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The Daily Dish (4/1/21)

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Biden wants to build a national EV charging system under $2 trillion infrastructure plan

RENEW Wisconsin Electric Vehicle Blog: Electric Charging Station Funding  Takes Another Step - RENEW Wisconsin

President Joe Biden is prioritizing a national EV charging network under his $2 trillion infrastructure bill, promising to have at least 500,000 of the devices installed across the U.S. by 2030.

The Biden administration is rolling out Wednesday a $174 billion plan to spur the development and adoption of electric vehicles that includes money to retool factories and boost domestic supply of materials, tax incentives for EV buyers, and grant and incentive programs for charging infrastructure.

There aren’t enough EV drivers to make it a viable business yet, and building a network of chargers is far more complex than it sounds.

Costs for EV chargers vary based on the “Level” of charger.

“These are really, really expensive, especially these fast chargers” that some automakers are promising will take as little as 10 minutes to charge upcoming EVs about 80%. That compares with lower-level chargers, including home outlets, that take several hours.

While automakers like General Motors and Volkswagen are heavily investing in improving performance and lowering prices of EVs to catch up to Tesla, they’re far less interested in building, owning and operating their own charging networks.

Their strategy, combined with enthusiasm from Wall Street for EVs, has driven investor demand for charging companies such as ChargePoint $CHPT, Volta $SNPR, and EVgo $CLII.

Public chargers are needed to power those vehicles, but companies such as EVgo need the demand for charging to be there to justify their business.

“We’re essentially crowdfunding for the driver one business at a time, the largest network of EV chargers in the area for them and they see it all as one network through our mobile application,” ChargePoint’s Romano said.

Satellite company AST SpaceMobile expects to close SPAC deal next week

Vodafone and AST SpaceMobile Unveil Launch Plans - AST & Science

Satellite-to-smartphone broadband company AST & Science expects to close its merger with SPAC New Providence next week, the company said on Thursday.

Its stock will trade on the Nasdaq, with the combined company to be called AST SpaceMobile.

Satellite-to-smartphone broadband company AST & Science expects to close its SPAC merger next week, the company said on Thursday.

Last year, the company announced plans to merge with special purpose acquisition company New Providence, which trades under ticker NPA. Stockholders voted on Thursday to approve the transaction, with the closing expected “On or about April 6,” or next Tuesday.

The combined company of AST & Science and New Providence will be known as AST Space Mobile, and will trade under the ticker $ASTS. New Providence’s stock slipped more than 4% in midday trading from its previous close of $11.67 a share.

The new capital will fund the company’s development of its network, with AST planning to launch its next demonstration satellite BlueWalker 3 later this year.

Including AST, seven space companies have announced deals with SPAC’s in the past six months.


WeWork finally goes public through SPAC merger

wework spac

Flexible office space provider WeWork recently announced it will become a publicly traded company through a merger agreement with special purpose acquisition company BowX Acquisition Corp $BOWX. The deal values WeWork at an initial enterprise value of approximately $9 billion.

“WeWork has spent the past year transforming the business and refocusing its core, while simultaneously managing and innovating through a historic downturn,” WeWork CEO Sandeep Mathrani said in a statement.

“As a result, WeWork has emerged as the global leader in flexible space with a value proposition that is stronger than ever. Having Vivek and the BowX team will be invaluable to WeWork as we continue to define the future of work.”

“This company is primed to achieve profitability in the short-term, but the added long-term opportunity for growth and innovation is what made WeWork a perfect fit for BowX. With a fantastic core business, I see WeWork as a company at an inflection point, with an incredible roster of key members coupled with the vision and leadership to digitize an enormous industry.”

WeWork attempted to go public through a traditional initial public offering, but the deal fell through in September 2019 as investors grew hesitant due to the company’s financial losses and the questions surrounding its corporate governance.

Merging with a SPAC like BowX allows WeWork to bypass the roadblocks that come with an IPO launch.

Despite its recent financial woes, WeWork is a known commodity that investors can evaluate.

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