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L'Institut Français du Pétrole et des Energies Nouvelles a procédé pour le compte de l'Ademe à une étude segment par segment des motorisations les plus compétitives à l'horizon 2030. Les moteurs 100% électriques ne seraient pas la solution actuelle la plus pertinente. Alors quelles tendances envisager?

 

 

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« La Toyota Prius, une automobile hybride électrique produite par Toyota depuis 1997 » 

 

 

 

L’Ademe (Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie) a récemment mené avec l’Ifpen (institut IFP Energies nouvelles) une étude afin de déterminer le meilleur moyen de réduire l’impact des transports sur l’environnement. Ce document compare la viabilité économique (coût de possession d’un véhicule en intégrant les éventuelles aides à l’achat) et l’intérêt écologique d’ici à 2030 de différents types de motorisations (diesel, à essence, hybride, électrique).

 

 

Premier enseignement de cette analyse intitulée « Étude économique, énergétique et environnementale pour les technologies du transport routier français », le tout-électrique ne semble pas être la solution idéale, contrairement à ce que beaucoup envisagent.

 

"La course à l'augmentation de l'autonomie est un point de vigilance, du point de vue des émissions de gaz à effet de serre qu'elle engendre mais aussi du point de vue de la rentabilité de la solution, ce qui pourrait à terme freiner son déploiement", préviennent les auteurs. Même s’il s'agit d'une solution "pertinente du point de vue écologique et pour réduire la pollution locale", l'Institut estime en contrepoint que « la rentabilité économique de ces solutions reste limitée actuellement ».

 

En revanche les solutions hybrides rechargeables, avec leurs batteries plus petites, présentent un moindre impact environnemental. "Pour les véhicules légers, les solutions PHEV (hybride rechargeable) semblent les solutions les plus pertinentes du point de vue de l'impact gaz à effet de serre, grâce à leur batterie de taille limitée parfaitement adaptée à l'usage majoritaire du véhicule" indique l'IFPEN qui rappelle que "leur rentabilité, sans aide à l'achat, reste néanmoins un verrou freinant actuellement leur déploiement".

 

Cela pourrait ne pas durer car d’après une enquête menée par le groupe Autovista, les modèles hybrides et hybrides rechargeables atteindront 53 % des ventes de véhicules neufs en Europe à l’horizon 2028.

 

L’avenir des modèles à essence et diesel semble compromis

 

Sur le segment qui cible des véhicules de type Renault Mégane, le rapport de  l'IFPEN est catégorique: "L'architecture hybride à dérivation de puissance est véritablement la plus intéressante du point de vue énergétique, limitant les consommations autour de 4l/100 km actuellement sur l'ensemble des conditions d'usage, mêmes urbaines. Cette conclusion renforce le choix de nombreux taxis d'utiliser ce type d'architecture intégrée dans les Toyota Prius par exemple" souligne l'Institut. 

 

Enfin, l’avenir des modèles à essence et diesel « semble compromis à horizon 2030 » commente le rapport. En particulier, « il semble que l’avenir du petit véhicule urbain soit promis au véhicule électrique », notent l’Ademe et l’Ifpen. 

 

Les véhicules hybrides semblent donc être l’alternative idéale mais il faut rappeler qu’ils ne représentent actuellement que 1% de l’offre totale en Europe.

 

Sources : ademe, ccfa, pro.largus.fr

 

 

Par Didier ROUGEYRON, journaliste

India's Tata Motors is showing five new diesel-powered public transport buses at the biggest B2B bus and coach exhibition in the world, BusWorld India 2018 in Bangaluru. The show opened Wednesday and closes today.

 

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Tata Motors Magna luxury intercity coach at BusWorld India 2018, August 28, 2018
(Photo courtesy Tata Motors)

 

 

The five new models in what Tata Motors calls its sustainable public transportation line are: the Starbus Ultra AC 22-seater, the Starbus AC 12-seater, the Winger 12-Seater, the 1515 MCV staff bus and the Magna luxury intercity coach.

 

 

Although the company says it is committed to sustainable public transportation, Tata is using diesel as the primary fuel for these five new buses, large and small. The new models have advanced safety features and excellent fuel economy, more comfortable seats and a longer service life than previous models.

 

 

"Through our product offerings, we are shifting the paradigm for new age products and mobility solutions, not just for the passengers but for drivers too," said Sandeep Kumar, who heads sales and marketing for Tata Motors' Passenger Commercial Vehicle Division.

 

 

Says Rohit Srivastava, product line head in that same division, "Buses from Tata Motors are a hallmark of excellence, and the range has adapted innovations to suit both Indian and global travel conditions."

 

 

"Under our Turnaround 2.0 strategy," said Srivastava, "we are aggressively focusing on introducing new range of products with improved features and state-of-the-art technological advancements."

