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Topic : California Is Trying to Jump-Start the Hydrogen Economy

Since President George W. Bush fueled a minivan with hydrogen 15 years ago, the promise of cars and trucks powered by the fuel has come up mostly empty.

15年前,時任美國總統的小布希為一輛廂型休旅車加上氫燃料,發展氫能小客車和貨車的美好期盼迄今卻大抵落空。

That hydrogen pump, in Washington, closed long ago. But in California, the beginnings of a hydrogen economy may finally be dawning after many fits and starts.

華府的那座加氫站早已停用,然而在加州,氫經濟在幾經周折之後,可能真的要起步了。

Dozens of hydrogen buses are lumbering down city streets, while more and larger fueling stations are appearing from San Diego to San Francisco, financed by the state and the federal government. With the costs of producing and shipping hydrogen coming down, California is setting ambitious goals to phase out vehicles that run on fossil fuels in favor of batteries and hydrogen.

在州政府和聯邦出資之下,從聖地牙哥到舊金山,數十輛氫動力公車緩緩行駛於城市街道,更多且更大的加氫站也一一出現。由於氫製造和運輸的成本下降,加州立定遠大目標,要逐步淘汰化石燃料車,轉向電動車和氫能車。

Some energy executives said they expect investment in hydrogen to accelerate under President-elect Joe Biden, who made climate change a big part of his campaign and proposed a $2 trillion plan to tackle the problem.

一些能源業高管預期,對氫能的投資會在總統當選人拜登上台後加速成長。拜登以遏制氣候變遷為重要政見,並提出一項2兆美元的因應計畫。

A recent McKinsey & Co. study estimated that the hydrogen economy could generate $140 billion in annual revenue by 2030 and support 700,000 jobs. The study projected that hydrogen could meet 14% of total American energy demand by 2050.

管理顧問公司麥肯錫最近在一份研究中估計,到2030年時,氫經濟每年能創造1400億美元營收,支撐70萬個工作機會。這份研究預測,到2050年,氫將能滿足全美14%的能源需求。

The use of hydrogen, the lightest and most abundant substance in the universe, is still in its infancy, and California is determined to be its cradle in the United States.The state now has roughly 40 fueling stations, with dozens more under construction. While those numbers are tiny compared with the 10,000 gasoline stations across the state, officials have high hopes.

氫是宇宙中最輕且最豐富的物質,人類利用氫能還在初始階段,而加州決心成為美國氫能利用的搖籃。加州目前約有40個加氫站,還有數十個在興建中。雖然加氫站數量與全加州一萬個加油站相比微不足道,但官員仍滿懷希望。

With about 7,500 hydrogen vehicles on the road, an aggressive state program of incentives and subsidies from cap-and-trade dollars envisions 50,000 hydrogen light-duty vehicles by mid-decade and a network of 1,000 hydrogen stations by 2030.

目前加州約有7500輛氫能車上路,州政府積極利用取自「總量管制與排放交易」的財源來進行補貼和獎勵,希望達到2025年左右有5萬輛輕型氫能車上路,2030年有1000個加氫站的目標。

Hydrogen-powered vehicles are similar to electric cars. But unlike electric cars, which have large batteries, these cars have hydrogen tanks and fuel cells that turn the gas into electricity. The cars refuel and accelerate quickly, and they can go for several hundred miles on a full tank. They emit only water vapor, which makes them appealing to California cities that are trying to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

氫能車類似電動車,不同的是,電動車的電池很大,氫能車則有氫氣儲存槽和把氫氣轉換成電力的燃料電池。氫能車補充燃料和加速都很快,氫氣槽加滿後能跑幾百哩。氫能車只會釋出蒸氣,對於努力減少汙染和溫室氣體排放量的加州很有吸引力。

“Almost any objective analysis for getting to zero emissions includes hydrogen,” said Jack Brouwer, director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine.

