Tech finance: Maana, a Silicon Valley data tech company that works with big energy companies to improve their operations, said it has raised another $28 million from funders including China International Capital Corporation as well as existing investors Chevron, Saudi Aramco and Shell.
- "That blue-chip companies are investing in a start-up founded just five years ago, highlights the growing interest in the potential for AI to help improve business performance," reports the Financial Times.
Electric vehicles, part 1: Via Reuters, another big company is going public with reservations for Tesla's electric semi-truck as UPS pre-orders 125 of them — the largest such order made public thus far.
- Industry support: As we've noted in recent items here and here, the decisions by corporate giants like Walmart and PepsiCo, while not actual purchases, signal something of an industry vote of confidence in the truck despite Tesla's recent rough patch.
- Go deeper: The Los Angeles Times has a deeply reported feature that explores the prospects for electric trucks to eventually be more than a tiny, tiny share of the overall industry. "A typical price for a new diesel truck is $120,000. The main operating cost is the driver and the diesel fuel. Tesla claims a Tesla Semi owner could save $200,000 in net fuel costs over the vehicle's lifetime. Early buyers will be eager to test whether that's true," the story notes.
Electric vehicles, part 2: Greentech Media has an interesting look at how widespread adoption of EVs in the future (right now they're a tiny portion of vehicle sales) could affect electricity grids. "Failure to properly account for these effects could lead to a situation where, for example, EVs increase rather than decrease the demand for fossil fuels by upping the requirement for peaking power on the grid," their piece notes.
Climate change: Contrary to some reports, it won't make chocolate taste better, according to NPR.