July 29, 2021
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These Cars Are Out of Production and Discontinued for 2022
Bouchard Transportation’s Tugs and Barges Auctioned Off
Car chip shortage to abate, smartphones could be next: industry execs
New York Jets assistant coach dies following bicycle accident
Lightyear One Electric Sedan To Be Produced By Valmet Automotive
1 killed in collision between train, vehicle in Douglas County
Washington transportation crew clears Seattle homeless encampment after arrests connected to rock-throwing
Texas dashcam shows illegal immigrants pour out of smuggler’s car after pursuit
30% tax credit for electric bikes makes progress in US Senate
Automotive Hall of Fame to induct Jay Leno, industry leaders
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These Cars Are Out of Production and Discontinued for 2022 Bouchard Transportation’s Tugs and Barges Auctioned Off Car chip shortage to abate, smartphones could be next: industry execs New York Jets assistant coach dies following bicycle accident Lightyear One Electric Sedan To Be Produced By Valmet Automotive 1 killed in collision between train, vehicle in Douglas County Washington transportation crew clears Seattle homeless encampment after arrests connected to rock-throwing Texas dashcam shows illegal immigrants pour out of smuggler’s car after pursuit 30% tax credit for electric bikes makes progress in US Senate Automotive Hall of Fame to induct Jay Leno, industry leaders

Federal regulators warn of risks to firefighters from electrical vehicle fires

It’s the kind of blaze that veteran Chief Palmer Buck of The Woodlands Township Fire Department in suburban Houston compared to “a trick birthday candle.”

On April 17, when firefighters responded to a 911 call at around 9:30 p.m., they came upon a Tesla Model S that had crashed, killing two people, and was now on fire.

They extinguished it, but then a small flare shot out of the bottom of the charred hulk. Firefighters quickly put out those flames. Not long after, the car reignited for a third time.

“What the heck? How do we make this stop?’” Buck asked his team. They quickly consulted Tesla’s first responder guide and realized that it would take far more personnel and water than they could have imagined. Eight firefighters ultimately spent seven hours putting out the fire. They also used up 28,000 gallons of water — an amount the department normally uses in a month. That same volume of water serves an average American home for nearly two years.

The remains of a Tesla vehicle after it crashed in The Woodlands, Texas, on April 17, 2021.Scott J. Enlge / via Reuters

By comparison, a typical fire involving an internal combustion car can often be quickly put out with approximately 300 gallons of water, well within the capacity of a single fire engine.

As the popularity of electric vehicles grows, firefighters nationwide are realizing that they are not fully equipped to deal with them. So they have been banding together, largely informally, to share information to help one another out. In fact, Buck recently spoke on Zoom about the incident before a group of Colorado firefighters.

That’s because the way that electric vehicles are powered triggers longer-burning fires when they crash and get into serious accidents. Electric cars rely on a bank of lithium-ion batteries, similar to batteries found in a cellphone or computer. But unlike a small phone battery, the large batteries found in the Tesla Model X, for instance, contain enough energy to power an average American home for more than two days.

So when an electric vehicle gets in a high-speed accident and catches on fire, damaged energy cells cause temperatures to rise out of control, and the resulting blaze can require a significant amount of water to put out. Such vehicles, given their large electrical energy storage capacity, can be a considerable hazard, known as “stranded energy,” to first responders.

But training to put out these fires can’t come fast enough as more electric vehicles arrive on U.S. roads every day. According to IHS Insight, an industry analysis firm, the number of registered electric vehicles reached a record market share in the United States of 1.8 percent and is forecast to double to 3.5 percent by the end of this year. But IHS notes that 1 in 10 cars are expected to be electric by 2025.

Still, most firefighters across America have not been adequately trained in the key differences between putting fires out


House transportation bill a loser for consumers

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee has just marked up a five-year surface transportation reauthorization bill known as the INVEST in America Act. The behemoth package remains separate from the Biden administration’s efforts to pass an “infrastructure and jobs” plan and is a marked separation from the bipartisan highway bill recently passed through the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Even if it stands no real chance in the Senate as currently written, American consumers and small businesses should understand how problematic it is. This is particularly true when considering the need to help the economy recover. And nowhere is it perhaps clearer than in how the bill treats privately-owned freight railroads, which ironically need nothing out of the legislation.

As the American Consumer Institute has documented over the years, rail is critically important to the U.S. economy in ways that few realize. Thanks to smart, bipartisan regulatory reform that largely ridded the sector of rate regulation some 40 years ago, consumers today enjoy some $10 billion in annual savings. In short, less regulation worked for consumers.

