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Tesla

Founded in 2003, Tesla is the top manufacturer of electric vehicles in the US. Led by billionaire CEO Elon Musk, the automaker upended the industry with the futuristic designs and technology of the Gigafactory, the Model S sedan, the Model X SUV, the mass-market Model 3, and soon, the Model Y compact SUV and the unconventional, Blade Runner-inspired pickup Cybertruck. The company has also experienced a number of growing pains on the path to that status as a leader, including public clashes with government agencies, and it commonly faces questions about its technology, issues with its manufacturing, and the treatment of its workforce. The Verge covers all of Tesla’s product launches and ambitions, including energy generation and storage, and the push towards autonomous cars.

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Tesla says that Rivian, GM, Polestar, and Volvo are next in line for Supercharger access.

Ford EV owners are the first to get access, with the company opening up orders for complimentary NACS-to-CCS adapters starting today. And (as noticed by Electrek) next in line will be GM, Rivian, Polestar, and Volvo. The companies will also need to roll out software updates to allow Tesla’s chargers to automatically recognize their vehicles for billing purposes.


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Tesla’s Black workers get class action approval for their racial bias lawsuit.

A judge approved the class status of a group of nearly 6,000 Black employees of Tesla who are suing the company over claims of racial bias and harassment. The employees sued the company in 2017, alleging they suffered constant, often daily racial discrimination and harassment, and that the electric car company did little to nothing to stop the behavior. Tesla is likely to appeal the ruling.

Tesla was also sued last year by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for similar reasons.


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Tesla Roadster is coming. No really!

Elon Musk isn’t great with timelines so take his latest proclamations about a 2024 reveal for the second generation Roadster announced in 2017 with appropriate skepticism, especially since he already missed the 20202022, and 2023 dates.

Technically he says “aiming to ship next yea” which is either a typo for 2025 or a tactic to avoid accountability.


Ford is testing its Tesla Supercharger adapter.

Ford CEO Jim Farley showed off the charging adapter in a post on Threads and said the company will share “more info very soon.” The CCS to NACS charging adapter is expected to start shipping to Ford EV owners free of charge this spring.


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Pay for your pies.

Tesla reportedly stiffed a Black-owned bakery during Black History Month, canceling an order for thousands of dollars worth of piesafter asking the owner to double the amount.

Today, Musk vaguely tweeted he’d “make things good with the bakery”. Meanwhile, the community has stepped in to help.


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A report suggests Tesla’s Full Self-Driving system may have been involved in a deadly 2022 crash.

Hans von Ohain, a former Tesla employee, was killed after his Tesla Model 3 veered off a Colorado road and into a tree, where the vehicle caught fire. However, The Washington Post interviewed the surviving passenger and obtained 911 dispatch recordings, which indicate von Ohain may have had FSD enabled at the time of the crash.

Colorado State Patrol investigators were never able to determine whether FSD was involved due to the extensive damage and closed the investigation last year. Elon Musk maintained Tesla’s FSD system caused no accidents or injuries just months before the crash occurred.


Welcome to the first Thursday Decoder.

This week marks the launch of Decoder’s second episode, which will explain big topics in the news with Verge reporters, experts, and other friends of the show. (The other Decoder you know and love, featuring big interviews with CEOs and others, now publishes every Monday.)

For this episode, I sat down with Verge Transportation Editor Andy Hawkins, to discuss a fantastic article he wrote called, “The EV Transition trips over its own cord.” It’s all about how the momentum for electric cars in America has started to hit serious snags, even as more people than ever before go fully electric. Check it out.


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Sounds like Tesla is prepping for some layoffs.

That’s the impression many employees got after the company asked managers to sort which jobs were “critical,” according to Bloomberg. Also biannual performance reviews were cancelled.

During the most recent earnings call, Elon Musk said Tesla was between “two major growth waves,” but warned of a sales slowdown in 2024. Tesla has roughly doubled in size since 2020, with around 140,000 on its payroll globally.


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SpaceX is being investigated for discrimination and sexual harassment.

The California Civil Rights Department is investigating complaints by seven workers that SpaceX execs “discriminated against women, joked about sexual harassment and fired workers for raising concerns,” reports Bloomberg and Reuters.

The same agency is also suing Tesla over charges of operating a “racially segregated workplace.”

In the SpaceX complaints, employees cite a pattern of discrimination, as well as inappropriate tweets by Musk that they said they couldn’t easily avoid because he uses the platform for important company announcements.


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How independent are the boards of Musk’s companies?

Not very, according to The Wall Street Journal’s examination, published last night.

It’s not just that some members have earned, for example, “hundreds of millions of dollars” — far more than typical board member compensation, the Journal says.

It’s that reportedly, some members are heavily invested in Musk’s and each other’s companies, and regularly do drugs with him “because they think refraining could upset the billionaire, who has made them a lot of money.”


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Tesla will pay $1.5 million to settle a California lawsuit over dumping hazardous waste.

Tesla was being sued by 25 California DAs for dumping hazardous automotive components and waste like metal car panel welding spatter in the trash instead of handling it appropriately.

As TechCrunch points out, Tesla will pay $1.3 million in civil penalties, $200k for the costs of the investigation, and comply with an injunction for five years with training for employees and audits of its trash containers.


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CEOs can be friends with the people setting their pay —

apparently they just have to disclose it first.

Axios writes that CEOs other than Elon Musk should still be fine to receive pay packages as big as they’d like, so long as they keep their board processes buttoned up.


