Optibike releases the new Everest edition, the first E-Bike capable of climbing Mount Everest on a single charge

Optibike releases the new Everest edition, the first E-Bike capable of climbing Mount Everest on a single charge

Picture: Optibike

Optibike has released the new Everest edition, which is the first E-Bike capable of climbing Mount Everest on a single charge, the R22 Everest Edition E-Bike. Everest features the largest battery in an E-Bike, a staggering 3260-watt hours of energy.  

The Everest was made in the mountains of Colorado and is capable of climbing up to 24,000 feet on a single charge.  

“The R22 Everest is the result of my 25 years of designing and building E-Bikes, the R22 is my dream bike, born and bred in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This bike sets a new standard for E-Bikes.” said Jim Turner, Founder and Inventor of Optibike. 

The bike is the product of the world-famous E-Bike designer, Jim Turner. The R22 Everest can take on any mountain, with the highest torque E-Bike motor and largest battery, the R22 goes where no other E-Bike can go.  

While the idea of climbing Everest was just a bit of fun, the R22 Everest was designed and made with mountains in mind. Inspired by the Rocky Mountains that surround Optibikes Colorado headquarters, Everest was designed to go beyond flat roads and basic city hills in a way typical ebikes cannot, supporting ambitious expeditions that include long mileage and rocky roads. 

The R22 Everest develops motive power from Optibike’s own 1,700-W PowerStorm mid-motor drive, which works in conjunction with a Rohloff Speedhub 500 14-speed internally geared hub. That e-drive kicks out 140 lb-ft (190 Nm) of torque perfect for tugging a loaded bikepacking trailer into motion or quick-climbing steep, bump-riddled sections of trail 

Hyundai granted $1.8bn in incentives to build electric cars in US state of Georgia

Hyundai granted $1.8bn in incentives to build electric cars in US state of Georgia

The US state of Georgia and local governments are giving $1.8 billion in tax breaks and other incentives to Hyundai Motor Group in exchange for the automaker building its first American plant dedicated to electric vehicles near Savannah, according to the signed agreement disclosed on Friday. 

The deal calls for Hyundai to invest $5.5bn in its Georgia plant and hire 8,100 workers. It’s the largest economic development deal in the state’s history and comes just months after Georgia closed another major deal with electric vehicle maker Rivian to build a factory in the state. 

“Not only do these generational projects solidify our spot at the vanguard of the EV transition, but they also ensure that thousands of Georgians across the state will benefit from the jobs of the future,” Pat Wilson, the state’s economic development commissioner. 

Hyundai executives and Governor Brian Kemp announced the deal in May at the project’s sprawling 1,170-hectare site in Bryan County, west of Savannah. Hyundai plans to start construction on the plant next year and begin producing up to 300,000 vehicles per year in 2025. The factory will also produce vehicle batteries. 

But officials declined to reveal what incentives the automaker had been promised until after the agreement was signed. 

The package is worth around $300 million more than what was promised to Rivian. It gives Hyundai $228,00 per job created. 

Georgia officials state that it’s a worthwhile investment. Wilson said Hyundai’s payroll at the new plant is expected to reach $4.7bn over 10 years. Parts suppliers are expected to create thousands of additional jobs in the state. 

The $1.8bn in incentives is easily the largest subsidy package a US state has ever promised for an automotive plant, said Greg LeRoy, executive director at Good Jobs First. 

The company will also receive more than $212m in state income tax credits, at $5,250 per job over five years. If Hyundai didn’t owe that much state corporate income tax, Georgia would instead give the company personal income taxes collected from Hyundai workers. 

The state and local governments spent $86m to purchase the plant site. And the state will spend $200m on road construction and improvements, plus $50m more to help fund construction, machinery and equipment. Sales tax exemptions on construction materials and machinery expenses are estimated to cost $396m. 

Comptek designs New York City’s Link5G Smart Poles

Comptek designs New York City’s Link5G Smart Poles

Picture: Comptek

Comptek Technologies and Aero Wireless Group Company, along with a leader in engineering and manufacturing smart poles and concealment shroud solutions, announce their role in the Link5G initiative, a revolutionary multi-service solution designed to bridge the digital divide and accelerate 5G deployments in New York City. 

In collaboration with ZenFi Networks, the CityBridge Consortium, and Antenna Design, Comptek serves as the designer and manufacturer of the Link5G poles utilised in this project, providing solutions for wireless networks to close the digital divide across New York City. 

Comptek is no stranger to this area of work, and therefore, offers a full suite of wireless concealment poles, shrouds and infrastructure solutions to meet carrier requirements and the aesthetic character of the community. 

The Link5G pole was designed to address the need for more wireless connectivity across New York City. 

The team’s aim was to design a multi- tenant, multi-technology structure that could seamlessly integrate into the streetscape of New York City, without sacrificing technology. The resulting structure enables ultra-fast wireless services from multiple providers.  

Highlights of the structure include five independent, RF-optimized bays to house antennas and integrated radios. Each of these bays can be accessed independently, and each section utilises frequency specific shrouding to minimize losses. It also includes multiple RAD centers for optimal technology specific siting, including, but not limited to, 5G mmWave, Wi-Fi, C-Band, and other licensed and unlicenced spectrums. 

