Road Test: 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack SE

A VW Golf That Can Handle Light Off-Roading

Americans love crossover sport-utility vehicles, which had been a bit a problem for Volkswagen. While most full-line automakers had several crossover SUVs to choose from, VW had just two; the small Tiguan and the larger, now discontinued, Touareg. To plug the gap until the three-row Atlas arrived, the German automaker came up with the Golf Alltrack for the 2017 model year.

And just what is the Golf Alltrack? In a nutshell, the Alltrack is a made-over Golf SportWagen that has been slightly lifted, butched up with some body cladding, and includes VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system along with more standard content.

2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

A sedan in off-road clothing

Sound familiar? That’s pretty much what Subaru did with the then Legacy wagon in 1994, morphing it into the Subaru Outback and calling it a “sport-utility wagon.” They haven’t looked back since.

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack has been redesigned, mainly focused on lighting elements. All models get LED taillights, and the top-level SEL gets LED running and headlights. Otherwise, the Alltrack’s design is the same as the debut model.

It’s unlikely that the Golf Alltrack will come close to matching the Outback’s sales numbers, but Volkswagen has high hopes that it can lure some customers from Subaru. To accomplish that, the Golf Alltrack is offered in three trim levels—S, SE and SEL. Each is powered by a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine capable of making 170 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 199 pounds-feet of torque coming on at just 1,600 rpm. Standard is a six-speed manual transmission, with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission offered as an option for $1,100.

Fuel economy isn’t exactly a glowing star with the EPA saying you’ll get 30-mpg on the highway/22 city/25 combined. That 30-mpg highway, however, does earn the Golf Alltrack entry into Clean Fleet Report’s 30-mpg All-Wheel Drive Club. By comparison, the Alltrack can’t quite match the Subaru Outback’s 32-mpg highway.

Model Lineup

The least expensive Alltrack S, $25,995 plus $850 destination charge, with a six-speed manual transmission, has an arm’s length of standard features. They include 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels; faux-leather upholstery; heated front seats, side mirrors and windshield-washer nozzles; eight-way power driver’s seat; rearview camera and a 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment system with AM/FM/CD player/HD Radio/USB and Bluetooth connectivity. The standard Car-Net system works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone apps.

A step up to either the mid-level SE ($29,765) or the SEL ($35,660) models get a new, larger 8.0-inch touchscreen with flush-mounted hard buttons on either side. The display is quick to respond to inputs and uses a proximity function to hide many of the controls until it detects a hand approaching. A Driver Assistance package bundles forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and park-distance.

Looks A Lot Like the SportsWagen

A side-by-side comparison of the 2018 Golf Alltrack with the 2018 SportsWagen revels that the exterior changes do give the Alltrack a tougher look. Up front, the Alltrack gets a matte black mesh grille, a different bumper with an underbody guard and standard LED daytime running lights. Black cladding has been added along the wider door sills and wheel arches, protecting the body from stray rocks and other projectiles kicked up along the dusty trail. Even the wheels exude a rugged yet sporty appearance. The rear of the Alltrack is now treated with LED taillights, a revised bumper and dual exhaust outlets. Ground clearance is also greater than the SportsWagen, growing from 5.5 inches to 6.9 inches.

Look up and you’ll notice standard silver roof rails. VW offers an array of roof-mounted “attachment kits” for the Alltrack that will help outdoor enthusiasts haul bicycles, skis, snowboards and even a kayak.

2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Bumping up the tech inside

On the inside, the Alltrack nearly mimics the SportWagen, but distinguishes itself from its sibling with aluminum-look pedals and kickplates with exclusive Alltrack branding. Like most Volkswagens, the cabin is sensibly designed and ergonomically friendly with a clean and uncluttered dashboard. The gauge cluster is simple and easy to read, with two main dials for ground and engine speed and two smaller gauges for engine temp and fuel level. Controls for climate and audio are easy to see and use.

Like all Volkswagen Golf models, the Alltrack’s front seats are supportive and there’s an adjustable center armrest that does double-duty as a console lid. The glove box even has a cooling feature. Space in the front seats is just fine, but the rear seats are a little tight in shoulder and headroom. Legroom of 35.6-inches, however, is adequate for those over six-foot.

Although Americans tend to dismiss station wagons, we can all appreciate their versatility for carrying stuff. The 2018 Alltrack boasts more than 30 cubic feet of room with the rear seats up, and 66.5 with them folded. That’s more than some small crossover SUVs. The rear hatch opens nice and high, but you won’t find a power-operated option as you will on many small SUVs.