 

 

The exhibition was opened by Karnataka Chief Minister G. Parmeshwara, who said, "Over 70 lakh [a hundred thousand] vehicles run on Bangalore roads everyday and our roads were not built to take so much of a traffic load. We require an efficient public transport system, including buses. There is a proposal with our government to replace all buses with electric buses in about five years time."

 

 

Tata is on the verge of bringing out a hydrogen fuel-cell bus.

 

Together with IndianOil Corp., Tata says it will carry out testing on a new Tata hydrogen fuel-cell bus for about two years, until March 2020, before taking further decisions about offering it to the public.

 

Tata has developed hybrid, electric, LNG and articulated buses to meet the transportation needs of smart cities of the future, but for now it's diesel, to keep up with the competition.

 

The competition is the MG Group, India's largest bus building company, which unveiled three new luxury coaches at the Busworld India 2018: the Glider, Gliderz and Dreamz. All three were developed over Daimler chassis, Mercedes-Benz and Bharatbenz, and all three are powered by diesel engines.

 

MG is placing the emphasis on luxury and interior appointments, with sleeper berths, reclining luxury seats, USB mobile charging sockets and air conditioning.

 

While Indian passengers will appreciate the luxury buses, they don't have the luxury of clean air.

 

The World Health Organization says that of the top 15 world’s most-polluted cities, 14 of them are located in India. Most of the polluted cities are in north India including its capital New Delhi.

 

Air pollution in India is considered a crisis. In response, India's transportation industry is proposing that by 2030, all the vehicles on the market will be completely electrified and internal combustion vehicles will be moved out of market permanently. The plan has been well received.

 

India is preparing a fresh policy for promoting electric vehicles among these heavily polluted cities, with priority given to those with at least four million residents.

 

In April, Patna, the capital of the northern Indian state Bihar, being one of the top 15 most-polluted cities, announced the city will purchase 30 electric buses and put them in service instantly. That means Patna will become the first city in India to own electric buses.

 

 

By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

www.ens-newswire.com

August 31, 2018

Marquant une stratégie en rupture, Uber souhaite se concentrer sur les vélos électriques et les scooters plutôt que sur les voitures pour les déplacements courts en ville. D’autre part, Toyota devrait investir 500 millions de dollars dans le géant du VTC afin que les deux entreprises rattrapent leur retard pour le développement des voitures autonomes.

 

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« Une voiture autonome Volvo acquise par Uber, à un carrefour de Scottsdale  (Arizona), en 2017 »

 

 

Première leçon, le géant du VTC ne fait plus des voitures le coeur de son activité. Dans une surprenante interview au Financial Times, le patron d'Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, explique que pour les trajets courts en centre-ville, les scooters, vélos électriques ou la trottinette sont des véhicules plus adaptés que la voiture. Particulièrement dans des villes congestionnées et polluées. "Pendant les heures de pointe, il est très inefficace qu'une masse de métal d'une tonne prenne une personne sur plusieurs pâtés de maison", a ainsi déclaré Dara  Khosrowshahi au Financial Times avec une indéniable sagacité.

 

L’orientation de la stratégie d’Uber marque un tournant

 

"Nous sommes en mesure de façonner le comportement d'une manière que ce soit une victoire pour l'utilisateur. C’est une victoire aussi pour la ville. Sur le plan financier à court terme, ce n'est peut-être pas une victoire pour nous, mais stratégiquement à long terme, nous pensons que c'est exactement ce que nous voulons faire", a-t-il ajouté. Cette déclaration sur la nouvelle vision d'Uber intervient alors que l'entreprise a prévu d'entrer en bourse en 2019 et tient donc à rassurer de potentiels actionnaires avec un modèle économique viable et compétitif.

 

L’orientation de cette stratégie semble aussi annoncer le futur des déplacements urbains axés prioritairement sur des modes « doux ».

 

Cela signifie tout simplement que la voiture n'a plus d'avenir en centre-ville parce qu’elle n'est pas adaptée à la mobilité urbaine telle qu’on la conçoit désormais.

 

D’après le Wall Street Journal, Toyota a par ailleurs annoncé ce mardi un investissement de 500 millions de dollars dans Uber afin de relancer le développement conjoint de technologies de voitures autonomes qui avait sérieusement marqué le pas. En effet, la société de service de VTC n'effectue plus d'essais sur les routes depuis l’accident qui a coûté la vie à une piétonne percutée par un SUV autonome dans l’Arizona en mars dernier et a suspendu son programme dans plusieurs états des États-Unis.

 

Les deux sociétés vont donc associer leurs technologies respectives dans des véhicules conçus par Toyota. « Le début des déploiements pilotes (auraient lieu) en 2021 », selon un communiqué du constructeur automobile japonais.

 

 

Par Didier ROUGEYRON, journaliste

Toyota is about to begin constructing its dream fuel-cell power plant and hydrogen fueling station at the Port of Long Beach on the California coast. The new fuel-cell facilities will service Toyota's new heavy duty hydrogen fuel-cell electric Class 8 trucks.

