Car of the Future Weekly Roundup for July 4, 2018

In this week’s Car of the Future Weekly Roundup

–Every US-made car is an import—bad news for automakers and consumers—
–Oil and Utilities line up for EV War—
–Tranpo emerges as crucial for folks trying to escape poverty—
–New MaaS Association launched in US—
–Microtransit is a failure–

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NMA Car of the Future Stories of the Week 

Every US-made car is an import. That’s bad news for automakers
All new cars sold in the United States will cost more — to build and probably to buy — if the Trump administration imposes an auto tariff. That’s because every car sold in America is at least partly imported.

Big Oil, Utilities are Lining Up for an Electric Vehicle War
A red-hot electric vehicle market has triggered a face-off between Big Oil and utilities. Oil majors, who’ve sold fossil fuels to cars for a century, are now moving into an electricity sector that’s preparing for exponential growth. The problem is that utilities, the primary power suppliers for a century, have the same idea.

Transportation Emerges as Crucial to Escaping Poverty
In a large, continuing study of upward mobility based at Harvard, commuting time has emerged as the single strongest factor in the odds of escaping poverty. The longer an average commute in a given county, the worse the chances of low-income families there moving up the ladder.

New Association launched to promote Mobility as a Service in the USA
A new, not-for-profit organization, the Mobility as a Service Association (MaaS-A), has been launched in the USA to champion integrated mobility services across all modes of transportation that more effectively address the needs of the contemporary traveler.

The Story of “Micro Transit” Is Consistent, Dismal Failure
Micro transit may have a place in city transportation systems, but experience so far suggests that it’s a very small niche, like an app-enabled version of dial-a-ride service. The PR for micro transit is outrunning empirical experience. It is clearly not the large-scale substitute for bus service that much media coverage makes it out to be. An early experiment with the now-bankrupt Bridj in Kansas City was a complete flop. Riders made only 1,480 trips during the course of the one-year pilot, even though each passenger got their first 10 rides for free. Only a third of riders kept using the service after the free rides expired. The local transit agency, KCATA, spent $1.5 million to administer the service, for a jaw-dropping subsidy of more than $1,000 per ride.

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