The powers that be have the chance to sign on to a pretty low-key and non-binding pledge to bring emissions to zero. You might not be surprised at how few carmakers (and car-making nations) have signed on. All that and more in The Morning Shift for November 10, 2021.
Yesterday we wrote about how countries that specialize in making cars have not been singing on to COP26. Now we have a full list of signatories, and the pickings are slim, as far as actual car companies go:
- Daimler (for Mercedes-Benz)
- Jaguar Land Rover
According to a Financial Times’ transportation reporter, we can add BYD to that list:
This means that four out of five of the biggest car companies in the world have not signed on, as Campbell points out in the FT:
The pledge to be announced at COP26 on Wednesday covers a quarter of the world’s cars and is backed by manufacturers including Daimler, Ford, General Motors and China’s BYD, as well as governments including Canada and Chile.
Yet despite months of pressure by the UK, four of the world’s five largest carmakers — Volkswagen, Toyota, the Renault-Nissan alliance, and Hyundai-Kia — have not signed up.
China, the world’s largest car market, did not sign. The US, the second largest, was also absent from the agreement by Tuesday evening, although individual states including California, New York and Washington backed the deal, as well as cities such as Dallas, Charleston, Atlanta and Seattle. São Paulo in Brazil and Buenos Aires in Argentina also joined the pledge.
The agreement commits the signatories to ending the sale of new cars that produce emissions in “leading markets” by 2035, and globally by 2040.
Going net zero isn’t as easy as just going all-electric, as Volvo is keen to point out:
Tesla is muscling in on BMW and Lexus here in the States thanks to the Model 3 and Y, as Automotive News reports:
Tesla totaled 230,855 vehicle registrations through the first three quarters of the year, passing Mercedes with 213,708, Experian data showed. Lexus was in second place with 245,864 and BMW was leading the market with 259,237 in the nine-month period.
In this context, seeing Daimler sign on to COP26 makes some sense.
And on that same thread, investments in making batteries is getting more than a little series, according to Reuters analysis:
Global automakers are planning to spend more than half a trillion dollars on electric vehicles and batteries through 2030, according to a Reuters analysis, boosting investments aimed at luring car buyers away from fossil-fuel vehicles and meeting increasingly tough decarbonization targets.
Less than three years ago, a similar analysis by Reuters found car companies planned to spend $300 billion on EVs and related technologies. But looming zero-carbon mandates in cities such as London and Paris and countries from Norway to China have lent additional urgency to the industry’s EV-related investment commitments.
The most recent analysis shows automakers planning to spend an estimated $515 billion over the next five to 10 years to develop and build new battery-powered vehicles and shift away from combustion engines.
Again, this is all going to feel very silly when we all have huge wood gas tanks strapped to the front and backs of our cars for our synthetic fuel.
Workhorse has been struggling ever since it didn’t win the contract to make EVs for the USPS. That might be a good thing, as a new Verge report lays out:
The new CEO of struggling EV startup Workhorse admitted Tuesday that he’s not sure the company’s C-1000 electric van can stand up to the kind of punishing work required by delivery companies. In other words, Workhorse’s EV isn’t a workhorse.
“As I’ve talked to the big customers at UPS, FedEx, others, they expect to have these trucks last 15 to 20 years and go 15 to 20,000 miles a year and carry up to seven or 8,000 pounds of payload,” CEO Rick Dauch said during a revealing conference call about the company’s third-quarter financial results. “I’m pretty darn sure the C-1000 can’t meet those kind of stringent requirements. Okay? That’s the bad news.”
The good news is that even though the vehicle doesn’t work very well, the few companies that still want orders can’t wait to get them, whenever that happens.
This is a good one from Jalopnik alum Aaron Gordon in Vice on the guy behind “Save Parking Structure 3.” The premise is simple: there’s a terrible parking lot taking up space in the middle of Santa Monica. Tearing it down and replacing it with much-needed affordable housing would be a perfect use of the space. Fighting to block the project is the imaginatively-named “Save Parking Structure 3" campaign, led by local landlord John Alle:
[A]fter speaking with Alle for an hour, it was also obvious this lawsuit isn’t really about Parking Structure 3. It is about what Alle perceives as a deteriorating state of downtown Santa Monica and his frustrations in getting the city council to address those concerns. It is a pattern Camner of Abundant Housing LA recognizes from opposition to projects across the county, that specific projects tend to be catalysts that ignite existing discontent rather than concentrated actions for clearly-defined reasons. Repeat these fights project after project, in city after city, across the entire country, and you end up with a country some 6.8 million units short of adequately housing its people.
The whole thing is a good read. Find it here.
Reverse: One Of The Greatest And Most Important Automotive Innovations Has Nothing To Do With Engines, Or Suspension, Or Brakes
...but rather being able to see.
My reading over coffee and oatmeal this morning was this incredible company history from now-defunct carbon fiber pioneer Aegis bikes based up on the top of the Maine-New Brunswick border that almost immediately delves into shit-talking Kestrel bikes, the still-going concern made up of former Aegis employees. I am obsessed.