The Month in Transportation

By John Halpin | Associate Account Director

Welcome to the first edition of our review of news from across the transportation world.

On the final Wednesday of every month, we’ll share interesting links, thoughts and more about the transformation of transportation.

The USA goes all in for electric.

In late January, President Joe Biden announced plans to replace the U.S. government’s fleet of cars and trucks with electric vehicles that are made in the United States. What’s the manufacturing impact? According to CNBC, the government’s fleet included 645,000 vehicles as of 2019. The timetable for the proposed transition is to be determined.

Fill ‘er up with electricity. But for how much?

Rates for public electric vehicle charging are difficult to pin down. Part of the issue, according to an article in Greentech Media, are utility rates known as demand charges, which assess fees based on a customer’s peak electricity draw at any moment during a monthly billing cycle. At some charging sites, those demand charges can add up to 90 percent of total electricity costs. Question for utility companies: How do you communicate this in a consistent, understandable way?

Monthly subscriptions: Netflix, groceries and … e-bikes?

Electric moped rental company Revel is expanding its product lineup to include monthly e-bike subscriptions for New York City residents, according to The Verge. For $99 per month, a bike will be delivered to your door, and come with complimentary maintenance and a bike lock.

Some HMHers own e-bikes and love them. Would you rather buy one or rent for a monthly subscription fee?

Battle of the self-driving cars.

Anxiously awaiting the release of Godzilla vs. Kong in March? To pass the time until then, check out this Tesla vs. LiDAR video. For background: Tesla vehicles do not use LiDAR technology. Some industry folks think they should. But Elon Musk says that “in cars, LiDAR is friggin’ stupid.” The video is eight minutes of car geekiness (and we mean that in only the nicest way).

There’s an app for that.

Do you still manage your daily activities in a notebook? Truck drivers don’t. According to Transport Topics, drivers use mobile apps to “help manage many facets of work and life on the road — everything from finding and booking loads to communicating with customers and brokers, planning routes that include stops with open parking and places to eat, and processing documents so they can receive timely payment.”

Client shoutout.

Finally, our clients at Detroit officially launched their ePowertrain, which is purpose-built and seamlessly integrated for power, efficiency, reliability – and zero emissions. The Detroit ePowertrain – which is slated to be manufactured in Detroit – will be available in Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 trucks beginning in 2022.

Need help or advice on marketing your product that’s transforming transportation? Get in touch here.