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Tag Archives: electric

On Tesla’s path to privatization, Morgan Stanley halts equity coverage of electric automaker

Morgan Stanley is no longer providing equity coverage on Tesla’s stock, the second firm to drop its stock rating on the electric automaker since CEO Elon Musk announced plans via Twitter to take the company private . Tesla declined to comment. Morgan Stanley could not be reached for comment to explain why it dropped Tesla. However, some speculate that the brokerage firm could be playing some role in Tesla’s plan to become a private company. Morgan Stanley’s website no longer shows a stock rating or target price on Tesla.  Tesla stock was previously rated at “equal weight.” The move, which was reported by Bloomberg , caused Tesla shares to rise Tuesday. Shares closed at $321.90, about 3.6 percent higher than its opening price. Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas, a longtime bull of Tesla, had a $291 price target on the company. In his last research note on August 7, Jonas explained Morgan Stanley placed an equal weight rating on the company because it supports a near fair value and “not a more attractive investment on a risk-adjusted basis than the average stock under our NA coverage.” Last week, Goldman Sachs Group dropped its Tesla rating and price target, although it gave an explanation for the move. The company is stepping in to advise Musk and the Tesla board on taking the company private. Musk’s tweet August 13 provided more details, including that the company is working with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as advisors. The company has hired Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors. I’m excited to work with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors, plus Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors, on the proposal to take Tesla private — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2018 Musk first floated the idea of taking Tesla private at $420 a share on August 7 via a tweet that prompted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate .

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Bird and Lime are protesting Santa Monica’s electric scooter recommendations

Lime and Bird are protesting recommendations in Santa Monica, Calif. that would prevent the electric scooter companies from operating in the Southern California city. We first saw the news over on Curbed LA,  which reported both Lime and Bird are temporarily halting their services in Santa Monica. Last week, Santa Monica’s shared mobility device selection committee recommended the city move forward with Lyft and Uber-owned Jump as the two exclusive scooter operators in the city during the upcoming 16-month pilot program. The committee ranked Lyft and Jump highest due to their experience in the transportation space, staffing strategy, commitments to diversity and equity, fleet maintenance strategies and other elements. Similarly, the committee recommended both Lyft and Jump as bike-share providers in the city. “The Lyft and Uber applications to operate e-scooter sharing programs in Santa Monica demonstrate the desperate lengths CO2 polluting companies will go to for the purpose of undermining clean energy competition,” a Bird spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We at Bird are dedicated to replacing car trips with clean energy trips and will continue to fight against car dependency alongside our loyal riders.” Santa Monica! We've taken our fleet offline until 4:30pm locally in order to rally your support in opposition to the council's recommendation. Don't let a #LifeWithoutScooters be the future. Help City Hall make the right decision + take action right now: https://t.co/PiuR9pwk4y — Lime (@limebike) August 14, 2018 Now, both Bird and Lime are asking their respective riders to speak out against the recommendations. Bird, which first launched in Santa Monica, has also emailed riders, asking them to tell the city council that they want to Bird to stay. “In a closed-door meeting, a small city-appointed selection committee decided to recommend banning Bird from your city beginning in September,” Bird wrote in an email . “This group inexplicably scored companies with no experience ever operating shared e-scooters higher than Bird who invented this model right here in Santa Monica.” Bird goes on to throw shade at Uber and Lyft — neither of which have operated electric scooter services before. That shade is entirely fair, but one could argue both Uber and Lyft already have more experience operating transportation services within cities and would be better equipped to run an electric scooter service than a newer company. Santa Monica Shared Mobility Selection Committee In addition to asking people to contact their city officials, Bird and Lime are hosting a rally later today at Santa Monica City hall.

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Lime is expanding its low-income program

Lime, the electric scooter and bike-share startup, is expanding its program for people with low incomes. Called Lime Access, the program enables people who qualify for state or federal assistance programs to access Lime’s fleet of vehicles at a discount. Lime first launched the program in May. At the time and up until now, it enabled people to purchase 100 rides on pedal bikes for $5. But starting today, anyone who is eligible for state or federal assistance programs can access traditional pedal bikes at a 95 percent discount and electric bikes and scooters at a 50 percent discount per ride. Those who are eligible can purchase credits via PayNearMe, a cash payment network that lets you pay for items and services from companies in person. Electric scooter competitor  Bird introduced a similar program called One Bird that eliminates the $1 fee to unlock a Bird scooter . Bird has raised $415 million in funding, while Lime has raised $467 million and, as of last month, partnered with ride-hailing giant Uber .

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Tesla’s alleged ‘saboteur’ strikes back with defamation suit

Martin Tripp, the former  Tesla  employee who was fired and then sued by the electric vehicle automaker, has filed a lawsuit, alleging statements made by CEO Elon Musk in recent weeks (many in tweet form) defamed him. Tripp is asking for $1 million in damages from the electric automaker. Tripp, who has hired an Arizona-based law firm, has a GoFundMe page aiming to raise $500,000 to pay for his legal bill. Tripp has raised more than $15,000, according to the GoFundMe page. The filing is the latest blow in a bout between Tesla, Musk and Tripp that kicked off about six weeks ago. The case, filed in the U.S. District Court in Nevada, is Tesla Inc. v. Tripp, 3:18-cv-00296. Here’s a timeline, so saddle up and follow along. June 20:  Tesla  files a lawsuit  against Tripp for $1 million, alleging the man, who worked as a process technician at the massive battery factory near Reno, hacked the company’s confidential and trade secret information and transferred that information to third parties, according to court documents. The lawsuit also claims the employee leaked false information to the media. 24 hours later:  A  combative email exchange  between Musk and Tripp unfolds. Tesla also notifies police based on a tip to its customer service line that Tripp had allegedly told a friend he was going to attack the company’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nev .  Tripp has denied this and the Storey County Sheriff’s department, which investigated, told TechCrunch they found no credible threat

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Bird’s electric scooters are going international

Electric scooter startup Bird, the one worth $2 billion , is going international. This does not come as a surprise given TechCrunch’s June report that Bird was looking to expand to Europe. Today, Bird is launching a pilot program in Paris to see how the electric scooter service operates in a city with more than two million people. “Paris is very forward-thinking on solving congestion issues and is one of the cities that’s dealing with the most congestion and pollution,” Bird Head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa Patrick Studener told TechCrunch. Bird is also gearing up to deploy some scooters in Tel Aviv, where the company says it’s chatting with Tel Aviv University and some municipalities about making something work in those areas, Studener said. In Tel Aviv, Bird will charge 5 shekels to start and then 50 agorot per minute. As Bird expands to international markets, it’s worth noting that competitor Lime has operated its bikes and scooters outside of the U.S. for quite some time. Last December , Lime brought its bikes to a number of European cities and then, in June, Lime brought its scooters to Paris . Lime also recently raised a $335 million round and teamed up with transportation behemoth Uber . In Paris, Bird scooters will cost €1 to start followed by €0.15 per minute, which is exactly how much Lime charges. Bird says Paris city officials know the company is planning to deploy about 100 scooters in the city

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