Get Your Question Answered By Elon Musk During Tesla’s Earnings Call

Elon Musk

JAN 25 2019 BY EVANNEX 27


Tesla scheduled its next earnings call on January 30th and investors are ready for some big news. The Silicon Valley automaker will discuss its fourth quarter earnings and reflect on an impressive (albeit turbulent) 2018. More importantly, Elon Musk will provide salient information (and, of course, entertainment) answering questions from buttoned-up Wall Street analysts. Wouldn’t it be great, however, to have your question answered?

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk (Flickr: Samferdselsdepartementet)

Unlike the bigwigs on Wall Street, retail investors don’t usually get a chance to ask questions on quarterly earnings calls. With Tesla, that all changed when a 25-year old YouTuber, Galileo Russell, practically took over an earnings call last year. Sure, Galileo talks about Tesla on his HyperChange TV channel. And he’s also been a contributor to our blog, writing about financial news (e.g., herehere, and here) associated with Tesla. But should a small-time millennial investor be allowed to ask Elon Musk questions alongside the suits at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs?

Galileo told me corporate earnings calls “have been getting harder and harder to access” and he’s looking to change all that — he says smaller retail investors should have a voice. So he’s been in contact with Tesla’s investor relations team to get our most burning questions answered. How? He’s been working on a new platform to submit investor questions. If used, he says it’s possible that Elon Musk could potentially answer your question.

Above: More privileged information about Tesla could be made available to smaller investors who have questions (Image: InsideEVs)

So how does this all work? According to Galileo, “For months I’ve been working on a Reddit/Twitter hybrid for verified Tesla shareholders. Now its showtime! This is a website that will allow the little guys to ask questions on Tesla’s upcoming earnings conference call. I’ve teamed up with SAY, a fintech startup to build and launch this platform.”

Last year, the New York Post reported that Billionaire Steve Cohen was “on a fintech buying spree” plowing money into promising startups in the space. It turns out Cohen led an $8 million seed funding round in SAY via his hedge fund’s venture-capital arm (Point72 Ventures). Soon after, SAY was profiled on CNBC when Tesla allowed shareholders to execute proxy voting through its platform during the 2018 TSLA shareholder meeting. And more recently, Galileo was given the nod to be an advisor to the company.

Above: Galileo Russell explains how the SAY platform can get your question answered on Tesla’s upcoming earnings call (Youtube: HyperChange TV)

In any event, if you’re looking to ask Elon Musk a question, and you’re a Tesla shareholder, you might want to submit a question via SAY. Galileo explained the process in more detail (see above). Meanwhile, I’ve got a question lined up for Mr. Musk and I’m sure others are thinking the same thing: “When will you finally launch that $35k Tesla Model 3?” If he answers though, give Elon some slack. The Iron Man has a tendency to be (ahem) a bit optimistic with his timelines.

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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27 Comments on "Get Your Question Answered By Elon Musk During Tesla’s Earnings Call"

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On model 3,

1. When will water leak into door be fixed.
2. When will water leak into trunk be fixed.
3. When will freezing windows and door handles be fixed.
4. When will blind side indicators be added.
5. When will set to defrost option be added to warmup.
6. When will Tesla make dynamic cruise std vs. part of $5k AutoPilot upgrade.

1-4 would be design issues with Model 3 that require re-engineering and production changes while 5-6 could be handled by software changes.

lol you just upset and trigger Musk, so he will ignore them.

I’m at 25K miles and have driven my Model 3 all over New England over the last 8 months. Haven’t had any issues with water leaking or windows freezing.

Door handles freezing is a problem on most vehicles and probably less of an issue on 3 than most others. Water generally doesn’t get behind the handle except when you wash the car. Just immediately after you wash the car, thoroughly towel down the handles and it won’t be a problem. Technically having the handles move isn’t really needed, though, since software controls popping the door – Tesla could add a software update where doing something on camera or a button in the app could pop the door for you, then you could use the door itself instead of the handle for leverage in opening it the rest of the way.

