Cityshuttle ePack 4 e-cargo bike, image courtesy of Cityshuttle

5 Million US Solar Installations, Low Tesla Model Y Interest Rates, New Electric Cars — Top Cleantech News

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What were the biggest cleantech news stories and analyses in the past couple of weeks? Below, put into a handful of core groupings, are the ones that stood out to me.

Solar Power in the USA: California, the largest US solar market by far, has thrown the solar industry into chaos with Net Metering 3.0, but one result is a lot more home energy storage being installed. Nonetheless, the US solar market has now reached 5 million solar installations, 5 times more than in 2016.

Tesla: We’ll start with the big dog. The biggest story recently was Tesla offering 0.99% APR financing on the Tesla Model Y, a move that could save buyers $5000 or even $6000 over five years. The eye-grabbingly low interest rate is sure to pull in many buyers, and local Tesla sales staff told us as much.

We’ve been doing weekly Full Self Driving (Supervised) test drives. Our most recent one included three interesting interventions and two impressive successes across 45 minutes of driving.

We also got a little more of a behind-the-scenes look at the mass Tesla Supercharger firing.

EV Sales: Recent EV sales reports covered the Netherlands (47% of new cars being plugin cars, 32% BEVs), China (44% of new cars being plugin cars, 26% BEVs), and Brazil (not as good, but improving fast).

Juan Diego Celemín Mojica also brought something else to the table — an examination of when we reach a peak ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle fleet.

New Electric Cars: Paul Fosse wrote a couple of great articles about the potential for the Chevy Equinox EV (one before test driving it and one after test driving it), as well as his concerns. Steve Hanley covered the highly appealing and similarly accessible Kia EV3. David Waterworth shared an owner review of the Cupra Born in. Australia.

Electric Car Regression: Following recent trends, a couple more automakers decided they’d pull back a bit on the electric vehicle plans. Those were German automakers Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen.

Electric Semi Trucks: Mike Barnard dove into the numbers and concluded that electric semi trucks are already lower carbon than rail in much of North America. Meanwhile, Toyota (yes, Toyota) launched a 100% battery electric Class 8 truck for the US market.

Electric Trikes & Bikes: Speaking of semi trucks … how about an electric trike semi? Derek Markham writes: “It looks like a tiny semi-truck and trailer, with the driver sitting in an enclosed cab and pulling a spacious cargo trailer behind, but instead of burning fossil fuels for power, the Cityshuttle ePack is pedaled like a bicycle. This zero emission light goods vehicle could be a key element of our low carbon future, specifically sustainable transportation, and is described as being the world’s largest cargo bike.” I love it!

Derek also covered a new electric bike conversion product that costs just $349. Want to turn your normal bike into an e-bike? Give this option some consideration. Also, note that this system cost more than $1,000 a few years ago!

Solving the Climate Crisis: I’ve got two final stories to squeeze in. Want to improve your buying to support more carbon-responsible companies? WattCarbon can help. As Scott Cooney writes, it is “a climate tech software company focused on clean energy buying” that has launched a new marketplace to help with this. “It’s the first platform where customers can see the carbon impact of their purchases, tracked to the hourly level. What’s more, it’s also the first platform to include smaller-scale distributed energy resources (DER), like rooftop solar, heat pumps, and batteries.”

But when it comes down to it, we need strong climate leaders in political power. On that topic, Bill McKibben recently wrote about why he thinks climate change is key to Joe Biden getting re-elected in November. Steve Hanley summarizes.

In addition to the above, the following are 20 top press releases from the past couple of weeks:

  1. ChargePoint & Airbnb Partner to Enable Seamless EV Charging
  2. 60 New Electric Buses to Operate in Queens, Staten Island, & Brooklyn
  3. VinFast Receives 27,649 Pre-Orders for VF 3 in Vietnam — 66 Hours After Accepting Deposits
  4. Citroën Wins Contract For 1,000 ë-C3s In India
  5. Xpeng Announces Expansion Into Australia; Appoints TrueEV As Exclusive Partner
  6. Zum Launches Nation’s 1st School District with 100% Electric, Bidirectional V2G School Bus Fleet in Oakland
  7. Orange Charger Unveils Next-Generation Electric Vehicles Charger for Multifamily Properties
  8. Over 4 Million Plugin Vehicles Sold Globally in 2024
  9. Volkswagen ID.7 Receives Historic Top Score In ADAC Vehicle Test
  10. Volkswagen Announces 2025 ID. Buzz Offer Structure
  11. BYD Launches Its First Pickup Truck, BYD SHARK, In Mexico
  12. Largest Virtual Power Plant in USA Supports California’s Grid with 16,200 Home Solar-Plus-Storage Systems
  13. 1st-Ever American-Built Offshore Wind Service Operations Vessel
  14. Vestas Signs Agreement For Offshore Wind Project With Total Capacity Above 1 GW In Northern Europe
  15. Autonomous Shuttles For Roland-Garros 2024: Renault Group To Launch An Ambitious Level 4 For Public Transportation
  16. Daimler Truck Unveils Battery Electric Autonomous Freightliner eCascadia Technology Demonstrator
  17. Berlin’s Oldest Passenger Vessel Enters A New Green Era Powered By Torqeedo
  18. DHL Expanding Charging Infrastructure for Electric Trucks in Germany, New EV Center in Shanghai
  19. 90 Ultra-Fast Solar-Powered Chargers for Italy
  20. Rio Tinto & BHP Collaborate On Battery-Electric Haul Truck Trials In The Pilbara

Many more cleantech press releases can be found in our Newswire Corner.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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