Sunday, October 17News That Matters

Tag: Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Tesla Under Scrutiny Over Lack of Recall After Autopilot Update

Tesla Under Scrutiny Over Lack of Recall After Autopilot Update

Technology
The top federal auto safety regulator sent two letters to Tesla this week raising questions about the company’s driver-assistance software systems and instructing the carmaker to provide fuller information.The regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is looking into why Tesla did not issue a recall last month when it updated software called Autopilot to improve its ability to spot stopped emergency vehicles such as police cars and fire trucks.The agency also ordered Tesla to provide data about the software that the company calls Full Self-Driving and expressed concern that Tesla may be preventing customers from sharing safety information with the agency.The moves suggest that NHTSA is taking a closer look at Tesla’s driver-assistance features and the gap between their...
Are Tesla and Texas a Perfect Match? It’s Questionable.

Are Tesla and Texas a Perfect Match? It’s Questionable.

Business
Tesla’s move from Silicon Valley to Texas makes sense in many ways: The company’s chief executive, Elon Musk, and the conservative lawmakers who run the state share a libertarian philosophy, favoring few regulations and low taxes. Texas also has room for a company with grand ambitions to grow.“There’s a limit to how big you can scale in the Bay Area,” Mr. Musk said Thursday at Tesla’s annual meeting hosted at its new factory near the Texas capital. “Here in Austin, our factory’s like five minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from downtown.”But Texas may not be the natural choice that Mr. Musk makes it out to be.Tesla’s stated mission is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” and its customers include many people who want sporty cars that don’t spew greenhouse gases f...
Tesla to Move Headquarters to Texas from California

Tesla to Move Headquarters to Texas from California

Business
Tesla will move its headquarters from California to Austin, Texas, where it is building a new factory, its chief executive, Elon Musk, said at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.The move makes good on a threat that Mr. Musk issued more than a year ago when he was frustrated by local coronavirus lockdown orders that forced Tesla to pause production at its factory in Fremont, Calif. Mr. Musk on Thursday said the company would keep that factory and expand production there.“There’s a limit to how big you can scale in the Bay Area,” he said, adding that high housing prices there translate to long commutes for some employees. The Texas factory, which is near Austin and will manufacture Tesla’s Cybertruck, is minutes from downtown and from an airport, he said.Mr. Musk was an out...

Trams, Cable Cars, Electric Ferries: How Cities Are Rethinking Transit

Technology, World
The roar of engines has long been part of the soundscape of a city.For a century, for billions of urban people worldwide, getting around has meant boarding a bus powered by diesel or an auto rickshaw that runs on gasoline, or among the affluent, a car.Today, a quiet transformation is underway. Berlin, Bogotá and several other cities are taking creative steps to cut gas and diesel from their public transit systems. They are doing so despite striking differences in geography, politics and economics that complicate the transformation.Berlin is reviving electric tram lines that were ripped out when the Berlin Wall went up. Bogotá is building cable cars that cut through the clouds to connect working-class communities perched on faraway hills. Bergen, a city by the fjords in western Norway, is m...
Tesla Reports Record Quarterly Deliveries Amid Chip Scarcity

Tesla Reports Record Quarterly Deliveries Amid Chip Scarcity

Technology
Even as more established automakers reported slowing sales because of supply constraints, Tesla said Saturday that it achieved a healthy increase in worldwide deliveries of its electric cars in the third quarter.The company said it delivered 241,300 vehicles in the three-month period, its highest quarterly total so far. It was a 20 percent increase from the second quarter and 73 percent higher than the total in last year’s third quarter.Tesla does not break out its deliveries by country. Much of its recent growth has been propelled by sales in Europe and China.On Friday, major automakers including General Motors and Toyota said they had suffered recent U.S. sales declines because of a worldwide shortage of semiconductors as the pandemic’s disruptions have caused factory shutdowns and cargo...
Rivian, an Electric Vehicle Start-Up, Reveals Large Losses in its I.P.O. Filing

