The Volkswagen Sustainability Council held its inaugural meeting in Berlin. Made up of nine international experts, the council will advise VW and take action on its own as it sees fit. In the meeting, the council decided that in 2017 it will focus on tackling CO2 emissions, planning for post-2025 regulations, and assisting the automaker's "transformation from car manufacturer to mobility services provider," as VW Chairman Matthias Müller puts it. Volkswagen has approved 20 million euros (about $21.75 million) in funding for Sustainability Council projects for its first two years. "We are fully aware of the large transformation that lays ahead Volkswagen Group," says George Kell, Sustainability Council Chair and Founding Director of UN Global Compact. "We were invited to be part of this journey and are very much looking forward on being actively involved in the development of this journey." Read more at Green Car Congress, or from Volkswagen.
Honda plans to ramp up its share of hybrids sold in the US. In response to increasingly strict emissions standards, the company wants electrified vehicles (including hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and fuel cell vehicles) to make up two-thirds of Honda and Acura sales in US by 2030. Some analysts are skeptical, though. Christopher Richter of CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets says that dealers are telling Honda they don't want hybrids. "Unless there's a change in what dealers want, I don't think they are going to get there that fast," Richter says. Read more at Automotive News.
Witnesses report spotting what could possibly be the Zee.Aero electric aircraft at Hollister Airport in California. Zee.Aero, a startup funded by Google cofounder Larry Page, has a hangar at that airport, where a photo was taken of the aircraft in question. The craft is said to be capable of vertical takeoff and landing and can fit in a one-car garage, earning it the "flying car" moniker. Eyewitness Saul Gomez described the aircraft as "quiet" and "hovering 20, 25 feet off the ground." Read more at Electrek, and watch the interview at Mercury News.