How GM & VW Are Beating Tesla

How GM & VW Are Beating Tesla

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.

Since 2020, California-based Sound Agriculture has been selling its crop additive called Source, which mimics a signal that naturally occurs in plants to attract microbes. Those microbes in turn provide nutrients to the plant. What this means in practice is that farmers who use this product also don’t need as much fertilizer, making their fields more environmentally friendly and saving money at the same time.

But this week, Sound Agriculture introduced a very different product: a tomato, which the company was able to breed using epigenetic techniques to be both flavorful and durable. The techniques were both faster and more cost-effective than either traditional breeding or using genetic engineering or gene editing. The tomatoes will be pilot testing in the New York City area, but Sound doesn’t plan to stop with tomatoes–it’s moving on to other crops as well. And given the pace of climate change, being able to quickly breed new traits into crops could prove to be a very competitive advantage for the company.

Travis Bayer, the company’s CTO and cofounder, says this new product launch marks “the beginning of an era of more differentiated produce, more stable produce and tastier produce, all coming to the market faster.”

You can read more about the company here.

The Big Read

Meet The Marine Biologist-Turned-Entrepreneur Restoring Coral Reefs Using 3D Printing And Clay

Vriko Yu launched a startup on the back of her Ph.D. studies in biological sciences. Now she’s the CEO of Archireef, a climate tech venture that’s working to restore fragile marine ecosystems by using 3D printing technology and some good old-fashioned terracotta.

Read more here.

Discoveries And Innovations

Researchers in China have developed a new type of glass they claim is both biodegradable and biorecyclable, marking another eco-friendly alternative to glass or plastic to emerge in recent months.

According to local divers, the wreck of the S.S. Thistlegorm, a cargo ship that sank in the Red Sea during World War II, has now become an artificial reef.

Sustainability Deals Of The Week

Recycling Renewables: Solarcycle, which turns old solar panels into materials for new ones, raised a $30 million series A round this week.

Microbial Carbon Capture: California-based startup Andes, which uses microorganisms to capture carbon dioxide, announced it has raised an additional $15 million for its series A venture round, bringing the round’s total to $30 million.

Green Hydrogen: Ceres Power Holdings announced that it has entered a deal with Bosch and Linde Engineering to prepare a two-year demonstration of a one-megawatt solid oxide electrolysis system as a pathway to making green hydrogen.

On The Horizon

It’s still snowing in some parts of the U.S., but spring is on the horizon. If you haven’t thought about it, it may be time to stock up on antihistamines now, as researchers are noting that thanks to climate change, allergy season is starting earlier than ever.

What Else We’re Reading This Week

Don’t overlook the faith in climate action (Religion News)

Artificial Intelligence Is Booming—So Is Its Carbon Footprint (Bloomberg)

A Climate Reckoning Is Already Here — for Gardeners (Heatmap)

Green Transportation Update

The Biden Administration this week started making good on a promise to create a vastly bigger electric vehicle charging network across the U.S., particularly in lower-income or rural regions, by opening up access to $2.5 billion in additional federal funds as part of a push to cut automotive carbon emissions. That’s on top of $5 billion for chargers to be set up along U.S. interstate highways and state roads.

The Big Transportation Story

VW And GM Are Passing Tesla In The Race To Sell Affordable EVs

Elon Musk has teased the idea that Tesla would sell a widely affordable battery-powered model since 2006. He finally came close to announcing one this month, but still hasn’t shared details. Competitors, including Volkswagen and General Motors, aren’t waiting to see what the mercurial billionaire decides to do and are already laying down plans for EVs priced at $30,000 or less.

Read more here.

More Green Transportation News

Nissan Goes Hands-Off With 2023 Ariya E-Force EV

This 30 Under 30 Alum Is Helping Save Mileage With A Newly Unveiled Electric RV

Audi CEO Is Focused On Fully-Electric Future And U.S. Production Timeline

May Mobility Launches New, Smarter Robotransit Technology

Building A Statewide Charging Network: Q&A With Officials From The Volunteer State (Part 2)

Kroger Turns To Gatik Robotrucks For Stocking Runs In DFW Metroplex

Is Your Car A Target For Catalytic Converter Theft?

Volkswagen Commits To $131 Billion In EV And Digital Development By 2028

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