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ardecila Apr 3, 2014 6:43 AM

There's also a railroad directly connecting Nashville with Murfreesboro, and there's US-41 which is arguably a superior corridor for transit since it has TOD potential. If you're gonna build an elevated viaduct anyway, may as well put it in the right place.

electricron Apr 3, 2014 7:31 AM


Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 6524386)
There's also a railroad directly connecting Nashville with Murfreesboro, and there's US-41 which is arguably a superior corridor for transit since it has TOD potential. If you're gonna build an elevated viaduct anyway, may as well put it in the right place.

I'll agree that would be better, except for the tunnel under the airport's runway. Not sure how to manage around that.

Commuter rail on the paralleling train tracks should be cheaper and easier to do - even if they had to lay brand new track adjacent to the existing freight tracks. It's 33.5 miles between downtown Nashville and Murfreesboro, commuter rail would be a better, cheeper, and faster solution for that distance.

BrennanW Apr 3, 2014 2:40 PM


Originally Posted by electricron (Post 6524395)
I'll agree that would be better, except for the tunnel under the airport's runway. Not sure how to manage around that.

Commuter rail on the paralleling train tracks should be cheaper and easier to do - even if they had to lay brand new track adjacent to the existing freight tracks. It's 33.5 miles between downtown Nashville and Murfreesboro, commuter rail would be a better, cheeper, and faster solution for that distance.

Agreed. I'm thinking Mountain-West style "commuter rail," similar to the CRTA's Red Line. Commuter rail vehicle, track, and 15-30 minute headways a la light rail with many operational aspects drawn from heavy rail. Very much a hybrid solution necessary here. This line would really help Nashville get a leg up on surrounding communities with TOD and drawing in millennials to the city.

Eightball Apr 3, 2014 3:21 PM

More about Nashville transit antis:

Is Effective Transit Possible in a Transit-Hostile City?

amor de cosmos Apr 3, 2014 7:01 PM


GE & Ford Team Up To Provide Electric Car Charging At Ford Facilities Nationwide

Ford is doing a bit more to “walk the walk” when it comes to the electric car transition. Teaming up with GE — something it’s been doing since the founders of the two companies first partnered up — Ford will soon have electric car charging stations (which allow for faster charging than from a normal electricity outlet) at all of its facilities in the US and Canada. GE, which manufactures such charging stations, will be the provider.

“The announcement continues the innovative cooperation begun more than 100 years ago between Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, co-founder of GE,” Ford writes in a press release sent to Planetsave.

“This month, Ford will begin installing GE WattStation™ charging stations across its North American campuses, developing a workplace charging network at nearly every Ford facility in the United States and Canada.”

As far as I know, this will be the first major corporation to have electric car charging stations at all of its facilities. That’s more than 60 offices, product development campuses, and manufacturing facilities. Charging will be free for 4 hours each day for Ford employees. Here’s a bit more on the installation:
Ford is also asking employees to use the MyFord® Mobile smartphone app to collect driving and charging information to help the company understand driving patterns and potentially influence future product design. Ford estimates it will cost about 50 cents to fully charge each vehicle**.

Ford’s WattStation charging station installation differs from other workplace charging installations in that the units will be networked together. As a result, the company will be able to gather comprehensive information on electrified vehicle use, such as the number of hours vehicles are charging and the amount of carbon dioxide reduced. It can then use actual station data to plan for additional station installations.


Nissan LEAF Crushes Competition In March Electrified Vehicle Sales
by Zach
on April 3, 2014

The Nissan LEAF almost set a new monthly sales record in March, ending just 22 sales short of its December sales total at 2,507. Nonetheless, it was enough to crush the competition. The Chevy Volt ended the month with 1,478 sales, which happens to be the exact same number as it had in March 2013.

Compared to previous months, the Toyota Prius Plug-in had pretty stellar month at 1,452 sales. Based on a Tesla Model S forecast announced by Elon Musk and crew during Tesla’s last financials call as well as a European delivery estimate, I projected that Tesla delivered 1,267 Model S’s in the US to come in at #4.

The only other electrified vehicles that I think are really worth noting when it comes to sales are the Ford Fusion Energi and Ford C-Max Energi, which had 899 and 610 sales.

If you look at EV sales by brand, Nissan comes out on top by far despite only offering one EV (2,507 sales), followed by Ford (1,686), which is barely ahead of GM (1,667) and Toyota (1,525). Tesla rounds out the top five with its estimated 1,267 deliveries.


