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V2V Not a DOT Priority

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced plans to implement vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications on all new cars. This bold idea was meant to allow vehicles to communicate with one another about road conditions, traffic volume, alternative routes, accidents and emergencies along the route, and other data. This year, the Trump administration has effectively killed the initiative.

V2V and the DOT

V2V was part of the Obama administration’s initiative to improve vehicle safety with the use of new technology. Anthony Foxx, the then-Transportation Secretary, said that the project aim was to improve autonomous driving technology. Providing 360-degree “situational awareness” of road conditions, V2V would also improve vehicle safety even for conventional non-autonomously driven vehicles.

According to Donny Nordlicht, Cadillac spokesperson, the company supports sharing the 5.9 GHz spectrum used by V2V, as long as there is no negative interference with life-saving DSRC technology.

In a recent statement, the DOT said that no final decision has been made about the rule-making for V2V. The department has not moved forward in creating a mandate requiring new vehicles equipped with short-range communications devices, allowing data sharing between vehicles. The DOT still wants to use a dedicated transportation life-saving technology radio spectrum. The department is reviewing comments regarding the proposal, as V2V is an integral part of the plan. In recent years, there is a clear indication of the need for V2V due to the increase in vehicle crashes and traffic fatalities comparable to levels in the 1960s.

Communications is the Key

V2V revolves around communications and data-sharing, and uses the Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) IEEE 802.11p wireless standard. These are highly secure transmissions running on short- to medium-range communication channels. These enable vehicles to communicate with one another for short stretches of time. DSRC allows vehicles to exchange basic information describing speed, position, direction, acceleration, vehicle size, and braking status. These pieces of information are sent 10 times per second from one vehicle to another, interpreted, and then any warnings are forwarded to drivers.

 

Vehicle manufacturers are free to add V2V technology to their cars. However, there is still no clear standard or guideline on usage. Mercedes-Benz started installing V2V technology in its cars in 2016, specifically the E-Class. V2V is also included in the 2018 model S-class this year. Early this year, General Motors has also included V2V on the Cadillac CTS. According to Donny Nordlicht, Cadillac spokesperson, the company supports sharing the 5.9 GHz spectrum used by V2V, as long as there is no negative interference with life-saving DSRC technology. Although they are rolling out V2V in their cars, Mercedes-Benz USA’s Communications Manager Christian Bokich said their company is monitoring the developments on the V2V mandate. The German company is a noted leader in accident-free driving and safety, and plans to continue to introduce innovative new technologies for vehicles. Part of their plans includes possible 5G internet integration.

V2V, as a technology, still requires testing on a much wider scale. IBM, in partnership with the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands, has demonstrated how connected cars share and use information regarding speed, acceleration, braking, and location. Traffic authorities can analyze the information to identify possible road issues and resolve these to improve road safety and convenience.

Brokers+Engineers: Aims to disrupt the $6.5 Trillion Net Lease Industry

One of the most prevalent property types in Commercial real estate is Triple net, commonly known as NNN. However, when many people hear about them, they often dodge the idea, thinking that it is a disadvantage. These deals can be a solid asset and well-positioned to build wealth over the long term if the sources of risk, the overall marketability of the property, and price are understood and structured accordingly.

Camille Renshaw, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) RenshawCo is well aware of these risks. She is a trailblazer in the commercial real estate industry and a recognized expert in NNN. Renshaw and Scott Scurich, a top national producer of retail net lease assets, joined forces to co-found Brokers+Engineers (B+E) in September 2017.  B+E is the first tech-driven trading and brokerage platform for net lease real estate. Their goal is to disrupt the $6.5 trillion-dollar net lease industry using bold new approaches that address the core risks impacting the industry.

Bold Idea Behind B+E

Renshaw spoke exclusively to Bold Business and explained the Bold Idea behind B+E,   “The real mission is to help anyone intelligently trade net lease. The core business, the bold idea is we are just brokers,” she said. “We (B+E) can do it with greater efficiency and more data behind it. So you can feel more secure in the investment that you’re making.”