 

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Toyota's Project Portal Alpha truck at the Port of Long Beach, California, December 2017
(Photo courtesy Toyota)

 

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners last week approved a proposal by Toyota Logistics Services to redevelop its facility at Pier B to build the renewable energy fuel-cell power plant and hydrogen station.

 

The Port of Long Beach calls itself "The Green Port" runs a Clean Truck Program to minimize air pollution from Port operations.

 

Toyota operates a marine terminal at the Port of Long Beach where new automobiles are off-loaded from ships, processed and transported off-site by truck and railroad. The planned redevelopment would make those operations more efficient.

 

“Toyota is demonstrating hydrogen fuel as a viable alternative for fueling vehicles,” said Harbor Commission President Tracy Egoscue. “The example they are setting at the Port of Long Beach should be applauded not only by the goods movement industry, but by everyone who wants a sustainable present and future for our planet.”

 

Construction on the private project is anticipated to begin later this year and be completed in 18 months.

 

Plans call for construction of a 2.3 megawatt fuel-cell power plant and a new fueling station that will include hydrogen.

 

“Toyota is one of our oldest customers,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “We’ve grown together during a business partnership that’s almost a half-century old, and part of the reason we’ve remained successful is recognizing the need to invest in modernization projects like this to improve our operations.”

 

The new truck, known as "Beta," expands on the capabilities of Toyota's first Project Portal test vehicle, "Alpha," by increasing the estimated range to more than 300 miles per fill. The Alpha achieved a driving range of a little more than 200 miles per fill.

 

Since it first began operation in April 2017, the Project Portal Alpha truck has logged nearly 10,000 miles of testing and real-world drayage operations in and around the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles while emitting nothing but water vapor.

 

Toyota's Beta truck will begin drayage operations in the fall, increasing the Ports' zero emission trucking capacity and further reducing the environmental impact of drayage operations.

 

"By evaluating the first truck in our test facilities and on the actual roads in the L.A. area, we made a list of improvements for the Beta truck build process and performance enhancements," said Andrew Lund, chief engineer for the project. "We needed to move beyond a proof of concept, which the first truck accomplished, to something that is not only better than the original but is also more commercially viable."

 

To support these refueling operations, Toyota also has built one of the world's largest hydrogen fueling stations on-site with the help of Air Liquide.

 

Toyota has said the Tri-Gen facility will be the first megawatt-sized carbonate fuel-cell power generation plant with hydrogen fueling in the world.

 

"Tri-Gen is a key step forward in Toyota's work to develop a hydrogen society," the automaker says. In addition to serving as a key proof-of-concept for 100 percent renewable, local hydrogen generation at scale, the facility will supply all Toyota fuel cell vehicles moving through the Port of Long Beach.

 

Thirty-one retail hydrogen stations are now open for business in California, and Toyota is partnering with a broad range of companies to develop new stations. That includes a partnership with Shell that marks the first collaboration between a major automotive and major oil company.

 

 

By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

www.ens-newswire.com

August 27, 2018

Do you ever get lost in a new city - even when using GPS? Have you ever hailed a taxi using a mobile app but the taxi failed to find your correct location? You were waiting in one spot, but the driver waited on the other side of the road because his GPS indicated you were over there.

 

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Girl finds her destination in Hong Kong with the SAP App on her tablet, 2018
(Screengrab from video courtesy The University of Hong Kong)

 

 

 

That's because GPS has an average error of 10-30 meters (33-98 feet). Other indoor navigation systems using WiFi and Gateway have positioning errors too.

 

To close this gap, Professor Anthony Yeh Gar-On, an expert in GIS in Urban Planning and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, together with his research team at the Department of Urban Planning and Design of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), offers a new solution.

 

The team has invented the Smart Address Plate (SAP), a sensing device, which when installed in front of buildings, shops or offices, can help users to know their own locations and find their way around urban environments through a mobile application - an app.

 

SAP is a Bluetooth Low Energy proximity sensing device that stores a unique geo-coded Smart Address ID of a building, shop or office associated with it.

 

With the full system consisting of a Smart Address Plate, Smart Address Coding System, and Smart Address Plate Management System, there is no reason to ever get lost again.

 

Each building can be assigned a unique geo-coded address ID that can be positioned on a digital map.

 

Professor Yeh's team has developed a new postal-building Smart Address Coding System for all buildings in Hong Kong by combining a new postal code with the global georeferenced coordinates of a building.

 

Enterprises in any building can be tagged to this postal-building Smart Address for use in navigation, positioning, delivery, management and big data.

 

"Instead of asking people on the street or in a shopping mall and office building for directions, you will be able to find your location and direction from the Smart Address Plates, leading you from the street to the shops and restaurants that you are going to inside a shopping mall," Professor Yeh explained.

