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ICE lobby strikes out against car emissions standards

REnew Economy, 31 May 2018
Australia’s car industry lobby has launched a major new kick-back against car emissions standards being proposed for light vehicles in Australia, underscoring the uphill battle the nation faces in the shift to electric vehicles. The Murdoch papers on Thursday reported dire warnings from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries that an emissions standard being “actively considered” by the Turnbull government would take some of the nation’s highest selling cars out of the market.

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Preliminary report on Uber’s driverless car fatality shows the need for tougher regulatory controls

The Conversation, 29 May 2018
The US National Transportation Safety Board has released a damning preliminary report on the fatal crash in March between a cyclist and a driverless vehicle operated by Uber. The report does not attempt to determine “probable cause”. Nevertheless, it lists a number of questionable design decisions that appear to have greatly increased the risks of a crash during the trial period.
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‘No thought’: EPA boss slams oBike rollout amid new crackdown

The Age, 30 May 2018
Bike share company oBike will be hit with hefty fines of $3000 for each dumped or damaged bike it fails to collect within a certain timeframe under a crackdown announced by the Environmental Protection Authority on Wednesday. The head of Victoria’s environmental authority has slammed the dockless bike share company for the way it entered the Melbourne market, declaring tough new regulations will send a clear message to the Singaporean-based oBike that it needs to “lift its form”.

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Why there will be no new petrol cars sold in Australia by 2027

REnew Economy, 28 May 2018
Much of the public and media commentators fail to pay full attention to the transportation disruption the world is about to go through, many consider it’s going to happen but believe the change will be very slow, a 30 to 50 year process is the general opinion. Well here’s my prediction: by 2027 there will be no sales of new 100 per cent internal combustion engine vehicles (ICE) in Australia.

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Plain sailing: how traditional methods could deliver zero-emission shipping

The Conversation, 28 May 2018
On May 10, the 43.5-metre schooner Avontuur arrived in the port of Hamburg. This traditional sailing vessel, built in 1920, transported some 70 tonnes of coffee, cacao and rum across the Atlantic. The shipping company Timbercoast, which owns and operates Avontuur, says it aims to prove that sailing ships can offer an environmentally sustainable alternative to the heavily polluting shipping industry, despite being widely seen as a technology of yesteryear.
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Australia imports almost all of its oil, and there are pitfalls all over the globe

The Conversation, 24 May 2018
Australia’s fuel security is far more precarious than we might realise. Not only do we not have the internationally mandated 90-day stockpile, but the ongoing closure of Australia’s refineries means we are on track to be 100% reliant on imported petroleum by 2030.
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A 100% renewable grid isn’t just feasible, it’s already happening

REnew Economy, 23 May 2018
The ongoing debate around whether it’s feasible to have an electric grid running on 100% renewable power in the coming decades often misses a key point: many countries and regions are already at or close to 100% now.
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Let’s get moving with the affordable medium-speed alternatives to the old dream of high-speed rail

The Conversation, 14 May 2018
More than half a century has passed since high-speed rail (HSR) effectively began operating, in Japan in 1964, and it has been mooted for Australia since 1984. I estimate that the cost of all HSR studies by the private and public sectors in Australia exceeds $125 million, in today’s dollars. But the federal government is now less interested in high-speed rail (now defined as electric trains operating on steel rails at maximum speeds of above 250km per hour), and instead favours “faster rail” or medium-speed rail.
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Making cities more dense always sparks resistance. Here’s how to overcome it.

Vox, 5 May 2018
Urban density, done well, has all kinds of benefits. On average, people who live in dense, walkable areas tend to be physically healthier, happier, and more productive. Local governments pay less in infrastructure costs to support urbanites than they to support suburbanites. Per-capita energy consumption is lower in dense areas, which is good for air pollution and climate change. Plus, dense, walkable areas tend to be buzzy and culturally vibrant. There’s a reason they are often so expensive to live in — lots of people want to live there. Demand exceeds supply.

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Will Australia turn to EVs to address poor fuel security, or ignore them?

REnew Economy, 7 May 2018
The Australian federal government has announced a long-awaited review of the country’s precarious transport fuel security – focusing on liquid fuels such as petrol, diesel and jet fuel. But it is not clear how much the prospects of electric vehicles will be taken into account by the government study into Australia’s fuel security, which has less than 50 days reserves, little more than half the recommended level.

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