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Tesla is getting sued in California for its hazardous waste handling.

Over two dozen California counties accuse the EV-maker of improperly labeling and disposing of hazardous waste in landfills that don’t process that type of material, according to a report from Reuters.

The hazardous materials in question include used batteries, antifreeze, paint materials, brake fluids, and more. As noted by Reuters, a violation of California’s hazardous waste management policies could result in penalties of up to $70,000 per day.


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Ford EV owners will get their Tesla Supercharger adapters for free.

In a post on X, Ford CEO Jim Farley said that Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning owners in the US and Canada could reserve their complimentary adapters. The adapters, which enable EVs equipped with CCS ports to charge at Tesla Superchargers, are being supplied by Tesla, a spokesperson said.

Ford was the first company to announce its intention to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard for its future EVs — a commitment that was eventually repeated by basically the rest of the global auto industry.


Tesla’s rearview cameras are messed up.

The company issued a recall notice for nearly 200,000 Model S, X, and Y vehicles from 2023 for a “software instability” that prevents the rearview camera from working properly. Of course, Tesla has already begun releasing an over-the-air software update to fix the issue, as it does. Not a good look for a company that has positioned itself at the forefront of the software revolution in the auto industry!


No car company has taken up Tesla’s offer to license FSD.

In an earnings call, Elon Musk said it might be because they “still don’t believe it’s real.” He claimed that Tesla is still in talks with other automakers to license the advanced driver-assist feature, that despite the misleading name still requires driver’s to pay attention to the road while using.

Over 400,000 cars in North America have the feature, Musk said. Tesla just started rolling out v12, which uses neural nets “end-to-end” to control the vehicle’s functions.


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Tesla finally releases (sort of) its neural network Full Self-Driving feature.

Electrek reports that Tesla is slowly releasing FSD v12 on beta to a very small group of testers after CEO Elon Musk promised its release last year. If the demo was anything to go by, delaying the release to 2024 was a good idea, especially after almost running a red light.

FSD v12 is supposed to feature what Musk calls “end-to-end neural nets,” meaning that instead of relying on a mix of cameras and sensors like radar, FSD v12 will mainly use AI and cameras.


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The Cybertruck’s 11,000-pound towing limit just got put to the test.

We’ve already seen range tests with the Cybertruck carrying 6,000 pounds, but JerryRigEverything maxed out the Cybertruck’s 11,000-pound capacity in a new video that has the EV pickup pulling a Hummer.

The trip, which was done in sub-freezing temperatures, lasted 90 miles before the Cybertruck’s battery ran out of juice. To compare, one Cybertruck owner towing 6,000 pounds got around 111 miles of range.


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Tesla Supercharger in Chicago packed with “dead robots” that can’t charge in the cold.

Electrek points out this Fox 32 report from Monday showing Teslas that couldn’t charge in subzero temperatures, similar to issues some drivers reported last winter.

It’s unclear if drivers failed to warm the batteries by preconditioning (EVs in Norway, for example, seem to get by somehow) or if the chargers failed, and Tesla doesn’t respond to questions. Another report from WGN News points to long lines at functioning stations and includes a service center operator telling people to park their cars inside if possible.


Elon Musk is uncomfortable with the amount of control Elon Musk has over Tesla.

The Tesla CEO and X CTO / owner writes that “I am uncomfortable growing Tesla to be a leader in AI & robotics without having ~25% voting control,” and proposed building products (like Grok?) outside of Tesla instead.

Musk’s stake in the company reportedly dropped to 13.4 percent in 2022 as he sold shares and acquired X, then known as Twitter. Now there’s this statement, a recent WSJ report citing concerns about drug use, and... Tesla’s Q4 earnings report coming up on January 24th.


“I am uncomfortable growing Tesla to be a leader in AI & robotics without ~25% control. Enough to be influential, but not so much I can’t be overturned. Unless that is the case, I would prefer to build products outside of Tesla. You don’t seem to understand Tesla is not one startup, but a dozen. Simply look at the delta between what Tesla does and GM.  As for stock ownership itself being enough motivation, Fidelity and other own similar stakes. Why don’t they show up for work?”
Image: @elonmusk (X)
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Tesla temporarily halts production at its biggest European factory.

The company blames the two-week pause at its German Gigafactory on a component shortage caused by shipping disruptions in the Red Sea — a major trade route between Asia and Europe.

Iranian-backed Houthi militants have increasingly targeted cargo ships in the region following the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7th. Delays caused by shipping companies re-routing around the conflict are also impacting production at Volvo.


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Want to know what the Cybertruck can do to carrots and hot dogs?

The folks over at the Out of Spec Reviews channel started this Cybertruck look by comparing the pinch sensors (or lack thereof) of the doors and frunk of a Rivian truck, a Cybertruck, an F-150 Lightning, and a Tesla Model X.

Something to watch if you’re curious about what happens if you don’t get your snack out of the way in time.


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Meet the new Tesla Autopilot, same as the old Tesla Autopilot.

In the wake of the massive recall meant to address inadequate driver monitoring, MotorTrend tested out Tesla’s newly updated Autopilot on a 700-mile road trip, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s barely any different.

In our estimation, Tesla has done the bare minimum to satisfy the NHTSA’s concerns. It has made the warnings more visible, but it has not increased the frequency of those warnings. It continues to rely on easily deceived steering wheel torque sensors for all driving conditions that don’t involve Autosteer, rather than cracking down on driver distraction at all times, as many competitors have done.