A new bill that hit the New York state senate on Monday is aiming to put a multi-year pause on crypto mining operations across the state until authorities can fully suss out what that mining is doing to the climate and local environment. Bill 6486 is being spearheaded by state Sen. Kevin Parker, who had previously…
Internet service providers today sued New York to block a state law that requires ISPs to sell $15-per-month broadband plans to low-income households.
The lawsuit was filed by lobby groups including USTelecom and CTIA–The Wireless Association, both of which count Verizon and AT&T among their members. Lobby groups for many other ISPs also joined the lawsuit, with plaintiffs including NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association, and the New York State Telecommunications Association. The biggest cable lobby group, NCTA, did not join the lawsuit, but a cable lobby group representing small providers—America’s Communications Association—is one of the plaintiffs suing New York.
New York enacted its cheap-broadband law two weeks ago and called it a “first-in-the-nation requirement for affordable Internet for qualifying low-income families.”
Volkswagen is on a mission to shatter people’s misconceptions of range anxiety by engaging on an 18-day, 6,700-mile cross-country drive in its 2021 ID.4 all-electric crossover. The trip began in New York City in mid-March and ended last March 30 in Sacramento, California. “We proved exactly what we set out to do with this drive, which was to show that … Continue reading
Forget the mall, Target is opening mini Apple Stores inside its retail locations. These dedicated kiosks are twice the size of Target’s current “Apple section” and are run by staff with special training from Apple. Target plans to open mini Apple Stores at 17 locations before the end of February, with more to come throughout 2021.
Large retail outlets like Target have enjoyed a steady stream of business during the COVID-19 pandemic. But as people grow more comfortable going to malls and other casual shopping spaces, it’s possible that big-box retailers could lose some sales. By replicating the Apple Store experience at a kiosk, Target could keep some of its customers away from the mall and generate more big-ticket sales.
Here are the 17 stores that will open Apple kiosks in February:
San Jose, CA
Oklahoma City, OK
San Antonio, TX
North Wales, PA
Target plans to open more mini Apple Stores throughout 2021, but the company hasn’t clarified how many of its locations will actually have an Apple kiosk. It’s possible that some Target stores will skip the Apple kiosk due to its size constraints or staff requirements.
Along with the new in-store experience, Target has redesigned its online Apple storefront with organized, easy-to-read icons. The online storefront also emphasizes the “benefits of getting Apple devices at Target,” like easy returns, free two-day shipping, curbside delivery, and 5% savings with a Target RedCard.
Interestingly, Apple still won’t sell Macs in-store or online. It will instead focus on smaller items like the iPhone, AirPods, iPad, HomePod, and Apple Watch. These items take up less space and (presumably) have higher profit margins than Macs. Plus, they require very little troubleshooting, so Target can spend less time training its Apple kiosk employees.
On Tuesday, the New York Police Department reportedly unleashed Spot, the state-of-the-art robotic dog from Boston Dynamics, to do reconnaissance at a home invasion crime scene in the Bronx. Then yesterday (coincidentally?), art collective MSCHF launched their “Spot’s Rampage” installation in which the robot dog was outfitted with a paintball gun that the public could control via this Web interface. — Read the rest
Twitter has once again taken action against a group for violating its rules, although this time the circumstances are very different. The New York Times and The Verge report that Twitter has banned right-wing activist group Project Veritas for “…
Shell’s plan to roll out 500,000 electric charging station in just four years is the latest sign of an EV charging infrastructure boom that has prompted investors to pour cash into the industry and inspired a few companies to become public companies in search of the capital needed to meet demand.
Since the beginning of the year, three companies have been acquired by special purpose acquisition vehicles and are on a path to go public, while a third has raised tens of millions from some of the biggest names in private equity investing for its own path to commercial viability.
The SPAC attack began in September when an electric vehicle charging network ChargePoint struck a deal to merge with special-purpose acquisition company Switchback Energy Acquisition Corporation, with a market valuation of $2.4 billion. The company’s public listing will debut February 16 on the New York Stock Exchange.
In January, EVgo, an owner and operator of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, agreed to merge with the SPAC Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition for a valuation of $2.6 billion— a huge win for the company’s privately held owner, the power development and investment company LS Power. LS Power and EVgo management, which today own 100% of the company will be rolling all of its equity into the transaction. Once the transaction closes in the second quarter, LS Power and EVgo will hold a 74% stake in the newly combined company.
One more deal soon followed. Volta Industries agreed to merge this month with Tortoise Acquisition II, a tie-up that would give the charging company named after battery inventor Alessandro Volta a $1.4 billion valuation. The deal sent shares of the SPAC company, trading under the ticker SNPR, rocketing up 31.9% in trading earlier this week to $17.01. The stock is currently trading around $15 per-share.
Not to be outdone, private equity firms are also getting into the game. Riverstone Holdings, one of the biggest names in private equity energy investment, placed its own bet on the charging space with an investment in FreeWire. That company raised $50 million in new round of funding earlier this year.
“The writing is on the wall and the investors have to take the time. There’s been a flight out of the traditional investment opportunities in markets,” said FreeWire chief executive, Arcady Sosinov, in an interview. “There’s been a flight out fo the oil and gas companies and out fo the traditional utilities. You have to look at other opportunities… This is going to be the largest growth opportunity of the next ten years.”
FreeWire deploys its infrastructure with BP currently, but the company’s charging technology can be rolled out to fast food companies, post offices, grocery stores, or anywhere where people go and spend somewhere between 20 minutes and an hour. With the Biden Administration’s plan to boost EV adoption in federal fleets, post offices actually represent another big opportunity for charging networks, Sosinov said.
“One of the reasons we find electrification of mobility so attractive is because it’s not if or how, it’s when,” said Robert Tichio, a partner at Riverstone in charge of the firm’s ESG efforts. “Penetration rates are incredibly low… compare that to Norway or Northern Europe. They have already achieved double digit percentages.”
“The demands onc capital in the electrification of transport will begin to approach three quarters of a trillion annually,” Tichio said. “The short answer to your question is that the needs for capital now that we have collectively, politically, socially economically come to a consensus in terms of where we’re going and we couldn’t say that 18 months ago is going to be at a tipping point.”
“As our customers’ needs evolve, we will increasingly offer a range of alternative energy sources, supported by digital technologies, to give people choice and the flexibility, wherever they need to go and whatever they drive,” said Mark Gainsborough, Executive Vice President, New Energies for Shell, in a statement at the time of the Greenlots acquisition. “This latest investment in meeting the low-carbon energy needs of US drivers today is part of our wider efforts to make a better tomorrow. It is a step towards making EV charging more accessible and more attractive to utilities, businesses and communities.”
Electric scooter company Revel is moving into EV charging. It’s building its first universal fast charging site in Bedford–Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, which it claims will be the largest such hub in North America with 30 chargers. The station will be ope…