Tesla/Elon Musk Interest Boosted by SpaceX Demo-2 Success

Rob Maurer

SpaceX Crew Demo-2 Mission Boosts Interest In Tesla/Musk

In a historic achievement, SpaceX had a successful launch and docking of its Crew Demo-2 mission over the weekend. Congratulations are in order for SpaceX, NASA, Elon Musk, and the whole team involved. This mission was the first crewed orbital spaceflight launched in the US since 2011, and the first ever by a private company.

This was the last major test in the way of SpaceX's human spaceflight system to be certified for operational crewed missions by NASA. The success is another "proof of concept" moment for Elon Musk as a leader, furthering his credibility among those that remain skeptical.

Tesla, by extension, benefits from SpaceX's success. Search interest on Google for "Tesla" and "Elon Musk" spiked from their average for the week by ~4x and ~12x in the moments leading up to the Crew Demo-2 launch.

Interestingly, one of the breakout related search queries for these search terms was "SpaceX stock". SpaceX does not trade publicly, but Tesla does, and may be seen as a nice alternative investment by those interested in SpaceX. TSLA closed Monday at its fourth highest closing price ever at $898.10.

Renewed Liability for Volkswagen in the US

A US court of appeals today ruled that Volkswagen may still be liable to local and state governments due to their actions in the Dieselgate scandal. Volkswagen had settled at the federal level, but did not receive a full release from other liability.

Volkswagen settled the Environmental Protection Agency's criminal and civil actions for over $20 billion, but failed to obtain a release of liability from state and local governments. In this action, two counties sought to impose penalties for violation of their laws prohibiting tampering with emission control systems.” - law.justia.com

Today's ruling was made by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges noted the significance of the ruling in their comments.

We are mindful that our conclusion may result in staggering liability for Volkswagen. But this result is due to conduct that could not have been anticipated by Congress: Volkswagen’s intentional tampering with post-sale vehicles to increase air pollution.

According to a Reuters report, the previous ruling for the case in the District Court suggested that the potential penalties could reach “$30.6 million per day and $11.2 billion per year.”

Automotive Subsidies in Germany

A stimulus package of up to 80 billion Euros is expected to be introduced tomorrow which has led to rumors for the potential ramifications on the automotive industry.

The EU and other European countries have been trying to determine how to best subsidize the industry between promoting new energy vehicles such as BEVs and supporting legacy business lines. 

Automotive News Europe is reporting having talked to two people close to the possible proposals in the stimulus package. They suggested that the proposals include incentives for any vehicles that cost less than £77,350, whether electrically or conventionally powered. They also noted some significant subsidies for various segments of the market.

“The plans foresee a basic premium of 2,500 euros per car, which would be topped up by 500 euros for fuel-efficient vehicles. An Existing incentive program would be increased by 1,500 euros for electric cars and 750 euros for hybrids.” - Automotive News Europe

Writing assistance by Pranshu Agarwal