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Elon Musk's India Visit, Tesla's FSD Subscription Price Slashed By 50%, Nikola Plunges Amid Proxy Filing And More: Biggest EV Stories Of The Week

Shanthi Rexaline
April 13, 2024

Electric vehicle stocks had a mixed week as they reacted to a hotter-than-expected March inflation reading and the prospect of the interest-rate environment remaining inclement for potential car buyers. That said, Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) ended a volatile week higher amid uncertainty about the company’s strategy toward robotaxis and sub-$30,000 EVs.

Here are the key events that happened in the EV space during the week:

Tesla Drops FSD Pricing And More: After making its “supervised self-driving” technology available for a free one-month trial in the U.S., Tesla has taken another step to increase its adoption.

“You can now subscribe to FSD (Supervised) for $99/month in the US,” Tesla said in a post via its X handle on Friday.

This is a steep reduction from the previously used subscription pricing of $199 per month. The price of an outright purchase remained at $12,000.

Commenting on the cut, Future Fund’s Gary Black said, “A $99/month subscription price would likely double the FSD take rate.”

CANACCORD Genuity’s George Gianarikas had said in a late-March note that he was an advocate of the razor/razorblade strategy for Tesla.

“We have been strong advocates of Tesla’s razor/razorblade approach in seeding the market with vehicles that are software upgradable with a high-margin software — and see this as a potential catalyst for future penetration gains,” he said.

Reports suggest Tesla CEO Elon Musk will head to India, with Musk himself confirming the plan on X. “Looking forward to meeting with Prime Minister @NarendraModi in India!” he said in a post.

Reports now suggest the Tesla chief will be in India on April 21 and 22 and meet with the Indian prime minister and several other government officials as well as industry representatives. He is widely expected to reveal the company’s India plan during his visit.

Musk also met with Argentinian President Javier Milei this week and took him around the company’s Giga Texas plant.

Nikola Slips On Boardroom Battle: Shares of the hydrogen fuel cell and electric truck maker, which jumped solidly in the week that ended on April 5, reversed course this week. The pullback, in part, was due to the broader market weakness but also had to do with the proxy statement filed with the SEC that said that disgraced founder Trevor Milton attempted to appoint supporters to the board. M&M Residual, an entity controlled by Milton, has since withdrawn its slate of five directors.

At the annual shareholder meeting, Nikola is also seeking approval for a reverse stock split, which could range from 1 share-for-10 shares to 1 share-for-30 shares.

See Also: Best Electric Vehicle Stocks

Ford Drops EV Truck Pricing: Legacy automaker Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) reportedly informed dealers this week regarding price reductions for its F-150 Lightning EV pickup truck. The most significant reduction is $5,500 for the Flash trim, which was introduced this year, with the Extended Range battery pack, bringing its price down to $67,995 (from $73,495). The pricing of the XLT (Standard Range) and Lariat (Extended Range) were reduced by $2,000 and $2,500, respectively.

Separately, Ford Authority reported that the company is launching a new program called Tesla Competitive Conquest Bonus Cash, which gives existing Tesla owners $1,500 off the price of a new F-150 Lightning, regardless of the trim ordered.

Volkswagen’s EV Fortunes Diverge: German automaker Volkswagen AG (OTC:VWAGY) saw a 24% decline in EV sales in Europe, even as it reported a robust 91% sales increase in China. The weakness in Europe reflected a trend, where users are returning to ICE vehicles, as EVs face pushbacks that include exorbitant pricing and a lack of adequate charging infrastructure.

The company, however, said order flow for EVs in Europe remain strong.

“The higher order intake for our all-electric models in Europe makes us confident that we will grow in this segment both in our home region and worldwide over the year as a whole,” it said.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Canoo Deepens Middle East Ties: Lifestyle EV manufacturer Canoo, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOEV) said its EVs will be used in a pilot program by Red Sea Global, the Saudi Arabian developer behind the regenerative tourism destinations The Red Sea and AMAALA.

Red Sea Global will pilot Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle, Lifestyle Delivery Vehicle 190, and the Bulldog pickup truck. The Canoo vehicles will be piloted for travel between Red Sea Global's international airport, its various resorts, facilities, and excursions, the company said.

The KraneShares Electric Vehicles and Future Mobility Index ETF (NYSE:KARS) ended Friday’s session down 3.32% at $21.57, according to Benzinga Pro data. For the week, the ETF fell 2.66%.

Read Next: Tesla Bull Predicts Q1 Beat On Back Of This Factor But Hopes Elon Musk ‘For Credibility’ Doesn’t Blame High Interest Rates For Delivery Slide

EV Stock Performances For Week:

Performances (+/-)
Tesla+3.73%
Nio, Inc.(NYSE:NIO)-6.38%
XPeng, Inc. (NYSE:XPEV)+0.95%
Li Auto, Inc. (NASDAQ:LI)-1.48%
Fisker, Inc. (NYSE:FSR)+16.00%
Workhorse Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:WKHS)-5.34%
Hyzon Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:HYZN)-14.47%
Canoo+12.68%
Rivian Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIVN)-9.60%
Lucid Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:LCID)-4.60%
Faraday Future Intelligent Electric, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIE)+2.04%
Nikola -31.37%
VinFast Auto Ltd. (NASDAQ:VFS)-13.46%

Photo: Shutterstock

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