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Transportation

Заробляти на оренді будь-чого: як в Україні розвивається ринок шерингової економіки

У травні 2020 го року Київ, за оцінками Consumer Choice Center, увійшов в 10-ку міст світу, де ринок шерингових послуг розвинений найкраще. Крім української столиці в рейтингу оцінювалися 52 міста: «найшеринговими», крім Києва, стали Таллінн, Вільнюс, Рига, Варшава, Сан-Паулу, Тбілісі та інші.

Оцінка проводилася за рівнем доступу до таких сервісів як Uber і Airbnb, електронних самокатів, додатків для шеринга професійних автомобілів, можливості орендувати авто у приватних власників, а також можливості доступу до всіх спортзалів Києва з одного мобільного застосунку.

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WV laws inhibit electric vehicle sales

One of the core components of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill is adequately preparing the country for the electric vehicle (EV) revolution.

The Biden administration has earmarked $174 billion for transportation electrification, which has sparked a flurry of investment from auto manufacturers.

GM announced they will be opening a $2.3 billion plant in 2023 to manufacture 500,000 EV batteries, Honda has committed to only sell EVs by 2040, Hyundai will invest $7 billion for U.S. EV production, and Ford has announced that half of all Lincolns produced could soon be emissionless.

But unfortunately for consumers in West Virginia, poor policy at the state level is acting as a major hurdle. West Virginia, who currently ranks tied for last in the U.S. Electric Vehicle Accessibility Index, is actively discouraging the purchase of EVs with their ban on direct-to-consumer sales and their disproportionate licensing fee for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Under the guise of consumer protection, West Virginia has made it illegal for electric vehicle manufacturers, like Tesla, to sell directly to consumers. Dealer franchise laws, which ban direct sale, are a decades-old policy implemented to protect consumers from vertical integration and monopolization.

In today’s age of limitless information at your fingertips and healthy competition in the auto industry, this restriction is far past its expiration date. It does nothing but impede consumer choice while providing no consumer protection value.

That’s why many EV manufacturers have opted out of the dealership model entirely. Due to the innovative nature of electric vehicles, a traditional franchised dealership model may not be the most effective way to get these eco-friendly vehicles to market.

Operating a stand-alone dealership increases costs and adds a middle man into the sale process, which can often inflate prices for consumers.

Beyond the ban on direct sales, West Virginia also punishes EV consumers with higher license and registration fees. The standard registration fee for vehicles in West Virginia is $51.50. For consumers making the eco-conscious choice to buy and register an EV, the registration cost is nearly 400% higher at $251.50.

This is incredibly discriminatory, and a much better approach would be to simply treat EVs on par with standard passenger vehicles.

Unfortunately, some legislators have justified the additional fee to help recover lost gas tax revenue, but that runs counter to the purpose of gas taxes. The purpose of the gas tax, currently at 23 cents per gallon in West Virginia, is to encourage consumers to reduce their emissions, which is exactly what EV consumers are doing when they purchase an EV. It’s strange that the reward EV consumers get for their eco-friendly decision is inflated fees exponentially higher than the alternative. It is unfair that these consumers now shoulder more of the financial burden when they are in fact responding to gas taxes as intended by the tax.

On top of being relatively easy to implement, these policy changes have the added benefit of encouraging EV purchases without taxpayer manufacturing subsidies or complicated tax credits, which have rightfully been criticized for favoring the wealthy.

At the end of the day, the EV revolution is well on its way. By simply getting out of the way, legislators in West Virginia could enhance consumer choice, lower costs, protect the environment and do so without all of the logistical issues that come with corporate welfare and boutique tax credits.

As the famous idiom goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” The tide is certainly rising for electric vehicles, but with misguided regulations handcuffing consumers, West Virginians may end up watching from the shoreline.

Originally published here.

Nebraska should end these in-state obstacles to electric vehicle progress

One of the core components of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill is adequately preparing the country for the electric vehicle (EV) revolution. The Biden administration has earmarked $174 billion for transportation electrification, which has sparked a flurry of investment from auto manufacturers.

GM announced they will be opening a $2.3 billion plant in 2023 to manufacture 500,000 EV batteries, Honda has committed to sell only EVs by 2040, Hyundai will invest $7 billion for U.S. EV production, and Ford has announced that half of all Lincolns produced could soon be emissionless. Even here in Nebraska, EV consumers communities like Norfolk and Kearney are building out their charging stations.

