Elon Musk cashes in $6.9 billion of Tesla stock, just in case

Photo illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images

Enlarge / Photo illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images

Within weeks of the Twitter board’s approval of Elon Musk’s unsolicited bid to take the company private, the South African-born billionaire came down with a severe case of buyer’s remorse. Twitter was not happy, and after Musk decided not to go through with the purchase, the social media company quickly sued him. In advance of the trial, set for October despite Musk’s attempts to push it back to 2023, Elon Musk is apparently preparing for the worst-case scenario of being forced to consummate the deal.

With Tesla stock on a rebound, Musk has just sold $6.9 billion worth of shares in his electric car company, a move disclosed in regulatory filings on Tuesday. Musk got an average of $869 for the shares, which is significantly more than the $628 that TSLA shares were trading at in late May. TSLA had hit its 2022 peak of $1,145 on April 4, the day after Musk revealed his purchase of 9.2 percent of Twitter’s outstanding shares.

In late April, after announcing his plans to buy Twitter, Musk unloaded $8.5 billion in Tesla stock, saying at the time that there were “no further TSLA sales planned after today.”

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It’s possible no electric vehicles will qualify for the new tax credit

Volkswagen is one of several automakers that are already assembling their EV battery packs locally. But the value of the materials that go into the pack will determine whether it qualifies for the revised clean vehicle tax credit.

Enlarge / Volkswagen is one of several automakers that are already assembling their EV battery packs locally. But the value of the materials that go into the pack will determine whether it qualifies for the revised clean vehicle tax credit. (credit: Volkswagen)

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 passed the United States Senate on Sunday and heads to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass easily. It contains numerous changes to the tax code, meant in large part to prevent the worst effects of climate change.

Among these is a revision to the existing tax credit for new plug-in electric vehicles. As we detailed last week, the IRA introduces income caps for the tax credit, and it will only apply to sedans that cost less than $55,000 and other EVs that cost less than $80,000. The bill also drops the 200,000 vehicle-per-OEM cap on the tax credit, which would benefit both General Motors and Tesla.

At least it will if their EV batteries are mostly made within North America, with at least 40 percent of the materials used having been extracted and processed within North America or a country with a free trade agreement. Now, instead of being based on battery capacity, half the credit ($3,750) is tied to where the pack is made, and the other half its supply chain. And that will be a problem if you’re looking to buy an EV in 2023.

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#battery, #cars, #china, #ev-tax-credit, #ford, #general-motors, #inflation-reduction-act-of-2022, #lg-chem, #lithium-ion-battery, #sk-innovation, #stellantis, #tesla, #volkswagen

Tesla faces new probes into motorbike deaths, false advertising

Elon Musk <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-tesla-worth-basically-zero-without-self-driving-2022-6">said in June</a> that without autonomous driving technology, Tesla is "worth basically nothing."

Enlarge / Elon Musk said in June that without autonomous driving technology, Tesla is “worth basically nothing.”

Tesla went into the weekend with a fresh pair of headaches. On Friday, the Associated Press reported that the federal government is investigating whether or not the company’s Autopilot system can safely recognize motorcyclists after a pair of fatal crashes in July. And the Los Angeles Times reported that California is unhappy with the way the automaker has advertised its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving driver assist technologies.

Can Autopilot see motorbikes at night?

The first fatal crash occurred in the early hours of July 7 in Riverside, California, when a Tesla Model Y on State Route 91 hit a motorcycle from behind, killing its rider. The second fatal motorcycle crash occurred on July 24, again at night, this time on I-15 outside Draper, Utah. In that case, a Tesla Model 3 was driving behind a motorcycle and hit it, killing the rider.

The AP reports that the California Highway Patrol is still investigating whether Autopilot was active in the first crash, but the driver in Utah admitted he was using the hands-free driver assist at the time of his accident.

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#advanced-driver-assistance-systems, #california-dmv, #cars, #full-self-driving, #nhtsa, #tesla, #tesla-autopilot, #tesla-fsd

Twitter subpoenas emails, texts from Tesla bigwigs and Musk’s BFFs

Twitter subpoenas emails, texts from Tesla bigwigs and Musk’s BFFs

Enlarge (credit: picture alliance / Contributor | picture alliance)

Are spam accounts really the reason behind Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s decision to back out of his cursed Twitter deal?

This week, Twitter sent a bunch of subpoenas to find out, pulling Musk’s close circle of friends and business associates into the chaotic trial. One subpoena includes more than two dozen document and communications requests for Tesla. The documents that Twitter seeks from Musk’s friends, advisors, banks, legal team, and investors include emails, text messages, and Twitter DMs.

It’s possible that just one email out of all the subpoenaed material could give Twitter enough information to convince the Delaware Chancery Court to force Musk to cough up $44 billion and actually buy the social network. By crawling documents from Musk’s inner circle, Twitter hopes to reveal what was happening behind Musk’s tweets through the negotiation. In their lawsuit, Twitter claims that Musk violated their merger agreement, and the subpoenas could help prove that he possibly never planned to follow through on the purchase.

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#elon-musk, #policy, #tesla, #twitter

You won’t be confused about electric vehicle charging after reading this

You won’t be confused about electric vehicle charging after reading this

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

A significant factor that scares people away from electric vehicles is confusion over charging. Every gas station in the land is fitted with nozzles that will fill any gasoline-powered car’s fuel tank. But not all EVs use the same plug, and then there’s the matter of alternating current (AC) versus direct current (DC) systems. And what do the different levels of charging mean?

The good news is that it’s not that complicated, and we’re here to explain everything you need to know.

EVs require electricity to charge, as the “E” in EV suggests. But that electricity can be AC, like the appliances in your home, or DC, like a USB device, only many times more powerful.

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#ac, #cars, #dc, #dc-fast-charging, #electric-vehicle-charging, #electrify-america, #ev-charging, #features, #j1772, #tesla, #tesla-supercharger

Lawsuit: At Tesla, racial discrimination is “standard operating procedure”

A Tesla factory building and parking lot in Fremont, California.

Enlarge / Tesla factory in Fremont, California as seen on April 20, 2022. (credit: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan )

Tesla is facing a new racial discrimination lawsuit filed by 15 factory employees who allege that Tesla’s “standard operating procedures include blatant, open, and unmitigated race discrimination.” Racial harassment and discrimination is “rampant” at Tesla and the company has “done little to nothing to reasonably prevent or stop this toxic behavior and work environment,” the lawsuit says.

The plaintiffs include nine men and six women who work or worked at Tesla factories in California. About half of the plaintiffs were either fired or quit, while the rest still work at Tesla.

“Plaintiffs, who [are] African-American employees, have been subjected to offensive racist comments and offensive racist behavior and discipline by colleagues, leads, supervisors, managers, and/or Human Resources personnel on a daily basis,” the complaint says. The complaint alleges that an April 2021 incident at Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s home led to one of the plaintiffs being fired on the same day.

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#policy, #tesla

Tesla deliveries drop by 18 percent in Q2 2022

Tesla's new factories in Berlin and Texas are proving more costly to set up than its plant in Shanghai (pictured).

Enlarge / Tesla’s new factories in Berlin and Texas are proving more costly to set up than its plant in Shanghai (pictured). (credit: Tesla)

After several quarters of impressive growth, Tesla is starting to feel the pinch. The US automaker announced on Saturday that, between April and June, it has produced only 258,580 electric vehicles and delivered only 254,695 cars.

By comparison, it was able to build 305,407 EVs and deliver 291,189 of them in the first three months of 2022. However, it claims that it produced more cars in June 2022 than any previous month in its history.

A detailed breakdown of this quarter’s results is scheduled for July 20, which should shed light on CEO Elon Musk’s claims that the company’s new factories in Berlin and Texas are “gigantic money furnaces” costing Tesla billions.

