of $55 million in revenue generated over the next two years for the state’s highway fund

How do Texas gas taxes compare to other states?

  • Texas gas tax is 20cents
  • Texas has the 44th lowest gas tax in the nation
  • Texas has seen gas tax collection decrease by 7% in 2020

Electrek | Texas, home of Tesla Gigafactory, pitches higher EV fees

Landline | Texas bill pursues more revenue from electric vehicles and hybrids

New Kid on the Block US EV Lobby Coalition

  • November 20, 2020

Does this new EV lobby coalition have a name? Yes, Zero Emission Transportation Association

Who is in  Zero Emission Transportation Association ?

  • major U.S. utilities: ConEdison, Duke Energy, PG&E
  • Tesla
  • Uber
  • EV charging companies: Chargepoint and EVgo,
  • Automakers: Lordstown Motors, Rivian and Lucid Motors
  • Battery makers: Albemarle Corp, Piedmont Lithium and Siemens

What are its policy goals?

  • boost consumer electric vehicle incentives
  • encourage the retirement of gasoline-powered vehicles
  • support tougher emissions and performance standards
  • enable full electrification by 2030

CNBC | U.S. utilities, Tesla, Uber create lobby group for electric vehicle industry to boost sales

Houston Chronicle | Utilities, Tesla form lobbying group to push electric vehicles

Government Technology | EV Stakeholders Advocate for 100 Percent EV Adoption by 2030

The future: Intelligent Concrete

  • November 19, 2020

Adieu to the days of Concrete Blonde. It’s 2020 and concrete is intelligent.

Who is developing intelligent concrete? Lyles School of Civil Engineering at Perdue University’s Sustainable Materials and Renewable Technology (SMART) Lab.

What’s the goal of smart concrete?

  • concrete that can self-monitor condition
  • concrete that could repair itself
  • monitoring concrete condition in real time translates to earlier fixes and cost savings
  • solar and energy-harvesting roads
  • charging lanes for electric vehicles
  • smart streetlights 
  • reduce carbon-related emissions from construction materials

Route Fifty | Smart Concrete Could Pave the Way for High-Tech, Cost-Effective Roads

1st in U.S. regional hub for “flying cars”

  • November 13, 2020

Where: Florida

What:  Tavistock Development Corp. is developing a  aviation facility for industry’s only five-passenger “electric vertical takeoff and landing” aircraft

What is the travel time in these flying cars? Orlando to Tampa in 30 minutes

AP | Central Florida lands hub for Jetsons-like ‘flying cars’

Netherlands EV Broad Scale Approach

  • November 13, 2020

  • Has the highest density of EV chargers, so you can easily recharge your EV
  • By 2025 all public buses will be zero emissions
  • By 2030 all cars sold will be zero emissions
  • Creating zero emission zones in city centers, including for freight
  • Investing in bio fuels
  • Working with employers to Create alternative transportation modes for employees


Innovation. App to Make Taxis like Ride Shares.

  • November 13, 2020

Who: Mobile22

How does Mobile22 work? It is a ride hailing platform that is licensed to taxis

Why did the start up enter this industry segment? Sustainability and seeing an opportunity for connection between taxis operating more like ride shares and zero-emission vehicles, and how combining the two might generate more positive impact.

How are the taxi cabs working toward zero emissions? The fleet of Green Cabs are zero emission vehicles

WisconsinInno | Madison startup Mobile22 delivers ‘Uber-like’ experience for traditional taxicab companies

Local Self Driving Car Ordinances Coming Your Way

  • November 13, 2020

Where: Brooklyn

What: City Council is considering local self driving car ordinances to require local special licenses before companies like Uber & Lyft can act on long-anticipated efforts to replace drivers with autonomous vehicles

Which local entity would control licenses?  Taxi & Limousine Commission

Ny Daily News | Brooklyn pol wants regulations for self-driving cars

What is old becomes new again. Local Aerial Transit.

  • November 13, 2020

Where: Park City, Utah

What: An aerial transit project to move persons through the city and to mountain recreational spaces

How would it impact private property? There are  338 private properties within a 100-foot distance of the conceptual alignments

Cost estimates:  $60 million to build + more than $3 million to operate and maintain annually

Park Record | Concept for Park City aerial transit system shows lines would fly close to private property

The X Cross Walk. Cross Walk Safety

  • November 6, 2020

Stockholm recently introduced an X cross walk to improve cross walk safety. on Instagram

Smart Cities Dive | Chicago Opens Up for Diagonal Pedestrian Crossings

LA Mag | L.A.’s New Diagonal Crosswalks Are Literally Saving Lives

How Texas Leads Global EV Adoption

  • November 6, 2020

What makes Texas the best state for leading global EV adoption over California?

