Inside Electric Vehicles - February 14th, 2020

Inside Electric Vehicles (Feb 14th, 2020)

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1. Tesla said it plans to offer $2 billion worth of common stock. The automaker will provide 2.65 million Tesla shares, with the assistance of underwriters Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The company expects to net about $2.3 billion before expenses and discounts. On the company’s latest earnings call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said they would not raise more capital. Musk will purchase as much as $10 million worth of stock, while Tesla board member Larry Ellison will buy up to $1 million in stock. Tesla plans to use the funds for general corporate purposes and to strengthen its balance sheet. — CNBC

2. A disgruntled former Waymo employee was charged with being responsible for an accident involving one of the company’s vehicles. The accident happened on January 30, when a car swerved and “brake checked” a Waymo vehicle traveling in Tempe, Arizona. The Waymo car rear-ended the car, which was being driven by 31-year-old Raymond Tang. Tang was a former Waymo vehicle operator and was fired about a year ago for failing to meet safety standards. He admitted to brake checking the car and has been charged with criminal damage and reckless driving, among other charges. — FOX 10 PHOENIX

3. Tesla has re-activated Enhanced Autopilot features on a customer’s used Model S. Last week, Jalopnik wrote about how the automaker remotely removed the features after an audit. The automaker told the owner that it had removed the features because he had not paid for them, despite being listed on the vehicle’s specifications. The driver said the company apologized for the issue, restored the features and said the error was the result of a miscommunication. — THE VERGE

4. A Tesla software update requirement may signal the end of jailbreaking. Yesterday, I wrote that some Tesla owners hack into the vehicle’s software to get back features removed by the automaker. Tesla has primarily done this to salvage titled cars, restricting access to its Supercharger network. Now, Tesmanian reports that the automaker will mandate that vehicles stay updated to the latest vehicle software version by May 1, or risk losing critical features like access to the Tesla mobile app, voice commands, and streaming media features. It is worth noting that jailbroken Teslas may lose some unlocked functionality after software updates. — TESMANIAN

5. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wrapped up an investigation related to Tesla Model 3 production numbers, according to the company. This is according to a regulatory filing shared by the automaker, claiming the SEC closed the probe in December of last year. The agency began its investigation in August 2018 and looked into allegations of Tesla misleading investors about Model 3 production figures. The SEC declined to comment to The Verge. While the SEC has wrapped up this investigation, the automaker still faces two probes from the Department of Justice (DOJ). — THE VERGE

6. Chinese EV company Nio delayed salary payments to employees. The company, which attributed sluggish sales to the coronavirus outbreak in China, will pay January salaries six days late. Nio chairman, William Li, also encouraged employees to trade in an upcoming bonus for restricted stock units. — BLOOMBERG

7. Tesla may be reviving a discontinued Model 3 trim for the Chinese market. Last year, the automaker stopped offering the long-range rear-wheel-drive version of the vehicle. However, @JayInShanghai found the car listed on China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s website, indicating that the automaker may revive the production of the vehicle at its Shanghai production facility. — @JAYINSHANGHAI/TWITTER

8. Uber is making it easier for those without smartphones to book rides. The ride-hailing company is piloting a new feature, aimed at older adults who may not have smartphone access, in Arizona. Interested riders can call 1-833-USE-UBER, where a live team member can assist in booking the passenger a ride. The representative will confirm the ride while also providing an upfront price quote. However, SMS messages will provide other essential information. There is no extra charge for using the service. — TECHCRUNCH

9. Adding to yesterday’s announcement of Tesla Model X recalls, about 3,000 vehicles will be recalled in China over a power steering issue. Yesterday, I wrote that the automaker would be recalling 1,500 Model X SUVs in the U.S. and Canada over fault aluminum bolts that help attach the power steering gear assist motor. But China’s State Administration for Market Regulation has also said the automaker would be recalling 3,183 vehicles in the country over the same issue. — REUTERS

10. Auto executive Henrik Fisker “unintentionally” sent out a tweet revealing the design of a never-before-seen electric pickup concept truck. The tweet reads, “Electric pick up!” followed by a picture of a silver pickup truck with the Fisker logo and the model name “ALASKA” etched on the rear. The tweet was deleted by Fisker soon after, while a company spokesperson did not acknowledge the existence of a Fisker EV pickup truck to Car and Driver. — CAR AND DRIVER

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

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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