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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A group of Europe's largest commercial truck manufacturers are about to announce plans to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered models by 2040, the Financial Times reports.

Driving the news: "An alliance of Daimler, Scania, Man, Volvo, Daf, Iveco and Ford have signed a pledge to phase out traditional combustion engines and focus on hydrogen, battery technology and clean fuels," according to the FT. Scania's chief executive, Henrik Henriksson, tells the FT that the industry may pour well over $100 billion into the effort.

The big picture: The looming announcement comes as a number of manufacturers are developing and rolling out new battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell models.

  • European emissions standards are one thing driving the efforts.
  • But falling tech costs, corporate sustainability pledges and policies elsewhere — such as planned rules in California — are also part of the picture.

Go deeper

Dec 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

Clean trucks are paving the road to the electric vehicle era

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.

OIG: HHS misused millions of dollars intended for public health threats

Vaccine vials. Photo: Punit Paranjpe/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel alerted the White House and Congress on Wednesday of an investigation that found the Department of Health and Human Services misused millions of dollars that were budgeted for vaccine research and public health emergencies for Ebola, Zika and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why it matters: The more than 200-page investigation corroborated claims from a whistleblower, showing the agency's violation of the Purpose Statute spanned both the Obama and Trump administrations and paid for unrelated projects like salaries, news subscriptions and the removal of office furniture.

John Kerry: U.S.-China climate cooperation is a "critical standalone issue"

President Biden's special climate envoy John Kerry said Wednesday that the U.S. must deal with China on climate change as a "critical standalone issue," but stressed that Beijing's human rights and trade abuses "will never be traded" for climate cooperation.

Why it matters: The last few years have brought about a bipartisan consensus on the need for the U.S. to confront China's aggression. But as the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, China will be a vital player if the world is going to come close to reining in emissions on the scale needed to meet the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

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