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Tesla’s solar and energy storage business rakes in $810M, finally exceeds cost of revenue

Tesla’s primary source of revenue comes from the sale of its electric vehicles, but its latest quarterly earnings report showed growth in its energy storage and solar business.
The demand picture will get even sunnier for the division if the company can access enough chips for its energy storage products, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Tesla on Monday reported $801 million in revenue from its energy generation and storage business — which includes three main products: solar, its Powerwall storage device for homes and businesses, and its utility storage unit Megapack — but that’s just a sliver of the nearly $12 …

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Virtuo raises $96M for its streamlined take on car rentals

Car ownership has become pricey and untenable in many towns and cities in Europe: between congestion charges to reduce emissions, parking fees, and traffic, many consumers opt instead to use public transportation, two wheels, cabs or their own legs to get around. To add to that mix for longer journeys, today a startup that’s building a new take on car rental is announcing some funding to scale out its service.
Virtuo, a Paris-based startup that has built a very streamlined, all-digital approach for those who want to rent a car for a few days, or up to a few …

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Volkswagen really is becoming ‘Voltswagen’ in the U.S.

Automaker Volkswagen wants you to know it’s serious about electric vehicles — so serious, in fact, that it’s officially rebranding around a pun in the U.S. The company revealed in a press release that it’s changing its name from “Volkswagen of America” to “Voltswagen of America” in a press release today. News this could happen leaked late Monday, but many speculated it might be an April Fool’s joke that got out a bit early, but the automaker seems serious about switching the official brand from May 2021 onwards given the official release on its newsroom.
Voltswagen (neé …

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From the ashes of nearly a billion dollars, Ample resurrects Better Place’s battery swapping business model

A little over thirteen years ago, Shai Agassi, a promising software executive who was in line to succeed the chief executive at SAP, then one of the world’s mightiest software companies, left the company he’d devoted the bulk of his professional career to and started a business called Better Place.
That startup promised to revolutionize the nascent electric vehicle market and make range anxiety a thing of the past. The company’s pitch? A network of automated battery swapping stations that would replace spent batteries with freshly charged ones.
Agassi’s company would go on to raise nearly $1 …

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Elon Musk says Tesla Semi is ready for production, but limited by battery cell output

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on the company’s 2020 Q4 earnings call that all engineering work is now complete on the Tesla Semi, the freight-hauling semi truck that the company is building with an all-electric powertrain. The company expects to begin deliveries of Tesla Semi this year, it said in its Q4 earnings release, and Musk said the only thing limiting their ability to produce them now is the availability of battery cells.
“The main reason we have not accelerated new products – like for example Tesla Semi – is that we simply don’t have enough cells for it,” Musk said. “ …

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BMW previews its next-gen iDrive infotainment system

At CES 2021, BMW today provided us with a first glimpse of the future of its iDrive system, twenty years after it first launched in the 2001 7 Series. Today’s announcement mostly focuses on the past, with a look back at the history of BMW’s infotainment platform, but the company did provide a bit more context and images of the new system that will make its official debut on the sizable displays in its upcoming iX soon.
Obviously, we’re looking at a refreshed and more colorful design here. Based on what we can glance from the materials that BMW did …

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Elon Musk claims he tried selling Tesla to Apple but Tim Cook wasn’t interested

Tesla stock’s miraculously bizarre 2020 might have a gone different way had Apple’s Tim Cook agreed to a meeting in recent years, or so says Elon Musk.
Reacting to Reuters’ recent news that Apple has not abandoned its electric car program and is still pursuing plans to build a physical vehicle, Musk tweeted that in “the darkest days” of scaling Model 3 production, he reached out to Apple CEO Tim Cook and raised the possibility of the Cupertino company acquiring Tesla. Musk says that Cook refused to take the meeting.
TechCrunch has reached out to Apple for comment.

During the …

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