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

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission
Analsyts say it is irresponsible to link the crash of a Ukraine International Airline Boeing 737-800 to the 737 MAX accidents (AFP Photo/INA FASSBENDER)

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. …

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Transport Ministry Orders Firm Action Against 'Drunk' Citilink Pilot

The Ministry of Transportation has ordered firm action against the Citilink pilot
who allegedly arrived for work while drunk at Juanda International Airport in
Surabaya, East Java, on Wednesday (28/12). (JG Photo/Yudhi Sukma Wijaya)

Jakarta. The Ministry of Transportation has ordered firm action against the Citilink pilot who allegedly arrived for work while drunk at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, on Wednesday (28/12). This follows after a video of the incident went viral on social media.

The pilot was caught on CCTV camera while passengers on Citilink Flight QC 800 from Surabaya to Jakarta demanded that he should be replaced.

Bambang S. Ervan, a spokesperson for the ministry's Directorate General of Air Transportation , said the pilot, who has since been grounded, will be subjected to a thorough health check.

The ministry also instructed the airline management to take firm action against the pilot.

"Harsh sanctions will be imposed on the pilot if he violated health examination requirements and systematic procedures," Bambang said in Jakarta on Thursday evening.

Air transportation director general Suprasetyo earlier ordered the pilot to undergo another health examination despite the fact that the result of the initial test at the airport clinic was negative for the presence of drugs or alcohol.

"The pilot named Tekad Purna should undergo another medical checkup at the flight health office today," Suprasetyo said in a written statement on Wednesday.

Suprasetyo reiterated the government's zero-tolerance policy related to flight safety and security, saying all potential issues should be prevented as early as possible.

However, he also pointed out that the good name of the pilot should be restored if the result of the second health check is negative.

Chronology Report

The management of Citilink has meanwhile submitted a chronology report to the air transportation agency detailing the sequence of events. It is as follows:

05.09 a.m.: Pilot arrives in the flops and directly enters the aircraft at stand 5A during the boarding process. The pilot enters the cockpit and makes an announcement over the aircraft's public address system in an unclear voice. This results in complaints from passengers, who demand that the pilot must be replaced.

05.30 a.m.: All passengers disembark from the aircraft. Citilink decides to replace the pilot with Capt. Wahana Agus. All passengers board the plane except nine, who had canceled their flights.

06.20 a.m.: Flight QC 800 is pushed back to commence the flight to Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Jakarta.

06.35 a.m.: Capt. Tekad is examined in the Graha Angkasa Pura I clinic by doctor Putu, with a negative result for drugs and alcohol.

The airline announced that Capt. Tekad Purna has been grounded until further notice. Citilink chief executive Abert Burhan also said the airline management is cooperating with the Transportation Ministry on further investigations.

"Citilink does not tolerate any actions from pilots that violate flight procedures and regulations and we are ready to impose further sanctions, including a possible dismissal," Albert said on Thursday.

The results of the second health examination on the pilot will be available next week.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Russia's Tu-154 plane: a history of accidents

Yahoo – AFP, December 25, 2016

File photo shows a Tupolev-154 (TU-154) similar to a military plane which
crashed in the Black Sea as it made its way to Syria with 92 people
onboard (AFP Photo/Alexander NEMENOV)

Moscow (AFP) - The Tupolev aircraft maker's Tu-154, the type of plane that crashed Sunday in the Black Sea with 92 people on board, is an ageing Russian workhorse whose record is plagued with accidents.

Although Russian commercial airlines are no longer known to use the plane -- which first flew in 1972 and went out of production in 1994 -- it is still used by the military.

In spite of the tragedy, Russia's Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told local news agencies Sunday that permanently retiring all Tu-154 aircraft would be "premature."

Similar in size and performance to a Boeing 737, with a range of 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles), the Tu-154 can carry between 155 and 180 passengers at a cruising speed of 850 kilometres an hour.

Russia has experienced several accidents involving the plane, including some that date back to the 1990s.

