Tesla Again Cutting Price of Model S, Musk Says

For the second time in a matter of only days, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is reducing the price of its Model S sedan. That’s according to the company’s colorful CEO Elon Musk, who announced this in a Wednesday afternoon tweet, reading in its entirety:

The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will be fulfilled. Model S price changes to $69,420 tonight.

The contest Musk appears to be referring to is with Lucid Motors, a privately held rival whose CEO and CTO is one-time Tesla executive Peter Rawlinson. Earlier on Wednesday, Lucid announced that the starting price of its upcoming Lucid Air sedan would be $69,900, once a federal tax rebate kicks in.

A Tesla Model S on the road.

Image source: Tesla

In what’s likely not a coincidence, Rawlinson’s position at Tesla was vice president and chief engineer for Model S, according to his LinkedIn page.

Musk’s pronouncement marks the second time this week the sticker price of the Model S has been lowered. It was first cut from $74,990 to $71,990.

Lucid Air has not yet reacted to or made a formal statement about Musk’s pronouncement.

The Model S is one of the better-established electric vehicles (EVs) on the market. It first rolled out of Tesla factories in 2012. Yet its positioning as a premium car limits its potential customer base — in Q3, for example, the company delivered 15,200 Model S and its similarly premium Model X SUV. By comparison, the more budget-priced Model 3 sedan and the Model Y SUV combined for 124,100 deliveries.

Few investors are happy with price cuts. On Thursday, they seemed to indicate their displeasure with Tesla’s latest one[s], bidding the stock down by 2.7% on the day.

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Shipt’s ‘Effort-Based’ Model Is Cutting Pay for 40% of Workers, Study Shows

Stefanie started working for the Target-owned grocery shopping app Shipt two and a half years ago. She’d previously been working for one of the app’s main competitors, Instacart, but friends told her that Shipt paid better. While Instacart and similar apps like DoorDash paid workers based on a black box algorithm, Shipt paid a predictable rate: 7.5% of the order’s worth, plus five dollars.



a group of people in a room: A new study shared exclusively with Gizmodo found that 40% of Shipt workers are seeing lower pay as a result of company changes.


© Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)
A new study shared exclusively with Gizmodo found that 40% of Shipt workers are seeing lower pay as a result of company changes.

That all changed in January, when Shipt began rolling out a new mode of payment based on a mysterious algorithm dubbed V2. The company has said very little about how the new model works, besides asserting that it’s “based on effort and not on the value of the order.”

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“Nobody understands it. It doesn’t seem to make sense” said Stefanie, who requested we not use her last name for fear of reprisal. In Stefanie’s hometown, Shipt only rolled out the new pay scale a couple of weeks ago, and with only one week’s notice. In an email from corporate, Shipt said the change was “based on feedback from shoppers like you.” Stefanie said it feels “like I got kicked in the face as a thank you.”

Stefanie saw her pay drop immediately, and she’s not alone: A new report from Coworker.org, shared exclusively with Gizmodo, found that more than 40% of workers have seen their pay decrease since the rollout of V2. Researchers at Coworker.org collected screenshots of Shopper orders and their resulting wages—6,503 data points from 213 Shipt Shoppers across 140 different metro areas in the U.S. in total. They believe it’s the largest database of Shipt Shopper pay information to date (other than Shipt’s own internal data, of course.)

The researchers then partnered with a PhD student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dan Calacci, to build a bot that could analyze the screenshots Shoppers submitted, using optical character recognition. The team then used that data to assess how pay under V2 compared to the previous model.  According to their conclusions, 41% of Shoppers are earning less under the new payment scheme. Among the pool of Shoppers who are making less, the average grocery trip is netting them 11% less than it would have under V1 pay.

Shipt’s ‘Effort-Based’ Pay Model Decided a 1,400-Item Order Was Worth About $20

The findings are consistent with Shipt’s claims that “while some orders may pay more and others pay less in the updated model, we have seen average base pay levels remain consistent overall.” In fact, the analysis found that overall, workers are making more under the new pay model (“about $0.99 more on average, per-shop”) that those gains “are not being distributed evenly”. About two fifths of Shoppers in the dataset were consistently making less under V2 than they would have under V1, suggesting that the new algorithm is “systematically under-paying certain workers.”

“Orders across the