ON TUESDAY AFTERNOON, Tesla CEO Elon Musk dropped a bombshell via—what else?—a tweet. “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420,” he wrote. “Funding secured.” The dude was serious, it turned out. But it’s not clear he had cleared the announcement with his lawyers. Nor his board. Nor the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has reportedly opened an investigation into whether that “funding secured” statement was, in fact, true. If it wasn’t, it just might cost the electric carmaker a metric ton in lawsuits. Or, worse comes to the absolute worst, prison? Elsewhere in the transportation universe, New York City’s city council made history by placing a one-year freeze on the number of Uber and Lyft vehicles on its streets, and by creating a minimum wage for its ride-hail drivers. This week, being a giant in the transpo space may prove expensive. Let’s get you caught up.
Four years ago, Greg Lettieri and Adam Pasquale found their startup idea in the garbage.
The CEO and COO, respectively, of Recycle Track Systems (RTS) offers up environmentally focused waste removal and recycling by connecting its clients with independent haulers. Its major selling point, however, takes a page out of Uber’s driving manual, using technology that tracks trash from pickup to drop-off.
New York-based RTS partners with local sanitation companies to transport garbage by installing rideshare tech in their trucks. Client companies get multiple notifications on where their waste is going via RTS’s proprietary software and experts in waste management. RTS also offers on-demand service for larger items, like furniture or electronics. In June 2017, the company closed a series A financing round with Volition Capital worth $11.7 million.
The startup aims to take food waste straight to the farm where it is converted to soil. Waste with high potential to be laced with plastic gets sent to a facility to be cleaned. In fact, the CEO explained that environmental concerns are a focus of his company.
“Food waste is 35 percent of the waste stream, making it a real problem with landfills,” Lettieri told CNBC recently. “We need more people on this, the amount of material being thrown out needs to change.”
RICHMOND — Virginia has picked a Los Angeles firm to build and operate a network of electric-vehicle charging stations across the commonwealth, with the state planning to use $14 million from a legal settlement with Volkswagen to cover its share of the public-private partnership.
EVgo will share the cost of building hundreds of charging stations and be allowed to keep all the revenue generated by them under the deal, which Gov. Ralph Northam announced at a news conference Thursday.
There’s been some loud griping about the electric scooters that started making their way to D.C. sidewalks this winter, but those squeaky wheels are not representative of the District’s broader feelings, according to a new survey.
About 72 percent of Washingtonians have a positive view of e-scooters, putting the city near the middle of those surveyed by Populus. The transportation data and analytics firm surveyed 7,000 people for its findings (most of those surveyed had not taken the scooters for a spin). As you can see below, D.C.’s high rate of good vibes for the two-wheelers is not unusual, per the survey.
Uber and Lyft are expanding their vision of ride-sharing to include not just cars but bicycles, electric bicycles, and electric scooters.
Uber jumped in first, adding the electric bikeshare company Jump to its app earlier this year in San Francisco and then acquiring the company outright in March for an estimated $100 million.
Lyft earlier this month bought Motivate, the nation’s largest bikeshare company, with operations in such cities as Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The value of the deal was estimated at $250 million.
And California-based Lime announced recently that its bikes and scooters would also begin appearing on the Uber app and that several investors, including Uber, Fidelity, and Alphabet, the parent of Google, had invested $335 million in the company. The investment suggested the company is now valued at more than $1 billion.
“Our investment and partnership in Lime is another step towards our vision of becoming a one-stop shop for all your transportation needs,” said Rachel Holt, an Uber vice president.