Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we have reports from The Economist, Los Angeles Times and Wired.
Why Sweden has so few road deaths – The Economist
And it isn't just because the Volvo V70 has long been one of the best-selling cars there. It's helped that Sweden is one of the world's richest countries, but effective road planning has been the key to preventing deaths.
In 1997 the Swedish parliament wrote into law a "Vision Zero" plan, promising to eliminate road fatalities and injuries altogether. "We simply do not accept any deaths or injuries on our roads," says Hans Berg of the national transport agency. Swedes believe—and are now proving—that they can have mobility and safety at the same time.
Chauffeurs: a driving force for stars on Oscar night – Los Angeles Times
Perhaps an overlooked part of what makes the night of the Academy Awards happen. And a lot of other important nights for people.
The limos are gassed and the chauffeurs, GPS apps glowing from hand-helds, are plotting routes for Sunday's Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The drivers are the captains of a sleek, passing fleet of more than 1,200 cars and SUVs that will navigate police perimeters, barricades, bomb squads, helicopter searchlights, hundreds, maybe thousands of fans and probably a few stalkers lingering beyond the paparazzi flash.
The power Elon Musk seeks is, well, power. As we suggested this week, the plan for the Gigafactory to make 500,000 batteries by 2020 doesn't have to mean Tesla's going to make that many cars in that same year.
The same basic lithium-ion tech that fuels Tesla's cars also runs most of today's other mobile gadgets, large and small. If Tesla really produces batteries at the scale it's promising, cars could become just one part of what the company does. One day, Tesla could be a company that powers just about everything, from the phone in your pocket to the electrical grid itself.
Photo: Getty Images