Hot takes: How TechCrunch+ covered climate tech in 2022


Illustration of a woman pushing a burning globe.
Image Credits: Malte Mueller (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Climate became an increasingly popular topic in 2021, perhaps best showcased in pieces like this interview with Eric Dean Wilson on why air conditioning, one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century, is killing the 21st, which we featured in our Best of TechCrunch 2021 list. But this year came in waves — heat waves, that is. New records were chalked on the board as hotter-than-normal summer days led to power grids failing and disastrous hurricanes devastated coastlines.

Take a look at some of our hottest TechCrunch+ climate 2022 coverage:

Manchin’s ultimatum may turn the US into a battery powerhouse

In August 2022, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin spoke with the automotive industry to ensure that the lucrative tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act that made EVs more affordable for U.S. consumers go toward the purchase of cars manufactured in the United States.

EV battery leases could be a boon for manufacturers, a bust for consumers

Did you know that you could lease an EV battery? Vietnamese automaker VinFast tested the waters of selling EVs and leasing their batteries. Our own Tim De Chant noted that this model could help lower the barriers to EV ownership.

Meet 5 startups working to harness the Earth’s heat to save the planet

Name five geothermal startups. You probably can’t, but Tim can. Geothermal energy is being harnessed as a carbon-free source of power, and startups are looking to take it from a niche market to one that could transform the way we think of energy. I’ve been captivated by geothermal energy and its uses since being part of a research project about two-phase flow in a hydrothermal (a subset of geothermal) vent system. In this article, Tim highlights five startups working to unlock geothermal’s potential, including QHeat, which aims to use geothermal energy for heating and cooling in dense urban areas.

EV charging sucks because it hasn’t found the right business model

While I don’t drive an EV, I do imagine that road trips with one must be quite difficult — finding charging stations and taking the time to charge instead of just filling up your tank — but that may soon no longer be the case. Tim says, “Today’s EV charging business models fall into three main categories — networks run by manufacturers to spur EV sales, networks that focus on consumers directly and networks run as a service for property owners or managers. (That’s a bit of an oversimplification since some use elements of all three, but it’s close enough. There are also attempts to use advertising to support EV charging, but I’m skeptical that’s a standalone model — advertising is a cutthroat business and highly cyclical, a combination that doesn’t jibe with long-term infrastructure investments.)” Tim then rented a Tesla over the Thanksgiving holiday period and accepted the EV road-trip challenge.

Laid off? Climate tech is looking for talent and founders

Looking for a job? The paywall is below the key links in this article. Best of luck with your job hunt!

While layoffs swept across the tech industry this year, it could be climate tech’s chance to grow. In the first half of this year, climate tech raised $5.6 billion. “Five years from now, PitchBook expects the climate tech market to be worth $1.4 trillion, a compound annual growth rate of 8.8%,” Tim writes.

More TechCrunch

“When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr. Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine.”

Scarlett Johansson says that OpenAI approached her to use her voice

A new self-driving truck — manufactured by Volvo and loaded with autonomous vehicle tech developed by Aurora Innovation — could be on public highways as early as this summer.  The…

Aurora and Volvo unveil self-driving truck designed for a driverless future

The European venture capital firm raised its fourth fund as fund as climate tech “comes of age.”

ETF Partners raises €284M for climate startups that will be effective quickly — not 20 years down the road

Copilot, Microsoft’s brand of generative AI, will soon be far more deeply integrated into the Windows 11 experience.

Microsoft wants to make Windows an AI operating system, launches Copilot+ PCs

Hello and welcome back to TechCrunch Space. For those who haven’t heard, the first crewed launch of Boeing’s Starliner capsule has been pushed back yet again to no earlier than…

TechCrunch Space: Star(side)liner

When I attended Automate in Chicago a few weeks back, multiple people thanked me for TechCrunch’s semi-regular robotics job report. It’s always edifying to get that feedback in person. While…

These 81 robotics companies are hiring

The top vehicle safety regulator in the U.S. has launched a formal probe into an April crash involving the all-electric VinFast VF8 SUV that claimed the lives of a family…

VinFast crash that killed family of four now under federal investigation

When putting a video portal in a public park in the middle of New York City, some inappropriate behavior will likely occur. The Portal, the vision of Lithuanian artist and…

NYC-Dublin real-time video portal reopens with some fixes to prevent inappropriate behavior

Longtime New York-based seed investor, Contour Venture Partners, is making progress on its latest flagship fund after lowering its target. The firm closed on $42 million, raised from 64 backers,…

Contour Venture Partners, an early investor in Datadog and Movable Ink, lowers the target for its fifth fund

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

1 day ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions