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EVs and the High Seas
Norway‘s Yara Birkeland is claimed to be the world’s first fully autonomous electric container ship. The vessel is expected to replace around 40,000 truck trips per year, having a tremendous effect on reducing CO2 emissions. Commercial operations are scheduled to begin at the end of 2021. The e-ship measures 80 meters long, 15 meters wide, and 12 meters deep and can carry up to 120 20-foot containers. The ship’s range is around 65 miles with a maximum speed of 13 knots and a cruising speed of around 6-7 knots. The ship will operate only in Norwegian waters. Maybe other major port countries will follow suit?
Mail and Charge
The USPS has around 31,000 retail locations nationwide and members of congress are pitching the idea of using these locations to create an EV charging network. This proposition will help remote and small communities get the infrastructure of charging stations and help the Biden Administration get closer to the goal of 500,000 charging stations by 2030.
The bipartisan infrastructure bill (H.R. 3684) is slated for a House vote next month and includes $7.5 billion for charging infrastructure. Democrats are also planning to include climate and electrification spending in the $3.5 trillion package they plan to enact using reconciliation. Before charging stations are available at every post office, USPS’s priority is to complete the modernization of its mail delivery fleet, including deploying electric delivery vehicles.
USPS has awarded a 10-year contract to Oshkosh Corp. to manufacture 165,000 vehicles, including electric vehicles. If the bill passes, Congress can then determine if the Postal Service can contribute to public-facing charging in specific locations.
Xiaomi Gets Serious
Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi has officially registered its electric vehicle business and said the division has entered a ‘substantial development phase.’ Xiaomi E.V., Inc., has been set up with a previously registered capital of 10 billion yuan, or $1.55 billion. Xiaomi E.V. has 300 employees, and the business is led by the group’s founder and CEO, Lei Jun. In March, the company announced plans to launch an electric car business and invest $10 billion over the next decade. Xiaomi also recently purchased the AV driving firm Deepmotion to improve technologies on its future EVs.
Lotus Going All Out
UK-based automaker Lotus announced four new electric vehicles, including 2 SUVs. In 2022, Lotus will debut an E-segment SUV codenamed Type 132. In 2023, Lotus plans to launch an E-segment 4-door coupe Type 133. In 2025, Lotus will follow with the Type 134, a new D-segment SUV. In 2026, Lotus will launch an all-new electric sports car, Type 135.
Lotus has two factories in the United Kingdom but also announced a new global headquarters in Wuhan, China. This new facility comes after being acquired by Geely in 2017 and will increase its production capacity to 150,000 vehicles per year. Don’t forget to pre-order your $2 million Evija EV hypercar from Lotus.
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