Lithium Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles Will Surpass $26 Billion in Annual Revenue by 2023
April 2, 2014

Nearly all new EV models will use lithium ion technology, report concludes

The steady increase in sales of electric vehicles (EVs) has led to advances in EV batteries, particularly those using lithium ion (Li-ion) technology. While early hybrid vehicles featured nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, Li-ion batteries have taken over, particularly in the latest generation of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Click to tweet: According to a new report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from Li-ion batteries for EVs will grow from less than $6 billion in 2014 to $26.1 billion in 2023.

“The shift to lithium ion represents a major endorsement of the ability of this chemistry to perform consistently in an automotive environment,” says David Alexander, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Most of the major automakers have introduced battery electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models in the last two years, almost all of which use lithium ion batteries for onboard energy storage.”

Demand for Li-ion batteries will be driven primarily by BEVs throughout the forecast period thanks to the size of the battery required, according to the report. Both hybrid EVs and PHEVs will decline slightly as a percentage of the total, while stop-start vehicles (SSVs) will see their share of the Li-ion battery market steadily increase, as a result of higher volumes of vehicle sales and the adoption of Li-ion batteries in stop-start models as the cost-per-kilowatt-hour decreases.

M II A II R II K Apr 4, 2014 4:17 PM

There's density and transit, and then there's....

Busy Bee Apr 4, 2014 6:49 PM


Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 6526210)
There's density and transit, and then there's....

Those old Lisbon trams are so awesome.

amor de cosmos Apr 5, 2014 6:33 PM

Video Link


Governor Rick Perry Sides With Tesla and the Gigafactory
Published on April 4th, 2014 | by Robyn Purchia

Since Elon Musk’s announcement of the Tesla Gigafactory, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico have been in a race with each other to host the site. It’s been fun watching each state inch ahead only to be overtaken — at least in the news — with promises and offers from another. We previously put our money on a table in the Silver State. But then Arizona inched forward with personal invitations to Elon Musk, easy access to raw materials, and pending legislation to change the state’s franchise laws. And now it’s Texas’s turn.

Texas fell behind before because of its reluctance to permit Tesla sales directly to consumers — Tesla’s preferred business model. But Governor Rick Perry, a surprising ally to us environmentalists, has recently come out in support of direct sales. In an interview on Fox Business Network, Perry referred to the independent dealer requirement as ”old, and some would say antiquated protection in there for the car dealers” and said how the world is changing.

Perry said, “We live in a different world than we did 30 years ago, 10 years ago. I think it’s time for Texas to have an open conversation about this. . . . The cachet of being able to say we put that manufacturing facility in your state is hard to pass up.”

M II A II R II K Apr 5, 2014 7:31 PM

If Savanna Animals Took the Subway

amor de cosmos Apr 6, 2014 4:11 PM


Panasonic Hesitant to Commit to Musk’s Tesla Battery Gigafactory
By Grace Huang and Alan Ohnsman Mar 27, 2014 7:50 PM PT

Panasonic Corp. (6752), Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA)’s primary supplier of lithium-ion cells for its electric Model S sedans, hasn’t committed to investing in a massive U.S. battery plant proposed by Tesla’s Elon Musk.

Joining Tesla’s “Gigafactory” battery project would raise investment risks, Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga told reporters at a briefing in Tokyo. Tesla, which announced plans for the facility in February, said it’s reviewing potential sites in four southwestern U.S. states. The plant may require as much as $5 billion to build and employ about 6,500 people by 2020, the Palo Alto, California-based company said.

“Our approach is to make investments step by step,” Tsuga said yesterday. “Elon plans to produce more affordable models besides Model S, and I understand his thinking and would like to cooperate as much as we can. But the investment risk is definitely larger.”

Musk, who is also Tesla’s co-founder and biggest investor, has said Panasonic may be involved in the factory. However, the Osaka, Japan-based company’s participation is “not 100 percent confirmed,” he told Bloomberg Television last month.

“Having Panasonic as a joint venture partner would facilitate strategic access to Panasonic’s supply chain and reduce risks,” Craig Irwin, a New York-based analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc., wrote in a note yesterday.


Plug-in Cars More Than Doubled In 2014
by Zach
on April 5, 2014

A new report by by Zentrums für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), which Green Car Congress somehow ran across, shows that the number of plug-in cars on the roads more than doubled from the end of 2012 to the end of 2013. That followed doubling of the number of plug-in cars on the road the year before as well.

Globally, at the end of 2010, there were approximately 25,000 battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and extended-range electric vehicles registered. At the end of 2011, that had approximately tripled, becoming approximately 80,000. At the end of 2012, that rose to about 200,000. At the end of 2013, that more than doubled again to 405,000.

