Tesla inventory falls as margins slip, VanMoof recordsdata for chapter, and Aurora sells $820M value of inventory

Welcome again to The Station, your central hub for all previous, current and future technique of transferring individuals and packages from Level A to Level B. Your ordinary host Kirsten Korosec continues to be away, so you’ve got me for another week. Let’s leap in.

U.S. policymakers and companies are searching for methods to manage autonomous automobiles on a bigger scale.

First, there’s the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA), which plans to announce a brand new rule-making in September that would profit AV companies like Cruise and Zoox, each of which have plans to launch purpose-built robotaxis that don’t have steering wheels or pedals.

Normal Motors, which owns Cruise, submitted a petition in February 2022 to NHTSA to deploy as much as 2,500 of the Cruise Origins yearly with out human controls and should quickly have a solution.

At a congressional degree, lawmakers will host a listening to on July 26 aimed toward reviving long-delayed laws on the protected and controlled adoption of self-driving vehicles. The panel will think about separate draft laws from Consultant Bob Latta (R-OH) and Consultant Debbie Dingell (D-MI).

The listening to can be convened by a Home subcommittee titled “Self-Driving Automobile Legislative Framework: Enhancing Security, Enhancing Lives and Mobility, and Beating China.” That final bit is essential. American trade for many years has used the specter of another nice superpower gaining the higher hand as a story to drive ahead technological progress, for higher or worse.

Earlier than we dive in, a fast spotlight of my TechCrunch+ story this week that appears into Tesla’s inventory value, which has dropped about 10% because the firm reported Q2 earnings (extra on that beneath), and why it’s priced as a tech firm when its margins scream automaker.

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Some extra grim information from VanMoof because the e-bike darling that was enterprise backed to the tune of $189.1 million filed for chapter. VanMoof is contemplating a third-party sale in order that its actions can proceed. These actions being the extremely personalized elements and the distinctive digital unlock key that’s linked to VanMoof’s servers. We reported that Cowboy got here up with an app to let VanMoof house owners retail digital keys to their bikes, however the entry is restricted.

TechCrunch how the corporate managed to go bankrupt in a booming e-bike market. One trade insider instructed us that VanMoof spent massive on advertising and over-ordering and uncared for to consider provide chain and unit prices.

As TC’s Ingrid Lunden identified: “If the unit economics of the bikes by no means labored out, and an app might be in-built a day to unlock these bikes which are available in the market already, why would anybody wish to assume the belongings of the failed startup?”

In different information…

Chicken is formally again in compliance with the NYSE.

London-based bike-share HumanForest has launched a brand new function, Forest Parcel, to supply a zero-emission, on-demand parcel-delivery service.

Taur, the front-facing scooter producer, has launched its second mannequin, the Taur II, on Kickstarter. The scooter has as much as 40 miles of vary.

Taur additionally began a marketing campaign to problem the U.Ok. authorities on their stance on owned scooters, that are nonetheless unlawful to journey on public roads. There are, nevertheless, shared scooter pilots, which frequently serve to sway authorities and public opinion away from scooters as a viable transportation choice because of the habits of renters and potential for avenue muddle. The corporate stated it will reimburse the fines of any Taur buyer who’s fined by the police for using on U.Ok. roads. And if the scooter is confiscated, Taur will substitute it freed from cost.

Commsignia launched a V2X system for e-bikes and different micromobility automobiles that broadcasts messages concerning the bike owner’s place and course from different street customers. It additionally receives messages from different automobiles and alerts the rider to potential hazards.

Deal of the week

money the station

Autonomous automobile firm Aurora Innovation has bought $820 million value of inventory. About $220 million got here from a public providing that priced the inventory at $3 per share, and the remaining $600 million got here from a concurrent personal providing of inventory priced at $2.70.

Aurora, a pre-revenue firm constructing frontier know-how, has been spending a fairly penny in its pursuit of commercializing self-driving vans by the top of 2024. In 2022, the corporate misplaced about $1.7 billion.

Aurora hasn’t been shy about its want to lift extra funds with a purpose to make it to commercialization and past. The corporate stated it has about $785 million in money, money equivalents and short-term investments as of June 30, 2023. This infusion of capital offers Aurora one other $1.6 billion to mess around with. The corporate is hoping the funds will take it “properly into 2025.”

Different offers that obtained my consideration…

Alpha Grid, a San Francisco–based mostly EV charging deployment optimization startup, raised a $2.5 million pre-seed led by Uneven Capital Companions. Twine Ventures additionally participated.

Lithium-ion battery recycling firm Aqua Metals has entered right into a strategic partnership with Yulho, a battery supplies firm based mostly in South Korea. The partnership features a $5 million fairness funding from Yulho into Aqua.

