• Image Credit: Tesla
  • Image Credit: Tesla
  • Image Credit: Tesla
  • Image Credit: Tesla
  • Image Credit: Tesla
  • Image Credit: Tesla
Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey and Texas have been awarded a Luddite Award for blocking Tesla sales. The collective honor is bestowed by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) for standing "resolutely in opposition to innovation." It's a particularly hard blow for the proudly auto-centric state of Michigan, whose Governor Rick Snyder signed an anti-Tesla bill into law in October. ITIF is now accepting votes for the "worst of the worst," with the "winner" to be announced February 5. Among the awardees in the running are Virginia and Nevada for their stances on ridesharing services. Read more in the press release below, in the ITIF's report or at the Detroit Free Press.

Tesla has put the finishing touches on its underground Supercharger station in London. The subterranean chargers reside below the Westfield London shopping mall, which is also home to a Tesla Store. The Westfield London station is Tesla's largest underground station in Europe. Have a look in the attached photo gallery, or visit Tesla's Facebook page for more.

Johnson Controls has developed a dedicated battery for stop-start system. The small lithium-ion battery allows for more frequent and longer engine stops, improving fuel economy by as much as eight percent. It weighs just nine pounds, and with no need for thermal management, it offers more packaging freedom within the vehicle. The battery offers a lifespan of four to six years, with a price in the hundreds of dollars. Johnson Controls will debut the start-stop battery at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, with deployment beginning in Europe in 2018. Read more at Automotive News.

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ITIF Announces 2014 Luddite Awards

WASHINGTON – (January 5, 2015) Technological innovation is the wellspring of social and economic progress. Despite this, a growing array of interests-some economic, some ideological-now stand resolutely in opposition to innovation. These "neo-Luddites" have worked to convince the public and policymakers that technological innovation is something to be feared and contained. Their targets include genetically modified organisms, new Internet apps, smart electric meters, health IT, big data, and increasingly productivity itself. And if these advocates are successful Americans will suffer in the form of lower quality of life and reduced societal growth.

To highlight the worst neo-Luddite ideas of the year and the negative impacts they could cause, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is releasing a new report presenting its first annual Luddite Awards. It recognizes the ten organizations and or individuals that have done the most in 2014 to smash the engines of innovation. ITIF is also asking the public to vote on which of the ten nominations is the worst Luddite idea of the year. The "winner" will be announced on February 5.

"The central challenge of our time is the need to rapidly increase living standards and quality of life for all of the world's citizens," says Robert Atkinson, President of ITIF and author of the report. "Innovation and technological development are absolutely essential to achieving this goal, but increasingly interests are uniting to thwart technology at every corner. By highlighting the most egregious examples of these efforts we hope to better educate the public and policy makers on why Luddite opposition is profoundly mistaken."

The ten Luddite nominees are:

• The National Rifle Association's Opposition to Smart Guns
• The Vermont Legislature Passes Law Requiring GMO Food Labeling
• Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey, and Texas Take Action to Prevent Tesla From Opening Stores to Sell Cars Directly to Consumers
• The French Government Stops Amazon From Providing Free Shipping on Books
• "Stop Smart Meters" Seeks To Stop Smart Innovation in Meters and Cars
• Free Press Lobbies for Rules to Stop Innovation in Broadband Networks
• New York State Cracks Down on Airbnb and its Hosts
• Virginia and Nevada Take on Ride Share
• The Media and Pundits Claiming That "Robots" Are Killing Jobs
• The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Opposition to Health IT

Read the report. Vote for the number one Luddite idea/action of 2014.

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The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states. Recognizing the vital role of technology in ensuring prosperity, ITIF focuses on innovation, productivity, and digital economy issues. Learn more at www.itif.org.

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