  • Texas electric grid isn’t connected to there states (it has a deal with Mexico, not Oklahoma)
  • 90% of the state’s electric load is a deregulated market
  • ERCOT is innovation friendly
  • ERCOT is looking at coordinating electric vehicle charging with periods when renewable energy output is highest
  • In October 2020 ERCOT joined Global Power System Transformation Consortium

Clean Technica | How Texas Can Lead The Global Electric Vehicle Transformation — Yes, Global

COVID. Is there a value on curb space?

  • November 5, 2020

How could local governments charge for curb space use?

  • Micro-mobility lane use for bikes and scooters
    • Scooters and bikes are ideal for a micro mobility lane as they don’t mix well with automobiles on roadways
  • Micro-mobility parking. As sidewalk space is increasingly used for outdoor dining space, curb space could house e-bike and scooter docks
  • Ride Share drop off zones
  • Expanded outdoor dining
  • Car Share parking

Governing | What’s a City’s Curb Space Worth?

Meet the New Kid on the Block. VOLCON

  • October 30, 2020

Who is VOLCON? An electric dirt bike manufacturer

Where is Volcon located? Austin TX

What’s Volcon claim to fame? ” first all-electric, off-road powersports company,” 

What’s the impact to Austin, TX? People say things like Austin “is becoming the electric vehicle capital of the world.”

Austin Business Journal | Another electric vehicle company, Volcon, launches in Austin with $6,000 dirt bikes

EV Charging Locations. Who has Access?

  • October 29, 2020

New York passed a law prohibiting non EVs from parking at charging spots. The law also prohibits EVs from parking at charging stations but not charging.

Daily Freeman | New law makes it illegal for non-electric vehicles to park at charging

The Gig Worker Ballot Prop in California. Environmentalists Take a Side.

  • October 29, 2020

There’s a ballot proposition in California that would change current state law treatment of gig workers as employees.

Who supports the proposition: Tech companies

Who opposes the proposition: Labor and now Environmentalists

Why are environmentalists in on this? The environmentalists say that the proposition would be bad for the environment because only if gig workers are treated as employees will companies pay more attention to the carbon emissions of vehicles in their business models.

Have scientists said anything about carbon emissions and ride share? Yes, it is estimated ride share increases the carbon emissions that it is replacing

Sacramento Bee | Environmentalists oppose Uber, Lyft on California’s gig worker initiative. Here’s why

Hypersonic Flight Consortium Led by Texans

  • October 29, 2020

The consortium: Department of Defense’s national consortium for modernizing hypersonic flight capabilities

The official name: The University Consortium for Applied Hypersonics

The Texans: Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

Partner universities:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Tennessee Space Institute
  • Morgan State University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Purdue
  • University of California-Los Angeles
  • Georgia Institute of Technology

Why should we pay attention? First-of-its kind Consortium will be critical to advancing hypersonics research and innovation

Texas A&M Today | Texas A&M System To Lead $100 Million Hypersonic Research Consortium

Will COVID eliminate the gas tax?

  • October 29, 2020

To be fair, the gas tax wasn’t performing to meet infrastructure needs before COVID either.

What is the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials advising?

  • The believe in a user-pay principle where the amount you drive determines what you’re paying, but COVID shows the weakness in this plan too
  • A solution: Federal COVID funding relief package

How is COVID impacting transportation revenues?

  • Maryland is cutting $3 Billion form its transportation plan
  • California estimates a revenue hit of $1.2 Billion that will hit primarily transportation projects
  • This fall, New Jersey law required an automatic rise in the gas tax by 9cents because of low revenues
  • National League of Cities survey of its members say 65% are delaying or canceling capital expenditures and infrastructure projects
  • Pennsylvania Department of Transportation estimates $550 million in losses
  • Oregon has a diversified transportation funding system with 35% coming from a tax on trucks and has fared better

Smart Cities Dive | The gas tax was already broken. The pandemic could end it.

