Friendlier skies: Canada, Australia and Brazil will soon become the preferred suppliers of essential EV raw materials for the US as it peels itself away from Chinese supplies | Photo: US Mineral Exchange

US to source EV raw materials from allies, ups federal tax credit to $12,500

The Joe Biden administration announced that it would rely on the likes of Canada, Brazil and Australia to source raw materials for EVs, and its domestic workforce would focus on processing the materials into semiconductor chips and battery components. The move is aimed to reduce the US’ dependence on Chinese imports and shield itself against supply bottlenecks from one source. While the move could limit mining jobs in the US, the government said it would generate valuable high skills jobs instead. 

However, the new announcement goes against Biden’s campaign promise of sourcing most raw materials for the country’s energy transition from within its borders to minimise carbon emissions. On the other hand, the government approved a more generous, $12,500 federal tax credit for EVs with a retail price of under $80,000, which is a significant jump from the previous amount of $7,500. 

India: Delhi high court orders government to consider H2 fuel cell vehicles under FAME-II

Responding to a writ petition, the Delhi high court ordered the government of India to consider using hydrogen fuel cell vehicles under its FAME-II scheme to promote electric mobility. While the details on the motivation behind the petition are not clear, the order also specifies the installation of hydrogen refueling stations to promote extended infrastructure for the technology — which is especially suitable for heavy duty vehicles because of hydrogen’s high energy density of 120MJ/kg

The Indian Railways Organization for Alternate Fuels (IROAF), in the meantime, invited proposals to retrofit the 700 HP diesel locomotives that operate on Kalka-Shimla narrow gauge in Himachal Pradesh, possibly due to air pollution concerns. 

Toyota’s first hydrogen race car fails to finish laps, refuels 35 times 

Toyota Motor Corporation finished its first-ever track race run by a hydrogen fuel cell car to prove that it was a viable and necessary alternative to battery electric vehicles (BEVs), but the car had to pit stop 35 times to refuel, and it failed to complete its laps due to technical issues. The event was organised to raise awareness about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and what Toyota claims to be a much smaller carbon footprint (when compared to BEVs). The automaker’s CEO also believes that selling more hybrid (fuel cell) vehicles would be the answer to ensuring job security for a million Japanese workers.

However, the refueling stations had to be set up well away from the race track for safety reasons — hydrogen is extremely flammable — and the CEO has been criticised of late by shareholders for his opposition to the ban on petrol and diesel cars. 

Interestingly, though, the Japan Climate Leaders’ Partnership (JCLP) has called for a faster adoption of ZEVs (zero emission vehicles) into the country’s road freight segment. The group argued that road freight vehicles (such as large trucks) contribute nearly the same amount of CO2 emissions despite their fewer numbers, because of their high utilisation rate, and adopting battery as well as hydrogen EVs would be essential to reducing their carbon footprint. The message also specifically makes room for hydrogen fuel cells since it calls for several charging points and re-fueling stations across Japan. 

Maharashtra announces aggressive EV targets in new draft policy 

Maharashtra announced several new targets under its new draft EV policy, among which are its target to turn four expressways between Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Nagpur fully electric by 2025. It also aims to make EVs account for 10% of all new vehicle sales in the state by 2025, and the state government will produce only EBs for its fleets in major cities by 2022. Other updates include 1,500 charging stations for Mumbai and accelerated registration of EVs for all operators — including last-mile connectivity services and delivery vehicle operators. 

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