爾灣加州大學國家燃料電池研究中心主任傑克‧布勞爾說:「幾乎所有關於如何達到零排放的客觀分析都會提到氫。」

Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5106534

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Wheels falling off China’s ‘deep fake’ car manufacturer

Chinese automobile manufacturer Zotye Auto is a household name in China. The company is famous for manufacturing copies of car models by luxury international brands including Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini. After a long delay, on June 22, Zotye Auto finally released its 2019 year end financial results. The report revealed that last year, the automaker suffered losses of 11.2 billion yuan (approximately NT$46.6 billion), or an average of 30 million yuan per day. The company’s market value also shrank from 30 billion yuan to a mere 3.6 billion yuan. Even worse, because the company is unable to guarantee the authenticity, accuracy and completeness of its financial report, Zotye Auto has been issued with a “risk of delisting warning” by Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

以模仿奧迪、保時捷、蘭寶堅尼等高級進口車,在中國家喻戶曉的車商眾泰汽車,六月二十二日終於發布二○一九年財報,顯示全年慘虧一百十二億元人民幣(以下同),約新台幣四百六十六億,相當於每天平均虧損三千萬,市值也由逾三百億縮水至僅剩三十六億元;更慘的是,該公司因為無法保證年報的真實性、準確性和完整性,已被深圳證券交易所實施「退市風險警示」。

Seemingly without a care for the outside world, Zotye Auto has been audaciously building slavish copies of imported luxury car models. The company became a household name in China after producing facsimile versions of the Audi Q3 (Zotye SR7), Porsche Macan (Zotye SR9) and Lamborghini Urus (Zotye Concept S). Due to Zotye Auto’s uncanny ability to produce lookalike cars, there is a joke currently doing the rounds in China: “If you want to get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini, pay a visit to Zotye Auto.”

眾泰汽車因為不顧外界觀瞻,大膽模仿進口名車,而在中國家喻戶曉,該公司推出的眾泰SR7模仿奧迪Q3,眾泰SR9模仿保時捷Macan ,眾泰Concept S模仿蘭寶堅尼Urus。由於模仿能力出眾,中國坊間甚至流傳著一句調侃話:「這輩子能不能開蘭寶堅尼,就看眾泰了!」

However, having relied on imitating the work of others, the company lacks home-grown innovation, while the quality of its vehicles has not kept pace with the sophistication of its copycat designs. Annual sales have been steadily falling too: in 2016, the company sold 330,000 vehicles. This fell to 310,000 in 2017 and only 230,000 in 2018. Zotye Auto initially set a sales target of 480,000 vehicles per year, yet in 2018 it failed to reach even half that figure. Last year, sales declined at an even steeper rate with the company only managing to shift 116,600 vehicles.

但靠著山寨別人,缺乏自主創新,且品質也未同步提升的營運模式畢竟無法持久。眾泰汽車二○一六年、二○一七年的年銷量還分別有三十三萬輛、三十一萬輛,但此後每況愈下,二○一八年僅剩二十三萬輛,為四十八萬輛的目標的一半不到,二○一九年進一步跌至十一點六六萬輛。

To make matters even worse, Zotye Auto chief executive Lou Guohai has stated that he cannot guarantee the authenticity, accuracy and completeness of his company’s year end financial report, citing various reasons including uncertainty over the company’s ability to continue operating, multiple lawsuits and outstanding obligations.

雪上加霜的是,眾泰汽車董事婁國海表示,無法保證該公司年報內容的真實性、準確性和完整性,理由包括:公司的持續經營能力存在較大不確定性,公司面臨眾多訴訟及擔保事項等。

Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/07/01/2003739125

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Despite High Hopes, Self-Driving Cars Are ‘Way in the Future’

A year ago, Detroit and Silicon Valley had visions of putting thousands of self-driving taxis on the road in 2019, ushering in an age of driverless cars.

一年前,底特律和矽谷曾有2019年讓數千輛自動駕駛計程車上路的願景,要開啟無人駕駛車的時代。

Most of those cars have yet to arrive — and it is likely to be years before they do. Several carmakers and technology companies have concluded that making autonomous vehicles is going to be harder, slower and costlier than they thought.