 

Yeh views assigning a unique eID Smart Address to buildings and shops as taking a step toward Chief Executive Carrie Lam's pledge in the Hong Kong Policy Address to forward key infrastructure projects for Smart City development.

 

The system can enhance the management of Hong Kong as an example for other aspiring smart cities, Yeh says. "Hong Kong can be the first city to use such an innovative and sophisticated Smart Address Plate System that combines navigation and management, and set a new standard for smart cities in the world."

 

By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

www.ens-newswire.com

August 24, 2018

La micro voiture électrique biplace Uniti One vient de réaliser sa première sortie sur les routes suédoises. Apte à séduire une clientèle urbaine, jeune et active, sa commercialisation est prévue pour 2019.

 

 

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« Le 0 à 80 km/h est annoncé en moins de quatre secondes en mode sport ». © Uniti

 

 

Uniti est une jeune pousse suédoise créée en 2016 qui commercialisera, à partir de l'année prochaine, une microvoiture électrique biplace, pensée pour des trajets urbains courts et issue du financement participatif.

 

Une autonomie théorique de 300 km

 

La « One » vient d'effectuer ses premiers tours de roues sur route ouverte. Profilée sur l’habitacle, au bas de caisse toute en rondeurs, elle affiche des dimensions compactes de 2.9 m de long, 1.27 m en largeur et 1,42 mètre en hauteur. Cette citadine aux lignes fluides ne pèse que 450 kilos à vide et embarque jusqu’à 24 kWh de batterie Li-ion pour une autonomie annoncée chez Uniti de 300 kilomètres. Amovible, celle-ci pourra être rechargée, par exemple chez soi ou au travail. Le constructeur promet que son modèle pourra rouler jusqu’à 130 km/h.

 

Future concurrente en Europe de la Twizy de Renault, des Smart EQ fortwo et forfour 100% électriques et de la Microlino du Suisse Micro Mobility Systems, version électrique de la fameuse Isetta de BMW, la petite suédoise présente d’incontestables atouts pour séduire une clientèle urbaine, jeune et active. Plutôt aisée serait-on tenté d’ajouter. Uniti annonce en effet un prix de 14.900 euros pour la One, ce qui ne la place pas parmi les modèles les plus accessibles dans sa catégorie. 

 

 

Sources : Futura Tech, Automobile Propre

 

Site du constructeur : www.uniti.earth

 

 

Par Didier ROUGEYRON, journaliste

New York City is limiting the growth of Uber, Lyft and other app-based ridesharing services with a temporary cap on new cars picking up fares.

 

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Yellow taxis and black town cars on Manhattan's Central Park West, February 20, 2018
(Photo by Can Pac Swire)

 

 

The City Council approved and on Tuesday Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a package of bills that includes a one-year moratorium on new licenses for for-hire vehicles while the Taxi and Limousine Commission studies the fast-changing industry.

 

City Council also voted to set a minimum driver wage equivalent to the yellow cab wage for app-based drivers.

 

"The City is sending a clear message: we’re putting hardworking New Yorkers ahead of corporations," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "The City Council has spoken boldly, and now we can act. We are taking immediate action for the benefit of more than 100,000 hard-working New Yorkers who deserve a fair wage, and halting the flood of new cars grinding our streets to a halt."

 

Supporters of the bills said both the traditional yellow cab industry and drivers for app-based services are suffering as Uber and Lyft cars flood New York streets.

 

In 2015, 25,000 ride-hailing vehicles were licensed in the city. Today, there are about 80,000 such vehicles.

 

The explosion of ride-hailing services has come at a time of increasing congestion on New York streets and falling wages for taxi, livery and black-car drivers. There are about 13,500 yellow cabs in the city and about 32,000 livery and traditional black cars.

 

Backers of the measures said the growth of ride-hailing apps has worsened traffic congestion in the city.

 

Council Member Stephen Levin introduced the bill which requires the Taxi and Limousine Commission to study and decide whether to adopt regulations on the number of for-hire vehicle licenses New York City issues.

 

"In a just a few years," said Levin, "the number of for-hire vehicles in our city has increased dramatically, snarling traffic and sparking a race to the bottom where all drivers are struggling to make more than poverty wages."

 

"An average of 2,000 additional vehicles hit the streets every month while drivers already spend nearly half their time with empty seats," Levin said.

 

During the one-year study, no new for-hire vehicle licenses will be issued, with an exception for wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

 

Another bill, sponsored by Council Member Brad Lander, would require the Taxi and Limousine Commission to set minimum payments to for-hire vehicle drivers for trips dispatched by high-volume for-hire services.

 

"I’m proud that my bill to make New York City the first major U.S. city to establish a minimum pay standard and living wage requirement for Uber and Lyft drivers is part of the City Council’s much-needed legislative package on for-hire vehicles," Lander said.

 

He gave "Huge thanks to the courageous for-hire drivers for organizing tirelessly and ringing the alarm bell on driver pay."

