Tesla Call Highlights Include Model Y Production & Semi Plans

5 days ago by Domenick Yoney 65

Tesla Roadster In Space

If CEO Elon Musk can launch a car he built into space, on a rocket he built, then surely anything is possible.

Today, Tesla announced the biggest quarterly loss ever in its history ($675.4 million). One might expect this financial result to precipitate some sort of day of reckoning, but it hasn’t. Not even close. Instead, confidence seems improved, reflected by a stock price which, after shadowing meandering major indices most of the day, broke free and shot higher in the afternoon, ending up +$11.03 (3.30%) at $345.00 per share, not so far off from its greatest heights.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3 Road Trip arrives in Tallahassee

Some of this reassurance in the company’s future may be driven by the fact that its first ever production vehicle is now beyond the reach of Earth’s gravity, softly hurtling through space in the direction of Mars — the logic being that, if CEO Elon Musk can launch a car he built into space, on a rocket which he also built, then perhaps he might be able to find his way through a hellish Model 3 production ramp up and whatever other pesky problems might arise on the way to profitability. Certainly, yesterday’s incredible technological feat and resulting spectacle didn’t hurt the Tesla’s future prospects.

RELATED: Tesla Pushes Back Standard Model 3 Deliveries To Late 2018, Early 2019

 

RELATED: Tesla Posts Q4 Earnings, Record Revenue On Record Deliveries, Losses Continue

As always, after the letter to investors marking the company’s progress and denoting the financials went out, Musk and other top executives held a call with financial analysts. We sharpened our pencils and took notes, the results of which you can read below. The mood was upbeat and several of the analysts congratulated Musk on the achievement as they dug into their hosts for tidbits of information they can use to give guidance to their own clients. Certainly, there was a number of interesting things mentioned that Tesla enthusiasts might want to know, especially as they pertain to Model 3 production.

  • Musk prefaced the exchange by outlining the achievements reached in 2017 and thanking everyone, with a special thanks to suppliers and customers. He also expressed confidence in reaching the target of a 2,500 unit per week run rate by the end of the first quarter of 2018, and 5,000 units by the end of Q2. He echoed surprising sentiment in the letter to investors about achieving “positive quarterly operating income on a sustained basis” after reaching production of 5,000 Model 3’s per week. He is also cautiously optimistic they will be GAAP profitable as well.
  • Regarding Model 3 production bottlenecks, battery module production is still the focus for near-term improvements. A new automated system for two of the four zones is nearing completion in Germany. It needs to be disassembled, shipped, then reassembled at the Gigafactory (it’s expected to arrive in March). This one line should be as productive as three to four of the lines they currently have and take up less physical space. They also have a “semi-automatic” line, which involves people working with the machines. It has been, Musk said, “remarkably effective,” and is exceeding the purely automatic lines.
  • CTO JB Straubel jumps in at this point to mention that despite much being made of the manual aspect of this line, it’s not especially accurate.  People are moving material between the machines, but there is still a high level of automation. Musk adds, “It’s not artisanal.” They are expanding the semi-automatic lines, bridging the gap as they redesign full automation and bring that online.
  • Musk suggests they may take investors on a tour of the facilities to see what is happening there firsthand, and Straubel stressed again the efforts being made in this specific area of battery pack production. Relieving this constraint gets the team to the 2,500 unit per week run rate.
  • Once the battery bottleneck is relieved, the next constraint involves the material conveyance system in Fremont. On an interesting note, part of this problem, outside of automated systems within the factory itself, involves getting things like seats from their assembly facility to the main factory floor. Musk voiced one solution under consideration to get around the problem of truck traffic congestion is to build a tunnel between the two facilities. Note, of course, that Musk is also CEO of The Boring Company which digs tunnels.
  • In response to a question about successorship, Musk reiterated that he intends to remain CEO for the foreseeable future, but that once he steps down from that position he would like to work on product development.
  • Musk reaffirmed that the goal of one million units a year by 2020 was still the target they’re aiming for. Later, he would go on to say that the Fremont facility alone may reach levels of 600,000 to 700,000 units per year, which is somewhat higher than the levels achieved by GM and Toyota when they operated it under the banner of  the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI.)
  • Tesla may begin to make investments in capital expenditure toward the Model Y program before the end of 2018. These may involve siting of a new factory, but Musk said that they will wait three to six months before announcing a production location and details associated with that.
  • Musk is excited about how they are designing Model Y, taking lessons learned from Model 3 to figure out how to make it easier to manufacture.
  • Annual Tesla Semi production could reach 100,000 units a year in four years. Musk added that the Semi may also exceed the specs they had previously released, though he didn’t elaborate on which specifications, in particular, might improve.

