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Why Japan Is Holding Back as the World Rushes Toward Electric Cars

TOKYO — Just over a decade ago, Nissan became the first automaker to offer a mass-produced car that ran on batteries alone. That hatchback, the Leaf, has been a smash hit, at least by electric car standards, with more than 500,000 sold by the end of last year.But as the trail that Nissan blazed becomes increasingly crowded, Japan’s mighty auto industry is in danger of being left behind. While governments and automakers worldwide are staking out bold pledges to transition to electric-only vehicles, Japanese car companies and regulators are hedging their bets.Japan dominates the global market for the current …

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Winter Storm Disrupts Automakers, Retailers and Delivery Services

UPS said weather could cause delays in areas not directly hit by the storms. Packages may take longer to get from one place to another, and many delivery services move goods through big sorting hubs in the middle of the country to serve both the East and West Coasts. UPS’s main air hub is in Louisville, Ky., and it also has a hub in Dallas, for example.The winter storm prompted the United States Postal Service to close post offices, processing hubs and other facilities in Texas, Alabama and Mississippi, according to its website.The storm has also affected …

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The Auto Industry Bets Its Future on Batteries

“Today’s batteries are not competitive,” said Jagdeep Singh, chief executive of QuantumScape, which is based in San Jose, Calif. “Batteries have enormous potential and are critical for a renewable energy economy, but they have to get better.”For the most part, all of the money pouring into battery technology is good news. It puts capitalism to work on solving a global problem. But this reordering of the auto industry will also claim some victims, like the companies that build parts for internal combustion engine cars and trucks, or automakers and investors that bet on the wrong technology.“Battery innovations …

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Lack of Tiny Parts Disrupts Auto Factories Worldwide

The semiconductor shortage came out of left field, hitting the industry at a perilous moment. Sales have plunged worldwide. In Europe, for example, they were down 25 percent in 2020.This is all happening while automakers are trying to navigate a shift in basic technology from internal combustion engines to batteries, which has subjected them to new competition from Tesla, the California company that has become the most valuable automaker in the world by far, and emerging Chinese manufacturers like Nio.Exactly how long the shortage will last is unclear. It can take 20 to 25 weeks from the time new orders are placed …

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