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Secret "ALEC" in Big Debate between Oil and Electric for Subsidies!
Not many of us have heard of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), yet this group of Utility companies clashed recently with the oil industry that wants to kill all EV subsidies and yet Oil takes in billions in subsidies from the federal government now.
This group has clearly been an ultra conservative group till recently where it has split into two camps, those that are backed by big oil and their desire to kill subsidies and those utilities that have gone very green and want to increase offering subsidies to buyers of all things electric.
At the spring meeting, the new Green Utilities put forth a measure that would offer subsidies for non-gas auto's. This included electric, natural gas, biofuel, propane, bio diesel auto's and subsidies for said fueling infrastructure.
The interesting part is that this new resolution was put forth by the Koch brothers, oil magnates as well as Ebell's CEI and the conservative group Americans for Prosperity in addition to EEI "The Edison Electric Institute". These groups believe that utilities offering subsidies that would in some cases reduce to zero cost installation of home fast chargers, reduced kWh rates and rebates on EV / Plug-in Hybrid auto's would help spur additional sales of electricity increasing the expansion of a better electrical grid across north america.
On the other side you have representatives from Texas, Duke Energy and some folks from Trump's EPA transition team lobbying against it. This was confirmed by EEI.
Since this was at a tie in voting, it looks to be brought up at the fall meeting again for a vote.
If this goes through, one can only wonder how big the rebates on auto's could be in addition to the charging systems, etc. Check out the two links below for more info.
Think of states like California that have fed rebates, state rebates and if utilities offer rebates, this could push EV auto's to very low cost to own.
Utility Drive Green Car Report
By William Maley
The next model in Mercedes-Benz's compact assault has been revealed. On the eve on Auto China, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Chinese market A-Class L sedan. L stands for long-wheelbase. Compared to the standard hatchback, the L sedan adds 2.4-inches to the wheelbase - all of it going to rear seat passengers.
There isn't much difference in terms of the design between the A-Class sedan and hatchback. Right up until the rear doors, both models share a large grille, trapezoidal headlights, and bold lines along the side. Around back, the sedan gets a narrow trunk lid and the roofline isn't lowered - that will be saved for the upcoming CLA. The interior is the same as the hatchback with a modern design and Mercedes' new MBUX infotainment system.
Power will come from either a turbocharged 1.33L three-cylinder engine producing either 134 or 161 horsepower, or a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 188 horsepower. Both engines come paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Mercedes-Benz is expected to debut the standard A-Class sedan sometime later this year.
New member of the compact-class family: World premiere of the A-Class L Sedan
Stuttgart/Beijing. Shortly before the first A-Class hatchbacks reach customers in Western Europe in May, a new variant of the compact-class family - in the guise of the A-Class L Sedan - will already be celebrating its premiere at Auto China (25 April to 4 May 2018) in Beijing. The notchback model being presented there features a 6 cm longer wheelbase (2789 instead of 2729 mm) and is a variant developed solely for the Chinese market. This A-Class model is being produced exclusively at Beijing Benz Automotive Co., Ltd (BBAC), a joint venture between Daimler and its Chinese partner BAIC Motor. The market launch in China is scheduled for the second half of 2018. A version of the sedan tailored to the needs of customers outside China will likewise launch in the second half of the year.
With the latest design language characterised by clear structures and sensual surfaces, the high level of safety thanks to the innovative driving assistance systems featuring S‑Class functions and the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system, the Chinese A‑Class L Sedan boasts all of the virtues of the new compact-class family from Mercedes-Benz. One highlight is the intelligent voice control of the MBUX system with natural speech recognition: it is proficient in various Chinese dialects, including Sichuanese and Cantonese.
“With our Chinese customers’ wishes and needs in mind, we developed the A‑Class L Sedan for the local market, which is the first and only long wheelbase model in the premium compact car segment,” said Hubertus Troska, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Greater China. “This long wheelbase version offers added space, with a rear compartment dedicated to meeting local preferences. And given our customers in China are young and connected, our new, intuitive MBUX telematics system gives them a highly individualized digital experience. With these highlight features and more, the A‑Class L Sedan is an excellent choice for our Chinese customers. We believe it will promote our further growth as our fifth model produced locally at BBAC, and we will build it in China, for China together with our partner BAIC.”
In 2017 China was once again the largest sales market for Mercedes-Benz and smart. Customers in Mainland China took delivery over 610,000 vehicles last year, more than ever in a single year (+25.9%). In total, around 430,000 units were produced locally in 2017, which corresponds to more than two-thirds of the total sales volume in China.
More than six million compact models have already been delivered to customers in around 170 markets. Following the great success of the last compact-class generation – Mercedes-Benz sold more than 620,000 compact vehicles globally in 2017 alone – currently the company is gradually extending the new compact-car family to eight members. The A‑Class hatchback and the Chinese variant of the A‑Class Saloon are the first two representatives of the new generation.
