Tesla profits tumble, Fisker flatlines, and California cities battle for control of AVs | TechCrunch

Tesla profits tumble, Fisker flatlines, and California cities battle for control of AVs | TechCrunch

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welp, Tesla Earnings happened this week – and yes it was. much more. A lot of what, you ask? A lot of the same promises and hand-waving we've seen before, but just wrapped in slightly different packaging. The stakes this time around remind me of Tesla's pre-profit period circa 2018.

Now, to be clear, Tesla has enjoyed profits since 2020. But it faces downward pressure on its bottom line – the company observed Profits fall 55% year over year. — and an aging portfolio of its highest-volume vehicles. (And yes, we covered the new one. Model 3 Performance Variant; I'm talking about new mass-market models here.)

CEO of Tesla Elon Musk New sources of income need to be created. And fast. The company can't wait two years or more to launch a new platform to deliver a sub-$25,000 EV.

So Musk tweeted the plan, which is what we know so far. Which is not very much. During the Q1 earnings call, Musk offered a vague plan with few details. Launch multiple affordable EVs. In 2025 (and maybe even late 2024).

Musk believes the market has rewarded him for being a forward thinker and innovator in the past — even if those projects didn't pan out. So, Musk pulled that futuristic lever as well, promising more automated driving capabilities in his FSD driver assistance software and a robotaxis (again). Lest you forget, Musk announced during the company's Independence Day in 2019 that Tesla Start the Robotaxis network. until next year. Musk has talked about the Tesla Network and his ambitions to allow owners to put their vehicles on a ride-hailing app starting in 2016.

Shareholders responded with glee because the future is now, or maybe next year. Well, maybe at the end of the decade? Anyway, it's interesting.

On an unrelated note, recently departed high-profile Tesla exec Drew Baglino It sold about 1.14 million shares. Capable $181.47 million. The filing described it as an exercise of stock options.

let's go!

A small bird

Oh little bird Pointed me to it Value The CTO Geoffrey Bowcott Leaving the company after eight years. For those unfamiliar, Valeo is a French car parts supplier that has pushed into the EV and automated driving space. The company also has an AI research center dedicated to automotive applications.

He had been bullish for EV sector value, but this most recent quarter reflected what was happening in the rest of the sector. The company posted lower sales in the first quarter after sales of its high-voltage electrification systems nearly halved. The value is now. Accommodating automakers Hybrids are needed.

Have a tip for us? E-mail Kristen Korosek On kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com, Sean O'Kane On sean.okane@techcrunch.com or Rebecca Bellin On rebecca.bellan@techcrunch.com. If you prefer to remain anonymous., Click here to contact us.including SecureDrop (Instructions here) and various encrypted messaging apps.


Station money

Who has the deals? we do. Here are a handful that stand out.

ChemistryA company using AI to accelerate development of next-generation EV batteries, Collected 20 million dollars Series A funding round led by Ibex Investors. Other participants included Mayfield Fund, Berkeley Skydeck and Urban Innovation Fund, as well as strategic investors BNP Paribas Solar Impulse Venture Fund, Global Brain's DDI Open Innovation Fund III and Porsche Ventures.

Lanza JetA sustainable fuel technology company and fuel manufacturer has received an undisclosed investment from Microsoft's Climate Innovation Fund. Oh Report in Axios Pro says the company is raising $100 million and expects to close this quarter.

Outpostan Austin, Texas-based startup that manages a network of semi-truck parking facilities, Raised $12.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Greenpoint Partners. The newly branded company, which was founded in 2021 as Semi-Stow, also received backing from Speedwagon Capital Partners.

fundamentalist, A Seattle-based startup developing solar-powered, high-altitude autonomous aircraft, Raised $4.5 million In a seed round led by Scout Ventures, with additional funding from investors Inflection Mercury Fund and Y Combinator, among others.

SoleraThe automotive data and software-as-a-service company is considering an initial public offering that could raise more than $1 billion. Bloomberg reported..

Stark futureA Spanish startup that makes off-road electric motorcycles has been picked up. €25 million From Big Bats. The company will use the funds to expand production capacity of its Stark VARG electric off-road motorcycle.

Notable reading and other things


gave National Highway Traffic Safety Administration I stopped investigating for a long time Tesla's Autopilot driver assistance system After reviewing hundreds of accidents involving its misuse, including 13 that were fatal and “many more involving serious injuries.” TL; dr: The agency called Tesla's driver engagement system “weak” and said it was “not adequate for the operating capabilities Autopilot allows.”

Autonomous vehicles

TC Reporter Rebecca Bellin Monitoring legislative activity in California – one of the hotbeds of AV activity. Check out the latest on the four bills being considered by the state legislature and how one can put one in particular. Cities are in a more powerful position..

Electric vehicles, charging and batteries

Faraday future is about Get booted From the Nasdaq Capital Market — a tier within the exchange for undervalued companies — because its share price has been so low, for so long.

Fisker Is Further layoff planning Less than two months after cutting 15 percent of its workforce. According to regulatory filings, the company expects to seek bankruptcy protection within the next 30 days if it can't come up with that money.

Mercedes gave us a closer look at what's to come The all-electric G-Class – the “Birken Bag” of the automaker's portfolio. Read more about How does it compare? Up to the gas powered version.

Raven Is Discount offer Up to $5,000 off its EVs — and a year of free charging — for customers willing to trade in gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. Those eligible vehicles, which include the Ford F-150, show which customers Raven is targeting.

The future of flight

Amazon Prime Air is over. Drone delivery operations in Lockford, California. The central California town of 3,500 was the company's second U.S. drone delivery site, after College Station, Texas.

Jobi AviationA California-based company that manufactures electric aircraft has signed a memorandum of understanding with three government departments in Abu Dhabi. Electric Air Taxi Service Ecosystem

Zip line A major milestone was reached this week. One of its autonomous drones, called “Zips,” carried two bags of IV fluids from Zipline's distribution center in Ghana's northwestern region to a local health facility. The company's millionth delivery.

Technology in the car

Here's a nerdy one I enjoyed. Automotive Electronics Supplier Electrobeat Announced EB corbos Linux for safety applications. What do these words even mean? Ars Technica is a Good explainer, but primarily Elektrobit has developed an open-source automotive operating system that is certified for automotive safety compliance. if you care”Software-defined vehicles“This is important!

This week's wheels

Lexus LC 500H

Image credit: Kristen Korosek

gave 2024 Lexus LC 500H There is no EV. But here at TC, we're also interested in hybrids! Also, I've spent some time exploring the many offerings under the Lexus brand. The Lexus LC 500h starts at $101,250, but the version I drove went up to $113,350 thanks to extra premium touches like an upgraded audio system, retractable wing and carbon fiber roof.

The Lexus LC 500h isn't a vehicle you see every day, or even year. I think it's because coupes aren't that popular these days – crossovers rule the roost – although I love the looks and proportions of the Lexus LC 500h and its V8-engined twin.

The vehicle comes with a 3.5L, six-cylinder hybrid engine that produces 354 horsepower thanks to an electric motor that provides power to the rear wheels. Another electric motor is the one that charges the vehicle's battery.

Interestingly, this vehicle has a multi-stage transmission. So basically what this means is that Lexus took its existing electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission system and then added another gearbox (a four-speed transmission) behind it. The idea is that when the car is in manual mode, it gives drivers a sporty experience and 10 different gear selections via paddles behind the steering wheel. The Lexus multi-stage hybrid system has been around for years, but I have yet to play with it.

My take: After being in manual mode for a while, I let myself just put it back into “drive” and let the car do the work for me.

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