Who would have thought batteries could be so exciting? shares in nikola hit $24 for a time today down from their june high of nearly $80 after the electric truckmakers founder stepped down over allegations that included it was buying in batteries rather than using its own much vaunted technology.
Then, on tuesday, we have teslas annual meeting, incorporating a battery day, which chief executive elon musk has promised will be one of the most exciting days in teslas history.
The nikola story has been moving fast since short seller hindenburg research published a report this month alleging nikola was anintricate fraudand disputing its claims to have developed breakthrough technology. in a rebuttal last week, nikola said the report contained false and misleading claims, but added the company does use third-party parts in prototype vehicles.
A financial times story at the weekend revealed nikola was relying on californian manufacturer romeo power technology for batteries for one of its prototype electric trucks. this was a second example, following its choice of general motors ultium battery this month rather than its own game-changing one.
Nikola founder trevor milton said today he was stepping down as executive chairman and told employees he intended to defend myself against false allegations levelled against me by outside detractors.
Elon musk has his own detractors and our big read today quotes bob lutz, the former top executive at americas three biggest automakers, as saying about battery day: one thing is sure: elon will announce something big which is nowhere near ready for prime time.
However, mr musk may claim the industrys first million-mile lithium-iron phosphate battery, capable of many more charge and discharge cycles than typical car batteries. software and electronics improvements could create more efficiencies, while a possibleannouncement that it willmake better-fitting battery cells itself would increase confidence tesla will stay ahead of the pack in increasing range and performance.
Nikolas defenders are already saying it is more focused on building a network of hydrogen stations than building trucks. teslas own network of regular battery recharging points may seem less important after tomorrow.
1. more tiktok trumpfoolerypresident trump has given his blessing to oracles partnership with bytedance to operate tiktok, but his claim that the companies would finance a $5bn patriotic education fund so we can educate people as to the real history of our country has led to some head scratching. our weekend big read looked at the politicisation of american business. meanwhile, bytedance has muddied the waters, saying on monday that it would maintain majority ownership and control of tiktok global, contradicting statements by mr trump, oracle and walmart.a ban on the tiktok app has now been postponed, while a california judge has temporarily blocked a us department of commerce ban on tencents wechat messaging app, as a result of a case brought by users.
2. eu considers new big tech powersbrussels ismulling new powersto take on big tech companies, including the ability to force them to break up or sell their european operations, eu commissioner thierry breton told the ft. youtube has reverted to usinghuman content moderatorsafter machines proved overzealous in judging what content was harmful.
3. kinnevik is no softbank, says chiefswedens kinnevik has reaped the benefits of its two big bets on digital healthcare and online grocery start-ups after demand for remote services soared during the pandemic, but the boss of europes largest listed tech investor has rejected comparisons with japanese conglomerate softbank, in an ft interview. meanwhile, nathan benaich, general partner at air street capital, explains in an opinion piece why ai has disappointed during the pandemic.
4. europes telcos fail to capitalise on wfhwhat should have been a golden year for european telecoms companies as millions work from home has become a missed opportunity. the value of listed telecoms companies has dropped almost 20 per cent on average over the past year, despite efforts to revive the sector. nic fildes reports on the high debt and unwieldy corporate structures that have dented valuations of european telecoms operators.
5. virtual emmys and quibi for sale?at&t-ownedhbodominated sundaysemmyawards, winning 30 prizes including best drama series forsuccessionand best limited series forwatchmen. the awards cemented the networks long-held position as televisions creative powerhouse, despite stiff competition fromnetflix, which was up for a record 160 nominations this year. while streaming services are generally doing well, the shorter-form quibi mobile service is exploring strategic options including a possible sale, says the wall street journal.
Tuesday: battery day at tesla is expected to reveal new advances in its industry-leading technology. microsofts three-day ignite developer conference begins. hmd global will unveil a new line-up of nokia-branded phones.
Wednesday:apples online store opens in india. the annual huawei connect tech forum takes place from wednesday to saturday in shanghai. chairman guo ping will open the gathering with a 15-minute speech, the first executive-level public address since the us cut off huawei from global suppliers.
Thursday: the uk government will try again with the release of a new version of its covid contact tracing app. amazon will unveil its latest alexa-enabled hardware.
Gopro has one-upped 4k ultra high definition pictures with its latest action camera offering the 330 ($350) hero9 black has 5k. there is also a new front-facing lcd screen with live preview for framing those selfies. engadget says this is possibly the most significant update to a gopro in recent years.