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Tesla’s Bitcoin investment now worth $2.48 billion

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Earlier this year, Tesla attracted a lot of attention and a good number of raised eyebrows when it invested $1.5 billion of its cash on Bitcoin. The move was unprecedented among automakers, and due to the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining, even some of Tesla’s more environmentally-conscious supporters voiced their opposition to the investment. 

So far, however, Tesla’s Bitcoin investment seems to be paying off. In the recently-held first-quarter earnings call, the EV maker announced that it had trimmed its cryptocurrency investment by about 10%. This resulted in the company gaining a profit of $101 million from the sale of its digital assets.

Bitcoin’s price is volatile by nature, though it has seen a notable rise in the past months. This seems to have positively affected Tesla, with the company noting in its Form 10-Q that the fair market value of its investment at the end of the first quarter was $2.48 billion. That’s some impressive returns, though Tesla noted that it intends to hold the cryptocurrency long-term. 

“In the first quarter of 2021, we invested an aggregate $1.50 billion in bitcoin and began accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in certain regions, subject to applicable laws. In the first quarter of 2021, we also sold an aggregate $272 million in bitcoin. 

“Net of such sales, the fair market value of our bitcoin holdings as of March 31, 2021, was $2.48 billion. Based on our trading activity to date, we believe bitcoin is highly liquid, although we generally intend to hold our bitcoin long-term regardless of the manner of acquisition. However, digital assets may be subject to volatile market prices, which may be unfavorable at the times when we may want or need to liquidate them,” the company noted. 

Tesla CFO Zachary Kirkhorn described the company’s rationale behind its Bitcoin investment in the recently-held Q1 2021 earnings call. According to the CFO, Tesla wanted to find a place that would produce some returns while ensuring liquidity for some of the cash that was not being immediately used. Bitcoin turned out to be a viable option. 

“Elon and I were looking for a place to store cash that wasn’t being immediately used, trying to get some level of return on this, but also preserve liquidity… And bitcoin seemed at the time and so far has proven to be a good decision… But thinking about it from a corporate treasury perspective, we’ve been quite pleased with how much liquidity there is in the bitcoin market…

“When we did the sale later in March, we also were able to execute on that very quickly. And so as we think about kind of global liquidity for the business in risk management, being able to get cash in and out of the market is something that I think is exceptionally important for us,” Kirkhorn said. 

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Tesla’s Bitcoin investment now worth $2.48 billion

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-tsla-bitcoin-investment-2-48-billion/

Automotive

Chinese EV maker Nio is stepping outside of China for the first time

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Chinese electric vehicle maker Nio has chosen a Norway — an EV hotspot — for its first foray into international markets. Nio Norway will offer a European version of ES8, Nio’s flagship electric SUV, to Norwegian customers from September this year. The ET7 sedan will follow in 2022.

“The decision to have Norway as our first destination overseas is backed by long-term thinking,” Nio founder William Li explained at an event Thursday. “Norway is the most EV-friendly company.” Among the European countries, Norway is the biggest adopter of battery electric vehicles. The company’s relationship with Norway stretches back to 2018 when Norges Bank, the country’s sovereign fund, gave the automaker “critical support” during its initial public offering, Li said at the event. Nio signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Norwegian EV Association, also in 2018.

That high EV adoption rate also means Nio will be making its pitch to a growing consumer base of savvy EV owners. In Norway, Nio will face competition from Chinese automakers like XPeng, international rivals Tesla and European automakers such as Volkswagen and Audi.

In addition to vehicle sales, the company also detailed plans to open dedicated service centers, vehicle charging stations and its Nio Power Swap battery swapping stations to Norway. The company aims to build four battery swapping stations around Oslo by the end of 2021, with additional swapping stations coming to the Norwegian cities Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger and Kristiansand in 2022. Nio’s Norway team is composed of around 15 people, but that number is expected to grow to around 50 by the end of 2021, according to the company.

The Chinese automaker has had a slow start since its founding in 2014, but started gaining ground in the second half of 2020 through the latest quarter. Nio reported deliveries of 20,060 vehicles in the first quarter, a 422.7% jump from the same period last year when COVID-19 was busy upending the economy on a global scale. Sales in the first quarter of 2021 were also 15.6% higher from the fourth quarter. It has delivered 102,000 vehicles to date. These deliveries helped the company increase its vehicle sales by 489% compared to the first quarter of 2019.

Still, Nio is losing money, albeit the gap between revenues and net loss continues to narrow.

