Recharge Wrap-up: Shell Eco-Marathon 2016, Apple poaches Tesla Autopilot expert

Salvador Duran Joins Trulli Formula E; Fuels America Adresses President Obama

Apple has hired a senior engineer from Tesla for its autonomous vehicle technology program. Jamie Carlson was previously working in Tesla's Autopilot program, which allows the car to perform automated tasks such as passing other vehicles on the highway. Carlson joins other recent Apple hires with similar expertise from BMW, Volkswagen, Ford, Bosch, Delphi, Nvidia, and other automotive and technology organizations. While Apple is reportedly working on its own car and researching autonomous driving technology, it remains unconfirmed is Apple is actually building a self-driving car. Read more from Reuters.

Salvador Duran will race for Trulli Formula E for the electric race series' second season. The former Amlin Aguri driver says he is excited to use the team's new Motomatica JT-01 powertrain. "We are very happy to have Salvador on board," says team principal Lucio Cavuto. "He's a driver that we were looking at last year, and we have been very impressed with his improvements during the championship. We are very glad that he trusts us despite two difficult tests." Read more from Trulli Formula E.

Team registration is open for the 10th Shell Eco-Marathon Americas in Detroit. Taking place from April 22-24, 2016, the event will see high school and college students competing to build a car that goes the furthest using the least energy. The bar is set high with the current record of 3,587 miles per gallon equivalent. Teams can choose from various forms of power, including gasoline, diesel, hydrogen, electricity, ethanol, gas-to-liquid and compressed natural gas. "Shell Eco-Marathon can equip students with valuable, practical hands-on experience and prepares them to be the next generation of automotive innovators," says the event's technical director, Adrian Juergens. Read more from Shell.

Fuels America is taking out a full-page ad addressing President Obama about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The ad in the Las Vegas Review-Journal coincides with Obama's keynote speech at the National Clean Energy Summit in Nevada. "Mr. President, you campaigned on the promise of the RFS," the ad reads, "and we agree with your statement that 'there should be no question that the United States of America is stepping up to the plate,' as we head into climate talks in Paris. We can't afford to dismantle a landmark Clean Air Act program, increase carbon emissions and send American innovation overseas." Read the full ad at Scribd, and learn more in the press release below.

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2013 Shell Eco-Marathon Americas

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Fuels America Ad Targets President Obama, Decries New RFS Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fuels America is sponsoring a full page ad Monday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, aimed at President Obama during his appearance at the National Clean Energy Summit in Nevada, where he is the keynote speaker. The ad is accompanied by a Review Journal homepage takeover, as well as banner ads geotargeted at the conference.

The ad touts the progress under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – passed 10 years ago this month by Senator Reid and a bipartisan coalition – including the creation of more than 850,000 American jobs and the reduction of America's oil imports by nearly two-thirds.

The ad describes how the EPA caved to pressure from the oil industry and changed the law midstream with its latest proposal that would let oil companies continue to ignore their obligations under the law and block market access to renewable fuel for American consumers.

American biofuel innovators have invested billions of dollars in the next generation of biofuels – fuels that is cleaner and helps curb climate change, cutting carbon emissions by 88-108% compared to petroleum – under the promise of the RFS that it would end the oil industry's chokehold on fuel distribution and market access, create American jobs, and give consumers a choice at the pump.

Excerpts from the ad are below:

Mr. President, we invested billions in the world's cleanest motor fuels based on the RFS. But your proposal dismantles the program.


Mr. President, you campaigned on the promise of the RFS – and we agree with your statement that "there should be no question that the United States of America is stepping up to the plate," as we head into climate talks in Paris. We can't afford to dismantle a landmark Clean Air Act program, increase carbon emissions and send American innovation overseas.

Today's ad is reminiscent of previous efforts by the renewable fuel industry, such as this full page New York Times ad that appeared during the "People's Climate March" last year.

The ad coincides with a report released Monday by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), showing that the RFS has drastically reduced greenhouse gas emissions. In the 10 years of its existence, the RFS has cut transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 590 million metric tons – the equivalent of removing over 124 million cars from the road over the last decade.

Below are other toplines from BIO's report.

The RFS has displaced nearly 1.9 billion barrels of foreign oil over the past decade by replacing fossil fuels with homegrown biofuels.
EPA's recent proposed rules for the RFS would cut short achievable future carbon emission reductions. In 2015 alone, the proposal would add 19.6 million tons of CO2e for the year, equal to putting 7.3 million cars back on the road, compared with achievable levels of biofuel use.

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