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Tesla’s moment of truth is almost upon us

The Age, 14 March 2016
“This year and next year will be critical”. That’s what Denver based portfolio manager Brandon Geisler, from $US6 billion ($8 billion) fund manager Marsico Capital, told me on a recent visit to Sydney about Tesla Motors, a company he happens to be intimately familiar with. Gesiler and Marsico have been visiting Tesla since before its initial public offering in 2010, and there were early shareholders in the business.
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PM advances Badgerys Creek Airport rail link to opening day

Crikey, 11 March 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s announcing that the Sydney West airport at Badgerys Creek will be rail ready on its opening is a signal that public transport is one of his policy commitments that hasn’t been hand braked by the coalition’s conservative power brokers. But apart from advancing the rail service from somewhere beyond 2050 to 2025 when the terminal is intended to be jet ready his saying it will have a four track station box built into its foundations was old news.
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Melbourne mayor’s plan to ban cyclists on three city streets ‘unprecedented’

The Guardian, 15 July 2015

Victoria’s largest bicycle group has slammed a Melbourne city council plan to stop cyclists using three major CBD streets. “This shift in view by the lord mayor is quite odd,” Bicycle Network’s Chris Carpenter said. “Banning bike riders on specific streets would be an unprecedented move and would set Melbourne back years in terms of liveability.”
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Melbourne bicycle plan ‘ambitious but achievable’

The Guardian, 11 March 2016
Every fourth vehicle coming into Melbourne during peak hour in 2020 will be a bicycle under a plan that has been branded “ambitious but achievable” by cycling groups. The City of Melbourne bicycle plan, released on Thursday, aims to increase the number of cyclists in the city each morning from 12,000 to 20,000 in four years by promoting the network of bike paths, improving connections to bike paths along major cycling routes, and physically separating bike lanes from motor vehicle traffic.

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Uber’s plans to get more people into fewer cars

TED talk, February 2016
Uber didn’t start out with grand ambitions to cut congestion and pollution. But as the company took off, co-founder Travis Kalanick wondered if there was a way to get people using Uber along the same routes to share rides, reducing costs and carbon footprint along the way. The result: uberPOOL, the company’s carpooling service, which in its first eight months took 7.9 million miles off the roads and 1,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the air in Los Angeles. Now, Kalanick says carpooling could work for commuters in the suburbs, too. “With the technology in our pockets today, and a little smart regulation,” he says, “we can turn every car into a shared car, and we can reclaim our cities starting today.”

The solution to London’s airport capacity crisis? Do nothing

The Conversation, 12 December 2015
London’s Heathrow airport is currently operating at 98% capacity – and the rest of London’s airports are set to be full by 2040. The debate over how to address this problem has been raging for years – but a workable solution has yet to be found. Several strategies have been considered to help free up more space for air traffic – there have been proposals for an extra runway at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted, or even a brand new airport in the Thames Estuary. Following an independent report by the Airports Commission in July 2015, Heathrow was recommended as the best candidate for expansion, with a new northwest runway to cater for an extra 35m passengers per annum.

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Should we be building new rail lines up in the air?

Crikey, 3 March 2016
It would be a pity if the “Sky Rail” brouhaha in Melbourne over removal of level crossings were to damage the potential use of elevated rail for totally new rail lines in all Australian cities.
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Managing excessive car use: what’s the low hanging fruit?

Crikey, 2 March 2016
A study of urban form in the US concludes that increasing the density of population and employment is a slow and difficult way to significantly reduce car use compared to directly pricing driving.
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Half Of New Cars Could Be Electric By 2040

Huffington Post, 25 February 2016
Electric vehicles could make up half of all new car sales by 2040, as long as oil prices eventually increase, according to a study released Thursday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The cost of the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles is quickly decreasing, but sales suffered last year as oil slid below $30 per barrel, making gas-guzzling vehicles more affordable in the United States. If oil remains at rock-bottom prices, it could delay electric vehicles from becoming mainstream for at least the next four years.
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Google’s Driverless Car Hit A Bus In California

Huffington Post, 29 February 2016
Google said on Monday it bears “some responsibility” after one of its self-driving cars struck a municipal bus in a minor crash earlier this month. The crash may be the first case of one of its autonomous cars hitting another vehicle and the fault of the self-driving car. The Mountain View, California-based Internet search leader said it made changes to its software after the crash to avoid future incidents.

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