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


The news: Democrats in the US Senate released a bill last week that could significantly reduce the country’s carbon emissions. One of the key components of the bill is an extension of electric vehicle tax credits, which are designed to help drive electric vehicle adoption by giving buyers a credit of $7,500 toward the purchase of a qualifying new electric vehicle, or $4,000 for used cars.

The hitch? For a new vehicle to qualify for the tax credit, its battery and the key minerals used in it must come predominantly from the US or countries with which it has free trade agreements.

Why it matters: Currently, most lithium-ion cells for electric vehicle batteries are built in China. The US only manufactures about 7% of the world’s supply. The legislation is an attempt to encourage companies to build more battery mining and manufacturing capacity in the US. While the restrictions could help build a secure battery supply chain in the U.S. in the long term, some experts are unsure how quickly U.S. companies will be able to respond.

The larger image: Ambitious electric vehicle tax credits could play a role in building domestic battery manufacturing and encouraging new supply chains in the US, and are an apparent attempt to slow China’s battery dominance . But whether these changes will come fast enough to keep up with the boom in electric vehicle sales remains a very open question. Read the whole story.

—Casey Crownhart

Required readings

I’ve combed the internet to find you the funniest/important/scary and fascinating stories about technology.

1 California declared a state of emergency for its smallpox outbreak
It has more than 800 confirmed cases and is the second state in three days to announce emergency measures. (CNN)
+ The US allowed millions of vaccines that could protect against monkeypox to expire. (NOW $)
+ India has recorded its first monkey pox death. (BBC)

2 Amazon’s carbon emissions grew by 18% last year
Despite his attempts to paint himself as a green champion. (The edge)
+ Just two years ago, it created a $2 billion climate fund. (MIT Technology Review)

3 What Facebook friendships can teach us about poverty reduction
Poor kids with wealthier friends are much more likely to earn more as adults. (NYT$)

4 Black Mirror hasn’t helped the case for brain-computer interfaces
Although the technology could help millions of people, many people remain understandably wary. (via cable $)
+ Why facial expressions are the new Xbox controllers. (WP$)
+ Brain implants could be the next computer mouse. (MIT Technology Review)

5 How Roblox Responds to Grooming
The leaked documents detail the popular gaming platform’s response to major moderation challenges. (motherboard)

6 Schools do not protect children’s sensitive data
Hacking and breaches could seriously affect your future prospects and employment. (NYT$)

7 A hateful anti-LGBTQ+ Arab group is thriving on Twitter
After being kicked off Facebook in early July. (Rest of the World)
+ Anti-vaxx Twitter accounts are peddling misinformation about the food crisis. (The Guardian)
+ The company is investigating Elon Musk’s associates over its deal to acquire him. (WP$)

8 Electric cars are too quiet 🚙
But settling on a sound that won’t drive us all to distraction is surprisingly difficult. (New Yorker $)
+ Their adoption means gas stations are about to turn to… something else. (Protocol)

9 How Long Term Relationship Dates Ended on Tinder 📱
After a decade on the app, some users feel a committed partnership is further away than ever. (the cut)

10 We still want to look good in BeReal
The app wants us to be authentic, but it doesn’t negate that drive. (The Atlantic $)
+ Retraining your social media algorithm is a daunting task. (The $ info)

quote of the day

“You’re already chasing your tail if you’re waiting for a case to appear.”

—Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a professor at the Stanford School of Medicine, tells Undark that because U.S. public health agencies generally don’t test sewage for polio, the virus likely had spread before a man of Rockland County sought medical attention in June.



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