Real estate advisers need to master many things, including their client’s objectives for investing in a property, the type of tenant they are, the lease document itself, the physical real estate, and even the type of seller they are dealing with. B+E helps clients understand these, creating predictive pricing and helps property investors make smarter decisions about where their money is going to.

Walmart and Brokers + Engineers

“We are a group of senior brokers, who know how to trade, word of mouth, relationship to relationship. And we’re now pairing data analytics and AI behind us to do those same transactions in a much bigger, bolder, broader way with a greater reach.”

In order to help the brokers and tenants in the net lease industry, B+E will introduce three new systems:

  1. The pricing regression algorithm – It will help price the net lease assets.
  2. An artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted 1031 exchange process – It will have a higher probability of getting the best assets.
  3. The largest data set for net lease – It will be the actionable intelligence of everything.

The use of an algorithm, AI, and data will not just help the brokers but also the tenants. The systems will also provide new tools with new insights into the field of net lease. All of these while maintaining a trusted relationship. Through this platform, B+E aims to displace the role of the Broker and automate many of the functions that they perform.

Triple Net Lease Tenants

Popular companies such as Starbucks, Home Depot, Best Buy, Arby’s, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart, among others, are all triple net lease tenants, who have long-term leases for their respective businesses, so what makes Renshaw’s companies the lease industry’s leaders?

Renshaw discussed the bold idea of the NNN industry. “The component of the real estate industry that has one tenet in the asset itself and the property. One tenet which hopefully has credit, term on the lease,” she explains, “can trade very much like a bond or stock.”

She furthered that there is an underlying asset which may contribute to a property’s overall value, though it is not a normal real estate asset. “This should trade more generally and more quickly, but they don’t,” she affirmed.

Dreamit Inaugural Urban Tech Summit

Renshaw recently participated in the inaugural  Urban Tech Summit hosted by Dreamit and Bisnow, which was held December 5 in Tampa, Florida. During the event, she announced the formation of B+E and its ambitious goals.

One who clearly sees the potential Bold impact of the B+E announcement was Karen Griffith Gryga, the Chief Investment Officer of Dreamit. She said that “We are really lucky today at Dreamit and Bisnow UrbanTech Summit that Camille Renshaw is announcing the latest initiative for Brokers+Engineers. Camille with B+E for the first time is introducing a technology solution that not only brings efficiencies with data but it going to leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to really take the net lease sector to the next level.”

Similar to digital disruptions in other industries such as residential real estate, credit and currency, B+E hopes to tackle this massive industry.

Biodiesel Production From Non-Edible Plant Oils: A Big, Bold Breakthrough

ExxonMobil is investing in the production of biodiesel production from non-edible plant oils. Unlike traditional plant sources, the company is going into a new fermentation technology which uses non-traditional sources of sugar-rich plants. This technology is pioneered by Renewable Energy Group (REG). Exxon and REG are continuing a joint research program which has demonstrated REG’s patented technology for the production of biodiesel. Initially, the two companies signed an agreement at the start of 2016 to research on REG Life Sciences fermentation technology that uses different types of sugar-rich non-edible plants.

The emphasis on non-edible plants is due to the possible overuse of edible crops for sugar, alcohol and biodiesel production. Producing these plants for energy use would deprive their use as food crops. The problem of increasing production for fuel is that it will eat up the same sources as the food supply. With the increase in pressure to produce more food, it is important to use some other plant or root crop that is not used as food. Changing the plant source to non-edible biomass sources would free up the traditional biodiesel sources for food production.

Why Biodiesel Matters

The traditional biodiesel production used cellulosic sugars to produce ethanol usually via a yeast-based fermentation process. REG Life Sciences used a more concentrated fermentation from a highly concentrated sugar plant source. However, there are issues with different sources, each with their own impurities such as acid and ash content. The study has also shown that the technology produces biodiesel, which achieves significant reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared with traditional diesel fuel. Biodiesel production from non-edible plant oils plus reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a win-win combination for REG.

