For Today: UK banning gasoline and diesel powered cars, Get ready for AltCar Expo

UK banning fossil-fuel powered cars:  The United Kingdom will be banning the sale of vehicles powered by gasoline and diesel by 2040, and would like to see all them off their roads by 2050. The UK follows France, which decided to ban all fossil-fuel powered vehicles by 2040. The mayors of London, Paris, Madrid, Mexico City, and Athens are developing their own policies for clean air and climate change, would like to ban diesel vehicles. The British government has faced legal pressure from a series of lawsuits, and the national government has been taking steps to scrap diesel-powered cars. Nearly 200 million pounds (about $261 million) will go to local governments in the UK to help them restrict access by diesel-powered vehicles to extremely polluted roads. Battery electric vehicles will probably be the route chosen by the national government to replace gasoline and diesel powered cars.

M-B motorsports joining Formula E:  Mercedes-Benz will be joining ranks with other automakers by competing in the Formula E electric racing series starting in the 2019-2020 racing season. In 2018, the automaker’s motorsports division will finish its long-term involvement with German racing series Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) to focus on Formula E. The company has been committed to racing and transitioning over to eco-friendly vehicles in recent years, including winning championships with its hybrid technology in the Formula One series. Mercedes-Benz will becomes the ninth auto manufacturer to join the series. Other automakers include Audi, BMW, Citroen DS, Jaguar, Mahindra, Renault, and electric carmaker startups Nio and Faraday Future.

Get ready for AltCar Expo:  The AltCar Expo & Conference, now in its 12th year, will be taking place in Santa Monica, Calif., on Sept. 15-16, 2017. The free admission two-day event features a series of speaker panels on pressing topics for fleets, government officials, vehicle manufacturers, technology companies, and enthusiasts interested in the issues and trying out the vehicles. AltCar Expo offers the best Ride & Drive out there, with several green cars to drive and a few commercial fleet vehicles to see. With the Trump administration deciding to exit the Paris climate accord, leaders are looking for other channels to address the issues; that includes the role California is playing.

“AltCar Expo was created to provide a forum for both industry and the general public to learn about existing alternatives to the way they use energy and transportation,” said Christine Dzilvelis, Organizing Partner of AltCar Expo. “Today, 52 percent of all Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) purchases are happening in California, and our state continues to lead the nation as it relates to clean energy policies that are driving national and global change. Our intention is for California to continue to lead in this area, and AltCar offers a venue to generate awareness about existing and future technologies and encourage their use.”

For Today: France banning petroleum-powered cars, More states adding plug-in vehicle fees

Banning fossil-fuel powered vehicles:  France will be banning the sale of gasoline- and diesel- powered vehicles by 2040, said Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot on Thursday. Hulot was speaking on France’s commitment to honor the Paris climate agreement now that President Donald Trump has pulled the U.S. out of it. France aims to be carbon neutral by 2050 to honor the agreement. He acknowledged that stopping sales of fossil-fuel powered vehicles would be a “revolution,” solutions are available and French automakers would be up to the task. Typical to markets around the world, electrified vehicles only make for a small share of total vehicle sales. During the first half of this year, gasoline and diesel vehicles made for 95.2% of new vehicle sales in France; hybrids made up about 3.5% and plug-in electrified vehicles made up about 1.2% of the market. The Renault Zoe, seen in this image in its e-Sport Concept version, has been a top seller in France and throughout Europe.

Terrafugia flying car maker gets backing:  Chinese automaker Geely, owner of Volvo Cars, just purchased startup flying car maker Terrafugia. The startup was launched by a group of MIT alumnae and is considered to be the furthest along in the flying car space. The company last year won a certification from the Federal Aviation Administration that would make it easier for owners to someday drive the cars on land and air. One of Google’s founders, Larry Page, has invested a lot in other flying car startups, while Uber and airplane manufacturer Airbus have also joined the race. But it’s not really a flying car, the company said. “Don’t think of it as a car that flies. Think of it as a plane that drives,” Carl Dietrich, CEO of Terrafugia, told when the concept made its debut at the New York Auto Show in 2012.

PEV fees increasing:  More states are adding fees for purchasing plug-in electrified vehicles, with the number totaling 13 that have passed or enacted such fees.  Georgia, Washington, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Virginia had previously enacted PEV fees. West Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, and California, have enacted new fees this year. Six other states have introduced legislation this year that would require PEV owners to pay a separate fee, including Indiana, South Carolina, Kansas, Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Montana. Vermont and Oregon are considering a fee based on vehicle miles traveled, rather than fuel type, but these rules may not pass through. PEV fees have been passed to pay for more transportation infrastructure upgrades, and to make up for lost tax revenue that PEV drivers don’t have to pay in gasoline and diesel taxes. Incentives are being added to get consumers to buy these cars, but the fees are mostly being charged on an annual, recurring basis.