Elon goes to China, Rivian is promoting inventory for $3 billion, and Fiat’s cutest tiny EV

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The most important information this week has been Elon Musk’s go to to China, a transfer that has the potential to strengthen Tesla’s ties with the world’s largest auto market. It’s Musk’s first go to for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic, and his dedication to China isn’t stunning given how a lot China’s automobile gross sales carry the automaker’s international gross sales. In Q1, China accounted for over half of Tesla’s deliveries.

Although Twitter is banned in China, Musk has nonetheless managed to make himself one thing of a legend to the Chinese language individuals, studies Rita. The CEO has over 2 million followers on Weibo, the place Musk shares his admiration for China, his opposition to chopping off provide chains and his plans to broaden his enterprise in China.

“The China house program is much extra superior than most individuals notice,” wrote Musk on Weibo.

His sweet-talking has earned him the nickname “Iron Man.”

The items of Musk’s go to to China are nonetheless falling, and we’ll hold updating, however right here’s what we all know to date. Musk kicked off his journey by eating with Zeng Yuqun, chairman of CATL, one of many largest battery manufacturing companies. There have been talks recently of CATL and Tesla partnering to construct cheaper batteries within the U.S., however there’s nothing stable but.

Musk additionally paid a go to to the Shanghai Gigafactory, the place he met the workers behind Tesla’s in style Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y.

We’re protecting our eyes out for extra information of Musk’s happenings in China. And with that, onto the remaining!

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Cake is increasing into India by way of a partnership with Pepfuels below the model identify CollarEV.

Cowboy is being sued by eBikeLabs, a French startup that builds embedded software program for e-bikes, for patent infringement and copying eBikeLabs’ tech in its newest function, AdaptivePower. Cowboy has refuted the claims and accused eBikeLabs of operating a smear marketing campaign. As Romain Dillet studies, “This can be a messy story a couple of enterprise relationship that fell aside between a small startup that doesn’t have deep pockets and a well-liked shopper model that desires to guard its status.”

Zoomo will begin providing City Arrow’s electrical cargo bikes on its e-bike subscription platform.

Residents of Santa Barbara can try e-bikes on a weekly foundation from a brand new e-bike lending library.

Honda filed patents for 2 new moped-style electrical scooters referred to as Dax:e and Zoomer:e. Each are poised to enter the Indian market.

Zeus launched a photo voltaic panel charging pilot program in Regensburg, Germany. Beneath the pilot, scooters parked on the firm’s three “Zolar stations” will get a cost from the solar. Possibly they need to be referred to as Helios stations, amiright?!

Porsche has launched two new e-bike cross-performance fashions that appear to be they will completely shred mountains.

Metropolis Highlight: Atlanta

On June 7, TechCrunch goes to (nearly) be in Atlanta. Now we have a slate of implausible programming deliberate, together with the mayor himself, Andre Dickens. In case you are an early-stage Atlanta-based founder, apply to pitch to our panel of visitor traders/judges for our reside pitching competitors. The winner will get a free sales space at TechCrunch Disrupt this yr to exhibit their firm in our startup alley. Register right here to tune in to the occasion.

Picture Credit: Bryce Durbin (opens in a brand new window)

Deal of the week

money the station

Lucid Group plans to boost $3 billion via a inventory providing, nearly all of which is able to come from Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund (PIF). PIF already owns greater than 60% of the corporate, and it’s agreed to purchase 265.7 million shares in a personal placement for about $1.8 billion, which suggests a value of about $6.80 per share. The remaining will probably be raised from a public providing of 173.5 million shares of frequent inventory, based on the corporate.

Shares instantly dropped 9% after-hours on the information as traders thought-about how rather more cash Lucid would wish to surmount its rising losses and diminishing accessible capital. And all of this amid a looming recession, a Tesla-sparked value struggle, and the aftertaste of large-scale layoffs in March.

Positive, Lucid can usher in more money, however the firm actually must remedy its spending downside. Within the first quarter, Lucid’s money and money equivalents dropped to $900 million, down from $1.74 billion on the finish of This fall 2022.

Different offers that obtained my consideration this week …

Boeing has absolutely acquired eVTOL startup Wisk Aero. The phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed, however Boeing already owned a part of Wisk and had dedicated $450 million in capital again in January.

A British consortium that features mining firm Glencore will make investments $9 billion in Indonesia’s mining and EV battery sectors. Indonesia has the world’s largest nickel reserves.

Common Motors and South Korea’s Posco Chemical are getting C$150 million from Canada’s federal authorities and Quebec to construct a battery supplies facility. The companies purpose to have the C$600 million undertaking up and operating by 2025.

Loewi, a Paris-based e-bike refurbishment startup, raised €1 million in funding to assist it attain 300 refurbishments per 30 days and broaden globally.

Ola Electrical, an Indian producer of electrical two-wheelers, is alleged to be getting ready for an preliminary public providing earlier than the yr’s finish. The corporate achieved a valuation of $5 billion throughout its most up-to-date fundraising spherical in 2022.

Notable reads and different tidbits

Autonomous autos

A California invoice that might require a skilled human security operator to be current anytime a heavy-duty autonomous automobile operates on public roads handed the state’s Meeting flooring. It’ll go to the Senate now and, if handed, to the governor’s desk. The AV business argues the invoice stifles California’s competitiveness and defeats the entire goal of self-driving vans. The invoice’s authors are involved about security on highways and job safety for truckers.

Cruise is increasing hours of operation in San Francisco for sure riders who’ve entry to its free service. For some, rides will begin at 9 p.m. and go till 5:30 a.m.

