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Andrew “Twiggy” Forest is Australia’s second richest person. His wealth has been accumulated from mining and other ventures. He is the major shareholder and former CEO of Fortesque Metals, which holds massive iron ore leases in the Pilbara of Western Australia. Inspired by other billionaires (like Bill and Melinda Gates), he has pledged to give away his wealth during his lifetime. To do so, so far, he has funded philanthropic foundations to wipe out modern slavery (The Global Freedom Network), encourage the employment of indigenous Australians, and grant scholarships for higher learning. 

But, you are asking, how does this relate to the readers of CleanTechnica? Let me tell you about what Twiggy is up to now. Twiggy Forest has established Fortesque Future Industries. Current projects include:

  • Successful combustion of ammonia to power locomotives and large marine vessels, including ore carriers.
  • Design and construction of hydrogen powered mining trucks and drilling rigs.
  • Successful production of green iron and green cement. 

The Outback’s answer to Steve Jobs plans to make Fortesque one of the world’s biggest energy companies by using green hydrogen. Australia’s vast renewable energy resources will be tapped to create green hydrogen that will power not only Forest’s huge mining ventures but also be available for export. 

Fortesque plans to build a 40 GW renewable energy hub in the Pilbara. This energy will be used to create hydrogen which will in turn be used to produce green steel. The EU and associated countries will be looking for products that are produced in a low-carbon environment. The export potential is mind boggling. 

The transition to green steel will not be easy. Twiggy anticipates that as green hydrogen becomes cost effective, the fossil fuel industry will fight back by slashing prices. In a recent Australian Broadcasting Commission lecture, he described it thus: “At the end, it will be grim – think of a knife fight in a telephone box.”

Judging by his track record so far, I think I know who will win. We have a ringside seat, pass the popcorn!


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BYD nears huge Mexico EV plant deal with 50,000 sales in sight this year

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BYD nears huge Mexico EV plant deal with 50,000 sales in sight this year

China’s leading automaker, BYD, is rapidly expanding its global footprint. BYD is closing in on a deal for an EV plant in Mexico, which is expected to be among the biggest in the region.

After already becoming an EV leader in overseas markets like Thailand, Israel, and Australia, BYD is rapidly expanding its presence in South America.

BYD began construction on its manufacturing plant in Brazil earlier this year. Once up and running, it will produce BYD’s top-selling EVs, including the Dolphin, Dolphin Mini (Seagull), and Yuan Plus.

Sales are surging after launching its cheapest EV in Brazil in March, the $20,000 (99,800 BRL) Seagull (called the Dolphin Mini overseas).

According to data from Brazil’s Ministry of Development, Industry, Trade, and Services, passenger car imports were up 46.4% YOY in the first three months of 2024. Chinese vehicles accounted for 40% of the total, as imports surged 450% from Q1 2023.

BYD led the growth with nearly 15,000 of the total 36,090 EVs sold in Brazil in Q1. China’s GWM was second with 5,735, while Toyota took third with 5,049.

BYD-Mexico-EV-plant
BYD Dolphin Mini (Seagull) testing in Brazil (Source: BYD)

BYD is opening a massive EV plant in Mexico

Reports have been swirling about BYD building an EV plant in Mexico for some time as the automaker expands its North American footprint.

In February, Zhou Zou confirmed BYD is considering a factory in the country. Zou explained that Mexico is a key market with great potential. It could also be used as an export hub to other overseas markets.

BYD-Mexico-EV-plant
BYD Dolphin (left) and Atto 3 (right) Source: BYD

Mexico is quickly becoming a hot spot for EV investments. Kia revealed it will build EVs in the region. BMW, Stellantis, and Tesla are also planning to build electric models.

According to Jorge Vallejo, BYD’s general director in Mexico (via Automotive News), the new EV plant will create around 10,000 jobs. This would make it one of the largest in the country, on par with Volkswagen’s Audi.

BYD-Mexico-EV-plant
BYD Shark launch event (Source: BYD)

The VW Group’s Puebla plant is the largest employer in the city, with roughly 6,100 assembly and 5,000 supervisor employees. That doesn’t include the thousands of other workers who work in parts assembly.

According to Vallejo, BYD is expected to sell 50,000 vehicles in Mexico this year. An official announcement about the Mexico plant is expected in the next few months.

BYD-Shark-pickup
BYD Shark PHEV pickup (Source: BYD)

The news comes after BYD launched its first pickup, the Shark PHEV, in Mexico last month. Starting at $53,400 (899,980 pesos), the BYD Shark will rival other top pickups in the region, like the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger.

According to BYD, the Shark pickup has 7.5 L per 100 km fuel consumption, about 40% less than a full gas-powered truck. BYD plans to launch the Shark PHEV globally, and Mexico will likely be a key part of its overseas expansion.

Electrek’s Take

After the EU revealed plans for additional tariffs on Chinese EV imports, BYD seems to be unfazed in its quest to expand globally.

With higher prices, BYD makes more on EVs sold in Europe than in China. Local production in Mexico, like Thailand, Brazil, and Europe, will enable lower prices and higher profits.

Mexico is already a key player in the EV market. However, with Canada now also calling for additional tariffs on Chinese imports, Mexico will likely see more investments as automakers look to enter the US market.

Meanwhile, BYD is taking on other markets, including South Korea. BYD plans to launch low-cost EVs like the Seal in Korea, where domestic automakers like Hyundai and Kia control the market.

