Rounding up Tesla, Waymo change up, the disappearance of Bolt Mobility

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Welcome again to The Station, your central hub for all previous, current and future technique of transferring individuals and packages from Level A to Level B. This week it’s a dual-hosted occasion with transportation editor Kirsten Korosec and transportation reporter Rebecca Bellan steering the ship, er, automotive.

One story that deserves your consideration is the thriller round Bolt Mobility.

Bolt Mobility seems to have ceased operations and vanished into the ether, abandoning useless automobiles and unanswered calls in at the least eight U.S. markets

Representatives from affected cities advised TechCrunch they haven’t been capable of get ahold of anybody from Bolt, together with the corporate’s CEO Ignacio Tzoumas. Along with reaching out to as many cities the place Bolt had, till just lately, been working a service, Rebecca additionally made a number of makes an attempt to achieve Bolt workers members and its traders — to no avail. Even Bolt’s customer support line doesn’t look like staffed. 

It’s all very mysterious. Bolt had seemed to be on an upward trajectory final yr after buying the belongings of Final Mile Holdings, which opened 48 new markets to the micromobility operator. The corporate additionally had some current undisclosed funding, which ostensibly may have tided Bolt over lengthy sufficient to, on the very least, take away its automobiles from the streets and correctly eliminate or recycle them. 

So what offers? We’re nonetheless working that one out, however Alex Wilhelm and Annie Saunders have been pondering the impact that asset depreciation can have on startups like Bolt. For instance, we’ve seen with Chicken simply how lackluster the economics of working shared scooter corporations are simply from an operations perspective. Wilhelm and Saunders write:

When the price of car depreciation was factored into its enterprise…it was massively gross-margin-negative. So, its money was going into not solely operations however funding an enormous fleet of drugs. Gear that it needed to design, manufacture, ship and market in an effort to make its a refund. It by no means fairly labored. 

Alrighty then, onward!

It’s also possible to electronic mail us at [email protected] and [email protected] to share ideas, criticisms, opinions or ideas. You can also ship a direct message to @kirstenkorosec.


the station scooter1a

A phrase on security.

I maintain seeing studies of emergency room visits for e-scooter riders. My preliminary response to information of e-scooter accidents was responsible automobiles for ruling the roads and cities for not offering sufficient protected bike lanes. Nonetheless, there’s additionally area to push micromobility corporations to offer extra protections. 

In Denver, a rider merely reached as much as alter her glasses and earlier than she knew it was flatlined with a head harm. A simple mistake to make, and one I can see myself making.

Sturdier scooters and helmets provided with all shared micromobility automobiles may make an considerable distinction.

I stay in Auckland, the place Neuron, Beam and Lime run a service. Neuron and Beam each have helmets hooked up to their scooters, so it may be executed, whereas Lime, for no matter cause, doesn’t. The truth is, most scooter corporations don’t provide helmets. As a substitute, they promise to enhance security by spending lord-knows-how-much on pc imaginative and prescient expertise to maintain riders off sidewalks. 

In different information…

Electrical moped progress is predicted to double in Asia

Google Maps is now providing route information updates to cyclists

India is finalizing its national battery swap program for two- and three-wheeled EVs. 

Joyride, a micromobility software program supplier, has opened up a hardware marketplace to assist operators construct up their fleets.

— Rebecca Bellan

A little bit chicken

blinky cat bird green

We hear issues and we share the tidbits that we will confirm.

There may be some govt motion over in Waymo land.

Dan Chu, Waymo’s chief product officer, has left the Alphabet subsidiary, in accordance to some people within the know (and later confirmed by Waymo). Chu had been at Waymo for eight years and 14 years at Alphabet.

Waymo confirmed Chu’s departure and mentioned he was transferring on to a brand new “skilled alternative within the well being tech trade.” The corporate mentioned Chu was staying on by way of mid-September “to make sure a clean transition.”

“We’re grateful to Dan for his product management and imaginative and prescient, having helped us launch Waymo One, Waymo Through, and construct a world-class Product group,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement.

It seems that Waymo already has a alternative in thoughts. Saswat Panigrahi, who joined Waymo in 2016 and was most just lately vp of technique, product administration and information science, is taking the CPO spot.

“Panigrahi has been with Waymo for nearly six years in quite a lot of product management roles, managing our engineering and industrial roadmaps throughout trip hailing, lengthy haul trucking and native supply,” the assertion continued.

Throughout his time at Waymo, Panigrahi has been part of launching the primary absolutely autonomous public industrial service in Phoenix and the beginning of absolutely autonomous operations in San Francisco, the corporate mentioned, including that previous to becoming a member of Waymo he was with Google for 4 years as senior product supervisor engaged on Chrome Browser, Chromebooks and Android.

