The government of Singapore has announced that it will ban further cars from its streets and roads starting in February 2018 . Authorities in the island state want to avoid the country from being clogged up in traffic as space is running out.
Singapore has already limited the number of new vehicles that are allowed to drive every year. It has also increasedregistration fees and import taxes on private vehicles. In Singapore it is four times more expensive to own a car in than elsewhere.
Singapore, which is even smaller than New York, is the most densely populated country in the world. 12 % of the land is taken up by roads. Since 2000, the population has risen by 40% to 5.6 million. Currently, there are 600 000 private cars in operation.
Citizens need a permit to own a car. They can get them at regular auctions that are held in the country. Fees for a ten-year permit cost at least $30,000 .
In addition to banning the registration of new cars, the government is spending 28 billion dollars on public transport projects in the next five years. It is expanding its rail network and has added new bus lines.
announce = to say officially, in public
auction = here: event where people who offer the most money can buy permits
authorities = people or organisations that are in charge of certain things in daily life
avoid = stop something from happening
ban = forbid
billion = a thousand million
citizen = a person who lives in a country and has rights there
clog up = to become blocked
currently = at the moment
densely populated = many people live on a small area of land
elsewhere = in other countries
expand = to make bigger
fee = the money you pay for a service
government = the people who rule a country
in addition = also
increase = to become bigger or more
limit = to stop from becoming more and more
permit = document that allows you to do or have something
public transport = busses, trains, subways etc.. that everyone can use
registration fee = the money you pay for officially owning a car
run out = to become less and less
vehicle = machine or engine that is used to take people from one place to another, such as a car, bus or truck
The last car , a General Motors Holden, has come off the production line in Adelaide, Australia. It ends a 90-year long era of car manufacturing in Australia. At its peak, the Adelaide factory built almost 800 cars a day .
GM Holden is a subsidiary of GM . The closure of Australia’s last car factory will not only leave almost a thousand workers without a job, but also endanger industries that produce parts for Australian-made cars.
Holden has been an Australian national symbol for many decades. The company, which started out as a family business in the mid 19th century, was bought by General Motors in 1931. In 1948 the FX Holden became the first car to be mass-produced in Australia. By 1960, every second car manufactured in Australia was a Holden. The company’s most popular car was the Commodore, which was introduced in 1978.
Since World War II a number of foreign auto manufacturers, including Toyota, Mitsubishi have opened and closed car production plants in Australia. Ford shut down its last plant a year ago.
There are many reasons behind the decline of Australia’s car industry. Through free trade agreements automobile makers no longer have benefits when producing in Australia. Other reasons are high wages and production costs as well as a small domestic market of 24 million.
As the Australian dollar became stronger the country’s exports became more expensive. Holden cars became less competitive , while imported foreign cars were cheaper . Since 2001 Australia’s government has been pouring in $ 5.5 billion into the car industry.
Even though Australia’s car industry has come to an end , the GM Holden will still be available from other manufacturing plants around the world.
agreement = when people, companies or countries promise to do something
available = it can be bought
benefit = advantage, help you do or get something
century = a hundred years
competitive = to be more successful than others
closure = to be closed
decade = ten years
decline = when something becomes less important
domestic = home
foreign = from another country
endanger = to put something in danger
era = period of time
foreign = from another country
manufacture = produce, make
mass-produce = to make something in large numbers so that it can be sold cheaply
peak = when it was most successful
plant = factory
pour = here: give
production line = products move along a line of workers who make or check each part
subsidiary = company that is owned or controlled by a larger company
Sidewalk Labs, a Google company, has announced plans to build a futuristic city in Toronto, Canada. The new urban area, called Sidewalk Toronto, aims at turning the waterfront of Lake Ontario into a playground for city developmentand a testing site for new technologies.
The project wants to make cities cheaper, healthier and even more exciting to live in . The new city will offer its residents ultra-fast WiFi connections, lanes for self-driving cars and sustainableenergy sources. Thousands of sensors will report pollution and noise levels, as well as monitor traffic and levels of carbon monoxide.
Planners of Sidewalk Toronto want to find new solutions for overpopulation, waste management , traffic , pollution and other urban problems. Several companies have said that they will make their services available to the new city.
Planners estimate that the project will cost around 1 billion dollars. However, it will also offer tens of thousands of people a place to live, work and have fun. Eventually, similar projects may spread to other parts of the world, helping to build smarter and greener cities.
Google has also announced that it plans to move its Canadian headquarters to Sidewalk Toronto.
aim = wants to , plans to
announce = to officially say something in public
available = here: something that people can use
carbon monoxide = poisonous gas that produces carbon when it is burned
development = to become bigger, more modern and advanced
estimate = think about how much something will cost
eventually = as time goes on, slowly
futuristic = something that looks unusual and very modern
headquarters = the main building or offices used by a large company
however = but
lane = one of two or many areas on the road that keeps cars apart
monitor = watch, observe
overpopulation = too many people live on a small area of land
resident = here: a person who lives in a city
services = work or help that a company gives you
similar = almost the same
solution = way of dealing with a problem
spread = move to another place
sustainable = something that can be used without causing danger to the environment or nature
urban = about a city
waste management = way of getting rid of unwanted materials and dirty water
waterfront = part of a city or town that is next to the sea or lake
WiFi connection = connecting computers and other machines to the Internet by using radio signals
According to a new report, diesel cars have caused thousands of premature deaths in Europe in the past few years. These deaths could have been avoided if countries had met anti-pollution standards. The recently published paper comes almost two years after the Volkswagen scandal, in which the German car maker was caught cheating on emission tests.
Europe is a continent with about a hundred million diesel-driven vehicles, almost twice as many as in all the other countries of the world combined. Years ago governments and car makers encouraged consumers to buy diesel cars because they were cheaper, used less fuel and produced less carbon dioxide. Many governments also offered tax reductions if people bought diesel cars. What has not been known until now is that diesel cars produce more nitrogen oxides, which may cause lung diseases.
Italy, Germany and France were the countries that recorded the most premature deaths from diesel-polluted vehicles. Especially diesel trucks that drive in denselypopulated areas contribute to the high level of pollution.
The Volkswagen scandal also shown that emission tests are not accurate and that in some cases diesel vehicles emit up to 4 times more substances than they do when tested in a lab.
Since the scandal broke , governments in Europe and elsewhere have been trying to get people to buy more petrol-driven cars. They have become more efficient than diesel vehicles and the difference in prices are not not as high any more.
according to = as said by …
accurate = detailed; exact
anti-pollution standards = laws that are made to keep pollution levels in a country low
avoid = stop ; not happen
carbon dioxide = gas that is produced when animal or people breathe out or when carbon is burned in the air
cheat = here: to trick people and not tell them the truth
combined = together
contribute = to help make something happen
densely populated = when many people live in a small area
efficient = if something works well
emission test = testing how much gas or dirty substances are sent into the air
emit = send into the atmosphere
encourage = to say that people should do something
especially = above all
fuel = liquid used to produce energy and make a car drive
government = the people who rule a country
nitrogen oxide = combination of nitrogen and oxygen
paper = report
petrol-driven = run with normal petrol, not diesel
premature = something that happens before the natural time
record = write down information
substance = material
tax reduction = to pay less tax than you normally would
vehicle = machine with an engine that is used to transport people or products