“Helping cities achieve their smart city aspirations with our catalog of infrastructure products and services is a focal point of our mission at Comptek. We’re proud to be able to play a significant role in the efforts to close the digital divide in New York City ” commented Comptek CEO Jim Lockwood. 

Ray LaChance, ZenFi Networks Co-Founder and CEO has also said, “Comptek has played an integral role in the launch of Link5G in New York City. Throughout the design and initial implementation processes of the Link5G kiosk, our experience working alongside Comptek has been one of collaboration and partnership. We’re thrilled with the result and excited to showcase Link5G across New York and across the country” 

As smart cities around the country deploy millions of sensors and endpoints, New York included, Comptek will play an essential role in any deployment plan, at any stage. 

 Comptek’s innovative methods and technologies are adaptable to future equipment changes, and engineered to minimise installation time in the right-of-way. CityPole and hybrid smart poles can be reconfigured or upgraded as required throughout their life cycle as the wireless operators and cities’ technology mature and change. 


Dakota Lithium has signed three-year partnership with B.A.S.S as a premium sponsor of the Bassmaster Tournament trail and the Official Lithium Battery of Bassmaster

Dakota Lithium has signed three-year partnership with B.A.S.S as a premium sponsor of the Bassmaster Tournament trail and the Official Lithium Battery of Bassmaster

Picture: Dakota Lithium

Dakota Lithium, a U.S battery manufacturer, has signed a three-year partnership with B.A.S.S as a premium sponsor of the Bassmaster Tournament trail and the Official Lithium Battery of Bassmaster through 2025. 

“Here at Dakota Lithium, we are proud to be partnering with Bassmaster as the first Official Lithium Battery. Dakota Lithium is the top battery choice of professional anglers. Partnering with the leading professional fishing tournament series just made sense. We are looking forward to joining the elite brands that are supporting the future of fishing,” said Dakota Lithium CEO Andrew A. Jay. 

Dakota Lithium currently works with multiple Bassmaster Elite Series pro anglers. Two-time Bassmaster Classic champion Hank CherryGreg DiPalmaAustin FelixMarc FrazierBrock MosleyChad PipkensTyler RivetMatt Robertson and Kyle Welcher are all part of the Dakota Lithium pro staff. 

“I was the first Bassmaster Elite angler to use Dakota Lithium batteries and have been on the team from the beginning,” said Mosley, who has notched five Top 10 Elite finishes in the past two seasons. 

 “It is truly amazing to see how far they have come and to see them sponsor the 2023 Bassmaster season.” 

Lithium batteries have become an industry standard for competitive fishing, providing twice the usable power at half the weight of traditional batteries. In a quickly growing market, Dakota Lithium has become the brand of choice for professional athletes, primarily due to Dakota Lithium’s performance, reliability, lifespan and best-in-class 11-year warranty. 

“This new partnership with Bassmaster and Dakota Lithium shows how Dakota Lithium has become the go-to battery in the marine industry and partnering with Bassmaster is the next step in continuing that dominance,” said Craig Storms, Dakota Lithium national sales representative and pro staff manager. 

By harnessing a unique chemistry and their engineering know-how, Dakota Lithium lasts 5-10x longer than traditional batteries, providing lasting value for and reducing e-waste and the impact on our planet. 

“We are proud to welcome Dakota Lithium as a new premier partner and look forward to connecting them with anglers and Bassmaster fans,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Chase Anderson. 

 “Dakota Lithium already works alongside so many anglers at all levels, and we are excited to introduce their long-lasting batteries to our passionate fans over the next several years.” 

The smartest cities in the US and Canada

The smartest cities in the US and Canada


The United States and Canada are at the heart of technological innovation and implementation. Many towns and cities are adopting cutting-edge technology to become smarter and better for its citizens. This is in an attempt to address issues such as urbanisation, pollution and traffic. Here are five incredible examples of smart cities in the U.S and Canada:


FIND OUT MORE AT: MOVE: Mobility Reimagined  


1. San Fransisco, California  

San Fransisco is the gateway to Silicon Valley and attracts billions of dollars a year in technology investments, so it’s no surprise that the city has made our top 5. The city is currently implementing a wide range of smart city initiatives with a particular focus on reducing energy usage. The city currently has over 300 LEED-certified buildings and hopes to create a connected vehicle grid so that autonomous vehicles can share data and follow traffic guidance.  

Their SFpark smart parking system that was launched in 2011 is worth a mention here. Parking usage is monitored via sensors placed in the asphalt and the data is fed to smart parking meters that change their prices according to availability and time of day. 




2. Vancouver

Vancouver runs on over 90% sustainable energy and emits the fewest greenhouse gases per capita of any major North American city. Vancouver has been able to achieve results thanks to their use of real-time data and technology, which has increased connectivity, sustainability and convenience 

Smart city initiatives include accessible WiFi in 755 public spaces, wired bike sharing, electrical vehicle plug-in spots, and video feeds in busy intersections to smooth traffic. Vancouver’s green plan has been further developed due to mandates for green buildings, renewable energy, and sustainable mass transit. 




