While electric vehicles may seem to be all the rage in the automotive space, Toyota Motor Corporation president Akio Toyoda is pumping the brakes on the idea of an all-in approach.
"People involved in the auto industry are largely a silent majority," Toyoda told reporters during a trip to Thailand, according to the Wall Street Journal. "That silent majority is wondering whether EVs are really OK to have as a single option. But they think it's the trend so they can't speak out loudly."
"Because the right answer is still unclear, we shouldn't limit ourselves to just one option," he said, according to the outlet — during the past few years, he said, he has attempted to communicate this idea to stakeholders in the automotive space, including government figures, but he indicated that his effort had been tiring at points.
"Is there interest in electric vehicles? Yes. Is it more than 10% to 15% of our customer base? No way," said Ryan Gremore, a dealer based in Illinois who owns a number of brand franchises, according to the outlet.
Federal ban on new gas-powered cars? Buttigieg is 'really interested' in California's new regulation
By Chris Enloe The Blaze
September 13, 2022
Could the federal government impose a ban on new gas-powered cars
What did California do?
In late August, the California Air Resources Board approved a new rule banning the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
The regulation does not ban Californians from driving vehicles with internal combustion engines, but it mandates that any new vehicle sold in the state with a model year of 2035 or later must be free of fossil fuel emissions.
What did Buttigieg say?
The transportation secretary told KTTV-TV last week that he is "really interested" in regulations like those in California. In fact, Buttigieg suggested such a policy may be considered nationally.
"It’s interesting to see how the states are trying to go above and beyond what we’re doing at the federal level," Buttigieg told the news station.
"I’m really interested in these developments, while we continue to set a national policy that’s the baseline for all of this. We need to move in the direction of electric vehicles," he added.
The WEF Wants to Reduce Car Ownership by 90 Percent and Nudge People Into Eating Plants and Bugs › American Greatness
By Debra Heine, American Greatness, July 29, 2022
As they push for a global transition to a “green economy,” the World Economic Forum (WEF) is seeking to dramatically reduce both meat consumption, and the number of cars on the road worldwide.
The globalists say steps like eliminating car ownership need to be taken to reduce reliance on critical metals in the coming years.
“This transition from fossil fuels to renewables will need large supplies of critical metals such as cobalt, lithium, nickel, to name a few,” the forum said in a report earlier this month. They added that “shortages of these critical minerals could raise the costs of clean energy technologies,” which include cellphones, electric vehicles, wind turbines and efficient lighting.
Journalist attempts road trip in electric car, ends up spending more time charging than sleeping
By Phil Shiver The Blaze June 7, 2022
Wall Street Journal reporter Rachel Wolfe recently ventured from New Orleans, Louisiana to Chicago, Illinois in a brand-new Kia EV6 to test America's current electric vehicle capabilities and public-charging infrastructure. By the end of her exhausting trip, she said the fumes of gasoline — though particularly expensive at the moment — "never smelled so sweet."
Never again. Well, at least not for awhile, Wolfe would likely say if someone asked her to make a lengthy EV road trip another time.
In a column for the newspaper published this month, the reporter chronicled the difficult journey with all of its pitfalls. It included a shorter range than expected, finicky charging cords, loads of slower-than-advertised charging stations, and large swaths of the country without any "fast" charging stations at all, among other hardships.
In its “Texas Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan” draft released June 12, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) laid out its proposal to create more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the sta
According to the draft, it is “a multi-year plan to enable current and future drivers of EVs to confidently travel across the state for work, recreation, and exploration.”
The idea was conceived after the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law by President Biden in November 2021. The federal law allocated $408 million for Texas to create a network of charging stations.
The White House also stated that, “Texas will also have the opportunity to apply for the $2.5 billion in grant funding dedicated to EV charging in the bill.”
According to their schedule in the draft, TxDOT will submit the plan to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) by August 1, 2022 and, pending approval, will submit their solicitation for charging stations by October 1. TxDOT wants to start awarding contracts to build charging stations in January 2023 and continue for the next five years.
Buttigieg initiative to address racial inequalities in highway systems: 'It's about mending what has been broken'
By Cortney Weil The Blaze June 30, 2022
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has launched an initiative that seeks to redress inequalities created by civil engineering in previous generations.
According to the AP, Buttigieg's Reconnecting Communities project aims to reunify historically black neighborhoods divided decades ago when the interstate highway system was developed and restore the civic pride that comes with safe and beautiful green spaces.
“Transportation can connect us to jobs, services and loved ones, but we‘ve also seen countless cases around the country where a piece of infrastructure cuts off a neighborhood or a community because of how it was built,” Buttigieg said on Thursday.
Read more: Buttigieg: 'Roads are...
