Issue #22 • October 30, 2022
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Happy Sunday! This week in mobility... Mobileye and Argo AI provided a glimpse at what the future could look like for companies in the AV space, and more.
Need to Know
This week, the spotlight was on autonomous technology companies: Mobileye became a public company while Argo AI shut its doors.
Mobileye, a producer of advanced driver-assistance systems used by the likes of BMW, Volkswagen, and Toyota, is now a public company. On Wednesday, Intel spun out the unit at $21 per share, a dollar above its target price. Mobileye raised $861 million on the sale of 41 million shares. The stock offering valued Mobileye at about $17 billion, far below the $50 billion valuation that Intel initially expected.
Intel acquired Mobileye for $15 billion in 2017, at the height of the AV boom, and five years later, its IPO was valued at almost the same as the 2017 purchase price. This wasn’t the result Intel had wanted, nor is it a great look for the autonomous driving industry at large; it speaks to the current market and skepticism around industry progress. That said, the company still has 70% market share in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), with $1.4 billion in revenue.
On the flip side, we also saw a player in the industry shutdown. Argo AI, an autonomous driving startup that came on the scene in 2017 with a $1 billion investment, is being absorbed into its two principal backers: Ford and Volkswagen.
While the company has made progress in expanding its operations, as well as introducing an ecosystem of products and services for robotaxis last month, a lack of additional investment and increasing costs led to their shutdown — Ford alone reported a $2.7 billion non-cash, pretax impairment on its investment in Argo AI, resulting in an $827 million net loss for Q3. Following the announcement, Ford noted the company would focus more on Level 3 semi-autonomous driving systems, while Volkwagen said it would be leaning into its existing partnerships with Bosch and Horizon Robotics to develop autonomous systems.
All in all, it was a busy week for the industry. As autonomous technology companies continue to push out timelines for commercialization, their investors are becoming increasingly impatient waiting on their ROI, looking for creative solutions to cash in or get out—definitely something to watch.
In Other News
🏛 Regulatory. The US Department of Energy awarded $2.8 billion to supercharge US manufacturing of batteries for EVs and the grid. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil-exporting nation, will target 150,000 EV exports in 2026. The Guardian reported that Tesla is under criminal investigation in the US over claims that the company’s EVs can drive themselves.
🚘 Passenger Vehicles. GM announced another full-size pickup electric with its 400-mile range GMC Sierra EV. Lotus unveiled its Electre EV, the cornerstone of the brand’s move towards electrification. Next.e.GO Mobile SE, a German EV manufacturer, launched sales of its e.wave X EV. BeyonCa, an EV brand founded by a former Volkswagen China executive, is expected to unveil the brand and its first model on October 30.
🚚 Trucks & Buses. Arrival, an EV startup, shared plans to refocus the business on electric vans for the U.S. market.
🏍️ Micromobility. London extended a trial e-scooter rental scheme to reduce car usage. SONDORS, an e-bike brand, filed for IPO. Rivian’s CEO shared that the company is doubling down on electric bikes. Honda began sales of battery swap stations for electric motorcycles.
Autonomous Tech. Cruise is now doing closed course testing of its Origin robotaxi in California.
⚡ Mobility Ecosystem. Amazon announced it would spend more than €1 billion over the next five years to triple its European electric delivery fleet to 10,000 vehicles. PG&E, a California utility company, has received approval to establish the nation’s first vehicle-to-grid (V2G) export compensation mechanism for commercial EVs.
📍Go to Market. Waymo announced Los Angeles would be its next market for its autonomous ride-hailing service, after Phoenix and San Francisco. Canoo, an EV startup, landed its biggest order to date, securing an order of 9,300 EVs from Kingbee, a rental company. Renault is bringing its Chinese mini-EVs to Europe via its Mobilize brand. The Tesla Semi received the green light from the EPA to start deliveries. DX, a delivery solutions provider, partnered with Silva Brothers Logistics (SBL) to roll out electric vehicles for its parcel deliveries in London.
💼 Business. GM’s Q3 2022 earnings beat expectations hitting a record $41.9 billion in revenue. BMW invested $1.7 billion to expand its South Carolina manufacturing capacity. Toyota is struggling with its shift to electric, and it is reportedly considering major changes in its EV plans driven by Tesla’s manufacturing strategy. Lyft relaunched Lyft Pink, its monthly subscription plan, at half its previous price.
💰 Investments. Polestar entered into a strategic partnership with Industrial Bank in China. Mullen Automotive acquired ELMS to enable EV production for consumer and commercial vehicles. ADB lead a $135 million climate financing package for VinFast’s e-bus fleet and EV charging network in Vietnam.
A take on the current state of the autonomous vehicle industry, with some predictions for what’s ahead.
An article looking at the quick rise of electric semis and what’s on the horizon.
Researchers have laid out what pricing strategies would need to look like to support wireless charging roads.
An innovation by NASA may enable EV quick charging in the future.
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