San Joaquin regional transit district opens first 100% electric, zero-emissions bus rapid transit route in the U.S.

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Stockton, California – San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) will convert its existing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Express Route 44 to 100 percent battery-electric, zero-emissions buses in August.  That BRT route will be the first in the U.S. to feature all-electric bus service.   The BRT buses were designed and built by California-based Proterra, a leading innovator in heavy-duty battery-electric transportation.

At the time of the conversion, Route 44 will be extended to serve passengers from the Downtown Transit Center (DTC) in Central Stockton to as far south as Qantas Lane near Arch-Airport Road.  The change will enable people who work or study at locations such as PG&E, Dorfman Pacific, Venture Academy, San Joaquin County Office of Education, and the Economic Development Department Qantas Lane office, to commute rapidly and economically.

“We at RTD are proud of our history of commitment to clean energy initiatives,” said Donna DeMartino, RTD’s CEO.  “With the nation’s first all-electric BRT route, RTD and Stockton are now leading the charge in providing safe, efficient, reliable, and exceptionally clean transportation to people who live and work in south Stockton.”

The benefits of using electric buses include:

  • Cleaner air
  • Quieter operation
  • Reduced maintenance cost

Electric buses can travel up to 40 miles or 2 hours on a charge.  The RTD charging stations take about 10 minutes to completely recharge a bus.

The price of each bus is approximately $850,000.  RTD received grant funding to cover the cost of the new electric buses.

RTD will launch a second all-electric BRT route in January 2018 along the MLK corridor in South Stockton.  That route will connect with RTD’s existing three BRT corridors.

BRT routes move passengers to desired destinations faster than other types of bus routes.

In further support of RTD’s commitment to its clean air initiatives, RTD’s Board of Directors passed an official resolution to declare its intent to convert to 100 percent electric, zero emission buses for all routes serving the City of Stockton by 2025.

About San Joaquin Regional Transit District:
RTD’s mission is to provide a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation system for the region.

About Proterra:
Proterra is a leader in the design and manufacture of zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles, enabling bus fleet operators to significantly reduce operating costs while delivering clean, quiet transportation to local communities across the United States. With more than 400 vehicles sold to 41 different municipal, university, airport and commercial transit agencies in 20 states, Proterra is committed to providing state of the art, high-performance vehicles to meet today’s growing market demand. The company’s configurable Catalyst platform is capable of serving the full daily mileage needs of the toughest transit routes on a single charge. With unmatched durability and energy efficiency based on rigorous U.S. certification testing, Proterra products are proudly designed, engineered and manufactured in America, with offices in Silicon Valley, South Carolina, and Los Angeles.

Via: Proterra

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US Tire Manufacturers Association asks Department of Commerce(DOC) to exclude certain types of steel from tariff investigations

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The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) is investigating the national security implications of steel imports, and the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) has testified consumers, as well as the U.S. military, depend on tires and the availability of certain imported steel is critical.

The USTMA, the new name for the Rubber Manufacturers Association, has asked that specific types of tire cord-quality steel wire rod, tire cord and bead wire be excluded from the DOC tariff investigation since domestic suppliers cannot meet volume and quality needs for this vital tire component.

“Tire manufacturing is vital to the U.S. economy,” testified Tracey Norberg, USTMA senior vice president and general counsel. “Tires manufactured by USTMA members safely transport millions of Americans and millions of tons of goods each day throughout the United States. In addition, the U.S. military depends on the tire manufacturing industry to supply tires to protect our national security.”

Virtually all of the steel wire rod used to manufacture high tensile tire cord and bead wire that is consumed in U.S. tire manufacturing plants is sourced from foreign suppliers due to the stringent performance and quality requirements of tire manufacturing, as well as quality and supply limitations of domestic steel wire rod suppliers.

“A disruption in tire manufacturing in the U.S. would harm the U.S. economy, since consistent tire supply is critical to the nation’s shipping and commerce needs, and (it would) threaten national security, since the U.S. military relies on the tire industry to provide high performing and durable tires to aid in our national defense,” Norberg said.

President Donald Trump in April ordered the DOC to investigate whether steel imports were a threat to U.S. national security. While anti-dumping and countervailing investigations are common, The Washington Post reported that investigations studying the connection to national security are quite rare.

Norberg said the production process used by domestic steel mills is unable to manufacture tire cord-quality steel wire rod necessary to make tires for military and civilian applications by domestic tire producers. Tire manufacturers use this steel wire in a tire’s steel belts and in the bead.

“Tariffs or quotas on these products would significantly disrupt the production of tires in the United States, due to quality and supply limitations in domestically producing tire cord-quality steel wire rod to replace imported products,” Norberg said.

Read her complete testimony here.

Source: Link

Carbon Pollution Standards for Cars and Light Trucks to Remain Unchanged Through 2025

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WASHINGTON — EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy finalized her decision to maintain the current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for model years 2022-2025 cars and light trucks. The final determination finds that a wide variety of effective technologies are available to reduce GHG emissions from cars and light trucks, and that automakers are well positioned to meet the standards through model year 2025 at lower costs than predicted.