But unfortunately for consumers in Nebraska, poor policy at the state level is acting as a major hurdle. Nebraska, who currently ranks tied for last in the U.S. Electric Vehicle Accessibility Index, is actively discouraging the purchase of EVs with their ban on direct-to-consumer sales, and their disproportionate licensing fee for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Under the guise of consumer protection, Nebraska has made it illegal for electric vehicle manufacturers, like Tesla, to sell directly to consumers. Dealer franchise laws, which ban direct sale, are a decades-old policy implemented to protect consumers from vertical integration and monopolization. In today’s age of limitless information at your fingertips, and healthy competition in the auto industry, this restriction is far past its expiration date. It does nothing but impede consumer choice while providing no consumer protection value. That’s why many EV manufacturers have opted out of the dealership model entirely. And, we know from the success of direct-to-consumer platforms in the used car market (where direct sale is legal) that online purchasing is on the rise.

Beyond the ban on direct-sales, Nebraska also punishes EV consumers with higher license and registration fees. The standard registration fee for vehicles in Nebraska is between $15. For consumers making the eco-conscious choice to buy and register an EV, the registration cost is over 500% higher, at $75. This is incredibly discriminatory, and a much better approach would be to simply treat EVs on par with standard passenger vehicles.

Unfortunately, some legislators have justified the additional fee to help recover lost gas tax revenue, but that runs counter to the purpose of gas taxes. The purpose of the gas tax, currently at 28.7 cents per gallon in Nebraska, is to encourage consumers to reduce their emissions, which is exactly what EV consumers are doing when they purchase an EV. It’s strange that the reward EV consumers get for their eco-friendly decision is inflated fees exponentially higher than the alternative. It is unfair that these consumers now shoulder more of the financial burden when they are, in fact, responding to gas taxes as intended by the tax.

On top of being relatively easy to implement, these policy changes have the added benefit of encouraging EV purchases without taxpayer manufacturing subsidies, or complicated tax credits, which have rightfully been criticized for favoring the wealthy.

At the end of the day the EV revolution is well on its way. By simply getting out of the way, legislators in Nebraska could enhance consumer choice, lower costs, protect the environment, and do so without all of the logistical issues that come with corporate welfare and boutique tax credits.

As the famous idiom goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” The tide is certainly rising for electric vehicles, but with misguided regulations handcuffing consumers, Nebraskans may end up watching from the shore line.

Originally published here.

Alabamians may not share in the electric vehicle revolution

One of the core components of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill is adequately preparing the country for the electric vehicle (EV) revolution. The Biden Administration has earmarked $174 billion for transportation electrification, which has sparked a flurry of investment from auto manufacturers.

GM announced they will open a $2.3 billion plant in 2023 to manufacture 500,000 EV batteries, Honda has committed to only sell EVs by 2040, Hyundai will invest $7 billion for US EV production, and Ford has announced that half of all Lincoln vehicles produced could soon be emissionless. Even here in Alabama, Mercedes has committed to hiring an additional 400 workers at its Tuscaloosa County plant to keep pace with the demand for EVs

But unfortunately for consumers in Alabama, poor policy at the state level is acting as a major hurdle for the EV boom. Alabama, which currently ranks tied for last in the US Electric Vehicle Accessibility Index, is actively discouraging the purchase of EVs with their ban on direct-to-consumer sales, and their disproportionate licensing fee for electric and hybrid vehicles.

Under the guise of consumer protection, Alabama has made it illegal for electric vehicle manufacturers, like Tesla, to sell directly to consumers. Dealer franchise laws, which ban direct sales, are a decades-old policy implemented to protect consumers from vertical integration and monopolization. In today’s age of limitless information at your fingertips, and healthy competition in the auto industry, this restriction is far past its expiration date. It does nothing but impede consumer choice while providing no consumer protection value.

That’s why many EV manufacturers have opted out of the dealership model entirely. Due to the innovative nature of electric vehicles, a traditional franchised dealership model may not be the most effective way to get these eco-friendly vehicles to market. Operating a stand-alone dealership increases costs, and adds a middle-man to the sale process, which can often inflate prices for consumers. And, we know from the success of direct-to-consumer platforms in the used car market (where direct sale is legal), that online purchasing is on the rise.

