General Motors announces collaboration with seven "major charging networks"
Welcome to The Fly's latest edition of "Charged," where we look back at some recent analysts' notes, news and activity in the electric vehicle and clean energy space.
FIRST QUARTER BEAT: Shares of Tesla (TSLA) were under pressure last week as investors and Wall Street analysts digested the company’s first quarter results that beat estimates, helped by sales of bitcoin and regulatory credits. While Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney raised his price target on the stock to $860 following the earnings report, his peer at Citi argued that Tesla's results would likely be viewed as "underwhelming."
TESLA'S GERMAN PLANT: Tesla's factory outside Berlin won't start production before the end of January next year due to delays affecting battery pack output, Bloomberg's Christoph Rauwald wrote, citing a report by the German trade magazine Automobilwoche. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk gave the team in charge of the plant six more months to complete the project, according to the report published Sunday.
APRIL DELIVERIES: XPeng (XPEV) said over the weekend that it delivered a total of 5,147 Smart EVs in April 2021, representing a 285% increase year-over-year. The April deliveries consisted of 2,995 P7s, the company's sports smart sedan, and 2,152 G3s, its smart compact SUV. As of April 30, 2021, year-to-date deliveries reached 18,487 units, representing a 413% increase year-over-year. The company has started to deliver the P7 Wing edition and the lithium iron phosphate battery-powered G3 in April. Delivery of LFP battery powered P7 will start in May as planned. XPeng's third production vehicle, the LiDAR-equipped P5 sedan, was unveiled in April and the company plans to launch the sales of P5 in the third quarter with deliveries in the fourth quarter 2021.
NIO (NIO) also provided its April 2021 delivery results. The company said it delivered 7,102 vehicles, representing a 125.1% year-over-year growth. The deliveries consisted of 1,523 ES8s, the company's six-seater and seven-seater flagship premium smart electric SUV, 3,163 ES6s, the company's five-seater high-performance premium smart electric SUV, and 2,416 EC6s, the company's five-seater premium smart electric coupe SUV. As of April 30, 2021, cumulative deliveries of the ES8, ES6 and EC6 reached 102,803 vehicles.
Additionally, Li Auto (LI) announced that it delivered 5,539 Li ONEs in April 2021, representing a 111.3% year-over-year increase and taking the cumulative deliveries to 51,715. "It took the company only 17 months to reach the milestone of the 50,000th delivery from the first delivery of Li ONE in December 2019, creating the fastest record among all new energy vehicle companies," Li Auto said.
CHARGING NETWORK COLLABORATION: General Motors (GM) last week introduced "Ultium Charge 360," which it calls "a holistic charging approach that integrates charging networks, GM vehicle mobile apps, and other products and services to simplify the overall charging experience for GM electric vehicle owners." GM has signed agreements with "seven major charging providers," namely Blink Charging (BLNK), ChargePoint (CHPT), EV Connect, EVgo (EVGO), FLO, Greenlots and SemaConnect. "Through their GM vehicle mobile apps, EV customers will soon be able to easily see real-time information from nearly 60,000 charging plugs throughout the U.S. and Canada, find stations along a route and initiate and pay for charging," GM stated. "The first GM and EVgo sites are now live in Washington, California and Florida, nine months after a commitment to add more than 2,700 fast chargers in cities and suburbs by the end of 2025 was first announced. Each site is capable of delivering up to 350 kilowatts and averages four chargers per site. GM and EVgo are on track to have approximately 500 fast charging stalls live by the end of 2021," the company said.
POWERFUL TRENDS: Wells Fargo analyst Jonathan Reeder upgraded Brookfield Renewable Partners (BEP) to Overweight from Equal Weight with a price target of $48, up from $42. Decarbonization and electrification are "powerful trends that will create substantial long-term investment opportunities for high quality and proven clean energy-leveraged companies," Reeder told investors in a research note. The analyst has been waiting for a pullback from the Brookfield's "stretched" valuations to create an attractive entry point. "That time is now," Reader argued.
Meanwhile, TD Securities analyst Sean Steuart resumed coverage of Brookfield Renewable Partners with a Hold rating and price target of $47, down from $50, following a brief research restriction. The sale of sale of the company's interests in four U.S. wind projects is consistent with management's strategy of recycling mature assets to fund growth in developing regions and technologies, Steuart contended. The analyst continues to view Brookfield Renewable Partners' valuation as fair.
TIGHT SUPPLY TO CONSTRAIN GROWTH: Northland analyst Gus Richard downgraded Enphase Energy (ENPH) to Market Perform from Outperform with no price target following the company's earnings report. The tight supply of semiconductors is expected to constrain growth in the second quarter, noted Richard, who tells investors he "cannot reconcile the current bubble valuation" given the limited near-term upside he sees.
POST-EARNINGS PULLBACK: Bank of America analyst Julien Dumoulin-Smith upgraded First Solar (FSLR) to Buy from Neutral on Monday morning with an unchanged price target of $91 after the stock tumbled by 8.9% on Friday, following what he calls a "positive" first quarter earnings update. Dumoulin-Smith blames the stock's move lower to investor concerns around shipping costs and the longer-term confirmation of a ramp in R&D cycle amidst higher expectations. However, he called the medium-term update "one of the best" he has seen of late in terms of panel pricing outlook, which should sizably offset both near-term 2021 pressures and provide a long-term bridge to next generation panel technology.