GM is at the top of the news this week for unveiling an electric SUV at a price point way lower than its competitors: $30,000.
Meanwhile, Tesla is considering building one of America’s few lithium refining plants and is asking followers on Twitter for suggestions about where to put new Superchargers. Over in Europe Rivian is partnering with Mercedes to develop commercial e-vans. While the Dutch state rail agency reaches a deal with workers to end a recent spate of strikes, its counterpart in Austria unveils an ambitious new generation of sleeper trains that it believes will draw travelers away from planes.
While highway expansion was hardly the main selling point of the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill, it’s predictably where a lot of the money is heading. On the other hand, a little-discussed provision of the much larger Inflation Reduction Act could provide a major boost to clean hydrogen
GM’s $30,000 electric SUV: GM unveils the 2024 Chevy Equinox EV, priced at only $30,000, by far the lowest price for an electric SUV on the market. This comes three months after GM announced it would reduce the price of the Chevy Bolt, making it the first EV on the market for under $30,000. The automaker is betting on establishing itself as the economy EV option while many of its competitors continue to target upper income buyers. Given that low-cost Chinese EV’s will likely contine to be largely shut-out of the US market, this seems like a smart strategy…
The next generation of train travel in Europe: Austria’s NightJet, widely regarded as one of the top providers of overnight rail travel, is out with a new generation of night trains it hopes can offer travelers a compelling alternative to flying. NightJet believes it can draw customers away from airlines by offering greater privacy and comfort at a comparable price.
Rivian and Mercedes team up on e-vans: The two automakers partner to produce electric commercial vans in Europe at a large scale. Although it’s best known for luxury cars, Mercedes has long been a major manufacturer of commercial vans and trucks. Its existing manufacturing operations offer newcomer Rivian a way to quickly become a player in Europe.
Remember Razor? Razor scooters burst onto the scene in the early 2000’s, becoming a popular form of recreation for kids and, perhaps to a lesser extent, a form of urban mobility for teens and adults similar to roller blades or skateboards. Now the company has unveiled a $1,1000 seated e-scooter with room to carry either a second passenger or cargo.
Tesla considers lithium refining plant: The automaker is considering building a new plant on the Gulf Coast –– either in Texas or Louisiana –– where it will “process raw ore material into battery-grade lithium hydroxide” for EV batteries. Currently China accounts for over half of the world’s lithium refining operations, with just 1% in the U.S.
…and wants your advice on where to put chargers: The EV maker asks followers on Twitter to suggest new locations for its Superchargers. The company is rapidly expanding its network of fast chargers and plans to soon open it up to other vehicles. We’d humbly suggest there may be better ways to determine charger locations. As they say, “Twitter is not real life.”
Uber Eats partners with Nuro: Some Uber Eats deliveries to customers in Houston and Mountain View will soon be made by Nuro’s driverless pods. The pods can travel up to 45 mph and can carry up to 500 lbs.
New York lifts mask mandate for transit: Five months after a court struck down a federal mask mandate for public transit and air travel, New York City ends masking requirements for buses, trains, taxis and ride-hailing services. Hopefully this will boost transit ridership, which is much higher now than a year ago but remains well below pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, Uber and Lyft’s stock rose on the news.
Dutch rail workers reach deal to end strikes: Holland’s state-owned rail service, NS Railways, reaches an agreement with the rail workers union after weeks of intermittent strikes. The deal gives employees a pay hike of more than 8%. If that sounds generous, keep in mind that the nation’s inflation rate hit 12% in August.
Addicted to Uber Eats –– as a driver: Writing in Salon, a former Uber Eats driver draws parallels between her relationship with the app and her struggles with substance abuse.
Equestrians vs e-bikes: The San Francisco Chronicle looks at the different e-bike policies governments in the Bay Area have put in place for nature trails. For instance, the Midpeninsula Open Space District, which oversees 65,000 acres of land on the peninsula, has prohibited e-bikes on its trails against the wishes of the great majority of citizens who have commented on the matter. Why? Among other reasons, horse riders who use the trails really hate e-bikes.
America’s insatiable highway appetite: In a new report, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group says that local governments are squandering billions of dollars made available through the bipartisan infrastructure bill on unnecessary highway projects. Included in the report is a nifty map of 65 highway projects around the U.S. that PIRG deems “wasteful or unnecessary.”
The beginning of the hydrogen era? A tax credit included in the Inflation Reduction Act could provide a major boost to the clean hydrogen industry. CNBC looks at how hydrogen is currently being produced and used and the way it could become a major part of combating climate change.
Why an e-bike is better than an EV: Writing in Outside, Joe Lindsey strongly suggests that if you’re thinking about buying an EV, you might want to just get an e-bike instead.
Enjoy the Week in Review? Get it delivered directly to your inbox by signing up for the CoMotion>>NEWS newsletter.