On January 1, 2011, a Tu-154B belonging to a commercial airline burst into flames before take-off on a runway at an airport in Russia's Far North. Three people were killed and more than 30 injured in the incident, which led to some of the planes being grounded.

On December 4, 2014, a Tu-154 passenger plane broke apart after rolling off the runway at Moscow's Domodedovo airport, killing two people.

Tupolev Tu-154 (AFP Photo)

On April 10, 2010, a Tu-154 carrying Polish president Lech Kaczynski and other top Polish officials came down in fog near the Russian city of Smolensk, and all 96 people on board perished.

The delegation was heading to a ceremony in Russia's Katyn forest for thousands of Polish army officers killed by Soviet secret police in 1940 -- a massacre the Kremlin had denied until 1990.

In July 2009, a Tu-154 belonging to the Iranian company Caspian Airlines crashed in northern Iran, killing all 168 on board.

In August 2006, a Tupolev of the Russian Pulkovo airline crashed in Ukraine after trying to fly above a storm, killing 170 people.

In February 2012, a Tu-154 on an Iranian domestic flight crashed in the southwest of the country, killing 117.

Other major accidents involving the Tu-154 were in July 2001 in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, with 145 dead, and in August 1996 on the Norwegian island of Spitzbergen, killing 141.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Road paved with solar panels powers French town

Yahoo – AFP, Chloé Coupeau,  December 22, 2016

Segolene Royal and other officials walk on a solar panel road at its
inauguration in Tourouvre, on December 22, 2016 (AFP Photo/Carly Triballeau)

Tourouvre (France) (AFP) - France on Thursday inaugurated the world's first "solar highway", a road paved with solar panels providing enough energy to power the street lights of the small Normandy town of Tourouvre.

The one-kilometre (half-mile) "Wattway" covered with 2,800 square metres (30,000 square feet) of resin-coated solar panels was hooked up to the local power grid as Environment Minister Segolene Royal looked on.

"This new use of solar energy takes advantage of large swathes of road infrastructure already in use... to produce electricity without taking up new real estate," Royal said in a statement.

The minister announced a four-year "plan for the national deployment of solar highways" with initial projects in western Brittany and southern Marseille.

An average of 2,000 cars use the road in Tourouvre each day, testing the resistance of the panels for the project carried out by French civil engineering firm Colas, a subsidiary of construction giant Bouygues.

The idea, which is also under exploration in Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, is that roadways are occupied by cars only around 20 percent of the time, providing vast expanses of surface to soak up the sun's rays.

Colas says that in theory France could become energy independent by paving only a quarter of its million kilometres of roads with solar panels.

The world's first solar road (AFP Photo/Simon MALFATTO, Sophie RAMIS)

Sceptics are waiting to see whether the panels can withstand the ravages of time and weather, as well as the beating they will take from big trucks.

Solar panels installed on a 70-metre stretch of a cycling lane north of Amsterdam experienced some damage last winter but the problem has been resolved, the project's company TNO said.

The Wattway project, which has received a state subsidy of five million euros (dollars), began with four pilot sites around France, in parking lots or in front of public buildings, on much smaller surfaces of between 50 and 100 square metres each.

One drawback of the system is that solar panels are more effective when angled towards the sun, typically on slanted rooftops, than when they are laid flat.

And the cost question is far from being resolved. Each kilowatt-peak -- the unit of measure for solar energy -- generated by Wattway currently costs 17 euros, compared with 1.30 euros for a major rooftop installation.

But Colas hopes to make the cost competitive by 2020, noting that the cost of producing solar energy decreased by 60 percent between 2009 and 2015 according to a French renewable energy association, SER.

Related Article:

SolaRoad in Krommenie, the Netherlands, will be the world’s first cycle path
with embedded solar panels. Photograph: SolaRoad

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Total cost of VW 3.0-liter diesel settlement $1 bn: US authorities

Yahoo – AFP, December 20, 2016

In October, a US court endorsed a record-setting $15 billion compensation
 deal covering almost half a million 2.0-liter Volkswagen diesel cars equipped
with software designed to defeat emissions tests (AFP Photo/RONNY HARTMANN)

Washington (AFP) - US authorities said Tuesday the total cost of the settlement with Volkswagen for the last 80,000 vehicles affected in its emissions-cheating scandal in the United States is estimated at $1 billion.