 

The city's more than 100,000 taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers drivers support the new limits on ride-hailing vehicles.

 

The nonprofit New York Taxi Workers Alliance says at least four drivers have killed themselves since December in response to mounting financial pressures, as ride-hailing apps take fares that were once theirs. Other taxi drivers, some of whom are losing their houses, are homeless today.

 

Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said, “This victory belongs to yellow taxi, green cab, livery, black car, Uber and Lyft drivers who united together in our union to transform our shared struggle and heartbreak into hope and strength. The legislation passed by City Council didn't just set a precedent for our city, it set a precedent for the entire world."

 

Taxi drivers welcome the measures, but ride-hailing companies warn a cap on the number of new cars picking up fares will lead to higher fares and reduced service to the outer boroughs: Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

 

Joseph Okpaku, vice president of public policy for Lyft, told the "Wall Street Journal," that, "These sweeping cuts to transportation will bring New Yorkers back to an era of struggling to get a ride, particularly for communities of color and in the outer boroughs."

 

Complained Uber spokesperson Danielle Filson, "The city’s 12-month pause on new vehicle licenses will threaten one of the few reliable transportation options while doing nothing to fix the subways or ease congestion."

 

 

 

By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

www.ens-newswire.com

August 20, 2018

Body scanners to detect weapons and explosives that could cause a mass-casualty event will be the new normal on the Los Angeles subway system shortly, as L.A. becomes the first U.S. mass transit system to install the scanners.

 

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Thruvision allows a user to see the automatic weapon concealed under this man's clothing.
(Photo courtesy Thruvision)

 

The devices can detect both metallic and non-metallic objects, such as plastic explosives, 3D printed guns and ceramic knives, on a person's body from 30 feet away, according to Thruvision, the UK-based company making the scanners.

 

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority says the devices are capable of screening more than 2,000 passengers an hour without slowing their progress through the subway station.

 

"We're dealing with persistent threats to our transportation systems in our country," David Pekoske, who heads the U.S. government's Transportation Security Administration, told the Associated Press. "Our job is to ensure security in the transportation systems so that a terrorist incident does not happen on our watch."

 

Thruvision technology unobtrusively detects concealed weapons, explosives and contraband hidden under peoples’ clothing in crowded environments such as airports and train stations.

 

Based on imaging research work by the UK's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the European Space Agency, Thruvision is a people-screening camera that allows a user to see any type of item hidden in clothing at a distance greater than five meters.

 

The scanners can screen up to four people simultaneously in a way that Thruvision says treats travelers in a "safe and respectful way."

 

"We're looking for explosive vests, we're looking for assault rifles," Alex Wiggins, who runs the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's law enforcement division, told the AP. "We're not necessarily looking for smaller weapons that don't have the ability to inflict mass casualties."

 

Wiggins said the scanners would be deployed only after employees and police officers had been trained on their use. Thruvision calls them "intuitive and easy for security staff to use."

 

The scanners are moveable from place to place. The company says this enables flexible, mobile deployment as part of a "pop-up security screening approach."

 

By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

www.ens-newswire.com

August 17, 2018

Millions of Egyptian commuters will benefit from the rehabilitation of the Cairo Metro, the major means of public transport in Egypt’s capital city.

 

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A train leaves Mar Girgis metro station on Line 1 in Cairo, Egypt (Photo by Aslan Media)

 

The funding is coming in the form of a €205 million loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

 

The money will finance urgent works on Line 1 - the oldest of the Cairo underground lines, which remains the backbone of the system and is used by 500 million customers per year.

 

The Cairo underground transport system currently consists of three lines, with a fourth under construction. Line 1 is 42.5 km long and has 33 stations.

 

Investments will increase the line’s capacity by 40 percent by reducing the time between trains from 3.5 minutes to 2.5 minutes, thereby improving levels of safety, comfort and service reliability. The project will also introduce on-the-job training opportunities for young people.

 

The EBRD loan will be complemented by a €350 million loan provided by the European Investment Bank and a €50 million loan from Agence Française de Développement.

 

Traffic congestion in Egypt is estimated to cause an economic loss of up to US$8 billion a year. Used by over 2.4 million passengers a day, the metro is vital for Cairo as it is one of the main means of public transport in a city of approximately 17 million people. The ongoing rapid growth in traffic congestion causes massive disruption to businesses and to people’s lives.

 

The investment will also help introduce an enterprise resource planning system, an asset-management and cost-accounting module to be used by the metro operator ECM. The system will introduce modern and efficient asset-management practices and provide a comprehensive tool for system optimisation and performance improvement.

 

The approach aims to improve the quality and level of public transport services in Cairo and the surrounding areas through targeted investment in various transport modes and through a set of reform measures.

 

The EBRD will promote greater sustainability and efficiency of metro services while supporting the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy through reductions in CO2 emissions.

