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Tesla rival Lucid plans layoffs, as manufacturing and production challenges mount for EV startups

It’s Wednesday, readers. I’m Paayal Zaveri, and I’m getting tired of the rain. In California we’ve had a few months of heavy rain, and the San Francisco Bay Area is getting hit with another storm as I write this.

I grew up here and can’t remember ever seeing this much rain. But I know California desperately needs it after decades of drought. So I’m eagerly waiting for the day when the weather is nice enough to enjoy a day outside.

Until then, I’ll daydream about visiting warmer places and watch “Gilmore Girls” for the hundredth time. Let me know if you have any other cold weather show recommendations. 

Now onto today’s tech news.

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Photo of Lucid Motors car in front of Lucid power plant and manufacturing car 4x3

Lucid Motors; Reuters; Rachel Mendelson/Insider

1. Lucid, a Tesla rival, is planning layoffs. The EV startup is planning to lay off hundreds of employees, my colleague Alexa St. John reported. About 18% of Lucid’s workforce, or over 1,000 people, will be impacted. 

  • Lucid has had a challenging few months, as it works to nail down manufacturing and production and get cars on the roads. Now layoffs are another hurdle. 
  • It’s not the only EV company that’s struggling. Rivian has also struggled with production. Some customers are waiting years for their vehicle deliveries. It’s another sign of how difficult it is for EV startups to break through Tesla’s dominance of the market. 
  • An internal memo from Lucid said employees would get details about the layoffs over the next three days. It also said the cuts will be company-wide, including at the executive level. 

Read about Lucid’s challenges, and why it’s conducting layoffs. 

In other news:

Disney logoIn this photo illustration, a hand holding a TV remote control in front of the Disney Plus logo on a TV screen.

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

2. Disney is ditching the metaverse. Disney is the latest company to abandon its metaverse plans. It reportedly laid off its entire interactive storytelling team, as part of a broader restructuring. Read why it’s shutting down its metaverse just a year in.

3. TikTok’s Project Texas is far from done. In response to national security concerns regarding where TikTok’s US user data is stored, the company enacted Project Texas. It’s a plan where TikTok says it will route US user data into Oracle servers. My colleague Dan Whateley looked into why it’s taking years to complete.

4. Tesla under investigation. Tesla is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over concerns of seat belts disconnecting on their own. The inquiry covers Model X SUVs from 2022 and 2023. Read about what prompted the investigation.

5. Meta continues its “year of efficiency.” Facebook parent company Meta is lowering bonus pay for lower-performing employees and reverting to two performance reviews a year. More layoffs are also on the way. It’s all part of the firm’s cost cutting plans.

6. Microsoft layoffs hit security org. Microsoft’s security team was hit with layoffs, according to an internal email from exec Charlie Bell, my colleague Ashley Stewart reported. Security is a key area of investment for Microsoft, but has been slowed by the tech downturn. Read more

7. Investors are flocking to a new AI technology. Investors are excited about a new AI category called vector databases. These tools help search the actual content of text, images, and videos. Read about the startups creating this new technology.

8. From sports star to investing. Professional runner Vanessa Fraser has a new gig — working at legendary venture capital firm Benchmark. My colleague Samantha Stokes talked to her about how she got there, and how she balances a Nike sponsorship with her day job at the VC firm.

Odds and ends:

The Kia Niro EV charges at a Tesla Supercharger in Brewster, NY.The Kia Niro EV charges at a Tesla Supercharger in Brewster, NY.

Tim Levin/Insider

9. Elon Musk could change EV charging for everyone. Insider’s Tim Levin tested out charging a KIA EV at a former Tesla supercharger that’s open to all EVs. Here’s why he says this could be game changing.

10. Bosses, remember to praise your employees. Feeling blah at work these days? You’re not alone. A recent Gallup survey found more people than ever before are disengaged from their jobs right now. But here’s a simple thing bosses can do to help

What we’re watching today:

Curated by Paayal Zaveri in San Francisco. (Feedback or tips? Email or tweet @paayalzaveri)  Edited by Matt Weinberger (tweet @gamoid) in San Francisco and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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