    Tesla’s Official Model Y Teaser

  •  Musk reiterated that he is confident that LIDAR is unnecessary (he called it a crutch) for achieving full autonomy, and that those who are using it now may find it a limiting factor. After some amount of technical talk involving passive optical image recognition (their system, involving multiple cameras, RADAR, and near-field ultrasonic sensors) and the need to “solve” it, he adds that once they achieve that, the need for an active system (LIDAR) goes away. He is convinced that taking the hard path of developing a neural net to achieve object recognition and using radar which can see through snow, rain, and dust is a superior method.
  • Gross margins for Model S and X should return to higher levels (around 26 percent) in 2018 because of cost reductions in manufacturing that are continuing, among other things. As well, Model 3 margins, which were actually negative this past quarter, should be close to those of its stablemates by the end of the year.
  • Despite Model S and X production being somewhat constrained to 100,000 units per year because of the supply of 18650 battery cells, they intend to stick with that cell for those two models. They contemplated moving to the new cell design found in the Model 3, but decided it wasn’t the right risk.
  • Regarding Musk’s much-ballyhooed (and much-delayed) autonomous coast to coast trip, it is still a go, and could happen in three months, but perhaps only in six months. The good news is, that once they achieve it, this functionality would become available to Tesla owners.
  • Musk says they could have significant positive cash flow by the 3rd quarter, but they will invest in Model Y and energy products instead.
  • Eventual Model Y production target is one million units per year! So, twice the production of the Model 3, but using less than half of Model 3 capital expenditures to get there.
  • Finally, Jon McNeil, president of global sales and service, is leaving the company and won’t be replaced. Instead, sales and service will report directly to Musk. McNeil has already been named as chief operating officer at Lyft.

That’s it for this end-of-quarter call. We look forward to doing it again in three months.

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65 responses to "Tesla Call Highlights Include Model Y Production & Semi Plans"

  1. terminaltrip421 says:

    “If CEO Elon Musk can launch a car he built into space, on a rocket he built” did he build it by hand or..?

    1. Domenick Yoney says:

      I believe so. In his garage. But JB helped. 😀

      1. HVACman says:

        It was an “artisanal” rocket. Handcrafted in the traditional custom by trained rocketeers in Old World-style clean-room kitchens.

        Tesla has been emulating this classic handcrafted process at the Gigafactory module assembly line, but JB says Model 3 packs are, sadly, no longer “artisanal”.

    2. Apkungen says:

      Yeah, and Franz Von Holtzhausen was there to do the paint job.

  2. Dav8or says:

    Well, the Roadster launch did the trick. Investors now believe Elon is invincible. I am impressed. No other company can be run so haphazardly with such losses and have the stock price actually go up. Of course no other company has Elon Musk at the helm.

    The Musk show is entertaining and it does leave you always guessing what’s going to happen next.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      No other company — so far as I know — has so much short “interest” that short investors actually wind up driving the price of the stock up simply because they’re competing for the limited pool of available stocks.

      Ordinarily, “short” investments act as a brake and a check on stock prices getting too far above what the enterprise value is. If this isn’t happening with Tesla stock, if the price of TSLA keeps soaring so far above what a fair market value should be, then the “short” investors themselves are largely to blame!

