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Tuesday Ticker: September 7, 2021

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— This week, Tesla admits to Cybertruck delays, Apple continues its search for an OEM partner in Asia and Uber implements a benefits program following a long-winded debate with its independently contracted workers.

Parts delays, or lost in space?

Tesla’s Cybertruck debut has fallen about a year behind schedule and won’t start production until 2022, electric technology blog Eletrek reported last week. 

Company CEO Elon Musk reportedly made remarks indicating the delays on a companywide call with employees, said the blog, telling employees that ramping up output will be complicated by the amount of new technology the company will put into the pickup.

Tesla has long teased delays for its highly anticipated electric pickup. In April, Musk said both the Cybertruck and the Semi will run on new, larger battery cells that the carmaker is making on a pilot line in California. The CEO cautioned that volume manufacturing of those cells appeared to be roughly 12 to 18 months away. 

With production delayed, the Cybertruck is expected to not be made in volume until 2023.

Regardless, Tesla stock was up nearly three percent last week, closing at 733.57 a share on Friday. 

iWant a partner

Apple has reportedly set its sights on Asia as it lays the groundwork for the Apple Car; the tech giant reportedly has plans to visit the Toyota HQ to discuss mass production of its planned vehicle, expected to start in 2024.

Toyota is not the first automaker the brand has approached in recent months⁠—earlier this year it was reported Apple was in talks with Hyundai.

The rumours of its partnership with Toyota seem to signal Apple’s eagerness to work with a traditional OEM on its EV project⁠—though Canada’s own Magna International is also in the mix.

Uber rides again   

Last Monday Uber proposed a plan for a flexible benefits fund for app-based ride-hail and food delivery drivers in Canada under which all gig industry players would share data on workers’ hours and earnings. The decision comes after months of flak from Canadian Uber drivers and delivery workers.

Under the preliminary proposal outlined in a company blog post, the fund would provide gig workers with cash benefits to put toward retirement or life insurance plan, or to pay for educational or dental and health benefits not covered by Canada’s universal healthcare system.

The benefits fund would be enabled by Canada’s provincial governments, Uber said in the blog post without providing further details but managed by ride-hail and delivery companies.

The companies would share data on drivers’ hours and earnings and pay into the fund proportionally. Workers would qualify for fund benefits if they meet a threshold, which Uber’s Monday proposal did not disclose.

Uber in a statement said it welcomed discussions with other industry players, adding the benefits fund was part of a recent Ontario government submission.

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