Talent from Rivian, Tesla, and Apple Flourishes in Ford’s Mysterious Low-Cost EV Initiative

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There has been a lot of recent chaos in the world of electric vehicles, and Ford has capitalized on it to build out its secretive low-cost EV team. It also hired around 10 employees from Lucid Motors, and a handful from Apple’s recently disbanded EV team known as Project Titan. The company declined to respond to specific questions about how it’s building out the team, which is known internally as Ford Advanced EV. It also noted that some of the work being done by Ford Advanced EV could be applied to other efforts across the company, not necessarily just to the low-cost EV project. “The Ford Advanced EV team is part of a global effort to build focused technology and product development teams local to the best talent centers.

Revealing Rivian’s Strategy for Success: A Clear Path to Survival

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It created an electric pickup and an electric SUV while prepping a monster IPO. It now plans to sell an even cheaper SUV that could make Rivian a dominant EV player for years to come. These changes mean that, for the first time since the company broke stealth in 2018, Rivian’s immediate future is actually remarkably clear. Fisker is on the brink of bankruptcy after dealing with underwhelming sales of its electric SUV and myriad quality and service problems. If Rivian wants to survive long enough to ship its more affordable mass-market R2, it really needs these revamped vehicles to sell well.

Exploring Fisker’s downfall and the expansion of robotaxi services across American cities

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Your usual host Kirsten Korosec is taking a much deserved vacation, so I’ll be walking you through this week’s transportation news. A little birdImage Credits: Bryce DurbinA lot of little birds have been talking to senior reporter Sean O’Kane about what is going on behind EV startup Fisker. Other deals that got my attention …Euler Motors, an Indian manufacturer of commercial EVs, raised $24 million in a Series C extension. Gireve, a French B2B platform for EV charging, raised €20 million to expand further in Europe and internationally and develop new services. Zoox plans to test its robotaxis in Austin and Miami this summer, making them the Amazon-backed company’s fourth and fifth test cities.

‘Enhancing Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: The Continuous Progress of FLO’

Manhattan's Ev Charging Sites Now Outnumber Gas Stations 10 To 1
The lack of charging infrastructure is a major barrier to entry for those looking to convert gas-powered vehicles to electric. Founded by Louis Tremblay, FLO is looking to build robust EV charging infrastructure that will create a reliable web for drivers to get to where they need to go. Since then, however, the company has raised more than $334.4 million and become Canada’s largest EV charging provider. “Hardware is important because it’s the infrastructure that lasts [and] software is to make a great experience,” said Tremblay. It seeks to keep chargers up-to-date and has a suite of charging software that provides valuable data to — and about — drivers.

Tesla Cuts EV Discounts to “Optimize” Sales and Delivery Process

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One of Tesla’s delivery workers who was cut this week and spoke to TechCrunch on the condition of anonymity said their location was “short staffed” but still lost multiple employees. The decision to end discounts across its lineup in the United States, including the Model 3, Model Y, Model S and Model X is a bit of a whiplash moment for Tesla. And in the first quarter of 2024, Tesla’s delivery numbers fell year-over-year. It’s not clear how removing discounts on Tesla vehicles fits into the automaker’s new strategy to streamline sales and delivery. But beyond the initial purchase, Tesla has almost always been making changes to its sales and delivery strategy.

“Examining the Resurgence of Cruise Robotaxis and the Controversy Surrounding Ford’s BlueCruise on TechCrunch Mobility”

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TechCrunch Mobility: Cruise robotaxis return and Ford’s BlueCruise comes under scrutiny Plus, a Faraday Future whistleblower case and humanoid robots in car factoriesWelcome back to TechCrunch Mobility — your central hub for news and insights on the future of transportation. Sign up here — just click TechCrunch Mobility — to receive the newsletter every weekend in your inbox. It was another wild week in the world of transportation, particularly in the EV startup and automated driving industries. Exoes, a French-based startup that developed battery cooling technology for EVs, raised €35 million ($37.5 million) from BpiFrance and Meridiam Green Impact Growth Fund. Both former employees have filed lawsuits claiming the troubled EV company has been lying about some of the few sales it has announced to date.

“Bringing Curbside Charging to Your Neighborhood Lampost: Voltpost’s Mission”

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The lowly lamppost might be a better option: they’re everywhere, and they have all the wiring needed to make curbside charging seamless. One startup from New York City, Voltpost, has been working on a product that retrofits existing street lampposts to enable EV charging. On Thursday, it introduced its lamppost charger after a year of design and development. Voltpost’s charger docks at hand-level on the lamppost shroud, and the retractable cable has an anchor eight-feet up to keep it off the ground. As is the case with just about every EV charger network, there’s an app to oversee charging sessions, including payments.

“From Roadside Fueling to Revolutionary Transportation: The Evolution of Yoshi Mobility”

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Yoshi Mobility has come a long way since gassing up cars on the side of the roadAlmost 10 years ago, Bryan Frist, Nick Alexander and Daniel Hunter had an idea to inject some technology into the automotive industry. Using the initial entry point of gas, they started the Yoshi Mobility app to deliver gas to San Francisco-area consumers on their day of choice for $20 per month. Expansion and new businessToday, Nashville-based Yoshi Mobility is settled into three business lines: preventative maintenance, virtual vehicle inspections and electric vehicle charging. It has boots on the ground in 15 states, but can offer vehicle services to customers in all 50 states. Yoshi Mobility has increased its revenue 10x monthly since its Series B in late 2020, Frist said.

Possible options: 1. The Threat to Tesla’s Dominance: An Affordable Electric Vehicle is Key 2. Tesla’s Competitive Edge in Jeopardy Without a Budget-Friendly EV 3. Will Tesla’s Reign End Without an Affordable Electric Car? 4. The Importance of an Economical EV

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Elon Musk’s decision to green light a robotaxi over an affordable EV might cost the company its lead. Last week, Musk reportedly canned the effort in favor of a robotaxi, the sort of pie-in-the-sky project that defined his first decade at the helm. Tesla was reportedly on the cusp of building a $25,000 EV. Given flagging sales of the company’s existing product line, it would have been a welcome shot in the arm. It also would have given the company a product to hold its ground against a predicted onslaught of inexpensive Chinese EVs.

“Lucid Motors Breaks Delivery Records and Expands Search for Electric Vehicle Customers”

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Lucid Motors delivered more EVs in the first quarter of 2024 than it has in any other quarter, though it set the record by a very slim margin. The Saudi-backed, California-based electric vehicle company said Tuesday morning that it shipped 1,967 luxury sedans in the quarter. That’s just a few more than it shipped in the fourth quarter of 2022, when it set its previous record of 1,932 deliveries. Lucid’s new delivery record comes as the company is struggling to find consistent demand for its pricey luxury sedan, the Air. But it has not specified how many Air sedans have made it to the Kingdom to date.