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Amazon’s first round of climate pledge funding will tackle battery waste and EVs

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In its first round of funding from its $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon is investing in the battery and e-waste recycling company led by former Tesla executive JB Straubel, along with four other companies. It’s not clear how much money each company will receive.

Amazon made the $2 billion commitment in June as part of efforts to slash its greenhouse gas emissions. Last September, the retail giant said it would cut or capture all of its planet-heating pollution, achieving net-zero emissions, by 2040. To hit that target, Amazon might need the technology being developed by the startups it’s now funding.

“I am excited to announce that we are investing in a group of companies that are channeling their entrepreneurial energy into helping Amazon and other companies reach net zero by 2040 and keep the planet safer for future generations,” Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

If the technology and partnership develop as planned, Redwood Materials will help Amazon deal with the batteries that will inevitably be left behind by its planned fleet of electric delivery vans. Amazon announced its purchase of 100,000 electric vehicles from startup Rivian, another recipient of Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, when it made its sweeping climate commitment last September. The first 10,000 of those are supposed to hit the road by next year, Amazon says, with the rest following by 2030. Rivian is already one of the richest EV startups in the world, The Verge’s Sean O’Kane reports. It’s raised more than $5 billion in less than two years.

Electric vehicles will play a huge role in the transition away from fossil fuels to cleaner sources of energy. But when rechargeable lithium-ion batteries like those in Rivian’s EVs get tossed out, they do more than leave behind a big mess. A chemical process called “thermal runaway” can cause the battery to heat up until it burns or explodes. And mining for cobalt to build new batteries has been connected to child labor abuses on top of disastrous environmental damage.

That’s where Redwood Materials and its battery recycling technology comes in. Straubel is essentially solving a problem he helped to create as he drove the development of Tesla’s electric vehicles, particularly its batteries. Straubel co-founded Redwood Materials in 2017 as a side project and stepped down from his role as CTO at Tesla in July 2019. His focus now is on dramatically reducing the cost of making batteries, and thereby electric vehicles, by harvesting materials from old batteries. Over the next ten years, Straubel aims to bring down the cost of raw materials for batteries to half the price of newly mined materials, according to an August Wall Street Journal report. The endeavor essentially achieves two goals: accelerating the transition to greener electric vehicles and reducing the amount of waste and mining that might come with more EVs on the road.

“To fight climate change, we need to solve the impact products have on the environment. We’re honored to be part of the Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and to build the closed-loop supply chain that will recycle batteries, electronics and other end of life products for Amazon,” Redwood Materials CEO Straubel said in a statement.

Two of the other companies Amazon is pumping money into could bring down the carbon footprint of its buildings. Amazon will fund Turntide Technologies, which creates more efficient motors, and is piloting some of Turntide’s motors in its own buildings to reduce electricity use. And it’s investing in CarbonCure, a company that is tackling a huge problem in construction: the cement industry is responsible for generating up to 8 percent of global greenhouse gases each year. CarbonCure is developing technology that captures and sequesters CO2 in concrete.

The fifth company Amazon announced funding for, Pachama, verifies carbon offsets using satellites and AI. One of the ways Amazon is trying to mitigate its impact on the climate is by investing in forest conservation — it’s betting on trees to capture and store carbon that humans have unleashed into the atmosphere. But before a company like Amazon can use a forest to write off its emissions, it needs to make sure those carbon reductions aren’t being miscounted. Pachama aims to help companies keep their records clean. It’s especially important since forest offset projects don’t have a great track record of succeeding.

For all its investments, Amazon still has a lot of work to do to limit its damage to the planet. It released 15 percent more greenhouse gases last year than the year before as its sales grew. If Amazon doubling its profit during the pandemic is any indication of its carbon footprint for this year, that figure could be even bigger for 2020.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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