The Station: Canoo paddles into the SPAC current and the next threat to micro mobility

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Hello and welcome back to The Station, a newsletter dedicated to all the present and future lanes parties and parcels move from Point A to Point B.

Let’s just come this out of the course: Tesla shares are up. Way up. Tesla shares, which have risen 38% since the first trading period in August, closed at $2,049.98 on Friday. A year ago, Tesla shares were $222.15. I’m not going to weigh in on whether we’re witnessing a bubble or the opening up of another run up that will push shares into the stratosphere. I’ll leave that debate to those who are investing in Tesla stock.

I will mention one interesting phenomenon of late. Tesla fans and investors have always been a vocal cluster — and yes, so have the pundits and those shorting the stocks. The explains, emails and Twitter direct contents I has now been received have become indignant over my dreadful crime of describing Tesla as an automaker. “Tesla is an energy company!” some bawl; “Tesla is a technology company!” they shout.” Would you call Apple a phone company? No !” they argue.

For the past four years or so, Tesla has been asking investors to contemplate it as an energy corporation instead of just an automaker. Some psychoanalysts think that the real value in Tesla’s business will be when it achieves some height of parity between the two sides of the browse. For now, vigor storage and solar has remained in Tesla’s automotive shadow.

Tesla reported revenue of $6.04 billion in the second quarter of 2020. Of that total, $4.91 billion come back here automotive marketings, $268 million from automotive loans, $370 million from vigor storage and solar( the company doesn’t separate the two) and $487 million from other services.

Companies perfectly advance; make the transformation of Amazon, for instance. Tesla has a mission to sell more than vehicles — and the technology contained in them. But can we really call them an exertion corporation yet? Send me your best arguments.

Email me anytime at kirsten.korosec @techcrunch. com to share thoughts, criticisms, offer up sentiments or tips. You can also send a direct word to me at Twitter — @kirstenkorosec.

In other random Tesla-related news: Radio Flyer now has a tyke-sized version of the Model Y.


California is certainly not the only market for shared micro mobility. It is one of the most important business, nonetheless. And right now, a organization of micro mobility companies, advocacy groups and bike share adventurers are warning that this entire market is facing an existential threat.

Their concern is with Assembly Bill 1286, which passed that legislative body way back in the pre-COVID era of May 2019. The legislation moved over to committee within the Senate but languished. There it sat until last week, when it popped up and guided a committee vote, an action that will send it to the full Senate.

This coalition is concerned that the bill will zip through the Senate before the territory assembly adjourns August 31 for the year. The faction includes Bird, Bicycle Transit Structure, CalAsian Chamber of Commerce, Circulate San Diego, Lime, Lyft, Razor, Santa Monica Spoke, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Spin, Street For All, TechNet, Uber and Wheels. The group direct a note August 20 to Senate leadership laying out its concerns with expression in the statement. TechCrunch has contemplated the character, in which the coalition argues that AB 1286″ threatens the existence of shared micromobility in California .”

Their biggest topic is with this line within the bill 😛 TAGEND

The shared mobility provider agreement between the provider and a used shall not contain a provision by which the user forfeits, liberates, or in any way limits their legal rights or redress under the agreement.

The coalition argues that these agreements are” found in nearly every user agreement in California across every industry, since they are clearly define the parameters of liability and methods for resolution between consumers and companies — including protecting companionships from obligation for incidents caused by no omission of their own .”

The coalition has also argued that statute and case law once deals cares for consumers.

The coalition has problems with other sections of the bill, including conversation around insurance coverage. The proposal would require shared mobility “providers ” to:” accommodate commercial general drawback insurance coverage with air carriers doing business in California, with limits not less than one billion dollars ($ 1,000, 000) for each presence for bodily injury or quality impair, including contractual drawback, personal injury, and make liability and completed activities, and not little than five billion dollars ($ 5,000, 000) aggregate for all existences during the policy period .”

The California Bicycle Coalition said in a separate letter sent to the Senate that these assurance requirements are doubled what is required in most comparable contracts and will drive up costs for providers and public operators.

The insurance requirement is particularly sticky because without the ability to have users indicate a waive it is very difficult, if not impossible, for companies to convince insurers to provide coverage.

Keep an see on this legislation in the coming weeks.

Consider of the week

SPACs … sigh. Anyone getting tired of these hitherto? Not me! This week, yet another electrical vehicle startup hooked up with a special acquisition company, or SPAC, to build the rush to the public markets.

Los Angeles-based electric vehicle startup Canoo announced it struck a treat to merge with Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp ., with a market valuation of $ 2.4 billion. This is the fourth time the summer months that an electric vehicle company has skipped the traditional IPO path and instead made the company public through a merger agreement with a SPAC.

Nikola Corp ., Fisker Inc. and Lordstown Motors have also gone public — or announced those arrangements to — via a SPAC, which are also known as blank check companies.

Canoo said it was able to raise $ 300 million in private investment in public equity, or PIPE, including investments from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock. Canoo said it will have about $ 600 million that will go toward the production and launch of electric vehicles built off of its underlying skateboard technology.