      Almost like irony, with short “interest” causing the stock price to go up when such investors want it to go down. 😀

      1. Terawatt says:

        Despite your frequent rants about Tesla shorts, I doubt you even understand what it is.

        Shorting is selling stock that you don’t have, which you must then buy in a few days. If it’s happening in huge volume, it will increase supply exactly as much as demand.

        It is a short-term, high-risk, potentially-high-reward financial move, but it is no more or less legit than betting that a stock will go up.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Dav8or said:

      “No other company can be run so haphazardly…”

      Notice how the Tesla Hater cultist continues his FUD campaign.

      Notice how desperate the Tesla Hater cultist are getting in their increasingly futile and even laughable attempts to convince everyone that Tesla is in financial trouble, when it’s clearly and obviously growing like Topsy!
      😆 😆 😆

      Go Tesla!

      1. Dav8or says:

        Go ahead. Refute my statement and tell me what other company on the planet WITHOUT Elon Musk involved could get away with delayed product launches on EVERYTHING, targets missed (including Mars!) sub standard quality, losses year after year, spending money like there is no end to it on the next big distraction and with little focus on the here and now? It is haphazard. Instead of performing and delivering the goods, the strategy is distraction.

        What other company?

        My point is that Tesla is an anomaly and they are able to do whatever they want because of Elon Musk and only Elon Musk. It’s not Tesla hate, it’s just stating the obvious. Tesla is a special company with a special CEO and because of that normal market forces and principles don’t apply.

        Riddle me this- What could Tesla possibly do now at this point to actually have investors lose confidence and dump the stock?

        1. Bill Howland says:

          On the other hand, the Rocket Launch was pretty good.

          One interesting Urban Legend going around is that that’s no Manekin in the front seat of the roadster but an inconvenient body Musk needed to disappear.

    3. Mint says:

      Or it could be the simplest explanation:

      Revenue was higher than most estimates, losses were below most estimates.

      But go ahead and blame a rocket instead…

  3. Baillies says:

    So what are the chances of Tesla acquiring Lyft now that Jon McNeil is there and not being replaced at Tesla?

    1. Domenick Yoney says:

      Slim to none. Leaning heavily toward none.

      1. William says:

        A snowballs chance in “Production He🏒🏒!!”

  4. Get Real says:

    LMAO at “Super” Daveh8or!

    Haphazardly? What a crock, everyone who isn’t blinded by hate can see that Musk is simply passionate about his companies/products and their results.

    He has simply CRUSHED the (uncompetitive) competition in the space launch business and now Tesla is going to keep growing at double digit rates while the laggard, legacy OEMs will lose market share as auto sales decline:

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/auto-sales-declined-2017-first-time-since-financial-crisis-213918873.html

    Despite your denials, Tesla has THOROUGHLY disrupted what was mostly a stagnant, wedded to fossil fools auto industry.

    COMPELLING PEVS, VERY LARGE SCALE battery production, logical DCFC network that enables long-distance travel, huge advancements in self driving, OTA updates so a Tesla car gets BETTER as it ages, large touchscreen based controls, etc, etc.

    It literally has taken the laggard, legacy OEMs 5+ years to even start to pivot towards some of these technological advancements.

    And behind it all, Musk (sometimes painfully) pushing the boundaries as all great entrenprenuers who are willing to take the risks of some failures to gain ultimate success.

    1. Stimpacker says:

      And at every turn, Americans try so hard to stop Tesla:

      1. States enacting laws to block sales of an all American car.

      2. Mainstream media like WSJ constantly bashing Tesla as supported by taxpayer subsidies.

      3. Auto publications, consultants, big names like Bob Lutz or Munro bashing everything Tesla.

      4. Investment research firms like Lux or BNEF publishing poopoo reports.

      The list goes on.
      Strange, if one didn’t believe in the company’s products, simply don’t buy.

      1. mx says:

        Exactly. What success has Lutz brought to VIA Motors? NONE.
        That’s the company that should be shorted, but there’s no value there, no potential, and no hope.

