Welcome back to The Station, your go-to destination for all things transportation. I’ll be taking a break for a few weeks while reporter Rebecca Bellan takes over. In the meantime, let’s catch up on the latest news.
In India, the rollback of a government incentive for electric two-wheelers has caused sales to plummet. Changes to the incentive scheme led to a disruption in sales, with June marking the lowest sales month in about a year. This could not only impact consumers but also result in consolidation and exits in the industry. It’s a reminder of how government subsidies can boost green alternatives and nascent industries.
In other news, we’ve compiled a comprehensive roundup of e-bikes to help you find the perfect electric bike for your needs. Whether you’re a commuter, a delivery worker, a parent, a senior, a bargain hunter, or a mountain biker, there are discounts available from many companies right now. Take advantage of these midsummer deals!
Former Aston Martin boss Andy Palmer aims to make his Hilo One scooter the “Volvo of scooters.” Meanwhile, NYC is launching an e-bike trade-in program to remove potentially hazardous e-bike batteries from the streets. Upway is partnering with Super73 for the resale of pre-owned e-bikes. However, there have been concerns over safety, as a 12-year-old boy tragically died while riding a Voi e-scooter in Birmingham, U.K., leading the city to implement selfie checks to prevent underage riding.
Turning to deals, Arrival, a troubled British commercial EV maker, has terminated its second SPAC deal with Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp. The reasons behind this decision remain unclear. Additionally, Finn, a German car subscription company, secured a €25 million asset-backed facility, enabling it to allocate future capital to growth initiatives. African mobility fintech startup Moove raised $8 million from Absa Corporate and Investment Banking, bringing its total funding to $28 million. Singapore-based lithium-ion battery recycling startup NEU Battery Materials secured $3.7 million in a seed round led by SGInnovate and other investors.
In autonomous vehicles news, safe street activists in San Francisco have been putting traffic cones on Cruise and Waymo robotaxis as a protest against vehicles they perceive as malfunctioning and disrupting traffic flow. Volkswagen has launched an autonomous vehicle test program in Austin using 10 all-electric ID Buzz vehicles equipped with Mobileye’s technology. WeRide, a Chinese autonomous driving company, obtained the first countrywide autonomous driving license from the United Arab Emirates.
Moving to the electric vehicle sector, there are concerns about the vulnerability of EV chargers to hacking, which could pose risks to drivers and the power grid. Fiat’s Topolino EV has caught our attention, with the automaker announcing unique accessories like a mini shower designed for beach trips along the Italian coast. Fisker fell short of its second-quarter production targets due to a shortage of components from sub-suppliers. Panasonic plans to build four additional battery factories to achieve its goal of reaching 200 GWh of annual EV capacity by early 2031. Polaris is developing off-road EV charging infrastructure in Michigan, while Rivian’s electric delivery vans have started hitting the streets in Germany.
In the gig economy world, Uber, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Relay are suing New York City to block minimum pay standards for gig workers. They argue that regulators used faulty data to calculate the new compensation rules. Meanwhile, hailing an Uber in Saudi Arabia has become challenging due to state regulations on who can work for ride-hailing apps.
In miscellaneous news, Munich-based scale-up Konux is using AI and IoT to upgrade railway infrastructure and drive digitization and transformation in mass transit. As for Tesla, the company is expanding its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta and Autopilot suite outside of North America, starting with Australia. Tesla delivered a record 466,140 units in the second quarter, but investors will be interested in the company’s margins since many sales were supported by price cuts. The automaker is also slashing prices of its Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in Japan. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz has joined other automakers in adopting Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) for its EVs.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more updates in the world of transportation!