Will the war in Ukraine affect the rapid growth in electric vehicle demand and production? Reports on the war's impacts are beginning to emerge. Volkswagen closed its factory in Zwickau, Germany, this week, halting the production of two battery-electric vehicles it exports to the U.S. because it relies on parts produced in Ukraine. Prices are expected to increase and supplies tighten for electric vehicle battery cells and superconductors used by automakers.
Federal Highway Administration to prioritize Complete Streets funding
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released a report to Congress this week adopting the Complete Streets approach as its default for funding and designing the majority of federally-funded roadways in the U.S. Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Stephanie Pollack said in a statement that the FHWA would "play a leadership role" in providing safe and equitable transportation for all. Smart Cities Dive will have more on this story next week.
Air mobility moves forward
Bringing flying cars one step closer to the mainstream, the Federal Aviation Administration and the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority issued a joint statement yesterday announcing talks leading to the certification and validation of new electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and other advanced air mobility aircraft. "As these aircraft enter into the aviation ecosystem, we must continue to maintain the high safety standards that the public expects," the authorities said in the statement.
Black leaders in Charlotte oppose transportation sales tax plan
A proposed one-cent sales tax to fund transportation projects in the county that's home to Charlotte, North Carolina, has run into opposition from local Black leaders, who cited previous transit and light rail projects that led to the gentrification of historically Black neighborhoods in the city. “In the past, our communities have been gutted by transportation,” Black Political Caucus Charlotte-Mecklenburg Chairwoman Stephanie Sneed said at a news conference on Tuesday.
For Women's History Month, celebrating a woman who foiled a train-based assassination plot
March is Women's History Month, and the U.S. Department of Transportation offers a timeline of women in transportation history. The list contains many noteworthy explorers, railroaders and aviators, but I'd like to suggest one more woman who they've left out. Someone who may have changed the nation's history.
In 1856, Allan Pinkerton, the head of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, hired Kate Warne, a 28-year-old widow, as a detective. Her most momentous assignment came in 1861, when Pinkerton learned of a plot to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln along his train journey to Washington for the inauguration.
As Pinkerton wrote in his 1883 book “The Spy of the Rebellion,” the act was to take place in Baltimore, where conspirators awaited. Armed, Warne guarded Lincoln in a sleeper car while Pinkerton and other guards kept lookout en route.
The train, and Lincoln, arrived safely in Washington the next morning. Warne would go on to distinguish herself working undercover in the South during the Civil War, helping to solve high-profile murder cases, and supervising other women agents. She died of pneumonia in 1868 and is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago.