Next-Gen Transportation informs us the US has officially set a fuel efficiency mandate of 54.5 mpg by 2025. The national fuel-efficiency standards will apply to passenger cars and light trucks. The 54.5 mpg goal will make 2025’s vehicles nearly twice as fuel-efficient as they are today. U.S. consumers will save more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, and U.S. oil consumption will decrease by 12 billion barrels. Canada Free Press responds that the new higher fuel standards can only mean more expensive cars in future.

Vietnam is considering banning cars in the center of cities says Eco-Business.

The US state of Massachusetts has started opening E85 refueling stations reports Convenience Store Decisions. E85 is a blend of 85 ethanol and 15% gasoline or diesel. According to the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition, there are more than 2,400 E85 ethanol-fueling stations in the U.S.

The Vancouver Sun advises us to get ready for cars that listen, talk and act like a smartphone. “Voice recognition and other high-tech features are expected to become far more mainstream in the months and years ahead, as automakers race to outdo each other and tap into consumer demand for an app-inspired, always-connected lifestyle on the road.” The 12 meter (40 foot) bus has a maximum range of 250 km (155 miles) for city driving.

Meanwhile, CNBC tells us the legislature of the US state of California has approved self-driving cars. If signed by Governor Jerry Brown, the legislation will allow driverless cars on California freeways. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles would have the task of determining the standards for self-driving cars, rules which current do not exist under the present vehicle code. Business Insider notes For $10,000, You Can Own A Self-Driving Car Today.

China’s BYD is testing all-electric buses in Denmark reports autoevolution. Two BYD electric buses will enter service in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, where the local transport company, Movia, will test their feasibility for helping the city reach its goal of being the world’s first zero-emissions capital city by 2025.

FINCHANNEL posts the German city of Münster introduced its first hybrid bus line this week. Münster is the largest city in Germany without a railbound municipal transport system. The Mercedes-Benz Citaro G BlueTec diesel-electric hybrid buses are to be used primarily on high-demand and high-frequency routes, including a route running directly through the city center across one of Münster’s main tourist attractions, the Prinzipalmarkt.

India wants 7 million electric cars by 2020 we hear from Green Chip Stocks. This week India’s National Council for Electric Mobility announced a new plan that calls for between six million and seven million electric vehicles by that date. Funding will also be available for developing additional power generation and attendant infrastructure to charge batteries.The author has his doubts this target can be met. See also The Times of India Govt maps road for electric vehicles and In 8 years, electric vehicles need Rs 12,000 crore subsidy.

The Jakarta Globe lets us know that Indonesia wants to start building EVs in a big way. The Indonesian government has set a target of mass producing 10,000 electric automobiles in 2014. The industry is currently developing production technology for the vehicle by studying the designs of electric automobiles in other countries. Indonesia gets its electricity from burning coal.

The Christian Science Monitor tells us which US cities are the most electric-car friendly. The list is led by Portland, Oregon and Dallas, Texas-based on an EV infrastructure survey by PlugShare. “With 11 charging stations per 100,000 residents, Portland, Oregon comes first, followed closely by Dallas, Texas, with 10.6 charging stations per 100,000 residents.”

Wheels weighs the pros and cons of current options for EV transport. The post looks at the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Fisher Karma and the Tesla-S.

IBNLIVE reports that electric cars will be racing in a new Formula 1 series called Formula E. The Formula E championship will start in 2014 and involve 10 teams and 20 drivers. Emerging market inner cities are being targeted for the races. A prototype vehicle developed by Formulec, a French maker of electric racing cars will be offered to the teams for the 2014 year. It is a two-gear machine that runs off lithium-iron batteries and weighs 780 kg. The EV has a maximum speed of 220 km per hour and an acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in three seconds. It can run for 25 minutes before needing charging, meaning drivers will have the use of a second car to complete the one-hour race.

The Cayman islands in the Caribbean have passed legislation allowing for electric cars to operate on its roads within the next month according to cayCompass.




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