 

The Bank will also work with the Egyptian authorities to increase private sector participation in urban transport.

 

Funded by the SEMED Multi-Donor Account and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund, technical cooperation activities will accompany the range of phases of the Line 1 project.

 

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been a country of operations since 2012. To date, the Bank has invested over €4 billion in 84 projects in the country.

 

The EBRD’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, and manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, transport, and municipal water and wastewater services. The Bank has also provided technical assistance to more than 700 small and medium-sized local enterprises.

 

By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

www.ens-newswire.com

August 13, 2018

Last year, bike sharing surged in China, with dozens of bike-share companies flooding city streets with millions of brightly colored rental e-bikes.

 

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Abandoned e-bikes in Beijing, China (Photo courtesy European Bicycle Manufacturers Association)

 

 

Electric bicycles are a primary means of commuting in China because of their light weight, speed, and low maintenance costs.

 

 

But even so, the industry's rapid growth outpaced demand. Chinese cities, where infrastructure and regulations were not prepared for millions of shared bicycles, were overwhelmed.

 

 

Riders would park bikes anywhere, or just abandon them. So unwanted bicycles piled up as waste, blocking streets and alleys.

 

 

One of the first reactions in many Chinese cities has been to seize shared bikes that were vandalized or illegally parked. Cities impounded thousands of derelict bikes. Giant piles of impounded, abandoned, and broken bikes punctuate the street scenes of many big cities.

 

 

As some of the companies who jumped in too early folded, their surplus bicycles ended up collecting dust in vacant lots.

 

 

Cities have tried to regulate bicycle waste. Many including: Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou banned the addition of more shared bikes. Nearly 30 Chinese cities have passed regulations to guide bike-sharing production, operation and maintenance.

 

 

In the wake of multiple scandalous discoveries of piles of used Ofo and Lime rideshare bikes in China and the United States, the Basel Action Network (BAN) and its e-waste recycling program, e-Stewards®, are calling on all bicycle and scooter rideshare companies, and the city governments that license them, to establish responsible end-of-life policies.

 

 

The Seattle-based advocacy group says this will ensure maximal reuse and safe and responsible recycling for those bikes and scooters that cannot be reused in their original form.

 

 

"These bikes when scrapped are actually a form of electronic waste," said BAN Founder and Director Jim Puckett.

 

 

"On the one hand, even the non-motorized bikes contain hazardous lithium-ion batteries and toxic circuit boards. On the other hand, they can be refurbished for children or used for transport in developing countries."

 

 

"If that is not possible," PUckett said, "the parts such as GPS units, electric locks, motors, and wheels can be harvested. For both their value and their toxicity, these bikes should not just be treated as garbage or scrap metal."

 

 

Puckett said Monday that developing countries could be “hit by a tidal wave of electronic and plastic waste” if they don’t move to ban the import of such waste by ratifying an international agreement called the Basel Ban Amendment.

 

 

This change to the Basel Convention<www.basel.int/>, an existing treaty agreed by 194 countries, would make it illegal to export hazardous and electronic waste from developed countries, such as those in the European Union, to poorer states.

 

 

The Basel Action Network says most e-waste from North America and Europe is exported to Asia - to Hong Kong, and increasingly to Thailand and Pakistan.

 

 

Brunei, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka have ratified the  Basel Ban Amendment, but Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have not.

 

 

By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

www.ens-newswire.com

August 10, 2018

180 000 voitures électriques et hybrides rechargeables ont été vendues en Europe au premier semestre, d’après le cabinet d’études Jato Dynamics. Ce chiffre en hausse de 43 % ne couvre toutefois que 2 % des immatriculations sur le continent.

 

 

zoe-test-image-002.jpg.ximg.l_full_m.smart.jpg
« La Renault ZOE 100 % électrique annonce sa mue pour 2019 avec une autonomie augmentée».
Source : Renault

 

 

Certes la voiture électrique n’est pas au point mort mais elle est encore loin de passer la surmultipliée, en dépit des incitations et des efforts des constructeurs pour valoriser leur offre alternative.

 

Sur les six premiers mois de 2018, il s'est en effet vendu en Europe 180.000 voitures à batterie lithium-ion (dont 85.500 entièrement électriques et 94.500 hybrides rechargeables), selon des données obtenues par Les Echos.fr auprès du cabinet Jato Dynamics. « Pas de quoi bouleverser le marché, alors que les constructeurs comptent sur les voitures à batterie pour atteindre les objectifs CO2 assignés par Bruxelles », commente la journaliste Annie Feitz dans son article du 2 août intitulé « Les ventes de voitures électriques restent marginales. »

 

« On aurait pu s'attendre à des chiffres plus élevés », convient Felipe Munoz, analyste chez Jato. « La chute du diesel, qui s'est effondré en un an de 46 à 37 % des ventes, a avant tout été compensée par la hausse de l'essence, notamment sur les grands marchés européens, l'Allemagne, la France, le Royaume-uni, l'Italie, l'Espagne... ».

