Hopes of Congress taking serious climate action this year are fading, making it very unlikely that America will hit its emissions targets in the coming years.
While government fails to act, at least there’s some good news from the private sector: GM is pouring more money into its EV charging network, Hyundai unveils the Ioniq 6, Panasonic wants to build the biggest EV battery plant in the world in Kansas, America’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer takes a big step towards fleet electrification and while fully autonomous cars may still be a generation or two away, delivery robots are increasingly offering a way for businesses to cut down on car trips.
Hyundai comes out swinging: The Korean automaker unveils the Ioniq 6, a sedan that it hopes will displace the Tesla Model 3 as the world’s best selling electric sedan. It boasts a range of 610 km (379 miles), a whisker above the 602 km of range offered by the Model 3 Long Range. A couple days later Hyundai announced three new EV concepts that it plans to make under its luxury N brand, in hopes of competing with the likes of BMW and Mercedes in the EV space.
VinFast finds cash in Carolina: North Carolina awards Vietnamese automaker VinFast $1.2 billion in incentives to build a $2 billion EV plant near Durham. The company aims to begin making cars at the new site by 2024 and hopes to eventually produce 150,000 annually. Meanwhile, the company opened up six showrooms in California and has plans for dozens more.
Uber faces lawsuit over sex assaults: A group of 550 women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Uber drivers is suing the company in California state court, accusing it of not thoroughly screening drivers and of failing to report crimes committed against customers to law enforcement.
GM kickstarts charger network: Even as Tesla plans to open up its charging network to other vehicles, GM forges ahead with its own network. The Detroit auto giant and Los Angeles-based EVgo will install 2,000 charging stations at travel centers operated by Pilot Flying J, the national truck stop and gas station chain. This is part of a broader $750 million investment in charging infrastructure by GM and EVgo that aims to put in place over 3,500 EV chargers by the end of 2025.
Free GrubHub for Prime members: Amazon announces a deal where Amazon Prime members can get access to free delivery from GrubHub for a year. After that, however, customers will start getting charged the standard $9.99 a month for unlimited fee-free delivery.
…while DoorDash hikes fees: DoorDash is set to increase the minimum that monthly subscribers must buy in order to qualify for free delivery. Currently those who pay $9.99 a month don’t pay delivery fees as long as they order at least $12 of prepared food or $35 of groceries per month. The company says in an email to subscribers that the minimum “may increase” depending on the store, city and time of day the order is placed. Like many other delivery apps, DoorDash has yet to turn a profit despite the massive surge in demand during the pandemic. It may be realizing that it simply needs to charge more.
Another Autopilot departure: Andrej Karpathy, who led Tesla’s Autopilot division for the last five years, is leaving along with the 229 employees in the division who are being laid off. It’s not clear whether Karpathy chose to quit or was shown the door, but he says he has no concrete plans for what he’ll do next. Autopilot, facing scrutiny from regulators over crashes, now only has 47 employees remaining.
Walmart tells Canoo to steer clear of Amazon: In a deal Walmart inked with commercial EV startup Canoo to purchase 4,500 of its electric delivery vehicles, the retail giant inserted a clause barring Canoo from selling its vehicles to its chief rival: Amazon. Canoo, which is desperate for cash, was not in a strong position to quibble with Walmart’s demand. And at least initially the deal is paying off: shares of Canoo surged 50% after the news broke.
The biggest battery plant in the world…in Kansas: Panasonic announces plans for a $4 billion EV battery plant in Kansas that it says will be the biggest in the world
The cost of Manchin’s decision: The Democrats’ failure to pass a climate bill practically assures that America won’t achieve the emissions reduction goals it agreed to in the Paris Climate Accord.
The robots deliver: The day when driverless passenger cars are the norm may be decades away, but in the meantime autonomous robots are delivering. Inc Magazine explores the major implications of delivery robots, including the disappearance of delivery jobs, reduced carbon emissions and reduced costs for companies, including those that have struggled to turn a profit, such as Uber and GrubHub.
Why you can’t get an Uber in London: Vice details the many factors contributing to the difficulty of getting an Uber in the U.K. Rising costs –– due to gas prices, new regulations and Uber’s own service charges –– have prompted drivers to become much more selective about the rides they accept.
Spain tries free transit: Spain becomes the latest country in Europe to try to boost public transit ridership by dramatically reducing fares. The national government will offer free passes for suburban and regional rail service between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31. The policy is being touted as relief from high gas prices, which are hitting suburban commuters particularly hard. Bloomberg CityLab examines the new policy and the source of the problems that led to its enactment.
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