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Breaking: "European Union antitrust regulators on Friday charged BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen with colluding to block the rollout of emissions cleaning technology in a move that could lead to hefty fines," Reuters reports.
Ok let's head for the weekend. At this moment 25 years ago, OutKast was in the midst of a multi-week run atop Billboard's rap charts with today's into tune...
Two reports crossed my screen with interesting stuff on how the rise of electric vehicles is shaking up at least two mammoth industries: Autos (duh), but eventually utilities too.
The big picture: The consultancy Accenture put some numbers around how EV deployment (their projections are in the chart above) is a business opportunity for power companies.
They see a potential $2 trillion-plus market for utilities in the U.S. and Europe alone within the next couple decades.
The market for services will be broad. Utilities can get into financing vehicle and battery sales and leasing; charging station maintenance; remote charging and all kinds of other things, like...
But let's remember that for all the excitement around EVs, these are also risky times for automakers as they try and position themselves.
That brings me to a new analysis from Moody's Investors Services, which notes that automakers in Europe, China and U.S. must invest to meet emissions mandates, with EVs as a key pathway.
Threat level: The report explores, among other things, how automakers in Europe need to electrify to help limit billions of dollars in cumulative fines for noncompliance with tightening carbon rules.
The intrigue: Diesel emissions scandals that have engulfed several European automakers are creating more pressure to go electric more quickly.
The bottom line: "Time is running out to deliver electrification of production, especially in Europe where targets are set for 2020-21, with significant penalties for noncompliance," Moody's states.
Go deeper: Carmakers on course for $2-12bn fines for missing EU CO2 targets: Moody’s (Climate Home News)
Why it matters: He spent a good chunk of time on those topics and wove them into a broader focus on industrial policy, another sign that climate is no longer on the backburner in national elections.
And Ryan called for a "Green New Deal," which shows how much the term is now in the Democratic bloodstream, although candidates define it differently.
The big picture: "Judging by this first interview, Ryan’s approach — at least for now — appears to lean more directly on incentivizing business investment than it does on direct public expenditures," Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent report.
One level deeper: Ryan said President Trump's emphasis on China fails to counter their outsized role in clean energy tech with a national U.S. strategy on EVs and renewables.
He told the Post: "'This campaign is going to be about the big idea that creates a national industrial policy' that says to China, 'we’re gonna out-compete you.'"
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Speaking of politics, the lefty think tank Data for Progress has tallied one metric of climate's role in the primary fight: how much the candidates are tweeting about it.
Jay Inslee is way ahead, no shock given that his campaign is basically about climate. Rounding out the top 5: Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, John Delaney and Kirsten Gillibrand.
Electricity: Via The Wall Street Journal, "A bankruptcy judge rejected FirstEnergy Corp.’s $3.1 billion attempt to walk away from a fleet of failing power plants, siding with regulators who want the parent company on the hook for pollution cleanup costs."
Tweeting: "Tesla, Elon Musk and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission have two weeks to work out their differences and come to a new resolution, a U.S. judge said Thursday at the conclusion of a hearing held to determine whether the automaker’s CEO should be held in contempt for his Twitter use," TechCrunch reports.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
State governors, and not the federal government, are emerging as the leaders on vehicle electrification and automated vehicle deployments, writes Axios Expert Voices contributor Colleen Quinn.
Why it matters: With the flexibility to experiment with infrastructure solutions and policy frameworks, states often serve as incubators for tech innovations. The governors who enable AV programs may well ensure that the U.S. remains a leader in the AV space.
What's happening: California's leadership on EVs provides a valuable model, dating back to requirements for zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) it rolled out in the 1990s.
On the AV front, 20 states currently allow testing or deploying of autonomous vehicles, and a decision in Utah is pending.
Colleen Quinn is a policy adviser and president of EMobility Advisors. She served on the Massachusetts Commission on the Future of Transportation, appointed by Governor Charles Baker.
That's last year's percentage growth in energy-related exports from Texas, via this new Dallas Fed snapshot.
Why it matters: The short report on the Texas economy shows the prominence of energy to the state's economy. Here's a little more...