Tech

US-built EV batteries, and California’s monkeypox emergency


News: US Senate Democrat issued an invoice last week that could significantly cut the country’s carbon footprint. One of the key components of the bill is to extend the electric vehicle tax credit, which is designed to help drive electric vehicle adoption by giving buyers a $7,500 credit to purchase a new electric vehicle enough condition or $4,000 for a used vehicle.

Hitchhike? For a new vehicle to qualify for the tax credit, the battery and the vital minerals used in it must primarily come from the United States or from countries with which it has free trade agreements.

Why is it important: Currently most of the lithium-ion cells for EV batteries are made in China. The US produces only about 7% of the global supply. The law is an effort to encourage companies to build more battery mining and manufacturing capacity in the US. While the restrictions could help build a secure supply chain for batteries in the US in the long term, some experts are unsure how quickly US companies will be able to respond.

Bigger picture: Ambitious EV tax credits could play a role in building the domestic battery industry and incentivizing new supply chains in the US – and are an apparent attempt to slow its dominance China on batteries. But whether those changes will come quickly enough to keep pace with booming electric vehicle sales remains an open question. Read full story.

—Casey Crownhart

Things to read

I scoured the internet to find you today’s most interesting/important/scary/fascinating stories about tech.

1 California declares state of emergency due to monkeypox outbreak
It has more than 800 confirmed cases, and is the second state in three days to announce emergency measures. (CNN)
+ The United States has allowed millions of vaccines that can protect against monkeypox to expire. (NYT $)
+ India has recorded its first death from smallpox in monkeys. (BBC)

2 Amazon’s carbon footprint increased by 18% last year
Despite its efforts to paint itself as a green champion. (The Verge)
+ Just two years ago, it created a $2 billion climate fund. (MIT Technology Review)

3 What Facebook friendships can teach us about poverty alleviation
Poor children with richer friends are more likely to earn more as adults. (NYT $)

4 Black Mirror doesn’t help the brain-computer interface case
While this technology could help millions of people, many are understandably still wary. (Wired $)
+ Why facial expressions are the new Xbox controller. (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 censorship challenges. (Motherboard)

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

7 A hateful Arabic-language anti-LGBTQ+ group is thriving on Twitter
After the death of Facebook in early July. (The rest of the world)
+ Anti-vaxx Twitter accounts are selling food crisis information. (Guardians)
+ The company is probing Elon Musk’s associates about the deal to buy it. (WP $)

8 Electric cars are too quiet 🚙
But dealing with a sound that doesn’t distract us all is surprisingly difficult. (New Yorkers $)
+ Their acceptance means gas stations are ready to turn to… something else. (Protocol)

9 Results of data people in a long-term relationship with Tinder
After a decade of using the app, some users feel a committed partnership is further away than ever. (Cut)

10 We still want to look good on BeReal
The app wants us to authenticate, but doesn’t deny that urge. (Atlantic $)
+ Retraining your social media algorithm is exhausting work. (Information $)

Quote of the day

“You were chasing your tail if you were waiting for a case to come out.”

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



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