The boost in sales was likely due in part to the January debut of the ET7, its flagship electric sedan and the first vehicle model to be fitted with its so-called “Nio Autonomous Driving” software. The company has been an outlier when it comes to charging, adopting a battery swap option in addition to traditional plug and charge stations. Nio has already completed more than 2.4 million swaps for Chinese users, Li said – a number that’s growing  by 10,000 every day. Last August, the company also debuted its “battery-as-a-service” purchasing option, which allows drivers to lease the battery from the company and only purchase the vehicle.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/05/06/chinese-ev-maker-nio-is-stepping-outside-of-china-for-the-first-time/

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Tesla’s market share in a critical area is set for a huge boost: analyst

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Tesla’s market share as a manufacturer is set for a huge boost in Europe, according to Matthias Schmidt of the European Electric Car Report. After having a steady decline in Europe since 2019 due to the emergence of other automakers introducing electric models, Tesla is expected to rebound nicely and retake its dominance in the critical European market.

Schmidt says that Tesla’s market share in Europe could surge back to 20% in 2021, a 7% increase from the figures that the automaker secured in 2020. Only 13% of the total EV market in Europe was controlled by Tesla last year, a substantial decrease from the 31% market share Tesla held in 2019. Schmidt wrote in his report that the decrease was caused by the introduction of strict European emissions targets that made European automakers put an increased focus on EV production.

“Following Tesla accounting for every third pure electric car sold in the West European region in 2019, to accounting for just 13% of the market last year, the disrupter found itself being disrupted by the old guard,” Schmidt wrote in the report found by MarketWatch. “However, I expect Tesla’s share to recover slightly towards 20% this year.”

Tesla has performed well in 2021 thus far, bringing Schmidt’s expectations to realistic levels. The Model 3 has been Europe’s most popular electric vehicle in 2021, holding 7% of the market share in Europe on its own, with a commanding lead over the second-place Volvo XC40 PHEV, which has sold 12,715 units so far this year.

Credit: EV Sales Blog

Tesla also sold more cars than any other company in 18 key European markets in March, successfully registering 23,841 units. The regions include Norway, Iceland, and Switzerland. As a result of the strong performance in March, Tesla’s 12-month cumulative market share was boosted to 13%, and its Year-to-Date share to 15.6%, which is good enough for third. Tesla trails only Volkswagen and Stellantis.

The boost to the European market that Tesla needs could come with increased demand for its vehicles, which has been evident as the automaker is reportedly sold out its production capacity for Q2 2021 already. Additionally, Tesla is planning to begin producing its electric cars at its production facility in Germany, known as Gigafactory Berlin. Despite reports that Tesla won’t produce vehicles in Germany later this year, local Economic Minister Jörg Steinbach, who has remained close to Tesla and CEO Elon Musk throughout the duration of the project, says that he expects production to begin in late-Summer or early-Autumn.

Schmidt included that he has seen some local German projections that predict Tesla could produce 229,000 units in 2021 alone, adding a significant boost to the company’s manufacturing outlook for the year. Additionally, this could help solve the eager European customer base that Tesla looks to cater to upon the initial production phases of the Model Y in Europe.

Tesla’s market share in a critical area is set for a huge boost: analyst

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-europe-market-share-boost-european-electric-car-report/

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Tesla’s rumored sale of regulatory credits to VW to last ‘two to three years’

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Tesla’s rumored sale of its regulatory credits to Volkswagen to help the German automaker reach emissions targets is likely to last “two to three years,” according to VW Auto Group CEO Herbert Diess.

The sale of credits will help Volkswagen align with regional emissions targets that could affect the company’s ability to conduct business in China and the United States. The emissions targets are different in every country, some with more strict regulations than others. China has some of the toughest emissions regulations globally due to the massive number of passenger vehicles that operate in the country. Due to this fact, some automakers, like Volkswagen, must purchase regulatory credits from other automakers to meet the emissions targets. It helps the purchasing automaker avoid hefty fines, while it can help the selling automaker solidify financial safety and fund projects.

Tesla doesn’t have an issue reaching these targets due to its environmentally-friendly electric powertrains. For over a year, Tesla has been selling regulatory credits to other automakers, a deal that has helped Tesla fund some of its international projects. One of the most notable deals is Tesla’s sale of credits to Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles, requiring FCA to pay Tesla $2 billion through 2023. The sale was to help FCA reach the European Union’s CO2 requirement of 95g per kilometer in 2020. This deal recently ended after Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares stated that the company would no longer need to purchase the credits from Tesla. This was due to the merger between Peugeot S.A. (Groupe PSA) and FCA in January 2021, which ultimately birthed Stellantis. Stellantis now controls 14 traditional automotive brands, including Fiat, Chrysler, Jeep, Maserati, and Peugeot.

However, Tesla isn’t losing all of its deals for its regulatory credits. It appears Volkswagen will still purchase credits from Tesla. Although it hasn’t been officially confirmed who VW will get its credits from, recent reports indicate that Tesla will be the seller. Recent comments from Herbert Diess, CEO of the Volkswagen Auto Group, on the company’s Earnings Call earlier today seem to indicate that the company will continue for several years.