That amount will cover buyback, repair and cancelled leases for the affected models, as well as $225 million for a fund to mitigate pollution, Cynthia Giles, a senior official with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told reporters.

At the end of October, a US court endorsed a record-setting $15 billion compensation deal covering almost half a million 2.0-liter Volkswagen diesel cars equipped with software designed to defeat emissions tests.

The additional plan, which still needs a judicial green light, would apply to 2009-2016 3.0-liter diesel models including Porsche and Audi vehicles that were not covered by the initial deal.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

GM first to deliver mid-priced, all-electric car

Yahoo – AFP, December 13, 2016

General Motor's (GM) Chairman and CEO Mary Barra unveils the new
Chevrolet Bolt, a long range and affordable electric vehicle going into production
this year, January 6, 2016 at the CES 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in
Las Vegas, Nevada (AFP Photo/SOPHIE ESTIENNE)

New York (AFP) - General Motors began deliveries Tuesday of the first all-electric car model aimed at the middle market, getting a head start on Tesla Motors and other competitors.

GM delivered the Chevrolet Bolt EV to three customers in California, including one in Fremont, where Tesla has a big factory.

The Bolt can travel up to 238 miles on a full charge. It lists for $37,495, but consumers are eligible for clean fuel tax credits of up to $7,500, GM said.

GM plans to accelerate deliveries of the Bolt next year as part of its campaign to reposition itself as a mobility company of the 21st century.

Tesla also is working on an all-electric Model 3 aimed at the middle market, but it is not expected to hit the market until the end of 2017. Tesla's higher-end Model S already is available but the price starts at $68,000.

Other manufacturers also are working on comparable all-electric models, including Ford, whose sedan is called the "Model E" and Fisker, led by Henrik Fisker, who previously designed cars for BMW and Aston Martin.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Trump blasts F-35 fighter jet program cost as 'out of control'

Yahoo – AFP, December 12, 2016

Lockheed Martin has a $1.5 trillion contract through 2070 for the F-35 fighter
jet (AFP Photo/Roslan Rahman)

Washington (AFP) - Lockheed Martin stocks were down about four percent in early trading Monday after President-elect Donald Trump blasted "out of control" costs for the F-35 stealth fighter program.

With a current development and acquisition price tag of $379 billion for a total of 2,443 F-35 aircraft -- most of them destined for the Air Force -- the Lockheed Martin-built plane is the most expensive in history.

"The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th," Trump said on Twitter, as Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was in Israel to celebrate delivery of the country's first two of the Lockheed Martin fighters.

Once servicing and maintenance costs for the F-35 are factored in over the aircraft's lifespan through 2070, overall program costs are expected to soar to $1.5 trillion.

Lockheed stock dropped to about $248.40 while the broader market surged amid an ongoing post-election rally.

The US Air Force declared an initial squadron of F-35A fighters "battle ready," in August, after reports of cost overruns and delays.

The Air Force's F-35A is one of three variants of the aircraft, designed to conduct conventional landings and take-offs.

F-35 stealth fighter (AFP Photo/Adrian Leung)

The F-35B, used by the Marine Corps, is capable of short take-offs and vertical landings, and the Navy's F-35C is built for use on aircraft carriers.

Trump has frequently turned to Twitter to vent his outrage about anything from critiques of Saturday Night Live, a weekly comedy-variety television show, to attacking Boeing for the cost of designing a new version of Air Force One, the presidential plane.

Proponents tout the F-35's radar-dodging stealth technology, supersonic speeds, close air-support capabilities, airborne agility and a massive array of sensors giving pilots unparalleled access to information.

But the program has faced numerous setbacks, including a mysterious engine fire in 2014 that led commanders to ground planes until the problem could be resolved.

Other issues have led to delays and cost overruns, including software bugs, technical glitches and even a faulty eject system that risked killing pilots who weighed less than 136 pounds (62 kilos).