Deal of the week

money the station

Appears to be like like there’s a brand new micromobility SPAC available on the market, and we’re making an attempt to not cringe. Galata Acquisition Corp., a particular goal acquisition firm led by Callaway Capital with $146.6 million in belief, has announced plans to merge with Marti Technologies, a micromobility app in Turkey that operates a fleet of morew than 46,000 e-mopeds, e-bikes and e-scooters. Marti will use the funds from the IPO to strengthen its place in Turkey by deploying extra automobiles throughout current and new modalities. 

Given the efficiency of different micromobility corporations which have gone public by way of SPAC — AKA Chicken and Helbiz — it’s really shocking to see Marti determine to go public by way of the identical route, significantly when so many different startups are shunning the general public markets till issues warmth up once more. 

Different offers that bought my consideration …

Boatsetter, the Airbnb of renting boats, secured a $38 million Series B round.

Canyon Bikes is getting $30 million to fund its U.S. expansion from LeBron James, who apparently is an avid bicycle owner.

Hyundai is considering acquiring the remaining stake in 42dot, a South Korea-based lidar-free autonomous mobility platform. 

Mobiv Acquisition, a blank-check firm led by Peter Bilitsch focusing on the electrical car trade in Asia and Europe, raised $87 million in an IPO.

Nexar, the Israeli dash cam data company, is acquiring Veniam, an IoT firm that transfers information from automobiles to the cloud with its related car mesh community. 

Nikola agreed to acquire Romeo Power in an all-stock $144 million deal, giving the corporate management over a key a part of its provide chain.

Orange EV raised $35 million in a spherical led by S2G Ventures and CCI to speed up the adoption of electrical yard vans. 

Ottonomy.IO, the autonomous robotics supply startup, raised $3.3 million in a seed spherical led by Pi Ventures. The corporate has raised $4.9 million to this point. Connetic Ventures and Branded Hospitality Ventures and Sangeet Kumar, founder and CEO of Addverb Applied sciences, additionally joined this spherical.

River, a Bangalore-based startup that makes electric two-wheelers, has closed an $11 million Series A. The spherical, which was led by Chris Sacca’s Lowercarbon Capital in participation with Toyota Ventures and current traders Maniv Mobility and Vehicles VC, will assist the younger firm arrange a producing facility and get its first product prepared on the market by early 2023. River has the potential to be a pacesetter within the Indian market, given the federal government’s plans to push EV gross sales penetration of two-wheelers as much as 80% by 2030.

Notable reads and different tidbits

Autonomous automobiles

Argo AI launched a safety advisory council, an exterior group of security consultants to assist the corporate advance its autonomous mission and construct belief with the general public. The council is stacked with a number of the greatest in security, together with former Nationwide Transportation Security Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt, TransSafe Consulting CEO Annette Sandberg, who as soon as led the Federal Motor Provider Security Administration, and Christopher Doss, the senior managing director of cybersecurity at Ankura and former Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Aurora Innovation introduced a multiphase commercial pilot to haul freight for Schneider National’s customers in Texas

Embark performed a public demo to indicate how its autonomous vans would work together with emergency automobiles and regulation enforcement in Texas. 

Innoviz might be supplying its lidar sensors and perception software to all Volkswagen group automobiles with automated driving capabilities. is suing two former employees who left to start out their very own autonomous trucking corporations over alleged commerce secret infringement. 

Electrical automobiles

GreenPower Motor Firm introduced the first delivery of its EV Star Cab and Chassis to Workhorse for the manufacturing of the latter’s van line which is anticipated to enter manufacturing later this yr. 

Lamborghini desires to wait and see what sorts of insurance policies the European Union will implement on ICE automobiles earlier than deciding to go all in on EVs. 

Tesla shareholders accredited a three-to-one inventory cut up, however they rejected proposals to enhance annual reporting on issues like racial, sexual and gender harassment and discrimination, lobbying, water danger and use of kid labor within the provide chain. Check out other key takeaways from Tesla’s Cyber Roundup

Talking of Tesla, Mark Harris, who additionally writes for TechCrunch, simply wrapped up a collection on Tesla information for IEEE Spectrum. The Radical Scope of Tesla’s Information Hoard, Tesla’s Autopilot Is dependent upon a Deluge of Information and Who Actually Owns Tesla’s Data? Test it out.

And the ultimate merchandise on the Tesla entrance, the California DMV has accused Tesla of falsely promoting its FSD beta software program, reported the LA Times.

Volkswagen mentioned it will provide a cheaper version of its ID.4 electric compact SUV, with a smaller battery pack, that begins at $37,495 earlier than federal tax credit (and never together with the $1,295 vacation spot payment).

Xpeng’s July sales results are in. The Chinese language EV firm offered 11,524 Good EVs. Whereas that’s up 43% YoY, it’s down from 15,295 automobiles delivered in June. The breakdown seems to be like: 6,397 P7 sports activities sedans, 3,608 P5 good household sedans and 1,519 G3i good compact SUVs. In August, Xpeng will settle for reservations for its new G9 SUV adopted by an official launch in September.


