Tesla shareholder sweepstakes and EV layoffs hit Lucid and Fisker | TechCrunch

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Okay, okay — keep in mind final week once I urged Tesla was being a bit further in its bid to persuade shareholders to vote in favor of relocating the corporate to Texas and to approve CEO Elon Musk’s $56 billion pay deal? 

I used to be incorrect, y’all. Or extra precisely put, I used to be untimely in my declaration. As a result of this week Tesla took it to an entire new degree by dangling the prospect to win a manufacturing unit tour with Elon and chief designer Franz von Holzhausen. That’s proper, we’ve obtained a sweepstakes-for-votes scheme happening. Shareholders who vote might win a tour of the Tesla manufacturing unit in Austin and an invite to the June 13 annual assembly. 

What’s going to they provide up subsequent? Dinner with Elon? A Cybertruck? The stakes are excessive and the June 13 annual shareholder assembly is approaching — two substances that promise to bake up some entertaining developments. 

Earlier than we bounce into the information, only a heads-up that I will probably be handing the wheel over to reporter Rebecca Bellan subsequent week as I head off for some idle time.

A little bit hen

Picture Credit: Bryce Durbin

So many little birds got here to us — and posted on social media — a couple of new spherical of layoffs at struggling EV startup Fisker. Based mostly on our accounting, a whole bunch of employees have been laid off

Fisker has been in a tailspin for months and has made a number of rounds of layoffs. This newest lower is getting near the bone. The corporate employed about 1,135 staff as of April 19. Sources inform us that after layoffs in late April and this new, deeper lower, solely about 150 individuals stay on the firm. 

Obtained a tip for us? Electronic mail Kirsten Korosec at kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.com, Sean O’Kane at sean.okane@techcrunch.com or Rebecca Bellan at rebecca.bellan@techcrunch.com. Or try these directions to learn to contact us by way of encrypted messaging apps or SecureDrop.

Offers!

money the station
Picture Credit: Bryce Durbin

Only a good old style roundup of offers this week. Right here’s the place the cash is headed.

Orca AI, a London-based startup that claims to have powered the world’s first autonomous industrial ship voyage in congested waters, has raised $23 million in a spherical led by OCV Companions and MizMaa Ventures. 

Redwood Supplies inked a deal to recycle EV battery manufacturing scrap for Ultium Cells, the joint battery manufacturing enterprise between GM and LG Power Answer. 

Relectrify, an Australian startup creating an inverter-free battery, raised $17 million in a spherical led by One Ventures. Toyota Ventures, the Australian Clear Power Finance Corp., Power Innovation Capital, GS Futures, Artistic Ventures, and NOAB Ventures additionally participated.

Zypp Electrical, the Indian EV fleet startup, raised $15 million as a part of a Sequence C spherical that its founder initiatives will ultimately be between $35 million and $40 million when it closes this summer time. Japanese oil and power conglomerate Eneos led the funding. 

Notable reads and different tidbits

the station ride hailing1

Autonomous autos

The U.S. Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration has added 9 extra incidents to its investigation into Waymo’s autonomous car software program.

Electrical autos, charging & batteries

Cylib has a compelling pitch for automakers that its founders say will give the Germany-based battery recycling startup an edge over greater rivals.

Lucid Motors introduced it was shedding about 400 staff, or roughly 6% of its workforce, as a part of a restructuring forward of the launch of its first electrical SUV later this yr. The layoffs come slightly greater than a yr because it lower 1,300 jobs. 

A reader reached out greater than a month in the past and requested, What occurred to Onyx Motorbikes? TC reporter Rebecca Bellan spent weeks unraveling the story of what occurs when the proprietor and CEO of an organization immediately dies with no succession plan. 

Archer Aviation continues to snap up companions in its bid to commercialize electrical flight. This time, Archer and ride-hailing and parking firm Kakao Mobility have agreed to work collectively to convey electrical air taxi flights to South Korea beginning in 2026.

In-car tech and apps

Apple and the Paris space transportation authority, referred to as  Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), rolled out help for transit passes in Apple Pockets, which can permit individuals to make use of their iPhone or Apple Watch as a Navigo cross to trip the metro, practice, tram or bus. That is noteworthy on two fronts: The Apple integration is the results of years of negotiation between the tech big and IDFM, and it’s coming on-line simply two months earlier than hundreds of thousands of individuals are anticipated to come back to Paris this summer time for the Olympic Video games. And yep, Android customers have been ready to make use of their cellphone as a Navigo cross for some time.

Chinese language EV makers haven’t made vital inroads within the U.S. simply but, however that doesn’t imply individuals aren’t nervous. U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin will introduce a invoice to Congress that may restrict or ban the introduction of related autos constructed by Chinese language corporations if they’re discovered to pose a risk to nationwide safety.

Keep in mind Spotify’s massive launch into {hardware} with its Automobile Factor gadget? It was short-lived. Spotify stopped making the gadget in July 2022 however mentioned it could help present homeowners of the $100 gadget. Welp, these days are over. Spotify instructed prospects that the Automobile Factor will cease working after December 9, 2024.

This week’s wheels

cadillac-optiq-side profile
Picture Credit: Cadillac

What’s “This week’s wheels”? It’s an opportunity to be taught concerning the totally different transportation merchandise we’re testing, whether or not it’s an electrical or hybrid automobile, an e-bike or perhaps a trip in an autonomous car. 

This week, TC contributor Emme Corridor shared her views — and first-look impressions — of the 2025 Cadillac Optiq EV. That is the fourth EV that Cadillac has revealed since 2022, though it ought to be famous that just one — the Lyriq — is at present on the market. 

Corridor goes into depth right here, so please test it out. For individuals who need the tl;dr: Cadillac clearly desires to draw new, youthful patrons in a bid to breathe new life into the luxurious model. The Optiq seems to be its reply — a minimum of for now. As Corridor notes, the car is a “looker” and is the most cost effective EV within the Cadillac lineup. In different phrases, Cadillac designed a thirst lure to hook younger patrons. However will it work? With so many midsized crossovers available on the market at present, it’s powerful to face out and entice patrons.

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