(December 21, 2016) Waymo, the autonomous vehicle technology company spun off from Alphabet Inc (a.k.a. Google), has begun talks with Honda around Waymo's self-driving vehicle technology. The initial goal is for Honda to provide test vehicles to Waymo. Clearly the longer-term goal is to see if Honda can use Waymo's technology in future Honda vehicles. The discussions are with Honda R&D, an independent subsidiary of Honda Motor.
(December 21, 2016) ABB is a large international electrical system manufacturer, and among their extensive product line are several high quality fast charging systems. In this case they've developed a fast charger utilizing overhead wires. Unlike the electric buses fully powered by overhead lines, this unit is installed at specific points in the route. During the time the bus is stopped anyway (to give a break to the driver), the bus is fully recharged at 150 kiloWatts. The installation location is at a train station outside Luxembourg City.
(December 16, 2016) In preparation for the Robocar future, GM has begun testing fully autonomous Chevy Bolt's in Warren Michigan. In a few years GM and Lyft are to partner in delivering a fleet of on-demand autonomous vehicles across the U.S. This means the days of having a side job with Lyft (and Uber) are numbered.
(December 13, 2016) The long-awaited Chevy Bolt EV is starting to be delivered, with the first three being delivered through a Chevrolet dealership in Fremont. That dealership has a large solar panel system out front with integrated electric car charging, FWIW. Coincidentally it's located within spitting distance of the Tesla Motors factory also in Fremont.
(December 8, 2016) President-elect Trump's transition team chooses a rabid climate-change denier to destroy the EPA. Their pattern has been to appoint to certain departments or agencies those who've most viciously attacked those organizations. It's looking like the plan is to destroy certain agencies. Of course Presidents Reagan and Bush43 did the same - for example appointing Bolton to be the UN Ambassador.
(November 29, 2016) German car companies, plus Ford Motors, join together to promote a much higher charging rate for DC Fast Charging. So far the highest rate is Tesla's 120+ kiloWatt Supercharger. These companies propose a 350 kiloWatt rate for the Combo Charging System. Doing so would cut charging time to 10 minutes or so for a complete recharge, which would begin to support proper road trips.
(October 6, 2016) Ferry boats, as are used around the world, can be powered by hydrogen fuel cells to dramatically reduce pollution, and the risk of diesel fuel spills. Research by Sandia National Labs show that it's feasible to build and operate a high-speed passenger ferry powered by fuel cells. The study focused on the Red and White fleet operating on the San Francisco Bay that serves commuters every day of the week. The conceptual specification was a ship carrying 150 passengers, with a 50-mile round trip, and at speeds up to 35 knots. Refueling would happen midday while the ships were less busy (outside commute hours). Both the American Bureau of Shipping and the US Coast Guard reviewed the plan and gave a thumbs-up.