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EV Sales Booming, Solar & Storage to Dominate 2024 in USA — Top Stories of the Week

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Don’t listen to the haters — EV sales are booming, solar power is rising, and the cleantech revolution is alive and well. Read on for this week’s roundup of the top top stories of the past week here on CleanTechnica. (Also, by the way, happy belated Presidents’ Day to those of you in the USA.)

My latest EV sales report for the USA, a new type of analysis requested by a loyal reader, found that electric vehicle (BEV) sales rose 385% from 2019 to 2023, while conventional fossil-fueled (ICE) vehicles saw their sales drop 14%. Sorry, which type of vehicle is seeing disappointing sales trends?

More recently, it turns out EVs broke another sales record globally in January 2024. In fact, sales were up 69% compared to January 2023! How’s that for “slowing” EV sales?

2024 Hyundai Kona Electric
Courtesy of Hyundai
Courtesy of Hyundai

One thing that will hurt US EV sales a bit in 2024 is the Chevy Bolt has gone away and there’s no clear replacement for it from GM yet. If you’re looking for a 2024 alternative to the Chevy Bolt, Steve Hanley argues that the Hyundai Kona Electric should be in your view. I fully endorse that. Hence the nod here.

One of the top selling electric vehicles in the United States, the Ford F-150 Lightning, is now getting exported! Naturally, it’s first market out of the United States is the #1 EV market in the world (in terms of EV market share, not volume). That would be Norway, of course.

Our own Kyle Field recently test drove the new and improved Tesla Model 3 (“Highland”). Incidentally, I also test drove it at around the same time but on the other side of the United States. My review is yet to come, but I had the same core impressions as Kyle, so check out his review and test drive the new Model 3 for yourself!

The Tesla navigation system automatically routes you to Superchargers along your route.

It may not be new, but in case you want a review of the former/older version of the Model 3 on a long road trip, check out Chris Boylan’s latest experiences.

Kofa TAILG Jidi Electric Motorcycle
Images courtesy of Kofa

Skipping outside of the United States, Kofa, a Ghanaian company focusing on battery swap networks, and TAILG, an electric two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturer, have been developing a battery swap enabled electric motorcycle called Jidi. It’s a highly competitive market, but that looks like a great bike. Can it succeed and survive?

On the EV charging front, Jennifer Sensiba contends that the Electrify America network has been improving. Meanwhile, David Waterworth covered a great EV charging startup in Australia for those who don’t have private parking for home charging.

Kerb Charge
Kerb Charge in use. Photo courtesy Rod Walker.
Kerb Charge
Kerb Charger retracted into footpath. Photo courtesy Rod Walker
Kerb Charge
Kerb Charge in nature strip footpath. Photo courtesy Rod Walker

On the climate front, well, Florida is looking to make some idiotic legislative and regulatory changes. I can’t revisit this topic, as my head is already feeling like it’s going to explode.

Photo of flooded Florida streets by Carolyn Fortuna | CleanTechnica.

Anti-science, anti-logic crazies have also apparently scared Larry Fink, founder and CEO of BlackRock, and Jamie Dimon, CEO of Chase Bank, away from sensible investing that takes environmental, social, and governance factors into account. Another sign we are headed for armageddon. …

Let’s get back to some good news, though.

First of all, we had two podcasts recently in which we spoke with teams doing great work to help corporations decarbonize their supply chain and Scope 3 emissions. Check out this podcast and this podcast for some uplifting discussions on corporate decarbonization with software.

In a series of three other podcasts, we talked with people from Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) about how they are electrifying big machines used on construction sites and elsewhere. I teased and summarized the three podcast interviews here.

Image by MIYA/Xfloat

In Thailand, we got news of a great progress with floating solar power plants. “The largest floating hydro-solar project in the world came online in Thailand in 2021, and its success has prompted the EGAT (Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand) to advance 15 new clean energy projects. The hydro-solar project that came online in 2021 totaled 45 MW and includes 145,000 panels, while the combined energy from the new projects supported by EGAT will total over 2.7 GW.”

You know the solar industry is hitting its stride when its growing by leaps and bounds in Texas, and that’s what it’s doing. “The Texas grid recorded a solar power jump of 46% in January this year compared to January 2023, climbing from 1.5 million megawatt-hours to 2.2 million,” Tina Casey writes.

Data source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric

To wrap up, one of the most uplifting stories of the week actually came from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which forecasts that solar power and battery storage together will account for 81% of new US electricity generation capacity in 2024. 81%! Then, add in wind and you’re up to 94%! The renewable energy revolution is in full flow.

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