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electric cars

Challenging The Idea That Electric Vehicles Are For The Rich

Jun 20, 2017

Poor people spend more of their income on gas and transportation and their neighborhoods often are more exposed to air pollution.

At the EV Roadmap Conference in Portland Tuesday, experts discussed how electric cars could help on both fronts.

The national conference drew more than 600 people to Portland to discuss all kinds of issues related to expanding the use of electric vehicles, from financing more charging stations to the possibility of self-charging autonomous electric cars.

The state of Washington has taken delivery of its first longer-range electric cars as part of a plan to double its electric vehicle fleet. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee showed off one of them at a ceremony in Olympia Thursday.

In the world of electric cars, there's a chicken-and-egg problem: More people might buy electric vehicles, or EVs, if they were confident there would always be a charger nearby. And businesses might install more chargers if there were more EVs on the road.

Oregon and Washington state are teaming up to a get a share of a remediation fund created under a court case against Volkswagen for emissions fraud. The first grants to promote electric cars could come later this year.

A Lamborghini at the University of Washington. Nearly 2,000 cars in Seattle are listed as having cost more than $80,349 – the current median household income for Seattle.
Flickr Photo/ericnvntr (CC BY 2.0) http://bit.ly/2dla8Pz

The most expensive car in Seattle is a $653,000 Enzo Ferrari (2003). It is registered to someone who lives somewhere downtown. 

It ties with an Enzo Ferrari in tony Medina for most expensive car in King County, followed by a Ferrari F40 in Bellevue that cost $643,000.

California, Oregon and Washington state have lofty goals for increasing the number of non-polluting vehicles on the road. To achieve those goals, you and your neighbors will need to buy electric cars at a higher rate that we're seeing now.

Hundreds of electric car enthusiasts and policymakers gathered this week in Portland to weigh how to accelerate consumer demand.

An Ohio man died while driving his Tesla car in its semi-autonomous mode in May, according to a Tesla statement this week. The accident occurred when Joshua Brown’s car hit a tractor-trailer that it didn’t brake for because the cameras on the car couldn’t distinguish the trailer from the bright sky. Brown also failed to see the truck.

The accident comes to light as many automakers are developing self-driving cars. Here & Now‘s Robin Young talks with Mike Regan of Bloomberg Gadfly about what the accident means for the industry.

Come July, a wider range of fully electric and extended range plug-in hybrid cars will benefit from a sales tax break in Washington state. Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation Monday to raise the cutoff for a tax incentive.

Tens of thousands of cars that drive themselves are about to hit the streets. Sort of. Last year, the electric carmaker Tesla started putting cameras and sensors into its Model S vehicles — making it possible, one day, for the devices to become the driver's eyes, ears and even hands. And today is the day.

The way Tesla has chosen to deliver this feature to car owners is peculiar, but let's start with what self-driving even means.

Cars have become computers on wheels. Crash the computer, and you could crash the car.

Two hackers decided they wanted to try doing that with a car that's considered pretty strong in terms of software, not just hardware. They chose the Tesla Model S. And — guess what — they broke in. But that's not the surprising part. The surprising part is how Tesla responded.

The Hack

A few minutes past the last minute, the Washington Legislature renewed an expiring tax incentive to promote non-polluting plug-in cars.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a possible hike in the gas tax this session. Supporters say it's needed in order to offset stagnant revenues due to more fuel efficient vehicles.

A coalition in Oregon and the Democratic governor of Washington want to juice sales of electric cars by providing more state incentives.

West Coast Leads Surge in Electric Cars

Sep 12, 2014

In all three West Coast states, transportation accounts for the largest share of climate-changing greenhouse gases. And all three states are trying to boost the number of zero-emission vehicles on their roads.

This week, California passed a milestone toward that goal; 100,000 electric cars sold in the state since the end of 2010.

Courtesy of Drive Oregon

Over the past four years, the federal government has picked up the tab for 20,000 electric car charging stations installed across the country.

The slow uptake of electric cars by Northwest drivers is prompting calls to extend a tax break in Washington state for new vehicles powered by alternative fuels.

Just like consumers who postponed buying new cars during the recent recession, government agencies also put off vehicle replacements. But now procurement officers are getting busy again.

A couple of years ago, Democratic politicians at the state and national levels set heady goals for battery powered cars. For example, in his 2011 State of the Union speech, President Obama said, "With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015."

The automaker Nissan says sales of its fully electric Leaf compact surpassed all other Nissan models at dealers in the Seattle and Portland areas this spring. The announcement Wednesday runs counter to the prevailing wisdom that adoption of plug-in cars has been sluggish.

At Nissan USA headquarters, electric vehicle marketing & sales director Erik Gottfried says he's scrambling to ship enough Leafs to meet demand in the Pacific Northwest. The car maker juiced its plug-in sales by slashing the sticker price and offering low-cost leases.

What’s The Future Of Cars?

May 6, 2013
Flickr photo/Elvert Barnes

Our car expert Ashly Knapp says in the not-too-distant future your car will be driving itself. Ross Reynolds sits down with Ashly Knapp to find out more about the latest auto trends. And Ashly Knapp answers your questions about auto-buying.

Electric Cars, Isabel Allende, And President Obama's Sister

Apr 25, 2013

Electric Car Company Under Congressional Scrutiny
Fisker Automotive is the latest beneficiary of the Obama Administration’s push for renewable energy to flounder. The electric car startup recently fired 75 percent of its workforce and hired bankruptcy advisers. Congress is asking questions about the propriety of federal loans to the politically well-connected company.

A Conversation With Writer Isabel Allende
Isabel Allende is a world-renowned writer, with 19 books in 35 languages. Her latest is "Maya’s Notebook," a tale that revolves around a descent into addiction and a rebirth through the love of family and place.

A Conversation With President Obama’s Sister, Maya Saetoro-Ng
A famous sibling can be a blessing or a burden. Maya Saetoro-Ng is the half-sister of President Obama. She uses her perspective as a history teacher to analyze how her brother’s presidency will be remembered.

Seattle Theater’s Power Couple
Seattle theater audiences know R. Hamilton “Bob” Wright from his long career onstage acting and of late, directing. Wright’s wife, Katie Forgette, is also a fixture on Seattle stages as an actress and now a playwright. Forgette’s newest play has opened at ACT Theatre directed by husband Bob Wright.

Ascent of the A-Word
(Credit/PublicAffairs)

In “Ascent of the A-Word,” linguist and "Fresh Air" commentator Geoffrey Nunberg considers a word that has divided, offended and fascinated its users for the last 60 years. What is its essence? And what does it say about our values, impressions and relationships with other people? Nunberg joins us to discuss one of the culture’s most commonly hurled vulgarities and its place in society.