Category Archives: transport

Recent carnage on the N3

This is a photo of a recent 25 (I have also heard 50) vehicle pile up on the N3 near Cato Ridge. When we find ourselves in the situation where 87% of our freight traffic goes by road, this is what we can expect…

From the ECR blog

Two electric buses

Tindo in Adelaide

Optare in UK

Cycling article in the Guardian

Posting this while watching the Tour de France, appropriately enough… Tim Lewis on cycling in Britain.

Wired’s Transportation Gadget Lab

Lots of cool bikes and other stuff.

bici11-500x368

Against Hydrogen

Or, The Road to Cleaner and Cheaper Fuels is Full of Potholes…

A commenter on a Gas2.0 post titled as above linked to an article that appears to comprehensively debunk the case for hydrogen as a viable alternative vehicle fuel source – here is a sample quote:

The Queen in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass says that she could believe “six impossible things before breakfast.” Such an attitude is necessary to discuss the hydrogen economy, since no part of it is possible.

From here.

Also mentioned in the Gas2.0 blog is what I think is a useful and pragmatic guide to future fuelling options from the US consumer watchdog site – The Road to Cleaner & Cheaper.

If the above is indeed correct, then all the more reason to back electric vehicles as the most promising alternative vehicle technology.

Also, from the wikipedia article on hydrogen vehicles is this image comparing the ‘well-to-wheel’ efficiencies of hydrogen and battery-electric cars. I am now officially a hydrogen-skeptic…

Battery_EV_vs_Hydrogen_EV

Shai Agassi and Better Place

There is a lot of publicity about a sea change in the private car industry with new electric vehicles and its move away from fossil fuel based engines, but most of the focus is on the cars themselves. However, without the correct infrastructure in place this move cannot be sustained.

Better Place, headed up by Shai Agassi has worked on a business model similar to that of the mobile phone industry and has an innovatitive and promising solution to the provision of electric charging infrastructure for all these cars we are reading about.

Shai is serious about making a deep change: a quote from Wired:

“Once you have a mission,” Agassi told me over dinner one night last winter, “you can’t go back to having a job.”

The article on Wired is here, well worth a read.

Bus Rapid Transit in South Africa

Recently I have had a few posts on sustainability and development in South Africa. Something I have not mentioned yet is the plans for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in the major cities of South Africa. Plans are well advanced for Johannesburg / Gauteng and Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban are to follow.

A good overview can be found in the Business Report here.

The cities are getting advice from South American cities where it has been implemented with success. This is encouraging, as they ar enot automatically looking to the US / Europe for the lead. I understand that they are getting advice from the former mayour of Bogota, Columbia as well as from people involved in Curibita, probably the most innovative city in the world (this is not an overstatement – see here).

My other posts on developments in South Africa are below:

How to build a world class city in Africa

A significant step for sustainable transport in South Africa

The launch of ‘Greenstar’