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Electric Vehicles

What to Expect From Tesla’s Earnings Report

On low expectations, global EV demand, and heat domes

What to Expect From Tesla’s Earnings Report
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Current conditions: A cold front brought an enduring heat wave in Mexico to an end • Northwest Texas could see large hail this afternoon • It will be 60 degrees Fahrenheit and rainy in Ottawa, where delegates are gathering this week to hammer out a global plastics treaty.

THE TOP FIVE

1. Investors wait anxiously for Q1 Tesla earnings

Tesla will report first-quarter earnings today after the markets close, and expectations are pretty low. Analysts think the EV maker will report at least a 4% drop in revenue compared to Q1 last year. In the earnings call, CEO Elon Musk will probably be keen to talk about his big plans for the robotaxi, but investors will want him to elaborate on more pressing issues, like waning demand, steep price cuts, the Cybertruck recall, and whether plans for a $25,000 Tesla have really been scrapped. They’ll be looking for Musk to be “the adult in the room,” said Dan Ives, a Wedbush Securities analyst. As well as setting out a clear vision for the company’s future, investors may want Musk to acknowledge his recent missteps as a sign he’s ready to turn things around. But as Nick Winfield wrote at The Information, “expecting the truculent Tesla CEO to admit his mistakes is probably too much to ask for.” Tesla’s stock is down 41% this year. The company frantically cut prices on several models in the last few days and announced a round of big layoffs, which apparently included the entire U.S. marketing team and part of the design team.

2. IEA: Global EV demand remains ‘robust’

Tesla might be flailing, but the International Energy Agency (IEA) seems to think the overall EV market is in good shape. In its latest Global EV Outlook report, the agency said it expects global demand for EVs to “remain robust” this year, “despite near-term challenges in some markets.” It anticipates that one in five cars sold worldwide in 2024 will be electric, and points to first-quarter sales, which grew by 25% compared to the same period of 2023. China will see incredible EV growth this year, with EVs accounting for about 45% of car sales. As EV prices continue to fall and supply chains improve, global demand will continue to rise. By 2035, “every other car sold globally is set to be electric” if today’s policies hold, the IEA said. “Rather than tapering off, the global EV revolution appears to be gearing up for a new phase of growth,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol. “This shift will have major ramifications for both the auto industry and the energy sector.” The report calls for growing charging networks to keep pace with EV sales.

3. Asia is hardest-hit region for climate disasters

Asia was the region hit hardest by climate change-related disasters in 2023, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization. The most deadly hazard last year was storm flooding.

WMO

The WMO says Asia (including sub-regions like the Middle East, Central Asia, and East Asia) is warming faster than the global average, and has experienced more than 3,600 natural disasters over the last 50 years, with losses soaring above $1 trillion. The new report comes as tens of thousands are being evacuated from Guangdong, China’s most populous southern province, due to extreme rainfall, and the United Arab Emirates works to repair the damage left by unprecedented flooding. This photo of abandoned vehicles in Dubai after last week’s storm is incredibly striking:

Francois Nel/Getty Images

4. Study links 2021 fire season with PNW heat dome

A new study connects the dots between the record-breaking 2021 North American wildfire season and the “one-in-a-thousand-year” heat dome that settled over the Pacific Northwest in June of that year. The study, published in Communications Earth & Environment, found that human-caused climate change increased both the size and longevity of the 27-day heat dome, the former by about 34%, and the latter by 60%. About one-third of the area that burned was covered by the dome. The authors note that the heat wave would have been 150 times less likely to happen without climate change. “Climate change will continue to magnify heat dome events, increase fire danger, and enable extreme synchronous wildfire in forested areas of North America,” they wrote.

5. New HeatRisk tool offers forecast for dangerous temperatures

Speaking of heat, the National Weather Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday launched an experimental online heat warning system ahead of what is expected to be one of the warmest summers on record. The HeatRisk tool is a seven-day forecast for potentially dangerous heat across the country. Regions are assigned one of five colors based on just how risky the temperature could get: green (little to no risk), yellow (minor risk), orange (moderate risk), red (major risk), magenta (extreme risk). Here’s the forecast for April 27, for example:

NOAA

Heat kills about 1,200 Americans every year, making it the top weather-related cause of death. In 2023, the hottest year on record, emergency rooms saw an uptick in visits from sweltering patients. The Weather Service is already forecasting above-average May – June temperatures for many parts of the country.

THE KICKER

Construction has officially begun on Brightline West, the high-speed rail line that will connect Las Vegas to Southern California.

Yellow
Jessica  Hullinger profile image

Jessica Hullinger

Jessica Hullinger is a freelance writer and editor who likes to think deeply about climate science and sustainability. She previously served as Global Deputy Editor for The Week, and her writing has been featured in publications including Fast Company, Popular Science, and Fortune. Jessica is originally from Indiana but lives in London.

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