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Electric Vehicles in the News in July 2018

Uber Promises a Premium to Drivers Who Go Electric, and Other Headlines

Uber promises a premium to drivers who go electric. The company is supporting the combination of electric and shared mobility with a pilot program in seven U.S. cities. Uber drivers in those cities who drive electric cars will earn cash incentives. The company hopes to facilitate at least 5 million electric-powered trips over the next year.

Will the next generation of EVs cut the cord? The 2019 Audi A8 quattro hybrid has wowed with its wireless charging system— where electricity transfers through an air gap from one magnetic coil in the charger to another in the car. While the idea is a century old (pioneered by Nikola Tesla, no less), some researchers and automakers think it will revolutionize the future of EVs.

2030 will see 125 million EVs on the road. In a recent study, the International Energy Agency predicted 125 million EVs will be on the roads worldwide by 2030, thanks to increasingly affordable options and supportive policies. EVs saw record growth again in 2017. More than 1 million electric cars were sold in 2017 and the total number of electric cars surpassed 3 million worldwide—a 54 percent increase over 2016.

Electric drag racing? It’s closer than many think. A veteran of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is ready to welcome electric cars to the track. “You’re going to see it, and I’m all for it,” Bob Tasca III told Autoweek. The instant torque of EVs is a good match for drag racing, he says. The president of the NHRA agrees — he’s talking to manufacturers about how EVs might fit in.

China accounts for half of global EV sales. And demand is surging. In Beijing alone, nearly 290,000 people applied in 2017 to get a car plate for an EV or plug-in hybrid— and the city has a quota of only 54,000 of these “new energy vehicles” available. Beijing has sharply cut its quotas for fossil fuel cars — only one gas or diesel car is available for every 2,000 applicants —making the EV route much more attractive to drivers.