Related Articles:

"Recalibration of Free Choice"–  Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth,  4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical)  8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)
“…  8 - The End of War

The last one is the best. For thousands of years on this planet, Human Beings have warred with each other. If you take a look at the reasons they warred with each other, you will quickly see there aren't any good ones - land, resources, greed. Those are not reasons. That is a description of old energy. Those are not reasons. Reasons would be perhaps defense against an aggressor. But what if there is no longer the consciousness of the aggressor?

When I appeared in my partner's life more than 20 years ago, I said to him privately that the first messages we're going to give will be unbelievable. There would be laughter. We told him that Human nature and consciousness itself would change, and that the seeds of peace would be planted and there would come a time where there is no more war. Indeed, the laughter was great because humans look at history and they see patterns based on an absolute energy called Human Nature. "Impossible! There always has to be war. There always has been. Therefore, there always will be." This is you, in a box, in a black and white potential, where you can only see the black and white of what is and the black and white of what has been. You have no idea the shades of color that are there in your consciousness and the beauty of the love of God.

North Korea is on the edge of change, as we told you it might be. What did this require? The death of the old energy, and I want you to watch this take place. The advisors of the young leader are going to do their best to pull him back into an old energy. This free choice of his will be far different than his father, for he sees some color. Watch for these things. They'll take longer than you want, but it is the beginning of the beginning.….”

"The Quantum Factor" – Apr 10, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Galaxies, Universe, Intelligent design, Benevolent design, Aliens, Nikola Tesla (Quantum energy), Inter-Planetary Travel, DNA, Genes, Stem Cells, Cells, Rejuvenation, Shift of Human Consciousness, Spontaneous Remission, Religion, Dictators, Africa, China, Nuclear Power, Sustainable Development, Animals, Global Unity.. etc.) - (Text Version)

“…  There's another quantum energy on the planet that has the quantum factor... the Great Shift. It is a benevolence that you have created, and that is new. You now sit in a revolutionary change and some of you are aware it and feeling it. It is the shift of Human consciousness and it's shifting right into the quantum factor, since you are becoming more quantum in your consciousness... and it is becoming benevolent. That is why you're seeing this earth react the way it is.

You're starting to see those who will not allow the old systems. You will no longer have dictators. Citizens all over earth want control over lives. They don't want war. They want their families to be safe! They want peace and abundance. They want their grandchildren to have hope for a better life than they had. You're starting to see it over and over in these places that have had dictators for years. ..”

Monday, December 12, 2016

World's longest tunnel opens regular service in Switzerland

Yahoo – AFP, December 11, 2016

The 57-kilometre (35.4-mile) new Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT)in Switzerland,
which runs under the Alps, was first conceived in sketch-form in 1947 but
construction began 17 years ago (AFP Photo/Fabrice Coffrini)

Geneva (AFP) - Regular rail services through the world's longest tunnel began on Sunday, carrying passengers deep under the Swiss Alps from Zurich to Lugano.

The famed Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) had a ceremonial opening in June, attracting European leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande for its maiden ride.

The Swiss national rail service (SBB) had announced that Sunday would mark the start of normal commercial traffic through the 57-kilometre (35-mile) GBT, which took 17 years to build, at a cost of over 12 billion Swiss francs ($11.8 billion, 11.2 billion euros).

The Swiss news agency ATS reported that the first regular passenger train to use the GBT pulled out of Zurich at 6:09 am (0509 GMT) and arrived in Lugano at 8:17 am, with the tunnel passage shaving a full 30 minutes off the previous travel time for the same route.

"It's Christmas," SBB chief Andreas Meyer was quoted as saying by ATS after the journey was over.

The Gotthard rail tunnel (AFP Photo/Simon MALFATTO, Philippe 

The ambitious GBT project has won praise across Europe for its pioneering efforts to improve connectivity from Rotterdam to the Adriatic.

The Swiss funded tunnel was largely made possible by technical advances in tunnel-boring machines, which replaced the costly and dangerous blast-and-drill method.

The GBT has surpassed Japan's 53.9-kilometre Seikan tunnel as the world's longest train tunnel.