3. New York

Unsurprisingly, New York finds itself on most smart city lists. The Big Apple has many initiatives focusing on water and waste management, traffic management and tourism, navigation and mobility. NYC even hosts the Smart City New York Conference. The New York City Mayor’s Office of Technology and Innovation is constantly carrying out efforts to conserve resources, reduce environmental impacts, and improve the quality of life for its residents.  

The city recently launched a pilot program that installed hundreds of smart sensors to monitor waste levels. Also, in a different pilot program, the city equipped five city fleet vehicles with solar-powered sensors to collect and compare air quality in different neighborhoods in the South Bronx. Impressive if you ask us! 



4. Washington DC

Washington is one of America’s number one smart cities. Their movement analytics program uses data from video cameras to identify who and what is moving through the city, including cars, buses, pedestrians, and bikes. The data is then analysed to make better decisions about how to direct traffic and identify where resources are needed such as bike lanes and other areas of infrastructure. 

Washington DC has also recently launched a new initiative to make their city smarter by powering the city with 75,000 inteliLIGHT streetlight controllers. The $309 million project will reduce energy use by more than 50%, improve equity of service, and extend Wi-Fi coverage in undeserved neighborhoods. 



 5. Austin, Texas

It would be unfair for us not to mention Austin (call us bias if you will) as it is one of the most technologically advanced cities in the United States. The city has a modernised electric grid which makes it easier to integrate renewable energy sources and charge the ever-growing fleet of electric vehicles. It is one Americas most fast-growing cities, with a steady stream of talent to support this growth.  

Free Wi-Fi in public parks and 5G trials are among many of the city’s other initiatives. Austin is also the home of Austin Energy which provides accessible electric charging all over the city. Local initiatives such as the Texas Department of Transportation, the University pf Texas and Austin Energy are working hard to fulfill its ambitious objectives  

Amazons electric delivery vehicles hit the road in the U.S

Amazons electric delivery vehicles hit the road in the U.S

Amazon has announced that its custom delivery vans from Rivian have officially hit the road in over a dozen U.S cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Seattle, Baltimore, Sandiego and Nashville, Tennessee. 

Back in 2019, Amazon made its largest EV order ever of 100,000 vehicles, and now they are planning to cash in on this investment. This week, the e-commerce giant has said that it plans to have all 100,000 vans on the road by 2030. It aims to roll out several thousand EVs in more than 100 U.S cities by the end of the year. 

Amazon is using the rollout as part of its step towards meeting its Climate pledge, which is a commitment to reaching net-zero across all operations by 2040. The initiative has garnered more than 320 signatories, including Hewlett-Packard, Pepsico, Procter & Gamble and Visa. 

“Fighting the effects of climate change requires constant innovation and action, and Amazon is partnering with companies who share our passion for inventing new ways to minimize our impact on the environment. Rivian has been an excellent partner in that mission, and we’re excited to see our first custom electric delivery vehicles on the road,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon. 

Amazon has been testing deliveries with preproduction Rivian vehicles since 2021. Rivian secured certifications from the National Highway Traffic Administration, the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that allowed it to test its vans in different climates and geographies. 

During thr testing phase, the EV’s delivered more than 430,000 packages and traveled over 90,000 miles. The testing was to ensure that key features on the vehicle were up to date. These include sensors, traffic assist technology, automatic emergency braking and collision warning designed to maximise safety.  

Amazon has said that they will be adding thousands of charging stations to its delivery hubs around the country. It also partnered with nonprofit Ceres and several other fleet owners to form the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance, a group that aims to accelerate the transition to EVs. 

“To say this is an exciting moment is an understatement — we’re thrilled to see this partnership has kick-started decarbonization projects across the logistics delivery industry,” said RJ Scaringe, CEO of Rivian. 

There have been some doubts, however, as to whether Rivian is able to hold up the end of their deal. So far, Rivian has delivered a few hundred EVs to Amazon, with the expectation that thousands will be delivered by the end of the year. 

Ezra Goldman talks Upshifts vision and developments ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Ezra Goldman talks Upshifts vision and developments ahead of MOVE America 2022!

Picture: Republic

Upshift saw a problem…124 million Americans drive less than 10,000 miles per year in their cars, and they are still spending $10,000 a year on car payments, maintenance, insurance, and parking.

Upshift is a flexible, convenient, and affordable alternative to leasing a car. Subscribe to a plan that you can upgrade, downgrade, cancel, or pause anytime and only pay for the days you drive. A hybrid or electric car will be seamlessly delivered and parked next to your doorstep on the days you need it. It will be waiting for you with your own driver profile already set up, clean, and fueled/charged. At the end of your use just park it and walk away. Upshift will take it from there.

“In a city like San Francisco, half of the cars are only getting driven about 6,000 miles a year.That’s about all the street parking in San Francisco taken up by these cars that are driven maybe 2 days a week. Our vision is replacing those cars with a fractional fleet that we store, manage, service and deliver to you as needed, initially through teleoperations and eventually through full automation,” said Ezra Goldman, Co-founder and CEO of Upshift.

The company has a goal to eliminate car ownership, car accidents, and carbon emissions while creating living jobs and livable cities.

