Tesla shareholder giveaway and EV layoffs hit Lucid and Fisker

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Okay, okay, remember last week when I suggested tesla was being a little extra in his attempt to convince shareholders to vote in favor of moving the company to Texas and approve the CEO Elon Musk $56 billion wage deal?

I was wrong, y’all. Or more accurately, I was premature in my statement. Because this week Tesla took it to a whole new level by offering the chance to win a factory tour with Elon and the chief designer. Franz von Holzhausen. That’s right, we have a vote-raffle plan in place. Shareholders who vote could win a tour of Tesla’s Austin factory and an invitation to the June 13 annual meeting.

What will they offer next? Dinner with Elon? A cyber truck? The stakes are high and the annual shareholder meeting on June 13 is approaching – two ingredients that promise to make for some entertaining events.

Before we get to the news, just a heads up that I will be handing the flyer to the reporter. Rebeca Bellan next week while I take some time off.

a little bird

Image credits: Bryce Durbin

Many little birds came to us and posted on social media about a new round of layoffs at a struggling electric vehicle startup. fisker. According to our accounting, hundreds of workers were laid off.

Fisker has been in a tailspin for months and has made several rounds of layoffs. This last cut is getting closer to the bone. The company employed about 1,135 employees as of April 19. Sources tell us that after the layoffs at the end of April and this new deeper cut, only about 150 people remain in the company.

Do you have a suggestion for us? Email Kirsten Korosec at kirsten.korosec@techcrunch.comSean O’Kane at sean.okane@techcrunch.com or Rebecca Bellan at rebecca.bellan@techcrunch.com. Or see these instructions to learn how to communicate with us via encrypted messaging apps or SecureDrop.

Offers!

money the station
Image credits: Bryce Durbin

Just a good roundup of old-fashioned deals this week. This is where the money goes.

Orca AIA London-based startup that claims to have powered the world’s first autonomous commercial boat ride in congested waters, has raised $23 million in a round led by OCV Partners and MizMaa Ventures.

redwood materials signed an agreement to recycle scrap production of electric vehicle batteries for Ultium Cells, the battery manufacturing joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution.

reelectrify, an Australian startup developing an inverter-less battery, raised $17 million in a round led by One Ventures. Toyota Ventures, the Australian Clean Energy Finance Corp., Energy Innovation Capital, GS Futures, Creative Ventures and NOAB Ventures also participated.

Zypp Electricity, the Indian electric vehicle fleet startup, raised $15 million as part of a Series C round that its founder projects will eventually be around $35 million to $40 million when it closes this summer. Japanese oil and energy conglomerate Eneos led the investment.

Notable readings and other tidbits

autonomous vehicles

He US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has added nine more incidents to its investigation into Waymo’s self-driving vehicle software.

Electric vehicles, charging and batteries.

cilib has a compelling argument for automakers that its founders say will give the Germany-based battery recycling startup an advantage over larger rivals.

Lucid engines announced it would lay off about 400 employees, or about 6% of its workforce, as part of a restructuring ahead of the launch of its first electric SUV later this year. The layoffs come just over a year since 1,300 jobs were eliminated.

A reader reached out over a month ago and asked: What happened to Onix Motorcycles? CT reporter Rebeca Bellan I spent weeks unraveling the story of what happens when the owner and CEO of a company dies suddenly without a succession plan.

Archer Aviation continues to attract partners in its bid to commercialize electric flights. This time, Archer and the transportation and parking company. Kakao Mobility have agreed to work together to bring electric air taxi flights to South Korea starting in 2026.

Automotive technology and applications

Apple and the Paris area transportation authority, known as Mobilités Ile-de-France (IDFM), launched support for transportation passes in Apple Wallet, which will allow people to use their iPhone or Apple Watch as a Navigo pass to travel by subway, train, tram or bus. This is noteworthy on two fronts: Apple’s integration is the result of years of negotiations between the tech giant and IDFM, and will be available just two months before millions of people are expected to come to Paris this summer for the Games. Olympics. And yes, Android users have been able to use their phone as a Navigo pass for a while.

Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers They haven’t made significant progress in the United States yet, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t worried. US Representative Elissa Slotkin will introduce a bill to Congress that would limit or ban the introduction of connected vehicles built by Chinese companies if they are determined to pose a threat to national security.

Remember Spotify Big hardware launch with your Car Thing device? It was short-lived. Spotify stopped manufacturing the device in July 2022, but said it would support existing owners of the $100 device. Well, those days are over. Spotify told customers that Car Thing will stop 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 learn about the different transportation products we’re testing, whether it’s an electric or hybrid car, an electric bike, or even a ride in an autonomous vehicle.

This week, TC contributor Emme Hall shared his views (and first impressions) on the Cadillac Optiq 2025. This is the fourth electric vehicle that Cadillac has introduced since 2022, although it should be noted that only one, the Lyriq, is currently on sale.

Hall goes into depth here, so check it out. For those who want the tl;dr: Cadillac clearly wants to attract new, younger buyers in an attempt to breathe new life into the luxury brand. Optiq seems to be the answer for him, at least for now. As Hall points out, the vehicle is attractive and is the cheapest electric vehicle in the Cadillac range. In other words, Cadillac designed a thirst trap to hook young buyers. But will it work? With so many midsize crossovers on the market today, it’s difficult to stand out and attract buyers.

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