There are different categories of biodiesel based on the purity or the percentage of alcohol in the fuel mix:

  • B5 biodiesel is 5 percent plant-based and 95 percent diesel.
  • B20 is 20 percent plant-based and 80 percent diesel.
  • B100 is neat biodiesel without any mineral diesel component.

In cold weather, B5 biodiesel has the same performance as No. 2 diesel. Most car and truck manufacturers recommend B5 up to B20 biodiesel. It should be noted that using the wrong or even higher levels of biodiesel may void a vehicle’s warranty.

New Technology: Biodiesel Production from Non-Edible Plant Oils

The traditional method of producing alcohol from food crops use microbes in a fermentation process which takes some time to occur. REG developed and patented a technology that still uses microbes, which in turn converts sugars to alcohol faster using a one-step fermentation process. The breakthrough technology on biodiesel production from non-edible plant oils has big implications for biodiesel production using cellulosic materials.

Notably, recent studies show that fossil fuel-based transportation requirements are growing faster than the growth of new renewable energy sources. This case means that even as there are more solar, wind, wave and tidal technologies that come online, the demand for fuel is greater than the new supply of energy. That implies that there is still a large demand for fossil fuels like diesel. Transportation-related energy’s global demand is forecasted to grow by 25 percent up to 2040. To lower emissions, and lower the strain on pure diesel, it is vital that there is a significant reduction in GHG emissions with the use of biodiesel.

Exxon has other partnerships which would help decrease the amount of GHG. Indeed, the use of non-food sources for biodiesel is a big step forward in fuel sufficiency as well as for food crop production.

Biggest E-Bike Companies in the World

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Electric bikes, often called e-bikes, are motor-assisted bicycles that combine a regular bike with a motor that assists the rider in pedaling. Often capped at speeds of up to 15 miles per hour, e-bikes are a faster alternative to manually-pedaled bikes but cheaper than owning a four-wheeled vehicle.

The rising cost of gas all over the world has prompted in an eco-friendly and econo-friendly movement for commuters.

One of the main reasons people are switching over from cars and public transportation to e-bikes (or a combination using e-bikes with their vehicles and bike-friendly mass transit) is the value for money. Realistically speaking, 15 mph is a decent average speed, even when a bike is carrying as much as 400 pounds (combined weight of the cyclist and their bags). Some e-bikes cost less than $1,000. Ebike maintenance is also a tiny fraction of the cost of maintaining and gassing up on a standard sedan or other four-wheeled vehicle.

Top 5 E-Bike Companies

There are many e-bike companies all over the world, but here are the top five manufacturers leading the way in the United States:

  • Pedego Electric Bikes – Arguably one of the best brands today, Pedego has been around since 2009. The company offers a wide variety that spans different needs, including trail bikes, cruisers, and the like. Their bikes have 500-watt hub motors, and their geared hub motors can scale even the toughest hills around.
  • X-Treme Electric Bicycles and Scooters – Often sold out in shops, many of X-Treme’s e-bikes are staples in the cycling community. One of the reasons they sell like hotcakes is because their e-bikes cost anywhere between $500 and $1500, a great price range for a good quality e-bike.
  • iZip eBikes – Founded in 2005, the company is one of the largest and longest operating companies in the North American region.
  • Specialized – One of the more high-end brands, with e-bikes costing around $10,000 a pop, this brand is of premium quality and top-of-the-line technology.
  • Rad Power – This company offers all-terrain e-bikes (also called fat tire bikes) with 750-watt motors in an affordable $1,500 to $1,600 range. The brand has been around since 2007, and also offers a foldable version of their e-bikes – a unicorn in the industry.

