The Inflation Reduction Act has a sneaky tax credit for heavy-duty electric trucks
Jamie Kelter Davis/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Inflation Reduction Act has a sneaky tax credit for heavy-duty electric trucks

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Good morning! Tax credits for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks could help address climate change and reduce carbon emissions. Maybe it’s time to give them a shot.

Is it time to electrify your truck fleet?

The Inflation Reduction Act’s tax credits for electric passenger vehicles have garnered intense scrutiny. But the tax credits available to electrify medium- and heavy-duty transport could be an even bigger deal, Protocol’s Brian Kahn writes.

Commercial EV tax credits are different from the ones for passenger vehicles. The IRA includes tax credits of up to $7,500 for light- and medium-duty vehicles and $40,000 for heavy-duty trucks.

  • Those credits don’t come with any requirements for where battery components and minerals can be sourced from or how much vehicles cost, both of which are facets for the passenger EV tax credits.

The effect on electric truck sales could be huge. The law’s tax credits could double or even triple the share of electrified trucks and vans used in fleets by 2030 compared to business as usual, according to a new report from policy modeling shop Energy Innovation that was shared exclusively with Protocol.

  • That would pay huge dividends by cleaning up what is one of the dirtiest segments of the transportation sector in terms of carbon and air pollution that disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities.

Infrastructure is also getting a boost. Billions of dollars are being put toward unblocking a major barrier in widespread EV adoption: range anxiety. That’s particularly important for long-haul trucks and delivery vehicles that have schedules to keep, and could help companies already looking at electrifying their fleets speed up the process.

  • Some major businesses have already made major pledges to electrify their fleets. Amazon, for example, put in an order for 100,000 electric vans from Rivian and installed some of its own charging stations.

Regulation could also speed things up. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering new emissions standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and setting more-stringent ones could act as a stick to the IRA’s carrots.

Read more: The Inflation Reduction Act is a “game changer” for electric trucks

Playing the crypto long game

Mastercard rolled out a new service this week to help consumers buy and sell crypto through their banks. It shows the payments giant is playing the crypto long game. More and more banks will want to dabble in this market, but they’ll want to do it in a way that doesn’t get them in trouble, Protocol’s Ben Pimentel writes.

Crypto crash or no crypto crash, big banks want in. The market slide wiped out $2 trillion in value from crypto, but interest remains strong, especially among major financial institutions.

  • Payments giants, led by Mastercard, Visa, and AmEx, have been building their crypto capabilities for years. “Our commitment is simple,” Jorn Lambert, Mastercard’s chief digital officer, said. Mastercard will “explore” crypto technology and come up with ways to support “customer choice in payments.”

The payments behemoths aren’t going away, despite the view that crypto threatens their existence, a view that was underlined by investor Chamath Palihapitiya’s prediction that they would be the “biggest business loser for 2022.” (Last we checked, Visa and Mastercard were collectively worth $675 billion.)

  • On the contrary: It’s becoming clearer that payments giants will likely play a key role in crypto’s growth.
  • Walter Hessert, head of strategy at Paxos, Mastercard’s partner for the new crypto services, cited the company’s “powerful network of financial institutions around the world,” which offer traditional financial companies “the fastest and most trusted way to offer safe, reliable crypto access for their consumers.”

In fact, crypto may need the old guard. One would expect that this crypto winter would “keep legacy institutions away,” but “it's likely that volatility is what will drive consumers to feel safer with established financial institutions,” Melody Brue of Moor Insights & Strategy told Protocol Fintech reporter Benjamin Pimentel.

Read more: A longer version of this story appeared in the Protocol Fintech newsletter. Sign up here.

Meredith Whittaker’s big challenge at Signal

Meredith Whittaker had only been the FTC’s senior AI adviser for less than a year when she decided to leave her government role. Last month, she announced her new position as the president of encrypted messaging app Signal.

How did Whittaker decide to make the move? She’s known Signal founder Moxie Marlinspike for a decade, and was using the platform before it was even called Signal, she told Protocol’s Lizzy Lawrence. Now felt like the right moment to act on previous conversations she’d had with Marlinspike about joining as president.

