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The Station: Rivian trims its workforce and a supply chain-tainted earnings season begins



The Station: Rivian trims its workforce and a supply chain-tainted earnings season begins

The Station is a weekly newsletter dedicated to all things transportation. Sign up here — just click The Station — to receive it every weekend in your inbox.

Welcome back to The Station, your central hub for all past, present and future means of moving people and packages from Point A to Point B.

Listen up founders! In a few months, TC Disrupt will kick off at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. This annual flagship event, in which hundreds of founders have pitched their startups on our stage, is back in person. So, here is a chance to participate.

Startup Battlefield 200 applications are closing soon. Apply today to join Startup Battlefield 200 for the chance to exhibit your startup for free at TechCrunch Disrupt this October and win the $100,000 equity-free prize. Applications close August 5. Apply today.

Next week, Rebecca Bellan will be taking over the whole newsletter show. Give her some love — aka tips and suggestions — by sending.

You also can email me at kirsten to share thoughts, criticisms, opinions or tips. You also can send a direct message to 


Supply chain constraints are not just hitting the automotive world. Micromobility is feeling the pain as well.

I reached out to about 20 companies building electric scooters and bikes, and most of them told me the same thing: Getting critical parts, like motors, out of China is becoming increasingly difficult, and Russia’s war against Ukraine is making supplies like nickel expensive and hard to source. The result? More companies are trying to get at least final assembly as close to the end consumer as possible.

Watch this space. We might begin to see new factories cropping up in Europe and North America, which will empower some economies even as others suffer.

In other news…

Arcimoto unveiled an electric tilting e-trike, which it calls the Cybertrike edition of its Mean Lean Machine.

Dott brought in €32 million in 2021, with about 19 million rides in 29 cities.

HumanForest did a marketing thing with dating app Bumble that was actually kind of cute. It gave people on Bumble access to 30 minutes of free riding to encourage people to try an active, outdoor date. 

TC’s very own Haje Jan Kamps tried out a prototype of the Nimbus three-wheeled, mini-EV. While it was a rickety little thing that is clearly not at all ready for public use, the vehicle has real gumption, and Haje, like me, really wants to love it. Fingers crossed this company pulls off its final design when the time comes. 

Okai is launching a new fat-tire, off-road e-bike that can ride for 45 miles on dirt or road. 

Shell is making e-scooters and battery banks, I guess. Yes, Shell, the gas company that has helped us pollute the universe for over a century. 

Tier has introduced e-bikes to Ealing, in London, adding on to its existing e-scooter trial there. First-time riders can get two free unlocks and 20 minutes of free riding using the code “EALINGTIER” on the app.

A few words on bik lanes… 

A new study shows bike lanes increase sales of local businesses because they make the streets safer places for pedestrians, which increases foot traffic, so THERE! Shop owners should stop complaining to their local transportation authorities when parking spots get repurposed for bike lanes. The end.

Rutgers University researchers are using VR to help determine the feasibility of pop-up bike lanes in New Jersey.

Meanwhile in New York City, a bill is being considered to install bike lane cameras to catch when drivers park in the bike lane and fine them $50. We love to see tech helping bikers stay safe.

A little bird

We hear things and we share the tidbits that we can verify.

We’ve been hearing rumblings for awhile that not all is right over at Helbiz, including that it was late paying employees in at least two offices — one in the U.S. and one in Serbia. The late U.S. payment was only about four days late, but Serbian workers were waiting on June pay until the second week of July.

This wasn’t the first time Helbiz was late to pay employees. In early April, the operator missed payroll for U.S. employees, blaming a software glitch. A former employee told us Helbiz also missed payroll in Serbia in December 2020, with employees not seeing a check until February 2021.

It seems the issues extend beyond late paychecks. Sources tell us that scooter supply shipments are also chronically late and complain the company is unstructured, causing issues throughout the organization.

It’s certainly troubling, especially given the company’s plan to acquire another U.S.-based scooter operator, Wheels. If you recall from last week, we reported that Wheels employees are being furloughed. Back in late May/early June, Wheels furloughed “at least 10 people” according to one source.

