In this episode, a road that charges your electric car and currency manipulation’s impact on manufacturing.
An English government project could one day allow drivers to charge their electric cars while they're driving. England's highways agency recently announced plans to hold trials of the wireless charging system on a test track in the next year or two.
A contractor would embed electric cables underneath the track, enabling coils inside electric cars driving overhead to convert the electromagnetic fields into electricity, extending the range of electric vehicles. In 2013, a South Korean bus system used similar technology on a 7.5 mile route.
Skeptics of the UK plan are question whether the cost of embedding roadways with cable will justify its benefits — particularly as battery technology continues to add range.
The experiments would reportedly run for about 18 months before officials determine whether to hold trials on open roads. Until then, I guess electric drivers will have to continue dragging their extension cords to the nearest gas station.
Last week, China rattled global markets by devaluing its currency by 1.9 percent. Beijing said it was overvalued and the devaluation was meant to catch up to market forces. But a lower currency rate does help China's exporters by making their products cheaper around the world.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund praised China and seemed upbeat about the country’s economic prospects.
But a statement from the Alliance for American Manufacturing president Scott Paul indicates that China’s currency manipulation is undermining U.S. economic recovery, particularly in the manufacturing sector.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, ending currency manipulation would drop our trade deficit by $200 billion and create millions of jobs in the U.S. over three years. About 40 percent of those jobs would be gained in manufacturing.
New York Democrat Senator Charles Schumer feels China's currency manipulation is nothing more than "economic bullying" and says he won't support the TPP trade deal or the TPA legislation without quote “strong, enforceable measures.”
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Do you see foreign currency manipulation hurting manufacturing here in the U.S.? If so, what sorts of smart practices or policies might curb the problem?
Email us or leave your comments below.
That’s all the time we have for today, but check out our sites every Tuesday and Thursday for your next Manufacturing Minute.