The number of electric vehicles on Tennessee roads continues to rise
The number of electric vehicles registered increased in the fourth quarter by 1,669, or 10.9%, to 16,902 electric vehicles, according to Atlas EV Hub electric vehicle registration data for Tennessee.
As of December 31, 2021, there were 11,277 battery electric vehicles and 5,625 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The Tennessee Drive Electric campaign, supported by the Tennessee Valley Authority, is pushing to have at least 200,000 electric vehicles on Tennessee roads by 2028.
The counties with the most electric vehicles registered in the state at the end of 2021 are still Williamson, Davidson, Shelby, Knox and Rutherford. Hamilton County’s number, at 903, is rising rapidly to match Rutherford’s, at 972.
Volkswagen’s electric vehicle presence is growing in the state to overtake Honda for 12th place, according to data from Atlas EV Hub.
Over the past two years, the number of electric vehicles on Tennessee roads has increased by nearly 75%, according to state vehicle registrations.
Kia recalls vehicles over airbag issues
Kia is recalling more than 410,000 vehicles in the United States to address an issue that can prevent airbags from inflating in a crash.
The recall affects certain 2017 and 2018 model year Forte small cars and 2017 to 2019 Soul Sedona minivans and small SUVs. The Soul Electric is also included.
The Korean automaker says the airbag control computer cover can come into contact with a memory chip and damage the electrical circuit. This could prevent the airbags from inflating.
Dealers will inspect the computer and update the software or replace it. The owners will be informed by mail from March 21.
Kia says in documents released Friday by US security authorities that the problem surfaced in Korea last July. The company says it has received 13 customer complaints and 947 warranty claims, but no accidents or injuries have been reported.
EPA reinstates rules for power plants
In a reversal of a Trump-era action, the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday it would resume enforcement of a rule that limits emissions of mercury and other dangerous pollutants from power plants electrical.
The EPA action reinstates a rule imposed under President Barack Obama and continues a practice in which the Biden administration is reinstating environmental protections relaxed under President Donald Trump. The 2012 rule requires deep reductions in emissions of mercury, acid gases and other harmful pollutants, primarily from coal-fired power plants.
The EPA said its actions would improve public health, including reducing the risk of heart attacks and cancer and preventing neurodevelopmental delays in children.
“Solid science clearly shows that we must limit mercury and toxins in the air to protect children and vulnerable communities from dangerous pollution,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement. “The EPA is committed to aggressively reducing pollution from the electricity sector so that all people, no matter their zip code or how much money they have in their pockets, can breathe clean air. pure and lead a healthy and productive life.”
Chicago Public Media buys Sun-Times newspaper
The combination of two major Chicago news brands has created one of the nation’s largest local nonprofit news organizations.
Chicago Public Media, owner of local NPR affiliate WBEZ, announced Monday that it has reached an agreement to buy the Chicago Sun-Times, the hard-hitting tabloid whose roots date back to the mid-19th century. Final terms were not disclosed.
The Sun-Times will be an independent affiliate of Chicago Public Media, and the newspaper and radio station will have separate newsrooms. But they will share content across their platforms and combine to reach more than 2 million Chicagoans each week through print, broadcast and digital platforms, Chicago Public Media said. And at a time when many local newsrooms have bled their staff, especially after mergers, Chicago Public Media chief Matt Moog told WBEZ there will be 50 vacancies at the two organizations and that they would hire.
Chicago Public Media said it raised $61 million for the deal, with funding coming from local foundations and individual donors through multi-year commitments. Most commitments are pledged over a five-year period, and the funds will be invested in the Sun-Times to grow its journalism, invest in its digital product and maintain print, the company said.
— Compiled by Dave Flessner