Newsworthy: Volkswagen has been in talks with its global dealer network to establish a profitable model for selling and servicing electric vehicles. With the ambitious I.D. lineup and other electric models rolling out over the next decade, VW is looking to follow Tesla and other automakers who’ve created strong networks that can make it work when servicing vehicles that don’t need nearly as much time in a garage, or parts replacement, as internal combustion engine vehicles. The company is simplifying its maintenance with over-the-air software upgrades, and lengthening the service relationship through longer coverage periods built into the sale of the vehicle……………… The BMW Group is bringing more mobility services to China. In partnership with EVCARD, a Shanghai-based electric car-sharing company, has launched its car-sharing service in Chengdu under the co-brand “ReachNow Powered By EVCARD”. The mobility service based in the capital city of Southwest China’s Sichuan province will offer station-based premium electric car-sharing starting with 100 BMW i3s.
Space travel is next: If you’re spending time in Orlando for vacation or business, take some time to visit the Kennedy Space Center less than an hour away in Cape Canaveral. You can take a bus tour and see historic sites for Gemini and Apollo launches in the 1960s, and get a good look at the future of NASA and its partners that include SpaceX and Boeing.
For SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and others, the future of space travel is going to Mars. A few years ago, the last NASA space shuttle flight safely landed and ended a long-term focus for the federal agency. Now, it’s about researching minerals on Mars and helping commercial partners launch six-month long trips to the planet – where millions of Earth residents have expressed interest in living the rest of their lives.
Green Auto Market is taking a look in its Extended Edition at where these commercial partners are investing time, energy and talent – and lots of dollars – paving the way for space travel, flying cars, fast rail (or tube) systems, and electrified transportation. Bloomberg has conducted a study on companies and leading executives who have been making major investments in space travel with Microsoft’s Bill Gates coming in first, followed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Google’s Larry Page. Tesla/SpaceX chief Musk is No. 10 on the list.
The new study will take a deeper look at why Virgin founder Richard Branson acquired Hyperloop One and services his Virgin Galactic space travel company will supply to customers. X Prize founder Peter Diamandis is leading the way on mining asteroids for rare metals, and former Blink 182 rock star Tom DeLonge has assembled an impressive list of aeronautics and space travel experts for his To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science. The academy, which launched in October, will explore the “outer edges of science” and technologies including UFOs.