#42. 🚚EPA's new truck emission rules | ⛽️Porsche's "eFuel" | 🔋USPS 100% EV by 2026
Plus: More frequent La Niñas | Congress' $1B climate aid | McDonald's solar power | Stellantis' Michigan solar | Kia's 576hp EV CUV supercar | Audi goes 100% EV
🌡 CLIMATE CHANGE
La Niña, a climate pattern that typically occurs every few years and brings warmer, drier weather to Central Texas, has been happening more often in recent years. This is unexpected, as climatologists have predicted that in a warming world, there should be more El Niños, which bring wetter, colder weather to Texas in the winter, rather than La Niñas. A study published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggests that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which is the cycle of warming and cooling that affects the tropical Pacific Ocean, has become more frequent and intense due to climate change. However, the study also suggests that other factors, such as melting ice in Antarctica, may also be contributing to the increase in La Niña events.
The new regulations require significant reductions in emissions for both gasoline and diesel engines, as well as longer-lasting emissions equipment and better support for maintaining it. The rules apply to engines starting with the 2027 model year and are expected to lead to 48% reduction in NOx emissions, 8% reduction in particulate emissions, 23% reduction in volatile organic compound emissions, and 18% reduction in carbon monoxide emissions by 2045. The EPA expects the new regulations to result in 2,900 fewer premature deaths, 6,700 fewer hospital and emergency room visits, and $29 billion in annual net benefits. However, the new rules do not address greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide.
The proposal to help with developing countries deal with climate change is less than 1/10th of the $11.4 billion annually originally promised by 2024 for clean energy transitions and climate adaptation in these countries. The funds are part of a $1.7 trillion government spending package that lawmakers are expected to vote on this week. Democrats had sought $3.4 billion for global climate programs, but Republicans opposed what they referred to as "radical environmental and climate policies" in the spending bill.
🔋 CLEAN ENERGY
McDonald's has signed agreements with Enel North America to purchase renewable energy from the Blue Jay solar project in Texas, which is expected to generate an average of 470,000 MWh of renewable energy annually, avoiding 170,000 metric tons of carbon emissions each year. The project is set to be completed in 2023, and McDonald's and its suppliers will also purchase the associated renewable energy certificates. This move is part of McDonald's efforts to achieve net zero aspirations and address climate change.
Porsche has begun producing synthetic eFuel at a new plant in Chile. eFuel is made from water and carbon dioxide using renewable energy sources. The fuel is intended as a supplement to electric vehicles and allows internal combustion engine vehicles to operate in a nearly carbon-neutral manner. Porsche hopes to sell 145 million gallons of eFuel on the open market each year by the end of the decade.
Automaker Stellantis and energy company DTE Energy have announced plans to add 400 MW of solar projects in Michigan, which will generate enough clean energy to power 130,000 homes and avoid over 670,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Stellantis aims to reach carbon neutrality by 2038 and the Michigan solar projects will reduce the company's North American carbon emissions by 50% and manufacturing emissions by 30%. The projects will be powered through DTE's MIGreenPower program, which is one of the largest voluntary renewable energy programs in the US and has enrolled 800 businesses and 75,000 homes since it was launched three years ago.
🚗 AUTONOMOUS & ELECTRIC VEHICLES
Kia's EV6 GT is a fast and capable electric vehicle with impressive acceleration, reaching 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 161 mph. It has a 77.4 kWh battery and an 800V charging system that can charge the car from 10% to 80% in 18 minutes under optimal conditions. The GT has a range of 206 miles on the EPA cycle, which is lower than other EV6 models due to its heavy motors and larger tires, but Kia expects the EPA test to change next year, which should increase the GT's range. The EV6 GT is priced at $8,000 less than its main competitors, the Tesla Model Y Performance and the Mustang Mach-e GT performance. It performed well on the track, with impressive cornering and braking capabilities and a lack of sound both inside and outside the car. Overall, the EV6 GT is a strong offering in the electric vehicle market.
The US Postal Service (USPS) has announced that it will purchase at least 66,000 battery electric delivery vehicles from defense contractor Oshkosh as part of its 106,000 vehicle acquisition plan for deliveries between now and 2028. Additionally, 21,000 commercial off-the-shelf vehicles are expected to be battery electric. The EVs will replace the USPS's aging fleet of over 220,000 vehicles and will be funded by $3 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act, with $1.29 billion allocated to purchasing electric trucks and $1.71 billion spent on upgrading charging infrastructure. The USPS also plans to spend $6.6 billion from its own budget, mainly on heavy-duty trucks and other non-delivery vehicles, for a total of almost $10 billion to electrify the largest civilian fleet in the federal government.
Audi is preparing to convert its entire network of global production factories to manufacture electric vehicles (EVs) by 2029. The company's board member for production and logistics, Gerd Walker, announced that the company's "plan for the production of the future" includes converting its network of global factories to produce purely EVs as part of its transformation into a provider of sustainable premium mobility. The company aims to cut annual factory costs in half by 2033, aligning with when it plans to phase out combustion models, and will continue to digitalize and streamline its manufacturing processes with solutions like Edge Cloud 4 Production.
🎉 THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY!
Just a heads-up that this Friday — Future Perfect #44 — will be my last issue until after the holidays, so please be sure to help me get some more subscribers until then; don’t forget to take my quick survey to let me know how you’re liking Future Perfect; and I’ll see you back here tomorrow! -Marc