        It’s almost as if Lutz is there to Prove It Can’t be Done.

    2. Six Electrics says:

      Teslas may not burn gas, but they do burn dollar bills. Buying success is hardly a noble endeavor, nor is it difficult.

      1. Get Real says:

        LMAO, and 6 Fool Cells/Tesla Shorts definitely burns BS as he shorts and FUDS while Tesla builds assets and capabilities.

        Hopefully he and the other dumbasses increase their short positions.

        1. Six Electrics says:

          I have never sold (or bought) Tesla stock.

          1. Get Real says:

            6 Fool Cells/Tesla Shorts said “I never sold (or bought) Tesla stock.”

            Here, let me fix that for you:

            “I never bought a Tesla (or any other PEV)!

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Six Pretend Electrics continued his Tesla Hater cultist campaign:

        “Buying success is hardly a noble endeavor, nor is it difficult.”

        Gosh yes, starting a new auto making business in the U.S. is so “easy” that no company since WW II has been able to do it successfully… except Tesla. /snark

        And what Elon is doing, both at Tesla and at SpaceX, certainly is a noble endeavor, one aimed at improving the world. Rather the opposite of your serial Tesla bashing and your FUD campaign, innit? Rather the opposite of your hypocrisy, too.

        1. Dan says:

          Pardon my ignorance, but what does FUD mean?

          1. jimjfox says:

            FUD= “Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt”
            Rather a stupid acronym, since the latter two words have identical meanings.
            “Exact Same” is another example.

            1. Or..Redundant Redundant!

              KNOTS PER HOUR = Nautical Miles Per Hour Per Hour (since KNOTS = Nautical Miles Per Hour)!

          2. Six Electrics says:

            FUD is an IT term from the operating systems wars which PP now uses to bully those with divergent viewpoints from his own. Just think of it as a marker of hate speech.

        2. Six Electrics says:

          Starting an auto business with unlimited funds is, in fact, easy, and would not have happened had Musk not lucked out by being acquired by PayPal, and then promptly fired. Now he prefers to sell ZEV credits to polluters rather than dilute his stock with (as many) capital raises as he would otherwise. Sales of those credits undo much of the good Teslas do on the road. Shameful.

      3. mx says:

        If you look at the balance sheet, you’ll see nothing’s “burning”.
        You’ll see a Real Asset Build.
        Maybe you shouldn’t get suckered by Wall Street bull.

  5. Dee says:

    My jaw drops to the ground when I saw the 4.5 hours of awesome footage of spaceman on YouTube!! I just keep replaying it, still can’t believe it actually happened since it was so amazing! My mind is blown!

  6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Musk reiterated that he is confident that LIDAR is unnecessary (he called it a crutch) for achieving full autonomy, and that those who are using it now may find it a limiting factor… He is convinced that taking the hard path of developing a neural net to achieve object recognition, and using radar which can see through snow, rain , and dust is superior method.”

    Well, we’ll see what happens. Being a programmer myself doesn’t mean I’m an expert on the subject by any means, but there’s no question that Tesla is taking a much more difficult approach. Using LiDAR gives a simple, quick, and easy method of painting a virtual reality “picture” of the car’s environment. Using optical object recognition and low-resolution radar images, combined with computer number-crunching for optical object recognition and for “neural net” processing, will be a much, much harder, less precise, and more problematic way to achieve the same objective than the much simpler, easier, faster, and straightforward method of using LiDAR for direct, precise, fast and easy scanning of the surroundings.

    Now, if Tesla was using high-resolution radar, because that does do better at penetrating rain and fog than LiDAR, then Elon might have a point. But so far as I know, Tesla is still using cheap, low resolution dopplar radar sensors, which don’t produce a high-resolution image of the surroundings, as LiDAR does and as high-resolution radar almost does.

    At present, Tesla is falling behind because it is obstinately attempting to reproduce the functionality of MobilEye by developing its own software, instead of doing what all other companies developing self-driving systems are using — and that is relying on LiDAR.

