More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal

More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal
Volkswagen has admitted it installed illegal software into 11 million 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines worldwide (AFP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Volkswagen emissions scandal

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Hyperloop or hyperbole? Musk promises NY-DC run in 29 mins

Yahoo – AFP, July 21, 2017

New York and Washington are separated by some 330 kilometers (200 miles)
-- currently a two hours 45 minute journey by train or one hour 15 minutes
flying (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

New York (AFP) - US entrepreneur Elon Musk said Thursday he'd received tentative approval from the government to build a conceptual "hyperloop" system that would blast passenger pods down vacuum-sealed tubes from New York to Washington at near supersonic speeds.

"Just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins," the flamboyant CEO of Tesla and SpaceX tweeted, using abbreviations for New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC.

New York and Washington are separated by some 330 kilometers (200 miles) -- currently an approximately three-hour journey by train or one hour and 15 minutes flying.

The US Department of Transportation forwarded queries for comment to the White House, which offered a statement that neither confirmed nor outright dismissed the bombastic announcement.

"We have had promising conversations to date, are committed to transformative infrastructure projects, and believe our greatest solutions have often come from the ingenuity and drive of the private sector," the statement said.

Experts however said the proposed system would likely require approvals from numerous departments as well as local and state authorities before construction work could begin.

Facing a barrage of skepticism, Musk, who has been known to over-promise in his announcements, clarified: "Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly," urging people to lobby their representatives.

Musk's involvement in the proposed project is for now limited to building the tunnels, and it is not yet clear which firm he plans to partner with to handle the pod vehicles.

But several companies are now exploring the market, including Northeast Maglev, Hyperloop One and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies.

Beyond the Hyperloop system, Musk has made plans to send two private citizens around the Moon and land an unmanned spacecraft on Mars by 2020.

Earlier this month he vowed to build the world's largest battery in Australia with a 100 megawatt-hour capacity, or enough to power 30,000 homes.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Audi voluntarily recalls up to 850,000 diesel vehicles

Yahoo – AFP, July 21, 2017

German luxury carmaker Audi, a Volkswagen subsidiary, issued a voluntary recall
of up to 850,000 diesel vehicles, saying it would help reduce engine emissions
(AFP Photo/SAUL LOEB)

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) - German luxury carmaker Audi, a Volkswagen subsidiary, issued a voluntary recall of up to 850,000 diesel vehicles Friday, saying it would help reduce engine emissions.

"Audi aims to maintain the future viability of diesel engines for its customers and to make a contribution towards improving air quality," the Bavaria-based manufacturer said in a statement.

Vehicles with affected engines would receive a free software upgrade that "will further improve their emissions in real driving conditions beyond the current legal requirements," Audi added.

The recall affects cars fitted with six- and eight-cylinder diesel motors meeting the Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions criteria, Audi said, including some from parent Volkswagen and sister firm Porsche that are fitted with Audi engines.

It had developed the offer "in close cooperation" with Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority or KBA, it added.

Audi's recall comes days after Mercedes-Benz and Smart maker Daimler issued a voluntary recall for more than three million diesel vehicles in Europe.

Pressure on car manufacturers in Germany and elsewhere has been growing steadily since Volkswagen's admission in 2015 that it installed systems in 11 million diesel-fuelled cars worldwide to defeat regulatory emissions tests.

Politicians in Berlin and German regional capitals have been looking at measures to reduce air pollution from diesel vehicles, with some even mulling bans for the highest-emitting vehicles from inner-city areas.

In its statement, Audi said it hoped to "counteract possible bans on vehicles with diesel engines" with its recall.

Related Article:


Thursday, July 20, 2017

India's ageing trains get green makeover with solar panels

Yahoo – AFP, July 19, 2017

Indian railways: years of under-investment but now a green initiative (AFP Photo/
NARINDER NANU)

India has added solar panels to the roof of a train in a national first as it tries to reduce its massive carbon footprint and modernise its vast colonial-era rail network.

The lighting, fans and information displays inside the train -- once powered by diesel -- will run off the sun's energy after the panels were fitted to the carriage.

The train has begun journeys around the capital New Delhi, helping move just some of the 23 million passengers who use India's rail network every day.