About the Chinese A-Class L Sedan
The A-Class L Sedan also reflects the purist, surface-accentuating design of the latest Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of Sensual Purity. The compact saloon has very short overhangs at front and rear, which, in combination with the side feature line, reinforces the sporty image. As on the hatchback model, the front end design looks very progressive. Contributing to this impression are the low, drawn-out bonnet, flat headlamps with chrome elements, and torch-like daytime driving lights - plus the diamond radiator grille with single louvre, chrome pins, and central star. There is a choice of Sedan and Sport Sedan versions, with the latter featuring powerdomes on the bonnet.
The greenhouse, which sits far back, and the compact rear end emphasise the sportiness of the vehicle. The wheels (in sizes 16 to 19 inches) fit flush in the wheel arches, which, like the strongly pronounced shoulders in the rear area, gives the vehicle a square stance on the road.
The two-piece tail lights emphasise the width. The reflectors have been repositioned lower down in the bumper to allow the tail lights to benefit from a particularly flat design. Rose gold is an exclusive paint finish planned for the Chinese market.
As in the hatchback model, the interior is a completely new departure, revolutionising the compact class from the inside with a new feeling of spaciousness. The interior architecture along with the displays and controls is an avant-garde USP in this segment. For the first time a cowl above the cockpit has been completely dispensed with. As a result, the wing-shaped main body of the dashboard with its trim level extends from one front door to the other with no visual discontinuity.
Below this main body is a low-lying section, the so-called wing. The wing appears to float, as there are no connections or shape transitions to the surrounding area. The ambience lighting with up to 64 colours reinforces this effect and is a new interior experience, also for Chinese customers. The wing also forms the basis for the turbine-look air vents, which are embedded in trim, and the completely free-standing widescreen display.
On board is the MBUX multimedia system - Mercedes-Benz User Experience - with unique learning abilities thanks to artificial intelligence. Of course, the popular WeChatMyCar app is integrated. MBUX makes it possible for the first time for two or more users to connect simultaneously to the system. The intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition is proficient in various Chinese dialects, including Sichuanese and Cantonese. Mercedes-Benz is the world's first automotive manufacturer to provide navigation display featuring augmented reality technology on the Chinese market.
When developing the Chinese A-Class L Sedan (length/width/height: 4609/1796/1460 mm) a focal point was the kneeroom for rear passengers. As a result, at 2789 mm, the wheelbase is 60 mm longer than in the hatchback model (2729 mm). The boot has a capacity of 420 litres.
At the market launch, the A-Class L Sedan will be available in China with the state-of-the-art all-aluminium four-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1.33 litres with power outputs of 100 and 120 kW (with cylinder shut-off); following later will be the 2‑litre four-cylinder engine with CONICSHAPE trumpet honing and CAMTRONIC variable valve timing. In China, the latter engine has an output of 140 kW. The 7G‑DCT dual clutch transmission comes as standard.
Of course on the Chinese market the A‑Class L Sedan also boasts the very latest driving assistance systems with cooperative driver support, giving it the highest level of active safety in this segment with functions adopted from the S‑Class.
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By William Maley
Mercedes-Benz has been teasing for the past few weeks their showing at Auto China which is expected to be an SUV. But thanks to someone accidentally posting photos on the official Mercedes-Benz website, we have gotten our first look at the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury concept - quite the mouthful.
The design... the less said about it, the better. It's a sedan with a tall ride height - think Volvo S60 Cross Country or Subaru Outback sedan. The front features the tall, vertical slat grille seen on the facelifted Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The rear end styling is similar to the S-Class coupe with small taillights and angled trunk lid. The interior picture reveals seating for four, blue accent lighting, and a Maybach-branded tea set for rear passengers.
The powertrain is comprised of four electric motors delivering a total 738 horsepower, and an 80-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides an estimated range of 310 miles.
Source: Autocar, CarNewsChina
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By William Maley
Volvo is finishing up an immense product rollout that began with the XC90 only a few years ago. So what's next on the Swedish automaker's to-do list? As we reported last July, Volvo is gearing up for an electrification offensive beginning in 2019 with five new electric vehicles and a number of mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Because of this, the automaker isn't planning to launch like a convertible or a rumored SUV coupe.
“It would be nice to have a convertible or a coupe. It’s the cream on the cake but you don’t need it to survive,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) boss.
“We cover 98% of the market with our current portfolio. Our electrification goals show we are taking it very seriously and we are rapidly expanding our electrified powertrains.”
Autocar reports that the new XC40 crossover will be the first Volvo model to get an all-electric powertrain.
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