Recharge Wrap-up: Munter's written Tesla testimony, new Autopilot hardware
Persian Gulf moves away from cheap energy.
Race driver and environmentalist Leilani Münter submitted written testimony for Tesla's sales license hearing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since the NC Department of Transportation didn't take public comments, Münter wrote in support of Tesla's no-haggle, direct sales business model, its clean powertrain, and the fact that it is made in America. She argues against the hypocrisy of blocking competition, regulating interstate commerce, and the obstructionism from the National Auto Dealers Association lobby, the automotive industry, and Big Oil. "We, the residents North Carolina, will not allow our state to get away with this corruption of democracy," writes Münter. Read the letter in full at Medium.
A paper from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy favors ending energy subsidies in the Persian Gulf. Titled "Energy Subsidy Reform in the Persian Gulf: The End of the Big Oil Giveaway," the paper says that the six monarchies (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain) have increased per-capita demand by providing cheap energy, and that attitudes among policymakers are shifting. They hope higher prices can ease budget pressure, free up more gas and oil for export, make clean energy more desirable, and encourage conservation and efficiency (which helps reduce carbon emissions). Read more at Green Car Congress, or see the issue brief from the Baker Institute.
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