The Truth About Cars » People http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 01 Apr 2015 02:59:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » People http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/people/ Tesla Commits To Localized Production In China Within Three Years http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/tesla-commits-localized-production-china-within-three-years/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/tesla-commits-localized-production-china-within-three-years/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1033497 Aiming to build confidence among Chinese consumers, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has pledged his company will begin local production in China within three years. Xinhua reports that until then, imports from the United States will continue because the factory still has capacity left to grow into. Once that occurs, however, Musk says it would only […]

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2014 Tesla Model S in China

Aiming to build confidence among Chinese consumers, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has pledged his company will begin local production in China within three years.

Xinhua reports that until then, imports from the United States will continue because the factory still has capacity left to grow into. Once that occurs, however, Musk says it would only be sensible to “localize production in China for the Chinese market, in Europe for the European market.”

Though Musk and Tesla haven’t had the best time in China since importation began in mid-2013 — ranging from sales issues and speculators, to range anxiety and consumer preferences — the CEO is optimistic about the future of his company’s work in the market, taking the long-term view as the basis for said optimism.

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Oakland PD Turns Over 4.6M License Plate Dataset Via Public Records Request http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/oakland-pd-turns-4-6m-license-plate-dataset-via-public-records-request/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/oakland-pd-turns-4-6m-license-plate-dataset-via-public-records-request/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1030273 Via a public records request, the Oakland Police Department has turned over 4.6 million reads of 1.1 million unique plates recorded between 2010 and 2014. Ars Technica made the request, resulting in the aforementioned license-plate reader dataset made between December 23, 2010 and May 31, 2014. The publication then hired a data visualization specialist to […]

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OaklandPoliceCar

Via a public records request, the Oakland Police Department has turned over 4.6 million reads of 1.1 million unique plates recorded between 2010 and 2014.

Ars Technica made the request, resulting in the aforementioned license-plate reader dataset made between December 23, 2010 and May 31, 2014. The publication then hired a data visualization specialist to organize the dataset for its investigation into the practice.

With the permission of those contacted, the publication was able to track the movements of each individual based on their license plate, information that provides an insight into a given person’s life, according to University of California, Berkeley law professor Catherine Crump:

Where someone goes can reveal a great deal about how he chooses to live his life. Do they park regularly outside the Lighthouse Mosque during times of worship? They’re probably Muslim. Can a car be found outside Beer Revolution a great number of times? May be a craft beer enthusiast—although possibly with a drinking problem.

Crump adds that, as LPR technology comes down in price and becomes ubiquitous on the backs of police cars and in traffic lights, citizens should support restrictions on the data collected, from how long it’s stored and who can access it, to why it should be accessed in the first place.

Ars Technica also obtained data on OPD vehicles, discovering that a single unit — a 2007 Ford P71 — was scanned 879 times between January 15, 2012 and May 31, 2014 while it travelled through Downtown Oakland and North Oakland; nearly all of the 100 OPD in the dataset were also scanned several hundred times over.

As for how the publication was able to have this data in the first place, neither the OPD or the Oakland City Council has set a formal data retention limit; the police department deletes information as needed for new data, however. All OPD officers also have access to the LPR information at any time, and need not give a reason for accessing the data when searching for a given plate, though policy says such searches require “a legitimate law enforcement purpose, such as following up on a criminal investigation.”

Finally, OPD police captain Anthony Toribio explains that the data is publically available to anyone who asks, citing transparency as the reason:

I think it’s important for a law enforcement organization to be transparent, and it goes to being credible and establishing legitimacy in the community.

The OPD dataset is the second-largest LPR dataset to be released via request, the largest being one from a request by the American Civil Liberties Union to the Seattle Police Department in 2010. The request resulted in a dataset of over 7.3 million scans.

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Williams: UAW Vows To ‘Bridge The Gap’ Between The Tiers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/williams-uaw-vows-bridge-gap-tiers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/williams-uaw-vows-bridge-gap-tiers/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1029753 During his speech at the 2015 UAW Bargaining Convention in Detroit, president Dennis Williams proclaimed that the time for sacrifice and tiers are over. According to Automotive News, Williams stated before the 900-strong delegates inside Cobo Center that the UAW’s goal was to “raise everybody up and bridge the gap” between Tier 1 and Tier […]

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UAW Wages

During his speech at the 2015 UAW Bargaining Convention in Detroit, president Dennis Williams proclaimed that the time for sacrifice and tiers are over.

According to Automotive News, Williams stated before the 900-strong delegates inside Cobo Center that the UAW’s goal was to “raise everybody up and bridge the gap” between Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees in the union’s upcoming contract talks with the Detroit Three: FCA US, Ford and General Motors.

Not only did he vow to roll back Tier 2 toward Tier 1, he had this to say about Ford’s and GM’s desire to create a third tier for lower-skilled employees:

We’ve got too many damn tiers now!

Though preventing a Tier 3 from occurring could be a possibility, bringing Tier 2 on par with Tier 1 may prove difficult for Williams and the UAW.

Established in 2007 as a temporary measure to help the Detroit Three weather the storm of the oncoming Great Recession, the two-tier wage system is now firmly entrenched among the trio, with FCA holding the most Tier 2 employees at 42 percent of its workforce. Around 33,000 employees hired since the middle of 2011 are Tier 2, making up 29 percent of the overall Detroit Three’s 137,000 employees.

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Volkswagen Bringing Aggressive Crossover Styling To USDM Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/volkswagen-bringing-aggressive-crossover-styling-usdm-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/volkswagen-bringing-aggressive-crossover-styling-usdm-market/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 10:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1029713 Feeling its style isn’t metal as it could be, Volkswagen is unleashing a more aggressive language for its upcoming compact and midsize crossovers. Automotive News reports the crossovers’ styling will take cues from the T-Roc and Cross Coupe GTE concepts, including sharp-angled character lines, notch-tooth grills, and imposing faces. Design boss Klaus Bischoff says the […]

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Volkswagen-T-ROC-Concept

Feeling its style isn’t metal as it could be, Volkswagen is unleashing a more aggressive language for its upcoming compact and midsize crossovers.

Automotive News reports the crossovers’ styling will take cues from the T-Roc and Cross Coupe GTE concepts, including sharp-angled character lines, notch-tooth grills, and imposing faces. Design boss Klaus Bischoff says the new language is needed to help make a stronger impact in the United States market, considering that the automaker’s 2 percent market share pales in comparison to the double-digits it enjoys in Europe, China and other global markets.

Bischoff admits that the more conservative Euro-centric approach to design had been the company’s philosophy “for a long time,” adding that while it did work in Europe, it didn’t seem to be “the remedy for the rest of the world.”

The first model to wear the new design language will be the seven-passenger midsize crossover — pulling cues from the Cross Coupe GTE — set to leave Chattanooga in 2016. This will be followed by a redesigned Tiguan and a Golf-based crossover — the latter taking its style from the T-Roc — both due in 2017.

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Reithofer: Government Programs Key To BMW i3 Success http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/reithofer-government-programs-key-bmw-i3-success/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/reithofer-government-programs-key-bmw-i3-success/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 11:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1028841 BMW’s i3’s success is helped by a number of government incentives in a few of the automaker’s key markets, according to CEO Norbert Reithofer. According to Automotive News Europe, Reithofer said that sales figures for the i3 are connected to political initiatives toward electric mobility, adding that when those initiatives are there, “the registration figures […]

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2015 BMW i3 Range Extender Exterior-007

BMW’s i3’s success is helped by a number of government incentives in a few of the automaker’s key markets, according to CEO Norbert Reithofer.

According to Automotive News Europe, Reithofer said that sales figures for the i3 are connected to political initiatives toward electric mobility, adding that when those initiatives are there, “the registration figures for the BMW i3 soar.”

The CEO cited Norway as an example, where the government not only has a charging infrastructure where owners can park and recharge for free, but does not levy sales or registration taxes on EVs. Those incentives have helped BMW move 2,000 i3s in 2014.

Meanwhile, significant financial subsidies in the United States, as well as privileges such as use of dedicated HOV lanes, led to sales of 3,000 units in California alone, a figure that is half of all i3s sold in the U.S.

Other incentives include looser licensing restrictions in Shanghai, circulation tax exemptions for 10 years from date of first registration in Germany, and company car tax exemptions for life in France.

Speaking of Germany, where 2,000 i3s were sold in 2014, Reithofer said his country’s government needs to “pick up the pace” in pushing electric mobility. Germany wants 1 million EVs on its roads by 2020, and has plans to offer additional incentives to achieve its goal.

In the meantime, BMW will introduce its DriveNow car-sharing service this spring, beginning in London. San Francisco will be the first U.S. city in the program by May, while the German cities of Hamburg, Berlin and Munich will join in July. The program is meant to help boost acceptance of electrification, and widening the tech’s appeal among younger drivers.

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Subaru Considering Paths For Upcoming Seven-Passenger Crossover http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/subaru-considering-paths-upcoming-seven-passenger-crossover/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/subaru-considering-paths-upcoming-seven-passenger-crossover/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 12:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1028257 Could there be a Subaru Grand Outback in the future? That’s what the automaker is considering for its seven-passenger crossover due in showrooms in 2017. Automotive News reports the automaker is deciding on either a “big brother” crossover to the Outback, or be its own crossover with styling distinct from said model. Either way, the […]

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2015 Subaru Outback

Could there be a Subaru Grand Outback in the future? That’s what the automaker is considering for its seven-passenger crossover due in showrooms in 2017.

Automotive News reports the automaker is deciding on either a “big brother” crossover to the Outback, or be its own crossover with styling distinct from said model. Either way, the execs don’t want to take it down the same styling road that helped lead to the Tribeca’s demise last year.

Fuji Heavy Industries senior vice president of global marketing Nobuhiko Murakami says the seven-seater being developed mainly for the U.S. domestic market “will be roomier than the Tribeca and have three rows of seats,” though arrangement “is still under discussion.” He adds that the crossover will need to differentiate itself from its competitors, including the Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder and Honda Pilot.

