Tuesday, August 9, 2022

US-built EV batteries and the monkey pox emergency in California

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The news: US Senate Democrats last week introduced a bill that could significantly reduce the country’s carbon emissions. One of the key components of the bill is an extension of electric vehicle tax credits, which are designed to boost EV adoption by giving buyers $7,500 credit toward the purchase of a qualifying new electric vehicle, or $4,000. for used cars.

The trailer hitch? For a new vehicle to qualify for the tax credit, the battery and major minerals used in it must come primarily from the US or countries with which it has free trade agreements.

Why it matters: Currently, most lithium-ion cells for EV batteries are built in China. The US produces only about 7% of the global supply. The legislation is an attempt to incentivize companies to build more capacity for mining and battery production in the US. While the long-term restrictions could help build a secure battery supply chain in the US, some experts aren’t sure how quickly US companies will be able to respond.

The bigger picture: The ambitious tax cuts for EVs could play a role in building domestic battery production and boosting new supply chains in the US – and are an obvious attempt to slow down China’s battery dominance. But whether those changes will come soon enough to keep up with booming EV sales remains an open question. Read the full story.

— Casey Crownhart

The must reads

I’ve scoured the internet to find today’s funniest/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 California has declared a state of emergency over monkey pox outbreak
It has more than 800 confirmed cases and is the second state in three days to announce emergency measures. (CNN)
+ The US dropped millions of vaccines that could protect against monkey pox. (NYT $)
+ India has registered its first death from monkeypox. (BBC)

2 Amazon’s carbon emissions grew 18% last year
Despite his attempts to portray himself as a green champion. (The edge)
+ Just two years ago, it created a $2 billion climate fund. (MIT Technology Review)

3 What Facebook Friends Can Teach Us About Poverty Reduction
Poor kids with richer friends are much more likely to earn more as adults. (NYT $)

4 Black Mirror Didn’t Help The Brain-Computer Interface Case
While the technology could help millions, many people are understandably still wary. (wired $)
+ Why facial expressions are the new Xbox controllers. (WP $)
+ Brain Implants Could Be The Next Computer Mouse. (MIT Technology Review)

5 How Roblox Responds to Grooming
Leaked documents detail the popular gaming platform’s response to major moderation challenges. (Motherboard)

6 Schools fail to protect children’s sensitive data
Hacks and breaches can seriously affect their future prospects and employment. (NYT $)

7 A Hateful Arab Anti-LGBTQ+ Group Is Thriving On Twitter
After he was kicked off Facebook in early July. (Rest of the world)
+ Anti-vaxx Twitter accounts are giving misinformation about food crises. (the guard)
+ The company is questioning Elon Musk’s employees about its deal to acquire it. (WP $)

8 Electric cars are too quiet
But settling for a sound that doesn’t distract us all is surprisingly difficult. (New Yorker $)
+ Their adoption means gas stations are ready to turn to… something else. (protocol)

9 How Daters Got A Long-Term Relationship With Tinder 📱
After a decade on the app, some users feel that a committed partnership is further away than ever. (the cut)

10 We still want to look good on BeReal
The app wants us to be authentic, but it doesn’t take away that urge. (The Atlantic Ocean $)
+ Retraining your social media algorithm is a grueling undertaking. (The information $)

Quote of the day

“You’re already chasing you if you’re going to wait for a case to come.”

—Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a professor at the Stanford School of Medicine, says: Undark that because U.S. public health agencies generally don’t test sewage for polio, the virus likely had spread before a man in Rockland County sought medical attention for it in June.

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