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Odd-Even phase II: CNG cars to remain exempted

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Image source: financialexpress.com

New Delhi: CNG cars have been kept out of the ambit of the odd-even scheme, that is set to return for a fortnight on April 15, while a decision on whether women drivers will continue to be exempted will be taken soon, Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said on Wednesday.

“CNG stickers will be available from April 1 at a centre near CGO Complex at Lodhi Road. The centre will remain open from 8 am to 8 pm everyday. Personally, I am in favour of exempting women, but the opinion is divided according to the survey we undertook. We will put out the final notification on April 8,” he told reporters in New Delhi.

Rai said he will write to the governments of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Himachal Pradesh urging them to create awareness on the guidelines of the road rationing measure under which cars with odd and even licence plates ply on alternate days.

Trial of the air quality monitoring system that will be put in place during the 15-day period till April 30, will begin on April 6, he said.

On its part, the Delhi government will launch a publicity campaign, ‘Dilli bole dil se, odd even phir se‘, on April 1 during which multiple communication channels like television and radio and advertisements on buses and metro will be used to reach out to the people.

Rai said registration of additional buses that will be pressed into service during the period, have already started while the process to involve ex-servicemen who are to be deployed along with civil defence volunteers will begin soon.

“On April 13, volunteers as well drivers of DTC and Delhi Metro officials among others will assemble at the Chhatrasal stadium and take oath to make the drive successful,” he said.

The decisions were taken at a meeting of the coordination committee that comprises members of several departments of the government. The first phase of the odd-even scheme was rolled out on January 1 for 15 days.

A committee, headed by the Transport Commissioner, has also been appointed to find ways to improve Poochh-O app which helps commuters during the odd-even measure.

Credits: Rediff

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Audi Launches A New Electric Car Ahead Tesla

The e-tron will have an advanced cruise-control system that can keep the car within a lane and maintain a set distance behind another vehicle.

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Audi
Audi unveils its first production all-electric vehicle, the e-tron sport utility vehicle, at an event in Richmond, Calif. VOA

German luxury car brand Audi this week staged the global launch of a new electric sport utility vehicle on the home turf of rival Tesla, and highlighted a deal with Amazon.com Inc. to make recharging its forthcoming e-tron models easier.

The Audi e-tron midsize SUV will be offered in the United States next year at a starting price of $75,795 before a $7,500 tax credit. It is one of a volley of electric vehicles coming from Volkswagen AG brands, as well as other European premium brands including Daimler-owned Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volvo Cars and Jaguar Land Rover.

All aim to expand the market for premium electric vehicles and also to grab a share of that market from Palo Alto, Calif.-based Tesla, which has had the niche largely to itself.

“I want Audi to be the No. 1 electric vehicle seller in America over the long term,” Audi of America President Scott Keogh told Reuters in an interview on Monday.

Audi
Audi. Pixabay

Audi dealers, particularly those from California, where Tesla has made significant inroads, cheered the e-tron at Monday night’s crowded event.

Analysts on Tuesday expressed concern that the vehicle’s driving range may not measure up to that of the Tesla Model X. Audi officials said they do not have official range estimates for the e-tron SUV under U.S. testing procedures. They said the vehicle should achieve a range under less rigorous European testing standards of roughly 250 miles or 400 kilometers.

Keogh told attendees at Monday’s event that an e-tron had made a 175-mile journey over the mountains east of San Francisco with range to spare. He also emphasized that the e-tron is designed to recharge more rapidly than rival electric vehicles.

UBS analyst Patrick Hummel said in a note on Tuesday that the e-tron “fails to set new benchmarks in the premium EV segment, even though we consider it better than the Mercedes EQC.” The EQC is a rival electric SUV the Daimler AG brand plans to launch in 2020.

Audi
A Telsa car recharges at a Tesla charging station in Charlotte, N.C.. VOA

The e-tron’s 95 kWh battery has less capacity than the 100 kWh battery used in the Tesla Model X 100D model, but more than the base Model X 75D.

The Model X 100D is rated at 295 miles (475 km) of range by the U.S. government.

Recharging

Audi and Volkswagen are using the U.S. launch of the e-tron SUV in mid-2019 to take aim at one obstacle to expanding electric vehicle sales: the lack of convenient ways to recharge their batteries.

Audi will partner with online retailer Amazon to sell and install home electric vehicle charging systems to buyers of the e-tron, the companies said on Monday. Amazon will deliver the hardware and hire electricians to install them through its Amazon Home Services operation.

Amazon’s partnership with Audi marks the first time the online retailer has struck such a deal with an automaker, and signals a new front in Amazon’s drive to expand its reach into consumers’ homes beyond the presence of its Alexa smart speakers in living rooms and kitchens.

Audi
Tesla misses on Model 3 car production target: Report. Pixabay

“We see charging installation as a very important business,” Pat Bigatel, director of Amazon Home Services, told Reuters at Audi’s launch event in San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Center.

Audi executives said home charging stations would cost about $1,000, depending on the home’s electrical system.

Tesla offers wall connectors for home charging at a $500 list price, and will arrange for installation, according to the company.

At the same time, Electrify America, a company funded by Volkswagen as part of its settlement of U.S. diesel emission cheating litigation, plans to launch next year the next round of installations of public charging stations, Electrify America executives told Reuters.

Tesla has developed its own network of Supercharger charging stations with more than 11,000 chargers in North America.

Electrify America plans to have 2,000 chargers installed by mid-June next year. Those will be open to any vehicle, and customers can swipe a credit card to recharge.

Audi
Audi of America President Scott Keogh introduces the German luxury brand’s first all-electric production vehicle, the e-tron sport utility vehicle, at an event in Richmond, Calif.. VOA

“We want to work with all” automotive brands, said Giovanni Palazzo, Electrify America’s chief executive.

Lifting the curtain

Audi has been heralding the launch of the e-tron SUV for some time, but until Monday it had not shared many details of the vehicle.

The e-tron is electric, and has two electric motors — one in the front and one in the rear — driving all four wheels. The Hungarian factory building motors for the e-tron will start with a production pace equivalent to 200 vehicles a day, Audi officials said.

In Europe, the vehicle will use cameras instead of conventional mirrors to give drivers a view to the rear. That feature is still not approved by U.S. regulators.

Also Read: Tesla’s Musk Sued For Defamation

However, in many other respects the e-tron is a conventional, mainstream luxury SUV. It offers seating for five, and its length and wheelbase position it in the center of the market for midsize, five-passenger luxury SUVs such as the BMW X5. The e-tron is 5 inches (13 cm) shorter than the Tesla Model X, and it has conventional doors. The Model X uses vertically opening “falcon wing” doors.

The e-tron will have an advanced cruise-control system that can keep the car within a lane and maintain a set distance behind another vehicle, but the system will be designed so that drivers must keep hands on the wheel. (VOA)