Alas, for those hoping the Levorg wagon would come over, Murakami says the new crossover will keep the wagon away, citing Subaru’s priority toward the Legacy sedan designed for the U.S. No sales forecasts for the upcoming model were mentioned at this time, which leave the automaker’s facility in Indiana in 2017.

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ChemChina, Finanzaria Buying Pirelli In €7.1B Takeover Deal http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/chemchina-finanzaria-buying-pirelli-7-1b-takeover-deal/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/chemchina-finanzaria-buying-pirelli-7-1b-takeover-deal/#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 11:00:41 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1028233 Should things go as planned, China National Chemical Corp. — ChemChina — will buy into Pirelli in a €7.1 billion ($7.7 billion USD) deal. Automotive News reports the deal could bring premium-tire technology to ChemChina, while giving Pirelli a huge jump in the Chinese domestic market. However, the chemical company’s bid of €15/share last weekend […]

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Pirelli F1 Tire Range

Should things go as planned, China National Chemical Corp. — ChemChina — will buy into Pirelli in a €7.1 billion ($7.7 billion USD) deal.

Automotive News reports the deal could bring premium-tire technology to ChemChina, while giving Pirelli a huge jump in the Chinese domestic market. However, the chemical company’s bid of €15/share last weekend may be the beginning of a protracted takeover as it and Pirelli’s largest investor, Cam Finanziaria, attempt to secure 90 percent of the stock to take the tire company off of the trading floor; the share price climbed to €15.76 Monday.

The terms of the deal would give ChemChina 50.1 percent of the company, Finanziaria 49.9 percent, and would begin with the former paying €15/share for Finanziaria’s 26.2 percent of Pirelli, followed by a public tender for the rest of the company at the same price. Should that fail, however, ChemChina could merge its 66 percent with Finanziaria’s holdings to force a delisting. Pirelli chair and CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera would remain CEO under the deal, while ChemChina will seek a new chair.

The Sino-Italian buy-in is part of a number of takeovers of Italian companies by Chinese buyers, and would be the fifth-largest deal by a state-owned enterprise.

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Mary Barra Among Those To Depose Over GM Ignition Recall http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/mary-barra-among-depose-gm-ignition-recall/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/mary-barra-among-depose-gm-ignition-recall/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 13:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1027465 General Motors CEO Mary Barra will be among those called to depose over the automaker’s February 2014 ignition switch recall by lawyers. The Detroit News reports Barra will join over three dozen former and current GM employees and execs in a months-long deposition process set to start May 6; Barra’s deposition October 8 will be […]

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Mary Barra with Mark Reuss and some laughing rando at the GMC Eminence Front booth during the 2015 Detroit Auto Show

General Motors CEO Mary Barra will be among those called to depose over the automaker’s February 2014 ignition switch recall by lawyers.

The Detroit News reports Barra will join over three dozen former and current GM employees and execs in a months-long deposition process set to start May 6; Barra’s deposition October 8 will be the last one.

The process is linked to a consolidated group of lawsuits led by attorney Robert Hilliard, whose plaintiffs are seeking damages for lost resale value, injury and death as a result of GM’s decade-long delay in recalling the defective ignition switch at the center of the maelstrom.

Related documents that were released as part of a recent settlement with the Melton family — one of the families affected by the recall — lead Hilliard to believe the automaker knew more than it let on; thus, the deposition process about to occur:

Given the damning documents we have uncovered throughout the course of this litigation, the dance floor is very, very small and no GM witness will be able to shuffle around the truth. I expect we will find out how high up this cover-up goes.

Other witnesses include former engineer Ray DeGiorgio, former general counsel Michael Millikin, engineering director David Cary, and senior vice president of global connected customer experience Alicia Boler-Davis, who will be the first to be deposed.

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More US Consumers Signing Long-Term Auto Loans http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/us-consumers-signing-long-term-auto-loans/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/us-consumers-signing-long-term-auto-loans/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 14:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1025785 In the past, six-year auto loans were few and far between. Today, more of those loans are being issued, with seven- and eight-year loans gaining popularity. NPR reports such loans are helping to fuel a boom in U.S. new-car sales, with one-third of the loans lasting 74 months and beyond. AutoPacific analyst Ed Kim says […]

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Signing his life and wallet away for the next six or so years with a long-term auto loan agreement

In the past, six-year auto loans were few and far between. Today, more of those loans are being issued, with seven- and eight-year loans gaining popularity.

NPR reports such loans are helping to fuel a boom in U.S. new-car sales, with one-third of the loans lasting 74 months and beyond. AutoPacific analyst Ed Kim says the cars are one of the reasons for the long loans:

Consumers are demanding a lot more technology in their vehicles, infotainment technologies. There’s also a lot more safety features that are in vehicles right now. Emissions and efficiency technology that are in vehicles right now, that are making vehicles cost a lot more.

Kim adds that the main driver is that most consumers are still crawling out of the Great Recession, which Experian Automotive’s Melinda Zabritski says isn’t much of a problem as far as lending goes. She says that while it would be sensible to take on 36- or 48-month loans on a new vehicle, “the average consumer just can’t afford that.”