Anatomy of a $21.7 M EV Grant

  • October 23, 2020

Where: California

Who: Volvo

What: A $21.7 Million grant for Volvo to to deploy 70 Class 8 VNR Electric trucksin Southern California for regional freight distribution and drayage

What VOLVO says: Public- Private Partnerships are crucial to new technologies

Utility Dive | Volvo wins $21.7M in grants to deploy electric trucks in California

New Ride Share Partnership to Watch: When Telecom & TNCs Partner

  • October 23, 2020

Who: Uber & SK Telecom ( A South Korean Telecom)

What is the partnership all about? “”all-in-one” service system, which provides vehicle-hailing, chauffeur and parking services with a single app”

What future project is this partnership eyeing? Uber’s call to provide flying car service by 2029

Korea Times | SKT-Uber alliance

Implications when a used Freightliner Becomes an EV Big Truck

  • October 23, 2020

Who is getting into the business of converting old Freightliners into EV trucks? ETruck Transportation

Where: The family company is in Omaha NE

Initial order: 200 trucks from an undisclosed Chicago company

Delivery: 2021

Who provides the charging infrastructure? the customers

The implications: Need an 8-10 hour range, how is the charging infrastructure built

Transport Topics | ETruck Transportation to Convert Used Freightliner Class 6 Trucks to Electric

State Moves Forward with Electronic Driver’s Licenses. COVID FRIENDLY.

  • October 22, 2020

The State: Florida

What is an electronic driver’s license? A driver’s licensed that is accessed through an app

The benefits:

  • COVID benefit: touchfree
  •  Curb identity theft
  • No access for card skimmers
  • With cloud-based information it is easier for police officers, bartenders and others to determine authenticity

Tampa Bay Times via Governing | Florida Hopes to Offer Smartphone Driver’s License by 2021

Winning Factors for HyperLoop Location

  • October 22, 2020

Last week, Virgin announced West Virginia would be the new testing grounds for a hyperloop track.

So, what factors worked in West Virginia’s favor over 16 other locations?

  • availability of land
  • low cost of living
  • high quality of life
  • ready workforce
  • business-friendly government
  • proximity to the engineering and business students and faculty at West Virginia University
  • WVU also is home to the  only fully operational Personal Rapid Transit for the last 45 years

Governing | West Virginia Goes Back to the Future With Transit Technology

Gig Economy. Wages. Diversity.

  • October 16, 2020

California’s Prop 22, supported by gig companies as it allows gig workers to be independent contractors and not employees, has opposition in Black and Latino communities.

Why do Black and Latino community leaders oppose Prop 22?

  • it would worsen racial and income inequality in California 
  • 78% of Black and Latinx drivers are struggling to make ends meet
  • to change the proposition would require a 7/8 vote by the Legislature

KPIX | Prop. 22: Black, Latino Leaders Concerned About Measure Backed By Uber, Lyft

Hyperloop Moving into 4 Other States

  • October 16, 2020

The 4 other states Virgin is evening for hyperloop projects: Missouri, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina

Missouri has taken legislative action prohibiting the use of eminent domain for the project.

Missouri Net | Virgin Hyperloop still has its eye on Missouri to transport passengers in tubes

New Kid on the Block. Drones on Demand App.

  • October 16, 2020

What: Aquiline Drones

Why is this important: 1st in the nation drone sharing app + drone laws are in their infancy

What new issues are created: Who owns or has access to the data that drone collects when it is in use?

Drone Life | Aquiline Launches Drone On Demand Mobile App

Legislative Quagmire: Car Sharing + Crimes. Unintended Consequences.

  • October 16, 2020

What’s happening? A Truck was listed on a car sharing app. While in use on the app the truck was involved in an accident that involved illegal items causing the truck to be seized.

The truck was sold at auction without notification to the owner.

The app compensated the owner.

Does your company have a policy if the gig property is used in a crime? Do the laws or ordinances in your location address the situation?

Denver 7 | Denver man loses truck through car-sharing app Getaround

TX Attorney General Opinion: Licenses for Golf Carts

  • October 15, 2020

What question will the Texas Attorney General Office be answering? Whether a driver’s license is required to operate a golf cart on a public street in a master plan community or municipality when the use of golf carts is permitted in those areas by the Transportation Code.

Why does this matter? Can your kids take the golf cart to head over to friends house or get to school? Can an 95 year old woman who gave up her car years ago use a golf cart to go visit her paramour a couple blocks over?

Kids and the elderly…that’s why this matters.


