The Station is a weekly e-newsletter devoted to all issues transportation. Enroll right here — simply click on The Station — to obtain the e-newsletter each weekend in your inbox. Subscribe free of charge.
Welcome again to The Station, your central hub for all previous, current and future technique of shifting folks and packages from Level A to Level B.
The United Autoworkers strike continued to dominate the information cycle. And the strike, now in its third week, is escalating.
After GM and Ford CEOs went on the assault, UAW chief Shawn Fain responded by saying the strike would develop. Employees walked off the job at a Ford plant in Chicago and GM’s Lansing, Michigan meeting plant. Stellantis wasn’t a part of the expanded strike after making a last-minute concession.
With tempers and tensions working excessive, it’s onerous to see how this can get resolved anytime quickly.
Earlier than we leap into the remainder of the information, right here’s the newest episode of the Fairness Podcast. OK, let’s goooooo.
Wish to attain out with a tip, remark or criticism? Electronic mail Kirsten at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminder you could drop us a notice at email@example.com. Should you choose to stay nameless, click on right here to contact us, which incorporates SecureDrop (directions right here) and numerous encrypted messaging apps.
Chook has lastly been delisted from the New York Inventory Alternate. The official purpose was that the corporate failed to keep up a market cap of over $15 million for 30 consecutive days, however Chook has had a tough time protecting its inventory worth above $1, as properly. The corporate will proceed to commerce over-the-counter, and can attraction the choice.
The timing is awkward, given Chook acquired Spin out from Tier solely every week earlier than its delisting. In a TechCrunch+ piece, I analyze whether or not the Spin acquisition will likely be sufficient to avoid wasting Chook from crashing completely.
We don’t understand how a lot runway Chook has with out entry to Spin’s steadiness sheets. However Spin’s reported income is just a few fifth of Chook’s, and based mostly on Chook’s personal working bills, money owed, income and obtainable money — to not point out its turbulent historical past — I’d say the corporate has a troublesome street forward to regain investor confidence.
A fast phrase on battery fires. Rep. Ritchie Torres launched laws to Congress that might require a nationwide security commonplace for lithium-ion batteries for micromobility units. The invoice happened partly as a result of on-line retailers like Amazon proceed to promote unsafe batteries, regardless of the rise in battery fires through the years.
Deal of the week
I’m undecided if this sector will preserve its buzzy standing without end, however for now traders appear joyful to pour cash into electrical boat startups. Arc is a type of.
The Los Angeles-based EV boat startup simply raised $70 million in a Collection B spherical from a bevy of returning traders, together with Eclipse, Andreessen Horowitz, Lowercarbon Capital and Summary Ventures. New investor Menlo Ventures — particularly long-time associate and self-proclaimed boating fanatic Shawn Carolan — additionally joined in. Arc has raised greater than $100 million, so far.
Flush with contemporary capital, co-founders Mitch Lee and Ryan Prepare dinner are planning to scale up with a brand new higher-volume electrical boat designed for wakeboarding, wakesurfing and different watersports resembling tubing. That focus might show profitable as most EV boat startups are producing hydrofoil-styled boats, which don’t create wakes massive sufficient for use for watersports.
Different offers that bought my consideration this week …
H55, a Swiss developer of electrical propulsion and battery administration programs for aviation, raised about $49 million in Collection C funding fromND Capital, Tippet Enterprise Companions, RTX Ventures and different “distinguished” personal traders.
Kneron, which is growing AI chips to energy self-driving vehicles, amongst different autonomous machines, raised $49 million in an extension to its Collection B spherical from traders together with Foxconn, Alltek, Horizon Ventures, Liteon Know-how Corp., Adata and PalPilot. The corporate has raised $190 million, so far.
Line Man Wongnai, an on-demand supply app in Thailand, is getting prepped for an preliminary public providing in Bangkok that might elevate round $300 million, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.
Sierra House raised $290 million in a Collection B spherical to scale its Dream Chaser spaceplane and business area station tasks. The business area transportation startup is now valued at $5.3 billion.
Notable reads and different tidbits
Contributor Emme Corridor examined Mercedes’ hands-off, eyes-off automated driving system on a traffic-laden Los Angeles freeway. Right here’s the way it went.
The Worldwide Brotherhood of Teamsters union despatched a letter to U.S. auto security regulators urging the company to disclaim a petition by Normal Motors to grant an exemption to subsidiary Cruise to construct its Origin AV with out conventional car requirements like a steering wheel.
Electrical autos, charging & batteries
Ford has halted work on its deliberate $3.5 billion EV battery plant in Michigan that was alleged to make cheaper lithium iron phosphate batteries utilizing tech from China’s CATL. The manufacturing facility has been controversial with native residents in addition to on the nationwide stage, the place Republican lawmakers proceed to push the automaker to share extra paperwork concerning the settlement with CATL. Ford insists it has shared all the things.
Facet notice: Ford’s timing is curious. Many have linked the choice to the UAW strike. However maybe it’s one thing else. One principle floating round my circles is that Ford noticed the U.S. Commerce Division’s just lately launched interpretation of overseas entity of concern for the CHIPS Act and is anticipating comparable language from the Treasury Division for the Part 30D Credit score underneath the Inflation Discount Act. In different phrases, it doesn’t count on for the plant to fulfill necessities to obtain incentives.
Honda touted its huge EV associate community within the U.S. Now it wants to begin promoting EVs within the nation.
Lucid Group opened its first worldwide manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia, the house of its largest shareholder. For now the manufacturing facility will re-assemble Lucid Air car kits which might be pre-manufactured on the firm’s U.S. manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, Arizona.
Volkswagen’s $2.1 billion plan to launch a devoted electric-vehicle manufacturing facility in Wolfsburg, Germany is kaput. The automaker will as an alternative modify two present crops within the nation.
Gig economic system
Uber, DoorDash and Grubhub acquired a blow to their enterprise in New York Metropolis after a choose dominated to permit the implementation of the minimal pay charge of $18 per hour for town’s meals supply employees.
Talking of Uber, the ride-hailing firm struck a multiyear partnership with Los Angeles Yellow Cab and its 5 associate taxi fleets in Southern California. Beneath the association, taxi drivers could have entry to Uber journey referrals in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. (I discover it fascinating to observe how Uber and taxi firms at the moment are working collectively)
The U.S. Equal Employment Alternative Fee filed a lawsuit towards Tesla, accusing the automaker of violating federal legislation by tolerating widespread and ongoing racial harassment of its Black staff and subjecting some employees to retaliation for opposing harassment.
Reminder: the lawsuit from the federal company liable for implementing civil rights legal guidelines towards office discrimination is one among a number of towards Tesla for racial bias. The California Civil Rights Division sued Tesla in 2022 over comparable allegations.
Volkswagen’s software program unit Cariad went by a shakeup earlier this 12 months and now it’s beginning to put the items again collectively once more. Cariad simply employed Sanjay Lal — who most just lately led the event of Rivian’s infotainment and next-gen middleware throughout the car and cloud — to tackle the two.0 model of its software program structure that will likely be an working system designed for all VW Group manufacturers. Particularly he’ll lead the institution of the so-called SDV Hub, the place software program builders and tech specialists from Cariad, Volkswagen and Audi will work collectively to develop the two.0 platform. Yup, that’s an enormous job.
You may keep in mind Lal’s title. Previous to his VP of software program platform job at Rivian, Lal labored held a number of engineering management positions at Cisco, Tesla and for Android Automotive at Google.