Deal of the week

After lots of back and forth, the JetBlue-Spirit Airlines deal actually happened

The respective boards at JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines approved a merger agreement at a diluted equity valuation of $3.8 billion. JetBlue will acquire Spirit for $33.50 per share in cash, including a prepayment of $2.50 per share in cash payable upon Spirit stockholders’ approval of the transaction.

The deal faces scrutiny from the Justice Department. But if it closes, it will create the fifth largest airline in the United States.

Other deals this week…

Drover AI, the startup that really popularized using camera-based computer vision systems to stop scooter riders from riding all over the sidewalk, has closed a $5.4 million Series A.

Everrati, EV conversion startup, has landed an investment from former Nest CEO Matt Rogers, the Verge reported.

General Motors sold $2.25 billion worth of green bonds — at first for the automaker, Bloomberg reported.

Koenigsegg, the hypercar company, invested as undisclosed amount into Lightyear, the Netherlands-based startup developing a solar vehicle that is expected to go into production this fall.

Next.e.GO Mobile, the German manufacturer of compact EVs, is going public through a merger with blank-check company Athena Consumer Acquisition Company at $913 million valuation that includes debt.

Polymath Robotics, a new startup that came out of stealth and is part of the Y Combinator Summer 2022 cohort, has landed a number of high-profile angel investors, including Catapult Ventures managing director Darren Liccardo, Thursday Ventures general partner Matt Sweeney, Cruise co-founder and CEO Kyle Vogt and Oliver Cameron, the former co-founder and CEO of Voyage who is now at Cruise. (Polymath didn’t disclose the total amount of funding). Stefan Seltz-Axmacher, co-founder and CEO of Polymath, is familiar to the AV industry ecosystem. He previously co-founded and led the now shuttered Starsky Robotics.

Notable reads and other tidbits

Autonomous vehicles

Cruise has sent two of its autonomous Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles to Dubai to begin mapping the city in preparation for a planned launch in 2023, according to Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority.

Kodiak Robotics completed a commercial run between Texas, California and Florida for 10 Roads Express, as part of a pilot program with the USPS mail carrier.

Electric vehicles & batteries

Apple has hired Luigi Taraborrelli, a 20-year veteran of supercar maker Lamborghini, to work on the tech company’s not-so-secret electric autonomous vehicle program, Bloomberg reported.

Ars Technica released a guide to EV charging.

Bentley Motors has delayed its first EV.

General Motors launched a program and digital platform called EV Live to educate car shoppers about EVs and target first-time buyers, as the automaker searches for ways to catch up to and outpace rival Tesla.

Faraday Future is faltering — again. The company said in a regulatory filing that it has delayed production of its FF91 flagship electric vehicle due to lack of money and supply chain issues.

Rivian started laying off about 6% of its workforce (about 900 people) as part of a restructuring plan, according to an internal email from founder and CEO RJ Scaringe (and viewed by TechCrunch). The layoffs are hitting every department, with one major exception — manufacturing operations at its Normal, Illinois factory.

Sono Motors’ solar EV is finally here! Well, sort of; there’s the sticky business of production to contend with. The startup unveiled the final production design of the vehicle as well as a solar bus kit, a new product that is a series of solar panels designed to be retrofitted onto 12-meter public buses.

TechCrunch’s Tim De Chant takes a deep dive into the 725-page Manchin-Schumer bill, which includes some EV transportation spending. He also wrote up another TC+ (subscription) article examining whether VW’s new CEO will hamstring its EV push.

U.S. Department of Energy revived an old loan program and its first recipient is the joint battery venture between GM and LG Energy Solution, which received a $2.5 billion loan from the agency to help it finance the construction of new lithium-ion battery cell manufacturing facilities.

Ford released the law enforcement version of its all-electric F-150 Lightning truck.


The big three U.S. automakers reported earnings this week and the big themes that repeatedly came up were inflation, supply chain issues, China and EVs.

General Motors kicked things off with a rather dismal Q2 report that saw profits fall 40% year over year to $1.69 billion. The culprit? GM blamed its weak performance on a drop in North American production due to supply chain disruptions and semiconductor chip shortages that caused bottlenecks at its factories. And let’s not forget the pandemic-related factory shutdowns in China.

