Got to be done: President Joe Biden aims to replace all of the US's fleets with electric cars and the new proposed incentives could attract millions of customers | Photo:

Biden government planning host of EV incentives

The new US government under President Joe Biden is reportedly considering a slew of incentives to boost the country’s EV sales, chief among which will be to extend the federal tax credit to automakers for selling electric cars. The previous administration capped it at $7,500 and at 200,000 units per manufacturer, but under Biden it may be extended to 600,000 units. The government is also planning to award a tax credit of $1,250 on the purchase of every used electric car, with the larger plan being to boost EV sales from the modest 358,000 per year in 2021 to more than 1 million by 2023 — and up to 4 million by 2030.

Japanese e-bike makers agree on standards for battery swapping

The four major manufacturers of electric bikes in Japan reached an agreement to develop a standardised battery swapping system that would enable smoother cross-manufacturer sharing of batteries. The landmark agreement was reached between Suzuki Motors, Yamaha Motors, Honda Motors and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., who together account for 50% of the world’s electric bike market share. 

They will come together under the Swappable Battery Consortium for Electric Motorcycles, and the standardisation will be developed with the international market in mind. The development could benefit India’s electric two-wheeler market as well, where long-charging times and multiple charging architectures have been a deterrent for customers. 

Australians showcase comfy electric car trips, ridicule prime minister 

Several Australians posted pictures of their weekend trips made with electric cars on social media and ridiculed the country’s prime minister over his comments that the vehicles would “end the weekend”. The owners reported comfortable drives in which they lugged heavy paving tiles in the boot and even completed a 1,900 km round trip for just AUD 6.37. In contrast, a specific owner noted that the same trip would have cost around AUD 150-200 on an average petrol car. 

The comments come as a response to Australia’s reported attempts to stall the sale of EVs in the country to keep its ICE auto sales alive. The governments of Victoria and South Australia have even introduced a much-criticised per km road tax on EVs and hybrids, which would raise their ownership costs and possibly deter customers. 

Finnish university: Recycled raw materials from EV materials are easier on the planet

A study conducted by Aalto University in Finland showed that raw materials recycled from used EV batteries have a 38% lower carbon footprint than virgin materials. However, the process it employed found that the sodium hydroxide used as the neutralising chemical agent raised the environmental load of the process to a significant degree. The researchers are thus suggesting that, with the EU targeting 30 million electric cars by 2030 and to recycle 70% of the lithium from EV batteries, the industry must opt for simulated recovery processes first to reduce their inadvertently large environmental footprints. 

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