© Reuters. Avinash Rugoobur, president of electric van and bus maker Arrival, shows off the startup’s pre-production electric bus model at the company’s research and development centre in Banbury, Britain, November 15, 2021. Picture taken November 15, 2021. REUTERS/
By Nick Carey
BANBURY, England (Reuters) – British electric van and bus maker Arrival on Thursday unveiled a new prototype of an electric bus that it hopes to begin producing next year to sell at around the price of a conventional diesel bus.
The pre-production bus will start running on roads within the next few weeks, and series production is due to begin at a plant in the U.S. state of South Carolina in the second quarter.
In a tour of the bus for Reuters, company president Avinash Rugoobur highlighted the fact that, because the batteries are in the floor – some electric buses place them in the ceiling – the bus has a skylight running the vehicle’s length. The bus is also low to the ground for easy passenger access.
The company uses lightweight but durable plastic composite body panels rather than steel or aluminium to lower production costs.
Arrival’s system monitors every vehicle component in real time and can upgrade the software associated with any of them wirelessly, Rugoobur said.
“Knowing and understanding how the vehicle is running in real time and being able to optimise that further reduces your fleet costs,” he said. “All of this in a bus that is cheaper than any other electric bus out there and competitive with diesel.”
Depending on the market, electric buses can cost up to 50% more than a diesel equivalent.
Arrival’s earlier prototype buses have already been undergoing trials with First Bus, one of the UK’s largest bus operators.
Arrival says around 12% of the 64,000 vehicles it currently has non-binding orders or letters of intent for are buses. Its South Carolina plant should have annual production capacity of 10,000 units and executives say they will announce more plants soon.
The electric bus market is heating up as countries, states and cities push towards zero-emission transport.
Companies like California startup Proterra Inc are vying with China’s BYD Co (OTC:) Ltd, or Volvo AB (OTC:). Switch (NYSE:) Mobility, a British unit of commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland Ltd, said this week it would provide 300 electric buses to the public transport agency in the Indian city of Bengaluru.
The U.S. Congress has just approved $1 trillion in infrastructure spending that includes $5.25 billion for electric buses through 2026, dwarfing the $130 million the government spent on electric transit bus programs in 2020.
Mike Ableson, head of Arrival’s North American operations, said that funding will help make electric buses more affordable for cash-strapped local authorities – but that the company’s goal of producing a zero-emission bus for the same price as a diesel bus will change that equation anyway.
“Transit agencies won’t have to worry about additional funding, they’ll just be able to start buying electric buses instead of diesel buses,” Ableson said.
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U.S. stock market indices are down 1-2%
U.S. stock market indices declined yesterday on growing fears of a recession in the U.S. economy, with the S&P 500 index falling for the fourth consecutive time.
U.S. stock indices list – what’s happening right now?
Inflation will drain Americans’ financial reserves and could lead to a recession sometime in the middle of next year, according to the head of JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM). Jamie Dimon. His Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS) colleague David Solomon also expects a recession in the coming months, and he believes markets are in for a turbulent period. The situation also affected T-Bond Futures.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Commerce Department said Tuesday that the country’s trade deficit widened 5.5 percent to $78.2 billion in October, the highest in four months but below analysts’ expectations of $80 billion.
Previously published positive data on business activity in the service sector and the number of new jobs in the U.S. economy have led investors to doubt that the Federal Reserve is willing to slow the pace of key interest rate increases, writes Trading Economics.
“The market got off to a nervous start this week as strong U.S. statistics hit investors’ hopes that the Fed would soften its stance in the coming months,” wrote SPI Asset Management managing partner Stephen Innes. “Ultimately, it’s more important exactly where the Fed stops, not how quickly they get to it. A stronger-than-expected labor market and positive business sentiment make it more likely that the rate will exceed 5%,” he added.
Market participants also watched for corporate news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 350.76 points (1.03%) to 33596.34.
Earlier, we reported that European stock indicators on December 7 showed a contradictory mood.
Current European stock market shows a contradictory mood
European stock indexes today do not show unified dynamics during trades. Composite index of the largest companies in the region, Stoxx Europe 600, decreased by 0.29% to 437.66 points.
Current European stock market – current situation
Germany’s DAX stock index was down 0.25%. France’s CAC 40 was down 0.09% and Spain’s IBEX 35 was down 0.06%. The British FTSE 100 rose 0.16%, the Italian FTSE MIB – 0.13%.
Investors are increasingly concerned about the negative impact of tightening financial conditions on economic growth in the region and the profits of companies, writes Trading Economics. The situation was also reflected in the Euro Fx Futures.
Market participants are waiting for meetings of several major central banks next week and are assessing statements by representatives of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Inflation in the eurozone is close to a peak, ECB Chief Economist Philip Lane said the day before.
“It is too early to conclude that inflation has peaked, but I can say with confidence that we are close to peaking,” Lane told Italian newspaper Milano Finanza.
The ECB raised all three key interest rates by 75 bps in October. The benchmark interest rate on loans was raised to 2%; the rate on deposits – to 1.5%; the rate on margin loans – to 2.25%. Since July this year, the ECB has raised key rates by 200 bp.
Experts expect the lending rate to rise to at least 2% from 1.5% in December.
Meanwhile, data from Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) released Wednesday showed that industrial production in Germany fell by 0.1% in October compared to the previous month. Analysts polled by Trading Economics had on average expected a larger decline of 0.6%.
Earlier we reported that data on a decline in Chinese exports dropped Asia’s stock market.
Asian stock market news: Data on decline in Chinese exports caused Asia’s stock market to plummet
Asian stock market news: Asian stock indices fell in today’s trading after data showed a decline in Chinese exports.
China’s exports fell 8.7 percent year on year in November to $296.1 billion, official data showed. The index fell for the second month in a row (in October it dropped by 0.3%), and the rate of its decline was the highest since February 2020. Experts attribute this reduction mainly to a drop in demand in the world amid a slowdown in the global economy. Even EURODOLLAR futures were affected by the situation.
Asian stock market today – what’s happening right now?
Imports fell 10.6% year-on-year last month to $226.2 billion, after declining by 0.7% a month earlier. China’s foreign trade surplus narrowed to its lowest since April, $69.84 billion in November, down from $85.15 billion a month earlier and $71.7 billion a year earlier.
Meanwhile, investors welcomed the news of further easing of coronavirus restrictions in China. Now, entire neighborhoods and blocks will not be closed for lockdowns, as they used to be, but only residential floors and buildings. Also, people who test positive for COVID-19 will be able to self-isolate at home rather than in overcrowded hospitals. Also, schools that have not had outbreaks will have to return to the face-to-face format.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock index was down 0.7%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.9%. Australia’s GDP rose 0.6% in Q3 from the previous quarter, according to the country’s Bureau of Statistics. Analysts on average had expected the Australian economy to grow by 0.7% in July-September, Trading Economics wrote.
The country’s GDP grew by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Thus, the Australian economy has shown an upturn for the fourth consecutive quarter. but the rate of increase was the weakest in that period amid weak growth in consumer spending due to high inflation and higher interest rates. On an annualized basis, GDP rose 5.9% in Q3 after climbing 3.4% in Q2 and compared to the 6.2% expected by analysts.
Earlier, we reported that European stock markets mostly closed lower on December 5.
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