It’s 2020, and good news is that the money continues to flow. This week, we tracked the rise of two big money industries—both related, it turns out, to the rise in home delivery. Electric delivery vans just might be the best way to use EVs, and British newcomer Arrival announced this week that, a) it exists and b) it’s obtained some $111 million in funding, courtesy of Hyundai and Kia. And we took a look at cities and real estate developers trying to capitalize off the growth of speedy delivery by getting creative with urban distribution centers.
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Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
A $189,000 Aston Martin SUV vs. the vast, unrelenting desert.
Tesla is really worth a lot of money now.
Why smaller urban distribution centers are the hot thing in real estate. (Hint: Amazon has something to do with it.)
With the announcement of a $111.5 million investment from Hyundai and Kia, this week marked the arrival of Arrival, another startup dedicated to building electric delivery vans.
Physicists say this is the fastest way to board a plane.
Political Endorsement of the Week
The hip kids still on Facebook (who are you?) will no doubt be familiar with 180,000-member group NUMTOT: New Urbanist Memes For Transit-Oriented Teens. The group specializes in meme-y, pro-transit, sometimes toxic conversations about urbanism, and this week its moderators did a crazy thing and endorsed a presidential candidate: Bernie Sanders. The moderators cited Sanders’ approach to transportation and housing policy, and to social and economic welfare. Are young city transportation nerds a real constituency? We’ll find out.
Stat of the Week: 20%
The share of California transportation emissions produced by trucks—even though they represent just 4 percent of the state’s vehicles. That’s according to the state’s Air Resources Board, which says the decentralized truck market, in which hundreds of thousands of companies and owner-operators own the vehicles in the state, makes their emissions especially hard to regulate.
News from elsewhere on the internet
China continues to pour money into electric car companies. Is it setting up the next big trade showdown?
Speaking of trade showdowns: E-bikes have been officially excluded from tariffs related to the US trade war with China.
Also in China: There is lots of self-driving vehicle testing going on there.
US regulators say they are looking into Tesla driver’s complaints of unintended acceleration.
New York City mulls a taxi driver bailout.
Joby Aviation—which is working with Uber on flying taxis—announces a $590 million funding round, and says it will work with Toyota on an aircraft for flying ride-hail.
Independent truckers will be exempted from AB 5, California’s new employee classification law (at least for now).
A new medical study finds a spike in scooter-related head injuries.
Taking a red eye flight? Here are your sleeping options (if you are flexible).
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canonRewind to last fall, when Amazon announced it had ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from the US company Rivian.
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