All aboard the Polar Express!

December 21, 2023

Scottish adventurers Chris and Julie Ramsey have announced they have completed their 17,000-mile journey from the Magnetic North Pole to the South Pole, in an EV. This 9-month-long voyage was completed in a Nissan Ariya e-4ORCE, with (slight) modifications, such as larger 39-inch tires alongside matching wheel arches, to account for the polar terrain. This Pole to Pole EV expedition aimed to show and prove that EVs are a viable replacement for existing ICE-powered expedition vehicles in the polar regions. We hope this will have a snowball effect in terms of adoption and companies will start adding EVs to their polar fleets.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced It will be providing funding of up to $59m to accelerate the National Clean Hydrogen Strategy. The purpose of this DOE funding is to focus on R&D, demonstration, and deployment of scalable, cost-effective clean hydrogen technologies. Interestingly, there is an emphasis on clean hydrogen medium and heavy-duty vehicles and port equipment. In the last 16 months the USA, arguably, has been the most proactive nation as it has introduced a plethora of initiatives and incentives, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and now this.

An Indian government agency has announced that 14 companies, such as Reliance Industries and JSW Energy, have bid for Green Hydrogen incentives, which opened on Friday. This is great news, as the Indian government has been flirting with green hydrogen initiatives for a while, however from July this year, it has created and rolled out these incentives. India has set itself a target of reaching 5 million tons in annual green hydrogen production capacity by 2030. We champion this and we also side with the industry experts who believe that the Indian government will be rolling out more hydrogen and EV initiatives and incentives next year. Bear in mind India has the most polluted air out of the economies in the Sustainable Trade Index. Reducing pollution is a key focus for the government because the knock-on impact it has on health; productivity and the environment is material.

Nissan has reportedly entered into a JV agreement with Tsinghua University to help ramp up its R&D on EVs, charging infrastructure and battery recycling, so it can sell China-developed EVs globally. Many of Nissan’s peers, (such as Tesla and BMW) already produce and export China-made EVs due to the country’s low manufacturing costs. Interestingly Nissan is reportedly looking to enter into the same markets as BYD, which is not surprising, however, it does illustrate that the blueprint BYD has been implementing is working and now other OEMs are looking to replicate it.

The European Commission has announced it is giving 15 hydrogen-related projects €1.25bn in grants. All 15 recipients have now signed their grant agreements with the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). All these projects appear to be supporting the expansion of the hydrogen supply chain across Europe, which is critical if hydrogen is to become mass-adopted in the coming decades. For example, one of the projects being supported is Fortescue Energy and its 300MW Holmaneset green hydrogen and ammonia project on the west coast of Norway. This aims to take advantage of the surplus renewable energy from the Norwegian transmission grid and ship the resulting green ammonia to domestic and European markets, which would be ground-breaking.

The Canadian government is set to announce new rules which will require all new vehicles sold in the country to be zero-emissions by 2035. These new rules will mandate that zero-emissions vehicles must make up 20% of all new car sales in 2026, 60% in 2030 and 100% in 2035. This is great news and should give a mini confidence boost to the Canadian EV market. The government has been very proactive, in the last 12-18 months, with EV incentives, grants and projects and when these rules pass, the policy tailwinds will help galvanise the EV push for adoption.

Nio has announced it will be getting $2.2bn in investment from CYVN Holdings (an investment vehicle based in Abu Dhabi), which will increase CYVN’s shareholding to 20.1% to become the largest single shareholder of Nio. This comes after weeks of announcements made by Nio to implement cost cutting strategies. This capital injection will help Nio ramp up core operations so it can develop its EV pipeline, as 2 new EV models are in pencilled in to come to the European market in 2025. Clearly the cost-cutting strategies being implemented by the Nio management team have given confidence to shareholders, such as CYVN, to increase its shareholding. This also signals to the market that the executive management team are competent, able to inspire confidence, hit targets and are experienced.


Terminal, a USA-based telematics integration solutions provider, has announced it has raised $3.1m in a Seed round. The round was led by Golden Ventures, with Y Combinator, Wayfinder Ventures, Northside Ventures, McVestCo, and Boon Fund also participating. The startup intends to use this capital to grow its team and building out its product (Unified API), which will aim to target insurance, fleet and financial services companies.

Metafuels, a Zurich-based climate tech startup, has announced it has raised $8m in a Seed round, led by Energy Impact Partners and Contrarian Ventures. The capital will be used to develop synthetic aviation fuel; interestingly the Metafuels is looking for a fuel solution which will not require expensive aircraft re-engineering or infrastructure modifications.

Tobii AB has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire AutoSense from Xperi, for at least $45m. AutoSense focuses on Driver Monitoring System (DMS) and Occupant Monitoring System solutions and has won contracts with 7 OEMs that represent more than 15% of the global annual automobile production. Bear in mind, just the DMS market is forecasted to hit revenues of c$5bn by 2033. In this acquisition, Tobii will also receive technology and patents related to image processing and computer vision. This will help Tobii consolidate its leadership in the Automotive Interior Sensing market. This transaction is pencilled in to close within 30 days, subject to customary closing conditions.