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#cars, #tesla, #tesla-deliveries

Tesla bundles battery users to make it look like lower power demand

Image of a battery installed on a home's wall.

Enlarge (credit: Tesla)

Last week, Tesla announced a program for California-based owners of its home battery products. Sign up with the company, and you’d become part of what the company calls a “virtual power plant.” You would be able to use your battery to keep the grid stable during periods of high demand and be well-compensated for the electrons.

While this may conjure images of Powerwall batteries across the state sending electricity to the grid during a crisis, that doesn’t appear to be what’s happening here. Instead, the batteries will be taking part in a utility’s program that’s designed to reduce demand, which the utility company will presumably do by using the battery to supply some of the demand inside the battery owner’s house. It’s a clever way for homeowners to take advantage of a program that’s otherwise limited to commercial users.

It’s an emergency

Tesla’s announcement of the program says that it will be part of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E, a California utility) Emergency Load Reduction Program, which we’ll focus on in the next section. At the moment, we’ll look at what participants will end up doing.

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#batteries, #demand-management, #energy, #grid-services, #grid-stability, #science, #tesla

Ex-Tesla worker who suffered racist abuse rejects $15M award, seeks new trial

Illustration of a stamp that prints the word

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Bet_Noire)

A former Tesla worker who won a racial discrimination case against the company has rejected a $15 million payout and will seek a new damages trial.

A jury had awarded plaintiff Owen Diaz $137 million in October 2021, but in April, a federal judge reduced the payout to $15 million. In that ruling, US District Judge William Orrick rejected Tesla’s claim that it is not liable for the “disturbing” racist abuse suffered by Diaz, who is Black, but found that the jury overreached in its damages calculation.

Diaz had the option of accepting or rejecting the lower payout, and he rejected it in a court filing on Tuesday. The case is in US District Court for the Northern District of California.

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#policy, #tesla

Lawsuit: Tesla broke US law by not providing 60-day notice before mass layoff

Aerial view of cars parked in a Tesla factory parking lot. A Tesla logo is painted on the concrete.

Enlarge / Cars parked at the Tesla Fremont Factory in Fremont, California, on February 10, 2022. (credit: Getty Images | Josh Edelson)

A lawsuit filed by laid-off Tesla workers accused the company of violating federal law by failing to provide notice before the layoffs and said the former employees are entitled to 60 days of pay and benefits. Tesla’s actions violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, claimed the lawsuit filed Sunday in US District Court for the Western District of Texas.

“Pursuant to the WARN Act, Tesla is required to provide Plaintiffs and Class Members with the required sixty (60) days advance written notice of a mass layoff,” the lawsuit said. “However, in connection with the recent mass layoffs… Tesla has failed to give Plaintiffs and the Class Members any advance written notice of their terminations.”

“Instead, Tesla has simply notified the employees that their terminations would be effective immediately,” the lawsuit continued.

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Teslas using Autopilot crashed 273 times in less than a year

Tesla is facing multiple federal investigations into the safety of its automated and partially automated driving systems. New data from NHTSA shows the automaker accounted for three quarters of all crashes involving advanced driver assists in the past year.

Enlarge / Tesla is facing multiple federal investigations into the safety of its automated and partially automated driving systems. New data from NHTSA shows the automaker accounted for three quarters of all crashes involving advanced driver assists in the past year. (credit: Tesla)

On Wednesday morning, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released data on the safety, or lack thereof, of advanced driver assistance systems. Since June 2021, automakers have been required to inform NHTSA if any of their vehicles crash while using partially automated driving systems, also known as SAE level 2 systems.

As many suspected, Tesla’s Autopilot system accounted for the majority of crashes since the reporting period began. In fact, Teslas represented three-quarters of all ADAS crashes—273 out of 367 crashes reported between July 2021 and May 15, 2022. The news provides yet more data underminingTesla’s safety claims about its Autopilot system.

In the past, Tesla and even NHTSA have claimed that Autopilot reduced crash rates by 40 percent. However, as we reported in 2018, that claim fell apart once a consulting company called Quality Control Systems got its hands on the data.

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#adas, #advanced-driver-assistance-systems, #autopilot, #cars, #nhtsa, #road-safety, #tesla

US expands probe of Tesla Autopilot crashes in step toward possible recall

The interior of a Tesla Model X seen at a car expo.

Enlarge / Tesla Model X at Brussels Expo on January 10, 2018 in Belgium. (credit: Getty Images | Sjoerd van der Wal)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has upgraded an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot system in a move that could lead to a recall.

The NHTSA’s Office of Defects Investigation opened the probe of Tesla Autopilot in August 2021 due to “eleven crashes in which Tesla models of various configurations have encountered first responder scenes and subsequently struck one or more vehicles involved with those scenes.” Five other crashes have since been added to the analysis, which covers 830,000 Tesla Model Y, Model X, Model S, and Model 3 cars released from 2014 to 2022. The crashes being investigated resulted in 15 injuries and one death, the NHTSA said.

An NHTSA notice published Thursday said the investigation has been “upgraded to an Engineering Analysis (EA) to extend the existing crash analysis, evaluate additional data sets, perform vehicle evaluations, and to explore the degree to which Autopilot and associated Tesla systems may exacerbate human factors or behavioral safety risks by undermining the effectiveness of the driver’s supervision. In doing so, NHTSA plans to continue its assessment of vehicle control authority, driver engagement technologies, and related human factors considerations.”

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#autopilot, #cars, #policy, #tesla

Gone in 130 seconds: New Tesla hack gives thieves their own personal key

Gone in 130 seconds: New Tesla hack gives thieves their own personal key

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Sometime last year, Tesla issued an update that made its vehicles easier to start after being unlocked with their NFC Key Cards. Now, a researcher has shown how the feature can be exploited to steal cars.

For years, drivers who used their Tesla NFC Key Card to unlock their cars had to place the card on the center console to begin driving. Following the update, which was reported here last August, drivers could operate their cars immediately after unlocking them with the card. The NFC card is one of three means for unlocking a Tesla; a key fob and a phone app are the other two.

An image from Herfurt's recent presentation at the REcon conference in Montreal.

An image from Herfurt’s recent presentation at the REcon conference in Montreal. (credit: https://trifinite.org/Downloads/20220604_tempa_presentation_recon22_public.pdf)

Enrolling your own key

Martin Herfurt, a security researcher in Austria, quickly noticed something odd about the new feature: Not only did it allow the car to automatically start within 130 seconds of being unlocked with the NFC card, but it also put the car in a state to accept entirely new keys—with no authentication required and zero indication given by the in-car display.

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#biz-it, #hacking, #nfc, #paak, #phone-as-a-key, #tesla

After remote-work ultimatum, Musk reveals plan to cut 10% of Tesla jobs

A half-dozen Tesla chargers in a parking area, with a couple Tesla vehicles getting a charge.

Enlarge / Tesla charging station at the Chesapeake House Travel Plaza off I-95 in Maryland on March 11, 2022. (credit: Getty Images | Tom Williams )

Tesla CEO Elon Musk wants to cut 10 percent of jobs at the electric carmaker because he has a “super bad feeling” about the economy, he wrote in an email to executives, according to Reuters.

Musk sent the message on Thursday with the subject line “pause all hiring worldwide,” according to the report. Musk “did not elaborate on the reasons for his ‘super bad feeling’ about the economic outlook in the brief email seen by Reuters,” the news organization wrote.

Tesla stock was down more than 8 percent during Friday’s trading as of this writing and down more than 40 percent in 2022.