Critics counter that the long-term loans could hurt consumers and automakers alike in the near- and long-term. Consumer advocate Mike Sante states that those who are taking out those loans have no business doing so in the first place, and should buy a less expensive new or used vehicle with a loan of no more than four years. Honda Executive Vice President John Mendel, whose company offers 36- and 48-month loans, says loans beyond five years are too long, and adds that he hopes his competitors come to their senses.

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Richard Branson Setting Sights On Tesla With Possible Virgin EV http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/richard-branson-setting-sights-tesla-possible-virgin-ev/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/richard-branson-setting-sights-tesla-possible-virgin-ev/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 10:00:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1025697 Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson has tackled everything from space and music, to airlines and MVNOs. Now, he has his sights on Tesla. Bloomberg reports Branson explained his motive for his Virgin Racing subsidiary’s involvement in Formula E when the he and and the team were in Miami last weekend: We have teams of people […]

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Richard Branson, his Virgin Racing Formula E team, and the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders

Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson has tackled everything from space and music, to airlines and MVNOs. Now, he has his sights on Tesla.

Bloomberg reports Branson explained his motive for his Virgin Racing subsidiary’s involvement in Formula E when the he and and the team were in Miami last weekend:

We have teams of people working on electric cars. So you never know — you may find Virgin competing with the Tesla in the car business as we do in the space business. We will see what happens.

Virgin Engineering is among the few companies working on electric vehicles, which include Nissan, Audi and Apple. However, Branson concedes that Tesla is the one leading the way, proclaiming the company’s cars “as sexy as any other car on the road today.”

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Vincent Bollore Bringing ‘Superior’ EV Tech, Car-Sharing Service To US Market http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/vincent-bollore-bringing-superior-ev-tech-car-sharing-service-us-market/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/vincent-bollore-bringing-superior-ev-tech-car-sharing-service-us-market/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 14:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1025009 EV consumers in France and beyond needn’t wait months for a Tesla Model S, thanks to Vincent Bollore’s Autolib service and Bluecar EVs. Bloomberg reports the Bollore Group founder and chairman created Autolib to put EV fans behind the wheel of one of his Pininfarina-designed Bluecars for the equivalent of 20 cents per minute. Though […]

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Vincent Bollore with his Bluecars in Paris

EV consumers in France and beyond needn’t wait months for a Tesla Model S, thanks to Vincent Bollore’s Autolib service and Bluecar EVs.

Bloomberg reports the Bollore Group founder and chairman created Autolib to put EV fans behind the wheel of one of his Pininfarina-designed Bluecars for the equivalent of 20 cents per minute. Though the cars aren’t as premium as a Model S, Bollore says it’s the electrical systems powering the Bluecar that matter, proclaiming them to be “far superior” to Tesla’s efforts.

The technology involves lithium metal polymer batteries, developed by Bollore’s Blue Solutions. The batteries, which don’t need liquid electrolytes to store power, are not only lighter in weight than lithium-ion packs, but can be charged up to 3,000 times, and are stable at temps up to 338 F. No one else has gone for the technology thus far, however; Bollore invested €3 billion ($3.2 billion) over three years to develop the EVs and the battery technology now in use by his ventures.

Meanwhile, the billionaire has plans to bring Autolib and Bluecars to the United States, opening the first branch in Indianapolis this June, with Los Angeles a possible second U.S. candidate down the road. Bollore hopes to have 500 cars and 200 stations throughout the city — chosen for its strong car culture and varying weather conditions — by the end of this year.

Back home, Autolib has 3,000 Bluecars and 900 stations in service, with around 70,000 customers paying a €120 ($130 USD) annual fee to drive the EVs; 500 more cars and 200 more stations are expected to come online in 2015.

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Musk: Autonomous Vehicles Mean Future Where Driving Is Illegal http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/musk-autonomous-vehicles-mean-future-driving-illegal/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/musk-autonomous-vehicles-mean-future-driving-illegal/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 14:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1024489 His hand may be on a steering wheel now, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk foresees a future where autonomous vehicles lead to a total ban on human intervention. Automotive News reports Musk said as much during a conference held by graphics chipmaker Nvidia at its headquarters in San Jose, Calif.: In the distant future, I […]

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elon-musk-model-s

His hand may be on a steering wheel now, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk foresees a future where autonomous vehicles lead to a total ban on human intervention.

Automotive News reports Musk said as much during a conference held by graphics chipmaker Nvidia at its headquarters in San Jose, Calif.:

In the distant future, I think people may outlaw driving cars because it’s too dangerous. You can’t have a person driving a two-ton death machine.

He later clarified on Twitter his own position on the matter, stating his company “is strongly in favor of people being allowed to drive their cars and always will be,” hoping that the statement was obvious to those following along.

As for his appearance at Nvidia, the chipmaker is working to sell a purpose-built autonomous-vehicle computer called Drive PX, based upon its Tegra X1 mobile processor. The system will have 12 inputs for high-res cameras — like the kind Tesla is putting into its Model S right now — and is due to go on sale in May.

Musk added that his engineers are hard at work on improving autonomous technology, believing the tech will take greater control of the wheel on the highway “in a few years.”

