A Strange New Decade, Tesla's Strong Sales, and More Car News This Week

On the one hand, it’s a shiny, new decade (unless you’re a pedant), with all the excitement, tabulae rasae, and perspective that brings. The roundness of the zeroes in 2020 feel very open from here: What’s next for transportation in this strange , surprising world?

On the other, it’s business as usual, with Tesla reporting this week its quarterly delivery results. Customers rushed to purchase their zippy electric rides before a federal tax credit expired, and the numbers were pretty great. The company hit all-time records in production and delivery, grinding out 105,000 vehicles (86,958 of them Model 3’s) and moving 112,000 to customers’ garages and home-adjacent sidewalks around the world. In all, Tesla delivered 367,500 cars last year, a 50 percent jump from 2018, and the company’s stock climbed by more than 3 percent on Friday on the news. Oh, and it reached the auspicious milestone of $420 a share at the end of the year, which Elon Musk obviously had to note in a tweet. What’s next for the company? When will Elon next take the Cybertruck out for a spin? It’s always a ride in Tesla land.
Plus, California’s new labor law designed to affect the employment status of Uber and Lyft drivers kicked in this week , and Segway has introduced a giant … rolling … egg ? It’s been a few weeks. Let’s get you caught up.

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Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
  • Quick, before you forget everything that has happened since 2010: Reminisce with us about the dramatic ways in which the last decade totally upended urban transportation.

  • Cities’ efforts to use ride-hail services like Uber to replace public transit hit some speed bumps .
  • City officials move forward with ambitious plans to combat climate change —and 2020 looks to be a pivotal year.

  • A California law written to transform “gig economy” workers into employees is officially in effect, but Uber and Lyft drivers are still contractors. What’s up with that ?

Questions of the Year (and Decade)

A non-exhaustive list of the queries we’d really like answered sometime soonish: How will we know when electric vehicles have made it? Are scooters and bikes really changing cities’ transportation systems ? And are they actually helping to save the planet? Will California gig workers’ efforts to become employees go nation- or worldwide, and how will companies like Uber cope if that happens? What’s up with those little delivery robots ? How is our growing addiction to fast delivery affecting emissions and traffic? How big of a deal are electric delivery vehicles ? Related to that: How will Tesla deal with the crop of competitors coming down the pike? Oh, and also: Whither Cybertruck ? If you have any thoughts, drop us a line at [email protected] .

Stat of the Week