Elon Musk is building boat cars

About Fatu
By Fatu Ogwuche

Top of mind: Happy Sunday!

Elon Musk took time off of Mars domination to build boat cars. His Cybertruck will have features to cosplay as temporary boats.

In other news, Lagos State’s government had to walk back new fees on co-working spaces and tech hubs after receiving aggressive backlash from Nigerians; and Apple reluctantly slowed down production of the iPhone 14s. Yikes.

Let’s get to it.

3 big things:

  • Cybertruck floats on water
  • Lagos taxes tech hubs
  • Apple’s latest shortage

Elon Musk is building boat cars

Cover art by Samuel Jolayemi

The short: Elon Musk’s Cybertruck can drive on water!

Delays: Tesla first unveiled the Cybertruck to mixed reactions in November 2019. But despite the criticism, thousands of people paid the $100 reservation fee for the truck.

Musk assured investors that production would begin in the late months of 2021, and a model with tri-motor AWD would begin production in late 2022, but both models have since suffered delays.

During Tesla’s second-quarter earnings call in July, Musk said that the Cybertruck would enter production in the middle of 2023, another exhausting delay.

The boat floats on water: Musk tweeted that the Cybertruck will have a level of waterproofing that will allow it to function as a boat. In addition, the Cybertruck would be capable of travelling across rivers, lakes, and seas “that aren’t too choppy”.

Bad rep: Tesla is not the only company working on this feature. Rivian recently shared a video of the R1T truck traversing a deep lap pool as part of a test on Twitter. Some Tesla owners may find the waterproof promises laughable after the Model Y was heavily criticised for having leaking front trunks.

Final thoughts: The promises are just as overwhelming as the delays. Musk styles the Cybertruck as the “official truck of Mars” and says a special pressurised edition would be produced and sent to the planet via SpaceX’s Starship rocket. 

At this point, it will be easier to visualise the Cybertruck on the moon when we have it on our roads.

Lagos State faces pressure from techies

The short: The Lagos State Safety Commission is suspending the implementation of its new annual safety audit for co-working spaces and tech hubs.

The fee: Lagos State Government said it would implement an annual safety audit on co-working spaces and tech hubs as part of its mandate to “protect” the safety of persons and property in the state.

The audits would require the co-working spaces and tech hubs to pay an annual documentation fee of ₦50,000 ($115.92) and a certification fee of ₦150,000 ($347.76) to the LSC’s account. 

Reactions: Unfortunately for the commission, news of the annual fee was met with outrage and dissatisfaction on social media, with many accusing the Lagos State administration of overtaxing its thriving tech community.

Pulling back: LASG Safety announced the suspension of the audits and justified their prior decision by stating:

The growth of co-working spaces is a global phenomenon that is welcomed and encouraged in the State. However, the proliferation of these value creating entities inadvertently has led to several workplace related injuries and safety hazards.

The Safety Audit fee is not an arbitrary fee. This fee is statutorily associated with facilities that engage and welcome members of the public beyond a certain footfall in many business and civic sectors.

Final thoughts: The backlash is well deserved. Tax-paying businesses should not suffer unprecedented government fees. Safety audits are a good idea, but businesses should only pay a fine if caught on the wrong side of regulations.

Apple is slowing down production of iPhone 14s

The short: Apple abandon plans to increase production of iPhone 14 devices.

Everyone’s going pro: Last week, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated that Apple had asked iPhone manufacturer Foxconn to increase the iPhone 14 Pro production by 10% because the Pro models were the most popular iPhones this year.

Slow your horses: According to recent reports, Apple had instructed suppliers to halt plans to increase the iPhone 14 models by up to 6 million units before the holiday season.

Apple usually increases production in anticipation of the holiday gadget rush, but forecasts this year were less favourable due to inflation. As a result, shares were down by 18% this year, which isn’t bad compared to a 23% drop in the S&P 500. 

Final thoughts: If Apple is facing demand shortages, it means the economy is down bad. Plus, with high inflation, people are rethinking buying new phones.

Unsurprisingly, the rebranded iPhones and Dynamic Island were not convincing enough to drive sales.  

That’s it for the week. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this week’s issue. Please respond to this email or find me on Twitter @fatuogwuche 🙂 

Ps – do us a solid by sharing the newsletter with your network of tech enthusiasts. Invite them to join the party 🙂

See you next Sunday!

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