California Considers New Rules for Ride-Hailing AV’s.
California has adopted an Autonomous Vehicle Passenger Service Pilot Project. There are two ongoing pilot projects: one in San Ramon run by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and one in Dublin run by the Livermore Amador Transit Authority. The Dublin pilot was suspended for a brief time. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is also considering new rule to cover AV fleet services and is involved in consultation with interested parties before it proposes rules on this topic. The CPCU had solicited comments/consultation on the following topics: (1) passenger safety; (2) considerations of environmental justice in the regulations; (3) types of ride sharing information that should be considered; and (4) regulation of emissions. More information on this CPUC initiative can be found here. The summary of the parties who commented on matter can be found here.
China Announces Subsidies for Falling Sales of EVs during Pandemic.
China is proposing to provide future subsidies for Chinese manufacturers of EVs given the slump in auto sales caused by the pandemic. However, interestingly the announcement stated that the promised subsidies originally would not cover Telsa and its manufacturing plant in China. (Cite to EENEWs article date April 27, 2020) However, Tesla cut prices so that the Model 3 qualifies for the subsidies.
Ford and Rivian Cancel Plans for an Electric SUV.
Rivian and Ford jointly announced plans to discontinue the manufacture of an all-electric SUV. Although Ford is exiting the joint SUV project with Rivian, it is still planning to introduce the Mustang Mach-E, as previously announced.
New Battery Breakthrough to EV’s.
Researchers announced in a recent issue of Nature Communications, a revolutionary breakthrough in battery technology that could substantially reduce the “range anxiety” of current EV owners given the uncertainty about charge left before they arrive at a charging destination. The new technology uses software to more accurately predict the amount of charge remaining in current battery technology. Zhang, Y., Tang, Q., Zhang, Y. et al. Identifying degradation patterns of lithium ion batteries from impedance spectroscopy using machine learning. Nat Commun 11, 1706 (2020).