Einride introduced a partnership with the UAE Ministry of Vitality and Infrastructure to deploy 2,000 EVs, 200 autonomous autos, eight charging stations and Einride’s SaaS product Saga throughout 550 km of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The partnership is predicted to play out over the subsequent 5 years. Einride didn’t share the monetary phrases.

Serve Robotics and Uber have expanded their present partnership. Over the subsequent couple of years, about 2,000 of Serve’s little autonomous sidewalk supply robots will ship meals by way of the Uber Eats platform in a number of markets throughout the U.S.

Electrical autos, batteries and charging

Arcimoto unveiled its new tiny, three-wheeled flatbed truck referred to as the MUV. It has a customizable rear space for storing, high velocity of 75 mph, and about 102 miles of metropolis vary. The MUV is offered now for $23,500, and Arcimoto is aiming to promote fleets.

Choose 2024 Audi and different VW Group automobiles could have Webex accessible to obtain from the automaker’s in-app automobile retailer. Webex can also be accessible on the 2024 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and in Ford autos.

Fiat’s new Topolino tiny EV is so cute we may scream. The remade Citroen Ami is a retro-looking quadricycle with a convertible high and ropes as a substitute of doorways, and except for a teaser picture, that’s actually all we learn about it. It in all probability gained’t go any sooner than the Ami, which hits round 28 mph, so it’ll be a no-go for the States. Which is unhappy as a result of, once more, it’s tremendous cute and higher for the setting and concrete landscapes than an electrical Hummer.

Ford’s CEO Jim Farley stated the automaker won’t break even on its EVs till 2030.

Geely is getting ready to enter Thailand’s electrical automobile market.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV is a sensible, luxurious automobile with top-notch tech within the type of a Hyperscreen and a handful of driver-assist options. It’s nice for tech-forward households who just like the finer issues in life and loads of house. Solely draw back? The outside is a bit meh. As Tim Stevens describes it, “The result’s a little bit of a blob that completely disappears into any car parking zone.”

Polestar’s newest software program replace contains YouTube. Like different related iterations, customers can stream video whereas stopped, like in the event that they’re ready for a pickup or charging their autos. The Polestar 2 software program replace additionally contains an up to date model of Apple CarPlay that allows you to undertaking Apple Maps onto the instrument cluster.

Rivian has teased its smaller, lower-cost R2 SUV design over the Memorial Day weekend throughout an Instagram Q&A. CEO RJ Scaringe stood in entrance of a clay mannequin of an R2 lined with a black material, outlining a boxy-looking compact automobile.

Tesla says all of its Mannequin 3 sedans now qualify for the total $7,500 EV tax credit score.

Toyota has dedicated one other $2.1 billion to its battery manufacturing unit in North Carolina. The automaker additionally stated its first U.S.-made electrical SUV will probably be constructed at its Kentucky manufacturing unit.

Volkswagen has lastly debuted its U.S. model of the Volkswagen ID.Buzz minivan after years of teasing. The specs on the U.S. van are, unsurprisingly, a lot greater than the European bus. The entire really feel of it’s retro-meets-cool, and certainly, we have now ourselves asking, Can VW make minivans cool? As soon as factoring within the nostalgia side, the reply is undoubtedly sure. And VW will want that because it coasts into EV-land.

Volvo revealed some particulars in regards to the inside of its new EX30. From what we are able to inform, that good outdated Scandinavian design is actually pulling via to optimize house within the small SUV.


Attending Apple’s WWDC this month? Take a look at this new web site from flight monitoring software Flighty to search out others who’re touring to the occasion and join with them, possibly even en route!

Delta Air Strains is being sued in a category motion lawsuit for allegedly greenwashing. The corporate made a $1 billion pledge in 2020 to grow to be carbon impartial, however the plan relied on carbon credit to offset the airline’s air pollution.

The Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration proposed a brand new rule that might require all new automobiles and vans bought within the U.S. to be outfitted with automated emergency braking techniques.

Tesla has been given the all-clear by NHTSA after the company closed an investigation into Tesla for permitting in-dash gaming whereas its autos have been transferring.

Bored of the usual navigation voice on Waze? Now you possibly can have Roger Federer provide you with turn-by-turn instructions, as a result of why not?

Wingcopter and Siemens have signed an MoU to develop and roll out an built-in drone supply resolution to move lab diagnostics and different medical provides in Africa.


Ford launched a brand new pilot referred to as Ford Drive that can give Uber drivers in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles entry to versatile leases on Mustang Mach-Es.

Revel is diversifying its all-Tesla ride-share fleet with about 50 Kia Niro EVs.

Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and different app-based ride-hail and supply companies should reimburse California gig staff doubtlessly thousands and thousands of {dollars} for unpaid automobile bills between 2022 and 2023. The backpay comes from a provision in Prop 22 that offers low-earning drivers a automobile reimbursement price of $0.30 per lively mile pushed. That price was meant to extend with the speed of inflation, however for the previous yr and a half, it has remained stagnant.

Uber is dropping the 5% reductions on rides that it used to supply members of its Uber One subscription service. As an alternative, riders can now earn 6% Uber Money on rides that may be spent on extra Uber stuff. It’s a daring transfer, and one that may see the moment gratification seekers amongst us ditch their memberships. But when it really works out for Uber, the corporate would possibly see much more spend coming from its subscribers.

* A earlier publication inadvertently had some lacking phrases within the following write-up. Right here is the whole sentence. QuantumScape, the solid-state battery firm, is (kind of) pivoting. The corporate stated it’s planning to focus extra on the consumer-electronics sector in an effort to herald the capital it must commercialize automotive-grade cells.