這些車大多數還沒上路-而且很可能還要等好多年才會上路。數家汽車製造商和科技公司已作出如下結論:製造自動駕駛車將比他們以為的更困難、更緩慢且更花錢。

“We overestimated the arrival of autonomous vehicles,” Ford’s chief executive, Jim Hackett, said at the Detroit Economic Club in April.

「我們對自駕車問世的評估過於樂觀。」福特汽車執行長吉姆.哈克特今年4月在底特律經濟俱樂部這麼說。

In the most recent sign of the scramble to regroup, Ford and Volkswagen said Friday that they were teaming up to tackle the self-driving challenge.

福特和福斯周五(12日)宣布要合組團隊以迎接自駕車的挑戰。這也是業界忙著重新組合、再次出發的最新跡象。

The two automakers plan to use autonomous-vehicle technology from a Pittsburgh startup, Argo AI, in ride-sharing services in a few urban zones as early as 2021. But Argo’s chief executive, Bryan Salesky, said the industry’s bigger promise of creating driverless cars that could go anywhere was “way in the future.”

這兩家汽車製造商計畫使用匹茲堡新創公司「亞果人工智慧」的自駕車技術,最快於2021年在一些都會區提供共乘服務。但是亞果的執行長布萊恩.薩勒斯基說,這個產業更大的承諾,也就是創造可去到任何地方的自駕車,「還在遙遠的未來」。

He and others attribute the delay to something as obvious as it is stubborn: human behavior.

他和另一些人將這個延誤歸咎於顯而易見且難以應付的一項因素:人類行為。

Researchers at Argo say the cars they are testing in Pittsburgh and Miami have to navigate unexpected situations every day. Recently, one of the company’s cars encountered a bicyclist riding the wrong way down a busy street between other vehicles.

亞果研究人員說,他們在匹茲堡和邁阿密測試的車輛,每天都須經歷無法預期的狀況。最近,這家公司一輛車遇到一名自行車騎士,在一條車多的街道上逆向行駛在車輛間。

Another Argo test car came across a street sweeper that suddenly turned a giant circle in an intersection, touching all four corners and crossing lanes of traffic that had the green light.

另一輛亞果的測試車遇到一輛掃街車,在一個十字路口突如其來大轉彎,碰到四個街角,而且橫越已經轉為綠燈的車道。

“You see all kinds of crazy things on the road, and it turns out they’re not all that infrequent, but you have to be able to handle all of them,” Salesky said. “With radar and high-resolution cameras and all the computing power we have, we can detect and identify the objects on a street. The hard part is anticipating what they’re going to do next.”

「你在路上見到所有瘋狂的事,而且發現它們並非那麼不常見,但你必須有能力處理所有狀況。」薩勒斯基說。「我們擁有雷達、高解析度鏡頭和所有電算能力,可偵測並識別街道上的物體。困難的部分是預測它們下一步會做什麼。」

Salesky said Argo and many competitors had developed about 80% of the technology needed to put self-driving cars into routine use — the radar, cameras and other sensors that can identify objects far down roads and highways.

薩勒斯基說,自駕車進入日常使用所需技術,亞果和許多競爭對手約已開發成功80%-雷達、攝影鏡頭及其他可在一般道路和高速公路識別遠方物體的感應器。

But the remaining 20%, including developing software that can reliably anticipate what other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists are going to do, will be much more difficult, he said.

但是剩下的20%,包括開發能夠可靠預測其他駕駛人、行人和自行車騎士下一步行動的軟體,會難得多。

A year ago, many industry executives exuded much greater certainty. They thought that their engineers had solved the most vexing technical problems and promised that self-driving cars would be shuttling people around town in at least several cities by sometime this year.

一年前,許多業界高管還展現出遠比當下更有把握的態度。當時他們認為,他們的工程師已解決最困難的技術問題,且承諾自駕車今年之內,至少可在幾個城市輸運民眾。

Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/343041/web/

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