Wall Street Journal: Toyota Maps Out Decline of Conventionally Fueled Cars

Toyota Motor Corp. is plotting a road to near-extinction for its conventionally fueled cars as the industry grapples with the fallout of Volkswagen AG’s diesel-emissions scandal.

The world’s best-selling automaker said Wednesday that by 2050, gas-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel-cell cars and electric vehicles will account for most of its global vehicle sales, without giving a detailed breakdown.

That means gasoline- and diesel-engine powered cars, currently accounting for roughly 85% of Toyota global vehicle sales, would be near zero, Senior Managing Officer Kiyotaka Ise said.

BBC: Tesla Launches 'Autopilot' Update But Urges Caution

Tesla has launched a software update for its vehicles -- enabling the cars to have an "autopilot" mode.

While not fully self-driving, the software means the Model S and new Model X can "automatically steer down the highway, change lanes, and adjust speed in response to traffic."

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said the autopilot mode was designed to increase driver confidence on the road. However, Musk said users adopting the software -- available in North America from Thursday -- should exercise caution while using it.

Atlantic: Bill Gates on Creating an 'Energy Miracle'

In his offices overlooking Lake Washington, just east of Seattle, Bill Gates grabbed a legal pad recently and began covering it in his left-handed scrawl. He scribbled arrows by each margin of the pad, both pointing inward. The arrow near the left margin, he said, represented how governments worldwide could stimulate ingenuity to combat climate change by dramatically increasing spending on research and development.

“The push is the R&D,” he said, before indicating the arrow on the right. “The pull is the carbon tax.” Between the arrows he sketched boxes to represent areas, such as deployment of new technology, where, he argued, private investors should foot the bill. He has pledged to commit $2 billion himself.

“Yes, the government will be somewhat inept,” he said brusquely, swatting aside one objection as a trivial statement of the obvious. “But the private sector is in general inept. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly? By far most of them.”

BusinessGreen: Former U.N. Climate Chief Is Hopeful About Paris Talks

The former United Nations climate change chief Yvo de Boer has warned countries over the slow pace of talks in the run-up to the Paris summit at the end of this year, urging negotiators to avoid a repeat of the failed Copenhagen negotiations in 2009, which he presided over.

Speaking to BusinessGreen, de Boer, who led the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat from 2006 to 2010, said there were many reasons to be optimistic the Paris talks would deliver a successful international agreement. But he also raised fears that countries have not even started to discuss the language of the final text.

Bloomberg: Half of World's Coal Output Is Unprofitable, Moody's Says

Half of the world’s coal isn’t worth digging out of the ground at current prices, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The global metallurgical coal benchmark has fallen to the lowest level in a decade, settling last month at $89 a metric ton.

“Further production cuts are necessary to bring the market back into balance,” Moody’s analysts including Anna Zubets-Anderson wrote in a report earlier this month.