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A Tesla earnings call is always a fun experience. More often than not, Elon lets some little tidbit slip that wasn’t part of the script, much to the delight of the audience and consternation of the company’s lawyers. We know there will be talk of deliveries and gross margins and earnings before interest and taxes. GAAP and non-GAAP figures will be thrown around and a few questions will be asked from the steely eyed financial analysts on the call.

The big question on many people’s mind is, will the price of Tesla shares rise or fall as a result? The stock is down about a third from its all-time high in January. Will Elon deliver the goods to make it go back up? For many who are not shareholders, it’s just fun and useful to see how the Tesla story is unfolding. Here are a few topics that may tell the tale.

Editor’s note: Be sure to check in later on YouTube to watch our live coverage of the conference call, which includes all sorts of goodies.

China

Tesla has placed a huge bet on the Chinese market for electric cars, selecting Shanghai for its first new factory. But then there seemed to have been some bumps in the road for Tesla in that country this year. Or not.

First came news that Teslas had been banned from Chinese military installations because their cameras could inadvertently capture classified information. Then there were reports that sales were down significantly, something my colleague Johnna Crider exposed as false a few days ago. Then there was a minor recall for Chinese made Teslas that was a tempest in a teapot.

“The China growth story is the top of the list for Tesla,” Dan Ives, tech analyst with Wedbush Securities, tells CNN Business. “This is their key market. We believe 40% of their sales will come from there next year. I think that’s the linchpin to the stock going up or down.”

Regulatory Credits

One of the constant complaints about Tesla is that it makes more money selling zero-emission credits to other manufacturers than it does selling cars. If its net income for the second quarter exceeds those credits, that will be a significant milestone for the company. “That would throw one of the core bear arguments against the stock out the window,” Dan Ives says. The consensus estimate is that Tesla will report net income of more than $600 million. In the first quarter, it made $518 million from selling credits.

Bitcoin

In February, Tesla said it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and would allow customers to pay for their cars using the digital currency. In April, the company announced it had netted $101 million from its Bitcoin transactions. The value of digital currencies can fluctuate wildly over short periods of time, which makes professional investors nervous.

For a while, Tesla stopped accepting Bitcoin payments, saying the platform used too much electrical power from fossil fuel sources. But now Elon says Bitcoin may soon be welcome again. Once again, Ives thinks dabbling in Bitcoin is a negative sign that worries investors, much like twisting the tail of the SEC or sparking up a phattie with Joe Rogen. Expect more on this topic to surface during the Q2 earnings call.

Supply Chain Concerns

It’s common knowledge that automakers around the world are struggling to manage a shortage of computer chips, the tiny devices that manage everything from blind spot detection to stability control and adaptive cruise control systems. Tesla is no exception. In addition, demand for lithium, nickel, and other raw materials to manufacture batteries is soaring as more and more manufacturers join the EV revolution. Analysts will be looking for information about how Tesla is managing its supply chains to control costs.

Gigafactories

Tesla is moving full speed ahead to bring its two newest factories in Germany and Austin online while expanding its production facility in Shanghai to produce the Model Y. That’s a lot for any company to manage. It says both Germany and Austin will begin producing automobiles this year before transitioning to full production early next year. Investors will be anxiously awaiting updates on both new factories during the Q2 earnings call.

The Cybertruck

In March, Elon tweeted that there would likely be an update about the Cybertruck during the Q2 earnings call, so we will be paying close attention to any news on that front. Last week we reported that Musk is unconcerned about whether his unconventional electric pickup truck will be a sales hit, saying he likes it even if no one else does. (You either love it or hate it.)

With GM, Ford, and now Dodge saying they will have electric pickup trucks of their own soon, and the Rivian R1T set to debut in a few months, it will be interesting to see whether Americans will be able to tear themselves away from the traditional looking trucks they love or whether Tesla will trim its sails to make the Cybertruck more appealing to mainstream truck buyers.

The Supercharger Network

Last week, Musk tweeted, “We’re making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year.” Investors will be expecting to learn more about that announcement. Morgan Stanley auto analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a research note afterward, “By 2030, we conservatively estimate Tesla supercharging revenue of $2.9 billion, a figure which does not include any revenue from non-Tesla vehicles.” How much revenue could Tesla get from drivers of non-Tesla electric cars? That’s a question that is sure to be raised.

