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Hi again,

Welcome to a new edition of the State of Charge newsletter — a concise monthly overview of the renewable energy and e-mobility transition. This time, we learn about the software complexity in today’s cars, a wine disaster occurring in Napa Valley, and the umpteenth study confirming EVs are greener than their ICE counterparts. Also, don’t miss the Sustainababble podcast episode at the bottom of this newsletter! 🙌

Photo by David von Diemar on Unsplash

SoC Big Story

"The success of a car depends on its software much more than the mechanical side" says Manfred Broy. IEEE Spectrum reflects on the complexity of software infrastructure in today's vehicles, especially EVs. Even low-end vehicles are quickly approaching 100 ECUs and 100 million lines of code. Such a giant software architecture brings colossal testing challenges. Will today's automotive giants have the skills to adapt to this new paradigm?

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The State of Charge May 2021 

Every month we include an exclusive overview of the latest EV sales statistics from around the world.
State of Charge - Stats

These statistics only include 100% Electric Vehicles, no hybrids. Statistics are provided by our partner The Electric Vehicle World Sales Database.

​​Smoke taint in wine - Napa’s dealing with the damage

Photo by Anna Sushok on Unsplash

SoC Must Read 

The New York Times dedicates an article to the challenges Napa Valley winemakers face as a result of climate change.

Napa’s red wine is more valuable than the white one. However, red grapes suffer more from wildfire smoke because their skin is used in the wine production process. 2020 resulted in revenues almost a third lower than the previous year. Lower production, higher grape protection costs, and insurance costs result in wineries going out of business.

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SoC Good Reads

We are used to thinking nature will only grow outside our cities or in areas we want it to. But e360 found that long before the pandemic, cities were refuges for various plants and animals.

According to EY, 2028 will be the tipping point of EV adoption in Europe. That date is earlier than expected. China will become the world's top market for EVs in 2031. The USA should follow only in 2036. 

Lakes at former mines in Germany could soon host floating solar systems. Floating solar farms are a reality already. Just a few days ago the world’s largest project has been announced in Indonesia.

It looks like 2021 is going to be another record year for EV sales. More than 1 million units (BEVs and PHEVs combined) have been sold in the first six months of the year in West Europe only.

A comparison of passenger cars emissions -  EVs prove victorious (again)

Photo by Amanshu Raikwar on Unsplash

SoC Deep Dive 

The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) researched the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of combustion engines and electric passenger cars in Europe, the United States, China, and India. In every region, BEVs emissions are lower than their gas-powered equivalent. Even EVs that plug into dirty grids emit less greenhouse gas than fossil-fuel-powered cars. That holds true globally, whether an EV plugs into a grid in Europe with a larger share of renewables or a grid in India that still relies heavily on coal. 

For example, in Europe, BEVs have 63%–69% lower life-cycle GHG emissions than gasoline cars but vary with the electricity mix.

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SoC Other News

According to TNW, many companies are publishing EV netiquette, a list of dos and don’ts for peaceful coexistence on the road. The 9 guidelines can be summarized with “R E S P E C T”.

Nothing new under the sun, but it’s always good to remind our readers from the Netherlands, France, and Germany, that not all countries have as many public chargers as we do. The charging infrastructure divide between Western Europe and the rest of Europe is BIG.

The fact that some routes are cheaper by plane than by train was a common perception. However, this has now been proven by the British consumer association Which?. The Which? study examined 10 routes within the UK and found that eight were cheaper by plane. Shouldn't governments and businesses help consumers to make more sustainable choices? 

A history of energy and climate - How we realized what we have done

Photo by Hermann Wittekopf on Unsplash

SoC Listen to this 

Oliver Hayes and David Powell, hosts of Sustainababble, chatted with Dr. Alice Bell about the history of climate change. Bell recently published a new book, ‘Our Biggest Experiment: A History of the Climate Crisis’. 

In 1856 American Eunice Newton Foote studied the power of carbon dioxide gas to absorb heat. However, only around 1965 scientists started to get funded to research climate science officially. And just in the last decades, the general public became aware of the issue. Bell delves into the dynamics between climate scientists, politicians, militaries, and activists over the last decades to understand what went wrong.

Start Listening

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