“You get all the joys and freedom of mobility to go where you want. You could go for a hike, go to a meeting in Silicon Valley, visit family and friends, whatever you want to do that requires a car – and you don’t have to deal with the hassle and headache of parking, maintenance, and insurance,” said Ezra.

Now anyone can invest in Upshift through an equity crowdfunding campaign on Republic. The goal is to involve all those who wish to improve their city, and to be part of the group that is offering innovative solutions.

Ezra will be joining us at MOVE America in Austin, Texas, this year to join our business model stream to talk about developing new business models that offer customers greater flexibility. Within this stream, we also have a talk on purpose built commercial vehicles led by Greg Tarr, CSO, Indigo Technologies and Raven Hernandez, Founder and CEO, EarthRide.

Don’t miss out! Find out more at: MOVE America 

Learn more at their website at upshiftcars.com
For a limited time, anyone can invest in Upshift too at https://republic.com/upshift-2022

E-bike safety instruction bill signed into law in California

E-bike safety instruction bill signed into law in California

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Tuesday allowing school districts across the state to expand student safety instruction by local law enforcement over new types of student transportation. 

Assembly Bill 2028 was written by Assemblywoman Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel), and specifically changes the law on the current matter and now allows school district boards to put time and facilities to any local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the schools of the district, for bicycle safety instruction. AB 2028 now expands instruction to include scooters, electric and motorised bikes and also motorised scooters.  

The bill was first introduced in February and was rapidly moved through the legislative process. The bill received little to no opposition which is unusual for a bill involving divisive topics such as law enforcement, education, and transportation. The bill passed with ease through each cpmittee chamber vote which included a unanimous 35-0 Senate vote and a unanimous 71-0 Assembly vote last month.  

The recent rise in the number of electric assisted vehicle accidents by those under 18 (due partly yo a lack of instruction of how to operate them safely) has spurred many in the Assembly and Senate to vote for the bill. 

“With the power assist engaged, e-bikes are capable of speeds well over 20 miles an hour,” said Charles DiMaggio, who recently authored a study on e-vehicle safety. 

“By contrast, average speeds for more traditional bikes are less than 10 miles an hour. This near-doubling of potential speeds may be why e-bike injuries can be more serious.” 

Electric assisted vehicles are banned in certain areas, these vehicles are perfectly legal to travel in most areas, with laws generally reflecting e-versions of the vehicles being legal in places the non electric versions of them are allowed. 

“The problem isn’t the fact that these bikes and scooters can be self-propelled at low speeds,” said Roger Warner, a private security official from the LA area. 

“It’s that they are sold, and people think they know how to ride and use them all-right. We’ve talked with many people who have been hurt while riding these, both young and old, and it almost always comes down to them saying something along the lines of ‘I rode a scooter or bike for so many years, I thought it would be exactly the same.’” 

Following the signing by Governor Newsom on Tuesday, AB 2028 went into effect immediately. 

MOVE America’s tech list to watch for!

MOVE America’s tech list to watch for!


Here is some of the most upcoming tech that we think you should watch out for at MOVE America this September:

To find out more go to: MOVE America 2022

  1. Kiwibot 

Many people are worried about the inevitable takeover of robots, but I don’t think we need to be too worried
 about Kiwibots delivery robot. At Kiwibot they have developed an autonomous robotic delivery fleet to be used around cities to deliver essential items. Not only this, but the smart bots have cost-effective cyberinfrastructure and automatic data collection systems that are able to map areas and collect data to help with city planning. They are able to identify problems with the road, and because of their small stature, they take up less space than cars or bikes on the road!



   2. Helbiz

Helbiz has recently announced that it will be releasing its HelmetChecker, a real time AI helmet verification, for sale to micro-mobility operators. HelmetChecker uses AI and computer vision to ensure that a rider is wearing a helmet and has the strap secured. Micro-mobility operators can use HelmetChecker to stop a vehicle from unlocking until it confirms helmet use or provide incentives to riders.




  3. Neste 

Now, we can’t forget about what’s powering these fantastic vehicles. Neste has been able to develop sustainable aviation and truck fuel, which is made completely out of renewable, recycled products. Using this product reduces 80% of GHG emissions in aircraft and an even greater 90% when used in truck fleets.  


                                                                    4. Viritech

Cleantech engineers, Viritech debuted their revolutionary hydrogen powertrain technology in the form of the Apricale, the world’s first zero-emission hypercar to achieve weight parity with petrol-engined competitors, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Apricale will deliver a unique hypercar driving experience combining track-car agility with zero emissions. The car is a radical reimagination of FCEV hydrogen powertrain and delivers 1000bhp and weighs under 1000kg.   




5. 4.screen 

4.screen has built a platform that enables seamless interactions between local businesses and drivers. The
4.screen API-based solution allows Audi drivers to experience valuable content at the right moment on the in-car screen and benefit from an extensive network of partners that offer exclusive services and products, such as sponsored parking and charging.  Drivers will soon be able to connect with their surroundings by using location-based services and real-time premium offers, revolutionising the way they interact with the vehicle’s environment. You will feel more connected to your car than ever before. 



