Tesla’s Stock Plummeting as Profit Margins Decline; VanMoof Forced to Declare Bankruptcy, While Aurora Sells $820M in Stock

**U.S. Government Seeks to Regulate Autonomous Vehicles**

Regulating autonomous vehicles in the United States is a priority for policymakers and government agencies. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has plans to introduce new rules in September that could benefit companies like Cruise and Zoox, which are focused on launching purpose-built robotaxis without traditional controls. General Motors, owner of Cruise, has submitted a petition to the NHTSA to deploy up to 2,500 Cruise Origins annually without human controls. The outcome of this petition is eagerly awaited.

On a congressional level, lawmakers will convene a hearing on July 26 to discuss long-delayed legislation on the safe adoption of self-driving cars. Representatives Bob Latta (R-OH) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI) will present separate draft legislation for consideration. The hearing will focus on enhancing safety, improving mobility, and beating China, emphasizing the importance of the United States maintaining a technological advantage.

**VanMoof Files for Bankruptcy**

Venture-backed e-bike company VanMoof has filed for bankruptcy, seeking a third-party sale to continue its operations. VanMoof is known for its highly customized bikes and unique digital unlock key connected to its servers. The company faced financial difficulties due to overspending on marketing, over-ordering, and neglecting supply chain and unit costs. The bankruptcy raises questions about the viability of assuming the assets of the failed startup.

**Micromobility Updates**

In other micromobility news, Bird has regained compliance with the New York Stock Exchange, and London-based bike-share company HumanForest has launched Forest Parcel, a zero-emission, on-demand parcel delivery service. Taur, the front-facing scooter manufacturer, has also launched its second model, the Taur II, with a range of up to 40 miles. Taur has also started a campaign challenging the UK government’s stance on owned scooters, which are currently illegal to ride on public roads.

Commsignia has launched a V2X device for e-bikes and micromobility vehicles. This device broadcasts messages about the cyclist’s position and receives messages from other vehicles, alerting the rider to potential hazards.

**Aurora Raises $820 Million**

Aurora Innovation, an autonomous vehicle company, has sold $820 million worth of stock. This includes $220 million from a public offering and $600 million from a concurrent private offering. Aurora plans to commercialize self-driving trucks by the end of 2024 and has been raising funds to support its goals. The recent infusion of capital gives the company an additional $1.6 billion to work with.

**Other Notable Deals**

Several other deals have caught attention in the transportation industry. San Francisco-based Alpha Grid, an EV charging deployment optimization startup, raised $2.5 million in a pre-seed round. Aqua Metals, a lithium-ion battery recycling company, entered into a strategic partnership with South Korean battery materials company Yulho, including a $5 million equity investment. Berlin-based Cycle secured $11.3 million in Series A funding to expand its e-bike subscription model for the last-mile delivery industry.

EVgo and its eXtend partners received $13.8 million in funding from Ohio’s DOT to deploy 20 fast-charging stations. Farizon, Geely’s electric and hybrid truck unit, raised $600 million for its expansion outside of China. Fortescue Future Industries will acquire EV truck maker Nikola’s Phoenix Hydrogen Hub project for $24 million. Singapore’s Grab Rentals will acquire Trans-Cab, the city-state’s third-largest taxi operator, in a deal estimated at $75 million.

**Other News and Updates**

Mobileye, an ADAS company, has introduced a vision-only speed assist solution that allows cars to sense speed limits without relying on third-party map and GPS data. Cruise has sparked controversy with a full-page ad calling humans terrible drivers, leading to criticism from former NHTSA head Joan Claybrook. Cruise has also begun initial robotaxi testing in Miami. The California Public Utilities Commission will question Cruise and Waymo on how they will address robotaxi malfunctions and access issues for first responders.

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