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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Ben Geman, author of Generate
Apr 16, 2021 - Economy & Business

Mercedes unveils luxury electrical vehicle for U.S. market

Mercedes EQS sedan. Photo: courtesy of Mercedes

Mercedes has unveiled its first luxury all-electric sedan, and the EQS is headed for U.S. markets late this year.

Why it matters: It's the first of a bunch of upcoming EVs from the German automaker as competition in the market intensifies.

Self-driving cars are coming to Dubai

Photo: Cruise

Autonomous cars are coming to Dubai: Cruise, backed by General Motors and Honda, will be the city's exclusive provider for self-driving taxis.

Why it matters: It's the first time the autonomous vehicle upstart is expanding operations outside U.S. borders. Dubai said it wants 20% of trips to take place in autonomous vehicles by 2030.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Apr 12, 2021 - Economy & Business

U.S. freight traffic posted biggest annual gain ever in March

Expand chart
Data: Association of American Railroads; Table: Axios Visuals

Freight train traffic, an important gauge of U.S. economic health, showed a major pickup in March, increasing year over year for the first time since January 2019, data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR) showed.

What happened: Intermodal train traffic — a measure of shipping containers and truck trailers moved on rail cars — jumped 24% last month.

GM slows production in some plants due to semiconductor chip shortage

Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

General Motors is reducing production in some of its North American plants due to a global semiconductor chip shortage.

Why it matters: The chip shortage is affecting automotive companies around the world, with semiconductors functioning as a key component for steering systems, car brakes and other automobile features.

Apr 7, 2021 - Economy & Business

Dogfight erupts between air taxi startups over trade secrets

An image included in Wisk's court filing compares a Wisk prototype, left, to one later produced by Archer. Image: Wisk

Archer Aviation, an air taxi startup planning to go public soon through a SPAC merger, is now facing a federal investigation and accusations that the company stole trade secrets from a key rival.

Why it matters: The dispute between Archer and Wisk Aero, a joint venture of Boeing and Google co-founder Larry Page's Kitty Hawk, underscores the intense competition to dominate the still-unproven market for flying cars.

Apr 6, 2021 - Economy & Business

GM to build electric Chevy Silverado pickup in Detroit

2021 Chevrolet Silverado. An electric version is coming soon. Photo: GM

General Motors announced Tuesday it will introduce an electric version of its popular Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck that will be built at the company’s Factory ZERO assembly plant in Detroit.

Why it matters: GM is rapidly expanding its portfolio of battery-operated vehicles, with a plan to deliver more than 1 million EVs globally by 2025. It just unveiled the GMC Hummer electric SUV last weekend, joining the previously announced GMC Hummer electric pickup.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Apr 5, 2021 - Economy & Business

The electric vehicle sales surge

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Tesla's stock was up over 7% in premarket trading this morning after it reported record deliveries in the year's first quarter on Friday. But it's not the only manufacturer seeing sales increases this year.

Why it matters: Even as gasoline-powered sales return from the pandemic, cars with plugs are going faster, albeit from a much smaller base.

Apr 3, 2021 - Economy & Business

Supersonic travel is about to make a comeback

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a few years, it might be possible to fly from Washington, D.C., to Paris in four hours — instead of eight — or from San Francisco to Tokyo in just six hours aboard a new crop of supersonic jets.

Why it matters: High-speed air travel promises to shrink the planet, putting far-away vacation destinations within closer reach and enabling business travelers to attend meetings on another continent and return the same day.

Tesla delivered 184,800 cars in the first quarter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Tesla said Friday it delivered 184,800 cars in the first quarter — exceeding analyst expectations (177,822).

Why it matters: That tops the previous record set in Q4. It's also more than double the vehicles delivered at the same time last year.

Apr 2, 2021 - Economy & Business

Waymo chief steps down

John Krafcik, who is retiring as CEO of Waymo (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Auto industry veteran John Krafcik said he is stepping down as CEO of Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving subsidiary, which named two senior executives to replace him as co-CEOs.

Why it matters: Krafcik, 59, was hired in 2015 to transition Google's self-driving car project into a commercial enterprise. He raised $3.25 billion in outside capital, launched Waymo's fledgling robotaxi service in suburban Phoenix and laid the groundwork for an autonomous trucking operation called Waymo Via.

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