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Tesla's China FSD Goldmine, Rivian Receives Much-Needed Cash Boost, Fisker Lands In Another Legal Mess And More: Biggest EV Stories Of The Week

Shanthi Rexaline
May 04, 2024

Electric vehicle shares mostly advanced this week, riding high on the broader market strength as the Federal Reserve hinted at potential rate cuts.

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

Tesla’s China FSD Potential, More Job Cuts : A surprise visit by Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk to China was received positively by the market, with the stock jumping over 15% on Monday. The optimism stemmed from reports of the company receiving approval to roll out its full self-driving technology in China. BofA’s John Murphy estimates incremental annual revenue of half a billion dollars and earnings of $350 million for Tesla if 25% of Tesla owners adopt FSD. Murphy projects even higher earnings ($2.3 billion) by 2030 based on the same adoption rate and projected auto sales growth in China.

Future Fund’s Gary Black suggests that incremental earnings per share could reach as high as 48 cents per share, and incremental valuation could increase by $24 per share if the FSD take rate is around 30%.

The week also saw the reporting of more job losses at Tesla.

Close on the heels of the large scale job cuts, The Information reported that Musk sent an email to managers regarding the eliminations of more key executives, including Senior Director of EV Charging Rebecca Tinucci and Director of Vehicle Programs Daniel Ho. The move raised eyebrows as the company secured deals with most legacy automakers and its EV peers for sharing its charging network.

In the email, Musk later clarified on X that the the company still planned to expand the Supercharger network, “just at a slower pace for new locations and more focus on 100% uptime and expansion of existing locations.”

Bloomberg reported that Tesla's Senior Director of HR Allie Arebalo also left the company.

See Also: Best Electric Vehicle Stocks

Rivian Receives State Funding: Rivian Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIVN) said it received an $827 million incentive package from the Illinois Department of Commerce Economic Opportunity. This, according to the company, would allow the expansion of operations at its Normal, Illinois plant, in addition to funding job training programs for employees ahead of the start of production of the R2, the company’s mid-sized SUV.

Separately, a Bloomberg report said Rivian is planning to cut 1% of its global workforce, following a 10% job cut announced earlier this year.

Fisker In Legal Trouble: Embattled EV startup Fisker, Inc. (NYSE:FSR), which is hurtling toward bankruptcy, is now entangled in another legal mess. TechCrunch reported that a U.S. subsidiary of German engineering giant Bertrandt AG filed a lawsuit, stating that the EV startup stopped paying for the work it rendered to help develop the Pear low-cost EV. The German company also accused Fisker of wrongfully holding onto IP associated with those vehicles and is seeking around $13 million in damages.

The report noted that Fisker has also been the subject of at least 30 lemon law violations. Lemon laws are meant to provide a remedy for purchasers of cars and other consumer goods in order to compensate for products that repeatedly fail to meet standards of quality and performance.

Chinese Startups Sparkle With April Sales: Despite intense rivalry and price cuts in China, domestic startups reported strong sales numbers for April. Nio, Inc. (NYSE:NIO) delivered 15,620 EVs, up about 135% year-over-year, and rival XPeng, Inc.’s (NYSE:XPEV) sales climbed 33% year-over-year and 4% month-over-month to 9,393 units.

Li Auto, Inc. (NASDAQ:LI) delivered 25,787 vehicles, up 0.4% year over year.

Ford’s EV Sales Recover: Powered by its Mustang Mach-E, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F) reported a 129% year-over-year increase in EV sales in April. Mach-E sales jumped over 200% to 4,893 units, while F-150 Lightning EV pickup and E-Transit sales were at 2,090 and 1,036 units, taking the total EVs sold during the month to 8,019 units.

The KraneShares Electric Vehicles and Future Mobility Index ETF (NYSE:KARS) ended Friday’s session up 0.31% at $22.72, according to Benzinga Pro data. For the week, the ETF gained 6.57%.

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

Read Next: Elon Musk Wowed By Apple’s Biggest Stock Buyback — Will Tesla Follow Suit Or Remain Stuck In ‘Category 5’ Storm?

EV Stock Performances For Week:

Performances (+/-)
Nio, Inc.(NYSE:NIO)+24.05%
XPeng, Inc. (NYSE:XPEV)+15.56%
Li Auto, Inc. (NASDAQ:LI)+11.82%
Workhorse Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:WKHS)+1.91%
Hyzon Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:HYZN)+4.94%
Canoo, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOEV)0%
Rivian +11.39%
Lucid Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:LCID)+13.21%
Faraday Future Intelligent Electric, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIE)-12.98%
Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ:NKLA)+2.19%
VinFast +11.15%

Photo: Shutterstock

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