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Sketch of electric vaccine vehicle. Image: Ayro

The maker of a compact electric truck originally marketed for food service is focusing on a new, more urgent purpose: a mobile vaccine unit.

Why it matters: COVID-19 vaccine distribution is a logistical challenge in many communities, with people waiting in snaking lines of cars — and some lacking transportation altogether. Ayro's "electric vaccine vehicle" aims to address those challenges by setting up mobile stations to bring vaccines to the people.

Details: The battery-powered vehicle is equipped with ultra-low temperature freezer and refrigeration units, including Bluetooth-enabled data loggers and temperature monitoring devices to make sure vaccines are stored and handled according to CDC guidelines.

  • The vehicle's battery has a 50-mile driving range plus approximately six to eight hours of equipment operation. It can provide all-day operations — even indoors — if plugged into a standard 110-volt outlet.
  • It can also be adapted to future uses like disaster relief, flu shot clinics or food service, the company says.

The backstory: Ayro had been working with partners to design customizable EVs for food delivery on college campuses in lieu of crowded dining halls.

  • "We quickly realized that experience designing EVs with hot and cold storage and hygiene precautions translated well to mobile vaccination vehicle design," said Ayro CEO Rod Keller.

The catch: The EVV is categorized as a low-speed vehicle (up to 25 mph). It's up to local ordinances to determine whether it can be legally operated on public streets.

Go deeper

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.

Who in Congress is talking about Ukraine the most

Data: Quorum; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Mentions of Ukraine or Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in congressional statements and social media posts have been on the rise — with nearly 1,000 already this month, according to data from Quorum.

Why it matters: The growing threat of a Russian invasion has been mirrored by a growth in Ukraine-related chatter.

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