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#biz-it, #cars, #elon-musk, #tesla

Musk to Tesla and SpaceX workers: Be in the office 40 hours a week or quit

Tesla CEO Elon Musk holds a microphone and speaks at an event at a factory in China.

Enlarge / Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the company’s manufacturing facility in Shanghai, China, on Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

Elon Musk has ordered Tesla and SpaceX employees to work in the office full-time or quit their jobs.

On Tuesday, Musk sent two memos telling Tesla employees they must be in the office at least 40 hours per week or leave the company. “Anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean *minimum*) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla. This is less than we ask of factory workers,” Musk wrote in a new memo circulating on Twitter, apparently first shared by Tesla stockholder and Full Self-Driving beta tester Sam Nissim. The email’s subject line was “Remote work is no longer acceptble [sic].”

Musk seemed to confirm the emailed memo’s authenticity. When asked to provide “any additional comment to people who think coming into work is an antiquated concept,” Musk tweeted, “They should pretend to work somewhere else.”

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The Internet needs to stop getting excited by vaporware EVs

The DeLorean Alpha 5 is inspired by the mediocre mid-engined coupe from Northern Ireland.

Enlarge / The DeLorean Alpha 5 is inspired by the mediocre mid-engined coupe from Northern Ireland. (credit: DeLorean)

Back in the earlier days of the Internet, when web fora still mattered and there was no such thing as Twitter, Sniff Petrol’s Richard Porter published a now-infamous “Press Release Help For New Supercar Makers.” No stranger to cutting satire, Porter’s checklist was a reaction to a seemingly never-ending string of new British supercars announced to middling fanfare and then often never heard of again.

Sixteen years later, I can’t help but feel that we need a new version, this time not the UK’s cottage industry of vaporware supercars, but the ever-expanding field of electric vehicle startups. Specifically, I’m writing this in reaction to the “new” DeLorean, renders of which went public yesterday, causing some particularly excitable corners of the Internet to begin smoldering dangerously.

Now, this isn’t John DeLorean’s company—that went bankrupt in 1982 after producing about 8,500 examples of a single model that wasn’t really ever as good as it should have been, called the DMC-12. However, the DMC-12 acquired cult status after starring in Back to the Future, and the DeLorean name now belongs to a company in Texas that supplies spares for the stainless steel-bodied classics.

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#cars, #delorean, #ev-startup, #faraday-future, #fisker, #lucid, #rivian, #tesla

Judge: Tesla can’t force alleged sexual harassment victim into arbitration

Aerial view of Tesla cars in a parking lot at the company's factor. The word

Enlarge / Tesla cars in a lot at the company’s factory in Fremont, California. (credit: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan)

Tesla can’t force a woman who sued the company over sexual harassment into arbitration, a judge ruled on Monday.

Jessica Barraza sued Tesla in November 2021 in Alameda County Superior Court in California, alleging that she and other women working in the carmaker’s Fremont factory were subjected to “nightmarish conditions of rampant sexual harassment.” The Tesla factory “resembles a crude, archaic construction site or frat house,” with women enduring sexual comments, propositions, and inappropriate touching, the lawsuit said.

Barraza also alleged Tesla retaliated against her after she complained about sexual harassment and that she was “denied certain privileges and benefits that were afforded to women who did not object to supervisors’ sexual advances and flirtations.” Many more details are in our coverage of the lawsuit.

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#elon-musk, #policy, #tesla

Tesla sues thermal engineer for allegedly stealing secrets of “Dojo” supercomputer

Yatskov worked near Tesla's headquarters in Fremont, California.

Enlarge / Yatskov worked near Tesla’s headquarters in Fremont, California. (credit: Michael Vi / Getty)

Tesla on Friday sued a former thermal engineer for trade secret theft. The company accused its ex-employee, Alexander Yatskov, of transferring confidential information from Tesla’s network to his personal laptop.

Yatskov was hired in January to work on Dojo, the supercomputer Tesla is building to train its self-driving software. Through its customers’ vehicles, Tesla gathers vast quantities of real-world camera data. Dojo will use this data to train the neural networks that power Autopilot, Tesla’s self-driving software.

According to Tesla, Yatskov was assigned to a team that “runs complex simulations of how different thermal designs affect heat distribution, and in turn, affect the balancing of speed, power, safety, cost and environmental concerns.”

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#cars, #policy, #tesla, #trade-secrets

Elon Musk sold $8.5B in Tesla stock after agreeing to $44B Twitter deal

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk standing with his arms crossed.

Enlarge / CEO Elon Musk at SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, California, on October 10, 2019. (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto)

Elon Musk has raised $8.5 billion from selling part of his stake in Tesla, boosting his cash position ahead of his planned purchase of Twitter.

The sales were made between Tuesday and Thursday, after Twitter’s board agreed to Musk’s $44 billion all-cash takeover approach.

The electric car maker’s share price slumped in the wake of news of the deal, with the drop blamed on concerns about potential share sales by Musk to finance the acquisition, though it also came amid a sharp fall in the wider stock market.

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#biz-it, #elon-musk, #tesla, #twitter

Judge in Musk trial will tell jury that “Funding secured” tweets were false

True and false written on a chalkboard with a check mark next to false.

Enlarge

Tesla CEO Elon Musk won’t be subject to a gag order in the court case over his infamous “Funding secured” tweets, but a federal judge confirmed that the jury will be told Musk’s tweets were false. District Judge Edward Chen denied the gag order requested by lead plaintiff Glen Littleton in a ruling issued Wednesday, in part because of the instructions Chen plans to issue to the jury.

“[T]hough ‘jury instructions are often an ineffective remedy,’ the Court finds that unlikely to be true for the instant case where the jury will be told that the Court has already found that the August 2018 tweets were false and made with the requisite scienter [knowledge of wrongdoing],” Chen wrote.

Musk and Tesla face a class action lawsuit in US District Court for the Northern District of California over Musk’s August 2018 claim that he had secured funding to take Tesla private. Musk made the claim over several tweets, starting with one that said, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”

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Musk tells judge that gag order would “trample” on his First Amendment rights

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on stage, holding a microphone in one hand while both of his arms are lifted up into the air.

Enlarge / Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks at gigafactory opening party in Austin, Texas, on April 7, 2022. (credit: Getty Images | Suzanne Cordeiro)

On Wednesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk urged a judge to reject a request for a gag order that would prevent him from continuing to publicly claim that his infamous “Funding secured” tweet was accurate.

The motion for a temporary restraining order “asks this Court to trample on Elon Musk’s First Amendment rights by barring him from publicly discussing this case or its underlying facts. Plaintiff’s motion cannot be reconciled with the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech and should be denied,” Musk’s lawyer wrote in a court filing Wednesday.

Musk and Tesla face a class action lawsuit in US District Court for the Northern District of California over Musk’s August 2018 claim that he had secured funding to take Tesla private. Musk and Tesla previously agreed to pay $20 million each in penalties and impose controls on Musk’s social media statements to settle a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which said that “Musk’s misleading tweets” about taking Tesla private caused the stock price to jump “and led to significant market disruption.”

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Musk keeps falsely claiming “Funding secured” tweet was accurate, judge is told

Elon Musk's Twitter profile displayed on a computer screen juxtaposed next to a Twitter logo displayed on a phone screen

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto)

The shareholder who sued Elon Musk and Tesla over Musk’s infamous “Funding secured” tweet is seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Musk from continuing to claim publicly that the 2018 tweet was accurate. The lead plaintiff representing a class of Tesla shareholders says a federal judge has already ruled that Musk’s tweet was false—although that ruling has not yet been unsealed.

“As this Court has determined in its recent order granting Plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment, these statements by Musk were false and misleading and that Musk made these false statements recklessly and with full awareness of the facts that he misrepresented in his tweets,” said the filing on Friday in the class action lawsuit in US District Court for the Northern District of California.

