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This weekend marks 44 years since Bob Dylan released "Blood On The Tracks," so a cut from that masterpiece will take us into the weekend...
A new McKinsey report shows why autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing are kind of a wild card when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions — and have the potential to help provide climate benefits if planners take the right steps.
Why it matters: Uber and other companies are already changing the way people move around in cities, while AVs are poised to shake things up even further as the tech takes hold.
What they did: The report looks at 3 trajectories for how urban traffic and transport patterns could evolve, and what that means for the environment (among other things).
In essence, under "seamless mobility," they see people traveling further per year than under their other scenarios, yet more efficiently and cleanly.
But, but, but: That won't happen by itself, the report shows. If cities don't act, "the trends related to urbanization, population, and e-commerce are likely to make congestion and pollution worse."
What's next: The report lays out dozens of ways for cities to help manage the rise of autonomy and growing populations, including...
"One tool that cities can use to encourage the use of EVs is the creation of low- or zero-emissions zones," while other steps include a push to electrify fleet and government vehicles.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Friday that the Silicon Valley electric automaker is cutting its workforce by 7%.
The big picture: The announcement comes as Musk is trying to make good on pledges to begin offering lower-priced variants of its Model 3, a car critical to the company's future.
By the numbers: Currently the cheapest Model 3 is a 264-mile range that's $44,000, Musk noted.
Where it stands: Per Bloomberg, a 7% workforce cut means shedding about 3,150 jobs. From their piece...
A single line in the International Energy Agency's latest oil market report is a remarkable summary of the decade-long rise by the U.S. into a crude oil powerhouse.
What they're saying: "By the middle of the year, US crude output will probably be more than the capacity of either Saudi Arabia or Russia," IEA said.
The big picture: The U.S is already the world's largest crude oil producer, with Energy Information Administration data showing output closing in on 12 million barrels per day and rising.
Where it stands: As for where the market is today, IEA sees things gradually heading toward balance this year thanks to forces including the OPEC+ production cutting agreement.
But, but, but: Needless to say there are caveats, such as OPEC nations complying with planned output curbs, and continued declines in output from Iran and Venezuela.
For now, IEA is leaving their demand growth forecast for 2019 unchanged. They project a rise of 1.4 million barrels per day, almost entirely from non-OECD nations.
Go deeper: Reuters breaks down the numbers here.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Axios Expert Voices contributor Alex Gruzen writes ... Newly introduced EVs are capable of charging wirelessly rather than tethered to a power cable, a technology that could one day help autonomous EVs stay running around the clock.
Why it matters: The ability to charge whenever they have a chance — through wireless charging source pads embedded in roadways and parking spots — would make AVs more efficient because they would never have to be taken out of operation for refueling.
How it works: These systems rely on resonant charging, which transfers electricity across an air gap between two magnetic coils and then to the vehicle's battery. It's a larger-scale version of technology already available for cellphones.
The catch: Significant public and private investment will be required to expand wireless source pads beyond private homes and offices and into roadways, especially to support electric AVs in ride-sharing and delivery fleets.
Go deeper: Read the full piece here.
Gruzen is CEO of WiTricity, which develops technologies for wireless energy transfer.
Green New Deal: The New Yorker looks at the left politics around the Green New Deal and the young activists who have pushed it into the Democratic mainstream so fast.
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Carbon taxes: The idea is fighting for air in Washington and elsewhere, but this new commentary in the journal Nature makes the case for how to win a broader global buy-in.
Why it matters: A multi-nation survey that forms the backbone of the piece shows once again why tax design and use of the revenues are such important variables.
What they did: The researchers asked respondents in 5 countries about a range of tax costs ($40, $60 and $80 per ton), and a suite of options for how to use the revenue.
The bottom line: "Three designs received majority (>50%) support in all five countries, when averaged across tax rates," according to researchers with Georgia State University and Norway's CICERO Center for International Climate Research.