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NHTSA Vows Crackdown Upon Drowsy Driving http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nhtsa-vows-crackdown-upon-drowsy-driving/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/nhtsa-vows-crackdown-upon-drowsy-driving/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 13:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1024297 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind announced his agency would crackdown on drowsy driving through data and strategy. The Detroit News reports the agency would work closely with state governments to gather data and develop strategies based on what has worked in the few states that have introduced legislation to curb drowsy driving: […]

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Asleep At The Wheel - Jumpin' At The Woodside vinyl record album cover

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Mark Rosekind announced his agency would crackdown on drowsy driving through data and strategy.

The Detroit News reports the agency would work closely with state governments to gather data and develop strategies based on what has worked in the few states that have introduced legislation to curb drowsy driving:

We’re going to develop strategies specifically targeting populations especially vulnerable to drowsy driving. And we’re going to comprehensively examine the role that driver aids, in the car and outside of it, can play — everything from high-tech solutions like computer algorithms that detect when you’re getting sleepy behind the wheel, to old standbys like rumble strips on the road.

The NHTSA found that from 2005 to 2009, drowsy driving was the cause of 2.2 percent to 2.6 percent of all fatal accidents, coming out to 1,000 deaths annually. Around 72,000 accidents per year linked to injury and/or property damage were found to be caused by the issue, as well.

Though little measurable data on drowsy driving exists thus far, the agency noted that crashes occur often on high-speed roadways between mid-afternoon and early morning involving solo drivers who didn’t avoid crashing, with employees working at night or odd hours, those between 16 and 29 years of age, and those with sleep disorders being most at risk.

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Gov. Scott Walker’s Changing Ethanol Stance Sign Of Greater Issue For GOP Hopeful http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/gov-scott-walkers-changing-ethanol-stance-sign-greater-issue-gop-hopeful/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/gov-scott-walkers-changing-ethanol-stance-sign-greater-issue-gop-hopeful/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:00:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1024265 Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s flip-flop on the issue of ethanol may be just the tip of an iceberg that could affect his chances for the 2016 GOP hopeful. Autoblog reports several memos linked to the still-unofficial campaigns of the other GOP presidential candidates have noted Walker’s shifts on positions on issues like ethanol, immigration et al. […]

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Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s flip-flop on the issue of ethanol may be just the tip of an iceberg that could affect his chances for the 2016 GOP hopeful.

Autoblog reports several memos linked to the still-unofficial campaigns of the other GOP presidential candidates have noted Walker’s shifts on positions on issues like ethanol, immigration et al. The broad pattern of flip-flopping, as well as his status as an unknown among his state’s voters, means he’ll have a hard go at convincing Republicans that he is their candidate for President of the United States.

On the issue of ethanol, he once denounced the mandate of adding the corn-based variant into gasoline in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign, citing the harm such mandates would impose on “Wisconsin’s working families.” While his team says he still supports that stance, Walker was among those at the 2015 Iowa Ag Summit in Des Moines, Iowa to support the federal renewable fuel standard that allows corn ethanol to be added into gasoline.

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Newly Revealed Documents Linked To GM Ignition Recall Contradict Valukas Report http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/newly-revealed-documents-linked-gm-ignition-recall-contradict-valukas-report/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/newly-revealed-documents-linked-gm-ignition-recall-contradict-valukas-report/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 13:00:26 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023953 Previously confidential documents linked to the General Motors February 2014 ignition recall will give plaintiffs more ammunition for their lawsuits. According to Automotive News, the documents were unveiled after GM settled last week with Ken and Beth Melton for a second time over the death of their daughter Brooke through the compensation fund administered by […]

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Valukas Report

Previously confidential documents linked to the General Motors February 2014 ignition recall will give plaintiffs more ammunition for their lawsuits.

According to Automotive News, the documents were unveiled after GM settled last week with Ken and Beth Melton for a second time over the death of their daughter Brooke through the compensation fund administered by attorney Kenneth Feinberg, per attorneys Lance Cooper and Jere Beasley.

However, those documents — which includes communications between the automaker and its lawyers — contradict the conclusions found in the report published by attorney and independent investigator Anton Valukas, which stated that “incompetence and neglect — not an intentional effort to conceal” the ignition switch problems led to the recall last year after a decade of inaction.

As a result, Cooper and Beasley will begin deposing “all important General Motors witnesses” linked to the recall this May, including all current and former execs and employees.

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Juechter: No Mid-Engine Corvette Exists http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/juechter-no-mid-engine-corvette-exists/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/juechter-no-mid-engine-corvette-exists/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 14:00:39 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023209 Aside from IMSA’s Daytona Prototype class, dreams of a mid-engine Corvette will remain as such according to the icon’s chief engineer. AutoGuide reports Tadge Juechter said as much when interviewed during an episode of “Autoline After Hours,” when the engineer was asked about the rumored “Zora” mid-engine Corvette meant to challenge the Ferrari 488 GTB […]

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Roar Before the Rolex 24

Aside from IMSA’s Daytona Prototype class, dreams of a mid-engine Corvette will remain as such according to the icon’s chief engineer.

