Next-Gen Mobility News, January 19th

Volume 22

GM jumps as Microsoft joins $2 billion self-driving venture
MSN, January 19th
General Motors Co. and Microsoft Corp. are leading a $2 billion investment round in self-driving car startup Cruise LLC in a deal that will bring the software giant’s cloud and edge-computing capabilities to the venture. Shares of GM surged on the news.
Biden administration pushes EVs, high-speed rail as future of American transportation
Visalia Times Delta, January 18th
President-elect Joe Biden has put the battle against climate change as one of his top priorities. Key to that fight will be the transition to cleaner modes of transportation, an endeavor that will be firmly centered in California, where nearly 40 million people need to get around.
Toyota-backed Paris venture targets 10,000 hydrogen taxis by 2024
Bloomberg, January 19th
A French company plans to persuade 10,000 Paris taxi drivers to switch to hydrogen-powered cars by the time the Olympic Games come to town in three years.
Uber is bringing its EV and public transit features to more cities
The Verge, January 12th
Uber Green, the feature that allows customers to request rides in electric vehicles, is coming to more cities. After initially launching in 15 cities last September, the ride-hail company is bringing the feature to 1,400 additional cities and towns in North America. 
Study ties rise in car ownership to entrance of ride-hail services in cities
Courthouse News, January 6th
If people can just hail a ride from a five-star Lyft or Uber driver at a moment’s notice, will they even bother owning cars? According to research published in the journal iScience on Wednesday, the answer is yes: vehicle ownership actually increased across cities alongside the arrival of ride-hail services.
Well, that didn’t last: BMW and Audi join Mercedes in shutting down subscription services
Car Scoops, January 15th
Both BMW and Audi appear to be shutting down their subscription services. Access by BMW and Audi Select both launched in 2018 in test markets, but failed to catch on with customers. These decisions follow Mercedes‘ decision to shut down its subscription service pilot project last summer, while Cadillac put its version on hiatus in 2018.
Electric car batteries with five-minute charging times produced
The Guardian, January 19th
Batteries capable of fully charging in five minutes have been produced in a factory for the first time, marking a significant step towards electric cars becoming as fast to charge as filling up petrol or diesel vehicles.
Last mile delivery service GoFor commits to EVs
Industry Week, January 18th
While the advances in battery technology and management capabilities properly position electric vehicles in compete in the open market, it is the growing number of industry commitments driving the continued development efforts.
The next Tesla? Investors bet big on electric truck maker Rivian
The New York Times, January 19th
It’s hard to imagine any company matching Tesla’s rocket-like rise. But if any electric car start-up could aspire to be the “next Tesla,” it would be Rivian.
Dallas ride-sharing firm Alto takes LA plunge
Intelligent Transport, January 6th
Texan ride-hailing firm Alto is moving into the Los Angeles market, as it seeks to provide customers with an alternative to giants Uber and Lyft in the city.
GM launches BrightDrop; aims to electrify last-mile delivery
Fleet Owner, January 19th
General Motors (GM) revealed its launch of BrightDrop last week at CES 2021. The new company, which will offer electric first-to-last-mile products, software and services, aims to help businesses lower costs, maximize productivity, improve employee safety and freight security, and support overall sustainability efforts.
Gig workers try to block new Calif. law
Boston Globe, January 13th
Ride-hail and delivery drivers are suing to invalidate the California ballot measure approved in November that declared them independent contractors.