New Hyperloop Location

  • October 15, 2020

The Hyperloop Company: Virgin

The new HyperLoop location: West Virginia

The details:

  • $500-million Hyperloop Certification Center
  • covering 800 acres
  • 1000s of jobs for initial construction
  • 2030 Virgin Hyperloop is set to hyper loop travel available in the US
  • 2017 1st successful hyper loop travel test in Las Vegas

Charleston Gazette | Virgin Hyperloop Chooses West Virginia for New Center

Who should be concerned about road building VETOs?

  • October 8, 2020

Who should have their eyes and ears open on this veto? Everyone involved in building roads, financing roads, supporting bond policies… you’re all impacted with this, drivers- you too. Manufacturers moving good around- you too…. so let’s get some takeaways to improve our arguments and get infrastructure built with fewer road bumps…and fewer puns…

What did Governor Newsom in California veto? SB 1351 (2020 | CA) which was $5 billion for bond financing for roads and transportation infrastructure

Why did he veto bond financing for roads?

  • California’s budget calls for pay as you go financing
  • He does not support long term debt obligation for maintenance of infrastructure
  • Caltrans needs access to future revenues for roads and bridges and the bill locks up future revenue with debt financing

SB 1351 Veto Message by Governor Newsom

LandLine | California governor vetoes road bond bill

Outreach for EV by Cities in New Economy

  • October 8, 2020

What obstacles are cities trying to overcome in EV awareness:

  • Most people can’t name an EV make and model
  • Don’t think there are enough chargers
  • Don’t know about incentives programs

How are cities combating this in the new economy?

  • St. Petersburg, FL & The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy are offering virtual EV ride alongs
  • City of Orlando, the Electrification Coalition, and the Climate Challenge, the Orlando Utilities Commission have a new incentive program for buyers & dealers
  •  City of Indianapolis—in partnership with its Clean Cities Coalition, and Forth Mobility through the Climate Challenge hosting virtual workshops on workplace charging
  • City of San Antonio Office of Sustainability partnered with the Alamo Area Council of Governments and Forth Mobility to put on a series of virtual events focused on EV basics, the EV landscape in Texas, and electric mobility options beyond the personal vehicle, such as electric bikes, trucks, buses
  • Seattle, WA: local credit union ExpressCU partnered with local environmental justice organization ECOSS to offer a Spanish-language virtual event about the benefits of EVs in general and ExpressCU’s innovative EV fair financing program in particular.
  • San Jose and LA partnered with Forth Mobility, rideshare companies, and other stakeholders to offer English and Spanish language educational events about EVs for rideshare drivers

NRDc | Cities Turn to Virtual Electric Vehicle Education in 2020

What’s coming to EVs? Solar Truck Beds

  • October 8, 2020

The companies working on solar panels in and on truck beds? Worksport, a Toronto-based manufacturer of pickup-truck accessories

How could it work?

  • bed-mounted batteries
  • stored energy to power appliances and tools at jobsites, campsites…

Will the solar panels only work in EV trucks? No, traditional fuel and hybrid trucks could also have solar power truck beds

Are there power generation estimates? On the Cybertruck, Elon Musk estimates 15 miles of range per day.

@physisinvest on instagram

Business Insider | A solar-panel bed cover brings sustainable power to gas-powered pickups — and could someday help charge EV pickups from Rivian, Ford, and GM

Monitoring Drivers + Autonomous Vehicles

  • October 8, 2020

If you’re an autonomous vehicle manufacturer, how do you monitor drivers? Well, you could put a camera in the rear view camera

What would this camera monitor? Driver’s eyes. Eyes open? Eyes closed? Looking down? Sunglasses? Did the driver’s head turn to look somewhere?

How was this camera made public? A hacker discovered it

The data privacy questions for business, insurance, privacy advocates, legislative work, regulatory work:

  • can a company keep this data?
  • for how long?
  • does it have to be disclosed to the driver? to law enforcement in an accident? to insurance companies?
  • what happens if the data is hacked?

Electrek | Tesla hacker reveals what driver-facing camera is looking for

City Funds Public Transport with a Sales Tax

  • October 8, 2020

The City: Seattle, WA

The sales tax: 0.1% to 0.15%

The estimated revenue from the sales tax? $42 million a year

Voter approval required? Yes

Which tax sources were rejected?

  • 0.1% sales tax with $60 car tab fees that would have raised $56 million a year
  • a 0.2% sales tax was rejected because of the regressive nature of sales taxes
  • transportation bonds
  • construction impact fees were rejected as the funds are limited to infrastructure

The Stranger | Washington Is Stuck Funding Transit with a Sales Tax

COVID. How are states raising transportation revenue?