The order was issued under seal, according to another court filing.

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Tesla must pay ex-worker $15 million for “disturbing” racist abuse, judge rules

Aerial view of cars parked in a Tesla factory parking lot. A Tesla logo is painted on the concrete.

Enlarge / Cars parked at the Tesla Fremont Factory in Fremont, California, on February 10, 2022. (credit: Getty Images | Josh Edelson)

On Wednesday, a federal judge rejected Tesla’s claim that it is not liable for “disturbing” racist abuse suffered by an ex-factory worker. US District Judge William Orrick rejected what he called Tesla’s “watered-down revisionism” that cast plaintiff Owen Diaz’s suffering as “mild and short-lived.”

The judge slashed Diaz’s financial award, however. While the jury awarded Diaz $6.9 million in compensatory damages and $130 million in punitive damages, Orrick set the amounts at $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $13.5 million in punitive damages instead. He wrote that the new compensatory amount of $1.5 million is “the highest award supported by the evidence” and that the punitive damages can be nine times that amount based on US law.

“The evidence was disturbing,” said Orrick’s ruling in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. “The jury heard that the Tesla factory was saturated with racism. Diaz faced frequent racial abuse, including the n-word and other slurs. Other employees harassed him. His supervisors and Tesla’s broader management structure did little or nothing to respond. And supervisors even joined in on the abuse, one going so far as to threaten Diaz and draw a racist caricature near his workstation.”

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#policy, #tesla

Elon Musk says Cybertruck will happen in 2023 at Texas plant opening

Tesla's Cybertruck at its 2019 unveiling in California.

Enlarge / Tesla’s Cybertruck at its 2019 unveiling in California. (credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

Tesla opened its massive new factory in Texas on Thursday night. The event was suitably supersized for a building “as large as three Pentagons,” with 15,000 fans on site to see Tesla CEO Elon Musk hold a “Cyber Rodeo,” a theme evident in the sheer number of cowboy hats visible on the livestream.

Musk’s biggest news of the night was that the long-delayed Cybertruck will go on sale in 2023. First shown in 2019, the angular stainless-steel pickup was supposed to go into production in 2021. With previous vehicles, Tesla has mostly been conquering fresh territory—there was no serious competition for the Model S for many years, nor the Model 3, and the Model X remains the only EV with six or seven seats.

But now there’s the buzzy upstart Rivian, with its very well-reviewed R1T adventure truck. The Hummer EV just made its comeback as an electric super truck. And next month you’ll read first drives of the Ford F-150 Lightning, arguably the most important new vehicle of the year.

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#cars, #cybertruck, #elon-musk, #tesla, #tesla-robot

First Tesla, now Polestar—Hertz signs a new electric vehicle partner

By the end of the year Hertz customers will be able to rent EVs from Polestar as well as Tesla.

Enlarge / By the end of the year Hertz customers will be able to rent EVs from Polestar as well as Tesla. (credit: Polestar)

Car rental company Hertz is significantly expanding its electric vehicle fleet. On Monday it announced a new partnership with Polestar, the Swedish performance EV startup. If all goes to plan, Hertz will buy 65,000 Polestar EVs over the next five years to be deployed in Europe, North America, and Australia.

This is not the first big EV buy from Hertz. After filing for bankruptcy during the first few months of the pandemic, it’s back and well-capitalized and on a mission to electrify.

In 2021, Hertz announced that Teslas would make up more than a fifth of its US rental fleet by the end of this year, in a mix of Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers.

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#cars, #electric-vehicles-adoption, #hertz, #polestar, #tesla

The chaos of war and COVID continues to close car factories

A VW employee assembles an ID.3 electric vehicle at the VW factory in Dresden in 2021.

Enlarge / A VW employee assembles an ID.3 electric vehicle at the VW factory in Dresden in 2021. (credit: Volkswagen)

Any hopes that the auto industry’s supply chain shortages were easing up appear to be comprehensively dashed this week. In Europe, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused BMW and Volkswagen to halt production at a number of their factories. And an outbreak of COVID-19 in China has shuttered plants belonging to Toyota, VW, and now Tesla.

VW was one of the first to be affected. In late February, it announced that it was stopping production for four days at its factory in Zwickau, Germany, where the electric ID.4 crossover is built, as well as a three-day halt at another factory in Dresden.

By early March, a leaked internal memo from Porsche revealed that it, too, was affected and that production of all Porsche models would be delayed as a consequence.

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#auto-industry, #bmw, #cars, #chip-shortage, #ford, #mini, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine, #tesla, #toyota, #vw

Tesla fires employee who posted YouTube videos of Full Self-Driving accident

A view from inside a Tesla car a moment before it hit a bollard that appears to separate a car lane from a bike lane.

Enlarge / A Tesla with Full Self-Driving enabled, a moment before hitting a bollard in San Jose. (credit: AI Addict)

Ex-Tesla employee John Bernal says he was fired for posting YouTube videos about Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta. He had been creating the videos for about a year. Bernal says that Tesla also cut off his access to the FSD beta in the 2021 Tesla Model 3 that he owns.

The firing and beta cutoff occurred shortly after Bernal posted a video on February 4 of a minor accident in which his Tesla car hit a bollard that appears to separate a car lane from a bike lane in San Jose. In a subsequent video on February 7 providing frame-by-frame analysis of the collision, Bernal said that “no matter how minor this accident was, it’s the first FSD beta collision caught on camera that is irrefutable.”

“I was fired from Tesla in February with my YouTube being cited as the reason why—even though my uploads are for my personal vehicle, off company time or property, with software I paid for,” Bernal said in the latest video, which was posted yesterday on his AI Addict channel. Bernal showed a notice he received that said his Full Self-Driving beta access was disabled “based on your recent driving data.” But that explanation didn’t seem to make sense because “the morning of being fired, I had zero improper use strikes on my vehicle,” he said.

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Tesla hikes prices on all cars, with cheapest Model 3 now nearing $50K

Tesla Model 3.

Enlarge / Tesla Model 3. (credit: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post)

Tesla raised prices last night on every model it sells. The move comes just a week after the company increased prices for its long-range battery packs by $1,000. The new increase means that the cheapest Tesla, a Model 3 with rear-wheel drive, now costs $46,990 before taxes and fees, a jump of $2,000.

CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company is “seeing significant recent inflation pressure in raw materials and logistics.” Prices are up in several sectors of the economy, of course, though economists are debating what is driving them higher. For electric vehicles like Teslas, the main culprits today could be nickel and cobalt prices, which have shot through the roof in recent weeks, though Tesla has also made a habit of increasing prices in recent months.

Both nickel and cobalt are key elements in the lithium-ion batteries commonly used in today’s EVs. Nickel helps boost a cell’s energy density, while cobalt stabilizes the microscopic structure. Battery chemistries that use the metals are often referred to according to the proportion of metals they use. A common one is NMC, which stands for nickel, manganese, and cobalt, while Teslas often use NCA, or nickel-cobalt-aluminum. Tesla doesn’t disclose its NCA ratio, but other companies use NMC chemistries with ratios of 8-1-1, 6-2-2, or 5-3-2.

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Elon Musk tries to get out of settlement with SEC, says he was “forced” into it

Elon Musk standing and gesturing with his hands while he speaks at a press conference.

Enlarge / Elon Musk at a press conference at SpaceX’s Starbase facility in Texas on February 10, 2022. (credit: Getty Images | Jim Watson)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk today asked a federal judge to terminate a 2018 settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, saying he’s tired of the SEC using the consent decree to “micro-manage” his Twitter activity and that he was “forced” into signing the deal. Musk also wants the court to quash an SEC subpoena that seeks documents related to whether he got pre-approval before posting a recent tweet about Tesla stock sales.