6. Pipedream

We’ve spoken about delivery robots, but now imagine an underground delivery network. Pipeline has developed an all-electric system which allows cities to make deliveries cheaper while reducing the Co2 emissions generated from traditional vehicle deliveries. Deliveries are loaded into their robots and sent across the city to another hub using their network of underground pipes. This means your packages will be moved around the city at warp speed with no environmental damage! 



 7. Apex AI

Apex AI have created software called the Apex.OS, which has been developed to automate any vehicle from cars to robots and even mining equipment. They can help companies expand beyond the prototype phase and develop solutions that can be scaled without sacrificing reliability and safety. Most recently, Apex AI are helping design an autonomous farming robot. The robot can plant seeds 24 hours a day and will use satellite-based navigation to accurately pinpoint areas for planting! The life of a farmer has just got a lot easier! 

The city of Mobile buys Mack LR Electric Class 8 as the first EV in its public services fleet.

The city of Mobile buys Mack LR Electric Class 8 as the first EV in its public services fleet.

Mobile, Alabama, have ordered a Mack LR Electric Class 8 refuse vehicle to help the city achieve its goals of being more energy efficient.  

“Mack would like to thank and congratulate the City of Mobile for its advancement toward electrification,” said Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president of sales and commercial operations. 

“For over a century, Mack Trucks has led the refuse segment through many changes, and it’s only natural that Mack once again leads the way with the latest technology. We look forward to furthering our commitment and the City of Mobile’s commitment to sustainability efforts.” 

The Mack LR Electric model will be the City of Mobile’s first electric vehicle to operate in its fleet of 26 refuse trucks. The city plans to continue to seek grants to help with the purchase of charging stations and the development of a comprehensive electric vehicle plan. 

“As the first electric vehicle in our public services fleet, we wanted something that could keep up with our existing trucks and our team members could quickly learn to operate,” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said.  

“The LR Electric provides the kind of comfort and usability we wanted for our staff, as well as the reliability we’ve come to expect from a Mack truck.” 

Mack LR electric was chosen by Mobile due to its commitment to a delivery schedule that met the cities needs. They also are said to provide specific types of electric refuse vehicles the city needs.  

The Mack is powered by lithium-ion batteries which are charged through a 150 kW, SAE J1772-compliant charging system. The electric vehicle has twin electric motors which produce 448 continuous horsepower and 4051 lb.-ft of peak torque output from zero RPM.  

Mobile’s Mack LR Electric will be equipped with an automated side-loader and will operate in residential areas. Mobile is investing in a Portable Superfast DC Charger. The company has said portable charging stations will enable the city to test different locations and serve as backup support once permanent charging stations are chosen and installed. Mobile’s LR Electric model will be supported by Gulf Coast Truck & Equipment Co. 

ViaQuatro opens the first fully automated metro line in São Paulo, Brazil

ViaQuatro opens the first fully automated metro line in São Paulo, Brazil

Brazilian rail operator ViaQuatro has opened the first fully automated metro line in São Paulo, Brazil, as part of line 4 of the São Paulo Metro. Line 4 covers a distance of 12.8km and serves eleven stations eith platform screen doors while the initial section, which opened in May, includes two stations. 

The line is equipped with automation train control technology supplied by Siemens Mobility, which also features an automatic traffic supervision solution.  

Three trains equipped with the new technology will operate as a shuttle service between the two stations controlled by the Sicas interlocking system. 

The fully automated line enables trains to run at closer headways than conventional driver-operated systems and ensures optimum safety conditions. 

The remaining section of line 4 is intended to be opened in the next phase of the project. Siemens will also install a train radio system, and an operations control center equipped with a Scada system to monitor and control the line. 

Hyunsai-Rotem will supply 84 cars to make up the 14 metro trains for the line, which is expected to carry 900,000 passengers a day. 

Uber expands Hertz Tesla rentals for drivers to Canada

Uber expands Hertz Tesla rentals for drivers to Canada

Uber has announced that drivers in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver can now rent Tesla vehicles on a weekly basis. The first Tesla fleet will be available this summer as part of Hertz’s plan to get 50,000 Tesla cars for Uber to rent by 2023. 

“As we continue towards Uber’s zero-emissions goal, our partnership with Hertz reflects the largest expansion of electric vehicles (EVs) on a mobility platform in North America and one of the largest globally,” said Uber. 

Over 15,000 drivers have participated in the Hertz-Tesla program in the U.S, with over 5 million electric trips completed, or 40 million miles driven. Uber has said that 95% of drivers renting a Tesla from Hertz was their first EV driven on the ride share platform.  

“Hertz is leading the way in electrification, shared mobility and a digital-first customer experience by offering the largest electric vehicle rental fleet in North America,” said Jeff Nieman, Hertz Senior Vice President, Operations Initiatives. 

“Canada is the next frontier for our exclusive partnership with Uber, reaffirming our commitment to being an environmentally-forward company.” 

In a recent survey of Canadian Uber drivers, 71% said that they were interested in making the swith to an EV. 

“Driver access to electric vehicles is an important part of Uber’s electrification goals,” said Michael van Hemmen, General Manager of Uber Canada Mobility, in a statement.  

“Even with high gas prices, switching to an EV is a big decision. This partnership gives drivers an opportunity to try an electric vehicle as their primary rideshare vehicle and understand the benefits and cost savings of going electric.” 

