TechCrunch Mobility is a weekly publication devoted to all issues transportation Enroll right here — simply click on TechCrunch Mobility — to obtain the publication each weekend in your inbox. Subscribe without spending a dime.
Welcome to TechCrunch Mobility – the identical weekly publication you’ve been studying, however with a brand new title and some modifications.
Don’t fear, that is nonetheless your central hub for information and insights on the way forward for transportation. This week, examine Amazon, EV startup Fisker, electrical boats, a bunch of recent funding offers and my time driving the all-new Kia EV9.
Somewhat hen pointed us to a brand new web site with some electrical vehicles that certain do look acquainted.
Keep in mind Lordstown Motors, the EV startup that went public through a SPAC and has since filed for chapter safety? Steve Burns, who based and was then ousted from Lordstown Motors, is again with a brand new EV startup known as LandX Motors.
The brand new LandX Motors web site prominently shows the identical electrical Endurance pickup truck he as soon as promised would beat Tesla, Ford and Basic Motors to market.
An individual accustomed to the corporate’s plans advised TechCrunch that it’s not a lot concerning the Endurance truck, however the underlying platform, software program and engineering behind it. Nonetheless, with the previous Lordstown vehicles enjoying a starring position on firm’s web site and video, it’s unclear simply how developed this plan is.
Need to attain out with a tip, remark or criticism? E mail Kirsten at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Should you choose to stay nameless, click on right here to contact us, which incorporates SecureDrop (directions right here) and numerous encrypted messaging apps.
Deal of the week
Provide chain logistics startup Flexport had a moderately tumultuous 2023 that included founder Ryan Petersen ousting his hand-picked successor and taking again the CEO spot after which buying the property of shuttered digital freight community Convoy.
The startup is kicking off 2024 by shoring up its enterprise with a $260 million “uncapped convertible notice” from Shopify, a deal that was introduced by Petersen in a collection of posts on social media web site X.
As a reminder, Shopify and Flexport are already hooked up. Flexport acquired in 2023 Shopify’s logistics arm. The deal gave Shopify 13% fairness stake in Flexport and a seat on the board.
Different offers that bought my consideration …
Electra, the Paris-based EV charging startup, raised $330 million in a Collection B spherical led by Dutch pension fund service supplier PGGM and Bpifrance’s Massive Enterprise fund. Eurazeo, RIVE Non-public Funding, the SNCF group by way of 574 Make investments and Serena additionally participated.
Franziska Bossart, the brand new head of the Amazon Industrial Innovation Fund, spoke to me about how the $1 billion fund is evolving. Tl;dr: She’s increasing its geographic focus to Asia and Europe, and homing in on three areas, together with AI.
Worldwide Battery Firm, a startup growing lithium-ion battery cells for EVs, raised $35 million in a pre-Collection A spherical led by RTP World.
Land Moto, the Cleveland-based electrical bike startup, raised $3 million in a spherical led by a particular goal enterprise automobile known as Nunc Coepi Ventures.
Lightship, an all-electric RV startup, raised $34 million in a Collection B spherical co-led by Apparent Ventures and Prelude Ventures. Different new traders embrace Allegis Capital and international RV producer THOR Industries and its funding accomplice TechNexus Enterprise Collaborative.
Northvolt, the Swedish battery startup, secured a $5 billion debt deal to assist pay for the enlargement of its first gigafactory. As TC+ reporter Tim de Chant writes: “Northvolt’s $5 billion mortgage received’t be sufficient to ensure success, nevertheless it ought to be sufficient to assist ramp up its manufacturing to a focused 60 gigawatt hours.”
Uber shut down alcohol supply service Drizly three years after the cab-hailing firm acquired it for $1.1 billion.
Notable reads and different tidbits
TuSimple will delist itself from the Nasdaq inventory alternate because it strikes ahead with its plan to completely exit the U.S. market.
Electrical autos, charging & batteries
BMW’s future progress depends upon EVs, and it’s lastly going all in, TC+ reporter Tim de Chants writes.
Fisker’s electrical Ocean SUV is underneath investigation by federal regulators over braking loss complaints.
GM recalled 66 electrical supply vans made by its BrightDrop subsidiary after the entrance drive items in a minimum of two of them caught hearth late final 12 months. The trigger seems to be associated to a producing defect.
Navier, the electrical boat startup, has launched a pilot program for its hydrofoiling watercraft through a partnership with Stripe to convey passengers from San Francisco’s outskirts to the downtown space.
Way forward for flight
Wing, the drone-powered supply firm operated by Alphabet, intends to introduce a bigger craft able to delivering heavier packages to clients.
This week’s wheels
I headed to Napa Valley to check out the Kia EV9 – an all-electric SUV with three rows that many imagine will convey a complete new batch of EV clients into the market.
Earlier than I give some abbreviated ideas on what I did and didn’t like, listed below are a couple of specs. The Kia EV9 is available in 5 trims with the most cost effective — the rear-wheel drive EV9 Mild — beginning at $54,900. I examined the GT-Line trim, an all-wheel drive top-of-the-line model that has a variety of 270 miles and begins at $73,900 (For comparability, the Rivian R1S, which is AWD, comes with normal with 260 miles of vary and begins at $78,000. The Kia EV9 Mild RWD trim outfitted with the larger battery has the perfect vary of 304 miles.
What did I like? It remained properly planted on winding roads, even when I pushed the automobile a bit. It’s additionally quiet, has the sort of inside particulars one would possibly anticipate in a premium-priced SUV, the seats are snug and the superior driver help system is straightforward to have interaction. The third row isn’t precisely spacious, however actually higher than many three-row SUVs I’ve been in.
There have been a couple of misses. I do assume that Kia missed a possibility by not giving the EV9 rear-wheel axle steering and I’m unsure if the battery vary, which is between 230 miles and 304 miles relying on the trim, is sufficient for patrons. Lastly, the structure of the inside cabin is sort of there, however I’m nonetheless unsure I really like the position of the beginning button and kit shifter (it’s a inventory tucked behind the steering wheel).