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This week's deep dive is a bit of a weird one. Feel free to skip it if it's not for you. I know some of you are as weird as me.
🌎 The Tesla 12/9 conspiracy
You know how you keep looking at the clock at the exact same time nearly every day?
It's 7:18 pm for me.
Or, you bought a new car... and now they're suddenly everywhere?
It's a thing. Called a Baader–Meinhof phenomenon, or put simply, frequency bias.
I'm sure this is the case with our following story too... maybe.
The further down this 🐇 hole I go, the more I (want to?) believe.
On May 1st (5/1), Elon Musk tweeted the Tesla stock price was too high:
On August 11th (8/11) the same year, Tesla announced a 5:1 stock split, which in turn led to a proper price rally.
Now, it's widely believed that Elon hinted at the split directly with this tweet: looking closely, the date & time is 8:11 on 5/1. This is one of the reasons why the story below spreads well and might hold... electrons.
How It Started
Elon Musk jokes with his two favorite numbers:
And our protagonist, Adam Hoov, replies:
What Adam is implying, is that Tesla might split its stock on the 9th of December this year.
This is something the (retail) investor community has been waiting for. $TSLA has since gained like crazy (almost 5x, right) since the last split and closed at $1116 today. Also to note, splitting the stock usually brings more people in to buy it after the split, because of the lower entry barrier. Which is usually good for current investors.
You can see why the topic of splitting the stock is actual.
Sounds random enough? Sure. But this has sent the EV community, especially but not exclusively on Twitter, buzzing. You'll see threads about it all over. And on FB groups. And on YouTube videos. Chances are, you'll see some news portals catch on soon.
Once you're sucked in, you can't get out.
How It's Going
The snowball started rolling. The number combo had been set: 12/9.
1. The 420+69 set the stage.
The 12/9 number combination has entered the game.
2. 129 Orbital Launches
Elon celebrates a very specific milestone of SpaceX. Weird. The 12/9 appears again.
3. December Liftoff
Enter: Gary Black, the Managing Partner of the Future Fund and Twitter-famous for his $TSLA analysis. An overall great guy, I've heard.
He pointed out the (maybe) a bit less important tweet where Elon claims 12M pounds of thrust at liftoff while showing clearly the 9 middle thrusters:
But Gary's main contribution to the theory comes from noticing something, that our next guy put together - the shares Elon has sold.
4. Elon selling shares
Enter: Rob Graves the Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer that shares cute animal videos... and Tesla conspiracy theories in Twitter, apparently.
As you know, Elon's been selling a bunch of his $TSLA stock to pay taxes. Most shares are sold in seemingly random quantities, except... these four.
Exactly 934,091 shares have now been sold four times. Random? Maybe not.
Rob argues that if you write 12/09/2021 out as a number - 12,092,021 - and divide it with our random number 934,091, you'll get 12.945228.
That's 12.9, while the remaining digits give you 4+5+2+2+8=21. Aka, the year.
He also goes on beyond this, using these Elon's tweets
5. Elon likes his own tweet.
Why would @Elon now like his own tweet from the 12th of September? Flip the day/month for the Europeans?
6. Fractured but whole
Doesn't help if Elon comments, although on a relevant GIF, " Fractured but whole".
7. The anagram
Although a good meme, this too spurs some controversy. The "battle" pictured on his tweet is the Viking attack on Iona city, the last of which is thought to have happened in 1209. I like this one:
"A simpler time, it was" is also an anagram to "I'm team split, I swear"
8. The Release Notes
Here's another one from the community, from @TeslaHype:
Latest Tesla's FSD Beta v10.5 Release Notes feature 12 total items, with only one missing a dash in the front. You guessed it - the 9th item.
But isn't this... market manipulation?
Is SEC going to jump on Elon?
Here's a thread on why this wouldn't be the case per the 10b5-1 form used for selling the shares:
In short, shares were set to be sold at these dates already before the board meeting that took place on the second week of November (or over the weekend, which would be where the stock split could have been decided.)
There's more. The first hint, the 129 Orbital Flights, was tweeted by Elon on the 13th. Right after the probable board meeting vote, where they might have voted about the stock split, if consistent with the last stock split vote.
So - Elon would be free and clear to start hinting, leaving SEC powerless.
What about the stock split ratio? It was 5 to 1 last time, meaning each shareholder got 5 $TSLA stocks instead of 1. Rob thinks it will be shown by the times that the 934,091 shares will be sold (we don't know until he's done selling). So far, it's 4, which would mean, in this theory, a 4:1 split at 12/9.
I'd love for all this to be true. It most certainly is fun. Also, for a refreshing while, we see something that truly brings the community together, rather than splitting us (pun intended).
⚡ What else is new?
🗺️ You know I love myself some big picture data. The location data company HERE Technologies published an interactive map visualizing the charging stations per county in the US, per 100k people, or square mile (link).
🤝 The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (IIJA) was signed. I counted $13.71B in incentives going towards the EV industry, including the $5B for school e-buses and $7.5B for EV charging. (link)
⚖️ JPMorgan sued Elon Musk for $162m over the warrant trade dating back to 2014. Partly blaming Elon's "$420 funding secured" from 2018. Musk responded via WSJ: "If JPM doesn't withdraw their lawsuit, I will give them a one star review on Yelp". (link)
🚗 Ford and Rivian canceled their plans to develop an EV together. Ford still holds a ~12% stake in Rivian (link). Looks like Ford is moving more and more in-house with the EV production too.
