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Tesla’s India moves – and dashboard manipulation allegations: This week in EVs


Tesla’s India moves – and dashboard manipulation allegations: This week in EVs By

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Michael ElkinsStock Markets

Published Jul 30, 2023 10:26

© Reuters. — Here is your weekly Pro Recap of the past week’s biggest headlines in the electric vehicle space: Tesla is knocking on India’s door; Stellantis and rivals come together to challenge Tesla’s charging-standard dominance; and an electrifying alliance between Volkswagen and Xpeng.

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Tesla targets India amidst allegations of range manipulation

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) held high-level meetings in India this week in its relentless pursuit to establish a presence in India’s auto market – and, specifically, to present a proposal for the construction of a factory there dedicated to making low-cost electric vehicles.

Tesla executives Rohan Patel and Roshan Thomas engaged with officials from the Invest India agency, including the CEO, Nivruti Rai, who previously held a position at Intel (NASDAQ:INTC).

According to reports, Tesla execs are also set to meet soon with commerce minister Piyush Goyal in order to explore possibilities for establishing an EV supply chain and securing suitable land for the factory setup.

Also this past week, Reuters reported on claims that Tesla manipulated dashboard displays in their cars to exaggerate driving-range projections – and according to the unnamed source, CEO Elon Musk issued the directive to do so.

The investigation also uncovered a secret “Diversion Team” located in Nevada whose sole purpose is canceling range-related service appointments.

Managers told their employees that each cancellation saved Tesla roughly $1,000, per the sources cited by Reuters, and sources also said cancellations prompted workers to celebrate by hitting a metal xylophone and applauding, sometimes while standing on desks.

Shares of TSLA recovered from a 4.28% drop Thursday to end the week up 2.7% to $266.86.

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Rival OEMs team up to power U.S. EVs

Stellantis (NYSE:STLA), the final member of the “Big Three” that still hasn’t announced intentions to incorporate Tesla’s NACS connection into their vehicles, has teamed up with several other prominent automakers to establish a new joint venture dedicated to offering EV charging services across the United States.

The new JV – an unusual partnership of rival firms that also includes General Motors (NYSE:GM), Honda (NYSE:HMC), and several others – will support both CCS and the Tesla standard, with the goal of becoming the leading provider of rapid charging services in North America.

“A strong charging network should be available for all – under the same conditions – and be built together with a win-win spirit,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement.

Their initial strategy involves deploying 30,000 chargers, with a primary focus on major highways and urban centers.

Although the specific investment figures from each automaker remain undisclosed, they expressed willingness to consider additional investments or collaboration from other interested companies.

Stellantis climbed 10.7% for the week to $20.55. GM lost 2% to $38.05, and Honda’s New York-traded shares gained 1.1% to $31.79.

Volkswagen and XPeng’s electrifying alliance

Volkswagen (ETR:VOWG_p) announced their own team-up with Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV) this week.

Under the agreement between the two automakers, the Volkswagen Group will acquire approximately 4.99% of Xpeng’s outstanding share capital, amounting to a value of approximately $700 million, with ambitious plans to jointly develop two B-class battery electric vehicles specifically tailored for the Chinese market.

These vehicles will leverage Xpeng’s G9 platform, as well as its advanced Connectivity and ADAS software.

Both companies are also exploring other potential strategic partnerships across various sectors, potentially to include collaborations on future EV platforms, software technologies, and supply chain management.

The announcement prompted a nearly 30% surge in XPEV shares Thursday, helping the automaker to end the week up an impressive 36.4% to $23.39.


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Tesla’s India moves – and dashboard manipulation allegations: This week in EVs

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