Charged: Analyst Sees Apple Announcing EV Partnership In 2021

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Welcome to The Fly's latest edition of "Charged," where we look at some analysts' notes, news and activity in the electric vehicle and clean energy space.

FORMAL EV PARTNERSHIP IN 2021

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives views reports that EV talks with Nissan (NSANY) were dissolved as part of a detailed process while Apple (AAPL) picks its electric vehicle and autonomous partner. The analyst believes at this point it's a matter of "when not if" Apple will enter the EV race over the next few years. While the timing of an EV partnership remains a key focus of the Street and EV industry over the coming months, Ives assigns a 85%-plus chance that Apple will announce an EV partnership/collaboration over the next 3 to 6 months. With U.S. auto stalwarts GM (GM) and Ford (F) announcing very aggressive EV endeavors over the past few weeks along with Jaguar and a Biden-driven green tidal wave on the horizon, the analyst believes now is the time for Apple to dive into the deep end of the pool on the EV front. He has an Outperform rating and a price target of $175 on Apple's shares.

On Friday, Bloomberg's Edward Ludlow, Gabrielle Coppola, and Mark Gurman reported that Apple has held discussions with multiple suppliers of self-driving car sensors known as LiDAR as it continues working on a driverless vehicle project. Apple, which has "several years of work ahead" on an autonomous car, is looking to outside vendors and the ongoing discussions are a sign that "Apple has yet to settle on a preferred supplier for lidar and that it's likely mulling a range of options, including a heavily customized version of the sensors," according to the report. Publicly traded makers of automotive LiDAR systems include Velodyne Lidar (VLDR) and Luminar (LAZR).

TESLA TO START MAKING CARS IN INDIA

 Tesla (TSLA) is closing in on an agreement to make electric vehicles in India for the first time, opening up a new growth opportunity after setting up production in China, Bloomberg's Saritha Rai reported. Tesla has picked Karnataka, a southern state whose capital is Bangalore, for its first plant, the state's chief minister said.

Commenting on the news, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives noted that with the Berlin build out set to be completed this year and Tesla in the midst of building out its "gargantuan Austin Cybertruck factory," he has long believed that India was next on the docket for the company in 2021/2022. The analyst thinks India represents another key strategic market for Tesla and could represent 5%-plus of global sales by 2026 for Tesla. He has a Neutral rating and a price target of $950 on the shares.

LUCID NEARS SPAC DEAL

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