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TechCrunch Mobility: Apple layoffs, EV price estimates, and another promise of Tesla robotaxis

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Automakers reported first-quarter vehicle sales, and it turns out that pricing does matter if you want to sell electric vehicles. Who would have thought?a recent survey edmonds A similar conclusion was reached (at least for U.S. buyers), finding a large gap between what consumers want and what is actually available in the market.

This is the crux. According to the Edmunds survey, 47% said they are seeking to purchase an electric vehicle priced under $40,000, and 22% are interested in an electric vehicle priced under $30,000. Today, there are no new electric cars priced under $30,000, and only four new electric cars priced under $40,000. The average price for an electric vehicle in 2023 is $61,702, while the average price for all other vehicles is $47,450.

This mismatch with reality is squeezing automakers as they try to move inventory through price cuts.This downward pressure has forced automakers to Ford Delay the launch of future electric vehicles and put more resources into hybrid vehicles.even TeslaDeliveries for the leader in electric vehicles fell 20% from the fourth quarter of 2023, well below analysts’ expectations.Meanwhile, electric car upstarts Rivian The published results were tepid.

What’s the answer? Well, from Tesla’s perspective, the solution is twofold: slash prices again and try to generate revenue by selling its Full Self-Driving software, which sells for $12,000 and is currently being offered to all customers for free for a month try out.

Okay, everyone, let’s get to the rest of the news!

a little bird

winking catbird green

Founders, investors, engineers, policy experts and others tell us something.We’re here to deliver verifiable information birdie Shared with us.

This week, a little bird informed us ghost autonomy, the company has raised over $220 million and recently partnered with OpenAI. Several phone calls, emails and a new post on the company’s website confirmed the news. About 100 people are affected.

As I pointed out in the article, Ghost has gone through several transformations since its founding in 2017. When I asked founder and CEO John Hayes what was going on, he said the company had finished its highway driving product and was making its way around urban environments. Described as “last mile delivery”.

“Ultimately, we were unable to fund the time required to bring the product to market,” he wrote in an email to me.

Any tips for us?e-mail Kirsten Korosek Send an email to or Sean O’Kane If you wish to remain anonymous, Click here to contact uswhich includes SecureDrop (Description here) and various encrypted messaging applications.

Trades of the week

money station

Startup founders, listen up—a new fund just closed. Have your slides ready.

manifThe Israeli venture capital firm, now headquartered in New York, has raised $140 million in funding and plans to stick with its early-stage investment strategy and back startups at the intersection of mobility, transportation and energy.

As I noted in the longer feature, the company’s approach has evolved somewhat through geographic expansion and diversification of its investor base. The company has also largely stopped using the once-popular umbrella term “mobility” (often dropping it from its original name, Maniv Mobility), instead choosing to talk about deep technology, decarbonization and digitization of the transportation industry.

The fund’s investors are no longer dominated by automakers and Tier 1 suppliers. Instead, Maniv is open to a wider range of strategic and institutional financial investors, including BNP Paribas Personal Finance and the venture capital arms of Shell and Enterprise Mobility.

The Maniv III fund also includes returning investors Valeo and Jaguar Land Rover venture capital firm InMotion Ventures. Toyota Motor Corp.’s Woven Capital, car rental company Arval, transportation infrastructure giant Ferrovial, industrial manufacturing company ITT Inc., fleet payments company WEX and an unnamed European insurance company also participated in the fund.

Other deals that caught my eye…

alsem energy corp.A Massachusetts-based startup developing non-flammable battery chemistries has raised $78 million in a Series C round led by General Catalyst and India’s Tata Group, with participation from Drads Capital, Thomvest and Thrive Capital.

Blabla carThe French ride-sharing and bus ticketing company secured a €100 million revolving credit facility ($108 million at today’s exchange rates).

Noteworthy Reads and Other Tidbits

self-driving cars

Waymo and Uber Expanded ongoing partnership that will impact Uber Eats customers in the Phoenix area. Now, when people order burritos, pizza or other gourmet meals through Uber Eats, their meals may be delivered by a Waymo vehicle. The partnership will begin at select merchants in Chandler, Tempe and Mesa, including restaurants such as Princess Pita, Filiberto’s and BoSa Donuts.

Electric cars, charging and batteries

apple After abandoning its electric vehicle project, the company laid off 614 employees in California. According to a warning notice issued by California’s EDD, most of the affected employees worked in buildings related to its canceled automotive projects, while others worked in facilities where it developed next-generation screens, Bloomberg reported.

Kanu Fourth-quarter and full-year earnings were finally announced. The regulatory filing contains important information about CEO Tony Aquila’s use of a private jet — just one of many expenses that illustrate the gap between the electric car startup’s spending and revenue. Tl;dr: Canoo doubles annual earnings in 2023 on CEO’s private jet.

faraday future Almost evicted from its Los Angeles headquarters. The company has an agreement with the building’s owner, Rexford Industrial, to stay at the facility as long as it meets certain conditions. If Faraday Future violates any terms, Rexford has the right to trigger a 48-hour payment demand and launch the startup if payment is not made. If Faraday Future pays, it can stay in the building until its lease expires in September 2025.

this National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Launch a third investigation Fisker’s For Ocean SUV, the focus this time is the door opening problem.

Tesla The company is reportedly abandoning plans to produce a low-cost electric vehicle that would cost around $25,000, according to Reuters, despite the vehicle being a key product to the company’s overall growth. Tesla will apparently focus on its planned robotaxi, built on the same small electric car platform that should also power low-cost vehicles. This is where it gets a little silly.Just hours after Tesla CEO dies Elon Musk Saying Reuters was lying, he posted on X that Tesla robotaxis would be released on August 8. think about it.

This week’s wheel

The wheels took a break this week while I enjoyed a little vacation.But don’t worry, it’ll be back next week and I’ve got a few cars ready including Mercedes-Benz EQE 350 4Matic car, one Lexus LC500 hybrid and Mercedes eSprinter. Plus, some electric bikes will soon join the mix.

What vehicles (including two-wheelers) are you interested in reading about? I will put them on my list.

#TechCrunch #Mobility #Apple #layoffs #price #estimates #promise #Tesla #robotaxis

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