Driving the Golf Alltrack

Without a raised seating position or a tall roof, the 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack feels not even a little like a crossover SUV. The lift amounts to just 1.4 inches, and most of that comes from taller wheels and tires, though VW says the Alltrack does have longer springs and dampers.

More important is the upgraded powertrain. Volkswagen knows how to wring every last ounce of pleasure from a turbocharged engine. As for the Alltrack, VW married the base Golf’s turbo four with the Golf R’s driveline. That means the dual-clutch automatic transmission has an electronically controlled clutch that manages the front-to-rear torque split. The computer can apply the brakes individually to direct torque to the left- or right-side wheels on either axle.

2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

The turbo engine does not disappoint on or off-road

VW’s 4Motion four-wheel-drive system powers the front wheels, saving fuel, until a loss of traction is detected, after which it can send 50 percent of the power rearward. Driving modes include normal, sport, custom and off-road. Manual gear selection can be made through paddle shifters on the steering wheel or manipulating the shift lever in the center console.

Around town, the suspension tuning favored comfort, giving me a silken ride quality. The car glided over bumps in the road and soaked up harshness like a mechanical sponge. It was compact enough to slot into urban parking lots, comfortable and spacious enough to carry three friends and their gear to the airport.

The engine itself was free-revving, low on noise, and got the Alltrack up to speed swiftly enough that I didn’t find myself wanting it to pick up the pace.  The invigorating engine easily pushed the Alltrack and happily drank regular unleaded while doing so.

On the highway, the suspension competently ironed out pothole-ridden stretches and offered a comfortable cruise on smooth portions. Refinement was typical Volkswagen—civilized. There were low levels of wind noise, though on some surfaces road rumble made its way into the cabin. On occasion, I picked up the under-hood signature of the turbo as it spooled up.

The 2018 Vollkswagen Golf Alltrack was fun to throw into corners, and its steering firmed up nicely after initial softness at lower speeds. While body roll did make its presence known, a combination of light and precise steering, beefy brakes and a taut chassis gave me a sense of confidence.

I didn’t test our Allroad SE on terribly rugged off-road terrain, but I did find the sort of rutted, muddy, slippery and generally boggy trails that can give two-wheel drive cars, as well as some all-wheel drive vehicles, a headache. On slick surfaces that varied from loose gravel to sloppy mud washes, the 4Motion system kept up with conditions, giving the Alltrack a secure feel. Using the Off Road setting, the AWD system aptly put power to the wheel where it was needed, and the built-in hill-descent control helped ease the car down steeper grades.

When I handed the Golf Alltrack back to Volkswagen, the odometer showed we had driven 213 miles, including city, highway and freeway driving plus our off-road excursion. As for fuel economy, we were spot on with the EPA’s 24 mpg combined rating.

In the Marketplace

Our test 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, the SE with manual, wore a sticker price of $30,615 including the $820 destination charge. That’s comparable to its direct competition, a Subaru Outback that is well-equipped and also powered by a four-cylinder engine.

2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Ready to challenge Subaru

Unlike the Outback, the Alltrack offers a manual transmission and comes standard with a turbocharged engine. However, the slightly larger Outback offers more ground clearance for improved off-road capability, has more interior space and earns better fuel economy. The Outback also offers an optional stout six-cylinder engine.

The 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is worth a long hard look if you’re shopping for a small utility vehicle that is fun to drive and has some off-road moxie on backcountry roads. However, the Subaru Outback is tough to beat. Plus, these two aren’t the only carmakers betting on this formula. Volvo’s V60 comes in Cross Country flavor, while Audi thinks that the A4 Allroad will whet your appetite. If none of these are your cup of tea, the more traditional crossovers such as Honda’s CR-V and Toyota’s RAV4 may best meet your needs.

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Road Test: 2018 Toyota RAV4

Disclosure:

Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.

Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class, which leads us to emphasize electric cars, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We also feature those efficient gas-powered vehicles that are among the top mpg vehicles in their class. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at publisher@cleanfleetreport.com.

The post Road Test: 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack SE appeared first on Clean Fleet Report.


Source: Electric, Hybrid, Clean Diesel & High-MPG Vehicles

Chevy Camaro eCOPO Blows Away Tesla Model S P100D

The eCOPO Chevy Camaro concept will be on view at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas

In celebration of 50 years of the original COPO Chevrolet Camaro production race car, the carmaker has announced an electric concept version of the car with over 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque.