AutoGuide reports Tadge Juechter said as much when interviewed during an episode of “Autoline After Hours,” when the engineer was asked about the rumored “Zora” mid-engine Corvette meant to challenge the Ferrari 488 GTB and Lamborghini Huracan:

I’ll have to check that out, because I know no such car exists.

Juechter did say General Motors thought about moving the engine to a mid-rear configuration with the C7, but ultimately declined when doing so meant “sacrificing too much everyday driving comfort.”

The possibility for such a beast may still be there — if our experience with the upcoming 2017 Ford GT is anything to go by — but for now, the closest anyone will get to that unicorn is through an IMSA Driver Membership.

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Cadillac CT6 Lighter Than Similar Sedans Via Patent-Pending Construction http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cadillac-ct6-lighter-similar-sedans-via-patent-pending-construction/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/cadillac-ct6-lighter-similar-sedans-via-patent-pending-construction/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 12:00:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023065 While the Cadillac CT6’s exterior may leave the B&B wanting, its lightweight structure may be more impressive. Cadillac says its upcoming flagship — set to bow March 31 before rolling down the ramp at the 2015 New York Auto Show — uses 13 different materials throughout the chassis and body panels to bring the CT6’s […]

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Cadillac CT6 Structure mit Aluminium und Schteel Jawohl Uber Alles Amerika!

While the Cadillac CT6’s exterior may leave the B&B wanting, its lightweight structure may be more impressive.

Cadillac says its upcoming flagship — set to bow March 31 before rolling down the ramp at the 2015 New York Auto Show — uses 13 different materials throughout the chassis and body panels to bring the CT6’s weight down by 198 pounds when compared to a similar model using “predominantly steel construction.”

Per president Johan de Nysschen:

This is the rocket science of automobile construction and manufacturing today. With the CT6, we used high-strength aluminum and high-strength steels; lightweight chassis components; we integrate aluminum and steel where it makes sense; we eliminate every gram of mass possible, while achieving world-class performance.

Most of the vehicle’s structure — 64 percent — is aluminum, with high-strength steel “used strategically to reinforce” the structure, which has 21 patents pending tied to its existence. Aluminum and steel spot welds, flow drill screws, laser welding et al were used to put the structure together. The results eliminate the need for extensive sound-deadening, and allow the CT6 to be bigger and have more standard equipment “while achieving lower overall mass,” according to executive chief engineer Travis Hester.

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Aikawa: Updated Mitsubishi Lancer Shelved For SUVs, Electrification http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/aikawa-updated-mitsubishi-lancer-shelved-suvs-electrification/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/aikawa-updated-mitsubishi-lancer-shelved-suvs-electrification/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:00:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023049 Get used to seeing this Mitsubishi Lancer for a long time to come, as the automaker has shelved its updates to its iconic sedan. According to CarAdvice.com.au, Mitsubishi president and COO Tetsuro Aikawa explained at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show the reasons behind the decision not to update the Lancer or its other sedans: While […]

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2012_Mitsubishi_Lancer_SE_sedan_--_02-04-2012_1

Get used to seeing this Mitsubishi Lancer for a long time to come, as the automaker has shelved its updates to its iconic sedan.

According to CarAdvice.com.au, Mitsubishi president and COO Tetsuro Aikawa explained at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show the reasons behind the decision not to update the Lancer or its other sedans:

While I’m the president probably no introduction of the next-generation Lancer… we will continue to sell current Lancer.

There are two reasons for that. One of the reasons is because, concerning the investment on development, we’d like to concentrate on SUV, PHEVs and EVs. That’s one reason.

The second reason is because sedan, in the world, is a very high competition at the moment and it’s very difficult to come up with a profit.

As for the Evo, the badge may be worn by a PHEV SUV with enough firepower to earn the honor to take up where the Lancer Evo will leave off this year.

The decision to freeze sedan development follows a failed attempt to partner with Renault for C- and D-segment vehicles, which Aikawa says was not “a win-win scenario” for either party.

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BBC Cancels Remaining Top Gear Episodes Amid Clarkson ‘Fracas’ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/bbc-cancels-remaining-top-gear-episodes-amid-clarkson-fracas/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/bbc-cancels-remaining-top-gear-episodes-amid-clarkson-fracas/#comments Fri, 13 Mar 2015 13:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1021041 In the fallout of “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson’s “fracas” with a producer, BBC has cancelled the remaining three episodes of the current series. BBC News adds that while Clarkson has been suspended after said fight with the producer “pending an investigation,” fellow presenters James May and Richard Hammond have not been suspended, per a […]

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Jeremy Clarkson circa late 2014

In the fallout of “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson’s “fracas” with a producer, BBC has cancelled the remaining three episodes of the current series.

BBC News adds that while Clarkson has been suspended after said fight with the producer “pending an investigation,” fellow presenters James May and Richard Hammond have not been suspended, per a statement by the BBC.

As for how Clarkson is handling the situation, he wrote in his column for The Sun:

I’m having a nice cold pint and waiting for this to blow over.

He has also taken to Twitter, discussing with Hammond and May what movies could be aired in place of this Sunday’s cancelled episode, and apologizing to Labour Party and opposition leader Ed Miliband about bumping Miliband’s “‘I’m a human’ piece” down from the top of the news headlines.

