Recharge Wrap-up: Tesla for Kids event, 2 apple execs named as automotive influencers

Tesla backs Chinese charging standard; Illinois senate approves ethanol funding.

Radio Flyer is hosting an exclusive event featuring the Tesla Model S for Kids. At the invitation-only event, select enthusiasts and reservation holders for the scaled down Model S will get a chance to see it up close and in person. Kids will even be able to get behind the wheel and take the tiny car for a spin on a mini test track. Afterwards, they'll get to enjoy refreshments and conversation with other fans of the electric vehicle manufacturer. Deliveries for the electric children's vehicle – which starts at $499 – are expected to begin this month. Read more at Teslarati.

Tesla is pledging support for a national charging standard in China. The automaker has launched the " Tesla Charging Partner Program" to promote the charging standard, which supports both DC fast charging and Level 2 AC charging. Tesla will likely add interoperability to its existing Superchargers in China, as well as to new installations. China plans to invest in the installation of some 12,000 chargers across the country, to the tune of about $20 billion. Read more at Green Car Reports.

Despite not having built a car yet, The Drive has named Apple's Tim Cook and Jony Ive among its "Top 10 Most Influential People in Automotive Technology." While Apple CEO Tim Cook is mentioned for Apple CarPlay, automotive apps, and " rumors of EV collaborations," Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive's reason for making the list is less clear. According to The Drive, the iPhone design's "cleanliness and iconoclasm . . . leads the tech pack. The best car interiors reflect that aesthetic beautifully." Also on the list are Google's CEO of autonomous vehicles (and former Ford designer and Hyundai CEO) John Krafcik and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Read more at The Drive, or from Apple Car Fans.

Illinois' Senate has approved a bill allowing the state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to receive almost $12 million in federal biofuel grants. The grant from the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership will be matched by private ethanol companies as well as Illinois Corn Marketing Board to build more pumps, storage, and other infrastructure for ethanol blends. This gives customers more options at the pump, including E15 and E85 gasoline-ethanol blends. "This is money that will immediately go to boost our economy and provide a helping hand to our farmers who are struggling with low commodity prices, without spending a single dime of state money," says State Senator Jason Barickman. "This legislation is a home run for Illinois." Read more from AgriNews.

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