GOP opposes 'road diet' including on SA's Broadway
Proponents of San Antonio’s Broadway renovation hope Gov. Greg Abbott will back down on his opposition to lane reductions — a key feature of the project’s multimodal corridor — after the November election.
But transportation activists who’ve supported the governor are seeking to tie his hands on the issue as Abbott heads into a tightening reelection race this fall.
Plank 63 in the 2022 Texas GOP platform, released Wednesday, calls for the party to oppose “anti-car measures,” including ‘road diet’ mandates designed to shrink auto capacity and/or intentionally clog vehicle lanes to force deference to pedestrian, bike, and mass transit options.”
Kerrville conservative activist Terri Hall, whose group Texans Uniting for Reform & Freedom (TURF) fights toll roads and lane reduction projects across the state, pushed for the plank’s inclusion.
The City of San Antonio’s latest plan to bring the Texas Department of Transportation back on board with its plans for the the Broadway corridor appears dead on arrival.
San Antonio submitted an updated proposal for the Broadway renovation that would make some changes to address TxDOT’s concerns with traffic congestion through synchronized traffic signals, consolidated driveways and raised medians to eliminate left turns. The new plan would still include reducing the number of lanes from six to four, something TxDOT has said it won’t consider.
City leaders presented the plan to TxDOT officials, including Texas Transportation Commission Chairman J. Bruce Bugg Jr., on June 14. City Manager Erik Walsh said Tuesday the city hadn’t received a response, but TxDOT later issued a statement reiterating the agency’s opposition to lane reductions.
Electric Car Drivers: Why You Might Not Be Pumped Over Privacy-Jolting Mileage Taxes
By Eric Felten Epoch Times August 3, 2022
The environmental impact of electric cars may still be unknown, but leaders are growing concerned about the threat they pose to the financing of the nation’s highway system. Because freeways and bridges are funded, in large part, through federal and state taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel, the battery-powered future will test whether roads can just be paved with good intentions.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are trying to devise new ways to raise that fuel tax revenue, which in fiscal year 2020 delivered $35 billion to the federal government and an additional $51 billion to state and local governments. But experts say that proposed fixes to the anticipated highway funding shortfall—involving charging drivers for the miles they travel by tracking their movement—pose a significant threat to personal privacy and liberty.
Americans Likely to Be Tracked for CO2 Emissions Under SEC’s New Climate Rule: Consumers' Research
By Harry Lee and Paul Greaney Epoch Times
July 24, 2022
Will your CO2 emissions data be collected and reported to the government in the near future? A consumer rights group said that a new rule proposed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would lay the groundwork for doing so.
On March 21, the SEC proposed a rule titled “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” (pdf). The nearly 500-page rule would require SEC registrants—mostly public companies, investment advisers, and broker-dealers—to report certain climate-related information including their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The GHG emissions are categorized into three scopes. Scope 1 is the registrant’s direct GHG emissions. Scope 2 is its indirect GHG emissions from purchased electricity and other forms of energy. Scope 3 is indirect emissions from upstream and downstream activities in a registrant’s value chain.
How Mass Adoption of Electric Vehicles Will Impact the Power Grid
By Katie Spence Epoch Times
July 28, 2022
In January 2021, the Biden administration announced its plans to transition the United States to 100 percent “clean” electricity by 2035, and to have half of all new vehicles sold be zero-emission vehicles by 2030.
One hundred percent clean energy by 2035 is an ambitious goal, and adding a considerable amount of electric vehicles (EVs) to the country’s power grid is forecast to increase electricity demands substantially.
For example, in 2021, EV sales reached 6.6 million, according to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). And the increase in just light-duty EVs added 1,700 gigawatt-hours in annual energy load to the U.S. electric grid, according to the independent and nonprofit energy research firm Electric Power Research Institute.
Another fatal accident involving an electric vehicle left two Lompoc, California, natives dead last week near Gainesville, Florida.
A 66-year-old female and 67-year-old male inside a 2015 Tesla Model S exited Interstate 75 and entered a rest stop on Wednesday, Fox Business reported. The vehicle proceeded to crash into the back of a parked 18-wheeler, and both people in the Tesla died.
Both a local law enforcement agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are investigating the tragic event, but neither has confirmed whether any of the advanced driver assistance systems were engaged when the crash occurred.
Tesla asks Texans not to charge their car to avoid overloading national grid
By Adam Smith July 14, 2022 The Independent, UK
Tesla has told users in Texas not to charge their cars during a heat wave.
The alert comes as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the state’s grid, is calling on residents to conserve energy – in order to stop the grid being pushed to near-emergency conditions.
“A heat wave is expected to impact the grid in Texas over the next few days. The grid operator recommends to avoid charging during peak hours between 3pm and 8pm, if possible, to help statewide efforts to manage demand”, an in-car alert sent to Tesla owners reads, as reported by Electrek.
