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Electric Vehicle Checkpoint: Tesla CEO Elon Musk Knocks Biden's EV Bill

See the latest news for the top stocks in the electric vehicle space including Ford, Rivian, Lucid, General Motors, and more.

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc Report stock snapped its losing streak this week, with shares ending up 1.64% at $1,068.96 Wednesday. Outspoken CEO Elon Musk said at the beginning of the week that Congress should not approve President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion Build Back Better bill that includes subsidies for electric vehicles.

Musk said Congress should not approve the bill, saying the Democrat-led proposal to give union-made, U.S.-built electric vehicles an additional $4,500 tax incentive would increase the country's budget deficit.

"Honestly, it might be better if the bill doesn't pass," Musk said at a Wall Street Journal-held CEO Council Summit. "I'm literally saying get rid of all subsidies," the self-titled TechnoKing of Tesla said, adding that the government “…should I think just try to get out of the way and not impede progress."

Over on Real Money, contributor Brad Ginesin says that in reaching for the next Tesla, investors aren't thinking Lucidly. Get EV investing strategies and new trading ideas on Real Money.

Tesla received $400 million in federal loans and bailout support via the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Loan Program back in 2010. However, that amount was repaid in full with interest in May 2013, almost a decade early.

Elon Musk Has Sold More Than $1 Billion of Stock Over The Past Several Weeks

Musk, the world's richest person on paper, has sold more than $1 billion of stock over the past several weeks, yet he now owns even more shares of his electric car company than he did when he started selling, at the beginning of November, a media report says.

An analysis by CNN of Musk’s stock-sale filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk is not divesting his swath of holdings in his company, despite his promise to follow a Twitter poll to sell 10% of his stake.

The reason: At the same time he is selling shares -- some 10.1 million in total to date -- he is also exercising options to buy more. And he's doing so at an exercise price of $6.24 a share, less than 1% of Tesla's current share price of $1,046.

Since Musk's Twitter poll on Nov, 6, he has exercised options to buy 10.7 million shares of Tesla, something he had already planned to go forward with irrespective of how Twitter panned out since the options were due to expire by August 2022.

Did Elon Musk Keep His Promise By Selling Tesla Stock?

Musk currently owes about $5 billion in federal income taxes on the new shares he has purchased since Nov. 8, as well as some state taxes, according to reports. Musk sold off Tesla stock specifically to cover that tax hit, according to the filings.

Based on past activity, Musk will likely sell another 5.3 million of his newly acquired shares to cover his additional tax bill, though that will still leave him with nearly 7 million more shares than he currently has.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Tesla as a Buy with a rating score of B.

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Here are more of the top electric vehicle stocks to watch:

Ford  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report was downgraded to peer perform from outperform this past week by a Wolfe Research analyst who also boosted his price target for the automaker to $22 from $17. Analyst Rod Lache said in a research note that with Ford shares up about 80% since April and up 130% year-to-date, he now believes the stock reflects the upside that he has been anticipating based on the company's turnaround. Ford's F-Series line of pickup trucks is the most popular brand in the U.S. for the 45th consecutive year, the Dearborn, Mich.-based company said. 

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In the wake of the spreading omicron variant, Ford is pushing back its return-to-work hybrid model from January to March. While assembly line workers have been working at factories since May 2020, 30,000 of Ford's office workers were slated to return in batches in January 2022. Amid new variant uncertainty and rising cases in its headquarters in Michigan, the company said that it would start bringing workers back by February.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates Ford as a Buy with a rating score of B.

Lucid Motors Received a Subpoena From the SEC; CEO Thinks He Can Take on Tesla

Lucid Group  (LCID) - Get Lucid Group, Inc. Report shares slumped lower Monday after the upstart luxury electric carmaker said it received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission linked to a probe into its July merger with Churchill Capital. Lucid received about $4.4 billion in cash from the transaction, which faced last-minute challenges being approved due to difficulties communicating to retail investors holding the stock to vote, and valued Lucid at around $24 billion when it was listed on the Nasdaq in July.

The Newark, Calif., company closed its third quarter with 13,000 vehicle reservations, which it said in its most recent earnings release represents $1.3 billion. That number has since increased to more than 17,000, but reservations are not the same as sales (as anyone who has followed the Tesla Cybertruck saga surely knows. What Lucid does have is a very confident chief executive with an impressive background: Peter Rawlinson, who formerly was a Tesla vice president and served as lead engineer for the Model S. Rawlinson has not been shy when it comes to touting his company's upcoming product and its ability to become a major player in the EV space.

TheStreet Quant Ratings does not have a rating for Lucid.

EV Disruptor Rivian Lauded on Wall Street With Valuation Caution

Electric-vehicle maker Rivian  (RIVN) - Get Rivian Automotive, Inc. Class A Report, which went public last month, on Monday received bullish reviews from analysts at Wedbush, Deutsche Bank, and Morgan Stanley. Meanwhile, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs were a bit more conservative about the EV maker given its valuation. Wedbush initiated Rivian coverage at outperform with a price target of $130 a share. The investment firm said that its electric trucks could disrupt the auto industry over the next decade thanks to an untapped market in electric sport-utility vehicles and electric pickup trucks.

Rivian has outlined plans to produce 25,000 vans per year by 2025 and to build a preorder backlog of 55,400 R1 vehicles by the end of 2023. "Rivian’s debut vehicles, the R1T and R1S, are anticipated to launch in early 2022, competing with GM’s all-new Hummer, Ford's stalwart F-150, Tesla's down-the-road Cybertruck, and on a path to disrupt the auto industry over the next decade," wrote Wedbush analyst Dan Ives in a note to investors.

TheStreet Quant Ratings does not have a rating for Rivian.

General Motors Expects To Boost EV Sales in 2022

Heading into 2022, Wolfe Research analyst Rod Lache said he now prefers General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report, largely because he sees significant upside optionality from Cruise, which GM acquired in 2016, as they prove the commercial viability of their Autonomous Driving platform, adding that he believes "core GM" earnings are likely to surprise to the upside.

In October, GM, the largest U.S. automaker, said it planned to boost electric vehicle sales, expand Cruise and continue to produce combustion engine cars that could collectively lift annual revenues to around $280 billion by 2030.

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates GM as a Buy with a rating score of B.