Charged: Tesla reports results, former Nikola CEO charged with fraud

Li Auto, Nio and Xpeng announced vehicle delivery results for July
Welcome to The Fly’s latest edition of “Charged,” where we look back at some recent analysts’ notes, news and activity in the electric vehicle and clean energy space.

TESLA RESULTS: Tesla reported quarterly results last week, with second quarter non-GAAP earnings per share coming at $1.45 and revenue at $11.96B, both better than the expected 96c and $11.21B, respectively. Tesla said: “In the second quarter of 2021, we broke new and notable records. We produced and delivered over 200,000 vehicles, achieved an operating margin of 11.0% and exceeded $1B of GAAP net income for the first time in our history. Supply chain challenges, in particular global semiconductor shortages and port congestion, continued to be present in Q2. The Tesla team, including supply chain, software development and our factories, worked extremely hard to keep production running as close to full capacity as possible. With global vehicle demand at record levels, component supply will have a strong influence on the rate of our delivery growth for the rest of this year.”

The company also said that, “We plan to grow our manufacturing capacity as quickly as possible. Over a multi-year horizon, we expect to achieve 50% average annual growth in vehicle deliveries. In some years we may grow faster, which we expect to be the case in 2021. The rate of growth will depend on our equipment capacity, operational efficiency, and the capacity and stability of the supply chain. We have sufficient liquidity to fund our product roadmap, long-term capacity expansion plans and other expenses. We expect our operating margin will continue to grow over time, continuing to reach industry-leading levels with capacity expansion and localization plans underway.”

SECURITIES FRAUD SCHEME: Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Phillip R. Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service, announced last week the unsealing of a criminal indictment charging Trevor Milton with securities and wire fraud in connection with his scheme to defraud and mislead investors about the development of products and technology by the company he founded, Nikola (NKLA). Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said that, “As alleged, Trevor Milton brazenly and repeatedly used social media, and appearances and interviews on television, podcasts, and in print, to make false and misleading claims about the status of Nikola’s trucks and technology. But today’s criminal charges against Milton are where the rubber meets the road, and he now will be held accountable for his allegedly false and misleading statements to investors.”

U.K. FACTORY: Rivian, the EV maker backed by Amazon (AMZN) and Ford (F), is in talks with ministers about building a giant factory in the U.K. that could include a big state support package, Sky News’ Mark Kleinman reported. Sky News has learnt that Rivian has been in secret negotiations with the British government for weeks about the construction of a plant near Bristol.

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