Europeans and Canada Lead in Fast Rail

Further evidence of big European advantages in public-sector and green-friendly technology

1 min read

According to a story this week in the Wall Street Journal, following up on earlier reports of big Bombardier sales of high-speed trains in China, the leading fast train manufacturers--none of them U.S. companies of course--are continuing to rack up nice global sales. Alstom SA, maker of France's famed TGV, recorded a record 5.69 billion euros (almost $9 billion) in the year that ended March 31. Germany's Siemens has made close to $1 billion from the sale of eight ICE-derived trains in Russia.

Bombardier will earn an estimated $2 billion from its high-speed train sales in China, which, says a Journal source, hopes to build "the most advanced rail network in the world." 

The Conversation (0)
This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

Keep Reading ↓Show less