It’s been an absolutely electrifying week for EV companies, with Lucid Motors and Tesla starting things off with a price war for the sub-$70k luxury sedan market. Hot British EV manufacturer Arrival is also making a splash, announcing its first U.S. microfactory in the Palmetto State. Last but not least, Fisker nabs a new HQ in Manhattan Beach, California. (And speaking of offices, Germany’s Wunder Mobility also offers up some intel to CoMotion NEWS on its own work-location decisions.) There’s plenty of non-EV news as well, including some Boring Company drama, super-fast scooters, and more financial problems at NYC’s MTA. Read on for more!
More big proclamations by Elon! Fresh off re-pricing the Tesla Model S at $69,420 (groan), Mr. Musk proclaims The Boring Company’s inaugural Vegas Loop is “maybe a month or so” away from opening. Even if that underground Loop does open on time, newly revealed documents suggest it will only be able to carry a fraction of its promised capacity. As with all things Elon, we’ll believe it when we see it…
Arrival’s arrival: London-based electric van group Arrival touches down in the United States, launching its first “microfactory” in South Carolina. The plant promises to be more nimble than a traditional auto factory, which the company hopes will lead to lower cost electric vehicles.
Fresh face for Fisker: EV-upstart Fisker Inc., the newest venture of legendary Danish-American car designer Henrik Fisker, nabs a new HQ in greater LA. Nicknamed “Inception,” the new Manhattan Beach complex will support the company’s ambitious post-IPO growth plans. Adding a slightly ironic twist that we’re happy to see, the car company’s new digs are a mere block from an LA Metro rail station.
A Wunderful place for mobility companies: in our latest Mobility Perspective, Wunder Mobility’s VP Melika Jahangiri shares why her fast-growing German company found Los Angeles to be the perfect spot for a U.S. HQ. Sure makes sense to us.
Pain train: NYC’s MTA reveals dire projections if it doesn’t receive federal aid. Facing a $19 billion deficit by 2024, the agency is proposing service reductions of up to 50%, hikes to fares and tolls, and cuts so dire they could mean “the end of regional public transit as we know it.”
Blinded by the light! Audi unveils new projector-style headlights for its e-tron electric SUVs. They certainly catch the eye, but these flashy light animations serve a purpose too, letting the car better avoid blinding oncoming drivers and providing more effective lighting while turning.
Lucid dreaming… EV group Lucid Motors reveals a “more attainable” version of its forthcoming Air luxury car. With a starting price-tag of $69,900 after rebates, this model is half the cost of the company’s top-of-the-line model, but sacrifices some horsepower and range.
From Zero to hero: electric motorbike maker Zero unveils its 2021 lineup of e-motorcycles. The California-based company is bringing two new bikes to the market, including one that tops out at 124 mph. Sounds fun!
Rail’s return: Chicago is a historic rail hub, but the last few decades have not been kind to intercity train service. Rail fans now have something to cheer for, as new federal funding will improve rail service between Chicago and Minneapolis.
Nor way to go! There’s even more good news for rail fans in Scandinavia, as the Government of Norway announces NOK 32.1 billion ($3.4 billion USD) in railway-related investments. Among the improvements are new rail lines, double tracking of existing segments, and renewal of an important tunnel in Bergen.
California Cruisin’: throwing a bit of shade on Phoenix and Waymo, GM’s Cruise announces it’s the first AV player able to operate fully autonomously in a “major U.S. city.” With its coveted California DMV permit secured, expect to see Cruise’s autonomous EVs on San Francisco’s hectic streets by year’s end.
AV interconnections: the 2020 Global Autonomous Driving Network chart breaks down the key connections and partnerships tying together the AV world’s major players: OEMs, TNCs, tech startups, and more. Looks like a Rorschach Test for the future of cars…
Next time read the entire dictionary definition, maybe? China’s Autoflight unveils its latest UAV at the 2020 World UAV Conference in Shenzhen. Its sleek cargo-focused eVTOL can carry 100 kg over 300 km, but sports a rather unfortunate name… “The Albatross”
Can you DDOS an ADAS? New research suggests Tesla’s Autopilot can be fooled by brief “phantom” images. Think of a video billboard momentarily flashing a photo of a stop sign, and a Model X screeching to a halt… might want to fix that.
The micro-est of mobility! Japan’s laptop-sized escooter, the “Walkcar,” is now available worldwide. Sporting the dimensions of an Apple MacBook, this innovative little scooter has small stats and a big price tag: about $2,000 for less than 5 miles of range.
Entschuldigung! In Berlin, a battle is brewing over bike lanes. While Germany’s capital has made impressive strides in laying down new paths during the pandemic, advocates are demanding more mileage. At the same time, Germany’s powerful auto industry is saying enough is enough…
Schaeffler shake-up: German automotive supply company Schaeffler offloads its micromobility division to the prosaically-named “Micromobility Services and Solutions GmbH” (we can only imagine the intense focus group sessions needed to come up with that designation). The ownership changes shouldn’t affect the company’s intended roll-out of the “Bio-Hybrid” pedelec car-scooter hybrid vehicle, which is due in Q2 2021.
But please, wear a helmet: a team of Formula 1 and Formula E car designers and racers have teamed up to create the “Electric Scooter Championship” series. This high-stakes but small-sized race is set to launch next year, featuring custom scooters that top out at over 100 km/h.
Pure carbon: Tony Ellsworth may be famous for building top-of-the-line mountain bikes, but now he’s getting into the e-bike game. Take a peek at The Ride Bikes’ beautiful, carbon fiber “Radiant Carbon,” featuring a belt-drive, in-frame battery, and a hefty $4,995 price tag.
The New York Times opining that California voters should reject Prop. 22.
Bloomberg CityLab noting how pandemic-induced decreased car noise has been a blessing for urban birds.
The Source recollecting on 10 years of LA’s open streets festival – CicLAvia.
Job Trends in partnership with New Mobility Careers.
Uber rebounding, Lyft lawyers, and missions to space in this week’s edition…
• More signs of a ridesharing rebound: Uber added a bunch of new roles across business units.
• Ever wanted to manage a mission to space? Relativity has your number.
• Hot to manage a “Future Transport Zone” for an entire region of a country? Pack your bags for the UK’s Greater Bristol.
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