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Main article: Tesla

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Topics from 1 to 10 | in all: 821

Hot Wheels made two remote-controlled Tesla Cybertruck toys

21:24 | 21 February

Hot Wheels will ship you a Cybertruck long before Tesla is likely to make any deliveries on their electric retro-future wheels trapezoid: The toy maker just unveiled two different RC Cybertruck models, including a 1:64 scale model at just $20 – and a much larger 1:10 scale version for $400.

These are available to pre-order now, but like most of Tesla’s cars, just because they’re introduced doesn’t mean you can go out and buy one immediately. They’re set to ship in time for the holidays, however, with a December 15, 2020 estimated availability date according to the Hot Wheels website.

These look like very faithful representation of the Cybertruck that Tesla unveiled at a special event back in November, and the large version includes a “reusable cracked window vinyl sticker” that you can use to recreate the on-stage flub that happened at the actual reveal. You’ll have to supply your own large metal medicine ball.

[gallery ids="1949609,1949608,1949607,1949606,1949605,1949604,1949602"]

Other features of the 1:10 scale Cybertruck including functioning headlights and taillights, all-wheel drive, true to form ‘Chill’ and ‘Sport’ modes, a removable tonneau cover, a working telescopic tailgate and more.

The smaller and much more affordable version is just 3-inches long, which is basically what you’d expect from a traditional Hot Wheels mini model, and it can achieve a “up to 500mph scale speed” which someone who is better than me at math can figure out what that translates to.

These are available now, to people in the U.S. and Canada, but I expect them to be pretty hot sellers based on the general fervor and interest around all things Cybertruck to date.

 


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The debut of electric pickups signals a new EV era

02:53 | 21 February

Several companies rolled out electric pickups in 2019. Tesla’s Cybertruck got most of the attention, but don’t sleep on General Motors and Ford — bringing electric pickups to market is critical for the viability of electric vehicles.

Automakers build vehicles around shared components. These platforms, the underpinnings of the vehicles, often live for 10 or more years, and are critical to each automaker’s economic stability. The exterior sheet metal might change, but dozens of models often share the frame, powertrain and electrical components.

Electric pickup platforms offer vehicle makers a new revenue source. Instead of building electric vehicles designed to move people, these platforms can move goods. That’s key to building a long-term strategy around electric vehicles.

Look at Ford, whose best-selling F-150 is just a portion of its success. From the F-150, the automaker has dozens of commercial vehicles built off platforms that share components. If Ford can produce an electric pickup — which it says it’s doing alongside startup Rivian — Ford will be able to electrify its commercial offering more quickly.

Specific vehicle platforms are perfect for electrification. Vehicles with a predictable driving route like municipal vehicles, delivery vans and even hearses could benefit from electric powertrains.

Electric powertrains have long offered advantages over internal combustion; electric counterparts feature fewer moving parts and are now often smaller, allowing for more interior space. And then there’s the torque that gives electric vehicles near-superhero strength.

 


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Tesla Model 3 makes Consumer Reports ‘Top Picks’ list for 2020

21:25 | 20 February

Tesla’s Model 3 is among the top 10 choices for car buyers in 2020, according to Consumer Reports. The nonprofit organization released its “Top Picks” of the year on Thursday, and it included Tesla’s most affordable vehicle alongside cars from automakers including Toyota, Subaru, Honda, Kia and Lexus.

The Model 3 was chosen as one of three vehicles in the $45K -$55K category, alongside the Lexus RX and the Toyota Supra. CR lauded its “thrilling driving experience,” including “impressive handling and quick precise steering [that] help it feel like a sports car.” They did ding it slightly for having a “stiff ride” overall, but said that that’s more than made up for by its long EV battery range emission free eco-friendly qualities.

Consumer Reports also specifically called out a worry about the Model 3 that “Autopilot, an optional system on the vehicle, does not require the driver to stay engaged, creating safety concerns.” Tesla has always positioned Autopilot as a driver assist feature, that still requires a driver to be ready to take over control at a moment’s notice, but critics have suggested its implementation can lead to misuse resulting in inattentiveness.

