Good morning! Today we’re talking about electric cars, bikes, and buses (oh my!). All this and more in today’s issue of The Morning Dump.
Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.
Akio Toyoda Throws Cold Water On EV Dreams
Toyota President Akio Toyoda was in Las Vegas this week, but not to gamble or even catch Aerosmith’s residency (Toyoda is a known “Honkin’ on Bobo” fan). It’s the annual dealer meeting and our man in Aichi had some feels about this whole electrification thing going on. Per Automotive News:
Toyota is still long on hydrogen and is absolutely correct that tossing EVs into developing markets, as we’ve discussed, ain’t gonna work yet. If you love Toyotas and want an EV, no worries, they’re still going to make plenty of those.
That’s Not Gonna Stop New York From Joining California
California has decided to ban non-electrified car sales starting in 2035 which, it’s worth remembering, is about 13 years away. New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced yesterday that New York is following suit. In her statement:
“New York is a national climate leader and an economic powerhouse, and we’re using our strength to help spur innovation and implementation of zero-emission vehicles on a grand scale,” Governor Hochul said. “With sustained state and federal investments, our actions are incentivizing New Yorkers, local governments, and businesses to make the transition to electric vehicles. We’re driving New York’s transition to clean transportation forward, and today’s announcement will benefit our climate and the health of our communities for generations to come.”
If this makes Ford build the plug-in hybrid Maverick then I’m here for it, frankly.
Harley LiveWire SPAC Raises Less Money Than Expected
SPAC, which stands for “So Much Money, Probably, Actually, Crap…” was one of those weird pandemic-era ideas wherein a company could skip the normal, difficult IPO process and go public real quick. It worked for a few companies, but has also failed for many others.
Harley Davidson’s EV brand, LiveWire, was supposed to use a SPAC to bring in a ton of money for the company’s electrification ambitions. Did it work? Here’s Bloomberg on Tuesday:
The company, which went public through a combination with a blank-check firm, brought in $295 million in net proceeds through the listing, a spokesperson said Tuesday. That’s far short of the $545 million anticipated when the deal was announced in December.
After an initial surge, the shares fell 7.1% at 2:27 p.m. in New York, valuing the company at about $2 billion. LiveWire originally expected an equity value of $2.3 billion at close.
It’s Friday, let’s see how they closed yesterday… You know what. Maybe don’t look.
But It’s A Good Time For EV Buses
Citing a huge amount of demand, the EPA is going to basically double the amount of money given to local school districts to increase their electric bus fleets. From Cleveland.com:
The funding is being increased to $965 million, nearly doubling the $500 million that was made available in May. The EPA says in a news release there has been “overwhelming demand” for electric school buses, with about 2,000 applications requesting nearly $4 billion for more than 12,000 buses.
“America’s school districts delivered this message loud and clear – we must replace older, dirty diesel school buses,” EPA Director Michael Regan said in a statement. “Together, we can reduce climate pollution, improve air quality, and reduce the risk of health impacts like asthma for as many as 25 million children who ride the bus every day.”
Absolutely. School buses, which park for long periods of time and run mostly identical and compact routes every day, are the ideal use case for electrification. Also, no one expects them to be light, so tossing some batteries under the floor doesn’t seriously impact performance of a vehicle you don’t want to be fast.
Whelp, time to drop the lid on today’s edition of The Morning Dump. It’s Friday and I’m curious how you feel about electrification. Is it coming soon? A million years away? Is your current or next car going to be electric? I sincerely want a PHEV Maverick and would put down a deposit as soon as they offered one.