Berlin-based Cycle has secured $11.3 million in Sequence A funding to develop its e-bike subscription mannequin for the last-mile supply trade. The funds can be used to develop geographically all through Europe, together with the U.Ok.; convey on new clients in parcel and mail logistics; and develop its fleet dimension.

EVgo and its eXtend companions acquired $13.8 million in funding from Ohio’s DOT to deploy 20 fast-charging stations.

Farizon, Geely’s electrical and hybrid truck unit, has raised $600 million to develop outdoors of China.

Fortescue Future Industries, a worldwide inexperienced vitality and metals firm, will purchase EV truck maker Nikola’s Phoenix Hydrogen Hub venture for $24 million.

Singapore’s ride-hailing and meals supply firm Seize, through its automobile rental unit Seize Leases, will purchase Trans-Cab, the city-state’s third-largest taxi operator. The phrases weren’t disclosed, however the acquisition dimension is estimated at round $75 million.

New York–based mostly provide chain and visibility startup Leverage raised $7 million in a spherical led by Chicago Ventures.

Auto provider Magna is investing a whopping $790 million to construct three new provider amenities in West Tennessee, together with the primary two onsite at Ford’s BlueOval Metropolis.

Indonesia EV maker Maka Motors raised $37.6 million in seed funding to mass produce its two-wheeled EVs. Maka will begin deploying its first pilot EVs this month and is aiming for quantity manufacturing in late 2024.

Redwood Supplies, the battery recycling startup based by Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel, is reportedly in talks to lift $700 million at a $5 billion valuation. The corporate wouldn’t affirm the studies.

Hong Kong–based mostly supply robotic startup Rice Robotics raised $7 million in further seed funding from Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, Soul Capital, Audacy Ventures and others.

Truckstop was acquired by FreightFriend, a platform for capability and freight administration instruments.

Notable information and different tidbits


Mobileye has launched a vision-only velocity help answer for automakers. The camera-based Clever Pace Help is launching in manufacturing automobiles this 12 months and lets vehicles sense velocity limits while not having to depend on third-party map and GPS information.

Autonomous automobiles

Cruise’s full-page advert in a number of newspapers calling people terrible drivers obtained the eye of the previous NHTSA head. “Utilizing the ache and struggling of these deaths for self-promotion of an unproven and unsafe product is unscrupulous,” stated Joan Claybrook.

Talking of Cruise, the corporate has formally began preliminary robotaxi testing in Miami.

One other Cruise-related challenge. The California Public Utilities Fee — the company that has the facility to offer Cruise and Waymo remaining sign-off on their plans to develop industrial robotaxi companies throughout San Francisco 24/7 — will query the 2 companies over how they are going to cope with robotaxis malfunctioning and blocking entry from first responders. The July 31 assembly, which can even hear from metropolis companies which are against the enlargement, may change the phrases of the permits.

Kodiak Robotics is working with Drivewyze to launch a weigh station program for self-driving vans on Texas interstates. The objective is to deal with how vans will deal with weigh station inspections with no driver current to facilitate the method.


On-line used automobile retailer Carvana reported higher-than-expected earnings of $2.96 billion in Q2, with adjusted EBITDA totaling $155 million. The corporate bought 76,530 vehicles through the quarter, which was barely fewer than anticipated by analysts.

Carvana additionally introduced it should scale back its excellent debt by over $1.2 billion by exchanging current unsecured debt with new notes. The corporate may also promote as much as $350 million in new inventory as a part of the restructure.

The mixed information of wholesome earnings and debt trade deal brought about Carvana’s inventory to spike Wednesday as excessive as $60.90. The corporate’s inventory has come again all the way down to earth considerably, settling at round $47 Thursday at market shut.

Tesla hit $25 billion in income within the second quarter, which simply beat Wall Avenue estimates. Regardless of the report income, Tesla’s inventory began to slip in after-hours and the following day by as a lot as 10%. That was seemingly a response to Tesla’s continued hit to automotive gross margins after a collection of value cuts. Margins slid to round 18%, which is down from the 25% Tesla was rocking a 12 months in the past.

Tesla additionally reported that photo voltaic installations are slipping, however vitality storage installations noticed a lift within the second quarter.

Electrical automobiles

Ford has slashed the value of its F-150 Lightning, in some trims by as a lot as $10,000. The automaker cited manufacturing efficiencies as the reason for the lower cost.

Ford can also be being questioned by Home Republicans over its battery cell know-how cope with China’s CATL in its upcoming $3.5 billion battery cell plant in Michigan.