FSD

Another recent development is an announcement from Tesla that it will soon offer its “Full Self Driving” package on a subscription basis. This could be the biggest marketing bonanza since Coca-Cola decided to sell its elixir in bottles. Decades ago, the auto industry found out that leasing could unlock a torrent of new sales. Perhaps subscription services will have a similar impact on revenue. Lots of people might subscribe to a FSD package who would otherwise balk at spending $10,000 for it up front. People will want to hear more about this.

There will also likely be requests for more info on when the FSD V9 Beta will roll out to all Americans who paid for FSD. The last we heard, the answer was ~2 weeks — but that’s been the answer for ~7 months (if not more).

Tesla Semi

With everything else going on at Tesla, it’s easy to overlook the Tesla Semi that has been gestating for a few years now. Production should be beginning soon and investors will be hungry for details.

Energy Storage

The jury is still out on whether Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity was a brilliant marketing move that fit perfectly with Tesla’s mission or naked nepotism designed to bail out two of Elon’s cousins (as some people suing Mr. Musk argue), but there is no question Tesla is one of the global leaders in grid-scale energy storage. Elon himself has said he expects energy storage will create as much revenue as Tesla’s car business. This whole topic is usually found somewhere toward the end of the official earnings report, but it is really the key to whether Tesla shares will become more attractive to investors in the short and medium term.

Check back later to see how many topics we guessed right about and which ones came up that we didn’t anticipate. We’re not perfect, but we’re usually pretty darn close about these things.


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See & test drive your favorite EVs at Drive Electric Earth Month, all April

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See & test drive your favorite EVs at Drive Electric Earth Month, all April

It’s that time of year again, time for events across the country to show off electric vehicles at Drive Electric Earth Month.

Drive Electric Earth Month is an offshoot of Drive Electric Week, a long-running annual tradition hosting meetups mostly in the US, but also occasionally in other countries. It started as Drive Electric Earth Day, but since not every event can happen on the same day, they went ahead and extended it to encompass “Earth Month” events that happen across the month of April. It’s all organized by Plug In America, the Sierra Club, the Electric Vehicle Association, EV Hybrid Noire, and Drive Electric USA.

Events consist of general Earth Day-style community celebrations, EV Ride & Drives where you can test drive several EVs in one place, and opportunities to talk to EV owners and ask them questions about what it’s like to live with an EV, away from the pressure of a dealership.

This month, there are 180 events registered across the US and 2 in Canada (including one online webinar about things to consider when purchasing an EV). Events have already started, with a smattering happening over the last few weekends, and the bulk of them this weekend, April 20-21.

Here’s a sample of some of the still-upcoming events this month:

  • Phoenix Ride and Drive in Phoenix, AZ – Wells Fargo will be giving away an EV, along with ride & drives. April 20, 8am-12pm.
  • SpaceCoast EV Earth Day in Melbourne, FL, at the American Muscle Car Museum, the largest solar-powered auto museum in the world. Displays include a custom electric camera car for cinematography, the Bricklin 3EV prototype, and NASA’s Apollo Moon Buggy. April 20, 10am-2pm.
  • Electrify Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan, with EV and e-bike test rides and presentations on green tech like heat pumps. April 20, 10am-4:30pm.
  • PUD Energy Block Party in Everett, WA, which currently has 47 vehicles registered as attending and includes something called a “Truckstravaganza.” April 27, 11am-2pm.
  • Salem Kicks Gas in Salem, MA with a large variety of EVs on display and test drives from local dealers, along with e-bike and other battery-powered outdoor equipment displays. April 28, 1pm-4pm.

Each event has a different assortment of activities (e.g. test drives won’t be available at every event, generally just the larger ones attended by local dealerships), so be sure to check the events page to see what the plan is for your local event.

These events have offered a great way to connect with owners and see the newest electric vehicle tech, and even get a chance to do test rides and drives in person. Attendees got to hear unfiltered information from actual owners about the benefits and trials of owning EVs, allowing for longer and more genuine (and often more knowledgeable) conversations than one might normally encounter at a dealership.

And if you’re an owner – you can show off your car and answer those questions for interested onlookers.

To view all the events and see what’s happening in your area, you can check out the list of events or the events map. You can also sign up to volunteer at your local events, and if you plan to show off your electric car, you can RSVP on each event page and list the vehicle that you plan to show (or see what other vehicles have already registered).

