2018年2月23日 星期五

In Norway, Electric and Hybrid Cars Outsell Conventional Models挪威電動及油電車銷量 超越傳統車款

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紐時周報精選 In Norway, Electric and Hybrid Cars Outsell Conventional Models挪威電動及油電車銷量 超越傳統車款
Coal Country at the Crossroads美國燃煤業 歧路徘徊
In Norway, Electric and Hybrid Cars Outsell Conventional Models挪威電動及油電車銷量 超越傳統車款
文/Amie Tsang

Sales of electric and hybrid cars in Norway outpaced those running on fossil fuels last year, cementing the country's position as a global leader in the push to restrict vehicle emissions.

Norway, a major oil exporter, would seem an unlikely champion of newer, cleaner-running vehicles. But the country offers generous incentives that make electric cars cheaper to buy, and provides additional benefits once the vehicles are on the road.



Countries around the world have ramped up their promotion of hybrid and electric cars. As China tries to improve air quality and dominate new vehicle technology, the government there wants 1 in 5 cars sold to run on alternative fuels by 2025. France and Britain plan to end the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered cars by 2040.

Norway is ahead of the rest of the world. About 52 percent of the new cars sold in the country last year ran on new forms of fuel, according the data released by Norway's Road Traffic Advisory Board, OFV. The share of diesel cars, which were once considered more environmentally friendly but are now in the spotlight for their noxious emissions, fell sharply.



"This trend will only increase," Oyvind Solberg Thorsen, OFV's director, said in a statement. "This is good for both road safety and the environment."

Although electric vehicles make up a just small portion of the global market now, automakers — including those, like Tesla, that produce only electric models, and giants like Volkswagen — have bet billions of dollars that such vehicles will soon be as cheap and ubiquitous as conventional cars. Investments in charging stations and other technology connected to electric vehicles are also increasing.



General Motors and Ford Motor have said they will shift their focus to electric models, while carmakers like Volvo have moved to phase out the internal combustion engine entirely. Joining the fray are entrepreneurs like James Dyson who have their own plans to build electric vehicles.

As the market grows, makers of electric cars are facing difficulties. Tesla has lagged in its production of the Model 3, its first mass-market offering. And a slump in overall car sales in the United States could put a crimp in the expansion of electric vehicles.

Norway, which wants to phase out diesel and gasoline cars by 2025, offers a counterexample.

The country's embrace of electric cars has been hastened by hefty government subsidies and tax breaks that make the technology more affordable.


隨市場增長,電動車製造商也面臨困境。特斯拉的第一個大眾市場車款特斯拉三型電動車的生產進度落後。美國整體汽車銷量下滑,也可能成為電動車擴張的一道障礙。 冀望2025年前逐步淘汰柴油和汽油車的挪威,則是一個反例。




文章指出,挪威的電動車(electric car)以及油電混合車(hybrid car)去年占新車銷售的五成二,於全球居冠,奠定該國推動限制汽車排放量( restricting vehicle emissions)全球領導者的地位。

限制排放量指的是限制碳排放(carbon emissions),以達成碳減排(carbon emission reduction)的目的,避免大量排放的二氧化碳等溫室氣體(greenhouse gas)產生增溫效應,帶來全球暖化(global warming)後果。

文章說,特斯拉是僅生產電動車(electric model)的汽車廠,此處的model 並非指模型,而是指汽車的型號或車款。model用作名詞時,其他常見的意義包括模型、模範、模特兒,如model car(模型車),model plane(飛機模型),a model couple (一對模範夫妻),fashion model(時裝模特兒)。

Coal Country at the Crossroads美國燃煤業 歧路徘徊
文/Clifford Krauss

When Nic Zmija applied for a job at the 4 West coal mine three years ago, he was tantalized by a fat raise and a secure future. Once hired, he was told that someday even his two young sons had jobs waiting for them.

"It all sounded good," Zmija recalled with a tight smile while sitting at his kitchen table the other day. "They said my kids would be able to retire here."



But right after New Year's, management announced that the mine would have to close, leaving 370 people scrambling to find new jobs. The Zmija family must now prepare to move in search of the next coal job.

The fateful turn of events in Appalachian mining towns like Bobtown, isolated between craggy bluffs and wooded hills 70 miles south of Pittsburgh, illustrates the seemingly relentless downturn of the coal industry. While President Donald Trump has offered some regulatory relief to the industry, market forces still dictate a gloomy future — one largely shaped by the glut of cheap natural gas yielded by the drilling boom in shale fields near here and across much of the nation.



As aging coal-fired power plants are shut — roughly 20 of 380 have closed or are in the process of shutting since Trump took office — coal's share of the nation's power mix has plummeted from nearly half in 2008 to roughly a third today.

Last year, coal consumption in the United States fell by 2.4 percent, falling to its lowest level in nearly four decades. In the early weeks of 2018, national coal production has continued to decline from a year ago despite the frigid winter. A weather-related increase in exports last year yielded a modest gain in jobs, but it is not considered sustainable.



The decline in demand has forced a 38 percent drop in the nation's coal production in a little less than a decade. Now only the most efficient mines containing the highest-quality coal are able to survive.

The 4 West mine, like many that produce coal for power utilities in Appalachia, is expensive to run. Its coal seam is thin and of lower quality than those of competing mines, and its traditional form of mining requires costly methods to stabilize roofs to protect against the kind of accidents that caused the deaths of two miners at 4 West over the past three years. Government fines and management turmoil also took their toll.




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