The suspension — of which over 250,000 fans are petitioning to have undone — comes after Clarkson was presented with a final warning last year by the BBC after footage of the presenter using a racist word in a nursery rhyme was found by The Daily Mirror.

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UAW Local 112 President Working To Organize MBUSI http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/uaw-local-112-president-working-organize-mbusi/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/uaw-local-112-president-working-organize-mbusi/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 15:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1020505 The UAW hasn’t had the best luck unionizing the South thus far, but one man hopes to bring Mercedes around. Ward’s Auto reports UAW Local 112 president and MBUSI quality operations employee George Jones is leading the effort to organize the 2,200 full-time employees and 1,200 temporary workers in Vance, Ala. The local has support […]

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MBUSI Mercedes-Benz Alabama

The UAW hasn’t had the best luck unionizing the South thus far, but one man hopes to bring Mercedes around.

Ward’s Auto reports UAW Local 112 president and MBUSI quality operations employee George Jones is leading the effort to organize the 2,200 full-time employees and 1,200 temporary workers in Vance, Ala. The local has support from German union IG Metall and the Daimler World Employee Committee, as well as favorable rulings from the National Labor Relations Board, though Mercedes has appealed a ruling that would allow union leaflets to be distributed in non-work areas.

According to Jones:

We’re the only ones on this little island. Tuscaloosa (Vance) is a cash cow. All we’re asking for is fairness. Management has total control. It’s all about power.

The president is focused on giving a voice to the union as far as job classifications, staffing and perks go, adding that temp workers earn half of the $29 full-timers receive, with no guarantees of becoming full-time, and no benefits. He says that Mercedes also doesn’t offer a pension plan in MBUSI, while the 401(k) plan provided “is like going to the casino,” citing what happened during the early days of the Great Recession.

Jones says it will take a while for Local 112 — whose membership numbers he did not disclose — to organize the facility, with no set time to hold a vote or card check. Should the UAW win in Vance, however, it would be the first transplant-owned light-vehicle assembly plant in the South to be organized.

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Ally Financial Offering 84-Month Loans Amid Industry Risk Concerns http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/ally-financial-offering-84-month-loans-amid-industry-risk-concerns/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/ally-financial-offering-84-month-loans-amid-industry-risk-concerns/#comments Thu, 12 Mar 2015 14:00:02 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1020481 Though most lenders aren’t comfortable with the idea of 84-month auto loans, Ally Financial is going full steam ahead with such loans. Automotive News reports the former financial arm of General Motors — joining Toyota Financial Services in the seven-year lending game — is taking on 84-month loans because, per CEO Jeffrey Brown, the lender […]

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Ally NYSE Trading Floor

Though most lenders aren’t comfortable with the idea of 84-month auto loans, Ally Financial is going full steam ahead with such loans.

Automotive News reports the former financial arm of General Motors — joining Toyota Financial Services in the seven-year lending game — is taking on 84-month loans because, per CEO Jeffrey Brown, the lender hadn’t taken enough risk over the past two to three years. Representative Gina Proia adds that the loan terms would be offered to well-qualified consumers in 24 states in 2015 as part of Ally’s commitment “to offering competitive products designed to help dealers provide their customers with a variety of options that meet a range of consumer credit needs and monthly payment preferences.”

However, Ally and Toyota Financial are among the only ones to offer such terms, as most lenders want their customers to come back more often. Financial observers, meanwhile, are watching longer-term loans with a cautious eye, citing concerns of risks to the United States economy down the road if things were to follow the same path as the housing bubble in 2007 and 2008.

Moody’s Analytics senior director Cristian deRitis is among those observers, though he isn’t worried about the risks attached, citing higher lending standards for 84-month loans, the small market size compared to the overall auto financing market, and the consumer base for most of the loans coming from credit unions, whose members don’t fall into delinquency often.

Speaking of the overall market, the average length for an auto loan is 66 months for new vehicles in Q4 2014, 62 months for used models. Both figures are up one month over the same period in 2013.

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Honda Unveils Wild Aero Kit For 2015 IndyCar Season http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-unveils-wild-aero-kit-2015-indycar-season/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-unveils-wild-aero-kit-2015-indycar-season/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1020193 After years of spec racing, IndyCar has decided to allow the manufacturers to shape the game for 2015. Honda, for its part, isn’t holding back. Road & Track reports Honda’s new aero kit for the DW12 chassis pulls its influence from Formula One, with former F1 chassis designer/entrant Nick Wirth and his team at Wirth […]

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2015_Honda_DW12_HJ3_Silver_Livery_RC_FrMean_000012

After years of spec racing, IndyCar has decided to allow the manufacturers to shape the game for 2015. Honda, for its part, isn’t holding back.

Road & Track reports Honda’s new aero kit for the DW12 chassis pulls its influence from Formula One, with former F1 chassis designer/entrant Nick Wirth and his team at Wirth Research, as well as the engineers and designers of Honda Performance Development, coming up with the aggressive design for the road course/short oval kit.

