On Oct. 15, Ford announced that it is expanding its European plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) pilot project to Cologne in Germany. The United States car manufacturer aims to analyze the real-world benefits of these energy-efficient vehicles for the environment, commercial vehicle owners and operators.

The Ford Motor Company is looking into blockchain technology and geofencing to accurately track the number of “green miles” driven by its energy-efficient vehicles.

Analyzing real-world benefits of energy-efficient vehicles

The pilot, which is also conducting tests on the streets of London and Valencia, will put nine Ford Transit Custom Plug-In Hybrid vans and one Tourneo Custom Plug-In Hybrid people-mover to the test in a variety of real‑world use cases.

By recording all the metadata on the blockchain, the car company hopes to optimize the environmental benefits of its fleet of PHEV vehicles. Ford Europe director Mark Harvey said:

“Ford is committed to delivering new, more environmentally sustainable vehicles that can help address the mobility challenges our cities face. … The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle trials with our partners in the City of Cologne build upon our ongoing electrification programmes elsewhere in Europe, and bring us all closer to meeting our combined urban air quality goals.”

Throughout Europe, cities are introducing low-emission zones in an attempt to tackle air quality challenges, making sure the most polluting vehicles do not enter the city. Ford hopes this geofencing and blockchain technology pilot might help cities to implement and administer these zones. Ford-Werke GmbH chairman Gunnar Herrmann said:

“The blockchain technology we are testing here in Cologne enables secure, tamper-proof tracking and logging of vehicle emissions records, which makes it ideal for the PHEV pilot. Security, trust and transparency of emissions data are of paramount importance to all stakeholders in this project, and are key for our vision of cleaner air in the city.”

Ford testing blockchain payments in cars

Cointelegraph previously reported that Ford, together with BMW, General Motors, Renault and Honda, will start testing a blockchain car identification and payment system next month in the United States.

The partnership between the five major automakers aims to test the vehicle ID system developed under the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative. As part of the project, cars are assigned digital IDs linked to ownership, service history and a wallet allowing the vehicle to automatically pay fees without specialized hardware.

Former Bakkt CEO Sworn Into Senate, Casts 1st Vote to Support Trump

Kelly Loeffler, former CEO at the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)-backed crypto trading platform Bakkt, has been sworn into the United States Senate.

In a Jan. 6 tweet, Loeffler announced that she was sworn into the U.S. Senate by Mike Pence, the Senate’s chief officer, to become Georgia’s newest Senator.

Loeffler casts first vote to support Trump’s pickto lead the Small Business Administration

In the announcement, Loeffler said that she had already cast her first vote to support U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Small Business Administration, an autonomous U.S. government agency designed to assist small businesses in the country.

As reported, Loeffler is replacing Senator Johnny Isakson, 75, who stepped down in December 2019 due to health issues.

Following the appointment to the U.S. Senate in early December, the 49-year-old businesswoman has reportedly been criticized by Trump supporters as “too moderate and inexperienced.” In a brief interview with Time magazine, Loeffler said that she had not spoken to Trump since being appointed. She said:

“I know I have to earn the trust and support of the president … And I’m going to work very hard to do that through my actions and my votes, and I’m confident that that will happen.”

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Loeffler allegedly described herself as “pro-Trump.” Specifically, a person familiar with the matter shared that Loeffler said:

“I’m a lifelong conservative. Pro-Second Amendment. Pro-military. Pro-wall. And pro-Trump. I make no apologies for my conservative values, and will proudly support President Trump’s conservative judges.”

Is Loeffler pro-Bitcoin as well?

While Loeffler’s page on the official website of the U.S. Senate does not specify the name of the “finance firm” where Loeffler served as CEO, the new Georgia’s Senator has emerged as a leader of one of the most ever anticipated Bitcoin-related initiatives, ICE’s Bakkt. Loeffler has been at the forefront of the Bitcoin futures trading platform since its announcement in August 2018 to record the launch of Bakkt in September 2019.

Cointelegraph contacted Loeffler’s press team to learn more about the Senator’s stance towards crypto-related initiatives in the state of Georgia but has not received a response at press time. As the state of Georgia introduced a bill that proposes to accept crypto as a valid form of payment for state taxes and licenses in February 2018, the state appears not to have posted an update on the matter to date.

Meanwhile, President Trump is known for not being a fan of Bitcoin. In July 2019, Trump delivered his first ever comments about Bitcoin, claiming that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not money, while their value is based on thin air.

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