Revisiting the Ruling that Led to Tesla’s Crucial Shareholder Vote

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There has been a silly amount of drama in the run-up to Tesla‘s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday. It will also hold a vote whether the company will change the location where it is incorporated from Delaware to Texas. Some of Tesla’s biggest boosters are calling on the company’s “retail army” of shareholders to vote in favor of both, but with special focus on Musk’s compensation. “A deal is a deal,” Tesla posted to its CEO’s social media platform X. At the very least, it’s a primer for the legal battles that are sure to continue after Thursday’s vote.

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.

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.

Concerns Arise as Boston Dynamics Reveals Latest Robot, Citing Drama with MKBHD and Restructuring at Tesla

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The weather’s getting hotter — but not quite as hot as the generative AI space, which saw a slew of new models released this week, including Meta’s Llama 3. In other AI news, Hyundai-owned robotics company Boston Dynamics unveiled an electric-powered humanoid follow-up to its long-running Atlas robot, which it recently retired. And Rebecca and Sean report on layoffs at Tesla , which they say hit high performers and gutted some departments. AnalysisGoogle Cloud bets on generative AI: Ron writes about how Google Cloud is investing heavily in generative AI, as evidenced by the string of announcements during Google’s Cloud Next conference earlier in the month. Generative AI in health: Generative AI is coming for healthcare — but not everyone’s thrilled.

A Recap of Tesla’s Exciting Week and the Rise of Fintech

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It’s been more than a minute since Tesla went public, but the EV company was inescapable on TechCrunch this week. From layoffs to pricing changes and more, it was a week dyed deeply in Tesla colors so we had to chat through the latest. But that was just one element of what we got into on Equity this week. We also dug into Mary Ann’s reporting about Ramp’s latest round — and up valuation — that fit neatly next to Rippling’s own impending fundraise. Equity is back tomorrow with a special interview between Mary Ann and Notable Capital’s Hans Tung, so stay tuned!

Cybertruck Accelerator Pedals Recalled by Tesla for Defects Causing Stalling

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Tesla is recalling all 3,878 Cybertrucks that it has shipped to date, due to a problem where the accelerator pedal can get stuck, putting drivers at risk of a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Reports of problems with the Cybertruck’s accelerator pedal started popping up in the last few weeks. Tesla said it first received a notice of one of these accelerator pedal incidents from a customer on March 31, and then a second one on April 3. It also told NHTSA that it has started building Cybertrucks with a new accelerator pedal, and that it’s fixing the vehicles that are in transit or sitting at delivery centers. While the Cybertruck only first started shipping late last year, this is not the vehicle’s first recall.

Alive and Kicking: Tesla Semi Charging Corridor Project Survives Biden Administration Funding Snub

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Combined with around $24 million of its own money, Tesla wanted to build nine electric semi-truck charging stations between Laredo, Texas and Fremont, California. “The project will help create a hydrogen corridor from southern California to Texas,” the Department of Transportation wrote in a statement in January. “Funding hydrogen stations will go down as purely wasted money,” Patel told TechCrunch this week. While he no longer speaks on behalf of Tesla, he also criticized funding hydrogen infrastructure when he was still with the company. Despite all this, the Tesla Semi program is still slowly attracting customers.

Leveraging Diagon’s Expertise in Tesla’s Supply Chain to Boost Small Businesses

It was while sourcing manufacturing equipment for Tesla factories that Will Drewery drew inspiration for Diagon, a startup that helps manufacturers procure equipment. Companies in fields like automotive and aerospace can identify qualified suppliers from Diagon’s network of equipment suppliers, system integrators and service providers. East Coast originsThe journey to Diagon for Drewery, who spent most of his career as an equipment buyer, started in Pittsburgh. “This is why I felt the market needs a Diagon,” Drewery said. “Now we are developing tools that help customers find suppliers better or help them interpret and summarize quotes better,” Drewery said.

“Elon Musk’s X: Tesla’s $200,000 Advertising Investment”

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We now know how much Tesla paid as it released its annual proxy statement on Wednesday morning, which includes a section on “related person transactions” the company has made. Tesla has also paid X around $50,000 in 2023 and $30,000 through February 2024 for “commercial, consulting and support agreements.” Likewise, X paid Tesla $1 million in 2023 and around $20,000 through February 2024 for the same unspecified work. Tesla paid Musk’s tunneling effort, The Boring Company, $200,000 in 2023 and $1 million through February 2024. “The Committee and its counsel are aware of the media narrative regarding Musk, Tesla, and its Board,” the committee writes in the proxy. “And the Committee’s work was conducted against a backdrop of unrelenting public interest in whether Tesla would reincorporate and in Musk’s compensation.

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.