HPD vice president Steven Eriksen says kits like the one by his company can help lead the way out of spec racing, inspiring competitors and fans alike in so doing:

We’ve had a car that is essentially the same since 2012—all cars the same across the whole grid. Now you’re going to have the visual differences across the cars. I think it will be engaging for the fans, particularly the folks that are really interested in the details. My sense is that it is really about getting back to the roots of IndyCar, where you have development going on as opposed to being spec.

He added that the initial cost of the 200-piece kit [press release says 200 pieces – CA] is $75,000, and that teams can add or subtract as many pieces as needed for a given situation, with three possible combinations for qualifying, practice and competition as a result.

The kit will debut next week at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala. for two days of testing alongside Chevrolet’s own aero kit, with both set to compete March 29 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

2015_Honda_DW12_HJ3_Silver_Livery_RC_FrMean_000012 2015_Honda_DW12_HJ3_Silver_Livery_RC_FQuarter_000012 2015_Honda_DW12_HJ3_Silver_Livery_RC_ZPSide_000012_2 2015_Honda_DW12_HJ3_Silver_Livery_RC_RQuarter_000012

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Republican Presidential Hopefuls Discuss Ethanol In Iowa http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/republican-presidential-hopefuls-discuss-ethanol-iowa/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/republican-presidential-hopefuls-discuss-ethanol-iowa/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 12:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1020145 A handful of Republican presidential hopefuls converged upon Iowa last weekend to discuss the pros and cons of ethanol. Autoblog reports U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former governors Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Jeb Bush of Florida, and Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin debated ethanol and the federal […]

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A handful of Republican presidential hopefuls converged upon Iowa last weekend to discuss the pros and cons of ethanol.

Autoblog reports U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former governors Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Jeb Bush of Florida, and Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Scott Walker of Wisconsin debated ethanol and the federal standards linked to them at the 2015 Iowa Ag Summit in Des Moines.

While most of the hopefuls supported keeping the standards as they are or increasing them, Cruz was the only one to reject the notion, comparing the program to “corporate welfare.” He added that private businesses could continue to successfully compete in the marketplace “without going on bended knee to the government.”

Cruz’s remarks follow a recommendation by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce a proposed increase in corn-based ethanol use in gasoline, stating that the biofuel can only go so far when blended with petroleum-based fuels. Meanwhile, both sides of the aisle object to the reduction, citing the economic damage that would hit Iowa — the largest producer of said ethanol in the United States — if the reduction were to go forward.

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Frankfurt 2015: Next-Gen Audi A4 Set To Bow Prior To Show http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/frankfurt-2015-next-gen-audi-a4-set-bow-prior-show/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/frankfurt-2015-next-gen-audi-a4-set-bow-prior-show/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 10:00:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1020081 Before its MY 2016 showroom appearance, the next-gen Audi A4 will make its global debut prior to the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show this September. Indian Autos Blog reports Audi Board of Managment member and technical development boss Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg made the proclamation during this month’s Geneva Auto Show: You’ll be happy to see it..at […]

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2014-Audi-A4-beauty-exterior-01

Before its MY 2016 showroom appearance, the next-gen Audi A4 will make its global debut prior to the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show this September.

Indian Autos Blog reports Audi Board of Managment member and technical development boss Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg made the proclamation during this month’s Geneva Auto Show:

You’ll be happy to see it..at least in Frankfurt (Frankfurt Motor Show), but we’ll make a pre-presentation (prior to the show).

Said pre-presentation would be staged close to the start of the show September 15, with global media in attendance for the debut.

The new A4 is expected underpinned by the MLB Evo architecture, losing 100 kg (220 lbs) while gaining 13 powertrain options covering gasoline, diesel and hybrid variants. The sedan will hit showrooms in Europe near the end of the year, with more details and images to come as its date with the world draws closer.

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California Legislature Considering Sales Tax Reduction For Clean Vehicles http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/california-legislature-considering-sales-tax-reduction-clean-vehicles/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/california-legislature-considering-sales-tax-reduction-clean-vehicles/#comments Tue, 10 Mar 2015 12:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1019442 Live in California and looking for more money in your wallet upon purchasing a green vehicle? The state’s legislature just might make that wish come true. The Los Angeles Times reports a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco would reduce the sales tax on so-called clean vehicles from 7.5 percent to 3.06 […]

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Tesla Roadster with California Vanity Plate

Live in California and looking for more money in your wallet upon purchasing a green vehicle? The state’s legislature just might make that wish come true.

The Los Angeles Times reports a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco would reduce the sales tax on so-called clean vehicles from 7.5 percent to 3.06 percent. The reduction would be applied to EVs, PHEVs, FCVs and CNG-powered models.

Should the legislation become law, over $92 million in tax revenue would disappear between 2016 and 2020, when the law rides off into the sunset; the figure is based on 60,000 PHEVs and EVs sold in 2014 for the national average transaction price of $34,725 per vehicle. Said revenue could be regained through California’s cap-and-trade carbon emissions credits program, currently holding $969 million as of February 18 per the California Air Resources Board.

The bill, which failed in 2013 due to funding concerns amid a shaky economic environment, will go through the committee process before arriving on the Assembly floor for voting later this year.

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