🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE
Toyota among the “2022 world’s most obstructive companies on climate policy” with oil giants (quick read)
Toyota is included amongst the likes of oil giants ExxonMobile, Chevron, and Russia’s largest petroleum producers, ranking 10th most negatively influential company with respect to climate policy for its reluctance to embrace EVs in place of hydbrids.
Plans to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5°C by 2030 is no longer possible, and 2.5°C is now probable by century’s end. Even with optimal outcomes, including rich countries’ assistance to poorer countries, emissions could only fall some 3.6% by 2030 relative to 2019 emissions levels, a substantial deficit from the 43% drop required to achieve the 1.5°C target.
Citing the example of Dhaka, Bangladesh, climate change-related deaths such as extreme heat and weather events will be responsible for two times more deaths than the country’s current annual death rate due to all cancers, by 2100, and some 10x more than its current annual road traffic deaths. Faisalabad, Pakistan, could experience more climate-related deaths than stroke, currently the country’s third leading cause of death. And in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, climate-related deaths could rank fifth, just above
🔋 CLEAN ENERGY
Despite several global shipping companies’ commitments to achieving net-zero emissions in the coming decades, oil companies’ reluctance to sell to them greener methanol fuels at affordable prices makes the shippers’ goals an ever receding one.
A team of Finnish entrepreneurs have developed an affordable sand battery comprised of a 7 m (23 ft) tall container filled with 100 tons of low-grade builders’ sand. Wind turbines and solar panels heat the sand to 600C (1,112°F) at which point it can store up to 8MWh of thermal energy, enough to power 100 homes and a public swimming pool as it discharges 200 kW through its heat exchange pipes.
Danzao Town, in Foshan City in Guangdong Province is called Xiahu Hydrogen Valley for its aspirations to be the Silicon Valley of hydrogen energy. The 48 sq-km (18.5 sq-mi) town includes more than 40 businesses built around hydrogen energy supply.
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🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
In a world first announcement, Hyundai is now partnered with WeRide to build an “unmanned hydrogen vehicle demonstration area” in the Huangpu district of Guangzhou. Hyundai already has its Nexo SUV and has also produced hydrogen fuel cell trucks and buses; the plan is to offer hydrogen fuel cell versions of all its commercial vehicles by 2028. WeRide, with funding from Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and offices in San Jose, CA, already provides its autonomous driving sensor stack for street cleaning vehicles and a driverless bus showcased in Saudi Arabia. The latest version of its AV sensor suite includes 12 cameras and seven solid-state LiDARs.
The CEO and founder of Luminar, a leading developer of LiDAR, has stated that their goal has never been to replace the human driver, but rather to augment it, on the premise that true autonomous, driverless vehicles, are at least 10 years away still.
A college student is planning the first ever electric plane flyover of a sporting event on November 19, 2022. But the plane is based in Hartford, Connecticut, while the football stadium is in Easton, Pennsylvania. The plane only has a 21 KWh battery pack, and needs to land with a 30-minute reserve (about one hour of flight time), so it will need to recharge three times en route. Due to a lack of infrastructure, the student has enlisted the help of Ford F-150 Lightning owners — and one dealership — since those vehicles can charge other devices and vehicles.