Tesla-powered trolley spotted charging in Minnesota

October 26, 2017 by  
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Tesla vehicles are the only ones that can charge via a Supercharger , at least at this time. So the sight of what looked like a custom-built orange electric bus charging up at the Oakdale Supercharger station in Minnesota raised a few eyebrows. A battery monitor seemed to show the electric bus actually charging up. Tesla reportedly has talked with other carmakers about utilizing their charging network, but as of this point non-Teslas can’t partake of electricity at Supercharger stations. So the sight of an orange bus charging naturally drew interest. The bus had a Tesla logo on the front, and was equipped with a battery monitor that showed the vehicle drawing power from the Supercharger. Related: Tesla announces plan for world domination: includes trucks, buses, and solar power Electrek said the bus could be equipped with a Tesla powertrain. Internet user Ingineer commented on the Electrek article, saying they did electronics and integration for the bus. Ingineer said the bus is a 1968 Westcoaster “originally built as an EV, but with a 15 mph top speed and lead-acid batteries.” They said now the bus is equipped with a “Tesla pack and drive unit, and a 15,000BTU heat pump.” They said the bus belongs to Minneapolis craft brewery tour company Hoppy Trolley , which shared a picture of the orange bus on their Twitter and Facebook accounts a couple days ago, with the caption, “Teslafied trolley supercharged!” Ingineer said in a comment the orange bus won’t typically utilize Superchargers, and the pictures captured a test. In another comment, they said, “The drive mechanical was done by Concept Motorsports in Grass Valley, California. Tesla component installation, electrical, and software was done in at Ingineerix in Berkeley, California. The final mechanical and Tesla pack installation are being finished by PZ Global Auto in Lino Lakes.” They said the plan was for a large rooftop solar array to generate electricity to help power the trolley. Via Electrek Images via Hoppy Trolley on Twitter and screenshot

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Tesla-powered trolley spotted charging in Minnesota

Dunkirk, France offers free public transit to all

October 26, 2017 by  
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The small coastal city of Dunkirk in northern France is perhaps most famous, at the moment, for its portrayal in Christopher Nolan’s eponymous 2017 film, but it also deserves special attention for its decision to offer free public transit to all. In a move designed to reinforce economic fairness and establish Dunkirk as a sustainable, low-carbon community, Mayor Patrice Vergriete established the city’s inclusive transit policy, which will expand free public transit service to seven days a week starting in September 2018. The policy change, paid for with money that was originally allocated for the construction of a sports stadium, has been successful in increasing and diversifying ridership and could prove to be a powerful model for other cities looking to improve their quality of life and decrease their carbon footprint. When Vergriete first ran for mayor in 2014, he articulated his vision of a diverse, inclusive city that welcomes young people and families, supports the mobility of the elderly, and empowers people with limited economic means , according to CityLab . “I wanted to give back purchasing power to the families,” explained Vergriete on his initial motive. After launching free weekend services, ridership soared, up 30 percent on Saturday and 80 percent on Sunday. When free public transit is fully expanding to an all-week schedule, Dunkirk will be the largest city in France, though not the first, to offer this service. Related: Singapore is banning all new private vehicles from its roads Although the public transit services in Dunkirk may be free to riders, it is not a free ride for the local government, which must fund the service . Vergriete has observed that some are skeptical of the city’s ability to deliver these services without burdening taxpayers. “They think it’s like magic,” said Vergriete. “They think it’s not possible, that you are a liar. You cannot pay the salaries of the drivers, for the buses, with free transport.” In fact, only 10 percent of the public transit’s funding in Dunkirk was paid for with fares, a model that is similarly used in cities around the world , writes CityLab. Since rider fares are already such a small slice of the pie, “mayors should think about making it free,” said Vergriete. “It’s really a choice that we are making to charge.” In addition to support from the regional government’s general budget, the free transit service is primarily funded by a special transit tax on businesses, which was originally raised by Vergriete’s predecessor to pay for an expansion to a local sports arena. “It is a question of political priority ,” said Vergriete, whose administration chose to use that money set aside for a stadium to fund inclusive public transit instead. Via CityLab Images via  Vincent Desjardins/Flickr , Marco Chiesa/Flickr and Depositphotos

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Dunkirk, France offers free public transit to all

London mayor halts orders for Thomas Heatherwick’s double-decker buses

January 5, 2017 by  
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Orders for the much-anticipated redesigned double-decker buses that hit the streets of London in 2011 will be discontinued under Mayor Sadiq Khan. In a money-saving gambit, Transport for London (TfL) stopped orders for the New Routemasters designed by Thomas Heatherwick , on the grounds that they are too expensive. During his campaign, Khan suggested the modern buses manufactured by Wrightbus be discontinued to free up money to freeze fares for four years. Transport for London just confirmed that suggestion in Khan’s first Business Plan : “New capital investment will be reduced significantly as we discontinue purchases of New Routemaster buses. We will carry on investing in the fleet however, by retrofitting 3,000 vehicles with Euro VI standard emission technology by 2020.” Related: London mayor announces plan for two new bike superhighways The New Routemasters were greeted with excitement when they were unveiled in 2010 ; people praised Heatherwick for bestowing a “London look” on the buses. The vehicles boast three doors and two staircases, and succeeded the iconic old Routemaster buses. As the buses jaunted more frequently through the city, Heatherwick said he was glad the bus became “part of London’s landscape and personality.” Passengers did grumble that the buses were too hot, so TfL added windows that could open. Former mayor Boris Johnson bought the first 600 buses for £354,000 each in 2012, and 200 more in 2014 for £325,000 apiece. The New Routemaster buses are hybrid diesel-electric vehicles, but many people now think electric batteries have overtaken the older technology. A spokesperson for the mayor told The Guardian TfL would invest in “a new generation of buses” designed to benefit London’s air quality. The business plan says “a significant number of new green buses will be unveiled” in 2020 or 2021. Via Dezeen and The Guardian Images via Heatherwick Studio