  • October 2, 2020

Utah is considering road-use charge to supplement the state gas tax.

Has Utah dabbled in road use tax? Yes, Utah collects a road use tax from some alternative-fuel vehicle owners

How is Utah’s road use tax structured?  2,000 enrolled vehicle owners the option to pay a $120 flat fee or a 1.5-cent-per-mile fee.

LandLine | Utah panel discusses road-use charge

Utah | Road Use Charge Program

Road Trains. What are they? Where are they?

  • October 2, 2020

Which state is considering regulation of road trains? North Dakota

What is a road train? road trains span to 200-feet long and weigh close to half a million pounds and travel on ordinary roadways

Where are road trains in use? The Australian Outback

What type of roads are perfect for road trains? Long, straight stretches of lightly traveled roads

What types of limitations is North Dakota considering in their pilot?

  • No moving of hazardous materials like oil
  • Shorter than 200 feet length of the trains 

KXNET | Legislature studying “Road Trains” for North Dakota

UPDATE. COVID Pivot. Delivery Services > Ride Share

  • October 2, 2020

Uber’s delivery service adjusted net revenue exceeds that of its ride share service.

Does that mean the ride share program disappears? No, the two exist to support each division such as in times like a global pandemic.

Tech Crunch | Uber’s delivery business is now larger than ride-hailing

UPDATE: COVID + Ride Share. Moving Forward

How can Ride Share Move Forward with COVID?

  • Delivery Service. Uber signed up 500,000 restaurants by June worldwide for delivery service. That’s 50% more than last year.
  •  New cleaning standards. Uber provides cleaning supplies and masks for drivers. 
  • New ride requirements like masks & self-certifying that riders are symptom-free of COVID-19

Bankrate | The future of rideshare services after COVID-19

LOCAL Gig Economy Minimum Wage

  • October 1, 2020

The City: Seattle

The minimum wage proposal is part of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s “Fare Share” program with has also imposed ride share fees.

The policy questions on how to distribute a minimum wage to gig drivers:

  • whether the driver uses ride share as his principle source of income
  • whether the driver uses ride share as a means to earn extra cash
  • current legislative draft: pay drivers $0.56 per minute
  • why $0.56 per minute, because if they spend 50% of their time waiting for a share ride, this rate would put them at Seattle’s minimum wage

What do the City’s economists from New School  & University of California Berkeley say? Current average driver take-home pay is about $9.73 per hour

What does the industry economist from Cornell say? Drivers earn about $23.25 per hour, above Seattle’s minimum wage.

Geek Wire | Debate over Uber and Lyft driver pay comes to a head as Seattle prepares to set minimum wage

NY Times | Seattle Passes Minimum Pay Rate for Uber and Lyft Drivers

COVID. 1 City & Delivery Driver Hazard Pay.

  • October 1, 2020

The City: Seattle

The Hazard pay for delivery drivers in the time of COVID was funded by CARES Act proceeds and contained in SEATTLE COUNCIL CB 119799 (2020)

The amount of the hazard pay: extra $2.50 per order in addition to their usual pay

Potential penalties: penalties for noncompliance can range up to $546.07 per “aggrieved party” for a first offense

Eater Seattle | DoorDash and Postmates Pay Out More Than $350,000 to Seattle Gig Workers Due to Hazard Pay Law

COVID Pivot. Drive Inns in the New Economy

  • September 25, 2020

Meet Ultimate Outdoor Entertainment®  in Austin TX

What does Ultimate Outdoor Entertainment offer?

  • Large screen inventory & the associated technology to handle the influx of customers
  • Acquiring the 1st double-sided 52′ x 26′ screen in the U.S
  • Single largest inventory of 40′ x 22′ drive-in rental screens to help meet the growing demand for pop-up drive-in movie events 

El Paso Inc. What’s Up | The Largest Drive-In Screens Available Anywhere Nationwide

New Kid on the Direct Vehicle Sales Fight

  • September 24, 2020

Who: Rivian

What does Rivian build? EV Trucks

Where is Rivian facing a regulatory and legislative battle? Michigan

What does the Michigan bill prevent? Direct sales for EV manufacturers that are NOT Tesla.

