Recharge Wrap-up: Ontario’s autonomous cars, Tesla updates stores for energy offerings

Autonomous vehicles are now testing on the roads of Ontario. While the Canadian province approved testing back in January, a pilot project from the University of Waterloo, Erwin Hymer Group, and Blackberry QNX will put three self-driving cars into operation. The program will test autonomous performance at various stages of development in different weather and road conditions. The law requires a licensed driver in the cars at all times. See one of the cars in the video above, and read more at Engadget or from the University of Waterloo.

Tesla will sell its energy products alongside its cars at its stores. As Tesla merges with SolarCity and continues to improve its lineup of stationary energy storage and, now, solar roof products, offering a complete roof-to-road energy solution in one spot only makes sense. The company is in the process of updating its stores to offer more of its energy products, featured more prominently, in more locations. Tesla is also still expanding its network by adding new retail locations, with plans for a total of 440 stores around the world by the end of 2017. Read more at Green Car Reports.

Marin County, California is adopting electric buses for its transit agency. Marin Transit is expected to take delivery of two 35-foot buses from BYD in September 2017. It will help the county prepare for CARB’s proposed Advanced Clean Transit program to shift to zero-emissions transit by 2040. The first two buses will allow Marin Transit to get a bearing on costs and performance, or, as Anna Penoyar, capital analyst for Marin Transit says, “We want to get our feet wet and understand the technology.” Each bus costs about $ 700,000. They have enough driving range to last the day, and charge overnight when not in use. Read more from the Marin Independent Journal.

Oil company Valero has joined ethanol group Renewable Fuels Association. While Valero Energy has been a critic of ethanol laws, its subsidiary, Valero Renewable Fuels is one of the country’s largest ethanol producers. “They still want to see a change in the RFS,” Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen says of Valero. He adds, though, that the move is “a signal that the industry’s coming together.” The announcement comes just after the EPA finalized renewable fuel requirements for 2017. Read more from Bloomberg.

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