Best E-Bike Batteries

Even cheaper e-bikes can be upgraded, especially when it comes to changing the motors and batteries they come with. Experts say that many cheap bikes get a low price because of a cheap lead-acid (PbA) battery, which is twice as heavy as nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) batteries and three times as heavy as lithium variants. Lead-acid types are okay for minor bike use around a small neighborhood. However, for more extensive use, it is advised to replace them with higher quality types.

 

E-bike enthusiasts and experts alike have their own preferences, from NiMh to nickel-cadmium (NiCd). Others prefer lithium based ones, such as lithium-ion polymer (li-pol), lithium cobalt (LCO), and lithium manganese (LiMg204). Overall, the most preferred is the lithium ion, with its proven safety and range. While it’s the most expensive among their counterparts

While some riders are already experts, even building their own do-it-yourself (DIY) Li-ion batteries, some of the best brands are:

  • HK Kingbopower Technology – one of the top names in the world when it comes to e-bike batteries, their diverse range of Li-ion batteries can fit various bike brands. Based in China, their batteries are exported to as far as North America, Europe, the Middle-East, and Africa.
  • LG Chem – they have powerful rechargeable batteries not just for bikes but also other gadgets including laptops, powertools, and cellphones, an indication of their battery expertise.
  • OptimumNano Energy – another major global e-bike battery brand, with a wide range of Li-ion batteries.
  • Samsung SDI – a subsidiary of the well-known eponymous digital brand, they also offer various li-ion and lithium polymer e-bike batteries on top of other various power sources for other gadgets and uses.
  • YOKU Energy – the tech company specializes in the manufacturing and development of Li-ion polymers, with a focus on being environment-friendly, often exceeding various international standards.

In addition to the above mentioned brands, a notable player in the charging game is Luna Cycle – a great brand of e-bike chargers with a wide range that suits various voltages and chemistries for e-bike battery packs.

Fastest E-Bikes

E-bikes are increasingly popular in the Asia Pacific, Europe, and recently in North America as well. Here are some of the fastest models to date:

  1. Wolverine BM by HI-TREK Cycles – The Wolverine can reach 65 mph, with a range of 50 miles. With its 7,000-watt power, this e-bike has a 10-speed pedal as well.
  2. Falcon Airforce – Second in line is the Falcon Airforce at 62 mph, with a 5,000-watt rear wheel drive motor. It features a range of 56 miles and a powerful 72-volt Panasonic Li-ion battery running it.
  3. Stealth Bomber – Third is the Stealth Bomber, with top speeds of a little over 50 mph. Powered by a 5,000-watt battery, a 9-speed pedaling gear box, and a hub motor, this durable bike is worth its hefty price tag.
  4. Outrider Trike – The 422 Outrider Trike moves at up to 45 mph, and the rider can sit comfortably in a slightly reclining cycling position. With its mega efficient motor and battery, its range can go up to 100 miles.
  5. M55 – Last but not the least, the M55 is a bike that can reach 50 mph on 2,000 watts. The only reason it’s in fifth place due to its heavy price of $36,000.

Top E-Bike Companies by Region

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The rising cost of gas all over the world has prompted in an eco-friendly and econo-friendly movement for commuters. As a result, an e-bike is one of the options people have generally flocked to in recent years. Here are some of the top companies in regions worldwide in addition to the aforementioned:

North America

Canada

  • Alter Ego Bikes
  • eProdigy Bikes
  • OHM Cycles
  • Trillium E-Bikes
  • Umov Technologies
  • VéloSoleX
  • Velec
  • Vecocycle

Mexico

  • Anferro
  • Ecomobile
  • Electrobike
  • Vetelia

United States

  • Currie Technologies
  • Evelo
  • FIFIELD eBIKES
  • Gi Fly bike
  • Superpedestrian
  • Vintage Electric
  • Wave Electric Bike
  • OverVolted – Electric Bike News and Reviews
  • ProdecoTech Electric Bicycles
  • Propella Electric Bikes
  • Sondors Electric Bikes

