Current Climate: Driving The ‘Loneliest Road In America’ In An Electric Car

This week’s Current Climate, which every Saturday brings you the latest news about the business of sustainability. Sign up to get it in your inbox every week.

Electric vehicles are fun and fast to drive and have the added benefit of no tailpipe exhaust or carbon pollution. But driving them cross country or in rural and remote areas can still be a daunting task. Forbes senior contributor Brad Templeton shares his experience driving and charging his Tesla Model 3 through the “loneliest road in America” – a rural route in Utah. Even on a route like this, he writes, he was able to keep his car charged up, though doing so “requires planning, and mostly sticking to the plan, with a few other compromises,” he writes. But he also notes that “t’s not going to take that much to make such travel much easier, and that should happen soon, perhaps by the time you take a trip like this in an EV.”

You can read about his whole experience here.

The Big Read

How To Build A Climate-Friendly Skyscraper: Start Small. Petri-Dish Small.

Prometheus Materials has a solution for replacing one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gasses, financial backing from Microsoft and an aggressive plan to scale up quickly.

Read more here.

Discoveries And Innovations

Researchers at Rice University have figured out a way to make hydrogen and graphene from plastic waste, in a process that could conceivably pay for itself.

This year is already the worst year on record for billion-dollar climate disasters in the U.S., according to a report from NOAA, as experts warn that extreme events are likely to become more frequent and intense as a result of human-driven climate change.

Researchers have unearthed an ancient plant protein that could be reintroduced into modern crops in order to help them better tolerate heat.

The increasing frequency of droughts, heatwaves, storms and floods is threatening both the availability and quality of water across the world, a study released Tuesday said, heightening scientist’s existing concerns that climate change poses a severe threat to human health.

Nespresso has launched a new line of coffee pods for its machines that are compostable and biodegradable.

Two companies, Sesame Solar and Watergen, have teamed up to develop mobile microgrids that are capable of providing power and drinking water to needed areas.

The Big Transportation Story

Musk’s Cybertruck Is Almost Here. But Will Anyone Buy The ‘Ludicrous’ Vehicle?

Elon Musk’s vision for Tesla in a 2006 manifesto, before he was its CEO and sole decision maker, thrilled environmentalists: fight carbon pollution with electric vehicles by starting with a pricey, open-top sports car and then shifting to affordable family models — ideally powered by the sun. Seventeen years later, his pitch for the big, blocky Cybertruck, expected to go on sale in the coming weeks, has nothing to do with the climate crisis. His electric reinterpretation of the pickup truck excites his fans, puzzles auto experts and frustrates environmentalists.

Read more here.

Sustainability Deals Of The Week

Climate Investing: Galvanize Climate Solutions, a climate-focused investment firm, announced that it has closed its first venture and growth equity fund at a total of over $1 billion.

Broken Chargers: The Department of Transportation announced a new $100 million fund geared towards fixing broken public EV chargers, though it’s not clear if this will fix the problem that led to large numbers of non-working chargers in the first place.

Solar Manufacturing: Solar power manufacturer Heliene announced that it has raised $170 million in debt and equity financing in order to expand its manufacturing capacity in the United States.

Graphene: Lyten, which is developing a superconducting form of graphene that can be used in batteries, materials and other sensors, announced that it has raised a $200 million series B round led by Prime Movers Lab.

ESG Reporting: Optera, which develops ESG and carbon management platforms, announced it has raised a $12 million series A led by Next Frontier Capital.

Energy Management: FranklinWH Energy Storage, which develops battery storage solutions for homes, announced it has raised $25 million in series B funding led by Particle Future.

EV Batteries: Gotion, which builds batteries for electric vehicles, announced it has selected Illinois as the site of its new $2 billion lithium battery plant.

What Else We’re Reading This Week

Tesla reinvents carmaking with quiet breakthrough (Reuters)

Elon Musk’s Tesla Diner Is Closer To Becoming A Reality In Los Angeles (Secret Los Angeles)

U.S. EV share being driven by Tesla price cuts, registration data shows (Automotive News)

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