Axios Austin

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Happy Thursday

🌧 Today's weather: Patchy fog with showers likely this morning, plus possible thunderstorms for much of the day. Winds gusting to 25 mph, with a high near 74.

Today's newsletter is 889 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Tesla gets trucking

A prototype Tesla cybertruck.

A pre-production version of the Tesla Cybertruck. Photo: Nic Coury/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Our local car company is getting into the pickup truck business.

Driving the news: Four years after showing off a concept version of its Cybertruck for the first time, Tesla is poised to showcase the launch of deliveries at an event today at its factory just northeast of the Austin airport.

  • CEO Elon Musk said last week on X that the company had already started shipping vehicles in North America.
  • The upper-tier trim level can go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and provide up to 500 miles of battery range, per Car and Driver.

Why it matters: The Austin-made Cybertruck is the first brand-new Tesla model in three years β€” and it's the company's first-ever crack at the lucrative American pickup market, Axios' Nathan Bomey writes.

Zoom in: Dan Ives, an industry analyst with Wedbush Securities, said the production of the Cybertruck could help make Austin the epicenter of electric vehicle manufacturing.

  • "Austin plays a crucial role in the company's success," Ives told Axios. "We expect more EV battery and disruptive tech players to build out of Austin over the coming 12 to 18 months."

The intrigue: The vehicle's angular shape yields sharp corners, giving it a polarizing futuristic look that distinguishes the vehicle from more conventional pickups, but may also make it difficult to manufacture.

Be smart: The Cybertruck has already fallen short of expectations.

  • It's two years behind schedule, falling behind pickup competitors like the Rivian R1T, Ford F-150 Lightning and GMC Hummer EV.
  • The starting price was once set to begin at $39,900, but the actual figure is expected to be in the $50,000 range, according to Ives.

What Musk says about production challenges

2. Mapped: Electric vehicles on the go

Electric vehicle miles traveled per 1,000 residents
Explore the interactive map. Data: Replica; Map: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Yet more on the electric vehicle front ... πŸ‘‡

Travis County saw an estimated 380 electric vehicle miles driven per 1,000 residents on a typical weekday in the second quarter of 2023, Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj report from data shared with Axios.

  • That's compared with Marin County, Calif., which took the crown among large U.S. counties at 1,942.
  • Travis had 20,230 overall miles driven per 1,000 residents during the typical weekday.

How it works: The data, from mobility analytics platform Replica, is based on anonymized mobile device info, roadside sensors, transit agencies and more.

Between the lines: The areas with the most EV activity are generally those with better-developed charging infrastructure, as well as higher-income households that can more easily afford the electric car premium.

Zoom in: That tracks in Central Texas, where wealthier counties generally log more EV miles.

By the numbers: Williamson County, where the median household income was $94,705 in 2021, had 342 EV miles driven per 1,000 residents, out of 22,750 overall miles for that cohort.

  • Hays County, with a median household income of $71,061 in 2021, had 261 EV miles notched per 1,000 residents, out of 26,310 overall miles.
  • In Travis County, which has the most EV miles per 1,000 residents of any county in Texas, median income is $85,403 β€” but is also home to some of the wealthiest people in Texas.

The bottom line: The story this map ultimately tells? The electric car revolution is happening β€” it's just unevenly distributed.

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3. Homeowners selling at a loss

Illustration of a real estate sale sign shaped like a downward point arrow

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A growing share of Austin homeowners are selling their houses for less than they paid for them, per data Redfin shared with Axios' Brianna Crane.

Why it matters: Some Austin area homeowners lost upwards of five figures on their sale this year amid higher interest rates.

State of play: Nearly 5% of Austin metro homes sold at a loss from August to October β€” up from 0.75% a year ago.

  • The median loss was around $35,000, per Redfin data.

What's happening: Austin's housing market is still normalizing, according to Austin Board of Realtors' president Ashley Jackson in the group's latest market report.

  • In OctoberΒ β€” the latest data available β€” homes spent an average of 68 days on the market, up 21 days from October 2022.

Yes, but: Those who've been in their homes for a long time are still making a profit.

Promising signs

4. 🀠 The Roundup: Wrangling the news

Illustration of an armadillo peeking over the top of a large Axios logo.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

βš–οΈ A man who admitted to setting fire to an Austin synagogue two years ago has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. (KVUE)

🚨 Austin police are warning about a new scam call impersonating law enforcement and demanding payments. (Fox 7 Austin)

🏞️ A land swap between the city of Austin and tech company Oracle that would bring dozens of acres of new parkland to the east side is set to move ahead. (Community Impact)

πŸ—³οΈ A Leander man got a two-year sentence for an online threat to kill Georgia election officials after the 2020 presidential election. (Austin American-Statesman)

🚧 The Austin City Council could vote today to replace the aging Barton Springs Road Bridge, with a wider deck for pedestrians and cyclists, at a cost of roughly $37 million. (KXAN)

New jobs to check out

πŸ’Ό See who's hiring around the city.

  1. Director, Analytics Consulting and Insights Talent & OD at Visa.
  2. VP, Finance & Analytics at Favor.
  3. Senior Manager, Business Continuity at Kirkland & Ellis.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Use code FIRST50 for $50 off your first job post.

5. Austin's most streamed songs in 2023

Taylor Swift performs in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Nov. 24. Photo: Buda Mendes/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management

They sang, we listened.

What's happening: Spotify Wrapped dropped Wednesday, naming Taylor Swift as the most-streamed artist globally in 2023.

Zoom in: The pop queen also topped the list in Austin this year, and Drake and Peso Pluma rounded out the top three.

Here are Austin's top artists of 2023:

  1. Taylor Swift
  2. Drake
  3. Peso Pluma
  4. Bad Bunny
  5. The Weeknd

Go deeper: Users of the streaming service can check out their own year-in-review stats on the app.

Austin's top Spotify songs

Thanks to Chloe Gonzales for editing and Kate Sommers-Dawes and Keely Bastow for copy editing this newsletter.

🧐 Asher is trying to figure out how this whole new-fangled Spotify thing works.

🎢 Nicole is unsurprisingly in Taylor Swift's top 2% of listeners.