House approves amendment that would authorize $8B to speed up the Postal Service's shift to electric delivery vehicles
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.
TESLA SUSPENDS PURCHASES USING BITCOIN: Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk announced via Twitter that, "Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin. We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel. Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment. Tesla will not be selling any Bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainably energy. We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use less than1% of Bitcoin's energy/transaction."
In a Twitter exchange on Sunday, Elon Musk implied that Tesla may sell or had sold its Bitcoin holdings. "Bitcoiners are going to slap themselves next quarter when they find out Tesla dumped the rest of their #Bitcoin holdings. With the amount of hate @elonmusk is getting, I wouldn't blame him...," a user with the handle @CryptoWhale said, with Musk replying "Indeed."
On Monday, in a Tweet replying to another Twitter user, Musk stated: "To clarify speculation, Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin".
MODEL Y DROPS IN CHINA SALES RANKINGS: The budget Wuling Hongguang Mini EV was the best-selling new energy vehicle in China in April, while Tesla's Model 3 ranked second, China's Passenger Car Association said Wednesday, CNBC's Evelyn Cheng reported. Meanwhile, Tesla's Model Y, which launched in China in January, was down to sixth place from third earlier this year, the data showed.
Commenting on the news, Baird analyst Ben Kallo said he believes China sales concerns are overblown. The analyst, however, expressed concern about Elon Musk's "crypto evangelist" role and any reputational damage he and Tesla may incur.
USPS ELECTRIC TRUCKS: The U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee voted to provide the U.S. Postal Service with at least $46B in financial relief over 10 years, Reuters reported. The House approved an amendment that would authorize $8B to speed up the Postal Service's shift to electric delivery vehicles, the publication added. Oshkosh (OSK) previously won the U.S. Postal Service electric vehicle contract over Workhorse Group (WKHS).
FISKER, FOXCONN SIGN FRAMEWORK DEALS: Fisker (FSR) announced on Thursday it has signed framework agreements with Hon Hai Technology Group (HNHPF), or Foxconn, supporting joint development and manufacturing related to Project 'PEAR,' or Personal Electric Automotive Revolution, a program to develop a new breakthrough electric vehicle. Under the agreements, Fisker and Foxconn will jointly invest into Project PEAR, with each company taking proceeds from the successful delivery of the program. Fisker will work with Foxconn on a new lightweight platform designated 'FP28,' leveraging technological expertise from each company to support Project PEAR and potential future vehicles. In support of the work on Project PEAR, the two companies have established a co-located program management office between the U.S. and Taiwan to coordinate design, engineering, purchasing, and manufacturing operations. Following an extensive review of potential U.S. manufacturing sites, the two companies will expedite a manufacturing plan capable of supporting the projected fourth quarter of 2023 start of production. Fisker intends to start production in Europe on its first vehicle, the Ocean electric SUV, in the fourth quarter of 2022 and will unveil a production-intent prototype of the vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this year. Project PEAR will be the company's second production model.
'EARLY MOVER ADVANTAGE': Needham analyst Vikram Bagri initiated coverage of Blink Charging (BLNK) with a Buy rating and $39 price target. The analyst is positive on the company's "early mover advantage," its "multiple business models," and its $230M cash balance sheet, along with its vertically integrated value chain and its "strong footprint." Bagri believes that Blink should be "highly competitive" in the EV charging market.
ON THE SIDELINES: Needham analyst Vikram Bagri initiated coverage of Beam Global (BEEM) with a Hold rating. The analyst noted that the grid-tied chargers will make up the majority of EV charging infrastructure, and while he still expects the company's products to succeed as grid availability becomes scarce, until then, he anticipates that "mostly price-agnostic customers" such as state, federal, and local governments to be the largest buyers of the Beam Global product.
Keywords: charged, ev, electric vehicles, batteries, solid-state batteries, ev battery