The Detroit automaker, best known around the EV community for the Chevy Volt and Bolt EV, is dipping their toes (at least as a concept) into the electric sports car with the eCOPO announcement. The car is expected to have a 9 second quarter-mile time although testing is still in process.

If this is achieved it would blow away the quarter mile time of the Tesla P100D.

We have seen plenty of conversions of Chevrolet sports cars and even more modern Chevy’s such as the pricey but powerful Genovation GXE. Now that we have seen an electric Camaro concept from Chevy itself, we hope this is a future peak at the automakers future product portfolio.

We have seen many electric concepts come and go over the years that never make it to market. However we did see a decidedly Camaro shaped vehicle when GM announced 20 production EVs around this time last year. Perhaps there is hope that this one enters production.

Chevy Bolt 20 EVs

The full press release is below:

eCOPO Camaro Race Car Concept Electrifies Drag Racing

LAS VEGAS — Fifty years after the original COPO Camaro special-order performance models were introduced, Chevrolet’s eCOPO Camaro Concept demonstrates an electrified vision for drag racing.

Developed by General Motors and built in partnership with the pioneering electric drag racing team Hancock and Lane Racing, the concept race car — based on the 2019 COPO Camaro — is entirely electric-powered, driven by an electric motor providing the equivalent of more than 700 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque.

Chevrolet estimates quarter-mile times in the 9-second range. Testing is ongoing.

“The eCOPO Concept is all about where we go in the future with electrification in the high-performance space,” said Russ O’Blenes, director, performance variants, parts and motorsports at General Motors. “The original COPO Camaro program was all about pushing the envelope and this concept is an exploration with the very same spirit.”

Chevrolet partnered with Hancock and Lane Racing not only for the team’s success in NHRA drag racing, but its involvement with Patrick McCue, the driving force behind the record-holding “Shock and Awe” electric drag racing car, and his Seattle-area Bothell High School automotive technology program. More than a dozen students participated in the development and assembly of the electrified drag car, with the racing team’s assistance.

“This project exemplifies Chevrolet and General Motors’ commitment to engaging young minds in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education,” said O’Blenes. “It also represents our goal of a world with zero emissions, with the next-generation of engineers and scientists who will help us get there.”

800 volts

Just as the original 1969 COPO Camaro models relied on creative engineering to make them successful in Stock Eliminator drag racing, the eCOPO breaks new ground with its unique motor and GM’s first 800-volt battery back.

The electric motor is based on a pair of BorgWarner HVH 250-150 motor assemblies, each generating 300 lb.-ft. of torque, and replaces the gas engine. It is connected to a conventional, racing-prepared “Turbo 400” automatic transmission, which channels the motor’s torque to the same solid rear axle used in the production COPO Camaro race cars.

The all-new 800-volt battery pack enables a more efficient power transfer to the electric motor, while also supporting faster recharging, which is important for the limited time between elimination rounds in drag racing.

“Eight-hundred volts is more than twice the voltage of the battery packs in the production Chevrolet Volt and Bolt EV, so the eCOPO pushes into new technological territory,” says O’Blenes. “As GM advances its electrification leadership, a big step might just come from the drag strip.”

The battery pack is composed of four 200-volt modules, each weighing approximately 175 pounds, mounted strategically in the car for optimal weight distribution. Two are located in the rear seat area and the other two are in the trunk: one in the spare tire well and the other in the area over the rear axle.

A full Battery Management System monitors all critical voltages and temperatures within the pack. It ties into a comprehensive safety system that continuously evaluates all vehicle electrical components for proper function and safe operation. The batteries in the rear compartment are sealed off from the interior and an integrated driveshaft tunnel has been added between the modules for increased protection. Additionally, the roll cage in the trunk area has been expanded to provide additional protection for the rear-mounted modules.

With the modules’ strategic positions, the eCOPO Camaro has greater than a 56-percent rear-weight bias, which helps launch the car more efficiently.

Electric crate motors

The eCOPO Camaro Concept expands Chevrolet and General Motors’ electrification development and supports future product development. It also suggests a potential new avenue for Chevrolet’s crate engine and performance parts portfolio.

The eCOPO Camaro’s electric motor has the same bell house mounting pattern and crankshaft flange as the popular LS-family engines in Chevrolet’s crate engine portfolio. That allows it to bolt up to just about any General Motors transmission. In fact, the transmission, driveshaft and other drivetrain components remain in the same locations as in a gasoline-powered COPO Camaro race car, meaning the electric motor simply bolts into the engine compartment, in place of the gas engine.

