Technological processes that will move us closer to emission reductions sparked our readers’ interests this week on Gas2. One of the most compelling stories discussed Havelaar Canada’s reveal of its Bison electric pickup truck with #nextgen connectivity. Then, too, climate change activists and deniers alike spoke with passion regarding Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris agreement.

The Texas state legislature has again denied the most prominent electric car innovator of our times permission to sell its cars directly to customers. Yes, in case you missed it, Texas shot down Tesla’s legal petition to circumvent traditional car selling in the Lone Star State. So our readers turned to a story about the other economic end of the EV spectrum: the cheapest electric cars available today and the various technological processes that promote lightweighting. That story allowed our readers to build in some additional prior knowledge as they commented, especially when the topic of extensive computational analysis arose. Many promising results are being revealed in the lightweighting laboratory and implemented on the assembly line, especially with batteries.

Here are those stories and more on this week’s edition of the “Gas2 Week in Review.”

technological processes

Bison Electric Pickup Truck Introduced by Havelaar Canada

What Canadian citizen wouldn’t like a sophisticated #nextgen pickup truck with instant connectivity, touch screen display, and driver assistive technology calibrated to meet both the day-to-day work demands and active lifestyle needs of adventurers? That’s the description provided by Havelaar Canada at the EV/VE Conference and Trade Show in Ontario as it revealed its new Bison electric pickup truck. Inspired by nature, designed in cooperation with the University of Toronto, the Bison will join the upcoming competition with Tesla and other EV makers as they attempt to corner the popular pickup truck market.

Trump Pulls Plug On Paris Climate Accords, Sentences Americans To Early Death

When the U.S. announced this week that it would not adhere to the Paris climate agreement, it decided what Americans need is more atmospheric pollution, more premature deaths, more asthma, and more smog. With the Electoral College failing to represent 3 million U.S. citizens who abhored Trump and all he stood for, the red states now are going to get what they wanted, and it’s not good for our future generations.

Texas Legislature Puts Kibosh on Tesla Direct Sales

As the second largest new car market in the U.S., trailing only California, Texas holds a lot of weight in the automotive industry. Thus, even with the technological processes and innovations that Tesla, Inc. has brought to transportation in the U.S. and the world, the Texas legislature has clipped one area of Tesla’s disruption. Tesla will continue to be prohibited by law from selling its cars directly to customers in Texas, arguing that anyone who wants to buy a high-tech electric cars can buy one online. Lawmakers in Austin have acquiesced to the Texas auto dealers association and turned their backs on Tesla, which has been trying to get the Texas legislature to change the law for years without success.

What is the Cheapest Electric Car You Can Buy in the U.S.?

Defining terms about “electric cars” is a necessary first step in deciding the avenue of least EV expense. Purists don’t consider any hybrids part of the EV conversation, and this article focused strictly on the most affordable battery-powered cars. Is it sufficient for you to have just enough range to zip around your village? Do you need room for more than you as the driver? How much connectivity do you require as an absolute minimum? Read on to see which vehicles meet the absolute minimum and which have just the right amount of usual accessories to be equivalent to today’s average vehicle.

Lightweighting Is a “Virtuous Cycle,” Says GM Exec

Lightweighting, which is the technological process of making cars lighter, has become a vital part of planning for the future and is  a “virtuous cycle.”  A session at the recent New England Motoring Press Association conference, co-hosted by MIT,deliberated about ways to make cars with lighter chassis. Using smaller, lighter components — engines, transmissions, brakes, and suspension pieces — begins with computational analysis tools, which can show where additional strength is needed and where lightness can be added without compromising strength. Special alloys and new bonding techniques are being employed to join diverse metals and composites together. New steel products needed for lightweighting require metallurgists, who receive manufacturer specifications for how they need a certain steel part to perform and then conduct research to determine how to meet those requirements. The virtuous cycle results in a lighter chassis, which allows significant reductions in battery weight.

Photo credit: qthomasbower via / CC BY-SA