Tesla talk, railway revolution & gas tourism 

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Germany is set to host Tesla’s European production site, according to local reports. The US electric carmaker is looking at locations in the northwest near the Benelux and French borders.

Company founder Elon Musk revealed more details about SpaceX’s testing of the ‘Starship’ rocket, which is set to be the most powerful ever built and could be used in manned missions to the Moon and Mars.

The US officially launched its “Space Command”, a dedicated branch tasked with defending “the next warfighting domain”, according to Donald Trump. Plans for a “Space Force” are still yet to materialise.

China continues to embrace the electric vehicle revolution, registering 381 new electric buses every day in July. 45,000 were registered in the first half of the year.

But there was less positive news for its bike industry. The Commission decided to extend anti-dumping measures for five years against Beijing and seven other countries that are used as middle men. The tariffs have been in place for nearly thirty years.

France’s railway company placed an order for 15 hydrogen trains, which should enter service within two years. India’s government intends to fully electrify its vast rail network within 10 years.

Belgium’s rail operator also unveiled its latest foray into solar power production. One of its workshops is now covered in panels, which will be used to run its operations there with surplus energy earmarked for use by trains.

The UK’s controversial HS2 rail extension could be delayed by three years. Confirmation by ministers is expected today or this week.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary is taking a step back from the hands-on running of the low budget carrier. He’s handing over the reins to the man that has handled the Irish airline’s customer service effort for a number of years.

Environmentalists have warned that they will disrupt London’s Heathrow airport later this month with drones in an attempt to ground airplanes. Although pledging not to fly into flight paths, the group’s plans have been criticised.

Qantas has announced it intends to set up direct routes between London, New York and Sydney in what would be the world’s longest commercial flight at 19 hours. Would you want to sit on a plane that long?

Organisers of a global electric car racing series have confirmed that one race will take place in Greenland, in order to raise awareness about climate change. Scheduled for 2021, the race has the support of the local government.

It didn’t take long for the invasion to happen: there are already 9,000 e-scooters in Berlin after operators were first given the all-clear this summer. Most are in the city centre and not the outlying areas.

When someone mentions a holiday in Italy, what first comes to mind? Gondoliers? Vespas? Roman ruins? Gas platforms…? Well if you inexplicably said the latter, you’re in luck as boat trips now offer just that in Rimini.

What else I’m reading

Next stops

Transport committee MEPs are currently quizzing the head of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency on its practices and the Boeing 737 MAX case. Stay tuned any updates from the Brussels meeting.

The European Commission’s next president, Ursula von der Leyen, could name her final list of candidates for the incoming executive. Stay tuned here to see if transport remains a stand-alone portfolio or gets absorbed.

Current transport chief Violeta Bulc will sit down with Euractiv and talk about her time at the Berlaymont. Watch this space!

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