 

En France,  les ventes de voitures 100 % électriques ont atteint 14 381 unités entre janvier et juin (contre 13 555 sur la même période en 2017, soit + 6,09 %), auxquelles s'ajoutent 6 495 hybrides rechargeables. Le total de 20 876 représente une hausse de 16 % par rapport à 2017 et une part de marché de 1,7 % alors que la filière auto table sur 150.000 ventes de véhicules électriques en 2022 rappelle Les Echos.fr

 

La Renault ZOE (8 007), la Nissan LEAF (2 248) et la BMW i3 (644 en 100 % électrique, 1 258 avec range-extender) sont les modèles les plus immatriculés sur la période. En juin 2018, 859 véhicules utilitaires électriques ont été immatriculés, soit une hausse de + 61,16 % par rapport à 2017.

 

La faible progression du marché du véhicule électrique interroge

 

En Europe, la part de marché V.E de Renault est de 21,9% avec ZOE et Kangoo Z.E., qui détient 38% du marché du véhicule électrique utilitaire. Concernant Nissan, les ventes de la nouvelle LEAF s'élèvent à 47.000 dont 18.000 en Europe où elle est devenue le véhicule électrique le plus vendu. Mitsubishi Motors reste leader du marché des SUV hybrides rechargeables grâce aux ventes de Outlander.

 

Pour Cécile Goubet, Secrétaire Générale de l'Avere-France, il faut redoubler d'attention : « Bien que les immatriculations de véhicules particuliers électriques repartent à la hausse depuis avril, la faible progression sur l'ensemble du premier semestre questionne. C'est le moment d'appuyer sur l'accélérateur : l'offre de véhicules s'étoffe, le réseau de recharge s'agrandit, les aides pour compenser le surcoût doivent être maintenues. Il faut impérativement poursuivre nos efforts pour que la mobilité électrique devienne une solution naturelle pour le grand public, afin d'assurer la transition vers une mobilité plus propre ».

 

Par Didier ROUGEYRON, journaliste

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is considering the issues raised by the possibility of flying cars in U.S. skies and late last month held the first congressional hearing on the topic, called "Urban Air Mobility - Are Flying Cars Ready for Take-Off?"

 

FlyingCarTerrafugia.jpg
Terrafugia's Transition® production vehicle, a unique two-seat automotive vehicle and  light sport aircraft.  The Transition is built
for both aviation and automotive safety to comply with Federal Aviation Administration
and National Highway
and Traffic Safety Administration standards.
Plans are for the first production vehicles to come to market in 2019.
(Photo courtesy Terrafugia

 

 

Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican, is excited about the possibility. "For decades, flying cars have been the object of our imagination. They represent aspiration, innovation and the freedom of exploration," Smith said in his opening statement.

 

 

"Several weeks ago," Smith said, "I was walking on the Mall and noticed a boy operating a remote-control flying car—the first one I’ve ever seen. I immediately sent off for one and flew it recently with a young friend. It exceeded my expectations. In fact, I liked it so much that I ordered one for each of our witnesses today and for all the Members who attend this hearing."

 

 

Advances in lithium-ion battery technology, computing power and electric propulsion are providing companies with the tools they need to turn science fiction into science fact, he said.

 

 

One company, Terrafugia, says that their two-seat auto and aircraft vehicle could be available as soon as next year. It’s called the Transition® and can drive like a car, fit into a standard garage, and be flown in and out of over 5,000 local airports.

 

 

The Transition will drive in hybrid mode, using a combination of an internal combustion engine and a lithium iron phosphate battery, proven to be much safer than other lithium battery chemistries, some of which are liable to catch fire.

 

 

Terrafugia CEO Chris Jaran says, “We are at the critical point where we can implement the best design features based on years of flight and drive testing. This will improve function, safety and aesthetics for the optimal flying and driving experience."

 

 

Smith told the Committee hearing, "Uber has a bold timeline to make air-based on-demand transportation available to the public in five years. Companies like Bell are working to design and build the vehicles that will operate on the network envisioned by Uber."

 

 

Top Democrat on the Committe Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas said flying cars are coming sooner than we think, "Many companies believe that we are on the threshold of revolutionary changes brought about by a new generation of vehicles," she said.

 

 

A National Academies study found in 2014 that increasingly autonomous aircraft “pose serious questions about how they will be safely and efficiently integrated into the existing civil aviation structure."

 

 

A fully autonomous aircraft would not require a pilot but would be able to operate independently within civil airspace, interacting with air traffic controllers and other pilots just as if a human pilot were on board and in command.

 

 

Challenges include accurately predicting the behavior of systems that can adapt to changing conditions, resolution of regulatory and certification requirements, and new safety regulations so flying cars can safely operate in the airspace above cities. A major challenge will be integrating UAM operations into the national airspace. 

