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Archive for the ‘EcoVehicles’ Category

According to the Wall Street Journal & Ecogeek.org, the US Congress is considering introducing a “Cash for Clunkers” bill, which would allow people to trade in their old, gas guzzlers, for a government cash voucher that can be used towards the purchase of a more fuel efficient vehicle.  A similar concept has been used in Europe, and has recently been adopted in Germany. There are two potential bills being thrown around on the Hill, one is from Rep. Sutton, and one is from Sen. Feinstein:

According to the WSJ, “Ms. Sutton’s bill would provide buyers vouchers of $3,000 to $5,000 if they turn in cars that are eight years old or older and buy new cars that get at least 24 miles per gallon on the highway or trucks that get 27 mpg (The money could also be used for mass transit.),… Sen. Feinstein’s bill, [would] provides incentives of $2,500 to $4,500, [and] the “clunker” could get no more than 18 miles per gallon, ( The new car would have to exceed fuel-efficiency standards for its class by at least 25%).”  Another difference, is that “Ms. Feinstein’s bill wouldn’t cover vehicles that cost more than $45,000, while Ms. Sutton would cap the new car’s price at $35,000.”

I LOVE this idea, and actually wanted to try and propose the concept to our state legislature. This type of program has ENORMOUS potential to both reduce gasoline demand, as well as reduce emissions significantly since a 14 year old vehicle produces 19 times more smog-forming emissions than a 2004 or newer model (Link).

Nonetheless, if I were to introduce the bill, I would take a slightly different approach. I would write the bill as follows: Buyers will receive a voucher of $4,000 to $5,000 if they turn in a vehicle that is either older than 10 years old, or, gets a maximum fuel-economy of 18 mpg, and if the buyer purchases any vehicle that gets at least 36 mgp that costs less than $40,000. Maybe this is just a number game, but I like thinking that for every car sold under this program, you get the emissions reduction and reduced fuel demand equivilant to taking two of the turned cars off the streets. I also like the idea of keeping the price point low, to act as an indicator for car companies where they should be aiming with their new fuel efficient vehicles.

Now, we should be doing something like this for the clunker trucks at the Port of LA too!

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Want to know what the City is up to? Well, sometimes it’s best to look at what the city is trying to buy. A couple weeks ago, the city of Los Angeles put this RFI (Request for Interest) up on their Business Assistance Virtual Network – basically, the site they post open business contracting opportunities: LINK

Here is the description: PUBLIC BICYCLE-SHARING PROGRAM FOR LOS ANGELES

“The City of Los Angeles, Department of Transportation is soliciting Letters of Interest from bicycle vendors/manufacturers, public transportation contractors, advertising companies, and other entities interested in developing, installing, operating, and maintaining a bicycle sharing program for the City of Los Angeles.”

I look forward to seeing their proposed locations, and seeing the project move forward.

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While not focused on LA, I thought this was an interesting article worth highlighting nonetheless. It’s an article that appeared in the SF Chronicle today discussing the application of London style congestion pricing in SF. It’s title, “SF is not London” , might clue you in on its position :).

Still, I think it brings up many good points, and highlights some big challenges that we would face here in LA as well should we choose to go forward with more congestion pricing/tolling strategies.

Worth the read: LINK .

Great graphic as well: 

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Be sure to check these vehicles out. It looks like they are working on developing a tesla like sports car, a mini-van, and a JEEP! I almost can’t believe it. LINK They call their electric vehicles program ENVI, pronounced “envy.” Kind of a cheesy name, but may be appropriate, in that if I can’t get one of them it might be the first time I’m envious of a Chrystler owner 😉 The best part of all of this, is that they are working to get one of these vehicles into show rooms by 2010!

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Check it out! Very cool! Although I’m a bit dissapointed to see that they’ve pushed back the vehicles introductory year to 2011. Is there really no way they can get them out by 2010?

http://www.popsci.com/cars/article/2008-09/2011-chevy-volt-unveiled

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G.M. at 100: Is Its Future Electric? – NY Times (Me Wanty a Volt!)

Tapping Power From Trash (Of the landfill/methane sort) – NY times

Products derived from natural, nontoxic ingredients — once seen as fringe — are now mainstream. – LA Times … Commentary: This movement, in my opinion, is a bi-product of the internet revolution (a connection rarely talked about). With consumers having greater access to information, as well as products from around the globe, consumers can be more selective, and quickly learn about the benefits of one product over another. Instead of going to the local store to buy whatever they’ve decided we should be buying, we can go online, and buy products with almost perfect information. So when we have two computers for the same price, one that requires a ton of energy, and one that is energy efficient, (or one that polluted the earth in it’s assembly more than another) the consumers choice is simple. While this commentary is maybe outside the scope of this article, I think it is important to keep our eyes open as to the broader impacts on consumer activities in the internet age. I wonder, what will be next? Will we eventually revisit the “buy local” or made in the USA craze from the 80’s? Increased product customization? Only buy from companies who practice “responsible” corporate policies? Only use banks that avoid subprime lending markets? It should be interesting…

Federal inquiry could delay clean-trucks program at ports of L.A. and Long Beach – LA Times

Palin asks Schwarzenegger to veto fees aimed at cutting pollution at California ports – LA Times

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Registration is open for the National NGV (Natural Gas Vehicle) Conference-Summit, taking place October 4-5 in San Diego, California, just prior to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Annual Meeting and Expo. Themed “GEAR UP! Capture the Momentum,” this year’s Conference-Summit will bring together clean-air/clean-transportation customers and advocates plus NGV industry stakeholders and policymakers, to strategize on the steps necessary to capture the current market momentum for NGVs and generate sustained growth in the future. For more information, and to register, click here

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