The 50.5-kilometre Channel Tunnel connecting Britain and France has been bumped into third place.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Bolivia shuts down Colombia crash airline

Yahoo – AFP, Rodrigo Almonacid, Dec 1, 2016

Rescue teams recover of the bodies from the LAMIA airlines charter flight that
crashed in the mountains of Cerro Gordo, municipality of La Union, Colombia, on
November 29, 2016 carrying members of the Brazilian football team Chapecoense
Real (AFP Photo/Raul Arboleda)

Medellín (Colombia) (AFP) - The Bolivian charter airline behind a plane crash that killed 71 people in Colombia was shut down Thursday, as shock grew over a harrowing recording of the pilot's final minutes without fuel.

Bolivia said it had suspended charter company LAMIA's permit and ordered an investigation into its operations.

It also sacked the executive staff of both the civil aviation authority and the airports administrator for the duration of the probe.

The government did not explain the decision.

But it came as investigators examine pilot error and air traffic control problems as possible factors in the Monday night crash, which killed most of Brazilian football club Chapecoense Real and 20 journalists traveling with them to a championship match.

LAMIA, which specializes in flying Latin American football teams, has ferried local clubs and national sides around the region, with players including superstar Lionel Messi.

Investigators are trying to piece together the last moments of the doomed flight, which slammed into the mountains outside Medellin with 77 people on board, six of whom miraculously survived.

Details of the jet's terrifying end emerged in an audio recording aired by Colombian media in which the pilot radioed frantically that he was out of fuel.

In the recording, pilot Miguel Quiroga contacts the control tower seeking priority to land.

The operator tells him he will have to wait seven minutes for another plane to land first.

"We have a fuel emergency, ma'am, that's why I am asking you for it at once, full stop," the pilot replied.

The timeline was not immediately clear, but shortly after the pilot radioed: "Ma'am, Lima-Mike-India 2933 is in total failure, total electrical failure, without fuel."

The operator responded: "Runway clear and expect rain on the runway Lima-Mike-India 2933. Firefighters alerted."

The pilot is heard asking: "Vectors, ma'am, vectors to the runway." Vectors is the term for the navigation service provided to planes by air traffic control.

The operator is heard giving him directions, and asking his altitude.

"Nine thousand feet, ma'am. Vectors! Vectors!"

Those were Quiroga's last words to the control tower.

Fans of Brazil's Chapecoense football club take part in a tribute to their players
killed in a plane crash (AFP Photo/DOUGLAS MAGNO)

Six-month wait

Colombia's civil aeronautics agency said the time sequence of the tape was "inexact," and had no comment on the content of the recording.

But the agency's air safety chief, Freddy Bonilla, confirmed at a news conference that the plane was out of fuel at the moment of impact.

Bonilla said international rules require aircraft to maintain fuel in reserve when flying between airports, and that the LAMIA plane had failed to do so.

The British Aerospace 146 jet was scheduled to make a refueling stop in Bogota, but skipped the Colombian capital and headed straight for Medellin, reported Bolivian newspaper Pagina Siete, citing a representative of the airline.

Civil aviation director Alfredo Bocanegra said it would take investigators at least six months to analyze the black box recorders recovered from the plane and reach a conclusion on the cause of the crash.

Bodies identified

Investigators finished identifying the victims' bodies Thursday.

A representative for the funeral homes preparing them said they would be sent home to Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and Paraguay late Thursday or early Friday.

Cinderella-story club Chapecoense had been traveling to what would have been the biggest match in its history, the finals of South America's second-largest club tournament, the Copa Sudamericana.

Tearful tributes to the club were held Wednesday evening, at the time the match was to have been played, in Medellin and the team's hometown, Chapeco in southern Brazil.

Both stadiums were packed to capacity.

Mourners held candles in the air in Chapeco as the handful of remaining players from the team took to the pitch in tears.

A minute's silence for Chapecoense will be held before every Champions League and Europa League game next week, UEFA said Thursday.