Beyond the ban on direct-sales, Alabama also punishes EV consumers with higher license and registration fees. The standard registration fee for vehicles in Alabama is $65. For consumers making the eco-conscious choice to buy and register an EV, the registration cost is over 300% higher at $265. This is incredibly discriminatory, and a much better approach would be to simply treat EVs on par with standard gas-powered vehicles.

Unfortunately, some legislators have justified the additional fee to help recover lost gas tax revenue, but that runs counter to the purpose of gas taxes. The purpose of the gas tax, currently at 26 cents per gallon in Alabama, is to encourage consumers to reduce their emissions, which is exactly what EV consumers are doing when they purchase an EV. It’s strange that the reward EV consumers get for their eco-friendly decision is inflated fees exponentially higher than the alternative. It is unfair that these consumers now shoulder more of the financial burden when they are in fact responding to gas taxes as intended.

On top of being relatively easy to implement, these policy changes have the added benefit of encouraging EV purchases without taxpayer manufacturing subsidies, or complicated tax credits, which have rightfully been criticized for favoring the wealthy.

At the end of the day, the EV revolution is well on its way. By simply getting out of the way, legislators in Alabama could enhance consumer choice, lower costs, protect the environment, and do so without all of the logistical and ideological issues that come with corporate welfare and boutique tax credits.

As the famous idiom goes, “a rising tide lifts all boats”. The tide is certainly rising for electric vehicles, but with misguided regulations handcuffing consumers, Alabamians may end up watching from the shores.

Originally published here.

If You Live in These States Don’t Buy an Electric Vehicle

Some states want to help push electric vehicle adoption. Others don’t. They make it harder and more expensive to drive an EV than not. These are the states that if you’re living in them it is best not to buy an EV. At least not now.

What are states doing that makes them bad?

Banning direct-to-customer sales, extra registration fees, and higher road charges are all ways that some states make it hard to buy an EV. If you’re thinking that this breaks down into red states discouraging EV sales and blue states pushing it, you would be wrong. All 50 states have been graded for their ease or difficulty in making an EV purchase.

The Consumer Choice Center does the rating. And in a surprise finding the 10 states listed as the toughest to purchase an EV through are Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. In these states, you can’t make a direct vehicle sale, and it is more expensive registering an EV.  

Of the 50 states, 28 will charge you more to register an EV. Tesla sales have been banned in 17 states because their Franchise Tax laws don’t allow direct sales. And 12 more states have electric vehicle restrictions on sales through some direct-to-buyer laws. Some of these states restrict direct sales but don’t charge a higher fee to register an EV. Others, like Michigan, allow only Tesla to bypass Franchise Tax laws and sell direct. 

“Better policies will reduce significant barriers preventing consumers from fully accessing EVs”

“It is clear that consumers want more access to electric vehicles,” CCC’s North American affairs manager David Clement to arstechnica. “Therefore legislation should make the purchase and ownership of them as convenient as possible. And we urge legislators to put forth better policies that will reduce the significant barriers currently preventing consumers from fully accessing EVs.”

Conversely, these are the top 10 states that don’t have electric vehicle restrictions or higher registration fees when purchasing an EV. They are Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. California is not included on this list for a reason.

California is not on the “Best States” list-how come?

Because California now has its licensing fees for EVs based on the consumer price index, they are gradually increasing. Currently, they’re at $100. Gas taxes are used by the state for road improvements and other travel-related costs. Since EVs don’t use gasoline this licensing fee arrangement makes sure California gets EVs to chip in. 

Almost half of all EVs in the US are registered in California. It has the highest adoption rate and also has more charging stations than any other state. Nonetheless, the CCC doesn’t consider it one of the Top 10 friendlier because of its licensing fee arrangement. 

With car companies slated to stop building gas-powered vehicles over the next 10 years, some states will have to adapt fairly soon. While they may continue charging higher fees for EVs, they will also have to increase charging stations. Direct to buyer restrictions won’t be as much of a factor with all car companies now rolling out EVs at a steady pace. 

Originally published here.