Rivian, an Electric Vehicle Start-Up, Reveals Large Losses in its I.P.O. Filing

Technology
Investors keep a close eye on how much cash young, fast-growing companies are consuming, in case they run out. Rivian’s operations used up $850 million in the first half of this year, roughly the same amount as in all of last year. It said it had $3.7 billion of cash in hand at the end of June, which includes money it raised when it issued $2.7 billion worth of preferred stock in January. It also borrowed $2.5 billion through “convertible promissory notes” in July.Updated Oct. 1, 2021, 9:18 p.m. ETRivian has over $10 billion in investments from Amazon, Ford Motor and several Wall Street firms. The filing said Amazon had plowed $1.35 billion into Rivian through stock investments and $490 million by purchasing the notes sold in July. Ford’s investments total $1.24 billion. T. Rowe Price...
Ford Will Build 4 Factories in a Big Electric Vehicle Push

Ford Will Build 4 Factories in a Big Electric Vehicle Push

Technology, World
The top wage for a Ford assembly line worker represented by the United Auto Workers is $32 an hour under a contract the company and union reached in 2019. Unionized workers at parts factories typically make less than those assembling cars.Other big automakers are also pouring billions into battery and electric car plants. G.M., which said this year that it aimed to end production of internal-combustion vehicles by 2035, plans to build four battery plants in the United States over the next few years. Ford expects electric models to make up 40 percent of its production by 2030.Even companies that have resisted electric cars have been changing their tune. Toyota Motor, in a sudden shift in strategy, said this month that it planned to spend billions of dollars over the next decade to build bat...
What Will It Take for Electric Vehicles to Create Jobs, Not Cut Them?

What Will It Take for Electric Vehicles to Create Jobs, Not Cut Them?

Technology
When President Biden announced his multitrillion-dollar jobs plan in March, it included nearly $175 billion in spending to encourage Americans to buy electric vehicles.The money would help ensure “that these vehicles are affordable for all families and manufactured by workers with good jobs,” the White House wrote at the time.Now, as Mr. Biden’s plan wends its way through Congress, a liberal think tank has tried to flesh out the number of jobs to be gained or lost in the transition away from internal-combustion vehicles.The report, released Wednesday by the Economic Policy Institute, concluded that it would take government subsidies focused on developing a domestic supply chain and increasing demand for U.S.-made vehicles to avoid job losses.It found that without additional government inve...
As Germany Election Nears, Merkel Leaves a Strong But Vulnerable Economy

As Germany Election Nears, Merkel Leaves a Strong But Vulnerable Economy

Business
Ms. Merkel’s supporters say that she has helped the German economy dodge some bullets. Her sharp political instincts proved valuable during a eurozone debt crisis that began in 2010 and nearly destroyed the currency that Germany shares with 18 other countries. Ms. Merkel arguably kept hard-liners in her own Christian Democratic Union in check as the European Central Bank printed money to help stricken countries like Greece, Italy and Spain.But her longtime finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, was also a leading enforcer of policies that protected German banks while imposing harsh austerity on southern Europe. At the time, Germany refused to back the idea of collective European debt — a position that Ms. Merkel abandoned last year, when faced with the fallout from a pandemic that threatened...

Lucid Motors Beats Tesla in Range, Going 520 Miles on a Charge, EPA Says

Technology
Lucid Motors, a start-up automaker, has unseated Tesla, the dominant maker of electric cars, as the producer of the electric vehicle that can travel farthest on a single charge.Lucid’s top-of-the-line Air Dream Edition Range can drive 520 miles on a full battery, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday, beating by more than 100 miles the Tesla Model S Long Range, previously the car that could go the furthest on a charge.How far electric cars can travel before they have to be plugged in — a metric known as their range — is important because the infrastructure for charging the vehicles is in its infancy, and filling up a battery can take hours depending on the car and charger.President Biden and other world leaders want people to switch to electric vehicles to fight climate chan...