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November 30, 2020
GM Rolls Back Partnership with Nikola
After months of speculation, GM and Nikola announced an agreement to roll back their planned partnership on November 30th. This marks the next step of a story which began on September 8th when news broke that GM intended to take an 11 percent stake in the startup and manufacture the Nikola Badger ZEV pickup truck. Just one week after the announcement, controversy with Nikola emerged from fraud claims by short seller Hindenburg, leading to the departure of the company’s founder shortly afterwards. The reduced partnership maintains GM as the supplier of fuel cells for future Nikola freight trucks as well as a potential deal to provide GM’s anticipated Ultium battery packs, but does not give the automaker any shares in the company. This prompted Nikola to cancel plans for the Badger and focus entirely on their commercial vehicle production. Nikola’s shares fell by more than 20 percent when the news broke.

GM managed to escape from the fray with little bruising as the automaker charges ahead with their electrification agenda, announcing an additional $7 billion infusion for their EV manufacturing strategy on November 19th. GM is throwing their weight behind EVs in both policy and practice, making headlines when they backtracked on November 23rd and announced support for California’s more stringent tailpipe emissions standards. The move effectively abandons the company’s alignment with the Trump administration on vehicle standards and is a step towards healing the fracture created last year around this important policy. It also sends a strong signal that the auto industry intends to work with the incoming Biden administration in concert with California on climate and energy policy, similar to the industry’s approach to the Obama administration.

The acceleration of electrification commitments from major manufacturers like Daimler, Ford, and GM is increasing the pressure on smaller manufacturers to carve out their place in the market. On November 30th, Canadian EV bus and truck manufacturer Lion Electric announced plans to enter the stock market through the reverse merger track favored by several EV startups in 2020. Lion, which already offers several electric delivery and freight trucks on the market, will face increasing competition as new models reach the market. Tesla is expected to begin commercial production of the Semi in 2021 and Elon Musk is boasting a 621-mile range as the new top end capacity for the vehicle.

Medium- and heavy-duty electrification continues to ramp up with electric utilities around the country providing increasing support for charging infrastructure. On November 24th, Duke Energy was approved for a scaled-back version of their EV proposal in North Carolina. The approval gives the company the go-ahead to invest $25 million in a suite of initiatives including support for school bus electrification. This is the largest single-program approval issued outside California and New York so far in 2020 and adds to the increasing momentum towards transportation electrification in the Southeast.

Utility approvals and private investment announcements in November could help sustain the strong performance of the EV sector in the third quarter of 2020. September marked the first month in 2020 where year-over-year sales were higher than 2019 and more than $14 billion in new private investments was announced. See the EV Hub Quarterly Review for all the updates and highlights from the third quarter of 2020.
See the Quarterly Review
EV Hub Live: Interview with Dan Sperling Available Online

In this episode of EV Hub Live, Nick Nigro sat down with transportation policy guru, Dan Sperling, the founding Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis and member of the California Air Resources Board. They discussed the implications of the election on state ZEV programs, federal policy, and other key policies and programs related to EVs. Dan shared how he thinks things will go over the next year as the state legislatures and governors get going, Washington receives a new Congress, and a new President is sworn in.

You can subscribe to our YouTube Chanel and listen to all EV Hub live podcasts here.

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EV Hub News

California to Ban Sale of New Gas Vehicles by 2035

California, the nation’s largest vehicle market, has announced that the sale of new gasoline passenger cars and trucks will be banned after 2035. The ban comes as a result of an Executive Order from Governor Gavin Newsom and directly addresses the state’s long-term climate goals amid an ongoing season of particularly extreme wildfires. The next steps will be for the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to establish binding requirements setting this new rule in motion. Read More Here

15 States Commit to 100% ZEV Truck and Bus Sales By 2050

Organized by the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), 15 states and Washington DC have come together in support of rapid electrification of the medium-and heavy-duty vehicle sector. The MOU signed by participating states calls for all new truck and bus sales to be zero emission by 2050. States partnering on the MOU include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Read More Here

West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative Final Study Released

The West Coast Clean Transit Initiative, a network of nine electric utilities and two public agencies representing more than two dozen municipal utilities, published their final report on June 17, 2020. The report outlines key findings from a study assessing the prospect of implementing EV charging fro freight trucks along the entire stretch of Interstate 5. The study recommends a phased approach for electrifying the I-5 corridor. At least 27 stations spaced out at 50-mile intervals would be included in phase one of the roll out which will take place through 2025. Read More Here

Catch Up On EV Hub News Alerts
Job Openings
Below are current job openings in transportation electrification: If you have a job posting you would like to share with EV Hub users, please send them to us in an email at info@atlasevhub.com.
Upcoming Events

En Route to COP26, a high-level event to drive action for zero-emission transport now, is designed to accelerate collective and timely action. Scheduled to mark 12 months before the postponed United Nations Climate Conference under the UK Presidency, En Route to COP26 will put the key players – policymakers, transport experts, corporate decision-makers, planners, and entrepreneurs – in the same virtual room to collaborate on driving action for zero-carbon transport now. Learn more.

December 1st-3rd

Join Forth to recap the top smart transportation industry news of 2020 and to give key insights into what’s to come in 2021. Learn more.

December 8th @ 1pm EST

Join the New York State Clean Cities Coalitions to discuss the latest in medium- and heavy- duty battery electric trucks and charging infrastructure. All sessions will be held on the same login link and participants will be welcomed to join the sessions at any time throughout the day. Learn more.

December 9th @ 10am EST

View Our Events Calendar
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