Musk has already said 4 is coming in an update soon.

Isn’t defrosting already part of the warmup? I’m sure that’ll come soon if it isn’t already.

Dynamic cruise will never be decoupled from autopilot. If you want it, pay for autopilot. Just curious – is there a vehicle where dynamic cruise is included standard?

The dynamic cruise maybe not be standard except on some premium model, Toyota Camry, Audi, Lexus, BMW but it can be an option at a much lower expense of the many.

I’m interested in dynamic cruise, but I don’t care much about any other autopilot feature, so I would like to be standard or stand alone option.

Tesla doesn’t offer it this way.

Taylor Marks asked:
“Just curious – is there a vehicle where dynamic cruise is included standard?”

In the US, Toyota has made dynamic radar cruise control standard on all trim levels of not only the Camry, but also the lowly Corolla, which starts at a paltry $18,700 MSRP. Dynamic radar cruise control is part of the Toyota Safety Sense package.

If Toyota can offer dynamic cruise control standard on an $18,700 economy car, Tesla should offer it standard on its $35,000 base luxury Model 3. This is Tesla nickel and diming its more budget conscious customers, just like with the $1,500 upcharge for a paint color other than black. BTW, you can order a Corolla in color other than black without it costing you an single extra dime (no upcharge fee).

Corolla, page 11

Camry, page 18

5 – Both front and rear window defrost should be controllable via the app. Right now just front window defrost is enabled when the car “feels like it”

6. – This doesn’t need to be standard, I’d pay for adaptive cruise if separated out from autopilot.

7. – When is the fix for flickering headlights update coming.

None of these have anything to do with Tesla’s quarterly and annual SEC reports.

I’d have some investor related questions:

-There has been much talk, that Tesla ended the referral program because some social media people abused it. Is that the case and if so, why can’t Tesla continue it with a cap on referral prices?

-There have been reports, that Tesla has dialed back on S and X production. Weren’t the base models profitable enough? Are lines shut down for the space to be used for the Model 3, or is Tesla just reducing the shifts?

-When are the solar roofs ready?

-The Tesla pickup has been teased for quite a while, when and where does Tesla want to produce it. Will they need another factory in the US, which will probably be the main market for a full sized Tesla pickup truck?

The main question is: “When will Tesla announce/reveal the next Supercharger version?

Elon Musk mentioned it at the Annual Shareholder meeting in June 2018. There was going to be a major Supercharger announcement at the end of 2018.

Perhaps that Elon Musk will talk about it at the Conference Call on January 30 2019.

Are you familiar with “Elon’s Time”? When he says 2020, he means 2022-2023. Remember that he said “Punctuality is not my strong suit” His tweet also confirms this.

As opposed to other electric car times? Get lost!

Current battery costs per kWh both as cell costs and as pack costs.

Elon just needs to come onto the stage in a Roadster coming from the production line. Jerome just needs to come onto the stage in a Model Y coming from the production line. A semi coming from the production line should be on stage already. That will answer all questions!

There is no stage. This is a teleconference. Are you thinking of the shareholders meeting, which is in June?…

Are Panasonic / Tesla battery cells different than other manufacturers battery cells.
If there different how do you explain using cells manufacturer by Chinese battery cell manufacturers for the Shanghai Tesla Model 3 / Y

Tesla uses NCA chemistry for their cars, which is indeed different from the NMC chemistry used by virtually all other car makers. Beyond that, the Tesla cells are presumably customised, but probably not fundamentally different from other NCA cells…

I don’t think we need to see time wasted during a conference call covering information which has received thorough coverage by the EV news sources, and extensive discussion on EV forums. The various differences and improvements in the cells Panasonic makes for Tesla, versus cells used in other EVs, have been thoroughly explained and dissected as far as Panasonic will allow. Anything that hasn’t been revealed is almost certainly treated as a trade secret, and Tesla wouldn’t be allowed to reveal such details due to NDAs in place.

