The big picture

Clean trucks are paving the road to the electric vehicle era

The impact of the pandemic on e-commerce is adding to the urgency.

Dec 4, 2020 - Economy & Business
Boeing expects to sell fewer planes over the next decade

The lowering demand is a direct result of the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic.

Oct 6, 2020 - Economy & Business
Eyeing the end of gas-powered cars

"Europe and China have woken up to the fact that [the combustion engine] is dead."

Sep 25, 2020 - Economy & Business
Elon Musk is channeling Henry Ford in auto manufacturing

Musk is embracing many of Ford’s ideas like vertical supply chains and manufacturing efficiency

Aug 14, 2020 - Economy & Business
Poor communities at risk as strapped public transit starts up again

The pandemic and recent protests put a spotlight on transportation inequities, giving urban planners new motivation to get it right.

Jun 26, 2020 - Economy & Business
Transportation's looming overhaul

"It’s a gamble based on what you think will happen, but if you don’t do anything, then for sure you’re out of business."

Oct 18, 2019 - Energy & Environment

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Florida's business travel boost

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

As post-pandemic business travel comes back, experts say Florida's reopening policies should allow it to lock in a significant share of returning corporate events and meetings.

Why it matters: There's a lot of money to be made — with a lot of people itching to travel — after the sector lost $97 billion in spending last year, according to a new Tourism Economics analysis by the U.S. Travel Association.

U.S. seeks $25M from Air Canada for "extreme delays" in giving refunds

Photo: Steve Russell/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Transportation said Tuesday it is seeking a $25.5 million fine from Air Canada for failing to provide timely refunds to thousands of customers.

Why it matters: The COVID-19 pandemic forced airlines to cancel or delay flights, causing refund requests to spike.

Jun 15, 2021 - Economy & Business

FedEx to test Nuro's robot cars for package delivery

FedEx will test and deploy Nuro's driverless vehicles for last-mile package deliveries. Photo: Nuro

FedEx says it will test package deliveries using autonomous vehicles under a new multi-year partnership with Nuro, a leading self-driving startup.

Why it matters: The explosion of e-commerce has accelerated demand for reliable, autonomous transportation throughout the supply chain, FedEx says. With Nuro, it will explore different uses for AVs, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries.

Startups and VCs refocus autonomous vehicle efforts

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Investors have poured billions into startups promising to get self-driving cars on the road to shuttle passengers and parcels. Now, the startup world has largely shifted to applying autonomous driving to specific industrial use cases — in an effort to build a business much faster.

Why it matters: Despite bold predictions that we'd soon be riding in robotaxis around town, the task is taking much longer than expected and is a lot more expensive.

United Airlines purchases 15 supersonic jets from aviation startup

A conceptual render of Boom Supersonic's commercial supersonic jet with United Airlines livery. Photo: Boom Supersonic

United Airlines announced Thursday it will purchase 15 supersonic jets from aviation startup Boom Supersonic, and will have the option to purchase 35 more in the future, in an attempt to revitalize supersonic air travel.

Why it matters: Supersonic commercial flights haven't been available since the Concorde, operated by British Airways, completed its last trip between New York and London in 2003, according to the New York Times.

Electric vehicle SPACs lose their luster

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Investors have been falling out of love with electric vehicle startups — particularly the ones that have merged with SPACs.

Why it matters: EV companies were a hot target for SPACs last year as investors saw long-term growth opportunities in the global transition to clean energy.

Breeze Airways to target domestic leisure travel market in first flights

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Breeze Airways is about to take off. The new low-cost airline will operate its first flights on May 27.

Why it matters: The airline sprang to life just in time to take advantage of historic pandemic-induced dislocations in the air travel market.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
May 24, 2021 - Economy & Business

Breaking down Kansas City Southern's $33.6 billion deal with Canadian National Railway

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The freight train trip from Canada to Mexico still goes through Kansas City, but the rest of the route remains unsettled.

Driving the news: Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KCS) on Friday canceled its planned $29 billion merger with Canadian Pacific Railway (NYSE: CP), instead opting for a $33.6 billion deal with Canadian National Railway (NYSE: CNI).

Kansas City Southern to merge with Canadian National Railway in $34 billion deal

A Canadian Pacific Railway locomotive in Alberta, Canada, in March 2021.

Kansas City Southern canceled its planned $25 billion merger with Canadian Pacific Railway, announcing Friday it will instead be combining with Canadian National Railway in a $33.6 billion buyout bid.

Why it matters: "The combination would create the first freight-rail network linking the U.S., Mexico and Canada by connecting ports in the three countries," the Wall Street Journal writes.

May 20, 2021 - Economy & Business

Ford F-150 Lightning could mark a turning point for electric vehicles

Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck can power an entire work site. Photo: Ford

Electric vehicles have finally hit the mainstream: America's most popular model, the Ford F-series pickup truck, is going electric at a decidedly mass-market price: $39,974.

Why it matters: Until now, EVs have appealed mostly to wealthy technology fans or environmentalists. But the F-150 Lightning is aimed at everyday truck owners — making it a potential turning point in the electric vehicle revolution.

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