Tesla rides in a pressure cooker, Paris ponders its scooter future, and the double SPAC is coming – TechCrunch
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Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?
The priority for me this week is You’re here. I know, weird.
But really, it seems like the pressure is coming from all sides these days. The company’s decision to cut prices has angered recent buyers (just take to Twitter to see the anger), as shareholders are increasingly vocal about the lagging share price (it fell more than 64% last year) and its rise. regulatory pressure on Autopilot and its so-called FSD software beta product that promises fully autonomous driving. To be clear, Tesla vehicles are not self-driving. The system is an advanced driver assistance product.
Either way, these problems just keep piling up. How much can the company take?
In the past, Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk have managed to extricate themselves from criticism or concerns about their stagnation, often by presenting a potential future product or meeting ambitious production and delivery targets.
But Tesla narrowly missed its own production and delivery guidance for the year, and Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. And shareholders, consumers and regulators seem to be getting tired of this cycle. To me, this is just another indication that Tesla is starting to be viewed (and treated) more like a legacy automaker and not an upstart that can’t do any wrong.
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Rebecca Bellan was out last week, but I still wanted to share some interesting micromobbin stories from yours truly and Romain Dillet from France.
First of all, Romain’s article which comes back to Paris and its impending decision on scooters that could shake up the micromobility industry there. I recommend that you read the entire article. Here’s a little taste.
On March 23, the fate of the 15,000 colorful electric scooters currently strewn across the streets of Paris could change dramatically as the French capital mulls over whether to renew the licenses of the three scooter companies currently operating in the city.
Romain goes straight to the point, which extends far beyond Paris.
And it won’t just impact Uber-affiliated Dott, Tier and Lime – the three companies that have held these licenses since 2020. The decision will set a precedent for the many cities around the world that have also left scooters on their streets. . . If things don’t go as planned, a negative decision in Paris could have a chilling effect on micromobility startups around the world.
The next step is a more luxurious and more capable scooter story. I’m talking about Bugattiyes Bugatti, and its new electric scooter.
Bugatti, through a partnership with tech accessory company Bytech, launched a $1,200 electric scooter in 2022. The two companies have teamed up again for a beefier second-generation scooter, equipped with new features and colors , and endowed with greater “self-healing”. tires.
The 2023 scooter is 10% larger than its predecessor and comes with a 36-volt/15.6 Ah battery and an electric motor with a maximum output of 1,000 watts, according to the companies.
This battery and motor combo allows the scooter to handle an incline of up to 18 degrees, a top speed of 22 miles per hour, and can travel 35 miles on a single charge, according to the company. (That’s up from the previous model’s 22-mile range.)
No word yet on pricing for this larger second-gen model. This might be one of those “if you have to ask” moments. ;D
See you next week !
Offer of the week
We’ve seen a lot of SPACs over the past two years. but what about a double SPAC? Yes, it happened.
I’m talking about wejothe UK automotive data exchange platform which went public in November 2021 after merging with a special purpose acquisition company via Virtuoso Acquisition Corp at an implied valuation of $800 million.
But what is it ? The company announced on January 10 that it had now agreed to merge with a SPAC created by a private equity firm Capital TKB, in a deal that could fetch up to $100 million. And that’s money Wejo needs.
It looks like that last SPAC is the buoy Wejo uses to keep him afloat. It’s not just that Wejo’s stock price has fallen below $1 per share; the business also burns cash.
Wejo warned in November that it had a cash balance of $15 million, which would sustain the business for a “very short period of time.”
Wejo is about two years away from generating vital income, no, we are not going to file for bankruptcy. To add a little extra financial drama to the storyline, Wejo also needs to Palantize millions of dollars, according to an opinion piece by Chris Bryant in Bloomberg.
This double SPAC is strange. I have this nagging feeling that other failing SPACs will try this same tactic.
Other offers that caught my attention this week…
Apollo Future Mobility Group agreed to buy a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer WM Motor Holdings for $2.02 billion. The acquisition must still meet regulatory approvals.
Hystara Norway-based green hydrogen startup, raised $26 million in a Series B funding round co-led by AP Ventures and Mitsubishi Corp. Other investors included Nippon Steel Trading, Belgium-based investment firm Finindus, Hillhouse Investment, Trustbridge Partners, SINTEF Ventures and Firda.
otopiaan Israeli teleoperations company specializing in the agriculture, construction, last-mile delivery, logistics and mobility sectors, raised $14.5m in its Series A funding round which attracted the public transport giant ComfortDelGro as an investor. Other participants included AI Alliance Fund, MizMaa Ventures, IN Venture and Next Gear Ventures. J
Oxbotic, an English startup that develops software to power autonomous vehicles, raised $140 million in a Series C funding round that included investment from Japanese firm Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. and VC firm ENEOS Innovation Partners. Existing investors BGF, security equipment group Halma, hospitality and leisure investor Hostplus, Kiko Ventures, online retailer Ocado Group, Tencent, Venture Science and automotive component maker ZF have also participated.
Tianqi Lithium Corp. has agreed to buy Australian lithium explorer Essential Metals Ltd in a A$136 million ($94 million) deal that is expected to provide enough supply for around 10 million electric vehicles.
Notable reads and other tidbits
Dawn gives a progress report to FreightWaves.
What next for Pittsburgh’s autonomous vehicle scene?
The National Highway Safety Administration is apparently “working really fast” on the Tesla Autopilot investigation that she opened in August 2021. Speaking of pressure on Tesla, there could be even more after The interception posted videos and photos of an eight-car pileup on the San Francisco Bay Bridge caused by a Tesla Model S. The driver claimed “fully self-driving” was active at the time of the crash.
Electric vehicles, batteries and charging
Lucid Group produced 7,180 of its Air luxury sedans in 2022, beating its previously lowered forecast for the year. Lucid adjusted its forecast last fall, saying it would produce 6,000 to 7,000 vehicles in 2022.
Nicholas officially moves its battery manufacturing from Cypress, California to its manufacturing facility in Coolidge, Arizona. The move is expected to be completed early in the third quarter. Manufacturing will continue at Cypress during the second quarter.
Proterra produced its first commercial EV battery at its new facility in Greer, SC. The company calls the plant “Powered 1” and believes it will be the largest battery manufacturing plant in the United States dedicated to electric utility vehicles.
You’re here plans to invest about $770 million in an expansion of its factory near Austin that includes a die shop, a facility for battery cell testing and another to manufacture cathodes and drive units. Tesla has said it wants to build the new facilities this year.
Zeekrthe premium brand under Geely Holding Co.launched mass production of its second model, an electric van called Zeekr 009.
carvanathe online used-car dealership continues to struggle and downsize as sales slow and tries to manage its $7 billion debt load.
Cruise has Nilka Thomas as the new Director of Human Resources. Thomas, who recently held a similar position at Lyft, succeeds Arden Hoffman at Cruise. Thomas also spent 13 years at Google leading efforts focused on recruiting, D&I, employee engagement, HR governance and employee relations.
Hyzon Motorsthe supplier of fuel cell heavy electric vehicles, named John Edley as President of International Operations.
Scale AI, the San Francisco-based company that uses software and people to label image, text, voice and video data for companies that create machine learning algorithms, has laid off 20% of its workforce . The company did not specify how many people work at Scale AI. However, in February 2022, the company told TechCrunch that it employed around 450 people.