Unlike the bevy of highway or transit advocates, railroads do not need federal handouts, while trucking relies on government-built highways and bridges.

Yet the House majority, apparently perturbed by the fact that railroads are solvent and have three times higher productivity than in the past, has gone out of its way to placate narrow lobbying interests. As the largest rail labor union recently proclaimed in celebrating the fact that Congress seeks to adopt their agenda in full: “The representatives also heard our voices regarding almost every one of the concerns we have about the current state of the railroad industry — crew size, train length, the utility of Positive Train Control and safety investigations — to name a few.”

A long list indeed.

While the world is moving to autonomous vehicles, perhaps most troubling is the continued effort to lock in the current operating practice of two individuals sitting inside a locomotive cab forever into the future. While it is tempting to assume that two-person crews are automatically safer than one-person crews, there’s absolutely no empirical evidence to support this.

In May 2019, the Federal Railroad Administration, the national safety regulator for railroads, definitively decided that regulation is not needed in this area. The FRA concluded that it would only chill investment and innovation, even if labor union leaders worried more about their leadership posts than their members who vocally pushed for a federal mandate. The previous administration said itself in 2016, that it “…cannot provide reliable or conclusive statistical data to suggest whether one-person crew operations are generally safer or less safe than multiple-person crew operations.”

Rather than enhance safety, mandating two-person crews could make rail operations more dangerous by crippling railroads’ ability to control costs and fund equipment upgrades. “A law or regulation that permanently requires a minimum crew size of two — especially where there is no evidence that one-person crews are less safe — can only stand in


Boyfriend of woman found shot to death in wrecked car is charged with murder

Prosecutors have formally charged Terence Vos, a parolee and alleged gang member, of fatally shooting his girlfriend before crashing the car they were in on I-80. (Salt Lake City Police Department)

SALT LAKE CITY — Prosecutors have formally charged a parolee accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend, crashing the car they were in on I-80, and then tossing parts of a gun from an overpass in May.

Terence Trent Vos, 31, faces a charge of aggravated murder, a first-degree felony and capital offense, in the death of Shandon Nicole Scott, 32.

Troopers arrived at the scene of the crash just before 3 a.m. on May 1 to find Vos “running around the vehicle” and noted he “would not calm down,” according to charging documents filed Monday. Detectives found the wounded Scott in the car and spotted her ID, purse and credit cards scattered along the side of the freeway.

An autopsy found Scott had been shot 12 times, including in the heart and right lung. At a vigil after her death, friends of Scott described Vos as abusive toward her.

No attorney was listed for Vos in court records as of Monday. He’s being held in the Utah State Prison.

While police were attempting to revive Scott, Vos ran away and was apprehended a short time later, prosecutors say. He allegedly told police his girlfriend “had been shot and he was trying to take her to the hospital.” He showed officers where the shooting happened, pointed out a shell casing and a pool of blood, and said he couldn’t remember what he’d done with the gun, the charges say.

Another driver who saw the crashed car and pulled over to help told police he had seen Vos get out of the car and start “running all over the place while saying that they got shot.” Vos threw something over the freeway wall, according to the driver, and unsuccessfully tried to take his car.

Vos is a former Public Enemy No. 1 of the Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit. He has been arrested in the past in several shootings in Salt Lake City, and was twice convicted of discharging a gun from the freeway in 2006.

Vos was granted parole last year, but a warrant was issued for his arrest on Feb. 3, according to records from the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole.

Prosecutors have requested he be held without bail, saying he’s a flight risk and danger to the public. They have not indicated whether Vos wrecked the vehicle on purpose.

Unified police have said Scott was shot at a townhome complex at 700 East and 2700 South just moments before police responded to the crash.

Neighbors reported hearing pounding about 2:45 a.m. and hearing a man and woman fighting, with the woman screaming and pleading with someone not to hurt her before gunshots rang out, the charges say.

Later, in a phone call he made from jail, Vos mentioned having a fight with someone before saying “I don’t


Bike to Play – How Did Bicycling Celebrate Bike to Play Week?

From June 7 to June 13, Bicycling teamed up with Degree to celebrate Bike to Play Week where riders dedicate one day out of the week simply to the joy of biking. It’s easy for serious riders to get caught up in competition whether against a long-time rival or one’s own stats. Here’s how the editors at Bicycling chose to celebrate the day as a chance to let go of the pressure, let loose, and have fun!

