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Posts from the ‘Road transport’ Category

‘Disgrace’: 2,000 trucks receive defect notices in police crackdown

The Guardian, 2 February 2018
A police crackdown on truck safety across Australia has resulted in 2,000 vehicles being issued with defect notices and 26 drivers testing positive for drugs in less than 24 hours. The operation, which police said was the biggest so far, follows a spate of truck crashes in New South Wales that killed five people in two days last month. Police in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT were deployed in the large-scale truck safety crackdown on Thursday, dubbed “Operation Rolling Thunder”.

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Australia debates value of electric vehicles while China pushes ahead

Sydney Morning Herald, 27 January 2018
When Hong Dan, 26, bought her first car six months ago, the choice to go electric was simple. First, in pollution-conscious Beijing, getting a licence plate for an electric car is easier than a petrol car.
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PG&E to install 7,500 electric car charging stations for apartments, offices

San Francisco Chronicle, 17 January 2018
Apartment dwellers who would like to buy an electric car often can’t, for a simple reason: They have no place to charge. Even if their building has parking — a big “if” in San Francisco — their landlord may be reluctant to let them install an electricity-guzzling charger on the building’s account. Beginning Wednesday, a new Pacific Gas and Electric Co. program will try to solve that problem, although the solution won’t work for everyone.
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Charge: India in ambitious drive for all cars to be electric by 2030

The Times, 8 January 2017
Facing a lobby group of Indian carmakers last autumn, Nitin Gadkari did not mince his words. “We should move towards alternative fuel,” the transport minister told his audience. “I am going to do this, whether you like it or not. And I am not going to ask you. I will bulldoze it.” It turns out he is driving a bulldozer with a turbo-charged electric engine. The government has declared that India, set to be the world’s third largest car market within five years, will sell only electric vehicles by 2030.
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‘They are sending a signal’: China halts production of 500 car models

WA Today, 3 January 2018
China is suspending the production of more than 500 car models that do not meet its fuel economy standards, several automakers confirmed Tuesday, the latest move by Beijing to reduce emissions in the world’s largest auto market and take the lead in battling climate change.
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Driverless cars could be better or worse for our health – it’s up to us

The Conversation, 2 January 2018
Driverless cars – autonomous vehicles – are coming. The topic is a constant presence in media; The New York Times Magazine recently devoted most of an issue to it. The technological imperative is strong: if we have the technology, we have to use it. The economic imperative is even stronger. Many industries see big dollar signs. Governments want to be somewhat cautious, but they don’t want to be left behind. The sales pitches are becoming clear: driverless cars will free drivers to do other things; driverless cars will reduce congestion because they can travel closer together; driverless cars will create massive economic opportunities. We are also told driverless cars will be much safer, because human error causes more than 90% of crashes.
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Oliver Schmidt jailed for seven years for Volkswagen emissions scam

The Guardian, 7 December 2017
A senior Volkswagen executive was sentenced to seven years in prison by a US court on Wednesday after being found guilty of concealing software used to evade pollution limits on nearly 600,000 diesel vehicles. Oliver Schmidt, a German national who was the general manager in charge of VW’s environmental and engineering office in Michigan, had pleaded guilty to his part in the cover-up and argued he was “misused” by VW in its attempts to circumvent US emissions tests.
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Delay in changing direction on how we tax drivers will cost us all

The Conversation, 27 November 2017
The federal government announced a year ago that it would review the charges imposed on drivers for using our roads. That review hasn’t yet happened. They should get on with it, because reforming the way we charge road users will make our economy more productive and our cities more liveable. The longer we wait, the harder the path to those improvements becomes. The problem with the present system is that there is only a weak link between what motorists pay and the costs they create when they use roads. The amount motorists pay for registration, for example, does not vary with the amount of time they spend on the road, let alone how long they’re stuck in traffic jams.

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City-wide trial shows how road use charges can reduce traffic jams

The Conversation, 23 November 2017
Road congestion in large Australian cities is estimated to cost more than A$16 billion a year. Economists have long argued the best way to improve traffic flow is to charge drivers for their contribution to road congestion. We have now analysed data collected from 1,400 drivers across Melbourne to see whether road user charging can change their behaviour in ways that ease congestion. And the answer is yes.
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Electric cars’ green image blackens beneath the bonnet

Financial Times, 8 November 2017
The humble Mitsubishi Mirage has none of the hallmarks of a futuristic, environmentally friendly car. It is fuelled by petrol, runs on an internal combustion engine and spews exhaust emissions through a tailpipe.But when the Mirage is assessed for carbon emissions throughout its entire lifecycle — from procuring the components and fuel, to recycling its parts — it can actually be a greener car than a model by Tesla, the US electric vehicle pioneer, in regions with particularly high carbon emissions from electricity.
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