Weekend roundup: Tesla unveils Cybertruck, US launches $20 bn in cleantech grants, and more
Tesla built its first Cybertruck, an EV pickup model it showcased four years ago (where an engineer cracked its so-called 'armor' glass). The vehicle gives Tesla entry into one of the most profitable segments of the US auto market, but arrived after a two-year delay that CEO Elon Musk blamed on a shortage of components. Deliveries could start this year, but mass production could take time. Tesla is eying production of 250,000 Cybertrucks a year.
The US Environmental Protection Agency launched two grants worth $20 billion to support clean energy investments in poorer areas. The programs will funnel cash to smaller cleantech projects around USA — such as installation of rooftop solar and EV chargers — via national clean institutions, and partner with NGOs to provide small lenders in poorer areas with capital and technical assistance to fund similar projects.
The White House is cracking the whip on biofuels. The US Environmental Protection Agency rejected 26 petitions from 15 companies seeking exemption from mixing biofuels into their output for the compliance periods 2016-2018 and 2021-2023, in a reversal from Donald Trump's time. Oil refiners in the US must blend biofuels into their gasoline or buy credits from those that do, else seek an exemption. Last month, the US increased the amount of biofuels to be blended over 2023-25.
Toshiba and General Electric plan to set up a supply chain for offshore wind power equipment in Japan, involving around 100 small firms in the areas where the capacity is to be installed, the Nikkei newspaper said. Toshiba itself could begin production for the chain in 2026. Japan plans to set up 10 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2023 and up to 45 GW by 2040, and last month accepted bids for 1.8 GW.