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Best of the Blogs, Transportation: Can Electric Cars Handle a True American Road Trip?


Plus, Ford feeling the squeeze on excess plants in Europe.

This column highlights the most interesting and useful financial commentary on transportation from around the Web.

Motor Trend
Link: The Electric Vehicle Road-Trip Test
"Arguments about two-car households and average American commutes aside, it's true electric cars can't yet do everything conventionally powered cars can. Sure, they can accomplish more than 90 percent of what the average American driver needs a car to do in a given year, but lacking the last 10 percent of functionality is an affront to our collective 'Be Prepared' Boy Scout mentality.

"But a growing network of DC Fast Charging stations on the West Coast is attempting to turn the range issue on its head."

Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Link: Ford Profit Squeezed by Excess Plant Capacity in Europe

"Ford Motor Co. (F), with overseas losses reducing total profit, is under pressure to close at least one factory in Europe, where it may have more excess capacity than General Motors Co. (GM).

"While layoffs and plant closings are difficult in Europe, GM and PSA Peugeot Citroen (UG.PA) announced plans to do just that in the past six weeks, which could ease the way for Ford. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker's assembly plants in Southampton, England, and Genk, Belgium, may be vulnerable."

The Wall Street Journal: Driver's Seat
Link: Kia To Sell Quoris Flagship Globally - Including the US?

"Kia Motors Corp. (KIMTF) said it plans to begin selling its large luxury flagship sedan in global markets later this year. The new car, called the K9 in Korea, where it went on sale in May, will be known as the Quoris when it arrives in dealerships around the world."
Link: Canadian Pacific and Smart Sand, Inc., Partnering on Frac Sand Shipments

"Smart Sand and Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP) on July 18 announced a strategic long-term partnership involving the shipment of frac sand to the unconventional oil and gas industry in key North America producing regions, including the Bakken and Eagle Ford formations and the Utica and Marcellus Shales."

The Dallas Morning News: Airline Biz Blog
Link: Southwest Airlines Will Pay $100 Million Cost to Repaint, Refurbish Jets for Delta

"Southwest Airlines (LUV) is really glad to turn its Boeing 717s over to Delta Air Lines (DAL). So glad, in fact, that Southwest is paying the $100 million needed to repaint the 88 jets and redo their interiors.

"That's $50 million more than Southwest was planning to spend to convert those airplanes, now in the AirTran Airways fleet, as they would come over to the Southwest fleet."
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