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State expands rebate program for electric vehicles


State expands rebate program for electric vehicles

The state is expanding its rebate program for electric vehicles to commercial fleets, environmental and energy officials announced Thursday. Companies and nonprofits will be eligible for $2,500 rebates on the purchase of any electric vehicle worth up to $50,000; plug-in hybrids that meet mileage requirements are eligible for rebates worth $1,500. The state program had previously only applied to personal vehicles. It expired briefly last year before receiving new funding for 2020 and 2021. The state has committed at least $27 million to distribute in rebates each year, though so far only about $1.6 million has been distributed through June 2020, according to a state database. In a statement, Governor Charlie Baker said expanding the program to commercial vehicles will help meet the state’s goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The new rules will apply to company-owned vehicles, including vehicles provided to employees; rental car companies will also be eligible, the state said. — ADAM VACCARO


Google to pay some publishers for news content

Google says it will start paying some publishers for their news content, in a move that could pave the way for reduced tensions between the Internet search giant and the beleagured news industry. The company said Thursday that it plans to launch this year a licensing program to pay publishers for “high-quality content.’’ The program will start with local and national publications in Germany, Australia, and Brazil, ‘‘with more to come soon,’’ Brad Bender, vice president of product management, said in a blog post. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Chuck E. Cheese files for bankruptcy

Chuck E. Cheese, where kids could be kids while parents nursed headaches, is filing for bankruptcy protection. The 43-year-old chain, which drew kids with pizza, video games, and a singing mouse mascot, was struggling even before the coronavirus pandemic. But it said the prolonged closure of many venues due to coronavirus restrictions led to Thursday’s Chapter 11 filing. CEC Entertainment Inc. has reopened 266 company-operated Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza restaurants, but it’s unclear how willing parents will be to host birthday parties and other gatherings. The Irving, Texas-based company will continue to reopen locations and offer carryout while it negotiates with debt and lease holders. CEC and its franchisees operate 734 restaurants in 47 states and 16 countries. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Orders rebound after plunging in April

Orders to American factories for big-ticket goods rebounded last month from a disastrous April as the US economy began to slowly reopen. The Commerce Department said that orders for manufactured goods meant to last at least three years shot up 15.8 percent in May after plunging 18.1 percent in April. Economists expected a rebound, but the May increase was stronger than expected. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Missing money scandal forces Wirecard into insolvency

Wirecard, the troubled German company that became embroiled in a scandal over a missing $2.1 billion, said Thursday that it would file for insolvency. The electronic payments company said “impending insolvency and over-indebtedness” had forced it to file an application to open the court proceedings in Munich to deal with its debt. The filing will lead to negotiations between creditors and administrators over how much money they will be repaid. Shares of Wirecard have fallen 90 percent over the past week after the company’s auditor, EY, refused to sign off on its annual report. That prompted Markus Braun, Wirecard’s longtime chief executive, to step down Friday. He was then arrested earlier this week by Munich authorities on suspicion of market manipulation. — NEW YORK TIMES



Actors union at Walt Disney World wants reopening postponed

A day after Disney said it would delay reopening its California theme parks, the union representing actors at Walt Disney World said Thursday that the company should also postpone welcoming back guests at its Florida parks which are scheduled to reopen next month after being closed since March because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Actors’ Equity Association said that it was unclear how Disney World could “responsibly’’ reopen as coronavirus cases continue to soar in the Sunshine State. Florida reported having more than 114,000 confirmed cases on Thursday, a jump of about 5,000 cases over the previous day. The state has had at least 3,327 coronavirus-related deaths. Disney World’s four theme parks are slated to start opening July 11. The theme parks resort has already reopened some hotels and its restaurant-and-shopping district. Orlando’s other major theme park resorts — Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando — started welcoming back visitors earlier this month. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Pandemic has millennials wanting to stay put in their jobs

Job mobility — one key to a dynamic labor market — may be a casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020. After several years of increases, less than a third of millennials now anticipate changing jobs in the next two years. Young people cited the need for stability as one reason for their desire to stay put. Another may be that the oldest members of this cohort are approaching their 40s, so age could influence their responses. Deloitte surveyed millennials, born between January 1983 and December 1994, and Generation Zers, born between January 1995 and December 2003. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Tracking your salmon, from breeding to plate

Consumers around the world will soon be able to know intricate life details of the salmon they eat with a new blockchain initiative from top exporter Norway. The Norwegian Seafood Association has partnered with International Business Machines Corp. and technology provider Atea ASA to gather data on how salmon is bred, stored, and shipped, information that consumers will eventually access by scanning a QR code. That will help Norway’s suppliers differentiate their premium products from other exporters, curb origin fraud, and cut waste. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Unilever to remove ‘fair’ and ‘whitening’ from skin care products

Consumer products giant Unilever said Thursday it is aiming for a “more inclusive vision of beauty” in its skin care products and will remove words such as “fair,” “whitening,” and “lightening” from its products, a move that comes amid intense global debate about race sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement. As part of the shift, Unilever will in coming months change the name of its “Fair & Lovely” product that is used for skin-lightening and sold in Asia, the company said. “We are fully committed to having a global portfolio of skin care brands that is inclusive and cares for all skin tones, celebrating greater diversity of beauty,’’ Sunny Jain, the head of Unilever’s Beauty & Personal Care. “We recognize that the use of the words ‘fair’, ‘white’ and ‘light’ suggest a singular ideal of beauty that we don’t think is right, and we want to address this. Unilever said that its Fair & Lovely range “has never been, and is not, a skin bleaching product.” The global consumer company said its advertising for Fair & Lovely products has been changing since 2014. — ASSOCIATED PRESS