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TechCrunch Mobility: Fisker enters dumpster fire territory, Tesla chases FSD revenue

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welcome back TechCrunch Mobile — A central hub for news and insights about the future of transportation.Remember in the last issue of TechCrunch Mobility, when I wrote about the wheels starting to fall off Fisker bus? Sheesh. Did they do it.

To give you an idea: Fisker warned on March 18 that the company would suspend production for six weeks and had only $121 million in cash and cash equivalents, $32 million of which was restricted or unavailable for immediate use. The company is counting on a $150 million capital infusion through convertible notes and a potential partnership with another automaker. Those hopes evaporated as quickly as a gasoline-soaked rag when talks between Fisker and a major automaker (reportedly Nissan) collapsed and put the convertible note deal in jeopardy.

Share price plummets 28%, trading suspended, final blow New York Stock Exchange said it was taking steps to remove Fisker from the exchange.

These are all symptoms of larger problems within the company, including one particularly embarrassing one TC reporter Sean O’Kane uncovered. Long story short: Fisker temporarily lost millions of dollars in customer payment records as it scaled up deliveries, leading to an internal audit that began in December and took several months to complete.

Well, let’s get started with the rest, including where are the bankrupt EV startups? arrive Asset end, configuration file at startup Ion clock Hopes of increasing electric vehicle range by recycling silicon battery materials, raising $1 billion in funding wide awake.

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.

Any tips for us?e-mail Kirsten Korosek Send an email to kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com or Sean O’Kane Sean.okane@techcrunch.com. 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

Being an executive at an electric vehicle startup isn’t easy these days. Just ask the folks at Fisker. (Sorry, too soon?)

Amid all the EV startup bankruptcies and other dismal events, there is some positive news. wide awakeThe company also struggled but raised another $1 billion from Saudi Arabia, its biggest financial backer. Ayal Third InvestmentAn affiliate of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund agreed to buy $1 billion worth of Lucid shares, which would increase the kingdom’s current stake of about 60%.

A billion dollars in growth is a lot of money, but it won’t last long if you want to design, build, sell and service vehicles. This gives Lucid a significant capital buffer; however, it doesn’t end its existential crisis. If the company hopes to survive and expand, it must successfully bring its next-generation Gravity SUV to market and carve out new business for its existing Air sedan.

Other deals that caught my eye…

CYVL.aiA Boston-area startup that helps municipalities and civil engineering companies track the condition of transportation infrastructure has raised $6 million in a round led by Company Ventures, with participation from Argon Ventures, Aero X Ventures and Alumni Ventures. Existing investors MassVentures, Launch Capital and RiverPark Ventures also participated.

ember, a Scottish startup building one of the UK’s first all-electric intercity bus networks, has raised $14 million in a Series A round led by Inven Capital. Investors 2150 and AENU are also involved.

Ion clockThe seed-stage startup, which says its silicon material will be cheaper than existing competitors and help improve the range of electric vehicle batteries, has closed an unpriced $390 deal, TechCrunch has exclusively learned. $10,000 seed extension. Dynamo Ventures and Trucks VC led the round.

Iron Colliea startup developing trucking software for brokers and contractors, has raised $10 million in a Series B funding round led by SJF Ventures, with participation from Grand Ventures, Supply Chain Ventures and other strategic partners in the construction industry.

Noteworthy Reads and Other Tidbits

Advanced driver assistance system

Tesla Every customer in the U.S. will be offered a one-month free trial of its $12,000 fully self-driving beta driver assistance system, provided they own a car with compatible hardware. The company is also reportedly requiring potential buyers to get a demo of the software before buying a new Tesla, at the request of CEO Elon Musk. As profits from car sales shrink, Tesla appears to be turning to FSD as another financial lever.

Electric cars, charging and batteries

arrive Selling a portion of its assets, including advanced manufacturing equipment, to Kanu, another troubled startup trying to make and sell electric cars. You can’t make this stuff up, guys!

this U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Announcing new emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles sold in the United States from 2027 to 2032, regulations that will increasingly limit the emissions of new heavy-duty trucks.regulations Technically Instead of mandating that these non-polluting heavy-duty trucks be electric, let manufacturers decide how to meet the standards, whether through hydrogen-powered fuel cells, better fuel efficiency or other alternative fuels. However, many believe this will mean the growth of battery-electric heavy-duty trucks. Consider the potential impact of this rule: The heavy-duty truck category applies to more than 100 vehicle types, including vocational vehicles such as delivery vans, garbage haulers, utility trucks, transit, shuttle and school buses, as well as tractor-trailers.

in-car technology

General Motors Lost another executive involved in the company’s software and digital services efforts. You may recall that Mike Abbott, a former Apple executive and GM’s executive vice president of software and services, resigned earlier this month due to health concerns. Edward Kummer, the former president of Nordstrom Rack’s online business, who joined General Motors in 2021 to lead its new digital business team, has left the company, the Detroit News reported.

This week’s wheel

Land Rover Defender 110-x

Image Source: Kirsten Korosek

I rarely test combustion engine cars, but I made an exception this week when I had the opportunity to drive one for a few hundred miles. 2024 Land Rover Defender 110 X-Dynamic SE. Technically, folks, this has a six-cylinder mild-hybrid EV powertrain, so that still qualifies, right?

My experience with the Land Rover Defender is limited to the decades-old, body-on-frame model. So I’m looking forward to finally getting my hands on the modern version of Land Rover’s official return in 2020. The spec I drove sells for just under $88,000 and includes some pricey upgrades and 22-inch wheels that may suit wealthy urban customers. But paired with different tires, this aluminum monocoque Defender can definitely handle off-road conditions. I played on dirt trails—no rock crawling—and it handled well with no squeaks, rattles, or clunks, even on washboard terrain.

I’m not a fan of the advanced driver assistance systems, especially how the driver uses the adaptive cruise control. But there are a lot of features I do like, including a very quiet ride, adaptive air suspension, white paint over black gloss details, a fully functional rear door with an easy-to-reach spare tire, and an air-cooled cubby that stays. Cool snacks and interior design that combines practical functionality with sturdy, high-quality materials.

One last word about the interior – you won’t find a big screen here. But the buttons and knobs are mixed with technology-related details. My version had a wireless charger and plenty of charging ports, including one on the dashboard on the passenger side. The user interface is actually quite nice.

One feature I liked was the drop-down menu on the media switch, which allowed me to quickly switch between Apple CarPlay and the local infotainment system including Sirius XM Radio or local stations. This may seem irrelevant, but I’ve been driving a lot of electric cars lately, which makes switching between CarPlay and the native system too complicated.

#TechCrunch #Mobility #Fisker #enters #dumpster #fire #territory #Tesla #chases #FSD #revenue

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