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Cruise commits to using ‘100 percent renewable energy’ to power its self-driving taxis

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Cruise, the self-driving subsidiary of Normal Motors, prides itself on being one of many few autonomous car corporations to make use of solely electrical automobiles in its fleet. Now, the corporate goes a step additional by committing to utilizing solely “100 % renewable vitality” to energy its EVs.

Cruise, which has a big fleet of take a look at autos working in San Francisco, mentioned it lastly made the transition to “100 % renewable sources of vitality” within the fourth quarter of 2019. It notes that, within the US, about 65 percent of total electricity generation in 2018 was produced from fossil fuels, like coal, pure fuel, and petroleum, or supplies that come from crops, and municipal and industrial wastes. With this in thoughts, Cruise started exploring “methods to leverage renewable vitality to energy our all-electric fleet.”

However the firm was obscure about its sources of renewable vitality, solely citing “12 photo voltaic initiatives on college websites in Southern California.” In response to a follow-up query, a spokesperson mentioned that Cruise can be buying offset credits via a system called WREGIS, which is an unbiased monitoring system used all through the Western US and Canada.

In a Medium post last year, Cruise CEO Dan Ammann mentioned the corporate already owned “practically 40 % of all EV quick chargers in San Francisco,” and was planning on constructing out that community to change into “largest EV quick charger station within the nation.”

Cruise’s take a look at fleet, very like each AV operator within the US, is grounded because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However proper earlier than the pandemic hit the US, the corporate unveiled a brand new, purpose-built, shared autonomous car known as the Cruise Origin.

There have been some bumps within the highway, too. Final 12 months, the corporate introduced that it will miss its objective of launching a large-scale self-driving taxi service in San Francisco by the tip of the 12 months.

Cruise says it’s the one AV firm to make use of solely electrical autos as a part of its fleet, although different corporations are eyeing related fashions. Nuro, for instance, makes use of each its all-electric, purpose-built R2 supply autos in addition to a number of dozen Toyota Prius take a look at automobiles. Others are holding one foot within the current: Waymo is constructing a fleet that features each all-electric Jaguar I-Tempo SUVs and gas-burning Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving firm that’s backed by Ford and Volkswagen, has considerations about an all-electric fleet, particularly in the case of recouping the fee the costly know-how that makes the automobile autonomous — which the corporate’s CEO, Bryan Salesky, defined in a latest episode of The Vergecast.

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