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Inside Automotive (Nov 6th, 2019)

1. Bloomberg reports that Tesla has reached a preliminary battery supply deal with Chinese battery manufacturer CATL. The publication said CATL will initially supply batteries for Tesla vehicles produced for the Chinese market, but the two companies are also exploring a global partnership. Bloomberg said a final agreement would likely be signed by mid-2020. Until the final agreement is signed, Tesla will use batteries from Panasonic and LG Chem for its vehicles made in China. — BLOOMBERG

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2. Tesla and Walmart have settled a lawsuit after the retailer alleged that several solar power-related fires were caused by Tesla's “negligence.” In a joint statement, the companies said they had worked to resolve the issues caused by the solar panels. The lawsuit, filed by Walmart in August, claimed that a series of solar panel-related fires had led to the temporary closure of at least seven locations over the past seven years. Walmart had asked Tesla to remove its solar panels from the 240 locations where they were installed, as well as pay for damages related to the fires. It is unclear what terms the companies settled on. — CNBC

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3. Volkswagen has commenced the production of its ID.3 electric vehicle. The automaker is currently producing the vehicle at its facility in Zwickau, Germany, and is making about 30 vehicles per day. Volkswagen will gradually ramp up production to about 800 vehicles per day, beginning next spring. When a second production line goes online, VW will produce about 1,500 vehicles over three shifts. — INSIDE EVS

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4. At the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show, Ford created a one-of-a-kind electric Mustang sports car with a manual gearbox. The vehicle, dubbed the “Mustang Lithium,” has an 800-volt battery that can provide more than 900 horsepower. Although this is a prototype, and consumers will likely never see this version of a vehicle on the market, Ford will soon unveil an electric SUV inspired by the automaker’s iconic sports car. — THE VERGE

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5. Another cool EV prototype on display at SEMA: GM showed off a "hot rod" electric pickup truck concept vehicle based on the automaker’s existing Bolt EV. The concept vehicle, dubbed the “E-10 Concept,” is based on a Chevrolet 1962 C-10 pickup truck and uses two Chevrolet Bolt EV powertrains mounted in the bed of the truck. The truck has a very retro look to it, but contains a double-stacked “eCrate” motor. Again, while merely a concept, GM is planning to produce electric pickup trucks. — ELECTREK

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6. Intel self-driving unit Mobileye is partnering with Chinese EV company Nio to develop a self-driving vehicle that will be sold to consumers. Some experts believe autonomous vehicles will drastically change the structure of car ownership, with most autonomous vehicle fleets being owned by ride-hailing firms or tech companies. But the partnership between Nio and Mobileye envisions consumers owning their own self-driving car. The collaboration would allow Nio to engineer and manufacturer a self-driving system that could be sold directly to consumers. The companies hope to initially release the systems in China and would be based on Mobileye’s Level 4 autonomous kit. — TECHCRUNCH

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7. A prominent public auto insurer in Canada, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) said Tesla’s “Smart Summon” technology is illegal in British Columbia. A recent video surfaced, showing a Tesla Model 3 operating on “Smart Summon,” driving on the wrong side of the road in a parking lot. The agency said that had the vehicle been engaged in an accident, it is likely ICBC would have not covered the damages, as laws in British Columbia do not allow driverless vehicles on roads. — RICHMOND NEWS

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8. Hyundai said its driverless vehicle shuttle service pilot in Irvine, California, has generated high interest. Daniel Han, an advanced product strategy manager for the automaker, said several hundred people have signed up for the pilot in recent days, growing from a group of 50 college students that were testing the service. The pilot offers free rides in an autonomous Hyundai SUV, powered by Pony.ai technology in the city. — OC REGISTER

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9. About half of Karma Automotive’s staff has reportedly been let go, as the EV startup shifts its ambitions. Instead of focusing on producing and selling its own brand of electric vehicles, the Chinese-backed company will sell its engineering, design and manufacturing capabilities to other companies. The company will invest about $1 million into a new design studio at its headquarters in Irvine, California. But the company has reportedly laid off half of its workforce, including Bob Kruse, the company’s chief technology officer. — PATCH

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10. Insights from SAE International show that drivers prefer to share control of autonomous vehicles. According to the data, 92 percent of those surveyed said it should be a requirement for autonomous vehicle developers to include an emergency stop function on self-driving vehicles, while 73 percent said they would like to share control with an automated system. Those surveyed had a first-hand interaction with an autonomous vehicle, during SAE’s “Demo Days,” where riders experienced Level 3 and 4 features. — AUTO NEWS

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This newsletter was written and curated by Johan Moreno. Johan is based out of Los Angeles, CA and has covered technology and automotive extensively for a variety of publications, including Forbes and The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

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