There is a Tesla carve out? yes HB 6233 (2020 | MI)

Bloomberg | Rivian Faces Ban From Michigan Car Dealers in Direct-Sales Fight

New Day. New Economy. New Electric Form of Transportation. Bonjour Electric Shuttle.

  • September 24, 2020

Who is working on electric shuttles? Glydways

What’s the end goal with the electric shuttles?

To build an autonomous system of small electric cars that can be hailed on-demand like an Uber or Lyft

What transportation problems do they hope to solve for cities?  

  • localized transportation problems that connect riders to other public transit
  • to remove people from roadways as the shuttles would not use lanes reserved for cars as they will run on tracks that can be elevated

Daily Journal | South San Francisco transportation company dreaming of electric shuttles

EV Drivers in the COVID world: Charge at home? Charge Elsewhere?

  • September 24, 2020

A new survey by PlugShare Research reveals these EV charging changes because of COVID:

  • 53% say that they’re charging less now
  •  67% decline in public charging 
  • 84% do most charging at home, pre-pandemic was 75%
  • DC fast charging locations were only down 3% versus last year
  • public Level 2 chargers are down 11% year over year
  •  plug-in vehicle sales are down roughly 18%

Green Car Reports: EV Drivers Sticking to Home Charging

COVID. Texas Central Rail + COVID Recovery

  • September 24, 2020

How far along is this high speed rail project?

  • It received Federal Railroad Administration this week
  • Next stop Surface Transportation board approval.
  • “will proceed to construction as soon as possible “
  • Initial cost estimates of $10 billion have doubled to $20 billion

What are opponents saying?

  • Congressman Kevin Brady “They are still saying they will break ground this year. No they will not.”
  • Re-route the Route: will forever will alter the landscape with electrical lines and berms to elevate the track
  • State Representative Leman: “Since their conception, Texas Central has lied to its investors and Texans about this project,”

How does COVID factor in?

  • Texas Central Rail says the project will be economically beneficial and will help with COVID economic recovery
  • COVID brings funding challenges for governments, and Texas Central Rail is ” insolvent and fatally flawed project” and will cost taxpayer revenue

Houston Chronicle via Governing | Houston-Dallas’ High-Speed Rail Line: Full Steam Ahead

A Texas Welcome to a new AeroSpace Company from California

  • September 18, 2020

Who: Incora, an aviation/aerospace supply chain company

Where did it relocate to/from? From southern California to Fort Worth

Dallas Morning News | Aerospace supply company relocating its HQ from southern California to North Texas

6 years. How long it takes for Incentives to Increase EV Purchasing.

  • September 18, 2020

Who is saying that it takes 6 years for an EV incentive to have an impact? A survey by Savanta ComRes of UK motorists

What did the survey say?

  • 44% don’t think they’ll be ready to buy a full EV by 2035
  • 24% saying that they can’t ever see themselves owning an EV

Whats holding back potential EV buyers?

  • 52% say higher purchase prices
  • 44 % say lack of local charging points
  • 38% say fear of being caught short on longer journeys

The proposed solutions to increase EV purchasing:

  • Long-term commitment to incentives
  • Continuation of the Plug-in Grant and adding back in plug-in hybrids 
  • 1.7 million public charge points by the end of the decade and 2.8 million by 2035

Fleet World | EV incentives must be in place for at least six years to drive take-up

Can 3 wheel vehicles be registered in Texas?

  • September 17, 2020

The Texas Attorney General tells us in opinion, KP- 0331, that three-wheeled, electric, low-speed vehicles is not a question to be resolved in an opinion.

What?! Digging in we see that the Attorney General opinion says maybe these vehicles already fit the definition of motorcycle, maybe not, it depends.

The solutions: legislation to add these vehicles to registration and title statutes.

$39.1 Million State Funding Hydrogen Cell Stations

  • September 17, 2020

Where: California

How will the $39.1 million be spent for hydrogen cell stations?

  • California Energy Commission approval to construct 36 new hydrogen fueling stations
  • Bring the statewide total to 100 hydrogen cell stations

Who is operating hydrogen cell stations? True Zero & Shell

How do Hydrogen Cell Stations work?

  • Takes 2-5 minutes to refuel
  • Vehicles estimate 250 miles per tank
  • Hydrogen Cell vehicles mix hydrogen & water to create electricity for the vehicle

San Diego Union Tribune via Governing | California Approves $39.1 Million for Hydrogen Cell Stations

The Numbers: All Electric Houston Transportation

  • September 17, 2020

Who studied an all electric public transportation system in Houston, TX? American Lung Association

What did the American Lung Association say about an all electric public transportation system in Houston by 2050?