    I think Tesla is going to drop further and further behind, so much so that at some point it’s going to simply license a system that some other company has developed. That’s my prediction, but it will take awhile to see whether or not that comes true.

    Frankly, I’d much rather see Tesla concentrate on doing what it does best, and that is building compelling cars with exceptionally well-integrated intuitive controls. I think it’s a mistake for Tesla to waste its resources, money, and energy trying to achieve the exceptionally hard goal of fully functional, reliable self-driving autonomy.

    1. Michael says:

      I know even less about this. But I think that LIDAR produces a 3D monochromatic map of the environment that the car can use for collision detection. Combined with other sensors it identifies objects that it is programmed for. Like an NPC moving through a video game. I think this is an easier and faster approach for well-defined environments and standard deterministic programming.

      Neural networks are taught to identify objects by their general properties. If you’ve seen a few trees you don’t need the specific 3D morphology of every species to identify other trees. After its learning phase NNs are better at identifying things that weren’t specifically programmed or where the image is noisy. Like the real world we see through the windscreen. But it is difficult to fully understand the emergent properties of the neural network.

      Either way, there is a long way to go to autonomous driving. Perhaps Elon feels that Tesla already has a vast training set that is increasing daily. Enough to give neural net AI a long term advantage over conventional programmatic AI.

    2. Brian says:

      Tesla is behind because they don’t sell cars with Lidar yet you can’t buy a car with Lidar. I’m not sure your argument makes sense.

    3. jimjfox says:

      Agree, absolutely. Diluting company assets by diverting them to some ‘maybe’ design is not one of Elon’s better ideas. Perhaps M3 battery bottleneck may have been reduced had more assets been put into it?
      NO! Let’s make a flamethrower!
      Elon has a severe case of Lidarphobia, it seems.

      1. arne-nl says:

        Laughable. As if Tesla engineers were pulled from behind their desks to design a flamethrower.

    4. Someone out there says:

      According to Navigant Research, Tesla is already dead-last in the autonomous race.

    5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      Tesla’s not using LIDAR because it’s expensive. Tesla wants a product that it can sell to people who buy its cars.

      The leader in autonomy isn’t the one with the most capable system, it’s the one that makes the most money.

    6. Skeptic says:

      “I’d much rather see Tesla concentrate on doing what it does best, and that is building compelling cars with exceptionally well-integrated intuitive controls.” I agree that Tesla builds compelling cars, but certainly NOT with integrated intuitive controls. Having an iPad control everything, results in very non-intuitive operational experience. I don’t want to look at a screen and tap twice to simply turn on the wipers!

    7. DL says:

      I know something about neural networks (i program some of their incarnations), and very little about the Lidar. Probabilistic 3D reconstruction from multiple images was a significantly developed area even in early 2000s (i was familiar with several such approaches outside of auto industry).

      Anyhow, to keep discussion simple, i don’t see how in the end one may avoid a NN to make reliable object identification in 3d space, lidar or not. it’s like you can have a one 3d eye, or you can have multiple and apply some image preprocessing, but in the end you still need a brain (trained NN cortex) to tell a human from a road sign.

      With that, i don’t think that Elon’s argumentation is particularly flawed. I think though it is risky to make investment and equip _every_ production car with sensors before you know what accuracy rate you can achieve with them.

      While it is possible that a NN exists (it likely does) that would make a sensible level 5 autonomy with the current set and placement of sensors, it is also quite likely that the search for its topology and parameters will be too heavy to get thru.

      I’d rather have cars without sensors, or with the right amount of placement of the sensors once it’s proven in the lab exactly where and how to place them in order to get NHTSA-acceptable results.

      My semi-educated guess therefore is that “sorry, you have to upgrade to HW vX in order to get level 5 upgrade” as a likely outcome for the current generation of the M3 hardware.

      so why pay that extra fee on an already expensive car while not knowing for sure that’s what would work optimally.

      1. Evan says:

        Hey DL, i’m also a fellow engineer working on machine learning / Neural Network applications on identifying different types of signals.

        The reason i’m going to pay for advanced autopilot / ‘full self driving’’ is because I know that money will be dumped into R&D – to really solve this incredibly hard problem. I think that Tesla’s method should be possible with the right funding – but people tend to underestimate and underfund neural network work. (At least in my industry – i’ve seen a number of projects canceled or put on hold / shrunk because the results were too slow) It will go to other people who are actively working on these incredibly difficult technologies and the more money they raise, the more talented engineers they can hire and the faster they will be able to solve the autonomous driving problem.

        Also – when the HW version 3 is released, as you, and I also expect will happen – if you pay the 3k up front you’re supposed to get a free instal of that hardware. We’ll see what happens.

        Evan

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Despite Model S and X production being somewhat constrained to 100,000 units per year because of the supply of 18650 battery cells, they intend to stick with that cell for those two models. They contemplated moving to the new cell design found in the Model 3, but decided it wasn’t the right risk.”

    I’m a Tesla fan, but I call B.S. on this from start to finish. The constraint on MS and MX production is no longer battery supply; it’s that Tesla has reached the limit of demand. This is pretty strongly indicated by Tesla introducing sales promotions such as the recent “60 kWh” battery packs for the MS and the MX, which were actually 75 kWh battery packs electronically limited to 69 kWh. There would be no reason to do that if Tesla was still constrained by battery supply for those older models.

    And there is no good reason for Tesla to delay switching its older cars over to using the newer, and cheaper, 2170 batteries from Gigafactory One (Gf1). It seems very apparent that the only reason they are not is that Tesla is still struggling to rapidly ramp up automated battery pack assembly at Gf1. Tesla doesn’t want to “eat into” the supply of battery packs for the TM3 by redirecting some of the production to the MS and MX.

    Claiming that it’s “not the right risk” to switch MS and MX to using cheaper batteries, appears to be nothing more than trying to put a positive spin on a negative situation.

    All just my opinion, of course.

    1. Benz says:

      If customers order a combined total that is substantially more than 100,000 Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X in 2018, then Tesla will have to produce and deliver them.

      The general acceptance of EV’s is increasing every year.

      They cannot say “no” to customers who want to order a Tesla Model S or a Tesla Model X.

      In that case Tesla may want to rethink about their decision.

    2. Similar to what Benz says below, if demand for Model S and Model X grew substantially in 2018, to 200,000, they might also just ask Panasonic for a supply increase to deliver those cars ASAP!

      However, if they can reach 2,500 Model 3’s built per week by actually early March, instead of end of March, and hit 5,000 built per week by mid Q2, their thoughts might change later this year, as to using 2170 cells, for just an addition of a new Long Range Model X, &/or Model S, by year end!

    3. arne-nl says:

      Firstly, the software-limited 60 kWh battery was discontinued beginning of last year, as Model X production ramped up. Maybe precisely for reasons of limited battery supply? And to reduce demand by increasing entry-level price for the S?

      Secondly, to use the new 2170 cells that not just have a different form factor, but also different chemical and electrical properties, would require a whole new test and validation cycle of the new pack to make sure it performs as expected. The extra 5 mm cell height may also pose a problem. 5 mm may seem negligible, but usually that is only to the layman’s eye. Then is always the chance that you miss a detail and have to recall x number of cars.

      Analogous to “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”, the Tesla engineers have determined that there is not enough upside to justify the effort/risk. That seems very plausible to me.