Another tidbit: GM’s self-driving subsidiary Cruise is burning through cash, with expenses hitting around $550 million compared to $332 million during the same quarter of last year. Operating losses topped $605 million, up from $363 million last year. The increase in cost can be attributed to a headcount increase from revving up Cruise’s robotaxi service, as well as a change in the compensation expense, according to CEO Kyle Vogt.

Ford also saw losses in China, but gains in other regions helped the automaker bring in $40.2 billion in revenue, a 50% increase from the same period last year and an adjusted operating income that tripled to $3.7 billion.

Spotify announced during its second-quarter earnings call that it has stopped manufacturing “Car Thing,” the company’s in-vehicle device for controlling music.

Future of flight

Urban Movement Labs in Los Angeles is partnering with South Korea’s Institute of Aerospace Industry-Academia Collaboration (IAIAC) to explore research opportunities around air mobility planning and integration. IAIAC is working to integrate advanced air mobility within the Incheon metro region.


Bosch is reorganizing its Mobility Solutions business sector, which will now be headed up by Markus Heyn.

Hyundai Motor North America promoted Randy Parker to be CEO of Hyundai Motor America effective August 1.

Lyten, an advanced materials company developing lithium-sulfur batteries and other high-performance product, hired Celina Mikolajczak as chief battery technology officer.


Uber is expanding its “Comfort Electric” product, which is basically just all-electric Uber rides, to seven additional cities, including Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Austin, Philly and Baltimore. Uber originally launched the luxurious EV service in May in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.

Also in Uber news, the ride-hail giant apparently does not have to provide a wheelchair-accessible service in every market, a judge rules. This just a week or so after Uber settled a lawsuit from the DOJ for allegedly overcharging disabled riders.

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The Importance of Sustainable Design in Residential Real Estate Development




The Importance of Sustainable Design in Residential Real Estate Development

Regarding residential real estate development, it is crucial to consider sustainability. It can make your home more appealing to buyers and help to reduce your environmental footprint.

Sustainable design is an integral part of all new constructions, but older homes can also be retrofitted with sustainable features that will save money and energy in the long run.

Energy Efficiency

Energy costs can represent a substantial portion of the operating costs of multifamily properties, so lowering them can reduce overall expenses and make buildings more affordable. Moreover, improving building efficiency can increase property value and boost occupancy rates.

Studies have shown that highly rated energy-efficient buildings sell at a premium.

However, many energy efficiency upgrades require extensive money and time. This may discourage some owners from implementing them.

To overcome this challenge, cities and governments should find ways to encourage more collaboration among developers, regulators and finance companies. They should also develop policies to help drive demand and bring efficiency to scale.

Water Conservation

The sustainable design aims to reduce negative impacts on the environment, occupants’ health and comfort. It also seeks to improve building performance.

Water conservation is a crucial aspect of sustainable residential real estate development design. It entails implementing efficient water management practices and systems within properties to ensure sustainable water use throughout the lifecycle.

This can be done by limiting outdoor water usage, using toilets and shower heads with low-flow features and reducing irrigation.

In addition to achieving lower operational costs, water savings initiatives help mitigate future water supply risks as climate change and drought conditions worsen. This is especially true in cities that have water supplies in shorter supply.

Green Spaces

Sustainable design is a vital component of residential real estate development like those from Your Home Wichita. Using green building practices and incorporating energy-efficient features can help make a property more environmentally friendly, reduce operating costs and increase its market value.

Green spaces can benefit the health of occupants in a variety of ways. For example, they can reduce premature mortality, improve mental health, mitigate air pollution, lower stress, and promote well-being.

They can also improve the overall quality of life and reduce the environmental impact of a city, reducing heat island effects and enhancing habitats.

In addition, they can attract locals and promote social interaction. This can increase economic benefits for local governments and homeowners by encouraging people to live in the area and creating business opportunities.

Creating green spaces can help reduce income inequality, as people on higher incomes tend to have more access to nature than those on lower incomes. This is an essential consideration because those on the lowest incomes are often forced to live in urban environments where access to green space is much more limited.


Biodiversity is an essential component of sustainable design in residential real estate development. It encompasses the variety of species in an area and how they interact with each other. From a small garden pond to a rainforest, biodiversity is robust.

There are many ways that property developers can improve biodiversity in their buildings and landscapes. This can include planting trees, introducing wildlife such as bees and birds or using ecological corridors to connect two biodiversity reserves.