  • As someone who joined Google when it was still a young startup, Whittaker said she “had a very close view of the surveillance business model’s ascent.”
  • Now, that model has “calcified,” she told Lizzy, and a handful of big tech companies control major digital infrastructure and constantly gather data.
  • “You have a service like Signal, which I believe is existentially important for a livable future.”

Her big challenge: making Signal’s business sustainable. Operating a platform like Signal is expensive, and growing it without compromising its ethos of security is a daunting task. It’s doubly challenging as companies like Meta and Apple offer free products with the “shifty trade-off” of monetizing user data, she said.

  • Though Signal is still mulling over its monetization plans, Whittaker is looking into a small donation model.
  • But she knows she wants Signal to remain free, telling Lizzy that private communication “shouldn’t be something that is a luxury only for the people who can afford it.”

Read more: How I decided to leave the FTC to run Signal

A MESSAGE FROM CIRCLE

USD Coin (USDC) is the institutional grade stablecoin. Monthly attestations show exactly what reserves back USDC, and businesses all over the world are using USDC to build the next generation of financial services and global payment applications.

Learn why institutions trust USDC at Circle’s Transparency & Stability Hub

People are talking

Terraform Labs’ Do Kwon said he’s not actually on the run:

  • "There's no reason why any government official would believe we fled to Singapore.”

Netflix's Mike Verdu is pleased that Chacko Sonny left Blizzard for the streaming platform:

  • "You don’t get people like that coming to your organization to build the next big thing in gaming unless there’s a sense that we’re really in it for the long haul.”

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Making moves

Starboard Value revealed a stake in Salesforce. Shares jumped over 7% in early trading yesterday.

Namkoong Whon resigned from Kakao as CEO after a fire at a data center caused a huge outage. Whon also apologized for the incident.

Michael Brown left the Defense Department for Shield Capital, where he'll invest in startups creating tech for warfare and conflict.

Katie Obi joined Beamery as chief people officer. She last held a similar role at Rizing.

AI company Cresta has new leaders: Scott Kolman joined as head of marketing, and Adam Walton is the new VP of business development.

Germany suspended its minister of cybersecurity, Arne Schoenbohm, due to alleged ties with Russian intelligence.

In other news

Craft Venture's David Sacks is quietly growing in popularity across right-wing politics. He's not yet a household name like Elon Musk, but he continues to use money and his online presence to bring conservatives together.

Oracle poured another $400 million into Ampere, an Arm server chip design startup. It’s now put in $850 million since Ampere’s inception in 2017, according to SEC filings.

Meta must sell Giphy, the U.K.’s competition regulator ordered. Meta said it’s disappointed by the ruling but will unwind the deal.

Netflix confirmed that it’s looking into cloud gaming. It has 35 games in its mobile catalog and 55 more in production.

Climate nonprofit Terraset exited stealth mode. The organization wants to channel private philanthropy into the nascent field of carbon dioxide removal.

Apple announced an upgraded iPad yesterday. It’s the last of the newer models to ditch Lightning for USB-C.

What’s going on between Meta and The Wire? Meta has repeatedly called evidence underpinning The Wire’s reporting on the company fabricated. Now, The Wire’s doing an internal review.

Amazon workers overwhelmingly rejected a union vote at a facility near Albany, New York. This was the third time that the Amazon Labor Union tried to unionize an Amazon warehouse after having successfully unionized workers in Staten Island.

Be your own handyman

Do you feel like you could fix your washing machine, fridge, or dryer on your own? The FTC wants to know. The agency is planning to ask the public if energy-efficiency labels on home appliances should also include information on how to fix the machines. The move could be a win for climate and repair rights advocates, who have said that keeping devices from getting wheezy and ending up in a landfill is an environmental win. Now the Maytag repairman could really be out of a job.

A MESSAGE FROM CIRCLE

USD Coin (USDC) is the institutional grade stablecoin. Monthly attestations show exactly what reserves back USDC, and businesses all over the world are using USDC to build the next generation of financial services and global payment applications.

Learn why institutions trust USDC at Circle’s Transparency & Stability Hub

Thoughts, questions, tips? Send them to sourcecode@protocol.com, or our tips line, tips@protocol.com. Enjoy your day, see you tomorrow.

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