“The possibilities are intriguing and suggest a whole new world for racers,” said O’Blenes. “Chevrolet pioneered the concept of the high-performance crate engine right around the time the original COPO Camaro models were created, and the eCOPO project points to a future that could include electric crate motors for racing, or even your street rod. We’re not there yet, but it’s something we’re exploring.”

In the meantime, Chevrolet and Hancock and Lane Racing will continue to develop the eCOPO Camaro and test it on the drag strip, seeking quicker elapsed times with all-new technology.

The eCOPO Concept, shown in Electric Blue, joins the 50th anniversary 2019 COPO Camaro production race car and approximately two dozen additional Chevrolet concepts and show vehicles at the SEMA Show, in Las Vegas, through Nov. 2.

eCOPO Camaro

eCOPO Chevy Camaro smokin

eCOPO Chevy Camaro


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla Model S P100D Compared To Volkswagen I.D. R

A ludicrously fast road-going luxury sedan versus a mental, no limits race car

For anyone that wasn’t sleeping under a rock for the recent past few years, the sheer speed that the Tesla Model S P100D – with the Ludicrous mode engaged – is capable of delivering right off the line is well known. On the other hand, the VW I.D R made its first and seemingly long-lasting impression a few months back, when it took down the fastest lap time at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb event. For the most part, these two couldn’t be more similar, albeit completely different at the same time. Both feature a similar dual motor setup and both are fast. Really fast.

However, how does the Model S stack up against a mental, no limits all-electric battery powered racing car is a completely different story. And this is just the comparison that the good folks over at Top Gear tried to make.

Red Tesla Model S P100D

The Tesla Model S P100D

When you compare the two, on first glance, Tesla (somewhat surprisingly) comes with an advantage. The Model S comes with a dual motor setup delivering 760 horsepower, while the same setup in the Volkswagen I.D R Pikes Peak delivers 670 horsepower. Torque wise, the difference is even more pronounced. The Tesla plays the all-too-familiar tire screeching sonata at the tune of 722 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, the VW I.D R will utilize “just” 479 lb-ft of torque. However, the VW’s racer weighs a little over a metric tonne (2,204lbs) – less than half the weight of the 2,241kg (4,940lbs) Tesla P100D.

 

When Top Gear inquired directly at Volkswagen about the performance specs of the I.D R Pikes Peak, they received these figures: 0-62mph is done in just 2.25 seconds. Tesla will do the same run in 2.68 seconds. Furthermore, it takes just 3.70 seconds for the VW I.D. R to sprint from 0-100mph, where the Tesla will achieve the same sprint in 6.46 seconds. With the 0-124mph taking 5 seconds flat in the I.D. R, the Tesla achieves the same in over twice the amount of time: 10.84 seconds.

Clearly, these two cars couldn’t be more apart. However, the timings of a civilian, road ready and everyday use oriented electric car, gives us a feeling that Pikes Peak will never be won by an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car ever again. Simply put, the sheer power and the traction exerted by a dual electric motor setup, paired by the complete immunity of the electric car to the altitude, paired with the relatively short sprint that is the 12.42-mile course at Pikes Peak, makes us confident that the future has arrived and it’s here to stay.

Source: Top Gear


Source: Electric Vehicle News

‘Electric flying is becoming a reality’, says easyJet CEO as they plan to test 9-seater electric plane next year

Electric propulsion is slowly taking over almost every segment of transportation, but flight remains the most difficult to electrify.

Now, easyJet CEO says that ‘electric flying is becoming a reality’ as they plan to test a nine-seater electric plane next year. more…

The post ‘Electric flying is becoming a reality’, says easyJet CEO as they plan to test 9-seater electric plane next year appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Elon Musk Assumes New Role Of “Nothing Of Tesla”

The man formerly known as the CEO of Tesla is no more.

Elon Musk, previously listed as the CEO of Tesla, has just announced via Twitter that he’s deleted that title and all other associated Tesla titles.  He should now be referred to as the “Nothing of Tesla.”

Here’s the Tweet:

The Nothing of Tesla notes that everything seems to still be functioning just fine for the automaker, despite the title deletions and change.

Musk’s absence on Twitter over the weekend is likely connected to this title change, as it surely took a while for him to adjust to his new role.


