Musk Blamed For Tesla Sell-Off, Rivian Stalls European Plans, Ford Takes Top Honors: Week's Biggest EV Stories

Zinger Key Points
  • Electric vehicle stocks are meandering to a dismal close for the year, due to both external and internal factors.
  • Sentiment has turned markedly negative toward market leader Tesla's stock with analysts terming it as self-inflicted damage.

Most electric vehicle stocks continued their lean patch, with some market observers blaming the Federal Reserve for their predicament. The Fed’s hawkish commentary, even after easing the pace of rate hikes this week, aggravated recession fears, sending the equity market into a tailspin.
Market leader Tesla, Inc. TSLA, meanwhile, had its share of problems to contend with and ended the week at its lowest level since November 2020.

Now, here are the key developments that happened in the EV space during the week:

More Heartache For Tesla Shareholders: Tesla shares continued to sink this week, with CEO Elon Musk's latest stock sales serving as the key downside catalyst. The billionaire sold 22 million shares worth about $3.58 billion this week, which triggered a backlash from analysts and investors alike. Ross Gerber, a Tesla bull and the CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, criticized Musk’s divided attention to Tesla and called upon the board to act.

Amid the turmoil in Tesla’s stock, the company extended downward price adjustments to Europe, following recent similar actions in China. The move comes in the wake of fears of slowing demand due to competitive pressure and the economic slowdown.

Meanwhile, a Bloomberg report said, Tesla is likely to announce Mexico as the location of its next Gigafactory as early as next week.

PepsiCo. PEP, which took first deliveries of the Tesla Semi earlier this month, is looking to deploy 100 units of the vehicle in 2023, Mike O’Connell, vice president of the beverage giant, reportedly told Reuters. The company is also looking to install four 750-kilowatt Tesla charging stalls at its Modesto and Sacramento locations.

In another development, Tesla’s Austin Gigafactory achieved a weekly production capacity of 3,000 Model Y vehicles this week. The company is shooting for a weekly production target of 5,000 vehicles by the end of the year.

See also: Best Electric Vehicle Stocks

Rivian’s Mixed Week: Rivian Automotive, Inc’s RIVN R1T electric pickup truck received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick+” award for the 2022 and 2023 model years. The vehicle earned “Good” ratings in all six of the crashworthiness tests.

At the start of the week, the company announced that it has paused its partnership with Mercedes-Benz Group AG MBGAF that aimed to jointly manufacture commercial vans in the continent.

Ford's EV Pickup Truck Wins Laurel: Ford Motor Company’s F F-150 Lightning pickup truck was named the “2023 MotorTrend’s Truck Of The Year.” Meanwhile, the price of the base model of the F-150 Lightning was bumped up for the third time since its launch to $55,974. The company plans to quickly ramp up production and sales of the vehicle and is targeting annual sales of 150,000 units by the end of 2023.

Ford Model E European division teased a new crossover EV, which will be built on Volkswagen AG’s VWAGY MEB platform. The vehicle will be manufactured at Ford’s Cologne plant.

Nikola Strikes Deal For Tre Sales: Nikola Corporation NKLA said it would sell up to 75 Tre hydrogen-powered trucks to Plug Power, Inc. PLUG over three years. The latter intends to use the trucks for attaching its liquid hydrogen tankers meant to transport hydrogen fuel across North America.

Lucid Goes Across The Atlantic: Lucid Group, Inc. LCID announced its third retail location in Europe, which also happens to be its first European service, delivery and sales center. The outlet, located in Hilversum, Netherlands, opened on Dec. 16. The company plans to open additional locations in key European markets in 2023.

Read next: Elon Musk's 'Self-Inflicted Issues' Hurting Tesla: Analyst Says EV Maker's Board Needs To Do This Immediately To Control Damage After CEO's Latest Stock Sale

EV Stock Performances for The Week:

Photo: Courtesy of Shutterstock.

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