“Unlike other consent decrees, the SEC interprets the agreement in this case to permit it to micro-manage Mr. Musk’s Twitter activity,” according to Musk’s memorandum of law supporting his motion to quash the subpoena and terminate the consent decree. “Indeed, the SEC believes it may police speech that falls outside the bounds of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which prohibits fraud in the purchase or sale of securities and statements or omissions of material fact.”

The 2018 settlement required Tesla to impose controls on Musk’s social media statements. The settlement was reached to resolve the SEC’s complaint that “Musk’s misleading tweets” about taking Tesla private caused the stock price to jump “and led to significant market disruption.” Musk and Tesla also each agreed to pay $20 million in penalties.

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Musk “invites” union vote at Tesla plant despite long history of hostility

Musk “invites” union vote at Tesla plant despite long history of hostility

Enlarge (credit: JIM WATSON/AFP)

It’s no secret that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is annoyed with President Joe Biden. The president frequently fails to mention Tesla when discussing electric vehicle production in the US, instead referring to Ford’s and GM’s comparatively nascent efforts. Musk, who has a tendency to hurl juvenile insults, has called Biden a “damp sock puppet” for the repeated slights.

Now, having gotten nowhere with insults, Musk appears to be trying a different tack.

Biden has made it obvious that he would like to see EVs made in the US by union labor. His administration is pushing for union- and American-made EVs to receive an additional $4,500 tax credit above the $7,500 offered for others. Ford, GM, and Stellantis (which now owns Chrysler) all have unionized factories. Tesla does not.

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Elon Musk and brother, a Tesla director, face insider-trading investigation

Kimbal Musk on stage at a conference, wearing a cowboy hat.

Enlarge / Kimbal Musk at the ETHDenver conference in Denver, Colorado, on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his brother, Kimbal Musk, violated insider-trading rules with recent stock sales, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

“The SEC’s investigation began last year after Kimbal Musk sold shares of Tesla valued at $108 million, one day before the Tesla chief polled Twitter users asking whether he should unload 10 percent of his stake in the electric-car maker and pledging to abide by the vote’s results,” the Journal wrote.

Separately, a US judge yesterday denied Tesla and Musk’s various requests related to their claim that the SEC is “harassing” the company and its CEO. (More on that later in this article.)

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Musk says he wants to install Steam games in Tesla infotainment centers

Drive through the Lands Between in style...

Enlarge / Drive through the Lands Between in style… (credit: Aurich Lawson / Tesla / FromSoft)

Since Tesla first introduced in-car gaming with a 2019 port of Cuphead, the list of games available on its “Tesla Arcade” platform has slowly grown to include just under 20 games. Now, though, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has expressed interest in expanding that list of Tesla-compatible games to include the tens of thousands of titles available on the Steam gaming platform.

In true Musk style, the informal announcement of those plans came via a thrown-off tweet in a thread expressing admiration for CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077 (a game that has previously been demoed running on the infotainment system for the Model S Plaid). “We’re working through the general case of making Steam games work on a Tesla vs specific titles,” Musk wrote. “Former is obviously where we should be long-term.”

A car’s infotainment center may seem like an odd fit for many of the high-end games available on Steam. But Tesla cars have long sported high-end graphics cards at the heart of both its Media Control Unit (for the infotainment console) and the Electronic Control Unit used to power the car’s autopilot self-driving systems.

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Tesla’s radar-less cars investigated by NHTSA after complaints spike

Tesla's camera-only approach to driver assistance keeps landing it in trouble.

Enlarge / Tesla’s camera-only approach to driver assistance keeps landing it in trouble. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Tesla)

Tesla is facing a new headache this week. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into a “phantom braking” problem after receiving hundreds of complaints from owners of recent Models 3 and Y. In total, the NHTSA says that about 416,000 cars are affected.

In May 2021, Tesla decided to remove the forward-looking radar sensor from the Model 3 and Model Y EVs. This sensor was used by some of the cars’ advanced driver-assistance systems, like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Instead, new Teslas built for the North American market rely entirely on cameras. At the time of the removal, Tesla noted that the change meant the cars’ forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking functions were no longer rated by the NHTSA but that the company expected that rating to happen “in the coming weeks.”

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Tesla claims SEC is harassing Elon Musk to muzzle his criticism of government

Elon Musk speaking to reporters while he walks away from a courthouse.

Enlarge / Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks to members of the media while departing from federal court in New York on Thursday, April 4, 2019. US District Judge Alison Nathan telegraphed her initial thoughts as the SEC and Elon Musk’s lawyers presented their arguments over whether the Tesla Inc. CEO should be held in contempt for tweets the agency says violated an earlier agreement. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

A lawyer for Tesla and CEO Elon Musk claimed in a court filing today that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is harassing the car company and Musk to “muzzle” his criticism of the government. The three-page letter from lawyer Alex Spiro to US District Judge Alison Nathan in New York said the SEC is “weaponizing” the 2018 settlement in which Tesla and Musk agreed to pay $20 million each in penalties to resolve the SEC’s complaint that “Musk’s misleading tweets” about taking Tesla private caused the stock price to jump “and led to significant market disruption.”

The settlement also required Tesla to impose controls on Musk’s social media statements. Musk had claimed on Twitter that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private at $420 per share, but the SEC said in a lawsuit that “Musk had not even discussed, much less confirmed, key deal terms, including price, with any potential funding source.”

Today’s letter said the SEC “has been weaponizing the consent decree by using it to try to muzzle and harass Mr. Musk and Tesla, while ignoring its Court-ordered duty to remit the $40 million that it continues to hold while Tesla’s shareholders continue to wait. Worst of all, the SEC seems to be targeting Mr. Musk and Tesla for unrelenting investigation largely because Mr. Musk remains an outspoken critic of the government; the SEC’s outsized efforts seem calculated to chill his exercise of First Amendment rights rather than to enforce generally applicable laws in evenhanded fashion.”

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Tesla factory is “racially segregated workplace,” Calif. state agency alleges

Aerial view of a Tesla factory with a large parking lot filled with cars.

Enlarge / Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California. (credit: Tesla)

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) sued Tesla on Wednesday, alleging systemic racial segregation in the workplace.

“After receiving hundreds of complaints from workers, DFEH found evidence that Tesla’s Fremont factory is a racially segregated workplace where Black workers are subjected to racial slurs and discriminated against in job assignments, discipline, pay, and promotion creating a hostile work environment,” DFEH Director Kevin Kish said in a statement published in a Wall Street Journal article and a Bloomberg story.

The lawsuit was filed in Alameda County Superior Court but doesn’t appear to be publicly available yet. We asked DFEH for a copy of the lawsuit and will update this story if we get it.

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Tesla recalls 53,822 cars because they won’t stop at stop signs

Tesla recalls 53,822 cars because they won’t stop at stop signs

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

Tesla’s controversial hands-free driver-assistance system is the subject of yet another safety recall. In November, the automaker had to recall nearly 12,000 cars after a software update affected some of the cars’ forward-looking safety systems. Now, Tesla wants to recall 53,822 cars to remove a “rolling stop” feature that flaunts traffic laws.

The issue affects Models 3, Y, S, and X running firmware 2020.40.4.10 or newer and participating in the “full self-driving” beta program. This software allows selectable moods for the car’s driving style—chill, average, and assertive. And it’s the last of those that’s the problem.

In assertive mode, if a Tesla approaches a four-way stop intersection at less than 5.6 mph (9 km/h) and it detects no other road users or pedestrians near the intersection, it will carry on traveling at that speed instead of coming to a complete stop at the stop sign.