The reason that Tesla will be using Chinese made battery cells in Chinese made Tesla cars is due to China putting unreasonable restrictions on non-Chinese batteries being used for the purpose, not because of any deficiency with Panasonic batteries. In other words, that’s a political issue, not an engineering or technical issue.

– When will independent repair shops touch Teslas?
– When will Quality Control people be hired who actually know something?

— When will anti-Tesla trolls quit posting pravduh to InsideEVs comments?

—Will the Model Y have Falcon-Wing doors or some other doors that would prevent the use of roof racks? Yes, I need to use roof racks Elon. I want to carry my kayaks on the roof and not on a trailer, which would double the already exorbitant $15 bridge and tunnel toll that I currently pay. —How many kWh hours is the battery on a 500 mile Tesla Semi? —What is the weight of 500 mile battery itself, and the weight of the entire 500-mile Tesla Semi? —It’s been reported that Panasonic incurred substantial financial losses from the delay in ramping up both the Model 3 and Tesla’s solar roof shingles, and that Panasonic has entered into a large joint venture with Toyota to make prismatic batteries for EVs. Did Panasonic want to be the exclusive battery supplier for the Chinese Gigafactory and you wanted/decided to have multiple battery suppliers, or did you want Panasonic to be the exclusive battery supplier of the Chinese Gigafactory and Panasonic rejected/declined your offer? —It seems like you’ve stopped expanding the Gigafactory. Did Tesla overestimate the space/size needed for its original planned battery production capacity? If yes, will Tesla still build it out to… Read more »

How often do you pass tunnels/bridges with a kayak in tow, that a $15 extra fee actually matters compared to a ~$40,000 base price for the car?…

It’s not just the extra tolls, but also the addition cost and hassle of a trailer. You don’t understand, I live in NYC where I’m tolled up the wazoo. There’s even a toll to WALK across one bridge. It’s a ripoff, since it’s the same toll price as riding your bike across the bridge. It actually more than an extra $15 per trip. To reach some kayak launch points, I’d have to pay a three-axle toll for two bridges/tunnels and also highway tolls, which can add an extra $40-$100+ per trip in unavoidable tolls to reach my kayak lauch point (NJ shore, Hudson River, upstate NY/Anirondacks) But I do get a $2 EV discount on the bridge toll and a 10% discount on some tolled highways. I’d have to buy a trailer, and the only one that fits in my NYC garage is the aluminum Yakima Rack & Roll, which run from $2,800 to $3,500 depending on carrying capacity and extras like a spare tire. It semi-folds up and is stored upright against a wall, but that adds at least a half hour in setup and breakdown for each and every trip. Then there’s the additional cost and hassle of… Read more »

Gosh, my heart bleeds for some entitled guy who can afford to indulge his kayaking hobby, but feels a $15 toll to transport it is too much for him. 🙄

Re the extensive details you’re asking for about warranty replacements of battery packs in all of Tesla’s cars for all years: Is this actually something you would expect to be addressed during a conference call? That’s a question which would need tables of data to fully answer, even if Tesla would be willing to divulge such proprietary information, which it probably wouldn’t.

Why doesn’t Tesla sell Certified Pre-owned cars?

Tesla does still sell some cars under the same “Certified Pre-owned” rules that they used to call CPO. They have been refurbished and come with a longer extended warranty. Tesla also sells regular used cars that have not been refurbished and that come with a shorter aftermarket warranty and a list of disclosed un-refurbished items that you can then choose to either refurbish yourself or live with and save money by living with some dings/scratches or whatever. This is actually no different than anywhere else in the secondary car market, where some used cars go through certification and others don’t.

You can sort by warranty length on Tesla’s webpage to see cars that are effectively the same as what they used to call “CPO” cars. They just don’t use the term “CPO” anymore.

Given how in Europe Tesla vehicles will have native CCS charging and the superchargers are being retrofitted to support CCS, can we expect to see Tesla vehicles with native CCS support sold in the USA at some point?

Ah, finally a question that would be worthy of Elon’s time. Thanks! 🙂