"We will be inducting at least four other solar-powered trains in the next six months," Anil Kumar Saxena, Indian railways spokesperson, told AFP on Wednesday.

Batteries charged by the solar panels during the day take over if there is no sunlight, Saxena added. Only as a last resort, if the batteries perish, would diesel be used.

Each train drawing on this green energy is expected to save around 21,000 litres of diesel every year, helping reduce India's enormous reliance on fossil fuels and huge output of carbon emissions.

Built by India's former British colonial rulers, the railway system is one of the world's largest and is still the main means of long-distance travel in the huge country.


But years of financial neglect and a populist policy of subsidising fares have hit the network hard. Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to revive it after coming to power in May 2014.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Daimler announces emissions recall of 3 mln diesel cars in Europe

Yahoo – AFP, July 18, 2017

Mercedes-Benz will extend a voluntary recall to more than three million
diesel vehicles (AFP Photo/Tobias SCHWARZ)

Berlin (AFP) - German luxury car maker Daimler, which is being investigated for alleged emissions cheating, announced Tuesday a voluntary recall of more than three million Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles in Europe.

It said it had already launched a service action for other models and that, "in order to effectively improve the emissions of additional model series, Daimler has now decided to extend the service action to include over three million Mercedes-Benz vehicles".

The Stuttgart-based company said the action would cost the company some 220 million euros ($255 million) and be free of charge for customers.

"In this way, Daimler is making a significant contribution to the reduction of nitrogen-oxide emissions from diesel vehicles in European inner cities," it said in a statement.

The recall would start in coming weeks and, "due to the large number of vehicles", take "a longer period of time".

A week earlier, German media reported that Daimler had manipulated the engines of around one million diesel vehicles to make them appear less polluting, raising echoes of competitor Volkswagen's 'dieselgate' scandal.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily and two public broadcasters, citing a court-issued search warrant, said the company "sold vehicles with higher levels of damaging emissions than allowed for almost a whole decade between 2008 and 2016, in Europe and the United States".

Investigators suspect Daimler used a similar so-called "defeat device" to Volkswagen, which in 2015 admitted to manipulating emissions readings on some 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

Software in the motor runs the emissions treatment system at a higher setting when it detects the vehicle is undergoing regulatory testing.

At the time, a Daimler spokeswoman contacted by AFP declined to comment on an ongoing investigation, but said the carmaker was cooperating with the authorities.

In its latest statement, Daimler said Mercedes-Benz had developed a completely new diesel engine family that could meet stricter EU emission regulations to come.

"The public debate about diesel engines is creating uncertainty –- especially for our customers," said Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

"We have therefore decided on additional measures to reassure drivers of diesel cars and to strengthen confidence in diesel technology," he said.

"We are convinced that diesel engines will continue to be a fixed element of the drive-system mix, not least due to their low CO2 emissions." 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

EasyJet launches plans for post-Brexit base in Austria

Yahoo – AFP, Roland JACKSON, July 14, 2017

EasyJet is preparing a post-Brexit soft landing, applying for a new air operator's certificate
in Austria so it can keep flying in the European Union (AFP Photo/PASCAL PAVANI)

London (AFP) - British low-cost airline EasyJet charted a course on Friday to keep flying unhindered across the European Union after Brexit.

The carrier, which is based in Luton, north of London, said in a statement that it will create a new division, EasyJet Europe, which will be based in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

EasyJet, which will retain its Luton headquarters, added that it has applied for a new air operator's certificate (AOC) in Austria to continue flying across Europe regardless of the final Brexit deal between Brussels and London.

The accreditation process is "now well advanced" and it should be concluded "in the near future", the no-frills carrier said.

The application "will allow EasyJet to establish a new airline, EasyJet Europe, which will be headquartered in Vienna and will enable EasyJet to continue to operate flights both across Europe and domestically within European countries after the UK has left the EU", the company added.

EasyJet Europe will become the group's third airline division after EasyJet in Luton and EasyJet Switzerland in Geneva.

Vienna was picked because EasyJet had concluded that its airline regulator was "the best fit" for the firm.

The switch will create jobs in Austria, while no positions would be lost in Britain.

"While the new structure will protect all of EasyJet's current flying rights within Europe, EasyJet will continue to push for the UK and EU to reach an aviation agreement which, at a minimum, will enable flights between the UK and EU," the statement added.

Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern hailed the announcement as "tremendous news for Austria".

The stock market largely shrugged off the news, with the share price edging just 0.1 percent lower to 1,407 pence compared with Thursday's closing level.

"Investors would most probably take as a given that EasyJet would address this successfully as it has no other choice," independent aviation analyst John Strickland told AFP.

The application for a new air operator's certificate in Austria "will allow easyJet to
 establish a new airline, easyJet Europe, which will be headquartered in Vienna," 
it said in a statement (AFP Photo/Alexander KLEIN)

"With the conclusion of the AOC process in Austria, EasyJet will secure its rights to operate intra-EU flights in a post-Brexit world.

"These are a strategic and essential part of its business."

Oanda analyst Craig Erlam added that the development had removed any uncertainty over the matter.

"Investors are underwhelmed simply because they expected a resolution to be found and it's been done very early on," Erlam said.

Soon after Britain voted in a referendum a year ago in favour of exiting the EU, EasyJet applied for a European Union licence to keep flying throughout the bloc.

Britain's airline industry has soared over the last two decades under the Single European Sky system, which lifted trade restrictions on EU airlines.

Unless British negotiators manage to secure preferential conditions, British airlines could lose this status once the country leaves the EU.

This will mean they no longer enjoy rights including being able to freely set airfares, and to launch any route in Europe without getting prior authorisation.

Passengers leaving or arriving in the United Kingdom will face new taxes and British airlines face obstacles and delays in developing new routes.

Britain will leave the EU in March 2019 after voting in a shock referendum last year in favour of its departure.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Elon Musk's Tesla to build world's largest battery in Australia

Yahoo – AFP, Glenda KWEK, July 7, 2017

A handout photo taken and received on July 7, 2017, shows South Australia's
Premier Jay Weatherill (L) and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk (R) at an
announcement in Adelaide (AFP Photo/Handout)

Sydney (AFP) - Elon Musk's Tesla will build what the maverick entrepreneur claims is the world's largest lithium ion battery within 100 days, making good on a Twitter promise to ease South Australia's energy woes.

Billionaire Musk tweeted an offer to help build a battery farm in March after South Australia was hit with a total blackout when an "unprecedented" storm wrecked power transmission towers in 2016.

"This system will be three times more powerful than any system on Earth," Musk told reporters in the state capital Adelaide.

Tesla has built the world's current largest battery, which came online in California in December, Musk said, adding that the South Australian battery would be 100 megawatts -- enough to power 30,000 homes.

"This is not a minor foray into the frontier... I'm pretty darn impressed with South Australia willing to do a project of this magnitude that is beyond anything else in the world," Musk said.

"That takes a lot of gumption... I do see this as something that the world will look at as an example."

The battery will be built in Jamestown, 230 kilometres (143 miles) north of Adelaide and will be paired with a nearby wind farm run by Neoen, a French renewable energy company, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said.

Experts said the battery could help transform the renewable energy landscape by addressing the intermittent nature of sources such as wind and solar by pairing them with a large-scale electricity storage system.

"Variability is one of the key challenges in integrating large amounts of renewables into power systems as we try and get towards 100 percent renewables," Ariel Liebman of Monash University's MEMSI energy institute told AFP.

"So we need a balancing mechanism that helps take some excess production when these things are producing a lot and then distribute it into the system when it's needed and there's not so much production."

Battery 'common sense'

Musk said it was "common sense that if you have solar you must have battery because otherwise your power is going to be proportionate to how sunny it is".

"I specifically think that the consistently lowering cost of batteries, coupled with renewables, is going to fundamentally reshape the energy landscape much faster than anyone thinks it will," Cal Lankton, Tesla's vice president of global infrastructure operations, added.

Musk acknowledged his company had to overcome the technical risks associated with building a project at such a large scale, but said Tesla was confident of its success.

The high-flying firm, known for producing electric cars, has agreed to deliver the battery "within 100 days or it is free", Weatherill added.

No figures were given for the cost of the contract.

Neoen, which has built major projects around the world since being set set up in 2008, operates Europe's biggest solar energy park in southwest France, which can produce the equivalent annual electricity to supply a town of 300,000 people.

