Wednesday, January 2

Eco Delivery Trucks v NHTSA

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While the oilygarchy here prevents solutions - olde Europe has leaped ahead of us in bringing zero emissions EVs to market, with a combination of great new legislation like London's congestion charge and also just plain sensible CO2 regulating rules from their version of the NHTSA: ECE Rules. The ECE Rules are actually designed to deliver clean green transportation. Especially in the SUV and truck category, we need their ECE vehicles. Now even more than ever with the final energy bill protecting gasguzzling trucks and SUVs as it does from CAFE requirements.

Modec is a British company making 50 mph EV delivery trucks that don't as they say cost the earth and that go 100 miles between charges, in the UK a big food chain, Tesco prefers EVs like Modec's over Hybrids for deliveries.

A winery here in Napa has managed to import a Modec as a "show" vehicle. No doubt they are not allowed to drive this on the streets and frighten the natives. Modec says on their website that they get like 25 calls a weeek from the desperate trucking companies in the US, and they might just open a factory in the US for making and selling these here.

I see they will be showing today at the Anaheim EV Show Dec 2-5 . Both this company and Smith Electric Vehicles have brought their non gas commercial vans and trucks to show here, and a more timely show I can't imagine, with the final energy bill being voted on this week.

The UK's Smith Electric Vehicles could be just what your organic deliveries should come in. (And everything else) It would appear that Starbucks uses these EV's overseas. Smith appears to be also willing to jump the NHTSA wall to attempt production and sales in the US like their fellow UK company Modec. One sure hopes so. In December their first US-built vehicles will begin production at Fresno, California (1000 in year one, and several times that in year two when a new 250,000sq.ft US factory is finished)according to rumours at green car congress.
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Did your city sign Kyoto? Does your company want to go green? These two commercial EVs from the EU are worth checking out as a serious zero emmissions alternative. Today through Wednesday, if you are in southern California, this is a show you really should take your green fleet manager to, and anyone else who wants to see any of these other EV's displaying at the Anaheim Show.

The cave-in to Bu$hCo on separate truck and -trickedout truck- SUV mileage standards on the energy bill is sad, (yesterday A Siegel broke the news that BushCo gets to keep the separate and lower standard for SUVs and trucks in return for our Dems demand for higher average mileage: 35 mpg by 2020) but consider what the Dems are up against. Sit through just one committee hearing video, and tell me you could go to work day after day with all these GOP flatearthers. It can't be done. So lets us suggest another bill, in addition to the energy bill. Be sneaky. Lets simply rewrite the NHTSA import restrictions.

... the main effect of NHTSA's regulatory activity is to protect the US market for a modified oligopoly consisting of the three US-based automakers and the US operations of foreign-brand producers. It has been suggested[7] that the impetus for NHTSA's seeming preoccupation with market control rather than vehicular safety performance is a result of overt market protections such as tariffs and local-content laws having become politically unpopular due to the increasing popularity of free trade. This has driven US industry to adopt less visible forms of trade restrictions in the form of technical regulations different but demonstrably not superior to those outside the US.

The low carbon vehicles they are making over there would all then be available over here, most importantly the EVs. Adopting ECE Rules could be sold even to the dittoheads as the Tear Down This Wall Act
Even dittoheads are desperate to cut gas use. (sorry I can't find the actual video)
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ECE conforming vehicles could be manufactured under licence in Detroit, and the Southern states that are in thrall to the oil and gas industries. We can head off the problems of imports like clever China, which buys wind turbines only if they can be manufactured locally.

Peter Lilienthal at NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), we could see a 42 percent average reduction in national CO2 emissions by a switch from gasoline cars to electric vehicles (all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids) recharged by our existing utility grids. It is important to note that such progress could occur even with power generation that mostly uses fossil fuels. Upgrading the Grid to more renewable energy sources, especially where emissions from power generation is greatest due to older coal burning systems, would have an even greater impact.

Heres some other examples of what the ECE Rules have resulted in. Europe has hundreds of fuel efficient car choices, while we have two. Commercial vehicles like delivery vans and trucks, even fewer.

In Italy, the Micro-Vett Fiat Doblo EV sells a variety of EV SUVs and trucks that your community center needs, that travel at freeway speeds and with ranges from 100 - 200 miles. If we adopted the ECE rules these would be legal here. What a simple way for cities that signed the Kyoto Accord to meet the emission standards!

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and your city green fleets need this for the city landscapers:
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But they are not available under NHTSA in America.

These EV options are surely much better for us than 22 mpg truck/SUV models from the good ol boys in the oil business. While they have been saved in this energy bill from having to exert themselves, we could now do an end run around them by simply adopting the European rules for trucks and SUVs in a separate bill.

This tiny EV designed in China, that turns on a dime (watch it park!) thanks to a novel diamond shaped wheel pattern, could be just what the iPOD generation drives...but not in the US.

The Chinese company Jiangsu Xinri Electric Vehicle Co is building a factory large enough to make over five million EVs a year but not for the US market protected by the NHTSA.

The Smart is available as an EV in Switzerland, but not in the USA under NHTSA standards.
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Of course, it is the EV trucks and SUVs we will really have to adopt the ECE Rules to get. Under the cave-in we in the US are more prone to, we are allowing the flatearth society to dictate continuing special exemptions for trucks and SUVs, so they will still get some measly 22 mpg or so.
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But cars will be different. Cars will need to make up for the low standards being kept for trucks and SUVs in order to average out at 35 mpg, per the new energy bill. GMs Volt is on its way to becoming a reality. (Still, you need to weigh in on their resistance to CAFE at the GM blog)

A little Korean company making the Parade, a Korean SUV EV is possibly attempting to jump the wall into the US market, since they quote the price in US dollars:

Parade will be offered at a MSRP of around US $20,000, far less than all other electric vehicles available today. The Parade features safety and comfort, including dual airbags and climate control, not offered by other automanufactures.

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But that is unusual. For the most part ECE companies are not bothering themselves with US voiture needs (ie see this French company's video en Francais about La BlueCar which while unresolved aestheticly, goes 85 mph and has a 125 mile range before recharging)
... because the wall is too high, and we are not worth it. After all the USA has only 300 million people, while Europe alone has a 450 million person economy, and the ECE rules also cover Japan, Australia and New Zealand (which plans a big push in EV imports) and Canada.

...ECE regulations, which have since been adopted by virtually all industrialized countries outside North America. Compared to the ECE regulations, US regulations are fundamentally different in philosophy, content, emphasis, and enforcement protocol. Vehicles conforming to the internationalized (originally European) ECE regulations are allowed or required throughout the entire rest of the world, but such vehicles are illegal in the US because they don't conform to the US regulations.

Of course we don't need to involve NHTSA rules to allow pedicabs, I assume, since they ply the streets of NYC with impunity...
I like this glamourous and elegant pedicab design from Spain. The new simple tech. I had a pedal-car as a five year old. I like the idea, the comfort, directness and also the simply
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of that concept!
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I grew up in a country with severe import restrictions, only 3 million people and 30 million sheep.
Back then, your best chance of a place in that economy was to be a sheep. Its a lonely backward feeling. I never thought I would feel that in my adopted country, but I do. We have become the backward nation, while the real world -sur- passes us by.
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When I see what the rest of the world is creating in response to the greatest design challenge in mankinds history, I feel that left-out feeling again.