Europe

Czech Republic

  • AGOGS electric Bikes
  • Škoda

France

  • Moustache
  • Wayscral

Germany

  • BMW
  • Haibike
  • Kalkhoff
  • Kettler
  • Riese und Müller
  • Rotwild
  • Stevens Bikes

Italy

  • Benelli
  • Italjet

Spain

  • BH (Beistegui Hermanos)
  • Brost Bikes
  • E-totem

Switzerland

  • EGO Movement
  • Stromer

United Kingdom

  • Eco Voltz Electric Bikes
  • Electric Bike Plus
  • Fully Charged
  • Gocycle
  • Momentum Electric
  • Wisper and Riese & Muller
  • VOLT™ Bikes

Other notable European brands:

  • Greyp Bikes (Croatia)
  • NxBike (Finland)
  • M55 (Hungary)
  • Sparta (Netherlands)
  • Ondabike (Portugal)
  • EvoBike (Sweden)

Asia/Australia

Asia

  • A2B, China. German designed, UK corporation. One of the first.
  • Mando, Korea
  • Mahindra Group GenZe, India

Australia & New Zealand

  • Byron Electric Byron Bay, Australia
  • Dyson Bikes, Australia
  • RIKONDA, New Zealand

Clearly, the e-bike industry is blooming not just in the US but all over North America and the rest of the world. It is up to various bodies of law to enact rules that can ensure the safety of riders and pedestrians alike.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

 

UPDATE, 7.26.21: More Top E-Bike Brands on the Market Today

The following are among the top e-bike brands to consider:

  • Rad Power – This Seattle-based company is well known for its high-quality, customized e-bike options. Likewise, Rad Power offers highly affordable and useful products allowing significant versatility. Its Rad Runner is popular and has been recognized as one of the best utility e-bike brands. It lists for around $1300, which helped make Rad Power one of the most sought-after e-bike brands today.
  • Batch E-Bikes – Batch is another one of the most popular e-bike brands, known for its durability. While many of its e-bike options offer few frills, they make up for it in dependability. Batch uses only high-quality components like Bosch, Shimano, and Tektro on its products. It also makes one of the best commuter e-bikes that runs around $2100.
  • Trek – Most people recognize Trek as one of the best bicycle manufacturers in the world. But it is also one of the top-notch e-bike brands as well. Though Trek e-bikes may not be the most affordable e-bike options, they are certainly well-designed and well-built. Its Allant+ 9.9s has been recognized as the fastest commuter e-bike. However, it also costs around $6,000 to purchase.
  • Specialized – Like trek, Specialized is also a well-known traditional bicycle company that makes quality products. But it too has evolved into one of the top e-bike brands as well. The company has invested research and development into making the smallest motors and batteries without sacrificing distance and power. Its Turbo Vado SL Equipped e-bike has been rated as the best overall e-bike by some reviewers. It lists for $4750.
  • Charge City – Though Charge City doesn’t have a longstanding history, its e-bikes have gained a following by consumers. The most popular of its e-bike options is a Class 2 e-bike that has both pedal-assist options as well as a full throttle. It is also highly affordable with a price around $1700. It also offers space-conscious features that include folding pedals and handlebars. It too has become well-recognized among e-bike brands for value.
  • Electric Bike Company – As the name implies, this e-bike company is dedicated to offering the best e-bike options around. It also offers various classes including a Class 2 e-bike that is named the Model X, which is best described as a beach cruiser. It lists for $1700, which is a great price based on the level of detail and quality the e-bike offers. This is one of the e-bike brands that also offers a number of customizable upgrades on its models.
  • Propella – This company is among the rising stars of e-bike brands today. In fact, it offers a 7-speed e-bike model that has been rated among the best in value overall. Propella also uses quality components, like Shimano and Samsung. Likewise, it is light-weight at 39 pounds and has premium suspension seating. These e-bikes can be ordered and directly shipped to one’s home as well.