  • save 148 lives
  • avoid 3,333 asthma attacks
  • reduce health costs by $1.7 billion per year
  • Houston ranks 8th among metro areas that could benefit from electric vehicles
  • Dallas ranks 5th
  • eliminate up to 5,500 missed school days for children with asthma (2019 University of Houston report)

Houston Chronicle via Governing | An All-Electric Houston Would Save Lives and Money: Report

Autonomous Boat Legislation.

  • September 17, 2020

Why should we be expecting autonomous boat legislation? Because we’re not talking about it and an autonomous Mayflower is launching to commemorate the Mayflower’s 400th anniversary since it departed PLymouth

Who partnered to build this autonomous Mayflower? The nonprofit marine research organization ProMare and IBM

AP | 400 years later, a new Mayflower will sail without humans

Car Manufacturer + Ride Share Company = EV discounts

  • September 11, 2020

Who: GM and Uber

What: GM is offering Uber drivers  special pricing on new 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV purchases and GM EV charging accessories.

GM Authority | Uber Drivers Offered Special Pricing For GM EV Models

How COVID Impacted High Speed Rail in California

  • September 10, 2020

What direct impact did COVID have on high speed rail in California, beyond the cost overruns and land acquisitions that have clung to the project?

  • California’s Cap and Trade Auctions fund part of the high speed rail project and those auctions have garnered less revenue
  • Legislators are calling on the rail authority’s reassessment

Los Angeles Times via Governing | California’s High-Speed Rail Loses Momentum Due to Pandemic

EV Subscription Service. New Kid on the Block.

  • September 10, 2020

Who: Motor Drive

Where does Motor Drive operate? Indianapolis

How does the a monthly subscription service work? Subscriptions range from$649 per month to $1,399, including insurance and routine maintenance. The service also requires a membership, which costs $400 upfront. If you buy an EV through the service, the $400 counts toward the purchase.

What about charging the EV?  Motor Drive will install a fast charger for you if you agree to a subscription for 120 days

Indianapolis Star via Governing | New Subscription Services Let Users Try Electric Vehicles

COVID Recovery Legislation: Fast Track Projects. Bypass Environmental Reviews.

  • September 10, 2020

Where: California

What? California Legislature passed a COVID Reform bill, SB 288 (2020 | CA) that allows ENVIRONMENTAL reviews to be skipped. Adieu preconceived notions.

What is the goal of SB 288? To promote projects that could cut down driving & reduce carbon emissions

What did the bill’s author say? “SB 288 will help get our economy back on track, create jobs, and improve our sustainable transportation infrastructure.””

Specifically what type of transit projects would get to skip environmental review?

  • Bus lines
  • transit stations
  • biking and walking projects
  • facility repairs
  • electric-vehicle charging stations
  • Construction projects not meeting minimum parking requirements

How long will the project fast track last? 2 years

San Francisco Chronicle via Governing | California Legislature Approves Speedy Sustainability Bill

COVID: How a Rural Transit Authority Pivoted.

  • September 10, 2020

Where: California’s Monterey-Salinas Transit

What experience did the regional transit authority have that helped their COVID pivot? The agency’s  tabletop exercises concerning the best responses to natural disasters, civil disturbances or mass casualty events

How did Monterey-Salinas Transit do to pivot because of COVID?

  • Quickly required masks & distancing that limited occupancy with distance exceptions for families
  • Provided its drivers with masks, goggles and face shields
  • Stopped collecting fares and instituted rear door boarding to protect drivers
  • Reached out to stakeholders in its service zone
    • Stakeholders: agriculture and hospitality industries, military bases, community colleges, school districts and health-care providers
    • Bus drivers helped Meals on Wheels in Salinas Valley 
    • Parked its Wi-Fi-enabled commuter buses in rural areas to provide hot spots for rural students
    • Donated a vehicle it no longer needed to a veterans group who used it to take homeless veterans to food, medical services and shelter
    • Provided 2 buses to be converted into mobile COVID-19 testing facilities for agricultural workers
  • Constant Recalibration with a comment enabled app, the Slido app

What surprised the agency and will impact future planning?

  • COVID has no clear END, unlike a natural disaster, and that impacts resources & planning
  • The rush on cleaning supplies and that impact on suppliers

Governing | Rural California Transit Agency Reinvents Itself During COVID