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Manslaughter charges follow Tesla driver’s Autopilot red light run

Manslaughter charges follow Tesla driver’s Autopilot red light run

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

Prosecutors in California have charged a Tesla driver with two counts of manslaughter as a result of a fatal crash in December 2019. According to the Associated Press, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed that the Autopilot driver-assistance feature was active at the time of the crash. That makes this case notable in that these are the first felony charges to result from a fatal crash involving a partially automated driving system.

The fatal crash took place in Gardena, California, on December 29, 2019. According to reports, the Tesla Model S owned by Kevin Riad exited I-91, failed to stop at a red light, and then collided with a Honda Civic, killing both of that car’s occupants, Gilberto Alcazar Lopez and Maria Guadalupe Nieves-Lopez. Within days, the NHTSA announced it would investigate the incident—one of a growing number of cases involving Tesla Autopilot that the agency is looking into.

The AP reports that no one involved with the case is prepared to talk publicly ahead of a preliminary hearing on February 23, although it notes that Riad pleaded not guilty. The families of both victims are suing Riad and Tesla in separate lawsuits, alleging that Riad was negligent and that Tesla has sold defective vehicles. The cases are expected to reach court in 2023.

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Tesla asked law firm to fire attorney who worked on Elon Musk probe at SEC, report says

Patrick Pleul | picture alliance | Getty Images
A Tesla lawyer has asked a law firm to fire one of its lawyers or risk losing his job for the electric carmaker led by Elon Musk, The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. 

The Tesla lawyer  wanted Cooley LLP to fire previously worked at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The attorney questioned Musk as part of the agency’s investigation into the Tesla CEO’s claim in 2018  that he secured funding to take Tesla private,  the publication said. 

The investigation led to a settlement in which Musk and Tesla agreed to pay a fine of $20 million  each and Musk agreed to step down for three years as Tesla chairman. 

Tesla’s attorney late last year asked Cooley to fire the attorney working on the SEC investigation, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The firm did not fire the partner. 


Tesla has offered to replace Cooley or hire other attorneys in several cases since December, according to the Journal. 

Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, has also stopped working with the law firm on regulatory matters, she also stopped working. with the law firm, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Tesla has its  ties to the SEC. The company hired David Misler, a former defense attorney for the agency, as legal counsel. Musk has faced more regulators than the SEC. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has investigated whether Tesla’s Autopilot  assistance system is at least partially responsible for incidents where Tesla cars crashed into parked first responder vehicles. 

The agency called Missy Cummings, a Duke University professor, automated systems expert, former Navy fighter pilot and Tesla critic, as a consultant on the investigation. 

Musk tweeted in October  that “his resume is extremely biased in favor of Tesla,” prompting outcry among his supporters. 

NHTSA then asked Cummings to recuse himself from Tesla-specific questions, the Journal reported on Saturday.

Source: CNBC

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Tesla delays initial production of Cybertruck to early 2023 – source

Image Credit:Jeenah Moon/Reuters

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) aims to start initial production of its long-awaited Cybertruck by the end of the first quarter of 2023, pushing plans to start production later this year, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

He said the delay comes when Tesla changes the features and functions of the electric pickup to make it a compelling product as competition heats up in the segment.

Tesla is expected to produce a limited production of the Cybertruck in the first quarter of 2023 before ramping up production, the source said.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tesla, the world’s largest electric car maker, produces electric sedans and SUVs, but has lost the pickup truck segment, which is profitable and hugely popular in America.

 Ford Motor Co (FN) and Rivian Automotive (RIVN.O). are ahead of Tesla in launching electric pickups. 

Ford said early this month it will nearly double annual production capacity for its red-hot F-150 Lightning electric pickup to 150,000 vehicles ahead of its arrival this spring at U.S. dealers.

Ford’s market value topped $ 100 billion for the first time on Thursday, when Tesla shares fell 6.7% and Rivian’s shares fell 7.1%.

CEO Elon Musk, who unveiled the futuristic vehicle in 2019, had already delayed  production from late 2021 to late 2022. 

Musk said he would provide an updated product roadmap during the earnings call for the Tesla on January 26.

“Oh man, this year has been such a nightmare for the supply chain  and it’s not over yet!” He tweeted in late November when asked about the Cybertruck. 

Tesla recently removed a reference to its production schedule from its Cybertruck orders website. Last month, the website said, “You will be able to complete your setup as production nears in 2022.” Now “in 2022” has been omitted.

Tesla plans to produce the Cybertruck at its plant in Texas, which is slated to begin production of Model Y cars earlier this year.

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Teen hacker finds bug that lets him control 25+ Teslas remotely

The downside with offering APIs to interact with a car is that someone else's security problem might become your own.

Enlarge / The downside with offering APIs to interact with a car is that someone else’s security problem might become your own. (credit: Getty Images)

A young hacker and IT security researcher found a way to remotely interact with more than 25 Tesla electric vehicles in 13 countries, according to a Twitter thread he posted yesterday.

David Colombo explained in the thread that the flaw was “not a vulnerability in Tesla’s infrastructure. It’s the owner’s faults[sic].” He claimed to be able to disable a car’s remote camera system, unlock doors and open windows, and even begin keyless driving. He could also determine the car’s exact location.

However, Colombo clarified that he could not actually interact with any of the Teslas’ steering, throttle, or brakes, so at least we don’t have to worry about an army of remote-controlled EVs doing a Fate of the Furious reenactment.

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Elon Musk says he’s hiking “full self driving” by another $2,000

The Model Y still includes a steering wheel for Tesla owners who want to drive for themselves.

Enlarge / The Model Y still includes a steering wheel for Tesla owners who want to drive for themselves. (credit: Tesla)

Tesla’s highly controversial “full self driving” feature is getting yet another price increase. CEO Elon Musk used his Twitter feed last Friday to announce the price hike, telling his millions of followers, “Tesla FSD price rising to $12k on Jan 17.”

Price increases have been a fairly constant theme with the driver-assistance system. In the wake of Uber’s well-publicized IPO in 2019, Tesla got ridehailing fever, with Musk claiming that a self-driving Tesla could earn $30,000 a year in income, working the streets while its owner is asleep or at work.

“If you buy a Tesla today, I believe you are buying an appreciating asset—not a depreciating asset,” Musk said. (Although the company’s EVs do command strong prices in the used car market, they are still, in fact, subject to depreciation, according to a search on Autotrader conducted this morning.)

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World’s richest man gets $32BILLION richer: Elon Musk’s worth climbs to $304billion as Tesla stock soars after car maker rolled out nearly a million vehicles in 2021

Elon-musk-and-his-Son,Elon musk Son

Elon Musk and his son X Æ A-Xii at a Time Person of the Year event on 13 December 2021 in New York City(Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIME)

The  richest man in the world started the richest new year  with Tesla founder Elon Mask adding $ 32.6 billion to his net worth, bringing his fortune to $ 304.2 billion. first person to  do it. 

According to Forbes, the controversial social media billionaire who is also the founder of commercial space company SpaceX remained at the top of the world’s richest list for the new year. In second place and $ 103.6 billion behind Musk is Bernard Arnault,  CEO of the French fashion empire LVMH. Amazon founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos is in third place, Forbes said.

The surge in the Tesla share price has again been attributed to South Africa’s growing wealth.
The electric car maker said it  delivered more than 936,000 cars in 2021, beating analysts’ forecasts, but also said the company had recalled 475,000 of its cars built between 2014 and 2021. Forbes said

 Shares of Tesla had risen more than 13% when the market closed, with the company’s market cap once again surpassing the $ 1 trillion mark after falling below that level last month. As Tesla’s CEO, Musk, named  Person of the Year 2021 by Time Magazine, owns around 15.6% of the company’s shares.He has Continued to sell shares, ending the year after offloading 3 million shares on the open market  to face taxes on the approximately 5.7 million stock options  he exercised at the same time.