You love cycling. We love cycling! Come join us at Bicycling All Access

Bike to Play, for me, was about making sure to set aside time to get away from work and get out with friends. Work can get pretty chaotic and stressful and really bring down my mood, which is where riding comes in to help. I started my Bike to Play with a slightly extended solo ride that worked as a reset from the workday. Then followed that up with, a few hours, and what some might say was an overly hilly ride, along with a good friend and co-worker Dan Chabanov. It was the kind of ride that when you get back everything just feels good—sore, but good. — Trevor Raab, Photographer

Trevor Raab

Trevor and I used our Bike to Play time to get out for a ride from the office that we’ve been scheming about ever since the office relocated to Easton, Pennsylvania. It’s essentially a shorter and more condensed version of a semi-famous New Jersey route called Hillier Than Thou. As the name suggests it’s heavy on climbing, and we managed to pack in a bit over 5500 feet of elevation into a 45-mile loop. Turns out our idea of fun is racing each other up stupidly steep hills in New Jersey. — Dan Chabanov, Test Editor

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bike to play

John Hamilton

There’s a road in rural Hunterdon County, New Jersey, aptly named Sweet Hollow. Three tree-covered miles of gradual descent, perfect turns, and a few slightly sketchy one-lane bridges. It’s one of my favorite roads, but too far away for a typical hour-long lunch ride on a weekday. But it was the perfect destination for my Bike to Play ride.

I’m lucky enough to have time at lunch during the work week. Those rides are great, but with set ride times, and a limited number of 20-mile loops to get back to work in time, they’re not always fun. But coasting down Sweet Hollow—ignoring the clock, my average speed, and Wahoo email notifications—that was. And the bagel stop in Milford a few miles later didn’t hurt either. — John Hamilton, Associate Photo Editor

bike to play week

John Hamilton

For my Bike to Play week, I spent my Sunday sending it at a women’s Intro to Drops and Jumping mountain bike skills clinic hosted by Cognition Coaching. I had an


Tesla-inspired automotive designs that show why this company is at the peak of modern innovation: Part 3

Tesla is a forerunner in the electric automotive industry, especially when it comes to innovation and invention. Their designs are groundbreaking, as well as consistent breakers of conventions in the automotive industry! And, these electric vehicles are a huge source of inspiration for designers all over the world. The result is unique and breathtaking Tesla-inspired automotive concepts that honestly seem like the real deal. And, we’ve curated some of the best of the lot for you! Dive in, and get ready to have your minds blown!

The Model B forms a bridge between conventional bicycles and road vehicles, with a design that, like cars, is designed to be safer, more efficient, and less energy-intensive. The Model B’s sleek frame comes with forward, side-facing, and rear proximity and LiDAR sensors that scan the surroundings to create a protective bubble around the rider, alerting them of any obstacle. Each wheel comes with its own dedicated motor, forming the Model B’s dual-drive system. Spokes on the wheels are replaced by shock-absorbers, helping keep your ride smooth.

Rover missions to Mars have uncovered the secrets of the red planet, and to scout the moon’s jagged terrain, a designer envisions the Moonracer. An exploration vehicle that looks so much inspired by the Tesla Cybertruck with its sharp lines and the signature front and rear design. Of course to tread the toughest unknown terrain and hostile environment in case we humans dig for signs of life on still unexplored planets and their moons. The tires on the NASA exploration vehicle by product design student Robin Mazánek are going to be the most vital, as they need to be ready for any adventure. Tweel airless tires developed by Michelin are going to be the ideal choice as they never get punctured or burst as the hub of the tire is connected to the rim via flexible polyurethane spokes that also double as shock absorbers for a smooth ride.

Origami is more than just an intriguing form of art, it’s a scientific methodology that forms shapes of the most aesthetic nature while being structurally strong. That was the inspiration for transportation design student Jaeheon Lee from the Chung Ang University, South Korea to create the Tesla Origami concept car that breaks the barriers of automotive design as far as form and function are concerned. Adapting the elements of Tesla’s Cybertruck frame, SpaceX’s Mars colonizing dreams, and NASA’s Mars rover – the concept design is straight out of a sci-fi future. Retaining the cardinal points for the overall structural design of the vehicle, Lee envisions it to be a renewable energy-powered car – again having origami-inspired solar panels on the rear that expand to harness the sun’s energy when the vehicle is parked.

This bug-like rover that looks like the big daddy of the compact Mars rovers that we have seen over the years is, in fact, a waste disposal vehicle for the harsh terrain of the red planet. Called the D25 Modular Rover, the design comes to the