⚡️ Toyota doubles battery plant investment

Plus, the shocking impact of lawn maintenance and $41 for tiny home startup

Good morning. This is your weekly debrief on what’s driving the clean energy transition.

In today’s email:

  • Toyota doubles battery plant investment

  • The shocking climate impact of lawn maintenance

  • $41M for tiny homes startup

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A few good links

⚡️ Clean Energy

  • US to award up to $440 million for Puerto Rico rooftop solar power - The Biden administration is launching talks with solar energy companies and nonprofit groups in Puerto Rico on awards of up to $440 million for rooftop solar and battery storage systems in the commonwealth where storms have wiped out the grid in recent years, the Energy Department said on Thursday. (via Reuters)

  • Ørsted cancels two offshore wind projects along New Jersey coast - The projects had become financially unworkable due to supply chain problems and increased interest rates, the company said. (via Utility Dive)

  • Biden Administration Approves Biggest Offshore Wind Farm Yet, in Virginia - The decision comes as other projects to build wind farms along the Atlantic Coast have run into trouble. (via NYT)

  • AI threats are here. Are Biden and the energy industry ready? - The administration is outlining an executive order on artificial intelligence as the energy sector monitors the benefits and downsides of AI. (via E&E News by POLITICO)

  • Energy Dept. Pours Billions Into Power Grids but Warns It’s Not Enough - America’s electric grids may need to expand by two-thirds by 2035 to handle future growth in clean energy, the agency said. The nation isn’t on track. (via NYT)

🚙 Mobility & Transport

  • Toyota more than doubles investment and job creation at North Carolina battery plant - Toyota will invest an additional $8 billion in the hybrid and electric vehicle battery factory it’s constructing in North Carolina (via ABC News)

  • Stellantis-UAW deal will bring $5B investment to Belvidere - Stellantis has committed nearly $5 billion to retool Belvidere for a new midsize truck, build an adjacent electric vehicle battery plant and create a “megahub” parts distribution center. (via Chicago Tribune)

  • Autoworkers’ Historic Victory Is a Turning Point in the Climate Culture War - By ensuring electric vehicles produce high-wage union jobs, Shawn Fain has robbed the GOP of some of its talking points. (via The New Republic)

  • From race cars to cement mixers, hydrogen combustion gains interest for decarbonization - Work on hydrogen combustion engine development illustrates how — after more than a century of burning fossil fuels for transportation — motor-vehicle powertrains are splintering toward many technologies. (via Automotive News)

  • This EV startup was going to revolutionize how cars were made – now, it’s on life support - Arrival set out eight years ago to make electric vehicle production "radically more efficient." (via TechCrunch)

🏠 Buildings & Cities

  • Toxic Pesticides Are Sprayed Next to Thousands of US Schools - Inside Climate News - Young children go to schools within just 200 feet of farms where pesticides are likely to be sprayed, a new analysis of farms across the country has found. (via Inside Climate News)

  • How cities can decarbonize delivery in the era of online orders - A new action guide by the National League of Cities points to emerging policies and technologies to combat increasing air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion. (via Smart Cities Dive)

  • Lawn equipment spews ‘shocking’ amount of air pollution, new data shows - “Really inefficient engine technology is, pound for pound, more polluting than cars and trucks.” (via Grist)

Startup funding

  • AESC, a battery maker, recently closed a $1 billion funding round and is preparing for a Series C round led by GIC Pte, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund.

  • Infinitum announced $185 million in Series E funding led by Just Climate with participation from Galvanize Climate Solutions and NGP to expand the company and increase production of sustainable air-core motors for industrial decarbonization.

  • Samara, a startup working on small, pre-fabricated houses, raised $41 million in Series A funding led by Thrive Capital, with participation from investors including 8VC, General Catalyst, New Legacy, SV Angel, Airbnb, Michael Dell, and Airbnb cofounders Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk.

  • Promise Robotics raised $20.8 million CAD in Series A financing from Horizons Ventures, Radical Ventures, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, United Brotherhood of Carpenters, Relay Ventures, and Alate Partners to work on a robotic factory platform for speeding up home building.

  • Kuva Space secured €16.6 million (~$17.6 million) in Series A funding led by Voima Ventures, Nordic Foodtech VC, and Earth VC, with support from private Finnish investors and Business Finland, to enhance its AI analytics platform and hyperspectral satellite imagery services.

  • ESG Flo raised $5.25M in Seed funding from Rho Ignition and Tola Capital with participation from Bain & Company and Contour Venture Partners to work on an AI-powered data infrastructure platform.

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