If true, this would place him among the biggest ever individual tax payers in the history of the US, although this only represents roughly 0.0036 percent of his worth.

He reportedly sold 15.7 million Tesla shares over the course of 2021 – worth more than $16 billion before tax.

Musk’s fortune jumped more than $200 billion over 2020 and 2021. In 2021 alone, he added $116 billion to his net worth.

This, Forbes said, is the biggest one-year gain by any billionaire since the news outlet began tracking the wealth of high net-worth individuals.

Musk is set to earn another windfall later this month when Tesla reports its fourth quarter earnings. If the company meets certain operational and valuation goals, the world’s richest man is set to become even richer.

2021 was an eventful year for Musk, marked by a hosting appearance on Saturday Night Live, a break-up with girlfriend Grimes, and his self-coronation as ‘Technoking’ of Tesla.

Musk made huge waves last month as he sold off many billions worth of his Tesla stock in a move purportedly dictated by a poll he posted on Twitter.

Tesla’s soaring stock price has again been credited for Musk’s growing wealth. Tesla delivered more than 936,000 vehicles last year, a record figure that represents an 87 percent increase from its 2020 delivery count. Pictured: A Tesla factory in China (file photo)

In reality, at least some of the stock sales were driven by mandatory taxes as he exercised stock options that will expire in August.

He has sold $16.4 billion worth of shares since early November when he said he would sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock if Twitter users agreed, which they did.

But Musk in September had set up a prearranged plan for stock sales related to options expiring next year, and Tesla in a filing on Tuesday said the program was complete.

Musk said last week that he would be done selling shares after his programmed sales ended, meaning that the selloff is now complete.

The final trades, reported on Tuesday, included exercising an option on 1.6 million shares and selling 934,090 of those shares to pay for taxes.

In total, Musk has sold 15.7 million shares in Tesla late in this year, approximately the 10 percent stake the billionaire had pledged to sell.

He exercised options granted in 2012 to buy nearly 23 million shares at $6.24 each, a fraction of Tesla’s share price, which stood at $1069.33 in late trading on Thursday, the final trading session of the year.

Tesla delivers a record 936,172 electric cars in 2021 despite supply chain issues

Tesla delivered more than 936,000 vehicles last year, a record figure that represents an 87 percent increase from its 2020 delivery count despite a number of hurdles the electric carmaker faced during the past year.

The Austin, Texas-based company announced its fourth-quarter production and delivery results Sunday – just days after it recalled nearly half a million Model 3 and Model S cars to address issues that increase the risk of crashing.

And last February, Tesla told workers it would temporarily halt some production at its car assembly plant in California as it faced a semiconductor shortage.

Workers on a Model 3 sedan production line in Fremont were told their line would be down from February 22 until March 7, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.

Despite the challenges Elon Musk’s electric car empire faced during the past year – including chip shortages and whistleblower scandals – demand for the sleek, futuristic cars has only grown.

The amount of cars delivered last year dwarfs company figures from yearend 2020, when 499,550 vehicles were shipped to customers.

Of the sales made last year, Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y rides accounted for 911,208 – or 97 percent – of the 936,172 vehicles delivered. Its most budget-friendly Model 3 sedan retails for $46,490 and up, while the Model Y midsized SUV starts around $61,000.

It delivered 24,964 of its pricier Model S and Model X vehicles; its only full-sized SUV, the Model X is tagged about $110,000 while the flagship Model S starts about $100,000.

Tesla in 2020 delivered 57,039 of its Model S and X vehicles in 2020, and 442,511 Model 3 and Model Y cars.

It delivered 112,000 vehicles in 2019.

Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives said the latest numbers are ‘jaw-dropping’ given the ongoing global chip shortage affecting the automotive industry.

Ives said the production increase was likely boosted by growing demand from car buyers in China, as well as broader enthusiasm for electric vehicles.

Musk also chimed in on the accomplishment, tweeting: ‘Great work by Tesla team worldwide!’

Tesla’s brand image took some hits last year, most recently last week when it recalled 356,309 Model 3 vehicles made between 2017 and 2020 due to problems with the rearview camera and 119,009 Model S vehicles due to front trunk problems.

Tesla warned that for the specific Model 3 vehicles, opening and closing the trunk could damage the cable harness attaching the rearview camera, causing the camera to suddenly fail.

And the Model S issue could stop the front trunk from latching, allowing it to swing up while the vehicle is in motion.

According to Tesla, only about one percent of the Model 3 cars have the flaw, compared with 14 percent of the Model S vehicles.

Tesla shares have fallen from their record highs, reached two days prior to Musk’s infamous Twitter poll, but are still on pace to end the year up 54 percent from January 1.

The company has this week come under fire after it announced that it has opened a showroom in Xinjiang.

The move has attracted criticism from U.S. rights and trade groups, making it the latest foreign firm caught up in tensions related to the far-western Chinese region.

Xinjiang has become a significant point of conflict between Western governments and China in recent years, as U.N. experts and rights groups estimate more than a million people, mainly Uyghurs and members of other Muslim minorities, have been detained in camps there.

China has rejected accusations of forced labour or any other abuses there, saying that the camps provide vocational training and that companies should respect its policies there.

The U.S. electric car maker announced the showroom’s opening in Xinjiang’s regional capital, Urumqi, on its official Weibo account last Friday. ‘On the last day of 2021 we meet in Xinjiang,’ it said in the post.

On Tuesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest U.S. Muslim advocacy organization, criticised the move, saying that Tesla was ‘supporting genocide’.

The United States has labelled Chinaâs treatment of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang as genocide. The United States and a few other countries plan a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February over the issue.

‘Elon Musk must close Teslaâs Xinjiang showroom,’ Council on American-Islamic Relations said on its official Twitter account referring to Tesla’s founder.

Similar criticism came from a U.S. trade group, the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The carmaker operates a factory in Shanghai and is ramping up production there amid surging sales in China.

A slew of foreign firms in recent months have been tripped up by tensions between the West and China over Xinjiang, as they try to balance Western pressure with China’s importance as a market and supply base.

In July, Swedish fashion retailer H&M reported a 23% drop in local currency sales in China for its March-May quarter after it was hit by a consumer boycott in March for stating publicly that it did not source products from Xinjiang.

Last month, U.S. chipmaker Intel faced similar calls after telling its suppliers not to source products or labour from Xinjiang, prompting it to apologise for ‘the trouble caused to our respected Chinese customers, partners and the public’.

Although some have been trying to reduce their supply chain exposure to the region, especially as Washington bans imports such as Xinjiang cotton or blacklists Chinese companies that it says have aided Beijing’s policy there, many foreign brands operate stores there.     


Tesla has also found itself under scrutiny from the NHTSA auto regulator, which is probing its autopilot system over safety concerns.


The automaker has also agreed to update its software to prevent drivers from playing video games on the car’s system while the vehicle is in motion, following a government safety investigation.

Source: Daily Mail Online

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NHTSA investigating Tesla over infotainment display gaming feature

<em>Sky Force Reloaded</em> running on a Tesla's central screen while the car is driving down the road.

Enlarge / Sky Force Reloaded running on a Tesla’s central screen while the car is driving down the road. (credit: YouTube / Cf Tesla)

Earlier this month, we covered a software update issued by Tesla that allowed games to be played on the infotainment display while the car was in motion. We pointed out at the time that this new capability would likely draw the attention of state and federal regulators. To no one’s surprise, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Wednesday announced a formal safety investigation over the update.

According to the NHTSA, the feature has been around since December 2020 for Teslas equipped with “Passenger Play.” Prior to that, games could only be played on the center screen when the vehicle was in park.

