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Recharge Wrap-up: Elon speaks in Paris, EV incentives for Germany?

Hybrids Need To Train Drivers; Maryland Gets New Diesel Buses, Updates Hybrids

Elon Musk spoke at Tesla Paris about the upcoming year. He talked about plans for a Tesla factory in Europe, expansion of the Supercharger network into Eastern Europe, and the possibility of app mirroring. Model X production will accelerate, matching that of the Model S very soon. Musk told Model X customers, "You're going to love it. It is really something special. The X is a better SUV than the S is a sedan." See the video above, and read more at Teslarati.

Germany is mulling over the idea of giving incentives to EV buyers. Politicians are talking to automakers about the possibility of up to €5,000 (about $5,500) in incentives to help the country achieve its goal of a million EVs on its roads by 2020. The proposed deal could see automakers paying up to €2,000 (about $2,200) of the incentive. Germany would also build 16,000 charging stations and push municipalities to use EVs in their fleets. Read more from Reuters.

Maryland has set aside almost $100 million for 172 40-foot advanced clean diesel buses for the Maryland Transit Administration. Each bus will also get an IT package including GPS, vehicle locator, automatic passenger counter, driver interface and other improvements to improve efficiency and safety. Maryland also approved $840,500 to retrofit buses with hybrid beltless alternators for its 2012 New Flyer Diesel Electric Hybrid buses. This retrofit improves fuel economy, reduces emissions and decreases necessary maintenance. Read more from Green Car Congress.

A new study shows that hybrids could do more to train their drivers to drive more efficiently. Researchers at Germany's Technische Universität Chemnitz and University of Southampton in the UK found that driving a hybrid and being motivated to drive efficiently isn't enough to net significant energy savings. More technical knowledge and vehicle systems that interact with the driver are necessary for that. Some possible solutions include increasing helpful feedback to the driver that is easy to read without being distracting, integrated tutor systems, customizable automated functions and providing different levels of information depending on the driver's eco-driving skill level. Read more at Green Car Congress.

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