People participate in a tribute to the players of Brazilian team Chapecoense
killed in a plane crash in the Colombian mountains (AFP Photo/LUIS ACOSTA)

Caring for survivors

Six people survived the crash.

Bolivian crew members Ximena Suarez and Erwin Tumiri are expected to be released from hospital Thursday, an official said.

Chapecoense defender Alan Ruschel was in critical but stable condition in intensive care after having back surgery.

Journalist Rafael Henzel and player Helio Neto were listed as stable.

Goalkeeper Jakson Follmann was meanwhile set to undergo surgery again, after having his right leg amputated.

Related Article:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Netherlands in the race for Tesla for mega battery factory

DutchNews, November 30, 2016

The Netherlands is actively putting itself forward as the location for a new $5bn European battery factory for US electric car producer Tesla, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp confirmed in a letter to parliament. 

Tesla announced plans for the ‘gigafactory’ in early November without indicating its location. 

Tesla has had a spare parts and distribution centre in Tilburg since 2013 and a final assembly plant was added last year. Many car industry suppliers are located in the area.  The projected car battery factory would create 6,000 to 10,000 new jobs, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday. 

In his briefing, Kamp said the factory would contribute to the further expansion of the Dutch position in the electric car sector. He said the Netherlands was attractive to Tesla for a number of reasons including its good modern industrial policy, fiscal facilities which support innovation, accessible financing and eased regulations. 

Good location

Kamp added that the Netherlands was ideally positioned for electric transport: ‘The short distances and the heavily populated Randstad western urban region make the country especially suited to electric transport.’ Tesla founder and chairman Elon Musk has said production should be close to the customer. 

There is much support for the project on the local level. Brabant province is being pressed by council members to exploit its ‘excellent position’. They argue the plant would provide many new jobs. Kamp said it was premature to  put a price of the plant or to determine how many jobs would be added if the Netherlands won the project. 

In early November, Tesla’s Musk only said that the company is going to make considerable investment in Europe.

Related Articles:

“… New ideas are things you never thought of. These ideas will be given to you so you will have answers to the most profound questions that your societies have had since you were born. Inventions will bring clean water to every Human on the planet, cheaply and everywhere. Inventions will give you power, cheaply and everywhere. These ideas will wipe out all of the reasons you now have for pollution, and when you look back on it, you'll go, "This solution was always there. Why didn't we think of that? Why didn't we do this sooner?" Because it wasn't time and you were not ready. You hadn't planted the seeds and you were still battling the old energy, deciding whether you were going to terminate yourselves before 2012. Now you didn't…. and now you didn't.

It's funny, what you ponder about, and what your sociologists consider the "great current problems of mankind", for your new ideas will simply eliminate the very concepts of the questions just as they did in the past. Do you remember? Two hundred years ago, the predictions of sociologists said that you would run out of food, since there wasn't enough land to sustain a greater population. Then you discovered crop rotation and fertilizer. Suddenly, each plot of land could produce many times what it could before. Do you remember the predictions that you would run out of wood to heat your homes? Probably not. That was before electricity. It goes on and on.

So today's puzzles are just as quaint, as you will see. (1) How do you strengthen the power grids of your great nations so that they are not vulnerable to failure or don't require massive infrastructure improvement expenditures? Because cold is coming, and you are going to need more power. (2) What can you do about pollution? (3) What about world overpopulation? Some experts will tell you that a pandemic will be the answer; nature [Gaia] will kill off about one-third of the earth's population. The best minds of the century ponder these puzzles and tell you that you are headed for real problems. You have heard these things all your life.

Let me ask you this. (1) What if you could eliminate the power grid altogether? You can and will. (2) What if pollution-creating sources simply go away, due to new ideas and invention, and the environment starts to self-correct? (3) Overpopulation? You assume that humanity will continue to have children at an exponential rate since they are stupid and can't help themselves. This, dear ones, is a consciousness and education issue, and that is going to change. Imagine a zero growth attribute of many countries - something that will be common. Did you notice that some of your children today are actually starting to ponder if they should have any children at all? What a concept! ….”