Image credits: Canoo

A word about that” skateboard technology .” Canoo developed skateboard design that houses the batteries and the electric drivetrain in a chassis underneath the vehicle’s cabin. The company, which was formerly called Evelozcity when it was founded in 2017, plans to offer its first microbus-type vehicle as a due. These vehicles were expected to appear on the road by 2021. However, that timeline appears to have slipped to 2022, in accordance with the information shared alongside announcement.

Hyundai is also interested in this underlying architecture.he Korean automaker announced in February plans to jointly develop an electric vehicle platform with Canoo, based on the startup’s proprietary skateboard design.

Other batches that caught my see …

Car Inc ., China’s top vehicle rental house, could be taken private via a slew to be provided by private equity conglomerate MBK Partners, Reuters reported. Car Inc is worth $ 700 million by market value.

Drizly Group, which operates an alcohol delivery service, raised $ 50 million in a Series C fund round led by New York-based investment firm Avenir with participation by Tiger Global and other existing investors. The funding will be used to support Drizly as well as Lantern, another separately operated busines within the group that launched in March and is focused on online cannabis commerce.

Xos Trucks, the commercial-grade electrical vehicle startup formerly known as Thor Trucks has raised $ 20 million from groupings of investors including Proeza Ventures, a mobility-focused VC firm backed by Metalsa’s holding company, and BUILD Capital Group. Xos also gained a few cases new board members along with the capital. Rodolfo Elias Dieck of Proeza Ventures and Mark Lampert, a onetime Daimler executive who is now at BUILD Capital, have joined the board. Xos has beefed up its executive grades as well, including hiring Kingsley Afemikhe as its CFO and Rob Ferber, employee number 1 and discipline head at Tesla, as its CTO.

Uber and Lyft v. California

Earlier this month, California Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman issued a initial injunction that Uber and Lyft to reclassify their moves as employees by August 20. Welp, it’s now August 22. Let’s get y’all caught up on what went down.

In the 11 th-hour and after Lyft and Uber said they would have to shut down their ride-hailing business if forced to comply, an appeals court judge granted the two companies a temporary stay.

This saga isn’t over. Consider this the climactic instant at the end of the first routine. Now, run grab your sip and some popcorn.

Two story lines — legal and political — will narrate from here.

The court will review Uber and Lyft’s appeal to overturn an earlier finding that would thrust the companies to reclassify its moves as employees. Oral statements in the case are rectified for October 13. Uber and Lyft have to file written statements by August 25 were to accept an expedited entreaties process, which will keep that temporary stay intact until the matter is resolved.

As they make their disputes to the court, the companies will also turn to voters. Uber and Lyft are pushing for the transition of Prop 22, a referendum measure that would hinder operators classified as independent contractors. Expect Lyft and Uber to ramp up their politicking efforts in the weeks leading up to Election Day.

Notable predicts and other goodies

Here are a few other entries worth noting.

Lucid Motors secreted more detailed information about the all-electric Air, entreat the issues to’ will there be anything left to talk about at the September 9 expose ?’ This time the company said the Air sedan will have fast-charging capability that will let proprietors lend 300 miles of range to the battery in 20 minutes and a home-charging unit that will allow owners to send energy from their gondola to their home. The vehicle will also have bi-directional billing that will be capable of sending energy from the car to the owner’s home.

Nio is offering a new battery-as-a-service program in China, per CNET’s Roadshow.

SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile is having some prosperity with its latest full-electric vehicle model, an inexpensive, four-seat Wuling sedan. Automotive News reported that sales surfaced 15,000 in the first 20 dates after affecting showrooms July 24.

SAEInternational liberated a brand-new Driving Level Skill Certification that includes” safe operators” as a recommended tradition for automated vehicles. Hat tip to fellow Autonocast co-host Ed Niedermeyer who pennant this on Twitter.

The Verge dug into Tulsa’s strategy to woo Tesla to build its factory there. In short: memes!

Volkswagen has started series production of the ID. 4, an all-electric SUV and the first under the automaker’s new ID label to be headed to the United Commonwealth. The world premiere of private vehicles is in accordance with September.

Yandex, the Russian search engine being that is also developing automated vehicle tech, has launched an app announced Yandex GO that allows users to applaud a taxi, use car-sharing, do trip-ups with a personal driver, require diner or grocery bringing, mail cartons and cargo all within the same app. Yandex tells me that the new app will also integrate planneds and directions of above-ground transport and should be considered a step towards the next large-scale objective of plying dwellers with the most wonderful roadways to move around the city. Someday these roadways is likely to be include robotaxis, the company told me in an email.

Zoox is entangled in a suit from two shareholder who allege that a adversary attempt would have been better for common stockholders than a $1.3 billion offer from announced in June. The lawsuit in the Delaware Court of Chancery alleges that the Amazon deal procreated disproportionate rewards for executives and investors bracing opted shares at the expense of common stockholders, Reuters reported.

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