“My decision today rests on the technical record created by over eight years of research, hundreds of published reports including an independent review by the National Academy of Sciences, hundreds of stakeholder meetings, and multiple opportunities for the public and the industry to provide input,”  said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  “At every step in the process the analysis has shown that the greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and light trucks remain affordable and effective through 2025, and will save American drivers billions of dollars at the pump while protecting our health and the environment.”

The standards are projected to result in average fleet-wide consumer fuel economy sticker values of 36 miles per gallon (mpg) by model year 2025, 10 mpg higher than the current fleet average.  Since the first year of the GHG standards, manufacturers have been developing and adopting fuel economy technologies at unprecedented rates.  At the same time, the American car industry has been thriving.  Since 2010, the industry has had seven consecutive years of sales growth, with 2016 setting a record high for vehicle sales. The Administrator is retaining the current standards to provide regulatory certainty for the auto industry despite a technical record that suggests the standards could be made more stringent.

Retaining the current standards preserves the significant cuts in harmful carbon pollution expected from the original standards, and provides regulatory certainty for this global industry that must meet similar standards in other markets including Canada and Europe.
The Midterm Evaluation process was established as a part of the 2012 final greenhouse gas emissions standards for model years 2017-2025. This decision follows the Proposed Determination issued by the EPA Administrator in November 2016, and the Draft Technical Assessment Report, issued jointly by the EPA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in July 2016. The Administrator considered the extensive public input on both these documents in reaching her final determination.

For more information on the announcement, go to: https://www.epa.gov/regulations-emissions-vehicles-and-engines/midterm-evaluation-light-duty-vehicle-greenhouse-gas-ghg

Source: EPA News Releases; Link

Current job openings at 3D mapping company Civil Maps

Civil Maps is an autonomous driving technology enabler. The company leverages augmented reality, 3D mapping, global positioning system, machine learning & artificial intelligence to enable self driving cars.

Civil Maps provides self-learning cognitive perception systems that replicate human context to enable machines to perceive, orient and respond to the physical world. Learn more about the company at civilmaps.com.

Open Positions

1 Director of Finance/Operations – Albany, California

Job Description:

You will:
Make a significant contribution to finance by working with a close knit team of founders, operations, finance, sales, and other business stakeholders. You will own finance and accounting at Civil Maps and leverage financial insights to inform management and sales. In addition to running venture capital and venture debt financing processes, you will serve as investor relations and own market research, news events, and the competitive landscape. You will identify, implement, and realize operational improvements, systems integration’s and optimizations to empower to the team to achieve business goals. The successful candidate will have experience in pricing strategy and two-sided markets and the ability to share that vision with leadership.

You have:

  • 10+ years of professional experience in finance or technology, at least 5 of which were at a tech startup
  • Client facing experience, communicating complex technical or financial information including investment banking, sell-side or buy-side research, and/or management consulting
  • Expertise in two-sided markets
  • Experience gathering, synthesizing and analyzing financial forecasts
  • Experience modeling company performance
  • Expertise in sales pricing and pricing strategy
  • Experience in financial analytic’s
  • Venture fundraising experience

Click here to apply for this job.

2 Software Engineer Back End – Albany, California

Job Description:

You will:

Work on some of the most exciting problems in the autonomous vehicle industry. Civil Maps is looking for a developer to manage its backend infrastructure. You will be interacting with a completely custom-made distributed computing framework, handling terabytes and petabytes of machine vision data, and millions of requests from robotic platforms.

In our interdisciplinary teams, you will get acquainted with the many facets of 3D map creation: data collection, geospatial registration, feature extraction, auditing.

Come work on novel challenges, learn and grow while helping Civil Maps achieve on-demand perception of the world around us.

You have experience in:

  • Point Cloud Processing
  • Image Processing
  • APIs, Web services
  • Databases (mongo)
  • Linux, Bash
  • Scaling
  • Unit tests, automation, validation
  • AWS
  • JS, Node, Python, React is a plus
  • Security (SSL protocols and data encryption, user authentication and authorization services)

Click here to apply for this job.

For more details visit the www.civilmaps.com/jobs

BOOK : A luxury vehicle subscription service by Cadillac

Within three months of taking the corner office at Cadillac, Johann de Nysschen announced plans to move the brand’s longtime headquarters from Detroit to New York.

Why did he do it? De Nysshen had been hired to reinvent General Motors’ struggling luxury brand, and to achieve that goal, he wanted to put Cadillac smack in the middle of the city that he called “the epicenter of sophisticated living”.

Put another way, de Nysschen wanted to make Cadillac elite, so he took it to where the elites live.

Yesterday, de Nysschen announced a new program that could boost Cadillac’s profile even further. It’s called BOOK. (It’s so upscale, it’s all uppercase.)