Clearly. that concern wasn’t enough to prevent CR from counting the Model 3 among its top recommendations for vehicles in 2020. Tesla also ended up ranking 11th overall out of 33 automakers in Consumer Reports’ 2020 automative brand report card, climbing eight positions from last year. The Model 3, and the rapid improvements that Tesla was able to make in its production as it scaled assembly of the vehicle, clearly helped it in the eyes the consumer-focused non-profit.

 


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Equity shot: What’s going on with Tesla’s stock price?

23:22 | 19 February

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This is the first Equity Shot in what feels like a long time, so, let me explain. Most of the time Equity comes out on Friday. It’s a mix of news and chat and venture happenings. It’s fun! But, sometimes, a topic comes up that demands more immediate attention. That’s what happened today as we stared at Tesla’s share price wondering what in the hell was going on.

Sure, Tesla isn’t a private company (yet, at least), but as the company made it into the first-ever episode of Equity how can we resist a dive into what is going on today?

Shares of the electric car company are surging — again — today, pushing ever-closer to the $1,000 per-share mark. So, Danny, myself, and

on the turntables, got together to riff and chat about what is going on.

For those of you who want some links, here you go:

Today was all about fun. The main, more serious (kinda) show is back Friday. Stay cool!

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify and all the casts.

 


0

Elon Musk says all advanced AI development should be regulated, including at Tesla

17:18 | 18 February

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is once again sounding a warning note regarding the development of artificial intelligence – the executive and founder tweeted on Monday evening that “all org[anizations] developing advance AI should be regulated, including Tesla.”

Musk was responding to a new MIT Technology Review profile of OpenAI, an organization founded in 2015 by Musk, along with Sam Altman, Ilya Sutskever, Greg Brockman, Wojciech Zaremba and John Schulman. At first, OpenAI was formed as a non-profit backed by $1 billion in funding from its pooled initial investors, with the aim of pursuing open research into advanced AI with a focus on ensuring it was pursued in the interest of benefiting society, rather than leaving its development in the hands of a small and narrowly-interested few – ie. for-profit technology companies.

At the time of its founding in 2015, Musk posited that the group essentially arrived at the idea for OpenAI as an alternative the the less effective course of simply either “sit[ting] on the sidelines” or “encourag[ing] regulatory oversight.” Musk also said in 2017 that he believed that regulation should be put in place to govern the development of AI, preceded first by the formation of some kind of oversight agency that would study and gain insight into the industry before proposing any rules.

In the intervening years, much has changed – including OpenAI. The organization officially formed a for-profit arm owned by a non-profit parent corporation in 2019, and accepted $1 billion in investment from Microsoft along with the formation a wide-ranging partnership, seemingly in contravention of its founding principles.

Musk’s comments this week in response to the MIT profile indicate that he’s quite distant from the organization he helped co-found both ideologically and in a more practical, functional sense. The SpaceX founder

that he “must agree” that concerns about OpenAI’s mission expressed last year at the time of its Microsoft announcement “are reasonable,” and
“OpenAI should be more open.” Musk also noted that he has “no control & only very limited insight into OpenAI” and that his “confidence” in Dario Amodei, OpenAI’s research director, “is not high” when it comes to ensuring safe development of AI.

While it might indeed be surprising to see Musk include Tesla in a general call for regulation of the development of advanced AI, it is in keeping with his general stance on the development of artificial intelligence. Musk has repeatedly warned of the risks associated with creating AI that is more independent and advanced, even going so far as to call it a “fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”

He also

that he believes advanced AI development should be regulated both by individual national governments as well as by international governing bodies, like the U.N., in response to a clarifying question from a follower. Time is clearly not doing anything to blunt Musk’s beliefs around the potential threat of AI: Perhaps this will encourage him to ramp up his efforts with Neuralink to give humans a way to even the playing field.

 


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Tesla is going back to the markets to raise more than $2 billion through stock offering

18:25 | 13 February

Tesla said Thursday it plans to raise more than $2 billion through a common stock offering and will use the funds to strengthen its balance sheet and for general corporate purposes, despite signaling just two weeks ago that it would not seek to raise more cash.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk will purchase up to $10 million in shares in the offering, while Oracle co-founder and Tesla board member Larry Ellison will buy up to $1 million worth of Tesla shares, according to the securities filing.

The automaker has also granted underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to $300 million of additional common stock. If underwriters exercise that option, Tesla could raise as much as $2.3 billion.

