Skoda Octavia with natural gas – efficient driving (updated)

Have you ever tried to drive a natural gas car? I can say it has nothing special in it. It feels like you are driving a normal petrol or hybrid car. The main difference is the energy source and in this case, the compressed natural gas (CNG) is to make the driving more environment friendly and efficient.

According to the company information the Skoda Octavia 1,5 TSI CNG car has two tanks, with maximum capacity of 97 litres or about 17 of the gas at the pressure of 200 bar. They are in the form of underbody tanks and one car drive about 480 km with the one gas filling. One can really say that the driving with the natural gas is efficient. The combined consumption according to new standard is 6,4 m3 and the co2 emissions (also combined) are 115 g/km. The car has also a petrol tank with 9 litres.

The co2 emissions seems to be relative high, but compared to normal petrol the emissions are about 25 % less than with the same kind of petrol car.

But how about the driving itself and the car otherwise? I would say the car is a very good family car with the new energy-efficient thinking. It has plenty of space for normal driving and for four people. One can also transfer some sporting goods for example.

The basic functions in the car are well-placed and useful. One can say this car is very easy to drive and handle. The new Octavia delivery time is about 2-3 month and for example in Finland the natural gas price is about 20 euros for one tank filling for the 480 km ride.

The car is produced in Czechoslovakia and it is part of the global Volkswagen Group (VOW3).

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Yandex Taxi to issue new shares in IPO – Reuters

Russia´s largest online taxi service Yandex Taxi is likely to sell new shares in its initial public offering. According to Reuters the company representative COO Greg Abovsky told that the company has not decided on a stock exchange, or the timing or the size of its IPO.

-We consider the Moscow Exchange an important exchange, he told Reuters and added that most likely there would be primary shares, not secondary in the IPO.

Yandex Taxi and Uber combined their resources in Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakstan in 2017. Uber has 36,6 % of the shares, Yandex 59,3 % and Yandex Taxi staff the rest.

The US ride-hailing company Uber´s (UBER)  IPO was in May and the company listed its shares on Nyse in New York with the market value of 82 billion dollars. The rival company Lyft  (LYFT) listed its shares in Nasdaq already in April with the market value of 24,3 billion dollars.

Uber has also expanded its service offerings from taxi to flying taxi service in New York and customers can now ride from Manhattan to JF Kennedy and Newark airports with 199 dollars. The company has also announced it will start electric-flying taxi service in Australia, Melbourne next year, while the other piloting cities are Dallas and Los Angeles in the US.

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Volvo and Uber to present the self-driving car

Volvo Cars (VOLVB), a leader in automotive safety, and Uber (UBER), the leading ride-hailing firm, have presented a jointly developed production car capable of driving by itself. This is the next step in the strategic collaboration between the companies.

– Uber and Volvo Cars entered a joint engineering agreement in 2016 and have since developed several prototypes aimed at accelerating the companies’ self-driving car development. The Volvo XC90 SUV is the first production car that in combination with Uber’s self-driving system is capable of fully driving itself, the Volvo says in the press release.

According to Volvo, the most important features of Volvo Cars’ autonomous drive-ready production vehicle include several back-up systems for both steering and braking functions as well as battery back-up power.

-By the middle of the next decade we expect one-third of all cars we sell to be fully autonomous. Our agreement with Uber underlines our ambition to be the supplier of choice to the world’s leading ride-hailing companies, the Volvo Cars CEO Håkan Samuelsson stated.

 

 

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Travelling in Basel: Sustainable hotel Gaia

 

 

Swiss boutique hotel Gaia was established in 1929 as a family-owned hotel in Basel. Nowadays the hotel is still private held and one of the focus areas is sustainability This 4-star-hotel  has a slogan, which means that people should come as a guest, but leave as  a friend.

I had the pleasure to discuss more about the hotel management and catering with one of the founders, with Mr  Luca  Trudu. According to him, the hotel in integrating the sustainability issues into the hotel management as soon as possible.

What does it make for a perfect meal?

One can of course start with the design, but if you think that you are in a restaurant the setting as a whole package, a picture is essential. The colors, structure and layout make the first impression. And after that the taste and ingredients matter.

When I entered the Gaia hotel with the popup  Restaurant in Basel, I first noticed the magnificent wood decorations on the wall. The old building could be telling its history.

The starter was fish. Must say that the packsge was very good with vegetables. Some new mexican  flavour was ln place and the taste was surprising but good.

The main course and the desert continued the same line.  The knowledge and knowhow were superb.The main course was hot chicken, naan-alike bread and rice and the desert was panacotta with chai tea flavor with fig purée and raspberry coulis.

– To make surprising food one need holistic approach with nature and environment. It is a question of different spices, regions and countries , says Jay Kumar  one of the master chefs in Basel.

He has been in the business over 30 years, for example in Hilton for years, and has  been trained by professionals. His specialty, is  progressive indian food  with European influences , he will be opening a new restaurant in New York, Brooklyn, this summer. It will focus on local, Indian inspired farm to table food.

Jay has been travelling all his life and this gives him also certainty to mix species and flavors. It is clear that his new restaurant will gather customers that enjoy with the same passion the mixed, local food.
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