Tesla Motors Inc. said Wednesday that it would stop selling electric vehicles in the United States for at least six months as it seeks to get a regulatory approval to start selling the Model 3, which will be the most advanced electric vehicle ever made.
The automaker, which also makes electric vehicles and has been developing an alternative to gasoline engines, said in a statement that it expects to begin shipping vehicles in 2019.
The announcement comes as the company seeks to increase its sales of electric cars in the U.S. and the world.
Tesla’s stock is down by more than half since it was trading on Tuesday.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last month that the company was “looking at a six-month delay in sales of our vehicles,” though the company has not specified when the delay would begin.
Tesla will not sell its cars until the company is approved by the U: Department of Energy.
Musk also said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that the electric vehicle maker would start selling vehicles in late 2019 or 2020.
Tesla shares have fallen more than 50% in the last 12 months.
Tesla also plans to start producing electric cars for mass production in 2018.
Tesla said it would use its $5 billion investment to build 1,000 Model 3 vehicles, each costing about $35,000, by 2019.
Musk said in the Journal interview that Tesla will “be a major player in electric vehicles” in the years ahead.
In his comments to the Journal, Musk also talked about the importance of making Tesla a leader in battery technology.
“We will build our own battery, but it will be a combination of lithium and nickel, so we’ll be able to have a battery with about a 10-year life,” Musk said.
The Tesla CEO also said that the new vehicle would have more than 100kWh (14kWh) of battery capacity.
Despite Musk’s promises, Tesla has yet to sell a car powered by its battery technology that does not rely on a gasoline engine.
Last year, Musk said he would be willing to sell the company’s shares in exchange for Tesla becoming an automaker that is profitable and profitable in the long run.
Tesla stock has been on a steady decline in recent months, after falling by as much as 20% over the past year.