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Staff photo by Mike Pare / VW subsidiary Electrify America continues to build out its electric vehicle charging network nationally. The company has an EV station at the Walmart in Ooltewah.

Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary that is installing battery-powered vehicle recharging stations across the United States, will sponsor a "ride and drive" event in Chattanooga later this month.

Ten such events will take place across the country in cooperation with Plug In America, a nonprofit group advocating for the shift to plug-in electric vehicles.

The Chattanooga event will take place on Sept 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to Electrify America. The location wasn't immediately revealed.

Electrify America has provided funding to assist National Drive Electric Week event organizers.

VW's Chattanooga assembly plant is to hold an $800 million expansion where a new all-electric SUV is to be produced by 2022.

 

Court orders FERC to explain pipeline approval

The nation's top appeals court has ordered a federal agency to explain why it approved the construction of a pipeline sending substantial quantities of natural gas to Canada.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia agreed with Oberlin, Ohio, and other plaintiffs Friday that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission failed to justify giving owners of the NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline credit for gas shipped to Canada to prove the project's need.

Opponents argued it was unlawful for a partnership between Canada's Enbridge Inc. and Detroit's DTE Energy to force U.S. citizens to sell property so the 255-mile-long (410-kilometer) pipeline stretching across northern Ohio and into Michigan could be built.

The decision dismissed other claims and allows the pipeline to continue operating.

FERC officials declined to comment Tuesday.

 

Seven states sue Securities and Exchange Commission over broker rules

Seven states and the District of Columbia have sued the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying the regulatory agency is putting investors in jeopardy by relaxing rules designed to ensure that securities brokers keep the interests of their customers ahead of their own.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Manhattan federal court asked a judge to order the agency to scrap a new rule that weakens protections for consumers because it violates the intent of Congress and was approved in an arbitrary and unlawful manner.

A message seeking a response was left Tuesday with the SEC.

The states said they are harmed because bad investment advice leaves consumers with less money to spend, and that therefore they collect less in taxes.

New York Attorney General Letitia James said the SEC was failing to protect investors, favoring "Wall Street over Main Street."

She noted that new rules let broker-dealers consider their own interests when recommending investments.

"This watered-down rule puts brokers first," she said, making it likely that investors will be confused.

James said the SEC was failing to adopt the investor-protections passed by Congress in 2010 when it used the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law to tighten regulatory loopholes revealed by the 2008 financial crisis.

 

Atlanta-based Cox Automotive takes stake in electric vehicle startup Rivian

Atlanta-based Cox Automotive said Tuesday it will invest $350 million into electric vehicle startup Rivian.

Rivian is the maker of what it calls "electric adventure vehicles," including the R1T pickup and R1S SUV. As part of the investment, Cox will take an equity stake in Rivian and the two companies said they will explore possibilities for partnerships in online retailing, logistics and vehicle service.

The vehicles, which are slated to begin production in the second half of 2020, are built on a streamlined platform called a "skateboard" that includes the battery pack and other key components. Rivian promises its luxury off-road vehicles will deliver up to 400 miles in range per charge and high-performance capabilities.

"We are building a Rivian ownership experience that matches the care and consideration that go into our vehicles," R.J. Scaringe, founder and CEO of Rivian, said in a news release. "Cox Automotive's global footprint, service and logistics capabilities, and retail technology platform make them a great partner for us."

Cox Automotive, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, operates vehicle sales and services brands across the globe, including AutoTrader, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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