Recharge Wrap-up: Waymo cuts production costs, Senators talk to Scott Pruitt about RFS

Tesla connects Melbourne to Brisbane.

  • Image Credit: FCA
Waymo has reduced key technology costs by 90 percent. According to CEO John Krafcik, the production cost of its lidar sensor hardware have dropped by 90 percent from its original $75,000 price tag. Waymo will install the sensors – part of a Level 4 autonomous driving system it is developing – on 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans, some of which will be testing on Arizona and California roads later this month. "We're serious about creating fully self-driving cars that can help millions of people," says Krafcik. "And to do that we have to oversee both the self-driving software and the self-driving hardware." Read more at Hybrid Cars.

Tesla has finished building a 1,000-mile Supercharger corridor in Australia. Tesla owners can now drive between Melbourne and Brisbane using Superchargers along the way. The automaker sent an email to customers announcing the completion of stations in Coffs Harbour, Heatherbrae, and Knockrow, the latter two with six charging bays. A larger, permanent station will replace the two charging bays at Coffs Harbour in the future. Tesla plans to have a total of 18 Supercharger stations in Australia by the end of the year. Read more at Teslarati.

Senators are questioning Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt about ethanol. Pruitt, who is President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for EPA Administrator, has been critical of the corn-based fuel, saying the mandate to blend it into the country's gasoline supply can harm vehicles and raises food prices. Republican Senators of Iowa, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, among others, have spoken with Pruitt about the Renewable Fuel Standard. "I was pleased to hear that President-elect Trump made it clear to Mr. Pruitt that he cares about the RFS," says Ernst. "Mr. Pruitt told me in our meeting that the role of the EPA is to enforce the law as written by Congress, and not undermine the RFS." Read more from the Pawhuska Journal-Capital.

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