Nigeria’s Rensource raises $20M to power African markets by solar

Nigerian startup Rensource Energy has raised a $20 million Series A round co-led by CRE Venture Capital and the Omidyar network. The renewable energy company builds and operates solar-powered micro-utilities that provide electricity to commercial community structures, such as open-air trading bazaars. Launched in 2016, the startup has shifted its operating strategy. “We’ve pivoted away from a residential focus…and we’re …

The electric Porsche Taycan Turbo has an EPA range of 201 miles

The Porsche Taycan Turbo, one of several variants of the German automaker’s first all-electric vehicles, has an EPA estimated range of 201 miles, according to government ratings posted Wednesday. This is the first variant of the Taycan — Porsche’s first all-electric vehicle — to receive an estimated range from the EPA. The range, which indicates how far the vehicle can …

GM, LG Chem to invest $2.3 billion in EV battery joint venture

GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra said Thursday morning that the automaker is forming a joint venture with LG Chem to mass produce battery cells for its electric vehicles, a portfolio that will include a new battery-electric truck coming in the fall of 2021. The two companies said they will invest up to a total of $2.3 billion into the …

Tim Cook, Satya Nadella, Elon Musk, Sundar Pichai and more sign renewed commitment to Paris Agreement

The U.S. government may be in the process of formally withdrawing from the term of the Paris Agreement, an International accord on targets to fight climate change, but major U.S. employers say they’ll stay the course in a new statement jointly signed by a group of 148 chief executives and U.S. labor organization leaders. The statement, posted at UnitedForTheParisAgreement.com, represents …

Tesla all-electric ATV makes a surprise debut at Cybertruck event

Tesla CEO Elon Musk definitely didn’t have the most issue-free presentation during last night’s Cybertruck unveil, but he did pull off a pretty impressive ‘one more thing moment’ – revealing a surprise all-electric all-terrain vehicle (ATV) that Tesla created to pair with its futuristic pickup. The Tesla electric ATV didn’t get a lot of time to shine on its own, …

VEnvirotech transforms organic waste into bioplastics

After a year of testing out environmental technologies for a private company, co-founder Patricia Ayma developed a process for bioplastic production using bacteria. The system turns organic matter, such as food waste, into a product that can be used as a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastics. “I realized that it was a simple technology for taking to society, that will …

Recycling robots raise millions from top venture firms to rescue an industry in turmoil

The problem of how to find the potential treasure trove hidden in millions of pounds of trash is getting a high-tech answer as investors funnel $16 million into the recycling robots built by Denver-based AMP Robotics. For recyclers, the commercialization of robots tackling industry problems couldn’t come at a better time. Their once-stable business has been turned on its head …

Lyft deploys 200 long-range EVs for its rideshare rental fleet in Colorado

Lyft is making 200 new long-range EVs available to rideshare drivers as part of its Express Drive program, the company revealed today. Express Drive is a program that Lyft offers to provide rental cars to drivers on its platform, as an alternative to options like long-term leasing. Express Drive members get unlimited miles, as well as included insurance, maintenance and …

UCLA now has the first zero-emission, all-electric mobile surgical instrument lab

Electrification in the automotive industry isn’t just about consumer cars: There are plenty of commercial and specialist vehicles that are prime candidates for EVs, including in the healthcare industry. Take the new UCLA mobile surgical lab developed by Winnegbago, for instance – it’s a zero-emission, all-electric vehicle that will move back and forth between two UCLA campuses, collecting, sterilizing and …

Ex-Facebook CPO Chris Cox now advises on climate & campaign tech

Chris Cox’s motivational speeches were at the heart of Facebook’s new employee orientation. But after 14 years at the social network, the Chief Product Officer left in March amidst an executive shake-up and Facebook’s new plan to prioritize privacy by moving to encrypt its messaging apps. No details on his next projects were revealed. Now the 37-year-old leader will be …

Walmart reaches settlement with Tesla over solar panel fires, drops lawsuit

Walmart has dropped a lawsuit that accused Tesla of breach of contract and gross negligence after rooftop solar panel systems on seven of the retailer’s stores allegedly caught fire. A settlement has been reached and stipulation of dismissal has been filed with the court, a Walmart spokesperson said in an email. It is unclear what the settlement entails. TechCrunch has …