Stop the bailouts

The rulings on KLM, TAP, and Condor should be just the beginning

The airline RyanAir has successfully challenged the bailouts of the Dutch airline KLM, the Portuguese company TAP, and the German carrier Condor. The crusade of RyanAir CEO Michael O’Leary seems to show effects, as the €550 million bailout for Condor has been put on hold – despite the court not asking the money back immediately from the airline – while others are hanging in the balance.

TAP and KLM have seen the same things happen to them. In all three cases thus far, the justification of the European Court of Justice has been that the bailout funds hadn’t been sufficiently justified by the member states in question. Ryanair welcomed the two rulings as an “important victory for consumers and competition”. The state aid had violated the principle of the internal market in the EU and reversed the liberalisation of air transport. They led to unfair competition by inefficient companies. Europe’s largest low-cost airline has filed a total of 16 lawsuits against state aid to competitors with the Luxembourg court, including the billions in aid to Lufthansa. However, the EU court had rejected lawsuits against state funds for the Scandinavian SAS, Finnair and Air France. The Irish company had taken legal action in May 2020 to denounce on the one hand guaranteed loans granted by Sweden, in particular to the Scandinavian company SAS for an amount of 3.3 billion crowns (308 million euros).

In the case of France, as in the case of Sweden, it considers that the aid measures are indeed aimed at remedying the damage caused by this extraordinary event to airlines in both countries. The State aid is also considered to be “proportionate”.

One point where the ECJ judges in the Condor case see a need for clarification is the question of the costs for the insolvency proceedings. This had to be extended after the cancellation of the PGL (Polish Aviation Group). The EU Commission had not sufficiently explained why it had included the extended insolvency period when calculating the damage to Condor from the Corona crisis, the judges explained. In principle, the Commission itself has stipulated that only damages directly caused by the pandemic – such as cancelled flights – may be compensated with taxpayers’ money. Moreover, it had not been explained why the planned sale to PGL had failed because of the pandemic. On this point, improvements could solve the headaches of Condor, but it’s not a given.

The problem with only attacking the precise justifications is that while the ECJ temporarily suspends the bailouts, the court does not strike down the principle of airline bailouts at all. Most of these airlines demanded funds in just a few weeks after the lockdown measures began, showing that they were all short-stripped for cash to begin with. Why should taxpayers fund companies that do not secure themselves sufficiently for times of crisis? After all, individual citizens or small companies would also be asked to pay their bills – and if caught spending money they do not have, would be called fiscally irresponsible. How airlines balance (or rather not balance) their books is their business alone, and not that of the taxpayer.

Originally published here.

Care sunt cele mai performante și apreciate gări din Europa, cine domină clasamentul mondial în materie de viteză pe calea ferată

Afară vremea a început să semene cu cea dintr-o vară, restricţiile par să se mai domolească pe ici pe acolo, dorul nostru de călătorii parcă începe să ne îmboldească din ce în ce mai abitir. Pentru cei asemenea mie, cu o oarecare fobie de avion dar care nu preferă nici condusul a mii de kilometri în concediu, le oferim astăzi câteva detalii interesante despre transportul feroviar. Nu vă speriaţi, nu vorbesc despre România, ţara în care un marfar face de la Craiova la Nădlac 26 de ore. Situaţia de aici o cunoaşteţi cu toţii. Voi vorbi despre calitatea gărilor, despre cele mai rapide trenuri din lume dar şi despre cele mai extinse reţele de cale ferată în plan global. Datele referitoare la calitatea gărilor sunt centralizate şi monitorizate de către Consumer Choice Center. Aceştia au publicat recent cel de-al doilea Index European al Căilor Ferate, care clasifică cele mai bune stații de tren din Europa pe criterii precum curățenia, accesul la destinații și nivelul de aglomerare de pe platforme. Liderul nu vine din vreo capitală de stat: el este impresionantul Hauptbahnhof din Leipzig, care servește și ca centru comercial, şi a obţinut 116 puncte, scrie FinEco24News

Originally published here.

Казанский и Курский вокзалы вошли в европейский топ благодаря большому выбору направлений, магазинов и ресторанов

В апреле международная организация по защите прав потребителей Consumer Choice Center опубликовала свой ежегодный рейтинг европейских вокзалов. Тогда же стало известно, что два московских вокзала вошли в топ-10 рейтинга: Казанский на 4-м месте и Курский на 6-м месте. Всего в этом году было проанализировано 50 вокзалов в 15 странах. О том, как именно оценивались вокзалы и что привело их в число лидеров, мы поговорили с одним из авторов исследования – Марией Чаплиа.