Currently, most UK property developers are required to achieve a net biodiversity gain in new developments. This is a positive step towards improving the environment, as it will help to reduce negative impacts from habitat loss, pollution and changing nutrient cycles in the soil.

However, this is only one step towards achieving true sustainability. The next step is to develop social norms for biodiversity in the real estate sector and beyond. These must help motivate stakeholders to preserve and enhance urban biodiversity.

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The Psychology of Nostalgia Marketing



The Psychology of Nostalgia Marketing

Nostalgia marketing is an influential tool marketers have used for decades to evoke a sense of consumer longing for the past. By tapping into consumers’ emotions and memories, nostalgia marketing can help brands establish an emotional connection with their audience, increase engagement, and drive sales. Read more digital marketing tips on Adtheory, a new marketing and advertising blog – with an intersectional twist.

The Psychology of Nostalgia Marketing

Nostalgia is a complex and fascinating emotion that has captured the attention of scholars and researchers alike. It’s a unique blend of happiness, sadness, and longing often associated with cherished memories from the past. Whether it’s a favorite childhood toy, a beloved TV show, or a memorable vacation, nostalgia can transport us back in time and relive the positive emotions associated with those experiences.

But nostalgia is not just a personal experience. It’s also a powerful tool for brands to create a deep emotional connection with their audience. By tapping into their target market’s collective memories and experiences, brands can develop a sense of familiarity and comfort that can be hard to resist. Whether through vintage imagery, classic advertising slogans, or retro packaging designs, nostalgia marketing can evoke powerful emotions and positively associate with a brand’s product or service. Think retro Pepsi cans. Read more digital marketing tips on Adtheory, a new marketing and advertising blog – with an intersectional twist.

According to research by Wildschut et al. (2006), nostalgia can profoundly impact our behavior. When we experience nostalgia, we tend to feel more connected to others, be in a positive mood, and be more willing to spend money. This is why nostalgia marketing is becoming an increasingly popular strategy for businesses looking to increase sales and build brand loyalty. By evoking positive memories and feelings, brands can create a deep emotional connection with their audience to drive engagement and motivate them to purchase.

Why Is Nostalgia Marketing So Effective?

Nostalgia marketing is a highly effective strategy for connecting with customers on an emotional level. By tapping into our emotions and memories, nostalgia marketing creates a sense of familiarity and comfort with a brand. This can be especially important for brands trying to establish themselves in a crowded market, as it can help them stand out from the competition. Read more digital marketing tips on Adtheory, a new marketing and advertising blog – with an intersectional twist.

Moreover, nostalgia marketing can create a sense of community and connection with others who share nostalgic feelings. For example, a brand that uses images or slogans from a beloved childhood cartoon can create a bond between customers who grew up with that cartoon. This can lead to increased loyalty and engagement with the brand.

In addition, nostalgia marketing can be a powerful motivator for purchasing behavior. Feeling nostalgic makes us more apt to spend money on products and experiences that evoke those positive memories. So, for example, a company that sells retro-style clothing or decor can appeal to customers who long for the styles of their youth.

Another reason nostalgia marketing is so effective is that it can appeal to various demographics. Nostalgic feelings are not limited to a particular age group or demographic. People of all ages and backgrounds can experience nostalgia, meaning brands can use this strategy to connect with a broad audience.

How to Effectively Use Nostalgia Marketing in Your Campaigns

Nostalgia marketing is a powerful tool to help brands establish an emotional connection with their target consumers, increase engagement, and drive sales. By tapping into consumers’ emotions and memories, brands can create a feeling of familiarity and warmth with their audience and motivate them to make purchases. 

Understand your audience.

To effectively use nostalgia marketing, you must know what periods or events your target audience may be nostalgic for. You can conduct surveys, focus groups, or analyze social media trends to understand better what your audience is nostalgic for. This makes it easier for you to develop campaigns that resonate more with your audience.

Use visuals and music.

Visuals and music can be powerful tools in nostalgia marketing. Consider using imagery and music associated with the period or event you’re trying to evoke. For example, if you’re targeting baby boomers, you might use images and music from the 1960s and 1970s. If you’re targeting millennials, you may use pictures and music from the 1990s and early 2000s. By using these visuals and music, you can create a sense of nostalgia for your audience and evoke positive emotions.

