Tesla Chair's Ultimatum On June 13, Rivian Refreshes R1 Lineups, Nikola Gets Green Light For Reverse Split And More: Biggest EV Stories Of The Week

Zinger Key Points
  • Tesla has been actively seeking shareholder approval for Musk's 2018 compensation plan.
  • Ford's Farley says the company's next EV project will be a low-end platform that will address profitability and affordability issues.

Electric-vehicle stocks retreated in the week that ended on June 7, with the broader market volatility weighing down on the space. Tesla, Inc. TSLA ended modestly lower for the week, while Rivian Automotive, Inc. RIVN and Faraday Future Intelligent Electric Inc. FFIE, which has been heavily promoted by retail traders on social media, bucked the downtrend.

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

Tesla’s All Out Strategy: As Tesla’s renewal of CEO Elon Musk’s 2018 pay package divides stakeholders, the company is making every effort to secure shareholder approval at the upcoming meeting on June 13. Tesla Chair Robyn Denholm said in a new letter to shareholders that the vote is about “fairness, respect and the future of Tesla.”

She also raised the specter of the billionaire losing his motivation to invest in Tesla if the proposal is voted down.

“Upholding our end of the bargain, then, by ratifying the decision we all made in 2018, is more important than ever. If Tesla is to retain Elon's attention and motivate him to continue to devote his time, energy, ambition and vision to deliver comparable results in the future, we must stand by our deal.” she said.

This week, Tesla received support from an unexpected source. Former President Donald Trump, while speaking at a campaign rally in Arizona, said, “I'm a big fan of electric cars. I'm a fan of Elon [Musk].”

“I like Elon, I like him, and I think a lot of people are going to want to buy an electric car,” he added.

This is seemingly an about-face, as the former president reportedly told a group of oil executives earlier this year that he would block EV sales if he were re-elected.

Rivian Launches Revamped R1EVs: Irvine, California-based Rivian unveiled the second-generation vehicles of its R1 platform. The new R1S SUV and the R1T pickup have been “completely reengineered through hundreds of hardware improvements, performance upgrades, a fully redesigned software experience, and evolved in-house drive systems,” the company said. The new R1S and R1T will be produced at the Normal, Illinois factory, and have a starting price of $75,900 and $69,900, respectively. Deliveries will begin immediately, the company said.

See Also: Best Electric Vehicle Stocks

Nikola Gets Shareholder Nod: Shareholders of EV and hydrogen fuel-cell energy truckmaker Nikola Corp. NKLA approved all the proposals put forward by the company at the annual shareholder meeting held on Wednesday. These proposals include a reverse stock split at a ratio ranging from 1 share-for-10 shares up to a ratio of 1 share-for-30 shares.

Ahead of the meeting, Chair Steve Shindler urged shareholders to approve the proposal to eliminate the risk of a potential delisting. In a video appeal to shareholders, he said, “We must eliminate the distraction of delisting and position ourselves to raise capital more efficiently and effectively. We believe that if we can achieve a share price at a more consistent level with the Russell 3000 companies, it will encourage investor interest and improve the marketability of our common stock to an even broader range of investors.”

Fisker Defaults On Loan Payment: Beleaguered EV maker Fisker, Inc. FSRN, which is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, said it has defaulted on a $3.456 billion senior secured note due in 2024. The noteholder notified the company in late May that it is requiring that the company immediately redeem 100% of the outstanding note. Nikola is facing significant challenges due to a shrinking EV market and production ramp-up difficulties. The company has also struggled to attract strategic investments necessary to sustain its operations.

Ford’s Farley Vouches By Affordable EVs: Legacy automaker Ford Motor Co. F CEO Jim Farley expressed confidence in low-end EVs, stating that they will address both affordability and profitability issues. His comments came in an interview with Yahoo Finance this week. Ford's next wave of electric cars will be “competitive with the best in the business,” he said. The segment is currently dominated by Chinese players.

“We want the next ones to be more affordable, and that’s why we’re investing in more affordable EVs in the next cycle of products that people see in from Ford in the next couple of years,” he said.

The KraneShares Electric Vehicles and Future Mobility Index ETF KARS ended Friday’s session down 2.25% at $20.90, according to Benzinga Pro data. For the week, the ETF fell 1.69%.

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

Read Next: ‘It Needs To End:’ Elon Musk Rages Again Against ‘Corrupted Lie’ Of ESG Scores After Tesla’s Low Rating Puzzles Cathie Wood

EV Stock Performances This Week

Weekly Change (+/-)
Tesla-0.34%
Nio, Inc.NIO-10.39%
XPeng, Inc. XPEV-1.93%
Li Auto, Inc. LI-0.84%
Fisker-16.36%
Workhorse Group, Inc. WKHS-7.65%
Hyzon Motors, Inc. HYZN-11.06%
Canoo, Inc. GOEV-9.33%
Rivian +5.50%
Lucid Group, Inc. LCID-3.87%
Faraday Future +5.59%
Nikola -3.13%
VinFast Auto Ltd. VFS-10.84%

Photo: Shutterstock

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