– Мария, как вы выбирали вокзалы, которые войдут в финальную выборку для анализа?

 – В первую очередь мы отбирали железнодорожные станции в зависимости от того, насколько они загружены. В индекс вошли европейские вокзалы с пассажиропотоком более 30 млн человек в год.

– А по каким критериям вы определяли лучших из этого списка?

 – Мы оценивали сочетание различных факторов: от степени переполненности платформ до наличия беспроводной сети. В число критериев также входит количество международных и внутренних направлений, куда могут уехать путешественники, конкуренция железнодорожных компаний, наличие ресторанов и магазинов на территории вокзала, доступность для пассажиров на инвалидных колясках, наличие залов ожидания первого класса, а также удобство доступа к платформе.

 – В топ-10 вошли два российских вокзала. Что привело их на пьедестал?

 – Начну с минусов. Казанский и Курский вокзалы Москвы справляются с большим потоком пассажиров, чем вокзалы Лейпцига и Вены, а значит, более загружены. По нашей информации, на Казанском вокзале есть эскалатор для выхода на платформы, но нет эскалатора, соединяющего 1 и 2 этажи, что немного снизило его рейтинг. Курский вокзал используют только две железнодорожные компании, что говорит об отсутствии конкуренции по сравнению с другими 10 ведущими европейскими вокзалами. Однако на обоих вокзалах много магазинов и относительно хороший выбор ресторанов, что наряду с большим количеством маршрутов внутренних и международных направлений способствовало их высокому рейтингу.

– В предыдущем году Казанский вокзал Москвы также попал в топ-10, но тогда он оказался только на 9-м месте. Что изменилось за год?

 – В этом году мы исключили из критериев оценки чистоту и вывески, что повлияло на результаты.

– Что позволило главному вокзалу Лейпцига (Leipzig Hauptbahnhof) стать лучшим?

 – Немецкий Leipzig Hauptbahnhof действительно возглавляет наш рейтинг лучших железнодорожных вокзалов Европы. Это вокзал, предлагающий наибольшее количество внутренних направлений, а также он не даст заскучать ожидающим пассажирам благодаря множеству магазинов и ресторанов. Кроме того, вокзал используют 5 перевозчиков, что позволило ему выделиться в пятерке лучших.

– Некоторые пункты рейтинга подтверждены только ссылками на сайт Википедии. Проводили ли вы дополнительную проверку представленной там информации перед публикацией результатов?

 – Да, конечно. Мы также собирали данные с сайтов вокзалов, оценивали показатели онлайн-статистики и провели собственное исследование, чтобы получить всю необходимую информацию. В процессе сбора данных мы сталкивались с противоречивой информацией и показателями, измеряемыми разными железнодорожными станциями и компаниями по-разному (например, количество пунктов назначения). Кроме того, из-за пандемии мы, к сожалению, не смогли выехать на вокзалы для верификации необходимых данных в этом году. Однако мы стремимся из года в год улучшать качество базовых данных этого индекса и стремимся обновлять его методологию. Мы просим наших читателей признать трудность работы с разнородными данными и призываем тех, кто знакомится с индексом, помнить об этих сложностях.

– Почему вы в целом решили запустить это исследование? Какова его основная цель?

 – Хотя сейчас путешествия в целом кажутся мечтой из прошлого, свет в конце тоннеля есть. Публикуя наш ежегодный индекс, мы также хотим напомнить пассажирам, что путешествия на поездах снова станут реальностью. Высокие баллы получили те станции, которые предлагали интересные направления для путешествий по всему континенту, а также здравое сочетание магазинов, ресторанов и удобств, которые можно найти на станции. Это именно то, что важно для потребителей.

Мы предлагаем использовать наш рейтинг для информирования потребителей и администраторов о том, кто лучше всего справляется с работой с пассажирами. При этом путешественникам рейтинг дает ценную информацию о вокзалах, которые они собираются посетить в будущем. Так что теперь они всегда знают, чего ожидать.

Originally published here.

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