Be authentic.

Authenticity is key in nostalgia marketing. Ensure your nostalgia marketing campaigns are genuine and not overly sentimental or cheesy. Consumers can quickly spot inauthenticity, and it can damage your brand’s reputation. So instead, focus on creating content that is authentic and taps into your audience’s emotions in a meaningful way. For example, you can use real stories and personal experiences or showcase how your brand has evolved.

Nostalgia marketing is a timeless strategy that can continue to be effective for years. Remembering these tips, you can use nostalgia marketing to create campaigns that resonate with your audience and drive actual results. Start by understanding your audience, using visuals and music that evoke positive emotions, and being authentic in your campaigns.

The Future of Nostalgia Marketing.

As we move into the future, nostalgia marketing will remain a popular brand strategy. As our world becomes increasingly digital and fast-paced, consumers may crave the comfort and familiarity of the past more than ever.

In addition, new generations will continue to be exposed to the cultural touchpoints of the past, whether through streaming services, social media, or other forms of media. This means nostalgia marketing will continue to be relevant to a broad audience. 

However, as with any marketing strategy, it’s essential to evolve and adapt over time. Brands that rely too heavily on nostalgia marketing may become stale or irrelevant. To stay ahead of the curve, brands should continue to innovate and experiment with new ways to evoke positive emotions and create an emotional connection with their audience.

Ultimately, nostalgia marketing is a powerful tool that can help brands create a sense of familiarity and comfort with their audience and motivate them to purchase. By understanding the psychology behind nostalgia and keeping up with the latest trends and innovations, brands can continue to use this strategy to connect with their audience and drive actual results.

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Mortgage Broker – Your Key to Financial Freedom




Mortgage Broker - Your Key to Financial Freedom

If you’re in the market for a new home or refinancing your current mortgage, a mortgage broker could save you a lot of time and money. A mortgage broker matches borrowers with lenders who offer loan programs that meet their unique needs and financial credentials. This can help you get a better deal on your mortgage or even avoid making a mistake.

Find the Right Loan

Buying a home can be one of the most important investments you’ll ever make. You’ll be paying it off for years, so finding the right loan that fits your needs is essential. Quickstart Mortgage brokers work with various lenders and loan officers, allowing them to provide you with multiple options. They also compare mortgage rates to help you find the best deal. A mortgage is a loan that will enable you to buy a house with a small down payment and pay it off over time. Your monthly fee includes the principal (the money you initially borrowed) and interest. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can save you thousands of dollars in interest and fees over the life of your loan. Collecting loan estimates from at least three lenders can help you get the most competitive rate.

Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved is a crucial step to take in your home-buying process. It lets potential sellers know you are a serious buyer and have the money to purchase the home you want. A mortgage lender will verify your income, assets, and debts to make a preapproval decision. Depending on your circumstances, the lender may also ask for documentation, which can take time to complete. It’s essential to avoid any financial moves after you’ve received the preapproval that could make you appear riskier to lenders. For example, wait to apply for new credit, make large purchases or miss any loan and credit card payments. Lenders typically check your credit before issuing a preapproval letter, and they might have an expiration date (usually 30 to 60 days). So, it’s best to wait until you’re ready to get serious about house-hunting before you apply for a mortgage.

Find the Right Lender

Choosing the right lender is crucial for getting the most out of your mortgage. Whether buying your first home or looking to refinance, you should research to find lenders who meet your needs and goals. A suitable lender will help you understand the process and answer any questions. It will also recommend loan types based on your situation and financial goals. They can help you determine how much house you can afford and what down payment you should save. They can also advise you on income requirements for a loan and explain how credit affects your home-buying chances. A broker’s job is to guide you through the mortgage process and ensure you get approved for the best loan. They do this by comparing different products from several lenders and finding the one that fits your needs and budget.

Close the Loan

Closing the loan is the final step of the mortgage process. This involves the lender verifying all your loan details, including your income and assets. It may also include an appraisal and inspection of your home. During this process, your mortgage broker will help you through the paperwork and answer any questions. They will work with you to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that you get the keys to your new home as quickly as possible.

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