Monday, October 23, 2017

All transit lines (?) lead to Rome

If you were to make a big Venn diagram with fans of transit maps in one big bubble and followers of ancient history in another big bubble, I’m not sure how big the intersecting space would be.  But I’m in it!  And gathering from the response to Sasha Trubetskoy’s transit-style map of the main roads of the Roman Empire, there are quite a few of us!
You can see Sasha’s original posting here, with review in CityLab here and Cameron Booth’s Transit Maps site (he gives it four stars – not an easy achievement!) here.  It’s proven so popular that he’s added a more detailed “transit map” of Roman Road in Britain (here).
Sasha notes that he had to “take some liberties” to make this work, but partially that’s a matter of combining a diagrammatic layout with a geographic one.
My only nerdy quibble: the sea connection between Brundisium and Dyrrachium,  a key link between east and west and between Italy and the Via Egnatia, should be shorter.

And yes, you can order a copy.

New study: EV Fast Charging Corridors within reach

A major new study from the US Department of Energy finds that installing Fast Chargers for Electric Vehicles at frequent intervals on the Interstate Highway System is eminently feasible and could have a great impact in accelerating EV adoption (National Plug-In Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Analysis, available here).
The authors say – and I agree – that long-distance travel has been a critical barrier to EV adoption, because people who travel long distances often, or even occasionally, are worried about running out of juice.  The obvious answer, although not universally agreed, is “providing access to an extensive and convenient network of DCFC [Fast Charger] stations along corridors that enable reliable long-distance intercity travel.”
The good news is that “wiring” the Interstate is not that much of a stretch: “Results suggest that relatively few corridor DCFC stations could enable long-distance BEV [battery-only electric vehicle] travel between U. S. cities, where vehicles are concentrated.  Under most scenarios, the number of required stations is similar to the number of DCFC stations already established by Tesla or the number planned by Electrify America within the next two years.”

Electrifying the Interstate with Fast Chargers can make a big difference, and according to this new study is readily attainable.  Folks, we need to make this happen.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

UK: Accelerating the Shift to Low Carbon Transport

Not long after I commented on plans in England (here) and Scotland (here) to advance the electrification of the transportation system, the central (UK) government has put out a report covering much of the same ground.  The report (news story here, link to text here) is actually much broader in scope, detailing a laundry list of initiatives to advance “clean growth” and meet statutory targets for controlling greenhouse gas emissions.
The transportation section – “Accelerating the Shift to Low Carbon Transport” – doesn’t offer much that is new.  But it is useful in reminding us of the commitment of the UK government – a Conservative government – to major GHG reductions.
Some highlights of the transportation policies and proposals list:
·      Reiterates the commitment to ending the sale of conventional gasoline and diesel cars by 2040,
·      Allocates funding to support the Highways England goal of installing EV rapid chargers at 20-mile intervals on 95% of the strategic highway network,
·      Advocates legislation to require new charging stations to be “smart enabled” to encourage off-peak charging,
·      Funds development and implementation of Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans,
·      Establishes subsidies for alternative fuel taxis, and
·      Supports research and development of alternative fuel propulsion for heavy trucks, trains, and airplanes.

Oh, and did I mention this is the policy of a Conservative government?