Axios Northwest Arkansas
April 11, 2023
"Good Day Sunshine." It's Tuesday.
☀️ It'll be bright today with a high in the mid-70s.
🔔 Situational awareness: The top individual income tax rate dropped from 4.9% to 4.7% and the state's top corporate income tax rate from 5.3% to 5.1%, retroactive to Jan. 1, after Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed SB549 yesterday.
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Today's newsletter is 944 words — a 3.5-minute read.
1 big thing: Enthusiasm for electric vehicles in NWA nearly triples
Electric vehicles accounted for 2.8% of monthly new-vehicle registrations in Northwest Arkansas in January — up from 1% the same month last year, Axios' Joann Muller reports.
Why it matters: With broader selection and some signs of moderating prices, mainstream car buyers are increasingly turning their EV curiosity into purchases.
Zoom out: EVs accounted for 7% of new-vehicle registrations nationally in January, up from 4.1% in January 2022.
The big picture: There were 47 electric models available for sale in the U.S. at the end of January, up from 33 a year earlier.
- Tesla's Model Y and Model 3 hold the largest market share nationwide and are still growing, but rival cars are quickly gaining ground. Tesla's nationwide market share continues to shrink — from 72% in January 2022 to 54% a year later.
- General Motors' Chevrolet Bolt is the most popular non-Tesla EV, with a 10% share — partly because of a $6,000 price cut following a damaging battery recall.
Between the lines: These data points represent the continuing shift away from gas-powered autos, using vehicle registration data from S&P Global Mobility.
- In 2022, electric vehicles made up 5.6% of all new-car registrations in the U.S.
- That's up from 3.1% in 2021 and 1.8% in 2020, but still way behind China and Europe.
Yes, but: The U.S. is far from a complete transition. Less than 1% of the 279 million cars and light trucks on American roads are electric.
- Changes to the existing $7,500 tax credit will likely affect the pace of adoption.
2. That's where Walmart comes in
Speaking of growing interest in electric vehicles... Walmart plans to install EV fast chargers at thousands of Walmart and Sam's Club locations across the U.S. by 2030, the company says.
Why it matters: 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart — a statistic that underscores the retailer's potential to put fast EV charging within reach of far more drivers, including in underserved areas, Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick writes.
- While Arkansas can expect more charging stations over the next few years, thanks to $54.1 million from the Biden infrastructure law, the state's existing public chargers are largely concentrated in the most populated areas, with few options in rural areas, according to ChargeHub.
State of play: Walmart already has nearly 1,300 such chargers at more than 280 locations.
- The company is still sorting out specifics, including how many chargers will be installed and how they'll be powered.
State of play: Walmart is the latest big business to announce a major EV-charging initiative, following 7-Eleven, Subway and others.
- As EV adoption grows, retailers increasingly view charging as both a competitive necessity and an extra revenue stream.
3. Coming up at city council
Here's a sneak peek at what your city governments will be discussing, debating and deciding tonight:
Bentonville will vote on:
- Accepting a $13,200 grant from People for Bikes that will pay for six staff members to attend the organization's international study tour in the Netherlands, where they'll learn approaches to planning and infrastructure requirements that promote mobility.
Rogers will vote on:
- Buying 4.36 acres next to the west side of the Rogers Executive Airport from the Weiser Family Revocable Trust for $225,000. The money will come from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Springdale will vote on:
- A contract for construction manager services with Buffalo Builders for the new senior center for $34,220, granted voters approve the bond issue next month.
Go to the meetings: 6pm at Bentonville and Springdale city halls and 6:30pm at Rogers City Hall.
4. Kitchen Sink: Plucked from the headlines
🪧 Workers at Tyson Foods' Van Buren plant went on strike yesterday, demanding full severance and vacation payouts when the location closes permanently in May. About 900 employees will be affected by the closure. (KNWA-TV)
💰 Members of the Walton family landed on Forbes' "World's Billionaire List" for 2023. Jim Walton led with an estimated $58.8 billion in net worth, followed by Rob Walton with $57.6 billion and Alice Walton with $56.7 billion. They're ranked Nos. 19, 20 and 21, respectively. (Forbes)
🚗 EV maker Canoo said it has leased 500,000 square feet of space in Oklahoma City to build its vehicles. The site was leased from AFV Partners, a private equity firm founded by Canoo CEO Tony Aquila. (Arkansas Business)
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5. Best day ever in downtown Bentonville
We're back with more ways to spend a day in downtown Bentonville:
Expand your palette
😋 Try a sweet or savory crepe at Crepes Paulette.
🍷 Sip on an assortment of new wines, whiskeys and rums at Ramo d'Olivo. Pair your refreshment with an appetizer like the caprese bites with cherry tomatoes or mozzarella balls garnished with basil olive oil and fig balsamic.
🖼 Explore the eclectic art museum inside 21c Museum Hotel. Take a selfie with one of the trademark green penguins throughout the space.
📚 Help the little ones discover a new favorite book at the Bentonville Public Library. Peek at the calendar for story times.
🍦 Treat them to an ice cream cone at The Spark Café. The menu of sweets is made with Arkansas-based Yarnell's ice cream. Get any topping — like Cocoa Pebbles or crushed Oreos — for 50 cents.
🧢 Stay put and learn the history of the world's largest employer, which started right here in Bentonville, at The Walmart Museum. The museum's temporary home is open at The Ledger on South Main Street while its permanent site on the square is being renovated.
Thanks to Gigi Sukin for editing and James Gilzow for copy editing this newsletter.
🥣 Alex is testing this Mexican chili recipe.