“In Europe, we are confident that we will comply with the fleet targets,” Diess said during the Earnings Call. However, the case is different in China and the United States, and Diess says that the automaker will need to rely on credits to avoid the fines for “the next two or three years.” With VW’s expanding EV strategy, it appears that the German company will no longer need to purchase these credits by 2024 at the latest.

In China, VW will likely be purchasing the credits from Tesla. After a report from Reuters in April indicated that VW’s joint venture with state-owned Chinese carmaker FAW, called FAW-Volkswagen, would be purchasing credits from Tesla to meet the environmental standards set by the Chinese government. Three individuals close to the matter informed Reuters of the deal.

Concerns regarding Tesla’s financials and its ability to remain profitable without the excessive sale of EV credits continue to rage on. However, Tesla has shown that it generates revenue through several mediums, including automotive sales, car leases, and other investments, including the automaker’s Bitcoin purchase in late 2020. The $1.5 billion Bitcoin purchase was a way for not immediately used cash could generate “some level of return…but also preserve liquidity,” Tesla CFO Zachary Kirkhorn said during the company’s most recent Earnings Call.

Ultimately, it isn’t known who Volkswagen will purchase the credits from globally. However, if recent reports are correct, Tesla will be sending its credits to VW in return for hefty $56 per green credit prices.

Tesla’s rumored sale of regulatory credits to VW to last ‘two to three years’

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Source: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-regulatory-credits-sale-volkswagen-vw-two-to-three-years-herbert-diess/

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Electric trucks like the Tesla Semi are nearing cost parity with diesel, EU studies show

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Two new studies from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Transport & Environment (T&E) have suggested that advances in technology would enable battery-powered heavy trucks like the Tesla Semi to become cheaper to own and run compared to their petrol and diesel counterparts. According to T&E, these studies are even more proof that the future of the heavy trucking industry is electric. 

T&E’s study focused on Germany’s long-haul trucking segment, and according to the agency, direct electrification of road freight is not only technically feasible: it is likely to reach cost parity with diesel by the middle of the decade. The agency also noted that directly electrifying trucks are around twice as energy efficient as renewable hydrogen and about three times as efficient as internal combustion engines running on synthetic e-fuels. 

SEI’s report, on the other hand, noted that the electrification of the heavy trucking sector becomes very realistic if the massive battery-powered vehicles could be rapidly charged like all-electric passenger cars. With a rapid-charging infrastructure in place, the required range for battery-powered long-haulers gets dramatically reduced. This means that even vehicles like the Volvo VNR Electric Class 8 truck, which only has an operating range of 150 miles, could be utilized to their utmost potential. 

This, together with the advances in battery technology, could ultimately enable the all-electric long-haul segment to thrive. Björn Nykvist, the lead author and senior researcher at SEI, related this in a statement. “Battery technology is very close to a threshold that makes electric trucks feasible and economically competitive,” the researcher said

Tiziana Frongia, freight director at T&E, further noted that the time is now to push electric trucks into the market, as even existing vehicles available today could already cover most urban and regional deliveries. Longer routes, on the other hand, could be handled by upcoming trucks such as the Tesla Semi, which is expected to have a range of over 500 miles per charge. For Frongia, the future of trucking is electric, and it’s now up to the EU to ensure that the shift to sustainable trucking is expedited. 

“The future of trucking is electric. Most urban and regional deliveries can already be covered by electric trucks today, and long-haul electric trucks are only a few years behind. The environmental case is clear and now so is the cost argument. The EU should therefore speed up the transition towards electrification by setting binding targets for truck charging stations in the upcoming review of the infrastructure law… The evidence is stacking up. If electric trucking seemed like a pipe dream just a few years ago, it definitely isn’t anymore. We’ve shown that it is possible. Will the EU make it a reality?” the T&E freight director said.  

While there is an inherent challenge in rolling out all-electric long-haulers due to the large number of batteries they require, companies like Tesla are hard at work in ensuring that their trucks are competitive against more conventional rivals. Tesla, for its part, has noted that the Semi, which has been delayed for a few years now, is finally poised to begin deliveries later this year. Elon Musk has also stated that limitations in battery supply would likely be less onerous next year, which suggests that the Tesla Semi’s production could hit its pace in 2022. 

Check out Transport & Environment’s study below. 

2021 04 TE How to Decarbonise Long Haul Trucking in Germany Final by Simon Alvarez on Scribd

Don’t hesitate to contact us for news tips. Just send a message to [email protected] to give us a heads up.

Electric trucks like the Tesla Semi are nearing cost parity with diesel, EU studies show

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-semi-cost-parity-diesel-study/

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