Uber’s Zero Emissions incentive offers an extra $1 per electric trip on the platform for drivers. At launch, drivers will need a minimum 4.85-star rating and have completed at least 150 trips to be eligible for a Hertz Tesla rental. 

“Going green is truly a team sport and there is much more work to do. We look forward to continuing to partner with leaders across Canada to achieve our common goals together,” said Uber. 

The Lion Electric Company announce that its customers in Canada can receive up to $150,000 in funding under Transport Canada’s newly launched Incentives for Medium and Heavy-duty Zero-Emission Vehicles Program

The Lion Electric Company announce that its customers in Canada can receive up to $150,000 in funding under Transport Canada’s newly launched Incentives for Medium and Heavy-duty Zero-Emission Vehicles Program

The Lion Electric Company today announced that its customers in Canada can now receive up to $150,000 in funding under Transport Canada’s newly launched Incentives for Medium and Heavy-duty Zero-Emission Vehicles Program. Under this new program, the Canadian Federal Government is providing nearly $550 million in funding for the purchase or lease of medium and heavy-duty trucks over the next four years. 

All models in Lion’s current lineup of all-electric trucks are eligible to receive incentive funds under the iMHZEV Program. This includes $100,000 for the Lion5, Lion6, Lion8P straight truck, Lion8 Bucket and Lion8 Refuse ASL, along with $150,000 in funding for the Lion8T. 

These funding amounts apply to all available battery configurations and can be combined, or “stacked,” with other available provincial, municipal, utility and other available incentives, such as Quebec’s Écocamionnage program. By stacking both the federal and provincial incentives in Quebec, a Lion6 heavy-duty truck is elegible for subsidies of up to $243,750.   

“As a leading Canadian manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles, it is both exciting and encouraging to see the Canadian Government embracing the deployment of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks and transit buses with the launch of the iMHZEV Program,” said Marc Bedard, CEO and Founder of Lion Electric.

“Through its LionGrants team, Lion has years of experience successfully assisting our customers to secure available incentive funding and we are fully ready to immediately start capturing funding under this new program for our customers.” 

“This will enable us to continue putting zero-emission vehicles on the road, which we have been doing for years. This will undeniably lead to improvements to the environment and public health here in Canada, as we transition to a cleaner transportation sector.” 

Through its LionGrants team of funding experts, Lion can apply for the iMHZEV on behalf of customers. Additionally, the LionGrants team is currently actively tracking billions of dollars in available funding across North America and can assist customers in applying to a wide variety of provincial, municipal, utility and other available funding. 

New York approves EV charging program

New York approves EV charging program

An EV charging program has been approved by the New York Governor Kathy Hochul, which provides drivers with bill discounts when they charge during grid-friendly times. The State Public Service Commission works with New Yorks utilities on so-called managed EV charging programs.  

The PSC decision is part of an initiative known as the EV Make-Ready scheme which waa launched by Hochul’s predecessor Andrew Cuomo in 202. The program then banked on a public-private partnership with utilities and charging equipment manufacturers expected to help install 50,000 AC and 1,500 DC charging stations in the US state by 2025 through a cost-sharing program.  

Cost-sharing comes through state funds and two major investor-owned utilities in New York State. The commission has capped the total budget at $701 million, which will run through 2025, with a minimum of $206 million allocated toward equitable access and benefits for lower-socio-economic and disadvantaged communities.  

The aim is to incentivize utilities and charging port developers to site electric vehicle charging infrastructure in places that will benefit consumers. 

Public Service Commission Chair Rory M. Christian said, “By providing EV drivers with incentives for beneficial charging behaviour, the managed charging programs will create a win-win for EV drivers in the form of lower fuel costs and the grid in the form of reduced infrastructure costs.” 

New York State has a goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 per cent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy-wide carbon neutrality. 

Taiga begins customer deliveries of electric watercraft

Taiga begins customer deliveries of electric watercraft

Picture: Clean Technica

Canadian electric powersports brand Taiga marked the first sale of its all-electric Orca personal watercraft. 

“This is a significant moment for the Taiga team because not only are we kicking off summer with Orca deliveries, but we are proudly marking the milestone of the first-ever mass-produced electric watercraft available to consumers,” says Sam Bruneau, Taiga CEO. 

 “(After) years of engineering and testing of our revolutionary electric powertrain platform in snow and water has now come full circle, truly changing how people connect with the outdoors.” 

The Taiga Orca Carbon has more than 180HP and instant torque, which is good for an instant lift out of the water, highly precise throttle inputs and a 65mph top speed in its “wild” ride mode.  

The Taiga has a lot of cool tricks up its sleeve too. Thanks to its lightweight composite construction and energy dense batteries, the Taiga weighs less than the similarly powerful internal combustion competition. 

“Our government has always been a champion for a greener economy,” says the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Canada.  

“This’s why, last year, we recognized the leading role Taiga is playing in the electrified powersports industry, and stepped up to support the manufacturing of their electric vehicles. I’m very pleased to see this Canadian company beginning deliveries of their first-ever electric personal watercraft.” 

