Biden Proposes $174 Billion Investment in Electric Vehicles
President Joe Biden has unveiled an outline of his infrastructure plan, and it includes a proposed $174 billion investment in electric vehicles
. Without going into details, the investment will include funds to help automakers secure materials for electric vehicle production and converting factories. The summary also confirms that this incentive is only going to be for “American-made” electric vehicles.
This is something which is - quite rightly - at the top of the President’s agenda. It forms part of an ambitious climate change/infrastructure plan which has to be put in place if we are anywhere near meeting the climate change goals we need.
What’s interesting, specifically, about this is that it shows exactly how important Biden thinks electric cars are as a part of the overall infrastructure.
EVPassport Launches Open EV Charging Platform
EVPassport has launched the first open EV charging platform
to lower the barriers to EV adoption and allow brands to strengthen customer engagement.
Consisting of brandable hardware and API oriented software, EVPassport allows organizations to integrate the EV charging experience directly into their existing consumer-facing applications and services – providing customers with a branded EV charging experience that is compatible with any vehicle
Anything which can increase the uptake of EVs is good.
The number one claim that people make when hesitating about buying an electric car is that they don’t know where or how to charge them.
Something like this - which can make it easier for charge point operators to link their chargers to things that EV owners already use (apps, web sites etc.) - will always alleviate that fear and is welcome.
MINI Will Switch to Fully-Electric Vehicles by the Early 2030s
MINI plans to launch more EVs after 2023 when it expects to complete work on a new electric car platform which it is jointly developing with China’s Great Wall Motors. The first model to be underpinned by this new platform is believed to be the next-gen MINI Countryman, which will be sold both with ICE power, as well as a fully electric powertrain
Good news: EV models only from Mini from 2025.
Bad news: Still selling older model ICE cars after that date. Why manufacture them at all? And why isn’t the parent company BMW following suit?
The Race to Zero: Can America Reach Net-Zero Emissions by 2050?
Joe Biden wants zero emissions by 2050, but time is ticking. So how will the country have to change over the next 30 years?
If America finally weans itself off planet-heating emissions, the country will look and feel very different.
It’s an appealing vision, according to Eric Larson, a senior research engineer at Princeton University. “In general, it will be a more pleasant place to be living in when we get to net-zero emissions,” he said. “We will have cleaner air and will have done our part to avoid disastrous climate change. That’s a good thing for us and the rest of the world.”
Many people decry the cost of going to zero carbon (or net-zero, whichever they wish to pursue). They seem to think that this money is too much for a country to deal with. Alternate arguments are that the money could be used in a much better way (Universal basic income is mentioned, or paying off student debt). Whilst these points are valid, they are all fallacious arguments. This is for one very simple reason. The price of NOT doing these things is an order of magnitude higher than doing then.
It is literally a case of ‘pay me now or pay me much more later’.
Sure, there are details and final figures that can be finagled - do we really need to spend $25B per decade for new charger sockets? - but as a whole, the money is something that needs to be provided. Opponents can argue and debate about the timing of some of these things - will we need to focus on wind ahead of solar, or solar ahead of wind? What is the timeline for scaling back on gas and oil for things such as heating? - but at the end of the day, these are, more or less, immoveable goals. They have to be done.
The greenwashing taking place by some oil and gas corporations is contributing to this feeling that the problem is being overblown, the timelines are overly aggressive and the money is too much.
This has to stop.
The Battery That Will Finally Unlock Massless Energy Storage
This is, of course, still something in the lab stage and there is a long way to go until it gets to the stage of being incorporated in vehicles.
Fundamentally using the battery as part of the structure makes sense. It reduces the overall weight of the vehicle.
My question is what happens in an accident? Obviously, there’s the risk of a short circuit and the battery catching fire (although this risk is very much overblown). But secondly, there’s the cost issue. Batteries are still expensive (even at $100 per kWh which is where they’re heading). So if there’s an accident with structural damage to the ‘chassis’ of the car this will - by definition - be damage to the battery. How will these replacements happen? Can we just take a few cells that are damaged and replace them? What about if the damage is quite extensive? Would a write off be more likely on a car like this because of the embedded cost of the batteries in the structure?
This will certainly have an impact on insurance rates.