July 12th, 2017 News of the Day: Faraday to move its factory, Vizio files lawsuit against LeEco

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【Summary】News of the Day for July 12th, 2017.

Original Claire    Aug 18, 2017 2:13 PM PT
July 12th, 2017 News of the Day: Faraday to move its factory, Vizio files lawsuit against LeEco

Faraday Future said it will move its electric SUV production site

Electric vehicle startup Faraday Future (FF) announced today that it would move production of its luxury SUV to a new site.

"This will allow product production to be realized faster, as well as allow our future strategy to be implemented more effectively." FF said regarding the latest decision of shifting the factory location.

This was speculated by many as a prelude to mothball the EV company's halting $1 billion Las Vegas factory. Faraday Future initially planned to open the factory in Nevada late in 2017 and manufacture seven models at the site. It later slashed the number to two, including the FF 91.

Since last November, the factory project has been on suspension due to a "temporary adjustment" which claimed by FF, would not affect the plan to begin production in 2018. So far, the company has poured more than $120 million into the construction.

Transfix collects $42 million to push freight shipping business


New York startup Transfix has just closed  $42 million Series C funding led by previous backer New Enterprise Associates and other anonymous strategic investors with "strong ties to the retail and logistics world."

The company aims to match customers in need of interstate freight shipping with truck drivers willing to make deliveries. It hopes to cut out wasted travel, and greenhouse gas emissions as well. The company says its fleet management system can enable users to track shipments, SMS drivers, receive alerts when a shipment might be delayed, and calculate drivers' fuel taxes.

After the new funding, the company has raised $78.5 million in total, and will keep pushing its trucking business, facing many other rivals in the freight business industry.

Vizo filed $100 million lawsuit against LeEco


U.S.-based TV maker Vizio has filed suit in California against LeEco, who intended to purchase Vizio for $2 billion last summer yet later fell through. The deal failed in March due to LeEco's financial trouble, and included a $100 million buyer-termination fee.

Vizio claims that instead of paying Vizio the fee, LeEco offered to set up a joint distribution deal, which included paying Vizio $40 million first, $10 million after the deal close, and the remaining $50 million that will be turned into a capital contribution for the joint venture. The TV maker alleges that LeEco never intended to pay the full amount and purposed the deal in an effort to reduce its liability by 60 percent.

Furthermore, Vizio believes that LeEco was trying to use the publicly announced merger to gain Vizio's customer resources for LeEco's own use.

Waymo drops three of its four patent claims against Uber


Waymo has recently dropped three of its four patent-infringement claims in the lawsuit with Uber. The previous allegations include that Uber infringed on various Alphabet patents. Yet U.S. District Judge William Alsup said in July 7th hearing that Waymo should consider just dropping the patent claims and instead focus on the trade secrets which the lawsuit predominantly focuses on.

"Waymo's retreat on three of their four patent claims is yet another sign that they have over promised and can't deliver. Not only have they uncovered zero evidence of any of the 14,000 files in question coming to Uber, they now admit that Uber's LiDAR design is actually very different than theirs." Uber said in a statement regarding Waymo's patent drop.

Yet Waymo later hit back, asserting that three of the four patent claims are related to a "Spider"

LiDAR design which Uber no longer uses. The fourth and final patent claim is said to focus on the "Fuji" design which Uber continues to use.

VW says the industry needs 40 more battery gigafactories


The Volkswagen Group believes the world needs the equivalent of 40 Tesla gigafactories in the coming ten years to keep up with the increasing demand of lithium-ion batteries.

According to Automotive News, the company's engineers are already researching lithium sulphur batteries as well as those using lithium air chemistry. VW revealed late last month that it targets a quarter of its production volume as electric vehicles by 2025, and will need more than 200 gigawatt hours of electricity for its EVs.

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