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Canada reportedly preparing tariffs on Chinese EVs to align with US and EU trade partners

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Canada reportedly preparing tariffs on Chinese EVs to align with US and EU trade partners

The threat of tariffs and an all-out trade war over Chinese EVs is expanding globally, and Canada is reportedly joining the turmoil. The Canadian government is preparing tariffs on Chinese-made EVs to align with the US and European Union, which have already proposed heavy duties to deter “unfair” competition imported from overseas.

Another day, another update on the ongoing battle over EVs built in China and the attempts by those local automakers to expand their global presence.

You probably know a lot about the background of this saga by now. Still, this tale began when the EU Commission announced an anti-subsidy probe last fall, claiming that EV models built in China and imported to the region were at an unfair advantage.

As the EU conducted its probe, the US, led by the Biden Administration, wasted no time upping the duties on Chinese EV imports in the US, raising tariffs from 25% to a whopping 100%. The EU Commission followed suit, threatening its own tariffs before even sharing the results of its probe.

In retaliation, China has threatened tariffs on vehicles imported from Europe, inciting German automakers to reach across the aisle (and the globe) to help ease tensions and hopefully said tariffs. The EU’s tariffs on Chinese EVs can go as high as 48% and are scheduled to take effect in less than two weeks.

According to a new report, Canada is the latest nation to enter the EV tariff battle. The country holds strong ties with the US and EU and looks to align with its trade partners in solidarity while blocking a potential loophole China could use to enter North America.

Canada tariffs
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canada urges Trudeau to impose tariffs on Chinese EVs

According to sources familiar with the matter, the government of Canada, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is preparing tariffs on imported EVs built in China, per a Bloomberg report.

The tariff talks are still in the early stages as Canada discusses how and when to proceed. Still, the US neighbors to the north appear poised to align with its trade partners against China. Furthermore, Canadian officials who requested to stay anonymous shared that public consultations on tariffs will begin soon.

Trudeau and his administration have faced increased pressure from the Canadian people and other democratic allies to join rank against Chinese imports. On Thursday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford took to X to accuse China of poor local manufacturing practices in building its inexpensive EVs:

Taking every advantage of low labour standards and dirty energy, China is flooding the market with artificially cheap electric vehicles. Unless we act fast, we risk Ontario and Canadian jobs.

Over the last four years, Ontario has a secured $43 billion worth of investments in electric vehicle and battery manufacturing, securing hundreds of thousands of good, well-paying jobs. This has been an all-hands-on-deck achievement, working side-by-side with the federal government and our private-sector labour partners.

We can never take our progress for granted. Our workers are the best in the world. As governments, we need to do everything in our power to protect their jobs and the paycheques they take home.

Now’s the time to work with our U.S. partners to deepen and strengthen home-grown, US-Canada supply chains. Now’s the time to protect good, hard-earned Ontario and Canadian jobs by matching U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.

Despite growing pressure, Prime Minister Trudeau has not publicly committed to Canada imposing tariffs on Chinese EVs, stating the cabinet is monitoring the situation closely, and he had “significant conversations” at the Group of Seven leaders’ summit in Italy last week.

Canada’s auto industry has also called on its government to impose tariffs on Chinese EV imports, arguing that the nation cannot be on the opposite side of the issue with the US, a major trade partner in North America with which it shares several automotive supply chains.

Canada saw the number of Chinese imports grow by fivefold last year, including a majority of EVs built by Tesla in Shanghai. However, Canada’s focus, like that of the US and EU, is more on tariffs on vehicles from China-based automakers like BYD.

Meanwhile, Chinese automakers like BYD are already setting up manufacturing sites in Mexico, which has welcomed the business and has opened the door to at least some EV sales in North America.

This story is ongoing.

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U.S. crude oil on pace for second weekly gain as gasoline demand surges

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U.S. crude oil on pace for second weekly gain as gasoline demand surges

Investment committee talks the energy trade as oil hits $80 per barrel

U.S. crude oil was on pace Friday for a second weekly gain in a row, as gasoline demand has surged to post-pandemic highs.

Oil prices traded flat Friday morning but are ahead more than 3.6% for the week. Gasoline consumption in the U.S. surged to 9.4 million barrels per day, or bpd, last week, the highest level for that time of year since the Covid-19 pandemic ended, according to JPMorgan.

“Gasoline demand in the US has been on a steady rise since the Memorial Day weekend and we expect a further advance as record 71 million Americans are expected to travel during the upcoming July 4th holiday,” JPMorgan analyst Prateek Kedia told clients in a research note.

Here are today’s energy prices:

  • West Texas Intermediate June contract: $81.28 per barrel, down 1 cent. Year to date, U.S. crude oil has gained 13.5%.
  • Brent August contract: $85.68 per barrel, down 3 cents. Year to date, the global benchmark is ahead by 11.2%.
  • RBOB Gasoline June contract: $2.51 per gallon, up 0.58%. Year to date, gasoline is up 19.5%.
  • Natural Gas July contract: $2.72 per thousand cubic feet, down 0.02%. Year to date, gas has increased 8.3%.

Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said prices at the pump could rise after U.S. oil, gasoline, and distillate stocks all fell for the first time in weeks, indicating stronger demand.

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WTI vs. Brent

Global oil demand has risen by 1.4 million bpd so far this month on U.S. gas consumption and robust summer travel in Europe and Asia, according to JPMorgan. Oil inventories rose by 15 million barrels in the second week of June as China restocked, though the investment bank is forecasting drawdowns later this summer.

JPMorgan is forecasting a Brent price of $90 per barrel by September as the market tightens on falling stockpiles due to summer fuel demand.

Don’t miss these energy stories from CNBC PRO:

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