(Bloomberg) — Sales of electric vehicles in Europe are growing at such a pace that the continent looks increasingly likely to outpace China in the near future.
That’s one of the findings of a report released Tuesday by London-based automotive research firm Jato Dynamics. However, it found that Europe and the U.S. still have a few things to learn from China, the world’s biggest EV market, including prioritizing affordability, centralizing planning, and using data to better understand consumers.
Demand for cleaner and smarter cars is rising globally, particularly in Europe where the market has been bolstered by tighter emissions regulations along with an increasing awareness of climate change. EV sales in Europe in the first half exceeded China for the first time since 2015.
Although the coronavirus pandemic hurt all car sales, including EVs, which fell 15% globally in the second quarter, the market for electric vehicles is forecast to expand about 7% this year, led by Europe, according to a September report from BloombergNEF.
“What governments in underdeveloped EV markets now need is a more centralized plan to catalyze growth and create an optimal environment to build consumer confidence by making adoptions as simple as possible,” Jato’s report said.
Besides heavily subsidizing EVs, the government in China has created an effective infrastructure and implementation strategy that’s crucial to supporting adoption, the report found. According to the International Energy Agency, the number of public slow- and fast-charging spots reached 862,118 worldwide, with China taking a 60% share.
Tesla Inc., the California-based company that’s currently the world’s biggest EV maker, earlier this month cut the price of its China-made Model 3 sedan to 249,900 yuan ($36,800), cheaper than anywhere else, aided by supply chain localization, especially batteries.
While subsidies in China are being dialed back, EVs are
SAN FRANCISCO — The day after President Donald Trump told the Proud Boys, a far-right group with a history of inciting violence, to “stand back and stand by,” during the first presidential debate last month, tech investor Cyan Banister tweeted that the group had “a few bad apples. “
The open defense of an organization that has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center is one extreme example of an increasingly public reactionary streak in Silicon Valley that diverges from the tech industry’s image as a bastion of liberalism. Some libertarian, centrist, and right-leaning Silicon Valley investors and executives, who wield outsize influence, power and access to capital, describe tech culture as under siege by activist employees pushing a social justice agenda.
Curtis Yarvin, dubbed a “favorite philosopher of the alt-right” by the Verge, has become a familiar face on the invite-only audio social network Clubhouse, in rooms with investors such as Facebook board member Marc Andreessen, the founder of Andreessen Horowitz, which invested in the app.
Cryptocurrency startup Coinbase recently sought to restrict political speech by employees, a move many interpreted as a return to the company’s more libertarian roots because it came in reaction to internal discussions of Black Lives Matter.
Tensions are running high even at some of the biggest tech companies. The crackdown on employee speech in response to social activism over the past year has spread to Facebook, Google and Pinterest, among others.
In September, Facebook restricted spaces for political discussions after employees protested the company’s moderation policies against hate speech affecting Black users. Pinterest shut down a Slack channel used to submit questions for company meetings and turned another Slack channel read-only, opting to use a different tool for up-voting. Employees, who had used both channels to question leadership about
World Trade Organization members selected two final candidates — Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee — to advance to the final round in the race to lead the Geneva-based trade body, according to people familiar with the matter.
By advancing two women to the final round of the selection process, the WTO will likely have the first female director general in its 25-year history.
Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
Okonjo-Iweala served two stints as Nigeria’s finance minister and one term as foreign affairs minister. She has experience working at international governance bodies as a former managing director of the World Bank and as a chairman at the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.
Yoo is South Korea’s trade minister. During her 25-year career in government, she has helped expand her country’s trade network through bilateral accords with China, the U.K. and the U.S.
Photographer: Jean Chung/Bloomberg
WTO General Council Chairman David Walker plans to formally announce the results to the institution’s delegates on Thursday morning in Geneva.
“They’re both very well qualified, it’s going to be a fight,” said William Reinsch, a trade official in the Clinton administration and senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The top challenge will be “restoring the organization to full strength and viability, and restoring its reputation. “You need members to have confidence that the WTO is capable of solving problems. I think right now that confidence is eroded.”
Yoo told Bloomberg TV last month that she wanted the WTO to offer a meaningful platform for the U.S. and China to discuss their trade disputes. She vowed to play the role of mediator,
A U.S. inquiry into whether Microsoft Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. broke workplace civil rights laws by seeking to double their ranks of Black leaders is at odds with normal Labor Department practice, including the enforcement of a decades-old executive order on affirmative action, legal experts said.
The executive order, issued one year after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, requires that federal contractors maintain affirmative action outreach efforts and prohibits discrimination in hiring. The DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs cited the order in a letter to Microsoft asking how the software maker would meet its commitment to beef up African-American leadership “without discriminating on the basis of race.”
Black workers held less than 3% of positions in executive and management job categories at the company as of last year, according to its annual diversity and inclusion report.
Affirmative action programs don’t constitute unlawful discrimination, Fortney & Scott co-founder David Fortney said in an interview. The Labor Department’s letters to Microsoft and Wells Fargo probing their diversity efforts are “troubling on several levels,” said Fortney, whose firm specializes in representing employers in OFCCP matters.
“The government is not authorized to simply demand access to information from Microsoft or other federal contractors,” Fortney said. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia “has committed that DOL will follow the rule of law. If OFCCP wants to change how affirmative action operates, then there should be a formal rule-making, including notice and an opportunity to comment,” he said.
Microsoft recently settled DOL claims of discrimination in hiring, agreeing to pay $3 million. But those claims were about disadvantaging minority applicants, while the department’s new inquiries appear to be concerned with the opposite.
Either way, the Microsoft agreement “is not