“We will continue to support Canadian businesses that are on the cutting-edge of green innovation – it’s good for the economy, the environment, and Canadians.” 

Taiga products are currently available through a hybrid direct sales model, which enables customers to order a vehicle direct, online, and pick it up at a participating local powersports dealer, who can assist with setup, trailering, and FAQs. 

Verra Mobility announces expanding operations

Verra Mobility announces expanding operations

Picture: Verra Mobility

Verra Mobility has announced that it is continuing to expand its European operations with new contract wins, partnerships and strategic memberships to further solve complex challenges for rental, fleet and issuing authorities operating within Europes evolving transportation infrastructure. 

As European tollways migrate to cashless collection and municipalities expand air quality initiatives, fleets and agencies are turning to Verra Mobility’s solutions to address toll interoperability, payments and vehicle violation compliance requirements. 

Recent European customer agreements, partnerships and memberships include:  

Road User Charges Violation Management Contract 

Verra Mobility was awarded a contract by the UK’s Department of Transport National Highways to recover unpaid road user charges and applicable penalties for the free-flow Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing, where the liable person resides outside the United Kingdom. Verra Mobility’s proven software technology has become increasingly popular in regions with significant cross-border travel to ensure fees are recovered from drivers of foreign-registered vehicles who utilize this vital road network in the UK.  

Clean Air Zone Violation Management Partnership 

Verra Mobility has entered a partnership with the Joint Air Quality Unit, in which it states that Verra Mobility will supply technical information for non-UK registered vehicles, enabling information for non-UK registered vehicles, enabling Clean Air Zone CAZ authorities to issue penalties for non-compliant vehicles entering from outside the UK. 

Association of Electronic Toll and Interoperable Services (AETIS) 

Verra Mobility was approved as a member of AETIS, a non-profit representing 18 EETS (European Electronic Toll Service) providers across the European Union. AETIS meets often to align on regulatory positions and advocate for the industry. Membership in AETIS supports Verra Mobility in its goal to contribute to a responsible and efficient framework for all electronic tolling in Europe. 

“These partner agreements are a critical next step as we expand our European footprint in tolling services and violation management,” said Tsjerk-Friso Roelfzema, general manager Europe, Verra Mobility.  

“Verra Mobility makes road travel in Europe more seamless and connected by providing toll solutions to our global rental car partners. We are also excited to further enhance our violation management solutions for clean air zone compliance and recovering unpaid road user charges.” 

The company’s software technology is said to be helping customers adapt and shift to cashless automated tolling while solving many other payment problems. 


The state of Arizona has unveiled plans for the first stages of its electric vehicle infrastructure plan

The state of Arizona has unveiled plans for the first stages of its electric vehicle infrastructure plan

The state of Arizona has unveiled plans for the first stages of its electric vehicle infrastructure plan. The plan aims to bring around 30 charging stations to the state’s interstates in the coming years. 

A public meeting Thursday night allowed Arizonians to enquire about the states five-year plan to create a network of charging stations among major roadways, with the project set to begin next year. 

 The Arizona Department of Transportation is leading the multi-million-dollar effort to support EVs in the Grand Canyon State following passage of the federal infrastructure bill late last year. 

The state’s project falls under the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program, which is providing incentives for renewable energy-powered transit across the country.  

“The goal is to build out a national network of EV chargers in order to reduce range anxiety and foster increased EV adoption,” said Thor Anderson, a project manager with ADOT.  

NEVI will provide states with $5 billion to build electric vehicle chargers. Under the program, Arizona will receive $76.5 million over five years to construct these chargers along “alternative fuel corridors.” 

These corridors will include Interstate 40 in northern Arizona, I-17 in central Arizona, Southern Arizona’s I-10 and I-8 in southwestern Arizona. Interstate 19 north of Nogales has also been designated as one of the corridors.  

Officials have said that the program requires a charging station every 50 miles of interstate with at least four 150 kw chargers at each location. The chargers must be level three, meaning vehicles can reach 80% charge in 30 minutes. 

Another federal requirement is that stations will use CCS charger connectors, which differ from some existing connectors used to charge cars like Teslas. But the well-known electric car brand would not be excluded from the charging stations said Brendan Connelly, who is with the engineering company AECOM.  

“Tesla chargers are currently only accessible to Tesla users, but there are adapter types that can allow Tesla users to connect to CCS ports,” he said. 

ADOT is examining additional roadways for charging stations. The state could have anywhere from 70 to 130 eligible charging stations built when the project is completed, Anderson said. 

In order to qualify for the federal funds state officials, need to submit a rough draft of the charging station plan by August 1. The United States’ Joint Office of Energy and Transportation has until September 30 to approve the proposal before more public outreach will occur. 

VinFast receives $1.2 billion incentive package from North Carolina for Manufacturing Project

VinFast receives $1.2 billion incentive package from North Carolina for Manufacturing Project

Picture: VinFast

VinFast has announced that they have received a $1.2 billion incentive package from the State of North Carolina for its electric vehicle manufacturing project in the U.S. The deal was signed by Governor Roy Cooper and is the largest economic incentive package to be signed in state history. This will also make VinFast the first car maker to be in North Carolina. 