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Car manufacturers to power Europe with e-charging network

Yahoo  - AFP, Tom Barfield, November 29, 2016

Hybdrid and all-electric cars remain little-used in Europe, hobbled by high prices,
 the short range of the vehicles and a lack of recharging infrastructure (AFP Photo/
Odd Andersen)

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) - German carmakers BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Audi and US competitor Ford said on Tuesday they would cooperate on a Europe-wide network of electric charging stations.

The move is an "important step towards facilitating mass-market battery electric vehicle adoption", the manufacturers said in a joint statement, and comes as German carmakers rev up their offers of electric cars for the coming years.

"We intend to create a network that allows our customers on long-distance trips to use a coffee break for recharging," Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler said.

The firms have signed a memorandum of understanding on the joint venture and plan to begin construction of some 400 high-speed charging stations across Europe in 2017.

Completion of the network is slated for 2020.

Hybrid and all-electric cars from any manufacturer using the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard will be able to use the stations, in a move aimed at boosting growth of electric car use on the continent.

German carmakers have lagged behind some competitors when it comes to introducing electric models.

The technology remains little-used in Europe, hobbled by high prices, the short range of the vehicles and a lack of recharging infrastructure.

But recent months have seen a fresh commitment from the industry, a pillar of Europe's largest economy, to speed up the introduction of electric cars.

Tesla announced an ambitious goal of producing 500,000 electric cars a year by 
2018, which would take in from being a niche producer of luxury sedans to a 
mainstream competitor in the auto industry (AFP Photo/Odd Andersen)

Audi and Porsche parent Volkswagen announced this month that it aims to sell one million electric vehicles per year by 2025.

VW sees non-polluting technology as a chance to clean its tarnished reputation, after it admitted in September 2015 to installing software designed to cheat regulatory emissions tests on 11 million diesel-powered cars worldwide.

Meanwhile, higher-end manufacturers like BMW and Daimler, which owns Mercedes, face a challenge from newcomers like Tesla, which has a head start in autonomous driving as well as electric power.

Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche was a surprise keynote speaker at the German Green Party conference this year, and has promised 10 new all-electric models in the next few years.

BMW has so far limited its electric ambitions to its BMWi range.

This year the Munich-based manufacturer said it would go further, with plans to offer an all-electric version of its iconic Mini by 2019 and a BMW X3 4x4 by 2020.

Beyond Tesla, German carmakers fear being overtaken by new home-grown competitors in China, which remains a major market.

Chinese plans to introduce a quota system -- which would require a share of vehicles produced in the country to be all-electric -- prompted complaints from German economy minister Sigmar Gabriel ahead of a visit to Beijing last month.

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Embassies promote Dutch cycling culture abroad

DutchNews, November 18, 2016

Photo: Meredith Glaser via
Although the Netherlands is lagging behind on wind and solar energy it has one trump card when it comes to energy saving: the bike. The Netherlands is touting one of its most popular national symbols to countries across the planet, the Volkskrant writes. 

In order to promote bike use and boost Dutch bike manufacturers, Dutch embassies around the world have been instructed to get peddling and involve themselves in bike-related promotional schemes. 

‘There are economic opportunities, particularly for bike makers,’ Chris Kuijpers, directer general of environmental issues at the economic affairs ministry, told the paper. 

From China to Mexico embassies are persuading high-ranking officials to climb on and go for bike rides in an effort to highlight Dutch expertise. 

In Marrakesh, host of this week’s climate summit COP22, Dutch embassy personnel have been busy too, supporting a bike repair project for the locals initiated by the Pikala Bikes foundation. The foundation transports abandoned bikes from bike depots in Amsterdam and The Hague to Marrakesh where Moroccan youngsters are taught how to repair them. 

Many countries are keen to make room for bikes in their cities and are willing to learn from Dutch experience, says Matthijs van Bonzel, ambassador to Spain. 

Spain already boasts a number of municipal bike hire schemes and Seville is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. Madrid, too, is willing to give more space to cyclists, Van Bonzel says. He has even gone on a bike ride with mayor Manuela Carmena, he told the paper.