The stock offering conflicts with statements Musk and CFO Zach Kirkhorn made last month during Tesla’s fourth-quarter earnings call. An institutional investor asked that given the recent run in the share price, why not raise capital now and substantially accelerate the growth in production? At the time, Musk said the company was spending money sensibly and that there is no “artificial hold back on expenditures.”

“We’re spending money I think efficiently and we’re not artificially limiting our progress,” Musk said dueing the January 29 call. “And then despite all that we are still generating positive cash. So in light of that, it doesn’t make sense to raise money because we expect to generate cash despite this growth level.”

Kirkhorn added to Musk’s comments noting that the company had laid a good foundation and was not holding back on growth.

“We have two products, two vehicle products launching right now and that will consume much of the bandwidth of the company to stabilize those over the course of the year,” Kirkhorn said. “And then looking into next year, we have even more products launching, more factories. So we want to be smart about how we spend money and grow in a way that’s sustainable. So we don’t fall victim to the mistakes I think we made a year and a half or so ago.”

However, Tesla shares have risen more than 35% since the January 29 earnings call, perhaps proving too tempting of an opportunity to ignore.

This latest stock raise could prove critical to fund Tesla’s number of projects. A regulatory filing posted prior to the stock offering notice indicates Tesla’s capital expenditures could reach as high as $3.5 billion this year.

“Considering the expected pace of the manufacturing ramps for our products, construction and expansion of our factories, and pipeline of announced projects under development, and consistent with our current strategy of using partners to manufacture battery cells, as well as considering all other infrastructure growth, we currently expect our average annual capital expenditures in 2020 and the two succeeding fiscal years to be $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion,” Tesla said in its 10K filing, which was posted Thursday.

 


0

Tesla ramps up solar tile roofs installations in U.S., eyes China and Europe expansion

22:17 | 10 February

Tesla appears to be ramping up installations of its solar tile roofs in the San Francisco Bay area and will eventually roll out to Europe and China, according to CEO Elon Musk who in a series of tweets provided the first substantial update since the company launched the third iteration of its product in October.

The solar tile roof, which Tesla calls Solarglass, is being produced at the company’s factory in Buffalo, New York. Musk announced in one of the tweets plans to host a “company talk” in April at the Buffalo factory, an event that will include media and customer tours of the facility.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment seeking more information about Solarglass, including how many installations have been made to date. We will update the article if Tesla responds.

 

 

Four months ago, Musk said the company would begin installations in the “coming weeks” and that it hopes to ramp production to as many as 1,000 new roofs per week.

Tesla’s solar roof tiles are designed to look like normal roof tiles when installed on a house, while doubling as solar panels to generate power. The company first unveiled the solar tiles in 2016 and has been tinkering with them ever since. Tesla has conducted trial installations with the first two generations of the solar tiles and opened up pre-orders in 2017.

In an earnings call last October, Musk suggested that the tiles were ready for a widespread deployment, noting that “version three is finally ready for the big time.”

The solar tile roof will initially be offered in textured black, but Musk reiterated Monday plans to offer other color and finish variants “hopefully later this year.”

A pricing estimator on the Tesla website says a solar tile roof with 10 kW of solar on an average 2,000 square-foot home costs $42,500 before federal tax incentives. It also lists $33,950 as the price after an $8,550 federal tax incentive.

 


0

What is going on with Tesla?

16:17 | 4 February

Shares of American electric car company Tesla are sharply higher again this morning, adding $122.40 (or 15.69 percent ) to their value before regular trading today. The gains come after Tesla has rapidly added value in recent days, including a nearly 20 percent gain yesterday during regular trading; shares of the company were worth around $560 a week ago. Today they are valued at around $900.

The company reported earnings on January 29th, last Wednesday, leading to a nice bump in the company’s value. That sort of post-earnings move is quite normal. However, its value appreciation since that event is a bit harder to understand.

Tesla’s financial health has improved in recent years. However, Tesla reported effectively zero year-over-year revenue growth, slimmer operating income, and modestly improved adjusted profit in Q4 2019, hardly the picture of a company that should quickly appreciate 60 percent in rapid fashion.

And yet here we are. Is it a short squeeze? Mere enthusiasm after a bullish analyst call? Is this battery news enough reason for Tesla to rally so sharply? The fact that it has a new car coming? Perhaps a combination of all of the above?

