The Short Cut: 5 ways mobility has changed this week
Welcome back to the Short Cut! This week we dive into how new rules and restrictions are impacting the transportation and mobility industry. From consumers getting discounts on their EV purchases, to new speed limit restrictions sparking protests, and a new plan to “back drivers” in UK. Discover the key news from the past few weeks here.
Speed limits slow down around Europe
The city of Amsterdam will lower speed limits to 30 kilometers per hour starting from December 8.The goal is not only to promote safer driving and minimize serious accidents but also to reduce traffic noise and create a calmer urban environment for all residents. Preparations have already started by adjusting road markings, installing new speed signs, and introducing other changes to the road layout.
A similar regulation was also announced in Wales a few weeks ago, where the government reduced speed limits to 20 miles per hour (approximately 32 Kph). While it raised protests across the country and mobilized 400,000 people to sign a petition opposing the new limit, Agilysis, a transport and safety consultant company, undertook research after its implementation (using TomTom data) and concluded that the 20mph speed limit only adds from 45 to 63 seconds to a driver's journey.
Up to $7,500 of discount for EV buyers in the U.S.
The U.S. Treasury Department recently announced that EV buyers will get an instant rebate of up to $7,500 starting from January 2024.Now consumers can transfer their tax credit to the car dealer, instantly reducing the vehicle’s price. The goal is to make it (even) easier for buyers to choose electric, while also helping U.S. car companies grow.
To benefit from the credit, buyers must meet specific income limits and dealers must register through the IRS Energy Credits Online website to confirm the vehicle meets the eligibility criteria. The credit amount received will also vary depending on whether it’s a new or old vehicle. EV advocates have already praised the new rules saying they will help simplify the entire EV tax credit process, according to The Verge.
UK’s new plan to “back drivers”
Following the announcement of a new approach to net zero, the UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has unveiled a long-term plan to support drivers and limit the ability of local councils to introduce non-driver friendly measures in the country, The Guardian reports.The reasoning behind this new plan is to keep motoring costs under control and ensure people have the freedom to drive as they need to in their daily lives. Some key measures include tightening restrictions on 20mph limits, bus lanes, and low-traffic neighborhoods (LTNs) along with the introduction of a national parking platform to streamline parking payments.
Some cycling organizations criticize the new measures, fearing they may leave people with no choice but to drive, while Transport Secretary Mark Harper defends private cars as essential for personal freedom and economic growth.
The European Union may delay tariffs on EVs trade with UK
The European Union could be working on a plan that will delay the introduction of tariffs on electric vehicles shipped between the bloc and the UK, Bloomberg reports.
Under the current post-Brexit agreement, electric vehicles traded between UK and the EU will face a 10% tariff starting from next year if they have batteries substantially made outside Europe or the UK. European car manufacturers have already made a call to extend this measure by three years as it would allow more time for the EU to strengthen its battery supply chain and avoid giving an advantage to Chinese competitors.
Some nations such as Germany or the UK support the delay, but others like France remain opposed. While the final decision is yet to be taken, Maroš Šefčovič, the European Commission vice-president, said to the Financial Times that “the rules could only be postponed for one year because he wanted to encourage battery investment in the EU.”
The new community in the U.S. that banned carsThe main goal is to promote walkable, car-free and sustainable living. Its first 36 residents have already been welcomed this year and it plans to house around 1,000 people by 2025 in 760 units. Residents don’t get any parking for cars but their apartments do have integrated amenities such as a grocery store, restaurant, yoga studio and bicycle shop.While car-centric culture prevails in the US, this unique neighborhood is gaining attention from people who value walkable, car-free living spaces. And, who knows, it could be the start of a new car-free, European style culture in North America.
And that wraps up this week's Short Cut! We'll be back in a couple of weeks with more exciting stories in the world of tech, mobility and location data. Stay tuned for more!
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