Intelligent: China's car owners will get paid to drive EVs as the country rolls out its innovative credit scheme to curb CO2 emissions | Photo: CNBC

China to pay people to use EVs or not drive at all

The Chinese govt. has introduced a new credit scheme that will pay car owners to drive an EV or not drive at all. The scheme will initially target one million car owners in Beijing to reduce automotive emissions. By opting to not drive their IC engine cars for 200 days, the scheme will help prevent a million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Doing so will earn them credits that will then be sold to corporates that buy environmental credits to avoid paying fines on their emissions.

While variations of the scheme are already in force in the US and within China, the new “one ton” scheme will also reduce car owners’ insurance bills.

Maharashtra shelves three Chinese auto manufacturing units in ongoing standoff between India and China 

The Indian state of Maharashtra has decided to put on hold three auto manufacturing units owned by Chinese firms as the countries face off over border skirmishes. The three units were signed off in an online investment summit called Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0, and were to be held by Great Wall Motors (worth an MoW of Rs, 3,770 crores/USD 538 million in Pune), a Rs. 1,000 crore (USD 143 million) facility by Foton (China) and PMI Electro Mobility and a Rs. 250 crore (USD 36 million) unit by Henglu Engineering. 

The state has also been advised by the Centre to not sign any more agreements with Chinese firms.

World’s largest liquid air battery starts construction in the UK

Construction has begun on the world’s largest liquid air battery – built by Highview Power – and the 250MWh “battery” will go online in 2022. The project will use excess renewable power to compress air down to a liquid, which will be stored in tanks and released into gaseous form to run a turbine and generate power. Its output will reportedly be sufficient to power 200,000 homes for five hours.

The liquid air energy storage plant will also have nearly double the storage capacity of Tesla’s Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia but will cost £85m. However, it will be able to store energy for weeks, which is much longer than currently possible through li-ion batteries.

EVs to get “battery passport” to prove compliance with Paris Agreement 

The Global Battery Alliance (GBA) has launched the “Battery Passport”, which is a digital quality seal and verification tool that will be used to authenticate that the EV batteries that receive the seal were manufactured sustainably. The seal’s importance is due to the fact that li-ion batteries rely heavily on several rare earth metals, most of which are mined in the developing world (such as African and South American nations) under conditions that have sparked debate on the ethics of the operations. 

The Battery Passport will make use of blockchain technology and has been endorsed by over 42 organisations, including Microsoft, Volkswagen, UNICEF and the World Bank.