Supercross’s anticipated EV class not ready for primetime in 2020

Motorcycle racing series Supercross isn’t quite ready to add an EV class. The sport — where riders race high-performance machines on jump-filled stadium tracks — currently fields only gas-powered two-wheelers. Supercross was poised to launch an all electric class this month, by converting its junior program to a new e-moto manufactured by KTM — Supercross Director of Operations Dave Prater …

All-electric Mini Cooper SE priced starting at $29,900 in the US

The new all-electric Mini Cooper SE, the first Mini designed from the ground up as an electric car, is going to retail in the U.S. starting at $29,900 (plus an $850 Destination and Handling fee) – before any tax incentives are applied. That puts final pricing as low as around $17,900 when you consider cereal and state tax incentives, plus …

Elon Musk predicts Tesla energy could be ‘bigger’ than its EV business

Tesla CEO Elon Musk forecast that the company’s energy business will eventually be the same size as — or even bigger than — its automotive sector, the latest sign that the company plans to put more time and resources to scaling up its solar and storage products. “It could be bigger, but it will certainly be of a similar magnitude,” Musk said during …

Tesla is launching version three of its solar roof tile this week

Tesla will debut a new, third iteration of its solar roof tile this week – with an official debut tomorrow afternoon. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during the company’s earnings call on Wednesday that it’ll make an official announcement detailing the differences in generation three on Thursday afternoon. Tesla originally unveiled its solar roof tile product back in 2016, officially …

Plug and Play launches an accelerator to develop technologies addressing plastic waste

The Plug and Play network of accelerator programs is partnering with the nonprofit organization Alliance to End Plastic Waste to create an accelerator focused on developing technologies to reduce, remove or replace plastics in the industrial ecosystem. Like Techstars, Plug and Play operates a number of industry-focused accelerator programs around the world, and for this program, targeting solutions that will …

Electric vehicle charging software EV Connect raises $12 million

EV Connect, the Los Angeles-based company that sells software to manage electric vehicle charging, has raised $12 million in a Series B round led by investors Mitsui & Co. and Ecosystem Integrity Fund. The company has raised $25 million to date. EV Connect’s cloud-based platform has an open standard architecture that is designed to be hardware agnostic. In other words, …

Pizza Hut is testing Zume’s compostable round boxes

Pizza Hut this morning announced plans to pilot Zume’s signature round pizza boxes. Testing for now will be extremely limited — in fact, it’s only happening at a single location in Phoenix, Ariz. The boxes are one of a number of different technologies being pushed by the SF Bay startup. In fact, my recent conversation with Zume CEO Alex Garden …

NASA’s first all-electric experimental X-plane is ready for testing

NASA will fly a crewed X-plane, one of the experimental aircraft it creates to test various technologies, for the first time in two decades in the near future. This X-plane, the X-57 Maxwell to be exact, is significant for another reason, too: It’s the first fully electric experimental plane that NASA will fly. The delivery of the X-57 Maxwell to …

Here’s how much the all-electric Polestar 2 will cost in its launch markets

Volvo group’s Polestar electric performance car sub-brand has announced pricing for the Polestar 2, the company’s second production car, a four-door mid-sized fastback that will begin production in 2020 and start shipping as early as next June. Starting prices are set at between 58,800€ (around $63,720 U.S.). Those prices include three years of service and maintenance and European value-added tax …

Package Free picks up $4.5 million to scale sustainable CPG products

The climate crisis continues to be just that… a crisis. And it’s spurring people across the country (and globe) to take action, particularly when it comes to their own lifestyle. Lauren Singer is one such person. After studying Environmental Science and Politics at NYU, she started a blog called Trash Is For Tossers to make a zero-waste lifestyle more accessible …

ClimateTech is the new hot space for investors in a warming planet

How do you attract the attention of a prince? Aside from being Meghan Markle, of course. One answer came recently in the form of Prince Harry’s backing of a new initiative designed to make offsetting the carbon from your airline flights a properly mainstream idea. For Harry, the initiative had a double whammy. It might finally make carbon offsetting cool, …

Google announces 18 new renewable energy deals

Google today announced its largest package of renewable energy deals yet. Worth a total of 1,600-megawatts, the package includes 18 deals in the U.S., Chile and Europe. This brings Google’s current set of wind and solar agreements to about 5,500 megawatts (MW) and the company’s number of total renewables projects it’s involved in to 52. Google argues that these new …