Throwing Shade at Electric Cars: Hidden state fees

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Electric cars have been heralded as the cars of the future, our current solution to the United States’ dependence on petroleum products. The irony here is that electric automobiles were actually built and sold before petroleum powered automobiles. (The first electric vehicle was built in 1842, compared to 1864 for the first gasoline powered one.) The combustion engine over took the electric automobile in the early 20th century due to their high top speeds and a much higher range of travel on a single tank of gas vs an electric charge.

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Now this looks just like a horseless carriage… 1901 Waverly Runabout.

Nothing ever really changes, does it? People still complain about the relatively short range of fully electric vehicles nowadays. And back on track.

Yes, electric cars are seen as environmentally friendly due to the lack of carbon dioxide and other chemicals spewing from the exhaust pipe and into the atmosphere as you drive. Electricity is indeed cleaner, but you’re still using fossil fuels to power your car here in America. We don’t have many nuclear reactors or other large scale alternate power sources. A better solution is needed in the long run. Maybe we should burn all of our trash like Sweden? They’ve started to import trash from their neighbors to power their waste-to-energy generators.

And, back on track again. Sorry, there are so many interesting avenues we could follow.

One way the governments in the US are incentivizing EV purchases (as you probably already know) is through tax rebates to help offset the additional cost of your new car purchase. But did you know that there are at least 10 states that charge you extra fees for Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEVs)?

Yep, 10 states. And they all have an annual fee that you’ll pay above and beyond the ‘traditional’ registration fees paid to your state each year. Ranging from $47.50-$235 a year, that’s a pretty hefty sum to pay yearly. Indiana has a legislative plan in the works that includes a proposed $150 annual fee for electric vehicles, this would make them state number 11.

Is your state one of them?

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Colorado
Law:  H.B. 1110 (2013) $50 annual fee

Georgia
Law: H.B. 170 (2015) – $200 annual fee

Idaho
Law: H.B. 312 (2015) $75 – $140 depending on vehicle

Michigan
Law: H.B. 4736 (2015) varies from $47.50- $235 depending on vehicle

Missouri
S.B. 619 (1998) – $75 annual fee

Nebraska
L.B. 289 (2011) – $75 annual fee

North Carolina
S.B. 402 (2013) $100 annual fee
H.B. 97 (2015) increased the fee to $130

Virginia
S.B. 127 (2014) $64 annual fee

Washington
H.B. 2660 (2012) – $100 annual fee

Wyoming
H.B. 9 (2015) -$50 one-time fee
H.B. 2 makes the fee applicable every year

Ridesharing: Amber One

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Ever since the idea of self-driving cars became a real possibility, people have been talking about how they would change the way we use cars. Now, most of our cars sit unused for the biggest part of the day. With the advent of self-driving cars, this would no longer be necessary. Instead of each person having their own car, it would make more sense to share our car with others. Enter the idea of, preferably autonomous and electric, cars designed with ridesharing in mind.

Of course, even today there are already a lot of apps available that let people share their cars, but none of the vehicle so far have been designed with this purpose in mind. However, many car makers such as Ford have started the development of autonomous cars with a system making it possible for them to be shared. Unfortunately, many of these cars are still in early stages and not expected to hit our roads any time soon.

That is until Dutch company Amber Mobility came along. According to Autoblog they claim that by the end of next year they will have a prototype car designed to be shared on the road. This EV, though not self-driving, would still be the start of a big change. Exactly how the Amber one would be designed to be shared, apart from a modular design, they didn’t say. However, they take the new concept of sharing, rather than owning a car very serious: the Amber One will not be for sale. Instead customers will be paying a weekly subscription. According to the company, the Amber One will have a lifespan of around 1 million miles and a range of 250 miles.

The Amber One ridesharing car

The Amber One ridesharing car

Amber Mobility is expected to start production on a small scale in 2018. But for now, we can still (or are forced to, depending on your perspective of these developments) drive and own our own cars. Which means we can still choose to equip them with our own modifications and improvements, such as a Travall Guard for safety.

Personally, I’m rather excited by the prospect of autonomous cars, but I do not relish the idea of not being able to own my own car. Though I do realize that it makes more sense than just letting it sit in the parking lot most of the day. How do you feel about these planned changes? Let me know in the comments!

 

Source: http://www.autoblog.com/2016/09/23/amber-mobility-million-miles-car-sharing/?ncid=edlinkusauto00000015

Electric hauling: Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck

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Worldwide, more and more people are living in cities. This means that cities need more goods and services, which means more cars and trucks, which leads to more pollution. But according to Mercedes-Benz there is a solution to that last problem at least. To minimize urban pollution and improve air quality Mercedes unveiled their Urban eTruck, a fully electric truck concept.

Urban eTruck

Urban eTruck

The ‘Urban’ part of its name is significant as the eTruck is not meant to haul goods over long distances, which with it 124 mile range it would not be able to. Instead the Urban eTruck is meant to carry goods over a short, regular route. This concept truck is based on a regular Mercedes short-radius, three-axle truck. However, the drivetrain has been replaced by

 “a new electrically driven rear axle with electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs – derived from the electric rear axle which was developed for the Mercedes-Benz Citaro hybrid bus.”

source:https://www.daimler.com/products/trucks/mercedes-benz/urban-etruck.html

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The Urban eTruck is Mercedes-Benz’s latest addition to their

Mercedes Vision Van

Mercedes Vision Van

range of electric urban vehicles, which already included a bus and a van. At the moment the Urban is just a concept. But it might well be a big competitor to Tesla. The latter has recently unveiled the second part of their master plan with a larger focus on heavy trucks and urban transport.

What do you think? Is this a viable concept, or just a waste of time. Would Mercedes be better off looking at electric trucks with a bigger range? Would you drive one of these Urban eTrucks?