London’s Black Cabs Get Green Makeover, plus London Black Cabs All Electric by 2023. Harley Davidson Launches Its E-Bike, and Berlin’s Auto Ban!
London’s Black Cabs Get Green Makeover, London Black Cabs All Electric by 2023, Harley Davidson’s E-Bike, Berlin’s Auto Ban!
BERLIN PETITION PUSHES FOR AN AUTO BAN
Berlin may be about to go vehicle-free after more than 50,000 people signed a petition to ban private cars in the city center. The Berlin Autofrei campaign wants the 34 square mile area encircled by the S-Bahn train network – roughly equivalent to zones 1 and 2 in London – and more than twice the size of the island of Manhattan to be almost entirely traffic-free.
According to a spokesperson for Berlin Autofrei said, “Our goal is to make Berlin more livable, with clear air, more greenery, less noise and safe streets for all.” The area comprises a dense urban environment, which makes it a likely possibility. If it were say, laid out like Los Angeles or Houston, such a would get a permanent red light.
The organization’s objective is to reduce the number of cars in the center of Berlin by 80 percent by the end of the decade. Originally, the goal was 20,000 signatures on their petition. Berlin Autofrei’s 50K indicates widespread support for legislation that would limit Berliners to 12 car trips per year in Berlin, beginning in 2027.
Why does this matter to us? Berlin joins a rising tide of major cities in the urban car-free movement. Paris, Madrid, Oslo and London have all had varying degrees of success ridding their city centers of climate-change inducing auto exhaust. America, we’re next!
DEEPER DIVE: BerlinSpectator, Yes! Magazine,
LONDON’S ICONIC BLACK CABS GET GREEN MAKEOVER
A guy I often listen to on the radio recently said that his favorite electric vehicle ride of all time–Teslas included–was in one of London’s, black e-cabs. That’s right, an e-cab. Dynamo Motor Company founder, Brendon O’Toole, said in a press release, “We’re on a mission to change the way people move around the UK, especially in built-up areas like cities where pollution is a problem.”
Turns out the Dynamo Taxi isn’t the first electric cab to roll through London’s streets. Back in 1899, 12 electric cabs called The Bersey made their mark on London roads. They were designed by Walter Bersey and had a top speed of about 11 miles per hour.
Unfortunately, these electric cabs survived barely two years before they disappeared. Back then the Bersey cab’s fragile windows and the weak tires contributed to them breaking down often, often making horse-drawn cabs faster for the same trip.
This time, the Dynamo Motor Company, founded in 2018, is determined not to suffer the same fate. The Dynamo Taxi, is based upon a tested, tried and true platform,the Nissan e-NV200 Evalia. The Dynamo Taxi has a range of about 125 miles. According to analysis, the average cabbie drives 70-80 miles per day.
Given that there are almost 20,000 black cabs licensed to operate in London, and given that under new Transport for London guidelines, only hybrid-electric or all electric vehicles can obtain new taxi licenses, DMC is looking at a pretty substantial market going forward.
Why does the Dynamo Black e-Cab matter to us city dwellers? Taxi cabs account for 16% of NOx pollution in London. Just imagine how clean Manhattan’s air would be if all of NYC’s 13,587 yellow cabs were converted to Dynamo Taxis…
DEEPER DIVE: The Bersey, Nissan e-NV200 Review, Dynamo Motor Company, The Guardian, CNBC
LARGEST LONDON BLACK CABBER PLEDGES ALL ELECTRIC BY 2023
Watch out, now! Not to be outdone by upstart Dynamo Motor Company, London courier and private hire taxi firm Addison Lee has pledged to convert its whole passenger car fleet to electric vehicles by 2023. While the company’s website says it has over 4,800 cars operating in the UK capital, its recent acquisition of black taxi service ComCab will make it the largest taxi company in London with over 7,000 vehicles. It already has 650 zero-emission vehicles in its fleet after the acquisition, but to be able to fully switch over to electric, it has teamed up with Volkswagen.
Addison Lee is investing £160 million ($218 million) to replace its existing fleet with slightly larger Volkswagen ID.4 vehicles. The standard ID.4 has a 77 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and has range of 250 miles, making it more suitable for city use than for long-distance driving. Its capable of 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque, with speeds reaching 100MPH.
The firm will start by rolling out 450 EVs by the end of 2021, then, the company plans to add 200 electric cars per month until its whole fleet has been replaced by end of 2023. Why does this bold move matter to us? Addison Lee’s ambitious plan to convert its entire fleet within two years doesn’t just move the needle toward zero-emissions in London—it could serve as a template for transport firms everywhere.
DEEPER DIVE: EnGadget, Emarketer, Addison Lee
HARLEY DAVIDSON GOES GREEN WITH LIVEWIRE E-BIKE
The words “Harley-Davidson” and “eco-friendly” rarely coincide. In fact I have a colleague who calls Harley riders some of the most selfish people on the planet because their bikes are unnecessarily loud and reek of oil and gas.
She’s not wrong. But that was before the motorcycle manufacturer began protoyping its LiveWire electric motorcycle back in 2014. The LiveWire was designed for, “people who might not ordinarily be drawn to Harley’s traditional loud, heavy, expensive motorcycles” and was called, “the most radical departure in the 111-year history of the brand” by “Speed Blog’s” Gary Gastelu.
The LiveWire is a 550 lb. bike capable of 0-60 in about 3 seconds with a top speed of about 114 mph and a range of about 145 miles between charges–much less if you stick the throttle wide open.
Why does Harley’s move into the growing field of electric motorcycles matter to those not “born to ride”? Thanks to a $400 million dollar merger with AEA-Bridges Impact Corp. (ABIC), LiveWire can go into massive production and speed the way to a greener, cleaner motorcycling future.
LiveWires are available in select US markets now and set to hit foreign shores in 2022.
DEEPER DIVE: Mercury News, The Verge, WSJ