The NHTSA’s investigation covers approximately 580,000 Tesla Model S, 3, X, and Y vehicles covering model years 2017 through 2021. The agency said it will be evaluating “aspects of the feature, including the frequency and use scenarios of Tesla ‘Passenger Play.'”

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Tesla sexual harassment lawsuits multiply as 6 more women sue Musk-led firm

Tesla signs outside of a showroom and service center.

Enlarge / A Tesla showroom and service center on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Burbank, California. (credit: Getty Images | Kent Nishimura )

Six more women sued Tesla yesterday, alleging that the company failed to stop rampant sexual harassment at factory facilities in Fremont, California, and service centers in the Los Angeles area.

The lawsuits are similar to one filed last month by employee Jessica Barraza, who alleged that she and other women working in the carmaker’s Fremont factory have been subjected to “nightmarish conditions of rampant sexual harassment,” including offensive comments, propositions, and “frequent groping on the factory floor.” Barraza alleged that managers and human resources personnel failed to protect her even though she complained repeatedly.

The lawsuits filed yesterday “detail specific instances of harassment that each woman experienced, and the lack of action from Tesla when these claims were reported,” according to a press release from law firm Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe, which represents Barazza and the six other women. “Those who complained were sometimes threatened into silence or faced undesirable transfers. The message was clear, there would be no consequences for abusers. The six women describe an environment in which it was normal for women to be catcalled, ogled, touched inappropriately, and propositioned.”

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#elon-musk, #policy, #sexual-harassment, #tesla

You can now play video games on a Tesla screen when the car is in motion

An August video shows a game being played on a Tesla central console while the car is in motion.

When we covered the first video games available on Tesla’s center-console video screen back in 2019, we noted that the feature only worked when the car was parked. Now, though, those Tesla games can apparently be played even when the car is moving, a feature that could run afoul of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration guidelines and state laws designed to combat distracted driving.

While the ability to play Tesla games outside of Park is being highlighted in a New York Times report today, the change was seemingly rolled out months ago. A YouTube video from January shows Solitaire being played on a Tesla screen while the car is shifted into Autopilot mode, for instance (though other games appear not to work with Autopilot in the same video).

In another video posted in July, a Tesla owner shows space shoot-em-up Sky Force Reloaded being played while the car is shifted into drive. That video says the new capability was added as an unannounced feature of July’s 2021.12.25.6 firmware update.

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#cars, #distracted-driving, #gaming-culture, #tesla, #video-games

Tesla announces $1,900 electric quad bike for kids

The Cyberquad for Kids is a $1,900 electric ATV.

Enlarge / The Cyberquad for Kids is a $1,900 electric ATV. (credit: Tesla)

The entry point for Tesla’s range of electric vehicles just got a lot lower. On Thursday, the American automaker announced the Cyberquad for Kids, an angular electric all-terrain vehicle inspired by the company’s 2019 Cybertruck concept. At $1,900, the ATV costs a tiny fraction of the next-cheapest Tesla you can order online.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an ATV from Tesla. When CEO Elon Musk debuted the polarizing pickup, he also showed off an ATV to go with it, albeit one that turned out to be a Yamaha Raptor with a powertrain swap. The Cyberquad for Kids is manufactured for the automaker by Radio Flyer.

As the name suggests, this ATV is a bit smaller. Although Tesla says it’s suitable for anyone ages 8 or older, the Cyberquad for Kids can only accommodate riders of up to 150 lbs (68 kg), so adults might find it too diminutive.

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#all-terrain-vehicle, #atv, #cars, #cybertruck, #radio-flyer, #tesla, #tesla-cyberquad-for-kids

Tesla forced to turn down €1.1 billion in EU support for German battery plant

A Tesla logo superimposed over a mess of numbers and figures.

(credit: Tesla / Aurich Lawson)

Tesla has been forced to turn down more than €1.1 billion in European subsidies for its planned battery plant near Berlin after delays to the flagship project breached a key condition of the funding.

The electric car maker had applied for the money through an EU program established to develop the battery industry on the continent.

The EU requires any sites in receipt of the funds to be the “first industrial deployment” of the technology, according to official documents, meaning the batteries cannot already be made at another Tesla plant.

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#batteries, #cars, #energy, #eu, #tesla

Lawsuit: Tesla is like a “frat house” with “frequent groping on the factory floor”

Aerial view of a Tesla factory with a large parking lot filled with cars.

Enlarge / Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California. (credit: Tesla)

Tesla Motors was sued yesterday by an employee who alleges that she and other women working in the carmaker’s Fremont factory have been  subjected to “nightmarish conditions of rampant sexual harassment.”

Jessica Barraza’a lawsuit against Tesla says that she works nights and that as “she walks to and from her work station at the beginning and end of shifts or breaks, men make comments like ‘She’s got fat titties,’ ‘She’s got cakes!,’ ‘That bitch hella thick,’ ‘Go ahead, sexy,’ ‘Damn, girl!,’ ‘She has a fat ass,’ ‘Oh, she looks like a coke bottle,’ and ‘Girl has an onion booty.'” Barraza began working on the Tesla factory floor as a production associate in October 2018 and had “hopes of spending her career at Tesla and rising through the ranks,” but she is now on medical leave after suffering panic attacks triggered by the harassment, the lawsuit says.

“Multiple times a week, male co-workers brush up against Ms. Barraza’s back-side (including with their groins) or unnecessarily touch her under the pretext of working together in close quarters,” the lawsuit alleges. Barraza says that managers and human resources personnel both failed to protect her even though she complained repeatedly.

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#features, #policy, #sexual-harassment, #tesla

Tesla recalls 11,706 vehicles over Full Self-Driving Beta software bug

Tesla is issuing a recall over phantom collision warnings and brake activations.

Enlarge / Tesla is issuing a recall over phantom collision warnings and brake activations. (credit: Aurich Lawson | Tesla)

Tesla’s controversial “Full Self-Driving” feature took another hit on Tuesday. The Texan automaker issued a recall for nearly 12,000 vehicles after an over-the-air software update introduced a new bug that can cause false activations of the cars’ forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems.

According to the safety recall report, the problem affects Models S, X, and 3 vehicles built between 2017 and 2021 and Model Y vehicles built between 2020 and 2021 that are running firmware release 2021.36.5.2. The updated firmware was rolled out to drivers in its beta testing program on October 23 and, once installed, caused a pair of chips to stop talking to each other when the vehicle wakes up from “sentry mode” or “summon standby mode.”

That error prevents the neural networks that operate on one of the chips from running consistently, causing it to throw false-positive collision warnings and—more seriously—false-positive AEB activations.

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#cars, #full-self-driving, #national-highway-traffic-safety-administration, #national-transportation-safety-board, #nhtsa, #ntsb, #recall, #tesla

Tesla pulls Full Self-Driving update after sudden braking spooks drivers

Photograph of a high-end red sports car.

Enlarge / The front view of Tesla’s new Model 3 car on display is seen on Friday, January 26, 2018, at the Tesla store in Washington, DC. (credit: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving software lived up to its “beta” label this weekend.

On Saturday morning, CEO Elon Musk announced a delay for the 10.3 update after internal quality-assurance testers discovered that the new version performed worse at left turns at traffic lights than previous versions. Then, on Sunday afternoon, Musk said that Tesla would be “rolling back to 10.2 temporarily” after reports of sudden braking, false warnings, and other issues.

Several owners reported that their vehicles braked suddenly when the software mistakenly reported an imminent collision. Known as automatic emergency braking (or AEB), neither the feature nor its bugs are limited to Tesla—Mazda recalled some of its cars in 2019 for similar problems.

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#autopilot, #cars, #full-self-driving, #ntsb, #tesla