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London mayor halts orders for Thomas Heatherwick’s double-decker buses

Singapore aims for 50% electric vehicles by 2050

July 8, 2016 by  
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Singapore is aiming to increase usage of electric vehicles to help meet emission reduction targets agreed to at the Paris climate talks last December. According to a new electro-mobility roadmap study, the island city-state in Southeast Asia could achieve its goal of 50 percent electric vehicles by 2050 with the right policies in place. The Land Transport Authority-led study carried out by the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University found that increasing the use of electric vehicles to half of all cars on the road by 2050 would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 30 percent compared to a business as usual scenario. As part of the Paris climate agreement, Singapore pledged to reduce its emissions intensity by 36 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. The study, commissioned by the National Climate Change Secretariat and National Research Foundation, states that electrification of vehicles should start with taxis and public buses because taxis get the most mileage per vehicle and buses emit the highest amount of carbon pollution per vehicle. The report notes the importance of integrating renewable energy into the project. According to the National Climate Change Secretariat, by 2030 renewable energy could potentially contribute up to eight percent of Singapore’s peak electricity demand. Related: Japan has more electric vehicle chargers than gas stations The country is launching  an electric vehicle car-sharing program in 2017 with an initial roll-out of 125 EVs and 250 charging stations. The car-sharing program will be developed and operated by BlueSG, a subsidiary of French firm Bollore Group. By 2020, a total of 1,000 electric cars will be available as well as 500 BlueSG stations and 2,000 charging points. Singapore offers carbon rebates for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids that pass tests on CO2 emissions for the electricity generated to charge the cars. “We encourage the use of vehicles that are more environmentally-friendly, including electric cars,” said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament last May when he announced that Singapore will install 2,000 charging points for its electric vehicle car-sharing program. Via Climate Action News Images via Wikimedia and Wikipedia

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Singapore aims for 50% electric vehicles by 2050

What Happened to Los Angeles’ Streetcars?

February 26, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of What Happened to Los Angeles’ Streetcars? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: buses , diesel buses , electric street railway , electric streetcar , end of the streetcar era , expo line , firestone tire , general motors , gold line extension , los angeles metropolitan transit authority , los angeles railway , los angeles streetcar system , low-density land use patterns , metro blue line , metro gold line , metro green line , metro red line , modern streetcar , national city lines , pacific city lines , pacific electric railway , pacific electric red car trolley , personal car ownership , red cars , resurrection of streetcars , standard oil , suburbanization , traffic congestion , westside subway extension , yellow cars        

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What Happened to Los Angeles’ Streetcars?

WRNS Studio’s New Tahoe City Transit Center Collects Snow For Rainwater Harvesting

August 19, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of WRNS Studio’s New Tahoe City Transit Center Collects Snow For Rainwater Harvesting Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: buses , California , Cistern , green transportation , natural ventilation , Solar Power , stone , Sustainable , tahoe , Tahoe City , transit center , water reclamation , Wood , WRNS Studio        

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WRNS Studio’s New Tahoe City Transit Center Collects Snow For Rainwater Harvesting

Freewheelin Pedal-Powered Buses To Provide Transport At 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions

August 17, 2012 by  
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It seems that both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions will have a healthy, fun and green way to navigate host cities during the political events; health insurance company Humana Inc has announced that it will provide 20 people-powered Freewheelin pedal buses for attendees to get around. Read the rest of Freewheelin Pedal-Powered Buses To Provide Transport At 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bus cycle , democratic covention , freewheelin 2012 , freewheelin pedal bus , freewheelin2012 , human powered transport , humana inc , pedal bus , republican convention

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Freewheelin Pedal-Powered Buses To Provide Transport At 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions

Electric Buses Plug In to US Market with New Models, More Bucks

October 25, 2011 by  
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Electric buses in the news from the likes of BYD, Smith Electric Vehicles and Proterra.

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Electric Buses Plug In to US Market with New Models, More Bucks

Cold Bus Commuters Warm Up in Hot Breakfast Ad

January 15, 2011 by  
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Photo via psfk.com Ads are everywhere in the big city. How many of them give you a warm feeling inside and out

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Cold Bus Commuters Warm Up in Hot Breakfast Ad

Conservationists Want Biodiversity, Poor Want Biomass: How Best To Protect Forests?

January 15, 2011 by  
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Corn field alongside roadway . Image credit:By Beatrice Murch, on Flickr , excerpted

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