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Inside Automotive (Jun 4th, 2018)

Here are the top ten Automotive stories of the day, ranked by importance. We always love to hear from readers, and if you have details or stories we don't know about or other information, hit reply and tell us. Thanks for reading!

Best, Johan

Curator, Inside Automotive

1. Lyft is in discussions to acquire bike share operator Motivate for $250 million. According to people familiar with the talks, the deal has not yet been finalized. Motivate operates major bike sharing projects across the United States, including Citi Bike in New York City and Ford GoBike in San Francisco. Lyft declined to comment, while Motivate did not immediately respond for comment. Uber acquired JUMP Bikes earlier this year. This is also while other electric scooter sharing startups, like Bird, are flooding the market. — BLOOMBERG

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2. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles unveiled a five-year plan to expand its investment in electric and self-driving vehicles. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne said the company will invest $10.5 billion to develop and electrify vehicles, focusing on four core brands: Jeep SUV and RAM pickups, along with Alfa Romeo and Maserati luxury cars. The company said it would offer at least 30 vehicles with some kind of electrification by 2022. However, FCA is being selective about its strategy in rolling out electrified vehicles. FCA’s strategy will be regulation-oriented, with each region receiving an electrified mix based on emission standards. Marchionne has held a bearish position on electric cars in the past. — THE DETROIT NEWS

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3. Reports say that Tesla has refunded about 23 percent of its Model 3 reservation deposits in the U.S. According to new data from Second Measure, which analyzes billions of dollars in anonymized credit and debit card purchases, some 23 percent of all Model 3 deposits in the U.S. had been refunded by the end of April. Tesla had about 450,000 Model 3 reservations at the end of last quarter. The refunds come as Tesla has experienced delays in production, as the company only delivered 8,180 vehicles last quarter. A Tesla spokesperson said Second Measure’s data did not align with its internal data, but did not clarify how close or far the numbers are. — RECODE

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4. Texas is bringing back rebates for electric cars. This comes after a three year hiatus on offering rebates for battery-electric and plug-in vehicles. Buyers of EVs, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in the state will qualify for a $2,500 rebate. Buyers of compressed natural gas or liquified petroleum gas will receive a $5,000 rebate. Rebates can be applied to purchases or leases. Although Texas is home to many oil companies, it has about 997 public charging stations across the state. Tesla is still banned from selling vehicles in the state. — THE DRIVE

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5. In four markets in the U.S., it is more affordable to use a ride-hailing service than to own a vehicle. According to Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers partner Mary Meeker’s 2018 annual internet trends report, the average resident of New York City, Chicago and Washington D.C. may save money by ditching their personal vehicle for ride-hailing. Meeker also said that there are an estimated 6.8 million people working in the on-demand economy this year, which is an increase over last year’s number: 5.4 million. You can see Meeker’s deck here. — TECHCRUNCH

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6. GM has settled a lawsuit with a motorcyclist hit by one of its self-driving cars. Motorcyclist Oscar Nilsson sued GM in a U.S. District Court in January for negligence over a December 2017 crash in which he was injured. Nilsson claimed GM’s vehicle “suddenly veered back” into his lane, striking him and knocking him to the ground. A GM spokesperson confirmed that both sides decided to mutually agree to resolve the lawsuit. It is not clear what the settlement was. — REUTERS

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7. Musician Zedd endorsed Tesla’s Autopilot software in a tweet. He tweeted, “…I once fell asleep driving home late at night on the highway (w/ autopilot on) and got woken up by it beeping + turning off music to wake me up. Would have prob been dead without it.” — TWITTER

8. A new survey of public agencies in Washington finds that government agencies have fallen short in buying electric cars. Eleven years ago, the state Legislature told state and local governments, “to the extent practicable,” to run all vehicles on electricity or biofuels. — SEATTLE TIMES

9. Britain wants to expand self-driving car development. The government is awarding about $33 million this week to as many as six projects that research and test self-driving cars on the U.K.’s highways. — BLOOMBERG

10. Land Rover is building self-driving SUVS that can go off-road. It is not clear when these vehicles would be available. — TOP GEAR

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