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Biden admin says about 20 models will still qualify for EV tax credits

The Inflation Reduction Act , which President Joe Biden signed into law Tuesday, says that if automakers want their electric vehicles to be eligible for tax credits, they’ll need to have final assembly in North America. The law, which takes effect immediately, ends credits for about 70% of the 72 models that were previously eligible, according to the Alliance for Automotive Innovation . About 20 model year 2022 and early model year 2023 vehicles will still make the cut for EV tax credits of up to $7,500 through the end of the year under the new legislation. Any manufacturer that has vehicles assembled in North America and has reached their cap of 200,000 EV credits will not be eligible for the freshly named Clean Vehicle Credit this year. That leaves the following models still eligible: Electric vehicles from model year 2022 eligible for Clean Vehicle Credit Audi Q5 BMW 3-series Plug-In and BMW X5 Chrysler Pacifica PHEV Ford F Series; Ford Mustang Mach E; Ford Transit Van Jeep

Getting power from poop, with Levidian’s Loop

The U.K. water processing industry produces a godawful amount of biogas annually. The gasses are primarily used to generate operational heat and power on-site, or they can be turned into biomethane and injected back into the national gas grid. New research funding is going to see if United Utilities can use Levidian’s Loop system to turn these waste gases into carbon-negative hydrogen (which can be easily stored for later use) along with graphene, which has a number of interesting use cases, including medicine, electronics and energy. “This is an exciting project that will lead the way to utilize Loop to decarbonize biogas at scale,” comments Levidian CEO John Hartley. “The consortium has a vast amount of knowledge and experience, which we are leveraging to produce carbon-negative hydrogen — there is no better goal to be working on right now.” The U.K. government’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy has awarded the project around $250,000 (£212,000, to be exact

Eat Just bags $25M, gets Alibaba’s help to sell alternative protein in China

China is a notoriously difficult market for international startups to crack, but one company seems to have found the recipe for wooing the country’s picky consumers. Three years after Eat Just launched in China , the San Francisco-based company is ready to put more alternative protein products on Chinese people’s plates. Formerly Hampton Creek, Eat Just has secured $25 million and a strategic partnership from C2 Capital Partners, a private equity firm with Alibaba as its anchor investor. The tie-up with C2, according to Eat Just’s co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick, will help the firm’s go-to-market strategies, sales, branding, consumer insights, hiring, and regulatory approach in China. Specifically, the Californian company will benefit from Alibaba’s reservoir of consumer insight and its experience in building a team in China from the ground up, Tetrick told TechCrunch. Eat Just has been around since 2011 and raised over $400 million from investors including Khosla Ventures and Hon

YC grad QuotaBook raises $11M to scale its equity management platform

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QuotaBook , a Seoul-based equity management platform, has raised $11 million in funding led by Elefund, with participation from Access Ventures, Hana Securities and South Korean fintech company Viva Republica. Some of its previous backers, including Draper Associates and Capstone Partners, joined the round. The Korean startup, which graduated from Y Combinator (YC)’s Winter 21 batch, was founded by former venture capitalists Andy Choi , Dan Hong and Pilseon Jun , in 2019. Choi, the company’s CEO, said in an interview with TechCrunch that in their capacity as investors, the three noticed that in Korea and many other Asian countries, startups were still relying on Excel when managing their cap tables, stock options, stakeholder and other related information. That meant the startups’ backers were forced to make sense of these spreadsheets, too. “VCs were stuck with Excel sheets or very old enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, so old that they are not web-based and can be installed

American Airlines to buy 20 jets from Boom Supersonic

American Airlines will buy up to 20 jets from Boom Supersonic, an aircraft maker that aims to commercialize supersonic, and super-fast, flight. Boom’s Overture four-engine jets promise speeds of up to Mach 1.7 over water, which is twice the speed of today’s fastest commercial aircraft — meaning the jet can fly from Miami to London in just under five hours, rather than the standard nine hours. About a year ago, United Airlines also agreed to purchase some 15 Boom jets , and in 2016, Virgin Atlantic partnered with Boom to build and test planes in an attempt to make the historically expensive flights more affordable. With the American Airlines deal in hand, Boom has an order of 130 planes to fill, including options — American has an option to purchase 40 more of the jets — valued at about $26 billion, Reuters reports . Boom’s Overture jets, which can carry 65 to 80 passengers, are expected to start coming off Boom’s Greensboro, North Carolina, production line in 2025, followed by test

Google makes robots smarter by teaching them about their limitations

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If you’ve used a smart voice assistant such as Alexa, Siri and whatever-Google’s-smart-assistant-is-called, you’ll probably have noticed that the tech is getting smarter every day. Google can wait on hold for you , Siri can speak in a gender-neutral voice and Alexa can read you bedtime stories in your dead grandmother’s voice. Robotics is evolving in leaps and bounds as well , as we explored in our Robotics event last month. The gap between the two — voice commands and autonomous robotics — has been vast, for a number of reasons. Last week, we went to Google’s robotics labs in Mountain View to see how that’s set to change in the near future. Teaching robots what to do for repetitive tasks in controlled spaces where humans aren’t allowed isn’t easy, but it’s more or less a solved problem. Rivian’s recent factory tour was a great reminder of that, but the use of industrial robotics is everywhere in manufacturing. General-purpose robots that are able to solve lots of different tasks

From ‘literally zero’ experience to $100M, this VC is raising his second climate tech seed fund

If you ask me, climate tech investor Contrarian Ventures isn’t so contrarian anymore. The five-year-old firm is targeting $100 million for its second seed-stage fund, and it’s doing so smack in the middle of a climate-tech dealmaking boom . So, if anything, it’s trendy. But when the seed-stage VC — a backer of e-bike maker Zoomo and solar data firm PVcase — debuted with a $13.6 million fund in 2017, its focus was “obviously contrarian,” founding partner Rokas Peciulaitis told TechCrunch, as the “industries in vogue at the time were AI and Fintech.” The launch also marked an unexpected pivot for Peciulaitis, who says he dove into the scene with “literally zero climate tech sector experience.” He’d recently left an inflation-trading job at Bank of America, where the work was “not fulfilling in the slightest,” Peciulaitis said in a nod to the bank’s reputation as a major funder of fossil fuels . In 2017, PitchBook recorded 578 climate tech deals globally, altogether worth $12.5 bil

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