      1. Free Pat says:

        I also think it makes a lot of sense for Tesla not to move current Model S & X to new 2170 cells, and spend valuable engineering costs and time on such a leap-frog change this year. For me the next step for Model S & X will be with v2 models, that should follow Roadster2 and benefit its new chemistry (yet un-known) 200kWh battery pack expected smaller and may be lighter than current Model S&X 100kWh packs (So Roadster2 can house them in its much smaller formfactor and deliver the Perfs announced), and possibly with a capability to charge on new Tesla Truck (modular) MegaCharger plugs, likely at 800V or even 1200V voltage, using 1 or may be 2 of the 4 x modular Pairs of very thick DC pins in the new MegaCharger plug. Say 1 to 2 times 320kW up to 400kW Mega-Charges, means 640kW to 800kW to smatch Porsche 350kW/800V design!
        I bet it will use a new breakthrough battery chemistry, and since Raoadster2 is meant to come in 2020, we should not expect v2 of Models S&X before 2021 or even 2022… Good that I purchased my beloved Model X 100D with a 5 years LOA renting last Sept 2017 !!! In the meantime I’m not sure I buy the 100KU limitation on current Model S + X, driven by 18650 cells constrains. If was the only issue Panasonic would find a way to provide more. I also bet that at current prices the market for them is just not extensible beyond that… and Tesla will need to maintain these huge prices levels to enable funding Model Y and other capex investments not borrowing too much on the markets… We’ll see.

      2. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        The 60 was discontinued because it was lowest margin and the most vulnerable to Osborning.

        Also, the faster Tesla sells 18650s, the faster it fulfills the current 18650 contract.

      3. mx says:

        They have to manage cash flow.
        They’ll probably do the redesign after they start shipping 5000 Model 3 a week. On the other hand, they could be doing the redesign right now in the CAD system.

    4. Someone out there says:

      It’s indeed a silly argument. Tesla owns the Gigafactory and decides what to produce. If they don’t produce enough 18650’s then just produce more! Tesla can hardly blame the supplier because Tesla IS the supplier.

      1. Domenick Yoney says:

        I don’t think the Gigafactory makes the 18650 cells. Those are imported from Japan, hence the comment about limited supply.

      2. Get Real says:

        LMAO, what is silly and informative is how Some Troll Out There is so poorly informed that he doesn’t even due the basic research to support his FUD!

        No wonder these trolls are losing so much money shorting.

    5. mx says:

      If Tesla had reached the “limit of demand”, then they’d REDESIGN the car for more performance. The fact that they’re not disproves your point.

  8. Magnus H says:

    All hail our Great Leader! /s As an outsider, the personal cult of this man is amazing to watch.

    1. jimjfox says:

      Same was said about Steve Jobs. Is Apple now the most profitable company in the world??

    2. mx says:

      Well, it’s justified.
      Have you seen Bill Fords problem with the current and last 2 CEO’s? He Can Not Get Them To Get Off Their Asses and Innovate.

      Ford intends to build cars in China, and import.
      And Build Trucks in America.
      That’s what you call the slow walk to bankruptcy.

  9. James says:

    Eventual Model Y production target is one million units per year!
    LOL that dude really thinks one mill. internet social media junkies gonna buy a car priced 50 – 60K per year?

  10. Roy_H says:

    I agree LIDAR is not necessary, but I maintain it would be much better if stereo cameras were used to duplicate the binocular vision humans use. Only binocular vision can give good depth perception, and limiting the cars to monocular vision is a handicap they are trying to make up by superior programming.

    1. georgeS says:

      @RoyH,
      I bet they have already thought of that. They have so many cameras one would think its possible.

  11. Someone out there says:

    Funny how Elon Musk was trash talking other car manufacturer’s production abilities while himself struggling to produce a couple of thousand model 3’s. Mr Pot, let me introduce you to mr. Kettle…

    1. Mister G says:

      I’ve heard Elon trash talk compliance EVs that look like golf carts and he welcomes more competition by established manufacturers but they only produce vaporware. Name one established manufacturer that has an EV at the dealership today that competes with a model S? CONNECT THE DOTS ON CLEAN AIR WAKE UP PULL YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR STINKHOLE LOL

      1. Someone out there says:

        In the Q4 2017 conference call he went on a rant about other manufacturer’s poor manufacturing methods and that he was “productizing” the factory itself because apparently Tesla is soo much better than everybody else. In a previous conference call he has also said that his robots would move so fast that air resistance becomes an issue and that you would need a strobe light to see them work. Funny then how it is he and not everybody else that struggle to even make a handful of cars per week!