Family learns unforgettable lesson when electric vehicle battery suddenly dies, replacement costs more than the car
By Chris Enloe The Blaze July 18, 2022
Climate change advocates push electric vehicles, arguing they help save the planet and save consumers money over time.
But one Florida family just learned that is not always true.
Avery Siwinski, a 17-year-old from St. Petersburg, loved her electric Ford Focus. Her parents spent $11,000 on the used vehicle, a 2014 with 60,000 miles on the odometer. Siwinski described her wheels as "small and quiet and cute."
Then one day, just six months after her parents purchased the vehicle, it suddenly stopped working.
"In March, it started giving an alert," Siwinski told WTSP-TV. "And then we took it to the shop and it stopped running."
Average gas prices in the U.S. reached a new record high Tuesday, according to AAA's gas price calculator.
The national average cost of a regular gallon of gasoline hit $4.523 early Tuesday morning. This topped Monday's record of $4.483, which in turn had beat Sunday's record of $4.470.
The price comes as the European Union edges toward oil sanctions on Russia amid the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine. It also comes amid record-high inflation, with the consumer price index reaching 8.3% in April, hovering near March's 40-year high.
The White House has blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the record-high gas prices in the U.S., even coining the surge as the "#PutinPriceHike" and vowing that President Biden will do everything he can to shield Americans from "pain at the pump."
Biden, last month, announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will allow the sale of E15 gasoline – gasoline that uses a 15% ethanol blend – across the country this summer. Biden has also moved to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next 6 months. The president is also calling on Congress to make companies pay fees on idled oil wells and non-producing acres of federal lands, aiming to incentivize new production.
Yet critics have claimed that Biden's actions on energy policy have created a "supply problem" in the market.
Within his first week in office, Biden signed an executive order temporarily suspending new oil and gas leases on federal lands. The administration resumed the new leasing last month following court challenges against the ban. The administration is appealing a ruling in which Judge James Cain, a Trump appointee, struck down the ban.
OPINION: Proposed Rules Would Put Stops Signs Anywhere, Everywhere Commentary on the upcoming changes to Federal Highway Administration rules that allow placement of stop signs just about anywhere. Part 2 of a series
By John F. Carr The Newspaper.com 04/07/21
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is proposing changes to stop sign rules in the document that regulates these devices, known as the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Based on a report which found all way stop signs are almost never justified, FHWA will create more of them. (View the introduction to this series.)
The rules reflect a naive view of the life of a city traffic engineer. Instead of serving the public too many of them are looking to please their bosses. My town hired a consultant who told them to ignore the MUTCD when it said the stop signs residents wanted weren't needed. If they aren't outright breaking the law they are looking to find any loophole to exploit.
So it's a big problem that the rules allow all-way stop signs "where pedestrian and/or bicycle movements justify the installation of all-way stop control." There is no further guidance. For cars there are specific numbers, but even one pedestrian is enough. Every intersection on every road where pedestrians or bicycles are allowed, or might be found, can have all-way stop signs.
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? The accident threshold for posting all-way stop signs for safety concerns has been lowered from five per year to two per year, which will at least double the number of places they can be posted. Want more?
The way the new rules are worded, stop signs are expected to be posted. Under the old rules stop or yield signs should be posted when needed. Now rules call for engineers to review every uncontrolled intersection and add signs unless it can be proved to be safe without them. My shared driveway is technically a private road subject to the new MUTCD. The fork in the driveway is an intersection. I'm supposed to hire an engineer to tell me my driveway doesn't need stop signs. If I can find one with good insurance. You get sued for not having stop signs, not for having them where they don't belong.
All-way stop signs can also be posted anywhere there is alleged to be deficient sight distance even if there is no safety problem. Here is how it works in practice. City councilors in Waltham, Massachusetts, started ordering stop signs posted where they didn't belong. City engineers were told to find excuses to keep them. They claimed 93 percent of intersections where councilors wanted signs had inadequate sight distance. The councilors were not geniuses. The report was a fraud. I checked the measurements. Sight distance was adequate from where a driver would look for traffic before pulling out. Evidently the city engineers did something like measuring from where the second car back would be, which obviously makes it harder to see. The writers of the rule didn't think to prohibit creative mismeasurement. Great loophole anywhere outside of a corn field in winter.
Under the old rules stop signs were used at busy intersections to equalize traffic flow, but only if an engineer measured long delays on side streets. Under the new rules there is no need to observe traffic operations. If there are 500 vehicles per hour you can drop four stop signs on an intersection that has neither accidents nor traffic jams. Why would you do that? Because the neighbors asked for them.
There is some good news. The new rules flatly prohibit using stop and yield signs for speed control. Think anybody will pay attention?