 

 

Eric Allison, head of Aviation Programs for Uber Technologies, Inc., told the House panel about Uber's flying car program, Elevate.

 

 

"Elevate is our future uberAIR product that aims to allow anyone to push a button and get a flight. To achieve this, we are developing a real-time, on-demand network of air vehicles to deliver time savings to riders on a massive scale," said Allison.

 

 

"We are developing uberAIR because we believe aerial ridesharing has the potential to radically improve urban mobility. Every year, millions of hours are wasted in traffic on roads worldwide," he said. "...moments stuck on the road represent less time with family, fewer hours growing our economies, and more money spent polluting our world."

 

 

Said Chairman Smith, "I look forward to the day when I can take off in a flying car."

 

 

By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

www.ens-newswire.com

August 6, 2018

The Trump administration proposed Thursday to freeze national automobile fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for model year 2021-2026 passenger cars and light trucks. Opponents, including 19 states' attorneys general, have already filed a lawsuit to block the proposal.

 

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General Motors developed the all-electric Bolt, in part, to meet the demand for fuel efficient cars fueled
by the need to comply with federal regulations setting a strict national fuel efficiency standard.
This Chevrolet Bolt EV is parked at the South Coast Botanic Garden on the Palos Verdes Peninsula,
California. June 13, 2017 (Photo by Tracie Hall)

 

On August 2, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a notice of proposed rulemaking, to "correct the national automobile fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards," the agencies said in a joint statement.

 

 

But this appears to be a solution in search of a problem. At present, the auto industry is on track to meet or exceed the clean car standards at issue.

 

 

Still, the two agencies are seeking public comment on a wide range of regulatory options. Their preferred alternative locks in Model Year 2020 standards through 2026, providing a time-out from further increases.

 

 

The agencies’ preferred alternative reflects a balance of safety, economics, technology, fuel conservation, and pollution reduction.

 

 

Trump administration officials expect that if the rule is adopted  it will "...prevent thousands of on-road fatalities and injuries as compared to the standards set forth in the 2012 final rule."

 

 

"There are compelling reasons for a new rulemaking on fuel economy standards for 2021-2026," said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

 

 

"More realistic standards will promote a healthy economy by bringing newer, safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles to U.S. roads and we look forward to receiving input from the public," said Chao.

 

 

"We are delivering on President Trump’s promise to the American public that his administration would address and fix the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards," said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. "More realistic standards can save lives while continuing to improve the environment. We value the public’s input as we engage in this process in an open, transparent manner."

 

 

In 2010, the EPA and the NHTSA, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and automakers established a national program harmonizing greenhouse gas emission standards and fuel efficiency (CAFE) standards. In 2012 the agencies extended the program to model years 2017-2025 vehicles.

 

 

As part of the program, California and the federal agencies agreed to a mid-term evaluation to determine if the  standards for model years 2022-2025 vehicles should be maintained or revised. In January 2017, the EPA affirmed the existing standards were appropriate and would not be changed. CARB confirmed this opinion in March 2017.

 

 

On April 13, 2018, however, the Trump administration took the first step toward dismantling the national program when the EPA alleged the federal greenhouse gas standards for model year 2022-2025 vehicles were no longer appropriate.

 

 

Leading a coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia, Governor Brown, Attorney General Becerra, and CARB filed a lawsuit against the EPA on May 1 over this action.

 

 

Instead of adopting maximum feasible standards to increase vehicle fuel efficiency, as federal law requires, rather than addressing the pressing threat of climate change as the Clean Air Act mandates, the administration is moving to freeze the standards at the 2020 level through model year 2026, the California officials argue.

 

 

They are also riled up because the Trump administration is proposing to withdraw the waiver granted to California more than five years ago for California’s own greenhouse gas emissions standards and its successful zero-emission vehicle programs.

 

 

This is an unprecedented and unlawful action that the California officials say, "...flies in the face of congressional intent and would aggravate the harms to consumers, public health, the economy and the environment caused by the weakening of the federal standards."

 

 

The administration proposal also would block the many other states that use California standards from moving forward.

 

 

But Republican members of Congress support the Trump proposal. South Dakota Senator John Thune, who chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, said, "The SAFE Vehicles proposal offers the public an important opportunity to consider new information about the safety realities of smaller and lighter vehicles in collisions as part of a more informed conversation about achievable fuel economy standards."

 

 

General Motors said in a statement, "We are encouraged the proposal includes provisions that would recognize the environmental benefits of new technology developments such as the increased use of electric vehicles, autonomous and related technologies."

 

 

The public will have 60 days to provide feedback once published at the Federal Register.  Details can be found at NHTSA’s website www.NHTSA.gov/SAFE and EPA’s website.

 

 

 

 

By Sunny Lewis

Environment News Service (ENS)

www.ens-newswire.com

August 3, 2018