Amazon is sharing new info about its late 2019 vow to buy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian.
Why it matters: It's among the most aggressive moves in the fleet electrification space and, if indeed it proceeds, will cement Rivian's prominence among electric vehicle startups.
Two of the most important companies on the energy beat are having very different weeks.
The big picture: Tesla's shares went bananas again Tuesday, spending much of the day well above $900 before falling at the trading close and continuing its fall early Wednesday. Meanwhile, Exxon's stock has been on a downward trajectory all year that picked up speed with Friday's disappointing earnings report — eventually reaching a decade-low.
Why it matters: The ads are the latest sign of the growing volumes of electric models becoming available or in the offing, but the New York Times notes that just 0.3% of the $8.6 billion that the auto industry spent on local and national advertising last year promoted electric vehicles.
Carmakers are compelled to introduce electric vehicles to meet rising emissions standards, but the transition is expensive and fraught with risk, and consumers aren't yet on board.
The state of play: There's another potentially faster and cheaper path to electric vehicle adoption: electric delivery fleets. They could catch on faster, especially with new approaches to design and production, and provide a large-scale proof of concept for consumers.
Automakers are competing to make the buzziest, strongest, fastest electric truck that would fare well in a dystopian future — albeit one with a reliable grid and eco-conscious drivers.
Driving the news: OK I'm being flip (it's Friday!), but yesterday brought news that GM is indeed reviving the gas-guzzling Hummer as a fully electric and powerful "super truck" with seriously gaudy specs.
Amazon, AT&T and IKEA are a few members of a new corporate alliance launched Wednesday that's aimed at deploying more electric vehicles in corporate fleets.
Why it matters: The players in the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance are big. And corporate fleets are seen as ripe for more EV adoption, given the advantages of centralized charging, bulk purchases and more.
The flurry of high-profile electric vehicle rollouts lately makes it easy to look past a big problem for the sector: tepid consumer demand means it's unclear when the EV age will begin in earnest, at least in the U.S.
Driving the news: Several recent stories underscore how drivers remain cautious about ditching gas pumps for plugs — even as automakers make big bets on bringing a slew of new models to market.
Volkswagen won't meet its electric vehicle targets, but it'll come close enough to become the world's largest EV manufacturer by decade's end, a new analysis finds.
Why it matters: The new projections from the consultancy Wood Mackenzie offer a piece of the puzzle as to how the increasingly competitive EV market will shake out this decade.
China announced it will "not make significant cuts" this year to subsidies on new energy vehicles including electric vehicles, via Reuters, "signaling that its policy will remain relatively stable, state media quoted the country’s industry ministry as saying on Saturday."
Why it matters: EV sales in China, which has the world's largest auto market, dropped sharply after the Chinese government significantly cut industry subsidies in July.
Utility companies are helping cash-strapped school districts replace diesel buses with electric ones that have a secondary purpose: helping to manage electricity demand.
Why it matters: Electric buses are cleaner, but cost about three times more. Using them for energy storage can help close that cost gap and smooth out energy demand on the electric grid.