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Tesla Releases Model 3, S & X Navigate On Autopilot Videos

Still requires hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Last week, Tesla started rolling out its “Navigate on Autopilot” feature. For owners who purchased Enhanced Autopilot, the new feature, referred to as “an active guidance feature,” is available only on certain highways — the car will inform you if your current journey involves one of these roads but highlighting it in blue — and aids drivers specifically from “on-ramp to 0ff-ramp.” To explain how the new feature works, the company published an entry in its blog (reprinted below), along with two videos: one for the Model S and Model X (above), with its vertical screen, and one for the Model 3 (below).

Though the update still requires drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, it could take even more of the stress out of the driving experience. Tesla says the system, which leans on the vehicle’s eight external cameras, radar, and ultrasonic sensors,  suggests lane changes which it thinks will make your trip faster, and lead the car onto the proper off-ramp.

While lane changes will require the user to initiate them at first using the turn indicator stalk, the car will eventually even take over this task, if desired.

 

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Introducing Navigate on Autopilot

Today in the U.S., we’re beginning to roll out our most advanced Autopilot feature ever: Navigate on Autopilot. Since introducing Software Version 9.0, Tesla owners with Enhanced Autopilot have driven tens of millions of miles to support the validation of Navigate on Autopilot, allowing us to collect performance and safety data at scale, based on real-world driving.

While initially the feature will require drivers to confirm lane changes using the turn stalk before the car moves into an adjacent lane, future versions of Navigate on Autopilot will allow customers to waive the confirmation requirement if they choose to. In both of these scenarios, until truly driverless cars are validated and approved by regulators, drivers are responsible for and must remain in control of their car at all times.

Navigate on Autopilot is an active guidance feature for Enhanced Autopilot that, with driver supervision, guides a car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting and making lane changes, navigating highway interchanges, and taking exits. It’s designed to make finding and following the most efficient path to your destination even easier on the highway when Autopilot is in use. While drivers should always be attentive when using Autopilot, stalk confirmation for lane changes allows us to ensure that drivers are paying attention at the exact moment they need to, and combined with the redundancy of eight external cameras, radar and ultrasonic sensors, it provides an additional layer of safety that two eyes alone would not have.

To use Navigate on Autopilot, drivers must first enable Navigate on Autopilot and Autosteer in the Autopilot settings menu. If Navigate on Autopilot is available on a drive, it can be enabled by selecting the Navigate on Autopilot button in a destination’s turn-by-turn direction list. Once it is in use, our 360-degree visualization on the center display shows a single blue line indicating the suggested path of travel. There are two types of lane changes that Navigate on Autopilot will suggest – route-based lane changes that are designed to keep you on your navigation route, and speed-based lane changes, which are designed to keep your vehicle moving as close to your set speed as possible.

Navigate on Autopilot can be customized to a driver’s preferences, including four settings for speed-based lane changes (Disabled, Mild, Average, or Mad Max). When enabled, Navigate on Autopilot’s speed-based lane changes will suggest transitions into adjacent lanes that are moving faster, in the event that your vehicle is traveling slower than the set cruise speed (for instance, if you approach a slow-moving car or truck ahead). The Mild setting suggests lane changes when you’re traveling significantly slower than your set speed, whereas Mad Max will suggest lane changes when traveling just below your set speed.

Since we launched Autopilot in 2015, more than 1 billion miles of real-world driving data have been used to support the feature. Navigate on Autopilot is built exclusively for our Enhanced Autopilot platform, which includes a powerful onboard computer, ultrasonic sensors, radar, and external cameras that feed our Tesla-developed neural net. Advanced machine learning algorithms allow our cars to collect and process data in milliseconds. The future introduction of our Tesla-developed AI chip with our Full Self-Driving platform will allow the speed at which our system processes data to increase by an order of magnitude and take a meaningful leap toward our full self-driving future.

As more miles are collected with Navigate on Autopilot in use, we will continue to make it even more capable and efficient. Navigate on Autopilot will begin to roll out this week to U.S. customers who have purchased Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self-Driving Capability. The feature will be introduced in other markets in the future pending validation and regulatory approval.

Source: Tesla, YouTube


Source: Electric Vehicle News

Electrify America already has 30 fast-charging stations online, hundreds more to come

Electrify America is quickly ramping up deployment of its electric vehicle charging infrastructure ahead of the many new EVs rolling out next year.

The VW subsidiary already has 30 fast-charging stations online, and it has hundreds more to come. more…

The post Electrify America already has 30 fast-charging stations online, hundreds more to come appeared first on Electrek.


Source: Charge Forward

Ford’s Next EV Is A … Scooter?

Is Ford Jelly of Lime?

Scooters are a big deal right now. Not the traditional Vespa sort (sadly), but the stand-up electric kind. The kind companies like Lime, Bird, and others have been carpet bombing American cities with over the past year.  The idea is, you can pick up one of the light mobility devices scattered about the town, hop on and drive it where you need to go, then leave it. Payment is handled via an app. They’ve become so popular it looks like the automotive giant Ford may be getting in on the two-wheel action. The automaker is apparently behind a new outfit called Jelly.

Currently, the electric scooter startup seems to still be in stealth mode, but is involved in a research project on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.   According to a press release (reprinted in full below) from the school, the research intends to investigate “best practices for using e-scooters.” Despite the devices being all over U.S. cities in a mad scramble for market share, the school says the study is “thought to be the first academic research to study how the oft-maligned e-scooters can best be incorporated into an urban environment.” The University will see 40 of the Jelly scooters dropped off around the campus over the next few weeks.

Interestingly, the connection to Ford is not mentioned in that official press release. That relationship was uncovered by Reddit user Labtec901, who posted about the nascent effort, mentioning he had spotted the automaker’s name on the rental agreement documents.

This wouldn’t be Ford’s first foray into the scooter world. Last year, it joined forces with  OjO Electric, which offers an upscale machine for $1,999. Though it looks like a pretty sweet ride for a scooter, it’s probably fair to say that it hasn’t had a huge impact on the world of mobility. Maybe this new, low-key approach will hit the proper notes to turn this effort into the kind of success that will make its competitors Jelly.

 

E-scooters at Purdue are sweet as jelly

Scooters appearing on campus are part of a four-week engineering research project

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — There’s Jelly all over the place at Purdue.

Not the sticky spread, but a new e-scooter brand with a goofy name. And university officials are thrilled to see them. Seriously.

That’s because Jelly isn’t just yet another e-scooter brand, but the name given to a a campus-wide research project on best practices for using e-scooters. This is thought to be the first academic research to study how the oft-maligned e-scooters can best be incorporated into an urban environment.

In the coming weeks, 40 scooters will be distributed across Purdue’s campus to begin the initial four-week research project. The research project is being led by Darcy Bullock, Purdue’s Lyles Family Professor of Civil Engineering and director of the Joint Transportation Research Program, which is operated out of Purdue’s Discovery Park.

Aaron Madrid, alternative transportation coordinator at Purdue, said e-scooters, if used properly, have the potential to reduce traffic congestion, free up parking, and reduce the amount of climate- influencing pollutants into the air.

“E-scooters are a nice, green transportation choice that helps address the ‘last mile’ problem in high population density environments where many people use public transit or park on the outer edge,” Madrid said. “The scooters are already safer than motor vehicles, but this research will help us learn more about how to make their use even safer.”

Although the research results are intended to be used by civil engineering and city planners worldwide, Madrid said Purdue will be using the information for future decisions about whether to allow scooters on campus and how they should be used.

“Any city planner or engineer looking for information on e-scooters has probably only seen negative news stories about companies dumping scooters in a city and creating chaos, or a sales pitch from one of the companies,” Madrid said. “To have actual data about what does and does not work well will be invaluable.”

To begin using the scooters, riders must first download the Jelly app from the Apple App Store. For this initial four-week portion of the project, the app is available only for Apple iOS. Anyone on campus can use the scooters, including campus visitors.

The app will show where scooters are located on campus and offer information on how to begin riding.

Cassie McKee, a senior civil engineering major who is working on the research project, already rides a longboard on campus, but she said she’s eager to see another transportation option.

“They’re fun, and the students like them,” she said. “But as a civil engineering student, I’m hoping people will use them in an appropriate way. For example, it really annoys me when I see someone leave one so that it blocks the ADA ramp on a sidewalk.”

Madrid said that the same rules and laws apply for e-scooters as for bicycles. They are not to be ridden on sidewalks or inside buildings, but they can safely be ridden on local bike infrastructure or multi-use paths.

He adds that if the e-scooters are ridden on the road, riders must operate them just as if they were driving a vehicle.

“Whether you are on a bicycle or an e-scooter, if you are operating it in the road — which the law allows — you have to obey all traffic laws. That means you have to stop at stop signs, wait in line at red lights, and use front and rear lights when it’s dark,” Madrid says.

“I should also remind other users of the road that scooters and bicycles are 100 percent allowed to use the road. You should not swerve at them, pass them in an unsafe manner, or yell and harass them. If you think the bicyclist or scooter rider is violating the law, you should inform the police. Let them handle the issue.”

 

Source: The Verge, Perdue University


Source: Electric Vehicle News