14 Top Cleantech Stories of the Week: Tesla Cybertruck, BYD Vessel, & More!

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What were the biggest and best cleantech stories of the past week? Here’s my take.

Electric Vehicles

First of all, the cleantech story of the week that must have gotten the most headlines worldwide was the beginning of Tesla Cybertruck deliveries. Before the event, I wrote a piece on what to expect. To toot my own horn a little bit, that all seemed to be on point, particularly my general estimate on how much more the Cybertruck would cost compared to what was previously forecasted by Tesla in 2019. However, there were also various details that we learned once the truck was delivered. I highlighted 11 cool features, 10 concerns, and 4 neutral notes based on the video walkthrough from Marques Brownlee.

The other top EV producer globally, BYD, much more quietly took a step forward, but it’s a big one. Its first shipping vessel was just produced. The shipping vessel can transport up to 7,000 vehicles at a time. BYD may have 9 more vessels built for it in the coming few years. Get ready for more BYD exports!

On that topic of exporting EVs, Juan Diego Celemín Mojica has a superb analysis for us looking at how much EVs are moving toward price parity in Mexico and Colombia.

On the battery front, CATL has created a 1000-km electric car chassis as it continues to innovate and accelerate the EV revolution. Naturally, more batteries = more range, but it’s not just about stuffing more batteries into a car. CATL continues to bring down costs and improve performance, which I guess is why it’s the #1 EV battery producer in the world.

Overall, battery prices have come down to record lows globally in 2023, and get ready for a fun ride much lower by 2030!

Leaving the batteries and jumping to the powertrain, Hyundai has potentially revolutionized what’s going on inside a vehicle with its new Uni Wheel. I can’t explain it here. Steve put in a noble effort. But the best way to understand it is by watching Hyundai’s video about it, or listening to Jo’s analysis of it on our YouTube show EVObsession that is publishing in a few hours.

Volvo FH Truck of the Year - First Ever Electric Winner

In terms of heavy-duty vehicles, the Volvo FH Electric just won a big award. It’s the first fully electric truck to win the prestigious International Truck of the Year award!

Renewable Energy

Shifting over to renewables, a New York developer has launched a $1.2 billion fund for a renewable energy aimed at solving tough decarbonization challenges.

The world’s largest floating solar power plant is going up in Indonesia, and it’s on the site of a hydropower plant!

Meanwhile, one of the best combos in cleantech is putting solar panels above canals, an unused space in which there’s no competition for real estate. Putting solar panels there also helps to prevent evaporation. Read all about the latest chatter on this and how the concept could be applied in California and Arizona.

One more fun and useful application of solar is for off-grid EV charging. Desmond Wheatley has been a leader in this space for more than a decade, and I am definitely excited about his latest progress.

South Africa installed its first utility-scale solar power plant … 10 years ago. This is just another reminder of how far the industry has come in the past decade.

Not many places understand the value of energy independence as well as Ukraine. On that front, Ukraine has just started phase two of construction for the largest wind farm in Eastern Europe.

Other Fun Stuff

NASA developed airless tires for Mars and lunar rovers, but could this tech make bike tire flats a thing of the past? I hope so!

I love our EV sales reports, and always have to recommend them. Here are the most recent reports and the key figures from them:

  • Norway — 82% BEV share, 91% plugin vehicle share
  • Sweden — 40% BEV share, 61% plugin vehicle share
  • China — 26% BEV share, 39% plugin vehicle share
  • France — 20% BEV share, 30% plugin vehicle share
  • UK — 16% BEV share, 26% plugin vehicle share
  • Europe — 16% BEV share, 25% plugin vehicle share

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