Happy Friday and welcome to Shifting Gears.
In transportation news this week, a trucking bankruptcy left drivers stranded nationwide, Elon Musk won his defamation case, Boeing’s 737 drama continued, and more.
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Let’s dive in:
Elon Musk won his court case
Elon Musk’s “pedo guy” assertion didn’t defame Vernon Unsworth, a British cave explorer who took part in the 2018 rescue operation that freed 12 boys on a soccer team and their coach after they became trapped inside a cave in Thailand.
Unsworth’s lawyer said in response to the defeat that the verdict was a “miscarriage of justice” for both parties.
To celebrate the win, Musk took his new Cybertruck prototype out for a spin in Los Angeles and dined at Sushi joint Nobu in Malibu. When leaving the restaurant he mowed down a “right turns only” sign – while turning left.
Tesla finished off the week by losing its top lawyer for the third time in the past year.
Thousands of truck drivers were stranded after a massive bankruptcy
The trucking giant Celadon declared bankruptcy on Monday, leaving nearly 3,000 truck drivers out of a job. With just weeks before the holidays, the drivers and another 1,300 office workers are without work.
An internal document shared with Business Insider revealed that employees lost health insurance before learning that the company was closing. They also will not receive unused vacation pay.
One short-seller, Prescience Point founder Eiad Asbahi, is feeling particularly vindicated by the bankruptcy. He predicted the shutdown two years ago, when the company was still grossing nearly $1 billion.
Porsche got some sobering news from the EPA
- Sebastian Gollnow/dpa/AFP
Porsche’s Taycan Turbo, the German luxury automaker’s first foray into electric vehicles and one that sparked an internet feud with Tesla, won’t have nearly the range of the Model S – at least not right now.
The Environmental Protection Agency gave the electric sports car an official estimated range of 201 miles, significantly lower than Tesla’s Model S, which has a range starting at 348 miles.
Elsewhere in electric vehicles, General Motors said its Cadillac line could be all electric by 2030.
Delta doubled down on private jets
- Delta Private Jets
Delta Air Lines said on Thursday that it would take a minority stake in private-jet startup Wheels Up, establishing a partnership that would create one of the world’s largest fleet of corporate aircraft.
The investment in its private aviation business, and the stake in Wheels Up, suggests an effort to continue its streak of positive financial results by looking outside of its typical wheelhouse. The diversified investments could present Delta an opportunity to achieve high growth even if the US airline market lags.
There’s no end in sight for Boeing’s travails
This week, we got an inside look at a closed-door meeting where Boeing tried to reassure 737 Max stakeholders, including airlines, pilots, and flight attendants who fly the plane.
Meanwhile, during a Congressional hearing with the FAA chief – who has been in the job since August – we learned that an internal FAA analysis done after the first Boeing 737 Max crash found a high likelihood of future crashes. But the agency let the plane keep flying anyway, while Boeing quietly began work on a fix.
After a leaked e-mail revealed it was extremely unlikely that Boeing’s timeline to restore the Max to service would hold, American Airlines chose to cancel Max flights into April, the first airline to go that late.
Inside the ‘world’s first post-car development’
A developer in Arizona is creating the “world’s first post-car development” that will be completed in the fall of next year.
The neighborhood – which won’t have any parking for private cars – will be in Tempe, Arizona, which was chosen because of its growing number of jobs and population, and available land near a light rail station.