Recharge Wrap-up: Madrid's car-free holiday, NYC buys 80 Chevy Bolts

BMW says battery density and costs will be slow to improve.

New York City is buying 80 Chevrolet Bolts. Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration is taking advantage of a discount from GM as well as federal incentives (from the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program) to acquire the EVs for a shared-fleet initiative. The Bolt's MSRP is $37,500, but NYC will pay GM $32,997, and receive a rebate of $8,287 per car. That comes out to $24,710 per Bolt. The city departments of Citywide Administrative Services, Environmental Protection, and Parks will be the first to take delivery come spring of 2017. New York wants to expand its EV fleet to 1,000 by the end of 2017, with a total goal of 2,000 EVs as part of its OneNYC sustainability plan. Read more at Electrek, or from Crain's.

BMW says that battery cost and capacity will be a concern for the foreseeable future. With the technology slow to evolve in terms of energy density and manufacturing costs, BMW's vice president of electric powertrain development, Stefan Juraschek, says, "We simply have to walk through the valley of tears" until automakers figure it out. BMW expects it will take seven years for battery capacity to double what it is now. In order to rein in spending, the automaker is looking at ways to incorporate battery technology into existing models. Read more from Automotive News Europe.

Madrid is banning most cars from its city center for nine days this month. Ahead of Christmas, and covering two national holidays, the city will restrict all but residents of the area, buses, and cabs from driving in the specified zone. Not only does this make it easier for shoppers and other pedestrians to get around the core of the city, but it also helps pollution at a time of year when a seasonal inversion usually blankets the city with smog. In the future, Madrid plans to reduce the number of cars in this area by reducing the number of lanes and expanding sidewalks along the busy Gran Via. Madrid will also build car parks to encourage the use of public transit, which will include a growing fleet of electric buses. Read more from CityLab.

Share This Photo X