In terms of car companies, the clear leader is Nissan, which saw a particularly steep increase in sales in 2013. GM/Opel is a solid #2, while Toyota is a solid #3. Tesla and Ford are close there at #4 and #5.

There’s also a country-focused chart. The US, Japan, and China are clearly the biggest markets. Following them, you have France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway. Have a look:

mrnyc Apr 6, 2014 7:08 PM

time for rail yet?

Hatman Apr 7, 2014 7:57 PM


Originally Posted by electricron (Post 6524230)
Because costs alone isn't always the ruling factor. Disney, Las Vegas, and Seattle chose monorails mainly to attract tourists. Rubber wheels don't squeal as much as steel wheels on steel rails over sharp curves. Nashville also attracts many tourists - maybe they think they can attract tourists to increase ridership and reduce local taxpayer subsidies?

I'll agree that traditional track with two rails could work as well as a monorail as far as daily commuters are concerned and at a lower cost. The first step along the way to initiate future federal funding is to identify a corridor, and commence a study using several modes to transit, commuter rail, light rail, heavy rail, monorail, rapid bus, express bus, including doing nothing. At the completion of the study, they'll answer which is the preferred solution. That's when the traditional rail transit usually wins over exotic rail lines like monorails.

Nicely put.
Monorails were designed to be an improvement over elevated rail systems such as those is New York or Chicago:
So unless monorail is being compared with a system like either of those, other modes usually win out. It is rare that a right-of-way will require a fully elevated system these days (in the USA), so other modes such as Light Rail Transit (which did not yet exist in its modern form when monorails were first promoted) usually win out.
In other countries, such as Brazil, India, and China, monorails are being constructed because aerial right-of-ways are all they have left to use.

amor de cosmos Apr 9, 2014 5:08 PM


Cars Become Biggest Driver of Greenhouse-Gas Increases
By Stefan Nicola Apr 9, 2014 1:53 AM PT

The greatest emerging threat to the global climate may rest in the side pocket of your trousers -- or wherever you keep the car keys.

Emissions from transportation may rise at the fastest rate of all major sources through 2050, the United Nations will say in a report due April 13. Heat-trapping gases from vehicles may surge 71 percent from 2010 levels, mainly from emerging economies, according to a leaked draft of the most comprehensive UN study to date on the causes of climate change.

Rising incomes in nations like China, India and Brazil have produced explosive demand for cars and for consumer goods that must be delivered by highway, rail, ship or air. The new pollution, measured in millions of tons of greenhouse gases, may exceed all of the savings achieved through initiatives like subsidies for public transport and fuel efficiency.

Cutting back on transportation gases “will be challenging, since the continuing growth in passenger and freight activity could outweigh all mitigation measures unless transport emissions can be strongly decoupled from GDP growth,” the report’s authors wrote.

M II A II R II K Apr 10, 2014 5:14 PM

This Architect Has Painstakingly Standardized 12 of the World's Subway Maps

amor de cosmos Apr 11, 2014 4:23 PM


Tesla Kicks Off China Sales This Month With Musk Helming
By Alan Ohnsman and Emily Chang Apr 10, 2014 1:35 PM PT

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the electric-car maker, starts delivering its luxury sedans in China this month and said the company’s co-founder, billionaire Elon Musk, will be there to kick off the effort.

“We’re going to be doing our first customer deliveries later this month. Elon is going to be doing that personally,” Simon Sproule, Tesla’s vice president of marketing and communications, said in a Bloomberg Television interview yesterday. “It’s got huge potential.”

China may become Tesla’s biggest market, with sales in the nation matching the company’s U.S. volume as early as next year, Musk, 42, said earlier this year. The Palo Alto, California-based carmaker’s push into the world’s most populous country is part of a strategy to boost production of the Model S sedan by 56 percent this year, as Tesla also expands in Europe.

Tesla hasn’t set an exact date for the first deliveries in China, said Sproule, who was hired this month from the Renault SA-Nissan Motor Co. alliance.


