Tesla, Inc., formerly known as Tesla Motors, has grown since its IPO a decade ago into one of the world's biggest producers of electric vehicles under the leadership of CEO Elon Musk. The company sells cars, SUVs, and trucks. In addition to electric vehicles, it has expanded into energy generation and storage systems. Tesla joined the S&P 500 and S&P 100 on December 21, 2020. Tesla is listed on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol, TSLA.
The company's automotive segment accounts for the vast majority of revenue at the Palo Alto-headquartered company, and the U.S. accounts for just under half of sales. Tesla faces growing competition from other major automakers who are developing and marketing electric vehicles, including General Motors Co. (GM), China-based Nio Inc. (NIO), Volkswagen AG (VOW3), and Daimler AG (DAI), the latter two of which are headquartered in Germany.
Demand for ESG investments soared in 2020. Nearly 60% of respondents to an Investopedia and Treehugger survey indicated an increase in interest in ESG investments and 19% reported incorporating ESG standards into their portfolios.
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Tesla's Latest Developments
- On July 26, 2021, Tesla release its earnings report for Q2 FY2021. It exceeded analysts' estimates on both adjusted earnings per share (EPS) and revenue.
- On July 12 and July 13, 2021, Tesla CEO Elon Musk testified in a suit brought by Tesla shareholders. The plaintiffs alleged that he used the 2016 acquisition of SolarCity by Tesla as a bailout for the former, when he was the chair of both companies' boards. If he loses, he could be required to pay more than $2 billion to the company.
- On July 8, 2021, Tesla announced a cheaper version of its Model Y for sale in China for approximately $42,600. For comparison, the original Model Y cost approximately $53,700.
- On June 29, 2021, Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety restored their highest safety endorsements for Tesla Model 3s. The endorsements were removed in May after Tesla announced that it would no longer include radar in Model 3s and Model Ys made for sale in North America. The National Highway Safety Safety Administration (NHTSA), which said that non-radar-equipped models did not meet its standards for certain recommended safety technologies, has not reversed its rulings.
- On June 26, 2021, Tesla started a recall of over 285,000 of its cars in China due to an issue with the cars cruise control. The cruise control would sometimes activate automatically when the driver changed gears, causing the car to accelerate. The issue affects a number of imported Tesla Model 3s and Model Y and Model 3s made in China. Tesla says the issue can be resolved by a free software update without having to return the car.
- On June 25, 2021 Japanese electronics firm Panasonic, which supplies Tesla with batteries, sold its stake in Tesla for approximately $3.6 billion. Panasonic said the sale would not change its relationship to Tesla as a battery supplier.
- On June 13, 2021, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla would again accept Bitcoin when approximately 50% of its mining is done with clean energy.
- On June 1, 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported that Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, had violated the court order requiring that all his tweets be pre-approved by Tesla lawyers. The court order is the result of a 2018 settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after he was charged with securities fraud for tweets he made regarding taking the company private.
- Also on May 25, 2021, Tesla announced it would be recalling 5,974 of its Tesla Model 3 cars would be recalled due potential problems with brake caliper bolts. If the bolts loosen, it "may cause a loss of tire pressure, increasing risk of a crash," according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.
- On May 25, 2021, Tesla announced that it would be no longer be including radar in its Model 3 and Model Y cars manufactured for sale in North America. While most automakers are working on using a combination of cameras and other sensors, such as radar to increase cars' autonomy, Elon Musk is pushing to do so only using cameras and machine learning. The decision caused Consumer Reports to pull its "Top Safety Pick+" label from the Model 3. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration said that the radar-less vehicles will no longer get a check mark for a number of categories including automatic emergency braking.
- On May 12, 2021, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin as payment for its cars due to the substantial carbon emissions caused by Bitcoin mining.
- On May 4, 2021, Stellantis, the car company formed by the 2020 merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot, announced that by 2022 it will no longer need to purchase carbon credits in order to meet EU emissions standards. Between 2019 and 2021, FCA bought $2.4 billion in emissions credits from Tesla, a key factor in Tesla's shift to profitability that allowed it to enter the S&P 500.
- On April 26, 2021, Tesla announced Q1 2021 earnings and reported an adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.93 and $10.4 billion in revenue. The EPS was higher than the $0.86 analysts expected, and revenue matched expectations. Vehicle sales for the quarter, which were announced earlier in April, came in at 184,000 and slightly exceed analysts' expectations. Tesla also announced it was opening Gigafactories in Berlin and Texas, and that those locations will begin production later in 2021.
- On April 17, 2021, two men were killed when the Tesla Model S they were traveling in crashed in Texas. No one was behind the wheel of the car at the time. Tesla advertises the cars with the feature of being able to "steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane," but warns that "current Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous."