This Big Carmaker Will Spend Millions to Push Electric Vehicles in Sacramento

The Sacramento Bee – July 27, 2017

Volkswagen’s plans for spending hundreds of millions of dollars promoting electric vehicles in California, part of its punishment for a massive air pollution scandal, won approval Thursday from the California Air Resources Board. The program includes designating Sacramento as its first “Green City,” where Volkswagen will spend $44 million developing an electric car-sharing service, building car-charging stations and providing other benefits over the next 30 months.

Airbnb Teams Up With the NAACP to Fight Racism on its Platform

The Verge – July 26, 2017

Airbnb and the NAACP announced a partnership today to promote the rental service’s platform in communities of color. The move is a way to both boost the sharing economy as an income stream for black Americans and help increase the diversity of hosts to curb discrimination. Airbnb has grappled for years now with racism on its platform, with hosts discriminating against people of color and other minorities both in the US and abroad when deciding who they permit to rent their homes or apartments.

Taco Bell Partners with Lyft to Offer ‘Ride-Thru’ Meals

San Francisco Chronicle – July 25, 2017

Taco Bell is testing a new service that allows users of the ride-sharing app Lyft to add a Taco Bell stop to their ride with the click of a button. The companies have announced “Taco Mode,” an option for Lyft app users. Taco Bell says Lyft users who select Taco Mode get a custom menu, a taco-themed car and a free taco when they make their “ride-thru” stop at a nearby Taco Bell.

How Two Entrepreneurs Are Bringing the Sharing Economy to Dentistry

Entrepreneur India – July 24, 2017

The twenty-first century has seen cultural and economic changes in many areas, including employment. One of the biggest cultural shifts has to do with sharing – pairing those who have commodities with those who need them. And it’s not just about rides and rooms; the sharing economy is coming to the world of dental employment through the unique, cloud-based startup Cloud Dentistry.

Testing the New Breed of Bike Sharing: We Pitted Spin vs. LimeBike on the Streets of Seattle

GeekWire – July 24, 2017

If you’re in Seattle, you may have noticed a bunch of bikes parked randomly around the city lately, painted bright orange and green. Those are the two new bike-sharing programs in the city: Spin and LimeBike. The competing services are rolling out in Seattle before other major U.S. cities, giving us a front-row seat for a new approach to short-term urban bike rentals — something that the city has struggled with in the past, with the ill-fated Pronto program.

Sensing Weakness, Uber’s Asian Rivals Make $2.5 Billion Play

The New York Times – July 24, 2017

In East Asia, Uber’s biggest rivals smell blood. Grab, the Singapore-based ride-sharing company competing with Uber for dominance in Southeast Asia, said on Monday that it expected to raise $2.5 billion in a new fund-raising round, in part with the help of the onetime major Uber competitor Didi Chuxing, which outmaneuvered its American rival in China.

How to Pay for Tax Cuts? Look to Airbnb Hosts and Etsy Vendors

Bloomberg – July 21, 2017

Airbnb Inc. hosts and Etsy Inc. vendors who have avoided taxes on income from the sharing economy might have to start sharing more with the Internal Revenue Service. Federal rules don’t require such companies to withhold any income taxes on the payments they route to people who provide services or sell items via their online platforms. The companies do have to notify the IRS about some participants’ earnings — but only if they exceed $20,000 and conduct more than 200 transactions a year.