07/17/2018

News

Trash piles up in US as China closes door to recycling

Last year, China bought up more than half of the scrap materials exported by the United States. . . . Globally, since 1992, 72 percent of plastic waste has ended up in China and Hong Kong, according to a study in the journal Science Advances. But since January, China has closed its borders to most […]

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The roiled solar power market shows how Trump’s tariffs can disrupt an industry

Prices on solar panels did rise last summer as the Trump administration publicly considered the tariffs, mostly on imports from China and other Asian countries. That caused U.S. companies to scramble to purchase as many foreign panels as they could to beat the looming duties. The higher prices led two U.S. manufacturers to say they’d […]

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Tesla to Build Auto Factory in Shanghai

Tesla Inc. will build a factory in Shanghai, the city government announced on Tuesday, a move expected to boost sales in the world’s largest auto market but one that could also draw fire as U.S. manufacturers face political pressure to keep jobs at home. The electric-car maker will set up a plant with an annual […]

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Can’t Find a PlayStation 4? Blame It On a Part Barely Bigger Than a Speck

It happened in Japan earlier this year when Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4 suddenly became hard to find. A popular new game called “Monster Hunter: World” led to a surge of demand for the videogame machine. Engineers at Sony say the company couldn’t quickly make more because components ran short, especially the part called a multilayer […]

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SolarCity, once king of rooftop solar, slips into shadow

Five years ago, SolarCity ruled the rooftops. No other company in the fast-growing solar industry installed nearly as many panels on American homes. The pace of installation was accelerating quarter after quarter, leaving such rivals as Sunrun and Vivint far behind. Then electric auto manufacturer Tesla bought the company. Now, what once was SolarCity appears […]

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Electric-Vehicle Frenzy Sweeps Up Once-Unloved Metal: Nickel

The speculative fever for electric-car metals is pushing to nearly four-year highs prices for nickel—a key ingredient in stainless steel. Nickel is the top industrial metal and among the best-performing assets of 2018, with futures contracts on the London Metal Exchange up 21%, as battery manufacturers, mostly in China, and investors across the world hoard […]

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Tesla to cut 9 percent of workforce in ‘difficult, but necessary’ reorganization

Tesla plans to cut 9 percent of its workforce, Electrek reported on Tuesday, in what CEO Elon Musk called a “difficult, but necessary reorg” that will impact salaried employees but spare the production line at its Fremont factory. The Palo Alto-based car maker began layoffs on Monday, Electrek said, citing sources familiar with the matter. […]

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Elon Musk’s Tesla says new state rule punishes it for doing business in California

The only large-scale car manufacturer in California argues that doing business in the state is hard enough without a fast-developing labor regulation backed by organizations that want to unionize its Fremont plant. Elon Musk’s Tesla is fighting a rule under development by two state agencies that would require it to be certified as a “fair […]

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Much of San Diego’s Recycling Goes to China and Now China Doesn’t Want It

Unbeknownst to most people, about half of San Diego’s recycled material is sent across the ocean to China. Now, that’s a problem. China no longer wants all of it. Unless city officials can quickly figure out another way to recycle material, some recyclables could end up in landfills. In recent months, China imposed new restrictions […]

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California utilities commission OKs $776.5 million to boost electric vehicle use

In what is considered the largest single investment by any state to promote electric vehicles, California utility regulators Thursday approved $776.5 million to fund and evaluate projects that will be carried out over the space of five years by the state’s three investor-owned utilities. The portion assigned to San Diego Gas & Electric accounts for […]

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Fears Grow Among Central Valley Recyclers as China Denies U.S. Recyclables

While tariffs on the steel and agriculture industries have taken center stage in the trade conflict between the U.S. and China, that conflict has quietly moved into another less visible sector. It’s greatly disrupted the recycling industry. The U.S. is coming to the end of a 30-day suspension on all recycling going to China. But […]

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What happened to the ‘affordable’ $35,000 Tesla Model 3?

It’s March 2016. Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk is on stage for the dramatic unveiling of the Tesla Model 3. Tesla will make hundreds of thousands a year, he said. It will be fun to drive. It will be affordable. “In terms of price, of course, it’ll be $35,000,” he beamed, awash in thunderous applause. […]

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Panel Power: Solar Advocates Openly Celebrate Crony Capitalism

The California Energy Commission just voted unanimously to require new homes to be constructed with solar panels. Amazingly, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), a trade organization, openly bragged about manipulating the government to force new homes to be equipped with solar panels. “One of the more amazing things in environmental policy is how brazen […]

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Stalls, stops and breakdowns: Problems plague push for electric buses

When Chinese battery maker BYD Ltd. approached Southern California officials in 2008 touting ambitious plans to build electric cars, local politicians jumped at the promise of thousands of jobs and cleaner air. In the nine years since, agencies have awarded BYD grants, subsidies and public contracts worth more than $330 million for its battery-powered buses, […]

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Electric-Car Era Threatens Firefighters With New Road Risks

Firefighters doused the blazing Tesla Inc. Model X’s battery pack, and then company engineers removed about one-quarter of its power cells before the vehicle was deemed safe to tow off of a California freeway. That didn’t prevent the powerful and highly flammable lithium-ion battery cells from reigniting. The car caught fire twice more within 24 […]

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