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Elon Musk Slammed For Wanting More Tesla Control, Rivian Skids On Prospect Of Significant Losses, Fisker Faces Braking Issue Probe And More: Biggest EV Stories Of The Week – KraneShares Electric Vehicles and Future Mobility Index ETF (ARCA:KARS)



Electric vehicle stocks fell across the board yet again in the week that ended on Jan. 19 as the broader market weakness in the first half of the week and negative sentiment toward the sector generated weakness. Market leader Tesla, Inc. TSLA pulled back toward the lowest level since Nov. 10, 2023 before finishing just off its current level.

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

Tesla Price Cuts, Falling Short Interest And More: Tesla resumed price cuts this week, stirring anxiety over margins just ahead of the company’s earnings release on Wednesday. It raised the prices of several Model 3 variants in China and Model Y variants in European countries. Commenting on the price cuts, Future Fund Managing Partner Gary Black said he sees a 25- to 30-cent impact from the price cuts in China and a 15-cent impact from the cuts in Europe. Consequently, the fund manager lowered his 2024 adjusted earnings per share estimate for Tesla from $4.20 to $3.75.

Data shared by S3 Partners Ihor Dusaniwsky showed that the short interest in Tesla stock fell following the rally seen in 2023. As a result, the Elon Musk-led company ceded its position as the most shorted stock to Apple and is now the third-most shorted stock behind tech giant Microsoft.

Musk ruffled many feathers this week by suggesting that he wanted about 25% voting control in Tesla in order to make the company a leader in Ai and robotics. “Unless that is the case, I would prefer to build products outside of Tesla,” he said.

CNBC Mad Money host Jim Cramer took a swipe at the Tesla CEO’s demand. “We have a CEO [who’s] getting a little petulant … again, talking about needing to control 25% to innovate,” he said. The stock picker also suggested that Tesla could be the first to drop out of the “Magnificent 7” list.

See Also: Best Electric Vehicle Stocks

Rivian Stock Downgraded: Shares of Rivian Automotive, Inc. RIVN fell over 14% this week after Deutsche Bank tempered its opinion on the stock. The firm downgraded the stock from “Buy” to “Neutral” and reduced its price target from $29 to $19, Investing.com reported.

The firm attributed its tempered expectations to downside risks to its 2024 volume and gross margin estimates for the company. It sees the company guide to a 2024 volume of merely 65,000 units amid prolonged factory shutdowns and a slow ramp-up. The company will likely report sustained, significant losses until at least the third quarter of 2024, it added. Gross margins, the firm said, could inflect to positive territory in the fourth quarter, but only if the company can execute its operations flawlessly.

Canoo Begins Deliveries Of EDV: Struggling EV startup Canoo, Inc. GOEV said this week it delivered its LDV 130 electric delivery vans to Kingbee, a work-ready van rental provider. Additional customer deliveries will be scheduled throughout 2024, the company said.

BYD Unveils New Smart Car System: At its “Dream Day” event on Tuesday, Warren Buffett-back BYD Company Ltd. BYDDY BYDDF launched the “Xuanji” smart car system to make its EVs more competitive with rivals, whose vehicles boast of automated parking and voice recognitions, among other features. The company, which has been panned for making cars with no compelling features, is reportedly hiring software engineers to prop up its technology offering.

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

Fisker Reacts To Braking Issues Probe: Fisker, Inc. FSR said on Friday that it is fully cooperating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the federal agency’s preliminary evaluation of reported braking issues with the 2023 Fisker Ocean. The company noted that, in December, it responded to customer feedback and issued an OTA upgrade to the regenerative brake system that improved the customer experience when traveling over bumps and uneven surfaces. “The Fisker Ocean brake system meets or exceeds all US and international performance requirements,” it said.

The KraneShares Electric Vehicles and Future Mobility Index ETF KARS ended Friday’s session fell 0.41% at $21.80, according to Benzinga Pro data. For the week, the ETF fell 6.40%.

Read Next: Tesla Loses Most-Shorted Crown To This ‘Magnificent 7’ Stock As EV Giant’s Skeptics Take $13B Hit In 2023

EV Stock Performances For Week

Performances (+/-)
Tesla -3.06%
Nio, Inc. NIO -15.48%
XPeng, Inc. XPEV -18.10%
Li Auto, Inc. LI -10.77%
Fisker, Inc. FSR -23.38%
Workhorse Group, Inc. WKHS -11.74%
Hyzon Motors, Inc. HYZN -8.44%
Canoo, Inc. GOEV -18.85%
Rivian -14.29%
Lucid -9.82%
Faraday Future Intelligent Electric, Inc. FFIE -8.66%
Arrival ARVL +6.54%
Nikola Corp. NKLA -6.84%
VinFast Auto Ltd. VFS -8.95%

Photo: Shutterstock



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