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Zachary Bogue, co-managing partner for Data Collective LLC, speaks during the Future of Innovation: Spotlight on Artificial Intelligence Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, June 22, 2017. The market for AI technologies is estimated to generate more than $60 billion in productivity improvements for U.S. businesses annually.

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The Silicon Valley venture capital firm DCVC invests in all kinds of climate tech companies including geothermal power, aerial methane imaging, advanced nuclear fission reactors, fabrics made out of mycelium, wastewater filtration technology — to name a few.

But there is one category of the climate tech landscape that Zack Bogue, a co-founder of DCVC does not invest in: Carbon offsets.

“We really don’t underwrite or like to see companies that are using carbon offsets,” Bogue told CNBC in an interview at the end of September in an interview in the Palo Alto office. “We do not look at companies that need to use carbon offsets to make their business model work.”

A carbon offset is a certificate or voucher that a company or organization buys that represents the reduction of a metric ton, or 2,205 pounds, of carbon dioxide emissions. If a company or organization is unable to eliminate the release of greenhouse gasses in their operations, they may purchase a carbon offset to compensate for their emissions.

“There’s been some studies out there that up to 90% of carbon offsets are completely ineffective — have had no impact — which is a tragedy of our time, because big Fortune 500 companies are paying millions of dollars to these carbon offsets, and continuing to emit in the meantime,” Bogue told CNBC. “And these offsets are actually having zero impact.”

The effectiveness of a carbon offset is a contentious issue, but at least one white paper published in April 2021 from the Finnish nonprofit and startup Compensate found that 90 percent of carbon capture projects were ineffective. Compensate has both a non-profit advocacy arm and a company that sells what it deems to be high quality carbon offsets. For the white paper, Compensate analyzed more than 100 nature-based carbon offsets certified by third-party verifiers in the space.

Of the carbon offsets which Compensate deemed a failure, 52% were guilty of what Compensate called “additionality” — for instance, offset credits sold to protect trees that were never in any danger of being cut down. Another 16% of the projects Compensate analyzed were considered a failure because their permanence was considered in jeopardy. For example, coastal restoration projects for mangroves in Bangladesh were jeopardized when floods devastated the country, Compensate said.

So, too, said Bogue of local California projects.

“There were some forests north of here that were the subject of carbon offsets where someone paid millions of dollars to not cut the forest down and — whether or not that’s legitimate, we can leave that aside — because those forests burned down,” Bogue said. “So they actually released the carbon that the company was paying to not have released and that the company emitted.”

DCVC does not invest in companies that use carbon offsets right now, but that is not an indictment against the idea.

“To be clear, I want I want them to exist,” Bogue told CNBC. “I want there to be a carbon tax, I want carbon credits, carbon offsets.”

But there isn’t enough transparency or accountability in the industry, Bogue said. To properly stand up the industry, there would need to be an agency akin to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to Bogue.

“There’s a very set and rigorous process that you need to do to take a molecule from discovery and up until you’re dosing a human with it: You need to prove that it’s effective, you need to prove it’s non toxic,” Bogue said. “I would say that the imperative to reducing CO2 is as high of a human health imperative as putting small molecules into our body. Full stop.”

Until then, the industry is too uncertain to be a safe place for the money that DCVC invests on behalf of its limited partners, which are the likes of college endowments and hospitals.

“It needs to be rigorous, and apples to apples and, and verifiable and documentable,” Bogue said. “That’s just not where it is today. That’s where we need to get to, but that’s also why don’t think it’s investable.”

The rise of the carbon removal industry

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The Invanti Tornado is the Swiss Army knife of e-bikes [Video]

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The Invanti Tornado is the Swiss Army knife of e-bikes [Video]

Want your electric bike to have utility as well as comfort and style? Then, the Invanti Tornado, with its impressive array of optional accessories, could be your ideal ride.

Invanti is developing multi-functional e-bikes to reinvent the e-bike industry. It will launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on May 22 for its first product, the versatile Tornado e-bike series. Early backers can purchase the Tornado for a super early bird price of $1,299, significant savings vs. gas bikes.

Invanti makes it easy to protect your e-bike from theft with its “invantimobility” app. The smart version Tornado Pro has a smart front hub lock feature that, once activated, can only be unlocked using the app.

This zippy and efficient utility e-bike has a 750W rear hub motor, 1,000 peak power, and a 48V 14.7Ah battery with Samsung cells that give a top speed of up to 25 mph. The Shimano 7-speed transmission, 80 mm travel suspension, 4-piston hydraulic disc brakes, and torque sensor means riding is smooth. It also sports a pair of 20-by-3-inch puncture-resistant tires.

The Tornado provides a range of 60 miles on pedal assist and 25 miles on throttle only. You can additionally install an extra 48V, 10.4Ah battery that you take with you, giving a cumulative total of 100 miles on pedal assist and 43.5 miles on throttle only. Plus, you can use the extra battery as a portable powerbank for your phone.

What makes the Invanti Tornado stand out is the cool accessories it comes with. Your e-bike arrives with a front rack, a rear cargo rack, a rear fork storage bag with lockout, and rear wheel mudguards. It also features front and rear lights with integrated turn signals.

Plus, it offers a choice of nine upgrade accessories, which give this bike an almost modular feel. This means you can make your e-bike bespoke:

If you want to cart around passengers, you can make it happen with the Invanti Tornado’s optional rear seat pad and passenger foot rest, and there’s also a child safety handrail. Its dual-tube aluminum alloy frame can handle payloads of up to 440 pounds.

