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US-built EV batteries and the California monkeypox emergency

The news: US Senate Democrats released a bill last week that could significantly reduce the country’s carbon emissions. One of the key components of the bill is an extension of the EV tax credit, which aims to help drive EV adoption by giving buyers a $7,500 credit for the purchase of a qualifying new EV or $4,000 for used vehicles.

The coupling? For a new vehicle to qualify for the tax credit, its battery and key minerals used in it must be primarily sourced from the United States or countries with which it has free trade agreements.

Why it matters: Currently, most of the lithium-ion cells for EV batteries are built in China. The US produces only about 7% of the world’s supply. The legislation is an attempt to encourage companies to build more mining and battery manufacturing capacity in the US. While the restrictions could help establish a secure battery supply chain in the US in the long term, some experts are unsure how quickly US companies can react.

The bigger picture: The ambitious EV tax credits could play a role in expanding domestic battery production and fostering new supply chains in the US — and are an apparent attempt to curb China’s battery dominance. But whether those changes will come fast enough to keep up with booming EV sales remains a very open question. Read the full story.

– Casey Crownhart

The must reads

I’ve scoured the internet to find today’s funniest/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 California declared a state of emergency over the monkeypox outbreak
It has more than 800 confirmed cases and is the second state in three days to announce emergency response. (CNN)
+ The US phased out millions of vaccines that could protect against monkeypox. (NYT$)
+ India has recorded its first death from monkeypox. (BBC)

2 Amazon’s carbon emissions have increased by 18% over the past year
Despite his attempts to paint himself as the green champion. (The edge)
+ Just two years ago, she set up a $2 billion climate fund. (MIT Technology Review)

3 What Facebook Friendships Can Teach Us About Poverty Alleviation
Poor kids with richer friends are much more likely to earn more than adults. (NYT$)

4 Black Mirror didn’t help the argument for brain-computer interfaces
While the technology could help millions, many people are understandably still cautious. (wired$)
+ Why mimics are the new Xbox controllers. (WP$)
+ Brain implants could be the next computer mouse. (MIT Technology Review)

5 How Roblox Responds to Grooming
Leaked documents detail the popular gaming platform’s response to major moderation challenges. (motherboard)

6 Schools fail to protect children’s sensitive information
Hacks and security breaches could seriously affect their future prospects and employment. (NYT$)

7 A hateful Arab anti-LGBTQ+ group thrives on Twitter
After being kicked off Facebook in early July. (Rest of the world)
+ Anti-Vaxx Twitter accounts peddle food crisis misinformation. (The guard)
+ The company is questioning Elon Musk’s staff about its deal to acquire it. (WP$)

8th Electric cars are too quiet 🚙
But committing to a sound that doesn’t drive us all mad is surprisingly hard. (New York $)
+ Their introduction means gas stations are ready to focus on something else. (Protocol)

9 How dates in a long term relationship ended on Tinder 📱
After a decade on the app, some users are feeling a committed partnership is further away than ever. (The cut)

10 We still want to look good on BeReal
The app wants us to be authentic, but doesn’t negate that urge. (The Atlantic $)
+ Retraining your social media algorithm is a grueling endeavor. (The information $)

quote of the Day

“You’re already running after it when you’re waiting for a case to come up.”

– dr Yvonne Maldonado, a professor at Stanford School of Medicine, tells Undark that the virus likely spread before a man in Rockland County saw a doctor in June because U.S. health officials don’t generally test sewage for polio.

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