Changing needs

These are exciting times in the auto industry. Car companies around the globe are working night and day to replace gasoline engines with battery packs and to develop software that can handle driving duties.

But many in the field are predicting a bigger shift–one that could ruin conventional automakers and put upstart start-ups on top. That shift is away from individual car ownership and toward car-sharing and ride-sharing.

Smart automakers are already trying to gain a foothold in those areas. For example, Toyota has invested in ride-sharing behemoth Uber, while General Motors has done the same with Lyft. GM has also created its own car-sharing service called Maven, which allows users to borrow vehicles from a GM-owned fleet for errands and other short trips.

That’s where BOOK comes in.

What is BOOK?

At heart, BOOK is a car-sharing service, but it’s far tonier than Maven, RelayRides, or their competitors. With BOOK, users are given a Cadillac to use as they please, for as long as they please.

Users can pick from a range of vehicles to suit their needs: a sleek sedan for a weekend roadtrip, a spacious SUV for a jaunt to an antique mall, and so on. The service will launch with a fleet that includes Platinum-trim Cadillacs like the XT5, CT6, Escalade, and V Series.

BOOK users request those vehicles via a mobile app. And since this is Cadillac we’re talking about, the cars arrive in style. According to the automaker, “The vehicles will be delivered via white-glove concierge to members’ requested locations and exchanged at their leisure or as their needs change.”

Of course, this kind of service ain’t cheap. Using BOOK runs a tidy $1,500 per month, which covers unlimited use of the car, as well as registration, taxes, insurance premiums, and maintenance. However, you’ll still have to fill up the tank, and you’ll need to find a place to park the vehicle. If you’re in an urban area–as many BOOK users are likely to be–parking could easily add $500 or more per month. That’s especially true in New York City, where BOOK will first launch.

Will BOOK help put Cadillac on equal footing with leading luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz? Will it lay the foundation for a solid future, giving Cadillac a leg-up in the evolving sphere called “mobility”?

We have no idea, but if you’re ready to sign up, check out the promo video above, then take a spin over to BOOKByCadillac.com.

The article is originally written by Richard Read in The Car Connection

ChargePoint Now Offers 30,000 Places to Charge an Electric Vehicle — ChargePoint News

ChargePoint, the world’s largest and most open electric vehicle (EV) charging network, today announced the activation of the 30,000th charging spot on its network. The leader in the EV charging market, ChargePoint is building the infrastructure for the future of transportation and changing the way drivers think about refueling by allowing EV drivers to charge…

via ChargePoint Now Offers 30,000 Places to Charge an Electric Vehicle — ChargePoint News

How it all started: The conception of Toyota Prius

On January 16, 1992, the Toyota Motor Corporation announced the Earth Charter, a document outlining goals to develop and market low emission vehicles.

In September 1993 Toyota R&D Executive Vice President Yoshirio Kimbara created G21, a committee to research cars for the 21st century. On February 1, 1994, the first official meeting of the G21 project team took place. The team determined the goal of G21 is to create a car that is resource and environmentally friendly while retaining the benefits of modern cars. The development effort was led by Takehisa Yaegashi, who was tasked with building a car that bridged the gap between electric and gasoline powered vehicles.

In 1994, Toyota executive Takeshi Uchiyamada was given the task of creating a new car that would be both fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. In late 1994, the G21 team designed a concept car with a hybrid engine for the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. The vehicle was named “Prius,” the Latin word for “prior” or “before.” It was shown on October 27, 1995. In late 1996, test driving began.

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1996 Prius Prototype . Image source Wikimedia Commons

After reviewing over 100 hybrid designs, the engineering team ultimately settled on a continuously variable transmission (CVT) design based largely on a 2000 TRW patent application, but many technical and engineering problems had to be solved within the three years that the team was given to bring the car to the Japanese market, a goal they barely achieved as the first Prius went on sale in December 1997. One major problem was the longevity of the battery, which needed to last between 7 and 10 years. The solution the engineers came up with was to keep the battery pack between 60% and 40% charged, proving to be the “sweet spot” for extending the battery life to roughly that of the other car components. A Toyota spokesperson stated that “Toyota chose this name because the Prius vehicle is the predecessor of cars to come.”

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Battery pack from second generation Prius

Initially, in December 10 1997, first Prius went on sale in the domestic market that is Japan. At the time of launch, first generation Prius, was the world’s first mass produced gasoline-electric hybrid car. Later in 2001, more powerful version was introduced in United States Of America.

The Prius is sold in over 90 markets, with Japan and the United States being its largest markets. Global cumulative Prius liftback sales reached the milestone 1 million vehicle mark in May 2008, 2 million in September 2010, and passed the 3 million mark in June 2013. Cumulative sales of 1 million Priuses were achieved in the US by early April 2011,and Japan reached the 1 million mark in August 2011.As of April 2016, the Prius liftback is the world’s top selling hybrid car with 3.73 million units sold.

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First generation Prius
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Second generation Prius
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Third generation Prius
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Fourth generation Prius

 

Source: Wikipedia