Normal Motors is experiencing downtime at its CAMI plant in Canada (which builds the BrightDrop industrial EVs) with a purpose to handle parts-availability points. Common operations will resume July 31, and it received’t have an effect on GM’s total EV manufacturing targets in North America — 50,000 within the first half and 100,000 within the second.

Bear in mind the Kia Boys? The individuals who had been following a viral pattern on TikTok to steal Kias utilizing a USB wire? A 14-year-old Texas boy has been linked to almost 40 thefts.

The NHTSA has opened up its third particular investigation right into a Tesla crash this 12 months. That is associated to a deadly crash involving a 2018 Mannequin 3 and linked to the automobile’s Autopilot system.

Nissan has joined the ranks of automakers which have adopted Tesla’s NACS charging normal for its Ariya and future EV fashions.

Rivian can transfer forward with its EV facility manufacturing plans in Georgia after the state’s Supreme Court docket declined to listen to a problem to the validity of about $700 million in tax breaks the EV startup expects to obtain.

Stellantis has signed $11.2 billion value of contracts via 2030 to safe semiconductors wanted for its EVs and high-performance computing capabilities.

India’s Tata Motors plans to construct a 40 GWh battery cell gigafactory in the UK. The over $5.16 billion funding will ship batteries for JLR and Tata Motors, with provides starting in 2026.

Vietnam’s VinFast will maintain a groundbreaking ceremony at its electrical automobile manufacturing facility in North Carolina on July 28. The corporate expects to take a position $4 billion within the manufacturing facility, which is designed to achieve a capability of 150,000 automobiles per 12 months.

Volkswagen’s Knoxville Innovation Hub has revealed analysis breakthroughs to extend EV vary and recycle automobile supplies, the corporate stated. These embody a wi-fi EV charging idea.


It was one other massive week of Tesla information, particularly with the automaker kicking off earnings season. Let’s dive in.

Throughout Tesla’s Q2 earnings name, Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla was in talks with a significant OEM to license its FSD software program and {hardware} out to them. FSD (“full self-driving”) is Tesla’s superior driver help system that’s NOT totally autonomous, regardless of the tech’s complicated identify. Musk additionally stated that for Q3 solely, Tesla house owners seeking to improve to newer fashions may switch their FSD over.

Earlier within the week, Tesla introduced that drivers with house photo voltaic and a Powerwall charger now have an in-app choice to completely cost up their automobile through extra photo voltaic vitality.

The automaker additionally confirmed off its first Cybertruck constructed at Giga Texas over the weekend, to a lot fanfare however few specifics. We’re nonetheless questioning about manufacturing capability and value, which weren’t addressed through the earnings name.

Exterior the U.S., Tesla is hoping to develop its German manufacturing facility, however residents need assurances on water use, biodiversity safety and environmental impression.

Additionally, Tesla administrators, together with Musk, must pay $735 million again to the corporate to settle claims from shareholders that they excessively overpaid themselves. As a part of the deal, the administrators additionally agreed to not obtain compensation for 2021, 2022 and 2023.


ByteDance’s Douyin (the Chinese language model of TikTok) is doing meals supply now? So meals supply large Meituan determined so as to add extra video to its app in sort.

Policymakers have launched a invoice that will enhance gas taxes for personal jet journey from the present $0.22 to $1.95 per gallon, and take away current gas tax exemptions for logging and oil or gasoline exploration. The concept is that if the wealthy wish to pollute our skies, they’ll pay additional. The income generated by the so-called FATCAT Act could be transferred to a fund that will help air monitoring for environmental justice communities.

Spotify is bringing a new experience to Teslas that can make displaying content material bolder and extra accessible. Drivers can make the most of options like QR codes for simple log-in, entry to audiobooks, and one-touch leap to artists and album pages.

Uber Freight has laid off nearly 50 brokerage staff.


EVTOL startup Archer has introduced on Nikhil Goel, co-founder of Uber Elevate, as the corporate’s chief industrial officer. This comes on the heels of including former FAA administrator Billy Nolen.


InDrive has launched its bid-based ride-hail app in Miami, its first U.S. market. The corporate’s enterprise mannequin is predicated on clients naming their very own fare and close by drivers accepting, declining or countering the provide.

Revel, the Brooklyn-based startup doing shared e-mopeds, EV charging hubs and an all-electric, all-employee ride-hail service, introduced that it has employed over 1,000 New Yorkers as Q2 worker drivers.

The California Supreme Court docket rejected an argument by Uber that hoped to restrict the power of its drivers to take employment-related disputes to court docket. The court docket unanimously decided that the defendant, driver Erik Adolph, couldn’t signal away his proper to characterize his friends in a class-action lawsuit, although his contract requires him to take any employment-related disputes to arbitration. This ruling may have ripple results within the gig economic system house.

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