Illinois proposes $1K annual registration fee for electric cars

Owners of all-electric vehicles in Illinois may get a huge shock to the wallet — thanks to a proposed $ 1,000 annual registration fee. The proposed hike is more than 57 times the current yearly fee of $ 17.50 for electric vehicle owners in the state. It’s part of proposed legislation that also targets the owners of…
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Kia’s ‘spicy’ electric concept car makes an over-the-top debut at NY Auto Show

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Kia’s new electric car is called the Niro EV. Now its electric concept car is the HabaNiro. Get it?

If the name is already too much, you won’t be able to handle the ridiculous details about the crossover compact SUV shown at the New York International Auto Show Wednesday.

First, the not-so-hot-and-spicy specs: it’s an all-electric, all-wheel drive, four-seater with 300-mile range and full autonomy capability with butterfly-wing doors. 

While the HabaNiro is just an idea, it could pave the way for future electric vehicles beyond the Niro, which recently went all electric after debuting as a hybrid vehicle a few years ago. Read more…

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General Electric agrees to pay $1.5 billion civil penalty

CNBC's Dom Chu reports on the settlement reached between General Electric and the Department of Justice. General Electric agreed to pay a $ 1.5 billion penalty for allegations related to subprime lending unit
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Germany to extend electric company car tax incentives: paper

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz plans to extend tax incentives for electric company cars, he told a newspaper on Saturday, the government’s latest attempt to boost demand for clean vehicles.


Reuters: Technology News

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Arcade Fire’s Will Butler on His ‘Showbiz Mormon’ Family and How His Granddad Pioneered the Electric Guitar

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

There’s a scene in the 1944 Ann Miller musical Jam Session that opens on a talking guitar. In the first shot, the neck of the guitar, carved into a face with the off-kilter stare and wobbling jaw of a ventriloquist dummy, croaks out lyrics: “I am the spirit of the St. Louis Blues, I am so bluuue, all the day long I am blue, all the day long I am so bluuuuue.” The puppet’s words sound weird—not quite guitar, not quite human. They were voiced by an analog “vocoder,” a kind of music tech that might sound more at home in a Kraftwerk album, than among Hollywood show tunes and old school swing bands.

But the dummy guitar was a prelude to the Alvino Rey Orchestra, a group whose frontman, Alvino Rey, pioneered early electronic instruments, and has been hailed as the grandfather of the modern electric guitar. He’s also the grandfather of Win and Will Butler, the brothers behind Arcade Fire.

Born in 1908, Rey’s bizarre musical trajectory stretched across the 20th century, zig-zagging from lowbrow to high, and weaving through major moments in American politics and pop culture. That’s the story that Will, the younger Butler and sideman of Arcade Fire, is telling in the latest issue of Pop-Up magazine, a live, mixed-media variety show currently touring the country and playing at Brooklyn Academy of Music on Feb. 7. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Butler described Rey as unassuming guy whose life, almost by accident, ballooned out into homeric epic. “He was kind of like a nerdy guitar player swept into all of American history,” Butler said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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China’s Didi just announced a new joint venture to work on electric and hybrid vehicle projects

The joint venture, called BAIC-Xiaoju New Energy Auto Technology, will work to develop "next-generation connected-car systems" through projects related to new energy vehicles and artificial intelligence.
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Detroit Auto Show Focuses On SUV’s, Electric Cars

DETROIT (AP) — SUVs and a big pickup truck will get top billing at Detroit’s auto show this year, but there are some surprise sports cars and electric vehicles on the agenda.

Press days for the show begin Monday, although there are a couple of unveils set for before the show starts

The most popular vehicle of the bunch is the Ford Explorer, revealed ahead of the show Wednesday night at Ford Field, the home of the National Football League’s Detroit Lions.

Cadillac will show off its XT6, a smaller-than-a-truck, three-row family hauler at an event Sunday night. Toyota brings back the high-performance Supra on Monday. The sports car developed a cult following when it was on the market from 1978 to 2002. Nissan and its Infiniti luxury brand plan to show two concept electric vehicles on Monday as well.