South Africa-born Musk has envisaged Tesla as a company that can help reduce emissions by not only selling people electric cars, but also generating and storing the renewable energy that powers them.

Australia is one of the world's worst per capita greenhouse gas polluters due to heavy use of coal-fired power.

Friday, July 7, 2017

France 'to end sales of petrol, diesel vehicles by 2040'

Yahoo – AFP, Clare BYRNE, July 6, 2017

In 2016, hybrid and electric cars accounted for 3.6 percent of new cars
registered in Western Europe (AFP Photo/PATRICK HERTZOG)

Paris (AFP) - France will end sales of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040 as part of an ambitious plan to meet its targets under the Paris climate accord, new Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot announced Thursday.

"We are announcing an end to the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040," Hulot said, calling it a "veritable revolution".

Hulot acknowledged that reaching the goal would be "tough", particularly for automakers, but said that French carmakers Peugeot-Citroen and Renault were well equipped to make the switch.

France, home to Europe's second-biggest car industry, dominates its market for electric vehicles, with the Renault Zoe far outselling other models in 2016.

On Wednesday, Sweden's Volvo said it planned to phase out production of petrol-only cars from 2019, with all new models to be either electric or hybrids.

The Chinese-owned group is the first major manufacturer to electrify all of its models.

Hulot cited Volvo as an example in making his surprise announcement, part of the government's new stated plan to make France carbon neutral by 2050.

'Public health' matter

Hulot, a veteran environmental campaigner and TV presenter, was among several political newcomers to whom President Emmanuel Macron gave top jobs in his government.

His nomination was seen as a strong statement of Macron's commitment to greening the economy.

Within days of being elected, Macron crossed swords on social media with US President Donald Trump, after Trump announced America's withdrawal from the Paris agreement on curbing emissions.

France is one of several European and Asian countries that have said they want to dramatically reduce the amount of polluting petrol and diesel cars on their roads.

India has said it wants all cars sold there to be electric-powered by 2030.

Norway -- where electric cars topped the sales charts for the first time last month -- aims to end sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2025 and car giant Germany wants to put one million electric vehicles on the road by 2020.

Cyrille Cormier of Greenpeace France expressed disappointment over Hulot's failure to set out concrete measures.

The minister said he would give low-income households a grant to help them replace older cars with a cleaner model, but did not specify how much they would receive.

"We still do not know how we will achieve these objectives and respect these ambitious promises," Cormier said.

Motorists still continue to opt overwhelmingly for petrol and diesel models, usually substantially cheaper.

In 2016, hybrid and electric cars accounted for only 3.6 percent of new cars registered in Western Europe, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).

The greatest spurt in sales was for non-rechargeble hybrids, which rose 27.3 percent compared to 2015. Electric car registrations jumped by seven percent, while plug-in hybrids grew by only 3.9 percent.

Hulot said that weaning France off conventional cars was also a matter of "public health".

Paris, Lyon, Grenoble and other French cities have a chronic smog problem.

Analysts are split on how quickly electric vehicles will displace those powered by internal combustion engines.

The 29-nation International Energy Agency (IEA), formed after the 1973 oil crisis, sees relatively modest growth, resulting in an eight percent market share -- about 150 million vehicles -- by 2040.

By contrast, private forecaster Bloomberg New Energy Finance's predicts a 22-percent market share for electric vehicles by 2035.

Dutch scientists develop first bus to run on formic acid

DutchNews, July 6, 2017

A hybrid bus in Eindhoven. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

There could be a sting in the tail on the way for bus passengers – Dutch scientists have unveiled the first electric passenger vehicle to run on formic acid. 

A team at Eindhoven University of Technology have built the prototype bus, which uses formic acid to generate hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Formic acid is the poison carried in the stings of ants, wasps and nettles. 

Max Aerts, head of the development team, said formic acid was a cost-effective way to create hydrogen as fuel. ‘The big advantage of formic acid is that you can put it in the fuel tank’, he said. ‘The cost of rebuilding a petrol station is relatively low.’ 

Formic acid is easy to synthesise and cheaper and easier to store than pure hydrogen, which has to be kept in pressurised containers, Aerts explained. 

Aerts told Omroep Brabant he expected the first buses adapted for formic acid to be running on the roads within one to four years.