🔋♻️ Daimler confirmed it is planning a battery recycling plant in Kuppenheim, Germany. Live in 2023. Capacity not yet specified. (link)
This is a good example of how much the auto industry is changing.
Auto OEMs are moving a lot of the supply chain in-house or very-very close, getting way more involved than usual. Carmakers do that by investing in the companies that supply critical materials or know-how, acquiring them completely, or building out their own production capacities. The key here is to get the best talent. The scarcity isn't only about battery materials. It's people, too.
And if you don't secure you're EV know-how, materials and production capacities now, you're most likely dead by 2025. Maybe 2030, if you're lucky.
Most think my estimation is off and the legacy makers have time. I'll reference this newsletter after 4 years. Stick around and let's see. Also, this is why I want to map the whole industry. It's a frunking exciting race.
🌎 Speaking of making sure you have enough talent: the Austin Community College district and Tesla unveiled facilities for the START Manufacturing program, which will form a hiring pipeline between the college and Tesla. Not noted here, but it's likely for Giga Texas that's coming online any minute now. (link)
🚗 We're finally past an important electrification milestone. The Barbie car is electric. Presented in the LA Auto show last week, this badboy is the Fiat 500e underneath (link):
🇬🇧 2,000 UK drivers took a psychopathy test. Guess which type of vehicle owners scored highest from electric/hybrid/diesel/petrol? (link) Hint: I'm renaming us the Psychopath Universe.
🇨🇦 Looks like Justin Trudeau, the Canadian PM, hasn't yet gotten through to the US President Joe Biden to scrap proposed EV tax credits favoring US-based manufacturers, but will continue to push to find solutions. Canada says it will violate NA trade treaty or the USMCA agreement. White House says it will not. (link)
🚗 Mitsubishi presented the Airtrek at the Auto Guangzhou. The first real EV for the carmaker (except for the legendary small i-MiEV, of course) is an SUV with a 70 kWh battery and a 520km (323mi) range. (link) Per Mitsubishi's current plans, it won't reach Europe. The Airtrek is made together in a joint venture with GAC... and I think it shows:
🚗🇨🇳 Cadillac Lyriq, an EV I'm rather waiting for, started pre-selling in China for ¥439k ($68.6k) and deliveries start in mid-2022. It's made by the GM-SAIC joint venture. GM claims 1,000 pre-orders were in at the first hour.
The US market launch should be coming soon, as Cadillac announced the development is at least 80% complete. The limited Debut Edition, starting at $58,795, sold out in 19 minutes and goes into production early next year (hey, that's soon!)
Why am I waiting for the Lyriq?
Apart from having high hopes for the car itself, I'm paying close attention to Cadillac as a whole. As I wrote in our 8th-ever newsletter, Cadillac is/was meant to become the EV-leading brand for GM. The brand has already committed to not introducing anything but electric models from this year.
GM forced the Cadillac dealers to either convert to EVism or close up shop with a $300k-$1M buy-out. A few weeks ago, we learned that 315 dealerships took the offer, leaving 560 dealerships "alive". It also looks like the ones accepting the buy-out wasn't that big anyway (like rural shops), as the remaining 560 dealerships bring in 90% of the sales.
Time to go for online or online-dealership-hybrid system anyway, right?
💰 NIO raised $2B by issuing new shares. (link) Context: Nio's Q3 financial results showed its revenue was up 116% from last year (~$1.53B), but still in net loss at ~$130.8M. Q3 results were also affected by the update to the product line in October, with 24,439 cars delivered per quarter (still +100% Y-o-Y).
🤫🔋 Rumor: We might have learned the location of Toyota's new US battery plant: Greensboro, North Carolina (link). The plant will be built as a 51-49 joint venture with Panasonic.
🙈 A good lesson on how CNN's editors try to make Tesla Full Self-Driving Beta look worse than it is. If you're curious, watch these two videos back to back:
A lot of whoa whoa whoa's later, the driver doesn't seem happy on the first video. If you look at the behind-the-scenes video from the backseat, it doesn't look that grim at all. Are the CNN editors that biased? I imagine that's what they do with EVs in general, too.
💰 Japan will provide a supplementary budget of ¥25B (~$220M) for subsidizing EV, hybrid and FCEV purchases and ¥6.5B ($56M) for new charging stations. EVs get a ¥800k ($6,940) per vehicle if you charge solely from renewable energy, something that is rather hard to do in most big cities there. (link)
🚗 Can't get too comfy. Tesla app had outages on Friday, leaving some owners stranded globally that have relied solely on the app to unlock the doors or drive the car. Solved within ~5 hours (link).
📅 The Battery Show Europe starts on Nov 30th in Stuttgart, Germany. I expect we'll learn a whole lot, with strong speakers from Inobat, Automotive Cells Company, Freyr, Farasis, CATL, and Northvolt. (link)
I'll try to squeeze myself in the guest list next year. If you're one of our 30+ readers from Germany - the Expo part is free and likely fascinating as well (here's the 2019 expo in video).
📗 A good read: Real Men Drive Electric Trucks by The Atlantic (link)
👀 Watch this:
Net F***ed by 2050
Remember the "honest government ad"? Well, we've got a new version I shared in our premium newsletter last week: Profanity alert. Absolutely needed for the joke.
Make sure you spot the Hyundai Ioniq 5 in the Spider-Man: No Way Home movie that's coming on Dec 17th.
Here's the Ioniq 5 x Spider-Man x Ned ad:
Also, here's a little EV community tip: if you see EVs on TV and tweet about it, use the #EVonTV hashtag, popularized by one of our members, Jean-Jacques.
That's it for today.
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