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It's Battery Day!

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Battery Day? Battery Day! Battery Day? Also, Rolls-Royce says it’ll make an electric car at some point and the Detroit auto show moves to fall 2021. All that and more in The Morning Shift for September 22, 2020.

1st Gear: I Can’t Wait

It’s Battery Day! Tesla is several hours away from announcing that its cars will soon be powered by AA batteries. This is the technology we’ve all been waiting for. Surely all of Elon Musk’s claims will work out. It seems like all of this has not been over-hyped at all!


Reuters says Elon will argue for the end of internal combustion engines:

Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday is scheduled to showcase the company’s advanced battery technology, with investors expecting he will outline how the company’s electric vehicles will surpass the cost and convenience of internal combustion engines.

As automakers shift from horsepower to kilowatts to comply with stricter environmental regulations, investors are looking for evidence that Tesla can increase its lead in electrification technology over legacy automakers who generate most of their sales and profits from gasoline-powered vehicles.

Musk, who frequently launches new products in attention-grabbing, show-like announcements, has fueled expectations for Battery Day over the past months, in April calling the event “one of the most exciting days in Tesla’s history.”


In all seriousness, I don’t expect too much earth-shattering news from today’s show, though I would be utterly delighted if Elon announced a Tesla Model 2 that will sell for $20,000.

2nd Gear: Detroit

The Detroit auto show will happen again, at some point. It was supposed to happen in June but didn’t, then it was supposed to happen in June 2021. Now it is supposed to happen next September.

From Automotive News:

After reimagining the new vehicle showcase as a summertime indoor/outdoor event, originally scheduled for June 2020 but postponed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, show organizers said Monday the event would take place Sept. 28 to Oct. 9, 2021, and would remain in the fall moving forward.

The change comes weeks after organizers for the Los Angeles Auto Show said they would move the 2020 show from November to May 2021, wedging itself in between the New York and Detroit shows. And in Europe, the Geneva auto show is considering a March 2021 date.

“Our responsibility as an auto show is to host a global stage for current products as well as mobility innovations of tomorrow,” North American International Auto Show Executive Director Rod Alberts said in a statement. “September is an excellent time of year for new product, and at the same time, alleviates the challenges a now crowded spring auto show calendar presents for auto show stakeholders.”


I’m old enough to remember when it was every January.

3rd Gear: Another EV Startup

This one is called WM Motors and is based in China. It has now raised $1.5 billion, according to Reuters, on top of what it has already raised.

Investors in WM’s latest funding round include Shanghai’s state-owned asset regulator’s investment firms and SAIC Motor. WM did not disclose its valuation after the funding.

The funding will help WM further develop intelligent vehicle technologies and expand sales channels. The company is eyeing a STAR board listing and has started preparing for it, people familiar with the matter said.


WM Motors has been around for a while, though it’s easy to forget how many EV shops exist in China.

4th Gear: Speaking Of EVs, Rolls-Royce Says It’ll Have One At Some Point

I would be interested in seeing a statistic about how many Rolls-Royce owners actually drive their Rolls-Royce. I expect that number to be close to zero, which means it is the perfect brand to go electric. Good news: Rolls says it’ll have an EV sometime this decade. Which is late but not surprising considering Rolls is as fleet as a sloth.


From Automotive News:

Rolls-Royce will offer the first full electric Rolls-Royce “within this decade,” CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös told Automotive News Europe in a phone interview.

Rolls-Royce is focusing on full-electric cars and will not sell a plug-in hybrid car, he said.

Rolls-Royce customers appreciate electric power, which “fits perfectly” with the brand, Müller-Ötvös said. “It’s silent and torquey and that is the reason to go directly from combustion to electrification,” he said.

Rolls-Royce’s first EV is currently under development and will be built on the same aluminum spaceframe platform as the automaker’s current lineup.

The EV could replace the Wraith coupe and Dawn convertible, both of which are coming to the end of their lifecycle, Rolls-Royce executives hinted at a recent launch event for the new Ghost sedan. Rolls-Royce did not officially confirm that.


5th Gear: Nikola Stock Is Way Down

Nikola’s founder resigned yesterday, after allegations that the company is an “intricate fraud.” 


Reuters reports that Nikola’s stock is now down big:

Shares of electric-truck maker Nikola Corp NKLA.O tumbled as much as 30% on Monday after founder Trevor Milton stepped down following claims of nepotism and fraud by a Wall Street short-seller that have drawn interest from U.S. regulators.


Stock market investors, who have been selling the company’s shares for a week, drove the stock down by as much as a third before it found some support.

Short-sellers betting against the stock collectively made $104 million in Monday’s slump, according to data from financial analytics firm S3 Partners.

“While founder Trevor Milton’s departure may give the appearance of a company that’s moving on, we believe this is only the beginning of Nikola’s unraveling,” [short seller Hindenburg] said in its own statement on Monday, asking GM to reevaluate its deal.


Who could have seen this coming?

Reverse: Interstate


Neutral: How Are You?

I’m gonna be 36 in less than a month. Christ!