Tesla ‘digs its own grave with the Cybertruck,’ Convoy collapses and Rivian scores a win at Rebelle

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 regular host Kirsten was shredding off-road on the Rebelle Rally this week, so I will be taking on the e-newsletter. Let’s soar in with a couple of phrases about Tesla.

Ah, however earlier than Rebecca does . . . it is me, Kirsten, popping in right here to share a little bit of what I noticed and skilled at Rebelle Rally 2023, a 2,120-kilometer off-road and navigation competitors. In its eighth yr, the Rebelle has turn into a proving floor of types for the 65 all-women groups who take part in addition to inventory producer autos. The catch? GPS and different digital units are strictly prohibited.

So what am I trying out at this seemingly non-tech occasion? EVs and tech, after all. Oh, and inexperienced hydrogen, consider it or not.

There have been 10 autos out of the 65 that fell into the electrified class such because the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 4xe. 4 of these autos — all of them Rivian R1T pickups — have been electrical. And this yr, one Rivian crew took first place within the 4×4 class (there are two courses within the Rebelle) — the primary time an all-electric automobile was on the highest podium. The primary place finishers, driver Lillian Macaruso and navigator Alexandra Anderson, are each staff of Rivian. 

OK, Rebecca, again to you. 

Tesla reported its third-quarter earnings this week, and as soon as once more, all eyes have been on the automaker’s margins amid ongoing worth cuts. 

Tesla’s shares, that are priced extra as a tech inventory than as an automaker’s inventory, have been down after Q3 earnings. Buyers have been clearly feeling skittish after Tesla reported a gross margin of 17.9%, down from 25.1% in the identical interval final yr. That’s additionally down from Q2’s margins of 18.2%. Because of this, earnings fell 44% to $1.85 billion in Q3 from the identical year-ago interval. 

Buyers see the falling margins and Tesla’s worth cuts as proof that demand is lessening for the autos as different EVs take market share and rising rates of interest make it troublesome for a lot of consumers to afford large ticket purchases. The corporate additionally reported that photo voltaic deployments slipped 48% in Q3 from the identical interval final yr. However the firm made up for it by pulling in a 90% spike in power storage deployments. 

Tesla additionally gave some updates about its long-delayed Cybertruck. Preliminary deliveries are set for an occasion at Giga Texas on November 30. Elon Musk famous that scaling the Cybertruck might be onerous and it’ll take 18 months earlier than the pickup is worthwhile

“I imply, we dug our personal grave with Cybertruck,” mentioned Musk. 

The billionaire govt additionally mentioned Giga Texas will be capable to produce about 250,000 Cybertrucks a yr beginning in 2025. However let’s keep in mind that Musk isn’t nice at making predictions. In any case, he initially mentioned the Cybertruck could be in the marketplace by 2021. Anticipate a few of these numbers to be pushed out, too. 

Wish to attain out with a tip, remark or criticism? Electronic mail Kirsten at kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com or Rebecca at rebecca.techcrunch@gmail.com.

Reminder which you can drop us a notice at suggestions@techcrunch.com. When you favor to stay namelessclick on right here to contact us, which incorporates SecureDrop (directions right here) and numerous encrypted messaging apps.

Micromobbin’

the station scooter1a

This week was the commerce present Micromobility America. Listed here are a few of the greatest bits that got here out of it:

Chook is now doing e-bikes once more? However as a substitute of the VanMoof knockoff of earlier years, Chook has partnered with TradeHubb, an e-bike provider, and Spring, a strategic retail development firm, to launch the bike. You would possibly recall that Chook final yr ditched its retail bike providing to give attention to shared rides in an try to achieve profitability. The struggling firm was additionally not too long ago delisted from the inventory market. Who is aware of what’s occurring behind the scenes? I attempted reaching out to be taught extra, however no response. When you’ve got a tip, hit me up!

The crew at Trip Assessment launched the Rider’s Alternative Awards once more, for individuals who wish to vote. Winners might be introduced January 25.

The parents behind Micromobility America additionally launched the Electrical Rider Alliance, a 501c6 membership group that’s set as much as “create a degree taking part in area within the transportation business for the small electrical automobile ecosystem by means of requirements, lobbying and governance.”

In different information . . . 

Bolt Mobility is introducing distance-based pricing for a few of its micromobility autos. The goal right here is to incentivize riders to decelerate and experience extra safely, reasonably than racing the clock.

An e-scooter that appears like a Cybertruck? Try Infinite Machine’s first product, the P1, which is on sale now.

Meet Shane, a two-wheeled EV idea space-pod-looking factor from the creator of the unique hoverboard, Shane Chen.

Deal of the week

money the station

Kirsten right here once more! Convoy is not a conventional deal of the week, however its collapse positive received my consideration.

The digital freight dealer advised staff this previous week it was shutting down resulting from what executives described as a “large freight recession.” It seems that disrupting the freight enterprise is tough.

The abrupt closure, which worn out buyers, comes about 18 months because the Seattle-based firm raised $260 million in recent funding that pushed its valuation to $3.8 billion.

I went again and browse an interview TechCrunch carried out with Convoy co-founder and CEO Dan Lewis. Just a few issues he mentioned caught out, particularly what led him to begin the corporate within the first place. The previous Amazon and Google govt, who has a background in technique and administration consulting, advised TechCrunch that when he was struck by the urge to begin an organization, he researched the money-attracting industries of the world, after which, utilizing AngelList, noticed what number of firms have been making an attempt to disrupt these industries.

This is the nugget:

His search yielded 1000’s of firms that have been engaged on industries starting from telecommunications and vogue to video video games and meals. Billions of {dollars} have been going into trucking every year however fewer than 30 startups confirmed an curiosity within the area.

