Today’s Pickup: Federally funded autonomous electric shuttles show up in Ohio

Federally funded autonomous electric shuttles show up in Ohio (Photo: easymile)

Good day,

Linden LEAP, an autonomous electric shuttle funded by the federal government, is taking to the streets of Columbus, Ohio, providing residents in the South Linden neighborhood of the city access to the rest of Columbus. Data collected during this project will be analyzed to make services incrementally better, helping further expand autonomous vehicle services across the country. For the next year, residents can ride the shuttle for free, with the initial travel route extending to about 3 miles. This experiment is a brainchild of the Smart Cities Challenge program, which looks to encourage midsize cities to develop alternative transport modes using electric and autonomous vehicles.

Did you know?

China exports about $70 billion worth of car parts and accessories globally every year, with roughly 20% reaching the U.S. — numbers that are expected to slide due to the coronavirus pandemic.


“Trade tensions are at the root of the worst year for air cargo since the end of the global financial crisis in 2009. While these are easing, there is little relief in that good news as we are in unknown territory with respect to the eventual impact of the coronavirus on the global economy.”

— International Air Transport Association Director General Alexandre de Juniac, commenting on the steep decline in demand for air freight in 2019

In other news

Tesla ‘off the accelerator’ as stock takes worst tumble in seven years

Tesla stock fell nearly 18% after a record 36% rise over the past two days. (Market Watch)

Layoffs hit Flexport, another SoftBank-backed startup worth $3.2B

Fearing weak fundraising options in the wake of the WeWork implosion, late-stage startups are tightening their belts. (TechCrunch)

OPEC+ struggles with oil’s fast and furious fall

OPEC+ is meeting urgently to discuss moves in the face of a seemingly inexorable slide in oil prices. (Oilprice)

Chanje and MaxGen partner to design and build commercial fleet charging infrastructure at scale

The partnership will support the first-ever large-scale charging infrastructure projects for commercial electric truck fleets. (PR Newswire)

German car sales plummet as new pollution rules bite

German car sales fell sharply in January, hit by the coming into force of new EU pollution rules that had triggered a buying frenzy in the final months of 2019. (The Local)

Final thoughts

Nikola Motor Co. has partnered with IVECO and FPT Industrial, the commercial vehicle and powertrain brands of CNH Industrial, to manufacture Nikola TRE models in Ulm, Germany. Heavy-duty Nikola TRE models come in battery-electric and fuel-cell electric variants, both of which will be produced in the IVECO manufacturing facility. The first stage of the project will see €40 million (~$44 million) invested in upgrading the existing manufacturing facility, with a focus on the final assembly of the vehicles. Production is expected to start by the first quarter of 2021, with deliveries commencing later that year.

Hammer down, everyone!