Going Green
1915 Detroit Electric

Girls dig electric cars. At least that was the marketing message back in 1915, when petrol-powered autos were beginning to decisively pull away from electric ones. Battery-powered vehicles retained popularity among female drivers in cities, who valued them for their reliability — they wouldn't blow up, as gas cars were known to do on occasion — and ease of use. Clara Ford, wife of Henry, whose Model T all but decimated the electric car, drove a 1914 Detroit Electric. (What her husband made of the fact that she wasn't driving a Ford is lost to history.) The Detroit models could run 80 miles on a single charge, with a top speed of about 20 mph. Pokey, but this was before the age of Danica Patrick.,00.html

Perklol Apr 11, 2014 5:17 PM


Originally Posted by amor de cosmos (Post 6531990)

Will taking mass transit help the environment? ;)

amor de cosmos Apr 14, 2014 4:23 PM


April 14, 2014
Liquefied natural gas shows potential as a freight locomotive fuel

EIA projects that liquefied natural gas (LNG) will play an increasing role in powering freight locomotives in coming years. Continued growth in domestic natural gas production and substantially lower natural gas prices compared to crude oil prices could result in significant cost savings for locomotives that use LNG as a fuel source, according to EIA's Annual Energy Outlook 2014 (AEO2014).

Taken together, the 7 major U.S. freight railroads consumed more than 3.6 billion gallons of diesel fuel in 2012, or 7% of all diesel fuel consumed in the United States. The fuel cost more than $11 billion in 2012 and accounted for 23% of total operating expenses.

These railroads are considering the use of LNG in locomotives because of the potential for significant fuel cost savings and the resulting reductions in fuel operating costs. Given the expected price difference between LNG and diesel fuel, future fuel savings are expected to more than offset the approximately $1 million incremental cost associated with an LNG locomotive and its tender. However, in addition to the risk surrounding future fuel prices, other factors including operational, financial, regulatory, and mechanical challenges also affect fuel choices by railroads.


Energy News
Does Musk’s Gigafactory Make Sense?
Tesla’s audacious plan to build a giant battery factory may mostly be a clever negotiating tactic.

By Kevin Bullis on April 14, 2014

Lithium-ion batteries are just about everywhere—they power almost all smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Yet Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, says he intends to build a factory in the United States three years from now that will more than double the world’s total lithium-ion battery production. The plan is still in its early stages, but already four states are negotiating with Tesla in the hope of becoming the factory’s home.

People have come to expect bold plans from Musk. In addition to founding Tesla, he started his own rocket company, SpaceX, which now delivers supplies to the International Space Station. But even for him, the “gigafactory,” as he calls it, seems audacious.

First, Tesla sold 23,000 cars last year. The gigafactory, which would start production in 2017, would by 2020 make enough batteries for 500,000 electric cars. (It would produce enough batteries annually to store 35 gigawatt hours of electricity, hence the name). Second, battery companies normally announce factories only after they’re funded and a site is selected. And they typically scale up gradually. Why announce plans to build such an enormous factory —especially when electric car sales so far come nowhere close to justifying it?

The project seems more puzzling in light of the hard times at other electric car battery factories in the United States. In 2009, President Obama announced an ambitious $2.4 billion grant program intended to launch an electric car battery industry in the United States. That effort, so far, has failed—factories were built, but sales have been poor because electric car sales have been slow. All of the battery makers involved have struggled (see “Too Many Battery Factories, Too Few Electric Cars”), and one, A123 Systems, went bankrupt.

Musk is betting that Tesla can generate a much bigger market for electric cars. To keep the factory humming, he will have to sell more than 10 times as many electric vehicles in a year as Nissan managed last year (and Nissan has sold more electric cars than any other automaker). Musk has some reason for confidence—last year Tesla sold as many electric cars as Nissan in the United States, even though Tesla’s Model S costs two to three times as much as Nissan’s electric car, the Leaf. He seems to be betting that a huge factory will significantly reduce the cost of making batteries, which remain the most expensive part of electric cars. In the ideal scenario, that cost reduction would help Tesla produce a mass-market car similar in cost to the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt but that, crucially, will be able to go more than twice as far on a charge (the car would also be able to accelerate faster than the Leaf).

M II A II R II K Apr 14, 2014 5:32 PM

Glow-in-the-dark roads make debut in Netherlands

Read More:


Light-absorbing glow-in-the-dark road markings have replaced streetlights on a 500m stretch of highway in the Netherlands.

Studio Roosegaarde promised us the design back in 2012, and after cutting through rather a lot of government red tape we can finally see the finished product.

One Netherlands news report said, "It looks like you are driving through a fairytale," which pretty much sums up this extraordinary project. The design studio like to bring technology and design to the real world, with practical and beautiful results.


vid Apr 14, 2014 10:23 PM

The constant plowing this winter has completely removed the lines on roads here. I'm not sure if that could stand up to 5 months of frequent snowfall.

scalziand Apr 15, 2014 3:39 PM

That article didn't have any actual photos of the lines. Here's one.

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