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Kia EV5 GT leak reveals sporty electric SUV design

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Kia EV5 GT leak reveals sporty electric SUV design

A new Kia electric SUV is getting the GT treatment. Images leaking out of China are giving us our first look at the Kia EV5 GT trim.

Meet Kia’s new EV5 electric SUV

Kia officially unveiled the EV5, its new compact electric SUV, at the Chengdu Motor Show in August. Branded as a family-friendly SUV, the EV5 features Kia’s new “Opposites United ” design.

You can see several elements pulled from Kia’s larger EV9 like the redesigned “Tiger Face” grille, which replaces the signature “Tiger Nose.” It retains the EV9’s boxy, rugged look but in a smaller package.

Aimed at millennials, Kia designed the interior for more than getting from point A to point B. Kia considered it an additional “room” to live in.

It also includes Kia’s next-gen connected car Navigation Cockpit (ccNC) with dual 12.3″ display screens and a 5″ climate control display.

At 4,615 mm long, 1,875 mm wide, and 1,715 mm tall, the EV5 will rival Tesla’s top-selling Model Y (L – 4,760 mm, W – 1,921 mm, H – 1,624 mm).

Kia-EV5-GT-leak
Kia EV5 electric SUV (Source: Kia)

Kia launched the EV5 in China at around $20,000 (149,800 yuan). Powered by a 64.2 kWh BYD Blade battery pack, the base EV5 features up to 329 miles (530 km) CLTC range. The long-range, 88.1 kWh battery pack model is good for up to 447 (720 km) CLTC range.

In Australia, where the EV5 is imported, it will cost around $46,000 (70,000 AUS). An entry-level Air trim is expected to undercut the Tesla Model Y in the region, which starts at around $43,160 (65,400 AUD).

Kia-EV5-GT-leak
Kia EV5 battery options and range (Source: Kia)

Kia EV5 GT leak reveals new sporty electric SUV design

We are getting our first look at the Kia EV5 GT after leaked images from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Tech (MIIT) released official images and specs of the vehicle.

As you can see, there are not many differences on the outside. There is added black trim on the lower front bumper. However, other Kia GT vehicles also include subtle visual differences. The big difference maker is in the performance.

The EV5 GT will feature a dual motor system, with a 215 hp (160 kW) front and 98 hp (73 kW) rear electric motor, for a combined 313 hp output.

Although the final details have yet to be revealed, the EV5 GT is expected to have 0 to 60 mph capabilities in under 6.5 seconds.

Kia’s new electric SUV is not the only one getting the GT treatment. All of Kia’s new EVs, including the EV2, EV3, and EV4, are expected to gain a GT trim.

Kia's-EV2-video
Kia EV lineup from left to right: EV6, EV4, EV5, EV3, EV9 (Source: Kia)

They will join the EV6 GT, which packs 576 hp for a 0 to 60 mph sprint in 3.2 seconds. Kia put the EV6 GT up to the test against a Ferrari Roma and Lamborghini Huracan Evo Spyder RWD and beat both off the line.

Earlier today, we got our first glimpse of the low-cost EV2 out testing in public. The EV2 is expected to be Kia’s cheapest EV with starting prices around $15,000 (20 million Won). You can watch the video here.

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Podcast: Tesla layoffs, all-in on Robotaxi, shareholders vote, and more

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Podcast: Tesla layoffs, all-in on Robotaxi, shareholders vote, and more

On the Electrek Podcast, we discuss the most popular news in the world of sustainable transport and energy. In this week’s episode, we discuss Tesla’s massive round of layoffs, Elon Musk putting Tesla all-in on Robotaxi, important shareholders vote, and more.

The show is live every Friday at 4 p.m. ET on Electrek’s YouTube channel.

As a reminder, we’ll have an accompanying post, like this one, on the site with an embedded link to the live stream. Head to the YouTube channel to get your questions and comments in.

After the show ends at around 5 p.m. ET, the video will be archived on YouTube and the audio on all your favorite podcast apps:

We now have a Patreon if you want to help us avoid more ads and invest more in our content. We have some awesome gifts for our Patreons and more coming.

Here are a few of the articles that we will discuss during the podcast:

Here’s the live stream for today’s episode starting at 4:00 p.m. ET (or the video after 5 p.m. ET):

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