Tesla Alienates Bears And Bulls Alike, Nikola On The Mend, Canoo's Struggles And More: Biggest EV Stories Of The Week

Zinger Key Points
  • Despite Tesla's big first-quarter sales miss, it reclaimed the global BEV crown from China's BYD.
  • Cathie Wood's Ark Invest bought about $76 million worth of Tesla stock amid its 6%+ plunge this week.

Electric vehicle stocks sold off in the week ended April 5 amid the broader market swoon due to waning rate-cut hopes and some company-specific catalysts. The first quarter was tough for the industry, which was reflected in the sales of major players.

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

Tesla’s Rare Deliveries Drop, Model 2 Rumors And More: Stung by demand and supply concerns, Tesla, Inc. TSLA reported its first year-over-year sales decline since the second quarter of 2020, which was hit by COVID-19.

The Elon Musk-led company’s first-quarter deliveries came in at 386,810 vehicles, down from 422,875 a year earlier. Production also fell year-over-year. The company blamed the predicament on the transition to new Model 3 production at the Fremont factory and the production disruptions at the Giga Berlin factory. The weak numbers elicited negative reactions from bulls and bears alike, although the former group largely clung to its positive long-term outlook.

Musk remained tightlipped about the weak sales for the most part but was triggered to comment when fund manager Ross Gerber blamed the shortfall squarely on the billionaire and called for an overhaul of the board, citing inaction on its part. In a scathing response to Gerber’s comments, Musk called him an “idiot” and said even Chinese BYD Company Ltd. BYDDY BYDDF, backed by Warren Buffett, had a dismal quarter. Incidentally, BYD, which wrested the global EV crown from Tesla in the December quarter, ceded it back to Tesla as it delivered only 300,114 battery EVs in the first quarter.

Following the deliveries update, the Tesla stock ended Tuesday’s down 4.9%. Tesla shares were punished on Friday when a Reuters report said the company is planning to pull the plug on its low-cost EV platform. Musk, however, cleared the air and said the report was false. Analysts began contemplating the prospect of Tesla ditching the sub-$30,000 EV in favor of achieving full automation in order to float its robotaxi service.

All through Tesla’s weakness this week, Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest remained a firm believer in the stock and bought $76 million worth of the EV maker’s shares in aggregate.

See Also: Best Electric Vehicle Stocks

Rivian’s Hits Production Milestone: Rivian Automotive, Inc. RIVN, which has been hailed as a credible EV play by analysts, reported this week that it has produced its 100,000th vehicle. The milestone vehicle is a white R1S SUV.

The company has a production goal of 57,000 EVs this year. The Irvine, California-based company has yet to become profitable and continues to incur huge losses per vehicle it manufactures. It recently held a global launch event for its next-vehicle platform called R2, which is priced below its current lineup.

Nikola’s Q1 Deliveries Beat: Hydrogen and battery electric truck maker Nikola Corp. NKLA said it delivered 40 hydrogen fuel-cell energy trucks in the first quarter, ahead of the 30-unit consensus estimate. The company produced 43 trucks during the quarter.

“We are on track for a successful 2024 by continuing the momentum set in 2023,” said Nikola CEO Steve Girsky.

“We anticipate further sales growth in future quarters as our HYLA hydrogen fueling solutions come online.”

Ford Delays EV Plans: Legacy automaker Ford Motor Co. F said this week it would postpone production of its three-seater SUV in Canada from 2025 to 2027. The next-gen electric pickup truck, codenamed “T3,” is also being pushed back from late 2025 to 2026. The company, however, reaffirmed its plans to offer hybrid options for its all North American vehicle lineup by 2030.

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

Canoo’s Disappointing Quarter: Struggling EV startup Canoo, Inc. CANOO saw its shares tumble over 40% this week after the company issued a bleak 2024 forecast and continued to flash a “going concern” warning. The fourth-quarter’s results were mixed, with the loss narrower than expectations, while revenue came in below forecast.

The KraneShares Electric Vehicles and Future Mobility Index ETF KARS ended Friday’s session up 0.27% at $22.16, according to Benzinga Pro data. For the week, the ETF fell 1.34%.

Read Next: Gene Munster Backs Tesla’s Focus On Robotaxis Over Low-Cost EV, Gary Black Skeptical Of Strategy: ‘Institutions Would Dump The Stock’

EV Stock Performances For Week:

Performances (+/-)
Nio, Inc.NIO-2.44%
XPeng, Inc. XPEV-3.78%
Li Auto, Inc. LI-1.49%
Workhorse Group, Inc. WKHS-12.32%
Hyzon Motors, Inc. HYZN+3.15%
Lucid Group, Inc. LCID-8.42%
Faraday Future Intelligent Electric, Inc. FFIE-21.60%
Nikola -1.92%
VinFast Auto Ltd. VFS-16.30%

Photo: Shutterstock

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