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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.

Tesla recalls 1.1 million vehicles to prevent drivers from getting pinched by the windows.

The issue is that the windows would not recognize certain objects while closing, which could result in “a pinching injury to the occupant.” It’s a pretty enormous recall, covering some 2017-2022 Model 3, 2020-2021 Model Y, and 2021-2022 Model S and Model X vehicles.

Tesla said it would issue a fix via an over-the-air software update. Notably, nobody has been been injured or killed by Tesla’s ravenous windows, but I wouldn’t recommend sticking your fingers in there just to see what happens.

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Tesla is buzzing with robot fever.

Elon Musk’s company is getting ready to debut its supposedly not-fake humanoid robot, Optimus, during its “AI Day” event September 30th. What evidence do we have that it won’t just be another a person in a spandex robot costume doing an extremely awkward dance? There have been meetings! And job postings! And Elon tweeted that there may be a working prototype! Look, this will either be a major breakthrough in the field of robotics or a spectacular flop. But considering Musk has already solved the problem of self-driving cars, I’m inclined to— what’s that? [touches earpiece] I’m being told he hasn’t solved the problem of self-driving cars? And that humanoid robots could prove even more difficult? Oh well, then bring on the spandex dancers I guess.

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Mitchell ClarkSep 20
More testimony on how working at Tesla is a nightmare for women.

Rolling Stone interviewed five women involved in the several sexual harassment lawsuits against the automaker.

Hearing them describe how they were treated, and how Tesla failed to defend them (and sometimes actively punished them) is difficult.

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Tesla is scrambling to figure out how to make more EV batteries in the US.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the electric automaker is pausing its plans to make batteries at its Gigafactory in Berlin. The shift in strategy came about after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $10 billion in tax credits for companies who build clean-tech facilities in the US. The company is also exploring building a lithium processing plant on the Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, Tesla’s vehicles will re-qualify for the $7,500 EV tax credit starting January 1st. (The company was the first to lose eligibility back in 2019.)

There’s no driving test for self-driving cars in the US — but there should be

Would a European-style regulatory system improve safety?

David ZipperSep 12
What do Tim Cook and Jony Ive really think of Tesla?

A moment from the Cook/Ive/Laurene Powell Jobs conversation at Code has been stuck in my head since Wednesday night, and I was finally able to revisit the video recording this morning. While discussing car design, Powell Jobs gestures to two people beside her on stage and says:

“I know you guys don’t love the design of Tesla, but I appreciate the degree of its safety. It’s really quite nice.”

There were only three other people on that stage: Cook, Ive, and Kara Swisher. I’m pretty sure I know who she was gesturing to.

Elon Musk now says Tesla could start Cybertruck deliveries in mid-2023

The all-electric pickup has yet to begin production

Mitchell ClarkJul 20