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January 31, 2018 News of the Day: BMW Sold a Record Number of EVs in December, Uber is Working on a Bike Sharing Pilot in San Francisco

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【Summary】January 31, 2018 News of the Day

Eric Walz    Jan 31, 2018 12:36 PM PT
January 31, 2018 News of the Day: BMW Sold a Record Number of EVs in December, Uber is Working on a Bike Sharing Pilot in San Francisco
author: Eric Walz   

BMW Sold a Record Number of EVs in December

Electric vehicles sales continue to increase globally, making up a larger portion of total new vehicle sales. The BMW Group once again improved its monthly record of plug-in electric vehicle sales in December, achieving 13,271 deliveries (up 79.5%) – significantly more than the previous high set in November of 11,710 units. The share of plug-in vehicles to total BMW light passenger sales volume reached a new record of 5.7%.

Last month, BMW reached it goal to sell 100,000 plug-ins in 2017, exceeding the target by hitting 103,080 in total (up 65.6% year-over-year).

The climbing sales indicate that EVs have a viable future in favor of internal combustion engines. In the next two years, BMW Group intends to deliver no less than 300,000 EVs, as the target by the end of 2019 is to put 500,000 on the road.

The biggest seller in 2017 for BMW plug-ins was the i3 which sold 31,482 units, up 23.3%.

All of the plug-in hybrids sold under the iPerformance brand totaled 63,605, while the MINI plug-in hybrid counter indicates 5,799.

Uber is Working on a Bike Sharing Pilot in San Francisco with Jump

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SAN FRANCISCO — Uber is getting in on the popularity of bike sharing services. Starting next week, the ride-hailing service is going to let users rent electric bicycles using the Uber app. The service called ‘Uber Bike' will let users rent one of Jump's electric bikes, charging $2 for the first 30 minutes and an additional per-minute fee thereafter.

The bikes will be supplied by Jump, a bike-rental service that can also be accessed via its own app. Jump was granted a permit by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency earlier this month, which made it the first company to operate a dockless bike-sharing program in the city.

Jump's 250 bikes should launch around the city between now and March and the SFMTA may allow the company to release 250 more after nine months, depending on how the pilot program goes.

Unlike the Ford GoBike bike-sharing service already in place in San Francisco, Jump's bikes are electric and dockless. Using Uber's or Jump's smartphone app, a person can find a nearby bicycle, unlock it, ride it wherever they need to go, then lock it up to a traditional bike parking rack with the built-in lock. Dockless rental bikes, which renter can leave anywhere, have been a nuisance in other cities, littering streets with discarded cycles. So Uber's bikes will need to be returned and locked at a specific location

"Our mission at JUMP Bikes is to build the bike you want," Jump CEO Ryan Rzepecki wrote in a blog post. "A bike that can take you farther, get you there faster, and be the most fun to ride. A bike that you don't even need to own, doesn't cost a penny to maintain, and is always nearby when you want it. If we achieve this mission then we'll see more people on bikes - meaning greener, more accessible, and healthier cities."

There's a wait list for Uber users to get access to the limited number of Jump bikes, and the full pilot program is quite small. In comparison, Ford's GoBikes bike rental service has deployed nearly 7,000 bicycles in the San Francisco bay area.

PAL-V to Unveil its Production Flying Car at the Geneva Auto Show Next Month

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RAAMSDONKVEER, Netherlands — Starting March 6 at the Geneva Motor Show, PAL-V will unveil the world's first flying car production model - the PAL-V Liberty. Not only a decisive milestone for PAL-V, but also a historic breakthrough in the evolution of flying cars altogether.

Robert Dingemanse, CEO of PAL-V, said "The production model is the moment of truth. The moment where the wall between fiction and facts is torn down. The Liberty can switch between driving and flying mode for the best option to reach your destination. No need to leave your PAL-V Liberty parked at an airstrip.

A production model is the last stage in the R&D process before starting full production and delivery. All certifications required for commercialization will be granted on the basis of this production model. It is the pivotal point that separates pioneers from dreamers."

The certification not only guarantees the safety of the flying car but also is the approval that the vehicle can be driven on the roads and flown in the air. Dingemanse said: "Once full certification is granted in 2019 we will hand over the keys of the PAL-V Liberty to our first customers."

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The past years, PAL-V concentrated all efforts on perfecting its design and setting up the production process and supply chain. Dingemanse is now proud to state that with the PAL-V Liberty, he and his team successfully brought The Netherlands back in the league of aircraft manufacturers.

Immediately after the Geneva Motor Show, the PAL-V Liberty will be going through the last step of the certification process — compliance demonstration.

"It takes a lot of testing to prove that the PAL-V Liberty complies with the regulations," said Mike Stekelenburg, PAL-V's Chief Engineer. He added, "Our design philosophy of complying with existing road and air regulations saved us many years in time to market. Instead of opting for a flying car concept on the basis of not yet existing or immature technologies, requiring new regulations, we deliberately chose to design, engineer and manufacture a flying car with proven technologies. This approach enables a realistic and imminent first product delivery date."

In the meantime, PAL-V's pioneer clients are building experience at flying schools around the globe in preparation for deliveries commencing in 2019.

Bosch Employees Investigated in FCA Diesel Emissions Investigation

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FRANKFURT — The Stuttgart prosecutor's office said Wednesday that two employees of global auto supplier Robert Bosch were being investigated on suspicion of aiding fraud, as part of a wider probe into Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) diesel emissions in the United States.

Two FCA models, the Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.0-liter SUV and the Ram 1500 pickup had shown signs of reduced effectiveness of emissions-control systems without technical justification, the office said. The claims draws similarities to the recent Volkswagen "dieselgate" scandal to which the company plead guilty to tampering with emission controls.

In January of 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency  accused FCA of using hidden software to allow excessive diesel emissions to go undetected, leaving FCA facing a maximum fine of around $4.6 billion.

The Stuttgart prosecutor's office is investigating Bosch for its role in designing engine management systems for Volkswagen, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted to using engine management systems to cheat emissions tests. It used software to detect when a vehicle was being tested for emissions in order to mask higher pollution levels.

In an emailed statement Wednesday, Bosch said: "It is well known that the accusations of manipulation of diesel software are the subject of a preliminary legal proceeding and civil lawsuit also involving Bosch."

Bosch said it has supported the investigations and has been fully cooperating with the responsible authorities. It declined to comment further.


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