The VinFast’s manufacturing facility will be built at the Triangle Innovation Point in Chatham County, North Carolina with a total investment of about $2 billion USD in the first phase.  

VinFast has designed the factory to reach a capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year with a focus on two main areas: electric cars and bus production and assembly, and ancillary industries for suppliers. The factory is said to be covering an area of 2,000 acres.  

Phase one of the project will start construction in the second half of 2022, and production is expected to commence in July 2024. 

Van Anh Nguyen, CEO of VinFast Manufacturing US, says: “VinFast applauds North Carolina for their efforts and determination in advancing the state’s clean energy economy and carbon mitigation goals. This investment by the State of North Carolina is the starting point for a future marked by innovation, job creation, and economic growth. Today exemplifies how government and industry can come together to pursue a brighter future.” 

“North Carolina’s partnership with VinFast to bring good, clean energy jobs to North Carolina took an important step forward today with the signing of the budget, adds Roy Cooper, Governor of North Carolina. “Electric vehicles, like the ones VinFast will produce in Chatham County, are a critical component of our strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build North Carolina into a hub for the clean energy economy.” 

VinFast will also open its first six stores in prime locations across California, with the first to open in Santa Monica, one of the most high-traffic shopping areas in the Los Angeles area. 

Madam Le Thi Thu Thuy, Vingroup Vice Chairwoman and VinFast Global CEO, comments: “The opening of the first six VinFast Stores in the US marks an important milestone in the company’s global journey, as we move toward bringing premium products and services to American consumers. 

“I believe that introducing VinFast and interacting with customers one-on-one in our corporate-owned and operated stores is the best way to build relationships with customers and to ensure quality service. We are proud to drive the global EV revolution towards a sustainable future. This future officially takes its next step today in California and will soon expand across the US and globally.” 

Helbiz releases its new HelmetChecker, a real time AI helmet verification

Helbiz releases its new HelmetChecker, a real time AI helmet verification

Helbiz has announced that it will be releasing its HelmetChecker, a real time AI helmet verification, for sale to micro-mobility operators looking to increase the ease at which they meet compliance requirements and increase the safety of their riders. 

The technology has already been piloted and launched within the Helbiz app. HelmetChecker uses AI and computer vision to ensure that a rider is wearing a helmet and has the strap secured.

Micro-mobility operators can use HelmetChecker to stop a vehicle from unlocking until it confirms helmet use or provide incentives to riders. Helbiz says this is a solution that goes further than warning screens or pictures that are checked manually post-ride. 

“The HelmetChecker has been a game changer for Helbiz and the value we can bring to cities,” said Salvatore Palella, CEO, Helbiz 

“With 99.7 percent accuracy, this technology can help other micro-mobility vendors remain compliant and improve rider safety, while bringing a new revenue stream for Helbiz.” 

There are no SDKs, lengthy integrations or AI engineers needed. Helbiz adds all it requires is passing an image through the HelmetChecker API and reading the JSON response that includes a verdict and confidence level reading. 

Pricing for the product will be a monthly subscription fee and a per-API-call fee per image submitted.  

This is a great step forward for Helbiz and a great innovative product that will out them at the forefront of the micro mobility industry.

Texas to introduce their new Electric Vehicle Charging plan

Texas to introduce their new Electric Vehicle Charging plan

The state of Texas has introduced the Texas Electric Vehicle Charging plan which is a comprehensive framework to enable passenger EV travel across the state and spur economic growth.  

The aim is to give electric vehicle drivers confidence and flexibility when travelling for work, recreation, or exploration regardless of distance travelled or weather conditions. The plan was developed due to agreements made with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, State Energy Conservation Office, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Department of Transportation, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Public Utility Commission, Councils of Government, Counties, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), utilities, energy service providers, and advocacy groups in Texas. 

The EV plan supports the goals of Optimising System Performance and Fostering Stewardship of the state’s natural, historic and cultural resources as previously outlined in the Texas Transportation Plan 2050. 

Back in 2021, the Texas Department of Transport began internal discussions with planning and legislative staff to understand the law and potential impacts/opportunities of the infrastructure program.  

The Texas EV plan was then developed in the spring of 2022 and upon completion of the plan, the Texas DOT will transition to drafting and solicitation for EV charging stations. The aim for the department is to have the solicitation published by October 2022. 

The vision of the EV plan is to allow travel of all kinds across the state in an EV. The department will work with private sectors to install DC fast charge stations along Electric Alternative Fuel corridors and also cooperate with Metropolitan Planning organisations to identify suitable locations for charging infrastructures in large urban areas.  

The plan is targeted to support 1 million electric vehicles and to put DC charging stations 50 miles apart along the Electric Alternative Fuel Corridors and 70 miles apart anywhere else in the state.  

Drivers will have multiple options for EV Charging along their intended travel route. Each location will have at least four ports with pull through spaces for passenger vehicles pulling trailers or recreational vehicles. Each individual charging connector on the Alternative Fuel Corridors will be rated to deliver at least 150kW of power to the vehicle  

Texas is already at the heart of electrification with the state having one of the highest numbers of electric cars. This new EV plan will hopefully incentivise those who don’t have an EV to get one and will make it easier and more accessible for those who own an EV to charge their vehicles.