Amazon drives Rivian, fuel-cell tech as an upgrade, electrical panels go IoT: Today’s Car News


Home electrical panels get connected in the age of electric cars. Rivian gets another boost from Amazon. We ponder fuel-cell tech as an upgrade And is Toyota’s use of different battery cell types all in the interest of staying flexible? This and more, here at Green Car Reports

Amazon has announced that it’s ordering 100,000 fully electric vans from Rivian, a company it’s already supported with an investment earlier this year. As Rivian pushes to bring its R1T electric pickup and R1S electric SUV to market, every commitment surely helps. 

The past few years have included a push from the tech sector to bring all sorts of home appliances and other hardware into the IoT realm—that’s Internet of Things. The next thing to go fully connected, perhaps: the home electrical panel. And it might actually make good sense, if you plan to juggle car charging, home solar, and energy storage. 

Many automakers have decided, sensibly, to focus on battery electric cars as their zero-tailpipe-emissions strategy in the near term, over fuel cells. And yet we ask a most interesting question: Could hydrogen fuel cells be seen as an upgrade—or a complement—in the future?

Toyota has formed a joint venture with Panasonic and announced that it’s putting the focus on prismatic cells (the thin, rectangular format) for future plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles. So what’s it doing trying Panasonic cylindrical cells in some of its PHEVs in China? As we report, it may just be a matter of staying flexible.

A sizable set of autonomous startups continue to build big portions of their business models around the idea that autonomous taxi service—if only on a limited basis—is just around the corner. But the German automotive supplier ZF isn’t convinced. Its CEO said that it will take “several more years” for closed-circuit situations and not a market reality before 2030. 

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