Tesla shareholder sweepstakes and EV layoffs hit Lucid and Fisker

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Okay, okay — bear in mind final week after I recommended 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 improper, y’all. Or extra precisely put, I used to be untimely in my declaration. Because this week Tesla took it to a complete new stage by dangling the possibility to win a manufacturing unit tour with Elon and chief designer Franz von Holzhausen. That’s proper, we’ve bought 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 will they provide up subsequent? Dinner with Elon? A Cybertruck? The stakes are excessive and the June 13 annual shareholder assembly is approaching — two elements that promise to bake up some entertaining developments. 

Before we soar into the information, only a heads-up that I might be handing the wheel over to reporter Rebecca Bellan subsequent week as I head off for some idle time.

Somewhat chook

blinky cat bird green
Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

So many little birds got here to us — and posted on social media — a few new spherical of layoffs at struggling EV startup Fisker. Based on our accounting, a whole lot of staff had 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 firm 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. 

Got a tip for us? Email 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 through encrypted messaging apps or SecureDrop.


money the station
Image Credits: Bryce Durbin

Just a great old style roundup of offers this week. 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 Partners and MizMaa Ventures. 

Redwood Materials inked a deal to recycle EV battery manufacturing scrap for Ultium Cells, the joint battery manufacturing enterprise between GM and LG Energy Solution. 

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

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

Notable reads and different tidbits

Autonomous automobiles

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has added 9 extra incidents to its investigation into Waymo’s autonomous car software program.

Electric automobiles, 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 a bit of 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 instantly dies and not using a 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 carry electrical air taxi flights to South Korea beginning in 2026.

In-car tech and apps

Apple and the Paris space transportation authority, often called  Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), rolled out assist for transit passes in Apple Wallet, which is able to enable individuals to make use of their iPhone or Apple Watch as a Navigo cross to journey the metro, prepare, tram or bus. This 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 tens of millions of individuals are anticipated to come back to Paris this summer season for the Olympic Games. And yep, Android customers have been ready to make use of their cellphone as a Navigo cross for some time.

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

Remember Spotify’s large launch into {hardware} with its Car Thing system? It was short-lived. Spotify stopped making the system in July 2022 however stated it might assist current homeowners of the $100 system. Welp, these days are over. Spotify instructed clients that the Car Thing will cease working after December 9, 2024.

This week’s wheels

cadillac-optiq-side profile
Image Credits: Cadillac

What is “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 journey in an autonomous car. 

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

Hall goes into depth right here, so please test it out. For those that need the tl;dr: Cadillac clearly needs to draw new, youthful consumers in a bid to breathe new life into the posh model. The Optiq seems to be its reply — not less than for now. As Hall notes, the car is a “looker” and is the most cost effective EV within the Cadillac lineup. In different phrases, Cadillac designed a thirst entice to hook younger consumers. But will it work? With so many midsized crossovers available on the market at present, it’s robust to face out and appeal to consumers.

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