Invanti’s super early bird price on the Tornado is $1,299, and the official crowdfunding price is $1,499.

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This startup is about to install bladeless rooftop wind turbines on box buildings

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This startup is about to install bladeless rooftop wind turbines on box buildings

Aeromine Technologies just closed a $9 million funding round, and it’s ready to scale up production of its bladeless rooftop wind turbines.

Energy research, investing, and strategy firm Veriten is the lead investor in Aeromine Technologies’ Series A funding round.

Aeromine, launched in 2022, makes compact 50 kW or larger “wind harvesting platforms” that it mounts on the edge of a building’s roof. The rooftop wind units, which have no external moving parts or blades, capture wind flowing up and over the building and convert it into onsite electricity. Its generator system is a rotor-stator system with a highly efficient 5 kW permanent magnet generator. (Specs are here.)

The noiseless technology leverages aerodynamics like airfoils on a race car to capture and amplify each building’s airflow to generate energy. Aeromine says its systems typically consist of 20-40 units installed on the edge of a building facing the predominant wind direction.

Each 1,000-pound unit can withstand winds of between 120 and 158 mph depending on specification.

Aeromine’s units can operate independently or be integrated with existing rooftop solar arrays. Onsite power generation eliminates grid supply disruptions.

Maynard Holt, founder & CEO of Veriten, said:

We believe that distributed power innovation will play a vital role in helping companies fulfill their need for reliable, reasonably priced electricity and desire for low-impact power. We’re excited to partner with Aeromine, as its ability to quickly and affordably help a wide variety of companies meet their energy needs with wind resources is unique among distributed energy solutions.

The bladeless wind turbines are designed to power apartment buildings, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, offices, hospitals, retail centers – basically any big box building with a flat, unobstructed roof.

The company says it has 400 qualified projects in its pipeline and expects to roll out commercially in Europe and North America in 2025. 

Read more: How renewables could beat natural gas in US generating capacity within 3 years – in numbers


If you live in an area that has frequent natural disaster events, and are interested in making your home more resilient to power outages, consider going solar and adding a battery storage system. To make sure you find a trusted, reliable solar installer near you that offers competitive pricing, check out EnergySage, a free service that makes it easy for you to go solar. They have hundreds of pre-vetted solar installers competing for your business, ensuring you get high quality solutions and save 20-30% compared to going it alone. Plus, it’s free to use and you won’t get sales calls until you select an installer and share your phone number with them.

Your personalized solar quotes are easy to compare online and you’ll get access to unbiased Energy Advisers to help you every step of the way. Get started here. –ad*

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Ford likely to enable all dealers to sell EVs amid shifting plans

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Ford likely to enable all dealers to sell EVs amid shifting plans

With changes expected to Ford’s electric vehicle certification program, all Ford dealers will likely be able to sell EVs. Ford is reportedly preparing to open the program amid feedback from its dealers.

Ford poised to open dealers network to sell EVs

After asking dealers to pause EV investments this week, Ford is finalizing changes to the program. Ford already eased requirements last year due to “changes in the market.”

Ford spokesperson Marty Gunsberg confirmed that several dealers opted out of the program this past December. Gunsberg said, “Enrollments for 2024 are just over 50% of the network.” That’s down from about two-thirds confirmed by CEO Jim Farley a year prior.

According to Automotive News, after a series of meetings between dealers and executives, Ford is now preparing to allow all dealers to sell EVs.

Ford is expected to update the financial requirements needed to qualify. Previously, dealers were required to invest at least $500,000 to enroll in the program. For $1.2 million, dealers could be eligible for the “Elite” tier, which included additional chargers, demo units, and a presence on Ford.com.

Ford-dealers-EVs
Ford Mustang Mach E at a Tesla Supercharger (Source: Ford)

If dealers didn’t want to invest, they couldn’t sell Ford EVs. Ford’s vice president of EV programs, Lisa Drake, said the company no longer believes having select dealers sell EVs is the right plan.

More dealers want in but with less financial commitment

“What we’re finding is more dealers want to be involved in it and we don’t want to be exclusive to just a handful,” Drake said. “And so we’re making a change where we’re opening up that and not requiring as many certifications or investments for a dealer to participate in the EV revolution.”

Meanwhile, the changes will not be finalized until early June, when Ford meets with its dealer council.

Ford-dealers-EVs
2024 Ford F-150 Lightning lineup (Source: Ford)

It’s unclear how much Ford will reduce financial requirements to sell EVs, but many believe it will be drastically relaxed to promote participation.

Drake said Ford will be “more ubiquitous with our training and make sure essentially all of our dealers are equipped to sell them” going forward. Ford will need to figure out how to deal with those who have already made investments at the upcoming dealer council meeting.

Ford-dealers-EVs
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Bronze edition (Source: Ford)

Ford slashed prices on its popular Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning in recent months to boost sales.

After cutting Mach-E prices by up to $8,100 earlier this year, Ford introduced a new 0% APR offer on 2024 models this week.

2024 Mustang Mach-E trim Range Starting Price
Mustang Mach-E Select 250 mi $39,995
Mustang Mach-E Premium 320 mi $43,995
Mustang Mach-E GT 280 mi $53,995
Mustang Mach-E Rally 265 mi $59,995
2024 Mustang Mach-E price and range by trim

Ford also introduced new discounts on the 2023 F-150 Lightning this week, offering up to $15,000 off MSRP. F-150 Lightning lease prices were cut by over $400 a month.

If you’re in the market for a new EV, now’s the time to start shopping. You can use our links below to find deals on Ford’s electric vehicles at a dealer near you.

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