What matters is that Tesla shares are booming today, providing the company with implied access to capital that it could use to pay down debt. (Tesla has a little over $13.4 billion in debt, according to its financial documents.) And it says that the company’s rising revenue multiple isn’t that bonkers when you compare it to historical levels (implying that the company’s current valuation is not as wild as one might think, when compared to prior valuations the company has enjoyed).

Here’s YCharts data on the matter:

TSLA PS Ratio Chart

It’s aggressive, yes. But the rally is not as insane as I would have thought. You can fill in the blanks yourself, but Tesla is putting on a show and it’s annoyingly exciting.

Trade safely!

 


0

Elon Musk just dropped an EDM track on SoundCloud

14:47 | 31 January

Friday typically brings a bunch of new music releases, but this Friday’s new drops includes a new track from an unlikely source – Elon Musk . The SpaceX and Tesla CEO said earlier this week he had written a new song called “Don’t doubt yer vibe,” to be released on “Emo G Records,” but as usual it was hard to tell if Musk was being serious or just having his evening internet fun.

Turns out, he was serious, and we didn’t have to wait long to hear the track. The lyrics probably didn’t take him too long to write – the whole song consists of “Don’t doubt your vibe / because it’s true / don’t doubt your vibe / because it’s you” repeated over and over. Musk says he performed the lyrics, which are modified and distorted to an airy electronic, supernatural sounding final product.

The track itself is backed by a pulsing, ambient kind of EDM arrangement, and all in all it’s not a bad representation of the genre. Listen for yourself and judge:

Musk also tweeted photos of himself in the studio actually recording the track, and shared that the process of putting together the song was maybe harder than he’d anticipated. In the midst of his music-making tweets, he also took time to educate some of his followers on why some of the more dire predictions floating around about the Coronavirus are blown way out of proportion.

No word on whether there’s going to be a full album, but Musk’s timing with this drop actually makes a lot of sense when you consider how things have been going for him lately: Tesla stock skyrocketed on positive earnings reported yesterday; he beat a defamation accusation in court last month; his Starlink project is coming together; and SpaceX is making good progress on its commercial crew flight program, nailing its last major test flight before crewed missions earlier this month.

 


0

Codility raises $22M for its tech recruiting platform

16:00 | 30 January

Codility, a platform that helps tech recruiters and hiring managers asses candidates through online coding tests, today announced that it has raised a $22 million Series A round led by Oxx and Kennet Partners.

This marks the first time Codility has raised any funding, after ten years as a bootstrapped company. Clearly, though, despite having achieved double-digit annual recurring revenue in those ten years, the team nowbelieves that it has an opportunity to grow its market share in what is becoming a more competitive market for tech hiring platforms — and to do so, it needs outside funding.

So far, the company has brought on an impressive list of customers, including Microsoft, Tesla, Slack, Okta, Rakuten, American Express, and UnitedHealth Group. In total, the company says it had 1,500 customers in 2019 and helped them evaluate over 450,000 candidates, a number the company says has grown over 50 percent year-over-year.

What sets Codility apart from similar platforms is that it aims to provide coding tests that are closer to what engineers typically face in their day-to-day jobs instead of highly abstract whiteboarding sessions that evaluate their theory of algorithms knowledge.

“The biggest bottleneck to achieving this lies in sourcing, screening, and interviewing,” said Codility CEO Natalia Panowicz. “This is where Codility comes in. We allow businesses to deliver great experiences to candidates and deep insights to the hiring team — improving decision-making and ultimately increasing their overall engineering capacity.”

The company says its system allows it to provide recruiters with a “360-degree evaluation of technical ability” that helps managers ensure that a candidate is a good fit for a given position. Ideally, this also reduces the effect of unconscious bias in the recruiting and placement process.

As part of its platform, Codility offers its technical skills and evaluation services for recruiters, including a shared editor for live technical interviews. In addition, the company also helps companies run their own coding competitions, which they can then use to identify potential candidates, including those who aren’t actively looking for a new job.

“Codility is a great solution for hiring teams based on the needs of quality high-volume hiring; such as consistency, standardization, and scalability,” said Vicky Xiong, Senior Director of Engineering at Okta . “Codility also enables Okta to create a great candidate experience, which is core to our values as a company.”

 


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