We’re wrapping up August with another energy news roundup! This week, we’ll focus on electric vehicles (EVs), discussing new vehicle standards in California, and a new partnership between Honda and LG.
California creates rules to phase out gas-powered vehicles
Last week, the California Air Resources Board set the strictest standard for vehicles in the world – they announced that by 2035, all new cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs sold in California must be electric or hydrogen. Transportation is the largest driver of greenhouse gas emissions in California at 40 percent, and, if followed as expected, this standard could cut vehicle emissions in half by 2040. Importantly, in order for this to be feasible, California needs to quickly ramp up its EV charging infrastructure from the 80,000 public charging stations currently installed to 1.2 million by 2030: a 15-fold increase. As the country’s most populous state, California is a leader in energy policy and it’s likely that other states will follow suit in setting strict zero-emission vehicle transition policies.
Honda and LG announce new EV battery partnership
You likely know Honda for their popular vehicles and LG for their electronics (or for their solar batteries). Yesterday, these two companies announced a joint $4.4 billion investment to build an EV battery manufacturing facility in the U.S. This is an important announcement for the EV industry, especially as the new Inflation Reduction Act is set to limit incentives for EVs with batteries that aren’t built in the U.S. starting in 2024. While the facility’s location hasn’t been finalized, Honda and LG plan to start construction in 2023 with the goal of mass lithium-ion battery cell production beginning by the end of 2025. Ultimately, the two companies estimate that their manufacturing facility will produce 40 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) of battery capacity each year.