Aurora Innovation pushed back the deployment timeline of its industrial autonomous trucking platform. The corporate closed out Q2 with “collaboration income,” which isn’t really income, of $20.7 million and an enormous web lack of $1.2 billion.

Fisker mentioned it now has more than 56,000 reservations for the Ocean electric SUV, of which it has 55 prototypes constructed, and is on monitor to start out manufacturing November 17. Regardless of the promise of income sooner or later, the luxurious EV startup closed the second quarter with just about no income to talk of, a loss per share of $0.36 and a web lack of $106 million, which is down from the $122.1 million loss reported in Q1. 

Lordstown Motors reported its first quarterly operating profit of $61.3 million. The embattled EV firm nonetheless hasn’t delivered any automobiles, so these good points are largely associated to the sale of its Ohio manufacturing facility to Foxconn. The corporate reaffirmed plans to start industrial manufacturing of its first car this quarter and roll out buyer deliveries by the tip of 2022. 

Lucid Motors slashed its annual production guidance in half on account of provide chain and logistics points. The luxurious EV firm had initially deliberate to provide 20,000 Air sedans this yr. In February, that quantity bought lower right down to 12,000 to 14,000. This week, Lucid mentioned it may possibly ship 6,000 to 7,000. The corporate reported $97.3 million in income for the second quarter, lacking analyst expectations, and an adjusted web lack of $414 million.

Lyft reported record earnings in the second quarter, with revenues of $990.7 million. Web loss for the quarter was $377.2 million. The corporate’s shares had been up 4.07% in after-hours buying and selling, after the corporate satisfied traders it was capable of offset the prices of elevated investments in drivers by cost-cutting internally and profiting from a post-COVID journey increase.

Nikola reported $18.1 million in revenues on deliveries of 48 Tre BEVs and 4 cell charging trailers. The EV maker, which is making an attempt to maneuver previous its tumultuous and troubled previous, closed out the quarter with a web lack of $173 million and whole liquidity of $841.8 million. The corporate additionally introduced the areas of three California hydrogen stations to assist it scale up its long-term hydrogen distribution options. 

TuSimple reported a $2.6 million income, which was up 73% YoY however missed Wall Road expectations drastically. The self-driving trucking firm used the earnings name to handle a recent crash of certainly one of its take a look at vans, by which the truck out of the blue veered across the I-10 highway in Tuscon and slammed right into a concrete barricade.  

Uber came out the gate swinging with its Q2 earnings, throughout which the corporate reported revenues of $8.1 billion, up 105% from final yr. Gross bookings rose 33% to $29.1 billion from $21.9 billion a yr in the past. The corporate completed out the quarter with optimistic free money circulation, that means it may well now, lastly, self-fund. Uber’s shares had been up 14.4% after the corporate reported earnings. 

One other tidbit: Uber additionally sold its 7.8% stake in meals supply firm Zomato for over $390 million. 


Basic Motors will quickly allow drivers to use Super Cruise on greater than 400,000 miles of street within the U.S. and Canada, which is able to double the geographic entry to the hands-free driver help system.

GM Future Roads and Inrix are offering “Safety View” to transport planners nationwide. The product is a cloud-based software that gives transportation officers with vital insights utilizing crash, car, susceptible street person and U.S. census information to assist prioritize and measure how efficient roadway security tasks are and what their affect on communities is. 

The 2 entities additionally launched a analysis report that focuses on Washington, D.C. colleges. They discovered extra rushing, in addition to crashes, to happen round low-income colleges than high-income colleges; visitors indicators didn’t have a big impact on rushing; and the constructed surroundings is a bigger consider car speeds than signage or particular working instances of college zones. 

NYC’s day by day subway ridership continues to be considerably beneath pre-pandemic ranges, in line with Observable, an information vis startup that labored with Microsoft and Oxford College to create a fun interactive of the data

Uber Freight published a white paper that finds for commercializing autonomous trucking within the near-term, the hub-to-hub mannequin is essentially the most sensible and economically possible place to begin. The white paper additionally discovered, maybe unsurprisingly, that autonomous vans will fill job gaps somewhat than exchange human drivers. 

UFODrive has launched its electric vehicle rental service in San Francisco. The European firm presents each EV leases and subscriptions, and plans to develop to Austin and New York this yr, as effectively. 

U.S. Division of Transportation and Vitality announced that all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico have submitted EV infrastructure deployment plans as required below the Nationwide Electrical Automobile Infrastructure Method Program below Biden’s infrastructure invoice. The plans will unlock the primary spherical of $5 billion funding obtainable over the following 5 years to assist states construct out a nationwide charging community. 


TechCrunch bought some inside data into how the Lyft layoffs are shaping up since the company shut down its in-house rentals unit. A spoiler: Employees got 30 days to discover a new job inside Lyft or be separated from the corporate, however many are jaded that they weren’t merely positioned into new roles and as a substitute must compete with outsiders. 

Uber is testing adding train and coach travel to its app within the U.Ok. after a tie-up with Berlin-based multimodal journey platform Omio

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