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British Petroleum Gets Out of Next-Generation Ethanol

It's back to petroleum for BP, once a self-styled green star

1 min read
British Petroleum Gets Out of Next-Generation Ethanol

We'll spare you a repeat of the whole saga about how BP once bought a small PV company as part of a big oil company merger with Amoco and then started billing itself as the world's largest solar company, getting set to move "beyond petroleum." And we'll spare you a repeat of the story about how, in subsequent years, BP decided advanced photovoltaics wasn't such a great business to be in after all. The important news this week, reported by the Financial Times, is that British Petroleum is cancelling plans for a $300 million second-generation ethanol plant in Florida. When BP launched the project three years ago, it said the new plant might employ 600-800 people in central Florida; it now says it has no further interest in pursuing cellulosic ethanol production in the United States. According to the FT, that means BP's renewables portfolio will now be confined to some wind projects in the United States and cane ethanol production in Brazil.

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Chinese Joint Venture Will Begin Mass-Producing an Autonomous Electric Car

With the Robo-01, Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely aim for a fully self-driving car

4 min read
A black car sits against a white backdrop decorated with Chinese writing. The car’s doors are open, like a butterfly’s wings. Two charging stations are on the car’s left; two men stand on the right.

The Robo-01 autonomous electric car shows off its butterfly doors at a reveal to the media in Beijing, in June 2022.

Tingshu Wang/Reuters/Alamy

In October, a startup called Jidu Automotive, backed by Chinese AI giant Baidu and Chinese carmaker Geely, officially released an autonomous electric car, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition. In 2023, the car will go on sale.

At roughly US $55,000, the Robo-01 Lunar Edition is a limited edition, cobranded with China’s Lunar Exploration Project. It has two lidars, a 5-millimeter-wave radars, 12 ultrasonic sensors, and 12 high-definition cameras. It is the first vehicle to offer on-board, AI-assisted voice recognition, with voice response speeds within 700 milliseconds, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8295 chip.

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