Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Two big announcements in California yesterday show how the world's fifth-largest economy is moving on vehicle electrification with the help of some big corporate players.

Why it matters: California is by far the country's largest auto market and already home to an array of electric vehicle initiatives, such as the California Public Utilities Commission's late May approval of $738 million in electrification projects by state's big utilities.

Driving the news, part 1: Electrify America, a VW unit, announced a $200 million plan Wednesday afternoon to expand EV charging infrastructure in California.

  • The latest phase of their California work would add fast-charging stations to several metro areas like Riverside-San Bernardino and Santa Cruz.
  • The plan filed with state regulators would also expand their existing efforts in major urban centers including Los Angeles, Fresno, San Francisco and three others.
  • They're also planning new investments along highways, and new collaboration with operators of bus and shuttle fleets.
  • The big picture: It's part of a wider, nationwide VW-funded charging initiative that stems from the automaker's settlement of its diesel emissions cheating scandal.
  • Go deeper: GreenBiz has a good story on the investments here.

Driving the news, part 2: Shortly before the Electrify America news was the official launch of a non-profit organization called Veloz, which also announced its first project, "Electric For All."

  • The coalition aimed at speeding up EV deployment in the state consists of major automakers (including GM, BMW and Nissan), state officials and power companies.
  • Electric for All is "the largest multi-stakeholder, multi-million dollar public awareness campaign in North America," the group said. Electrify America is helping to fund that effort too.
  • Read more of the full story on Veloz, which had soft-launched previously but had its big rollout yesterday.

Yes, but: While EV deployment in California is growing, carbon emissions from transportation are still rising in the state.

  • California state officials have an existing goal set under Gov. Jerry Brown of having 5 million electric vehicles on the state's roads by 2030, but that's a heavy lift, and the Veloz rollout was an explicit recognition of barriers to meeting the target.
  • The initiatives also come as the Trump administration is seeking to roll back federal auto efficiency and emissions mandates that are helpful to EV deployment.

Go deeper

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

Sullivan speaks with Israel's national security adviser for the first time

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat U.S. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/Getty Images. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Photo: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.