“I noticed a large alternative and few individuals going after it,” Lewis advised TechCrunch.

After which later, when requested if his technique of deciding on a course for a startup remains to be technique, Lewis mentioned, briefly, sure. Learn the entire interview from Could 2022 right here.

Different offers that received our consideration . . .  

Hayden AI, an AI and geospatial analytics firm, raised $53 million in a Sequence B funding spherical led by the Drawdown Fund. The corporate’s tech is being utilized by authorities businesses to implement site visitors violations that hinder transit buses and seize information to assist enhance ridership and enhance site visitors effectivity.

Laka, a European mobility insurtech firm for e-bike riders, acquired Cylantro, a French e-bike insurance coverage dealer. The corporate additionally introduced a €7.6 million spherical lead by Shift4Good alongside Ponooc, Autotech Ventures, ABN Amro Ventures, Porsche Ventures and others.

Business fleet insurance coverage startup Nirvana Insurance coverage has raised a $57 million Sequence B to develop its large information platform, rent new workers and develop its enterprise within the trucking business. Lightspeed Enterprise Companions led the spherical, with Basic Catalyst and Valor Fairness Companions additionally collaborating. The spherical doubles Nirvana’s valuation to greater than $350 million post-money.

Provide chain logistics firm Transfix raised a $40 million Sequence F. The corporate is backed by New Enterprise Associates, G Squared and Canvas Ventures.

EV charging firm Wallbox has acquired the operations and belongings of German-based EV charging options startup ABL for €15 million. Collectively the plan is to deploy greater than 1 million chargers globally.

Volta Vans filed for chapter proceedings in Sweden as difficulties with suppliers proved a hindrance to elevating funds. Volta mentioned the chapter in August of Proterra, an EV components provider, and the uncertainty over its personal battery provider means it wanted to chop down the variety of vans it might produce. Volta, which is predicated in Sweden however has operations within the U.Ok., additionally mentioned it might file for chapter in Britain.

Notable reads and different tidbits

Autonomous autos

Cruise, Basic Motors and Honda are launching a robotaxi service in Japan below a brand new three way partnership. The service will launch with Origin autos in Tokyo in 2026.

Talking of Cruise, the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into the GM subsidiary’s AV system following a number of incidents involving pedestrians in San Francisco. The latest one left a girl caught below a Cruise robotaxi after being hit by a human-driven automobile.

Foxconn and Nvidia are constructing “AI factories” to assist speed up AVs, robotics and different sensible functions. The AI factories place the 2 in opposition to Tesla, which is constructing the Dojo supercomputer to do roughly the identical factor — absorb huge quantities of knowledge, prepare it, tweak code and ship it again out to self-driving automobiles.

Waymo launched a light-weight simulator referred to as Waymax for the AV analysis group. The simulator is designed to coach a number of brokers to carry out advanced, real looking behaviors.

Electrical autos, charging & batteries

BMW Group says it’s going to undertake the NACS charging commonplace within the U.S. and Canada. Drivers of BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce manufacturers will achieve entry to Tesla Superchargers in early 2025, and in that very same yr, BMW says it’s going to implement NACS in EVs offered within the U.S. and Canada throughout those self same manufacturers.

Talking of NACS, international EV charging community ChargePoint has formally opened its AC and DC piles and is now deploying NACS connectors throughout its community.

Basic Motors is delaying its $4 billion plan to transform the Orion Meeting plant into an EV truck manufacturing unit to late 2025 amid softening EV demand and, we’re guessing, the continuing UAW strike.

Kia has began taking reservations for its EV9 full-sized SUV. Reservations are $750 and may be utilized to the acquisition of the corporate. This is without doubt one of the first autos Kia has allowed clients to order upfront.

Lucid missed Wall Avenue supply estimates within the third quarter by about 500 autos. The automaker delivered 1,457 of its luxurious Air sedans, reporting flat development year-over-year. The outcomes despatched shares down as buyers nervous about softening demand for Lucid’s solely EV.

California-based EV startup Pebble unveiled a prototype of its flagship all-electric journey trailer. The $100,000 EV is designed to assist a digital nomad seeking to get misplaced within the wilderness — it may well dwell off-grid for seven days.

Business EV startup REE Automotive has reported an order guide that now totals $25 million for its modular battery EV platforms, devoted to B2B clients.

About 10,000 of Rivian’s all-electric vans are delivering packages all through the U.S. for Amazon.

Tesla has urged the Biden administration to undertake stricter gas economic system requirements than the NHTSA has proposed. Most different automakers have already mentioned the NHTSA’s proposal was unfeasible, so Tesla’s name on regulators to double down appears to be one more approach the EV maker can one-up its opponents.

Toyota has additionally joined the NACS bandwagon. The automaker will construct sure Toyota and Lexus autos from 2025 onward with an NACS port.

Way forward for flight

EVTOL firm Archer Aviation plans to begin air taxi operations in Abu Dhabi in 2026. From there, Archer says it’s going to develop throughout the UAE as a part of a memorandum of understanding with the Abu Dhabi Funding Workplace.

Miscellaneous

The United Auto Staff strike is affecting CES. Stellantis canceled its deliberate displays for the tech commerce present in January, citing the price of ongoing UAW strikes.

Zipcar is getting hit with a nice from the NHTSA for “renting autos with open, unrepaired remembers.” One recall considerations 2015–2017 Ford Transit Vans, which continued to look on Zipcar’s platform regardless of issues of safety with the autos.

Folks

Autobrains employed Uri Yacovy, a former SVP at Mobileye, as its chief working officer.

Logistics firm Flexport is shedding 20% of staff, or about 600 individuals, topping off a spate of workers upheavals on the firm.

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