To reword an old saying: Never attribute to malice what can be explained by mistake. Maybe the people who wrote the stop sign rules made a mistake by assuming good faith on the part of local officials. I'll review the speed limit changes next. For those there is no other explanation but malice.
The speed camera nightmare that's coming to America
By James Fielding, Jennifer Smith, Stephen M. Lepore January 29, 2022 Daily Mail.com
US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's plan to 'promote speed safety cameras' is raising the troubling specter of ubiquitous automated traffic enforcement in the style of the UK, where the cameras are widely despised.
Buttigieg's 42-page road safety plan that was unveiled on Thursday and is backed by $14 billion in funding from the new infrastructure bill contained only brief mention of the speed camera plan, but it was enough to set alarm bells ringing for worried motorists.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson slammed the plan as a misuse of the funds in the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Bill, fuming that 'you're about to get a lot more speeding tickets from robots.'
'When the country applauded $1.2 trillion going to fixing the roads, bridges and buildings, a lot of us were dumb enough to think that's what might actually happen,' he said.
Nonpartisan motorist advocate groups are also against the plan. The National Motorists Association has a top 10 list of why speed cameras are bad, arguing 'they can actually make our roads less safe.'
The Era of ‘the Car You Own Forever’ Is Coming to an End
By Mike Spinelli April 29, 2022 MSN.com
You’ve heard the stories: Irv Gordon’s three-million-mile Volvo; Rachel Veitch had the oil in her Mercury Comet changed every 3,000 miles since 1964; a 102-year-old man drove the same car for 82 years. In the car world, we think of these rare owners as moral heroes. Whatever their reason—sentimentality? Yankee thrift? Obsessive compulsion?—they’ve sacrificed the novelty of the new for a durable relationship. They’ve won a marathon most of us don’t bother running.
I’ve been thinking a lot about long-haul car owners as we race toward a technology inflection that will upend the more than a century-old custom of car ownership. Rather than maintain their vehicles lovingly over decades, the Rachel Veitchs and Irv Gordons of the not-so-distant future—if any might still exist—will be compelled to trade them in for reasons that would have read like science fiction to car buyers of the past.
In essence, it won’t make sense to form a bond with a vehicle that’s not really yours and runs on software someone else controls.
Joe Biden Is Threatening Our Freedom of Movement By Levi Russell May 10, 2022 Real Clear Energy.org
The federal gov’t and silicon valley are looking to clamp down on your freedom of movement. Your ability to move about as you please does not fit with their goals for the future of our world. Automotive-related freedoms, including access to fuel, allow us to be free to move without the permission of silicon valley and the federal government. Automotive freedoms are not only hobby related; they are essential to preventing yet another step along the road to serfdom at the hands of woke corporations and federal bureaucrats.
Biden recently signed into law a requirement that all vehicles produced after 2026 be fitted with a remote kill switch. Electric vehicles are already equipped with this capability via internet-connected “superchargers.” These corporations can sell you a product for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, then prevent you from using them. Worse yet, if the law is not challenged or repealed, these kill switches will have a “back door” that allows government agencies to shut your vehicle off remotely as well.
With conservatives slowly waking up to the reality that corporate managers are not on our side, this should be among our top concerns. Internal combustion vehicles, so far, are free of the sorts of nanny state controls that are standard on electric vehicles, so preserving our access to gasoline and diesel fuel is an absolute necessity
Right to repair is also an important issue. It is not, as some techno-authoritarians claim, a simple matter for tinkerers. Rather, it is a critical component of our ability to maintain freedom of movement. Right to repair ensures that we are able to hire independent professionals to repair our vehicles and other products rather than being forced to pay astronomical prices to manufacturers.
Washington State Democrats have enacted a plan that would aim to ban most non-electric vehicles in the state by 2030.
By Chris Pandolfo March 29, 2022 The Blaze
'Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill last week that sets a target for all vehicles of the model year 2030 or later that are sold, purchased, or registered in the state to be electric.
"On or before December 31, 2023, the interagency electric vehicle coordinating council ... shall complete a scoping plan for achieving the 2030 target," the new law says.
The bill was passed as part of a $16.9 billion "Move Ahead Washington" package signed by Inslee on Friday. The governor said this legislation will combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"Transportation is our state’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. There is no way to talk about climate change without talking about transportation," Inslee said in a statement. "This package will move us away from the transportation system our grandparents imagined and towards the transportation system our grandchildren dream of."
Democrats have frequently criticized transportation as one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there's been a 22.9% increase in fossil fuel emissions from transportation between 1990 and 2019, the largest increase of any economic sector.
The sweeping legislation includes funding for several infrastructure projects designed to facilitate a larger transition to electric vehicles, including building thousands of new electric vehicle charging stations. The transportation package will also fund four new hybrid-electric ferries, 25 transit electrification projects, and free fares for riders 18 and younger on public transportation systems, the governor said.