Ufergängerzone

Waterside pedestrian zone.

In the summer of 2013, Paris’s mayor Bertrand Delanoë banned cars on a street for about two kilometers along the left bank of the Seine, creating a zone open to pedestrians and non-motorized two-wheeled contraptions. The wide new walkway goes from Pont de l’Alma to the Musée d’Orsay, creating a four-hectare waterfront idyll in the middle of Paris, said the Frankfurt business newspaper the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The former street now has jungle gyms for kids to play on, large containers of grass and trees, and very good-looking people to watch. It might be quieter too.

This was part of the former mayor’s political philosophy to try to make life more pleasant for nonmotorized inhabitants of his city. During his two terms, the mayor furthermore “got rid of parking spaces, added bus lanes, built new streetcars and started a public rental system for electric autos,” said FAZ.net, also blaming him for Paris’s 20,000 city bikes where the first half-hour is free. Paris now has city bike stands every few hundred meters; “no other city in the world has a network as dense.”

(OOF aw GENG aw TSOWN aw.)

Einheitsstecker

Uniform plug.

The E.U. agreed on a universal adapter for recharging electric cars!

They’ve even chosen the model: in German it’s called the “Type 2” or “Mennekes” plug.

(EYE n heights SHTECK ah!)

Induktive Ladesäule

“Inductive loading column,” a wireless recharging station for at least one German factory’s fleet of electric cars. You back the car into the column. Then, magnetism! The car’s batteries recharge in about six hours.

(In duked YVES ah   LAUD ah zoy lah.)

Verbrennungsmotor

Combustion engine.

Auto experts at the recent Geneva Auto Salon said German car manufacturers will be making cars with combustion engines for the next fifteen years or so. They went on to list every conceivable reason for why there aren’t more electric cars in Germany except the one that was the subject of a credible critical anecdotal article recently about trying to test-drive BMW’s new electric car and being unable to find places to recharge it around Hamburg, a city so large it’s also a state.

The author and his family used phone apps to find car recharging sites provided by several major German utility companies only to discover the rechargers weren’t there, weren’t connected up yet, didn’t recharge on weekends, only accepted payment from cards it took fifteen days to acquire, didn’t recognize the code on a payment card the utility expressed to the author, were on a 20-cm concrete pedestal which meant you could only drive close enough to use them on days the business next door was open.

(Fair BRENN oongz moe TOR.)

“Wenn das Angebot erst einmal in dieser Breite vorhanden ist, dann wird die Nachfrage sich einstellen”

“When supply is available in this [amplitude/latitude], then the demand will adjust,” transport minister Peter Ramsauer (C.S.U.) said at the May 2013 electromobility summit in Berlin, explaining how supply was going to drive demand for electric cars in Germany. Though his government certainly wanted more electric cars on German roads, they said they would continue not giving individual consumers subventions or tax rebates for purchasing the expensive but environmentally friendly vehicles. Only ~7000 electric cars were registered in Germany (pop. ~80 million). Electric car prices in Germany were considered high by consumers and everyone—government, car makers and consumers—agreed there weren’t many models to choose from. Auto manufacturers at the government-hosted electromobility conference said on 27 May 2013 they hoped to increase the electric car models for sale in Germany to ~15 by 2015.

Update on 26 Nov 2013: Norway is promoting electric cars more than any other country in the world, with free downtown parking, free downtown recharging, no taxes on purchases of new electric automobiles (omitting 25% V.A.T., import fees and tariffs, import customs charges), no highway tolls and permission to drive in bus lanes. Rich in oil and water, Norway has been selling the oil internationally and using the water to create free electricity for electric cars at home, to meet the country’s 2017 carbon emissions reduction goals. The ~5 million Norwegians own about 14,000 electric cars, which have become the most popular vehicles people are applying to register there, unseating the Volkswagen Golf.

(Ven   doss   ON geh boat   eahst   moll   inn   dee zah   BR-R-R-IGHT ah   foah hond en   issed,   don   vee ahd   dee   NOCHH fr-r-rog ah   zichh   eye n shtell en.)

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