        When it comes to other manufacturers, they are biding their time. They have a serious business to take care of so they can’t suddenly trow away all that and start making EVs. Elon is selling cars at a net loss, the others don’t have that luxury. There will be plenty of EVs from competitors once the market is there, believe me, but when the total market is a couple of hundred thousands of cars per year it’s simply not enough to motivate a huge push.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Yeah, those things I called Musk’s “Magician Robots” (the hand is quicker than the eye).

          Since there was no info as to the brand of the robots they were using (would seem like re-inventing the wheel to devote precious resources to making their own robot assy plants since several manufacturers (EG: ABB, Fanuc, Honda) already make PROVEN robot assy solutions, but I know they have recommended speed limitiations on them which are not limited by ‘air resistance’, the speed of sound, the speed of light, (relativistic effects only happen in things like the bearings of very high-speed large printing presses, as a for instance).

          I chawk that up to one of Musk’s “Will Blow your Skull out of this Universe” type of statements.

          I guess Musk is much more like the ICON Steve Jobs was, in that Musk is the ‘idea man’ and he merely gets engineers to flesh them out.

          Still, it is surprising that he doesn’t realize that commercial robots simply do not have the Horsepower required to deal with the Omega – Squared – R energy provision and unintentional storage of any supposed “Magician Speed Robots”, let alone worrying about details like precision – something Tesla needs to stick to their knitting on since historically, fit and finish have not been strong points with them.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        Mister G: “…Name one established manufacturer that has an EV at the dealership today that competes with a model S? “.

        Actually I, (and Consumer Reports) thought that the Chevrolet Impala is a nice upscale full-sized car roughly analogous to the ‘luxury’ of the Model S, although neither Tesla, nor GM will claim that their respective cars are, in fact luxury models.

        The Impala, is not totally electric that it is true, but it can be ‘alternate fueled’, as the ‘dual fuel’ model, with 150 miles of Natural Gas range, and 350 miles of gasoline range, can be used by people as their daily driver with 500 miles of combined range, and be used with the PHILL home refueler.
        Due to the reduction in ‘green house gas emissions’ it is considered a ‘clean, alternative fueled vehicle – especially if powered with RNG (recovered methane from landfills – which the gov’t considers a ‘renewable resource’).

        My local gas company will fill the tank at their station (for 150 miles of driving) for about $2 per GGE (gasoline gallon equivalent), or just a bit more than 1/2 the price of regular gasoline in the states. If you have the PHILL unit you can do it even cheaper at home.

        GM also bests TESLA in that they also have alternative fuel campers, panel trucks, and CNG dual fuel Silverado pickup trucks with similar operation.

        There is a little light on the dashboard indicating the car is running on alternative fuel. When the tank is exhausted, the light goes out and it transparently reverts to normal operation until you refill the alternative fuel (methane) tank.

        Organizations like the acclaimed “GREEN CITIES”
        group just love CNG powered vehicles like this, which makes me wonder why they don’t equally like electric vehicles, which are also substantially ‘clean’.

  12. bro1999 says:

    Note how Elon dropped hints of needing to do another capital raise under the guise of goals of producing 1 million (LOL) Model Y’s a year when the real reason is to feed more money into the Model cash incineration engine that is ever so hungry.

    1. Six Electrics says:

      Yes, this is how a “confidence man” operates.

  13. George S says:

    Great technical summary.

    I wish I knew more details about the problems with the battery pack assembly automation.

    Specifically how the process of gluing cells to the cooling tube is coming along.

    Looks like the timing for getting the new Machinery from Germany is pretty tight right at the end of quarter 1. And simultaneously achieving 2500 per month production rate.

  14. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    I want a Model TRUCK damnit.

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