This year’s North American International Auto Show will take place in January for the final time. In 2020, it switches to June to escape the cold weather and show off more products outside, including autonomous vehicles.

Here are the big unveils coming up for the show, which opens to the public from Jan. 19 through 27:

CADILLAC XT6

The marketing folks at General Motors’ Cadillac brand are hoping the new XT6 big SUV will carve out a niche in the crowded market for utilities with three rows of seats but aren’t so huge they’re considered trucks. The six- to seven-passenger XT6 has a chiseled Caddy look and unique premium luxury materials to set it apart, but it’s going against well-appointed luxury versions of the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, as well as entries from BMW, Audi and other automakers. It’s also got the same engine as the other brands, a 3.6-liter V6 that puts out 310 horsepower, and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The XT6 has a suite of standard safety features including automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert. It goes on sale in the summer as a 2020 model in the U.S. Price and gas mileage weren’t announced.

FORD EXPLORER

Ford’s aging Explorer big SUV is getting a major revamp as it faces growing competition in the market for family haulers with three rows of seats. The company unveiled the new version last week at Ford Field, and will display it again at the auto show. The Explorer, last reworked for the 2011 model year, gets a top-to-bottom update that includes a switch from front- to rear-wheel-drive, as well as updated engines and transmissions, some nice standard safety features and even high-performance and gas-electric hybrid versions. The SUV’s appearance doesn’t change much, but the roof line does slope more from front to back. Ford also added more interior space and second-row seats that tip and slide forward with the touch of a button. The base engine is an updated turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder with 300 horsepower. There’s also a 365 horsepower 3-liter turbocharged V6. The base price will rise $ 400 from the current $ 32,365 excluding shipping. Fuel economy wasn’t announced. The Chicago-built Explorer goes on sale in the summer.

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT

Rather than exiting the sinking U.S. midsize sedan business like two of its Detroit competitors, Volkswagen is staying in by updating the Passat for 2020. But it’s not spending huge dollars developing a new chassis or replacing engines and transmissions. VW did give the car new sheet metal (except for the roof) to make it look sportier and tweaked the existing 174-horsepower 2-Liter turbocharged engine. It also revamped the electrical system to handle more advanced driver assist features such as now-standard automatic emergency braking and blind spot detection. Passat U.S. sales were down 32 percent last year but could get a boost because Fiat Chrysler got out of the midsize car market and Ford will exit soon. The new Passat arrives in dealerships in mid- to late-summer. Price wasn’t announced, but VW is trying to keep it close to the current base of $ 25,295 excluding shipping.

PHOTO: AP


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America’s Electric Grid Has a Vulnerable Back Door—and Russia Walked Through It

A Wall Street Journal reconstruction of the worst known hack into the nation’s power system reveals attacks on hundreds of small contractors. The hackers then worked their way up the supply chain. Some experts believe two dozen or more utilities ultimately were breached.
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GM hit 200,000 U.S. electric vehicles sold in 2018: source

General Motors Co reached 200,000 cumulative U.S. electric vehicles sold late last year, triggering a phase-out of a $ 7,500 federal tax credit over the next 15 months, a person briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.


Reuters: Technology News

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This electric motorcycle runs on 15 parts made via 3D printer

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Ready to upgrade from your e-scooter?

The NERA electric motorcycle is a functioning bike that was made using a 3D printer. The only catch — it’s just a “use case” example for a German 3D printing company to show off its material-making skills. 

Even if it’s not for sale, it’s an impressive print job from the NOWlab at 3D printer company BigRep. Printed in 15 pieces, the NERA bike actually runs on an electric engine embedded in the back rim. The battery is housed within the body. 

Everything but the bike’s electrical components were 3D-printed, including the tires, rims, frame, fork (the part that connects the front wheel and axle to the frame), and seat.  Read more…

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Europe’s regulations could make it leader in electric car production

PARIS — European carmakers are rolling out electric vehicles like the ones on view this week at the Paris Motor Show to burnish their reputations as technology leaders and to compete with Tesla. But also because EU regulations don’t leave them much choice. New emission standards mean Europe will soon see an upsurge in electric…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post

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