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Category: Post Car Society

Victim of its own success…

Commuter train to Amsterdam, in Haarlem station (Photo: kris)

An article in Dutch News about crowded trains around Amsterdam.

So Amsterdam, Utrecht, Haarlem and even Hoofdorp are technically different municipalities. In reality, this is not the case: People are living in de Randstand. And especially for Amsterdam, people are commuting between the city of Amsterdam and the cities around it. Trains are running at a very high frequency, basically so often that people have stopped caring about the schedule and just show up at the platform, using the trains like one would use a tram or subway or anything else that runs more frequently that every 10 minutes.

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EU described own policy as ‘complete failure’

EU Observer reports on a five page internal note from the EU director-general at the commission’s internal market and industry department:

“Absolute NOx emissions of diesel vehicles under real driving conditions have hardly changed” despite “various” EU “steps”.

“On the road, a Euro 5 vehicle emits almost the same amount of NOx per km as a Euro 3 vehicle.”

The testing method, which is nothing like real road conditions, is mentioned as a contributing factor.

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The mountain is melting…

Swiss magazine Blick reports that the Moosfluthbahn up to the Aletsch glacier is out of operation, because the glacier is melting under it. The station is brand new, and went into operation only last year.

The station up at the glacier had been constructed with the glacier melting in mind: It sits inside a concrete tub which can be righted with hydraulics. Engineering calculations have been made assuming 9 meters of movement in 25 years. The actual measured movement has been up to 0.7 meters per day, though.

The glacier is melting very rapidly, making the ground unstable. Similar things are happening all over the Alps.

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To build or not to build… and if so, what.

Bloomberg has an article about the Car Manufacturer summit between Trump and US car manufacturers.

Basically, Trump needs manufacturing jobs for the people who voted for him, but the US car industry does not look good. More than 100 plants have been closing in the US under the last two presidents, and if one would be building cars in the US, plant and product would be looking a lot like… Tesla.

Which is not only defeating the point with regards to Job creation, because the plant would be mostly automated. It is also defeating the point of all the Oil people, which have been helping Trump as well, and which very much would like to see the US not transitioning into renewables before they get out of their superheated Carbon bubble.

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Trucks on a line

Heise says: For long distance good transport Germany will test electrified lorries withpantographs and catenaries running on pieces of Autobahn in Hessen and Schleswig-Holstein as a proof of concept. The trucks are supposed to draw power from the catenary and must be able to drive the last mile on their own power.

The illustration mentions hybrid cars, the text speaks about Diesel engines and a small battery. If the last mile is short enough (acutally up to 100km), it’s in principle possible to buy purely electric trucks. The truck could recharge while driving on the Autobahn, and then use that power after going off the line into the city.

Siemens eHighway Praxis-Studie

Such a system would also be highly interesting for autonomous and highly automated driving.

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