Morning Brew - ☕️ Batteries on wheels

Oh, and C-band bans are back, baby.
" "
Morning Brew November 09, 2022

Emerging Tech Brew

Fidelity Investments

Greetings. If you were waiting for a sure sign that the recent era of VC exuberance has drawn to a close, look no further: Masayoshi Son of Softbank will no longer stand in front of his legendary unicorn-laden slide decks and expound on the past, present, and future of the fund.

After taking more than $35 billion in losses in H1 due to plummeting tech valuations, Son has decided to step out of the spotlight; the firm’s CFO will now run the presentations.

In today’s edition:

Can EV buses act as “batteries on wheels?”
The FAA is side-eyeing 5G again
Reader poll: smart-cities edition

Grace Donnelly, Jordan McDonald, Dan McCarthy

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

First the emissions, then the grid

First the emissions, then the grid IlIllustration: Morning Brew, Photo: VCG/Getty Images

Municipalities looking to decarbonize both their transportation fleets and their grid have a secret weapon: school buses.

EV buses can help municipalities reduce emissions from transportation—the biggest source of CO2 emissions in the US—but they also present an opportunity to bolster the electrical grid through bidirectional charging programs that can turn buses into batteries.

As a result...Efforts to make use of electric buses as both transportation and battery storage are underway across the US—particularly in California, a leader in vehicle-to-grid (V2G) experiments.

“If it’s a diesel bus, the time that it’s sitting there between routes, it’s just rotting, and leaking fluids and getting tired. Whereas, the electric bus can do other things in all of that time,” Sean Leach, director of technology and platform management at Highland Electric Fleets, which supplies and manages electric buses for schools, told us.

  • “We have a very large battery sitting down there, basically, because these are just batteries on wheels,” he added.

Zoom in: Some of the first V2G applications for electric buses are happening in the schoolyard. That’s because the schedule of school-bus trips throughout the year makes them well-suited to double as distributed energy resources, experts told us.

Read about the boom in EV buses here.GD

        

TOGETHER WITH FIDELITY INVESTMENTS

Fresh Invest is back + spilling allll the tea

Fidelity Investments

Between market shifts, emerging asset classes, and trying to keep up with crypto, we can’t blame you for not feeling financially confident these days.

That’s why season 3 of Fresh Invest—our award-winning1 (#humblebrag) investing podcast sponsored by Fidelity Investments and powered by Morning Brew—is focused on getting you answers to your big money questions. Alex Lieberman, Morning Brew co-founder and executive chairman, is back on the mic for weekly deep dives with Fidelity professionals, and they’re covering hot financial topics you requested.

Tune in for actionable takeaways to help you boost your financial confidence + manage your money like a seasoned investor during this uncertain economic climate.

Listen to the new season of Fresh Invest!

CONNECTIVITY

Getting the C-ban(d) back together

An airplane running into radio airwaves Francis Scialabba

When it comes to America’s deployment of C-band 5G, you’d be forgiven for thinking the “C” stands for contentious.

What’s new? In late October, the FAA logged another entry in the ongoing airline-5G saga, this time asking the FCC to mandate additional voluntary operating limits on C-band 5G deployments near airports for 19 small- and mid-tier telecoms and spectrum holders due to concerns that it could interfere with plane altimeters, per Reuters.

  • Up until this point, the target of similar mandated voluntary operating limits had been Verizon and AT&T.
  • The pair has each spent tens of billions of dollars to acquire licenses to deploy C-band 5G, which is also known as the “Goldilocks spectrum” due to its ability to deliver fast speeds over long distances.

Big picture: The FAA’s new push to limit smaller C-band operators is an attempt to set a standard across the industry, according to Jason Leigh, research manager for mobility and 5G research at IDC.

“[Verizon and AT&T] are not the only two players with C-band spectrum. I think the FAA is starting to say, well, what about everybody else that [is] not part of this voluntary agreement?” he said. “They’re trying to just codify it a little bit to say, ‘Okay, we’ve got the two big dogs in the house that have agreed to do this, but we want to make sure that everybody abides by it.’”

Read about the latest round of C-band bans here.JM

        

READER POLL

Smart-cities edition

Image of a city skyline with futuristic filters overlaid on top Illustration: Dianna “Mick” McDougall, Photo: Getty Images

About a week ago, we published the results of an exclusive survey showing what US city residents think of smart-city tech.

And exactly one week ago, we asked all of you to weigh in on one such question: Do you think it’s important for cities to invest in emerging tech? After just under 1,600 responses, the results are in:

  • Precisely 80% of respondents said yes, it is important to invest in emerging tech, while  ~12% of respondents said no, and another ~9% said they weren’t sure.
  • Meanwhile, according to the Emerging Tech Brew-Harris Poll survey we pubbed last week, 87% of US city residents think such investment is important.

Big picture: Despite the general consensus among US city residents that investing in new tech is worthwhile for cities to do, there were some pretty big differences in the levels of enthusiasm, awareness, and engagement with smart-city tech, depending on who you ask or what you ask about.

  • Some tech, like public wi-fi, had broad appeal, while others, like autonomous vehicles, had more lukewarm support.
  • Younger city residents were more likely to use smart-city tech than older ones.
  • Residents of smaller US cities were a lot less enthusiastic about smart-city tech than those who live in large cities.

Dive further into the results of our survey here.DM

This week’s poll: Do you think Twitter will succeed or fail under Elon Musk?

Succeed
Fail
Somewhere in the middle IDK

TOGETHER WITH GITHUB

GitHub

Limitations? Never heard of ’em. Join the 90 million developers and businesses who are building, scaling, and shipping secure software on GitHub. Make your vision a reality with GitHub—the place for anyone from anywhere to build anything. Find the plan that works for you. Start here.

BITS AND BYTES

Image of Amazon delivery worker with Rivian electric truck inside warehouse Amazon

Stat: Amazon claims it has “over a thousand” Rivian EV delivery vans in operation. Amazon is both an investor in and a customer of Rivian; it plans to take delivery of 100,000 Rivian EV(ans) by 2030.

Quote: “There’s an abundance of talent right now, because of these layoffs…A few years ago, there was no way we could’ve attracted candidates like this.”—Kathy Zhu, CEO and co-founder of Streamline AI, to the WSJ on startups benefiting from layoffs at larger tech companies

Read: An in-depth interview with the founder of Mastodon, as tens of thousands sign up for the app in search of a Twitter alternative.

New in town: What should security and IT pros know about cyber asset attack surface management (CAASM)? In a world of repackaged and renamed tech, see why CAASM stands out from the crowd. Get Axionus’ new ebook here.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Meta announced plans to lay off more than 11,000 employees.
  • Apple reportedly expects to make ~3 million fewer iPhone 14s in 2022 than it initially planned, partially because of weakening demand.
  • Ouster and Velodyne, two lidar companies, announced they plan to merge.
  • Unity and ironSource completed their merger.
  • Foxconn will invest $170 million in EV truck startup Lordstown Motors.

FROM THE CREW

GIPHY/NBCUniversal

ICYMI: The recession warning bells are ringing. The first line of defense? A bullet-proof budget. Learn how you can construct a stable foundation in an unstable economy with our Financial Forecasting course. Click here to lock in your seat (and your 2023 budget).

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✢ A Note From Fidelity Investments

Disclosure: Morning Brew and Fidelity Investments are independent entities and are not legally affiliated.

 

Written by Grace Donnelly, Jordan McDonald, and Dan McCarthy

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