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Ford is partnering with battery recycling company Redwood Materials to lay the groundwork for a domestic supply chain for electric vehicle batteries that relies on closed-loop recycling.
The big picture: The long-term vision would ensure that critical battery materials like lithium, nickel, copper and cobalt are re-used in new batteries, reducing the need for imports and avoiding further environmental damage through mining.
The electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup hasn't even gone on sale yet, but demand is so hot that the company is already expanding production.
Driving the news: The first Lightning prototypes are leaving Ford's Dearborn, Mich., factory for real-world testing, with the truck available to customers next spring.
The electric future, near-term and far, is on display at the big IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich this week — even as internal combustion cars remain dominant.
Driving the news: That image above is BMW's i Vision Circular concept, a vision for 2040 to create vehicles made of 100% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable themselves.
Auto shows are coming back, but they don't just feature pretty cars: Now they also have hands-on experiences showcasing innovative climate-friendly technologies and new modes of mobility.
Why it matters: Big, international auto shows have been dying for years, and the coronavirus pandemic looked like it might be the final straw. Instead, they're trying to stay relevant by reinventing themselves to reflect an industry undergoing historic change.
Rivian, the well-financed electric vehicle startup about to start delivering its pickup truck, says it has filed plans to go public with securities regulators.
The big picture: The company is quite well-capitalized. Rivian's financial backers include Ford, Amazon and BlackRock.
The electric mobility company Revel is installing battery storage at a New York City charging hub in a partnership that represents a growing and evolving trend in the industry.
Driving the news: Revel is adding storage from the firm Electric Era to help power its large charging "superhub" in Brooklyn that offers public access and charging for Revel's ride-hailing vehicles.
The FAA is announcing $20.4 million in grants to airports for using zero-emissions vehicles and electrifying equipment that currently relies on fossil fuels.
Why it matters: While next-wave, future aviation/aircraft tech gets lots of attention, nuts and bolts equipment at airports is decidedly low-tech (think diesel generators and dirty shuttle buses) and ripe for the deployment of existing and mature low-emissions systems.
Nobody said the transition to electric vehicles would be seamless, and the General Motors recall of every Chevy Bolt is the latest example of why it won't be.
Driving the news: GM's expanding Bolt recall over battery fire risks to include 2020-2022 models, and 2019 models that weren't covered by previous rounds.
This week I'm test-driving the 2022 all-electric Chevrolet Bolt EUV. Four days into the loan, it was recalled by General Motors.
Why it matters: The car's batteries may catch fire.
What's happening: GM isn't messing around. The company is telling all Bolt owners to park their vehicle outside and away from structures and to not charge the car overnight. And it gave owners special instructions for charging in the meantime to avoid extreme charging cycles.
What I did: With help from a video on GM's dedicated Bolt recall page, I hit a few buttons on the car's touchscreen to limit the charging capacity to 90%.
The root cause of the problem, per GM and its battery supplier, LG Chem, is a rare manufacturing defect in battery modules that can cause a short in a cell and trigger a fire.
What's next: This isn't the car review I expected to write about the Bolt EUV (electric utility vehicle), a slightly roomier version of the Bolt EV hatchback. I really enjoyed driving it, and I plan to share some of the highlights — including its hands-free highway-driving option — in the coming days.
Editor's note: Joann Muller tests new vehicles in her role as a juror for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards.