Tesla Q1 2018 Earnings Call Overload



Flufferbots and fireworks

As we informed you earlier, Tesla officially lost $784.6 million in the past three months. This probably came as a complete surprise to exactly no one, but now that it’s in the history books, it doesn’t even really matter. What really matters is the future, and how the company intends to meet its challenges. One way we get insight into those plans is by listening in on the quarterly call with financial analysts.

This time around, not only are CEO Elon Musk, CTO JB Straubel, and CFO Deepak Ahuja taking questions from the usual gaggle of money men and women, but also from the young YouTuber, Galileo Russell, who hosts the HyperChange TV channel. He successfully reached out to Musk on Twitter, asking if he could present a crowd-sourced question on behalf of 150 TSLA investors and got, literally, the OK.

Recalling the last call – Tesla Call Highlights Include Model Y Production & Semi Plans

We ourselves went into the call with all sorts of questions, “How does the company get to a profit in Q3?” being the first among them, despite being partially answer in the letter that accompanied the financial results,  but also: What’s the deal with the Model 3 body engineering, as asked by Munro and Associates? ; Is Model Y production slated to start in November of 2019?; Where do you plan on building Model Y and Semi? How does China’s recent decision to open up its auto industry impact the timeline for a Tesla factory in that country?

So, how did it all turn out? Here are our notes:

  • Elon Musk kicked off the call with a few remarks, beginning with a mention of production gains at the Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, which makes battery cells, modules, and packs along with drivetrain components. Now, he says, they are producing up to 3,000 packs per week while keeping capital expenditures (capex) under control, with peak hourly production, if sustained, reaching the 5,000 pack per week level.
  • Touching on automation, he also discussed his tweet about over-automating some things. He emphasized, though, that the vast majority of production is automated, and that some human handled aspects would eventually given back to machines.
  • Musk explained that part of early production difficulties had arisen from automating “silly things.” Correcting these has really factored into speeding things up. He then gave an amusing example of this. Apparently they had tried to automate placing and bonding of fiberglass mats — fluff, essentially — on top of battery packs. According to the CEO, that machine, which he began to refer to as a flufferbot, wasn’t especially adept at this task, and fluff was sometimes not picked up, and other times placed in the wrong location. They then reevaluated the need for the mat and found that cabin noise levels were unchanged, so the part was deleted. Flufferbot, we assume, has been terminated.
  • Overgeneralizing design was another factor responsible for slowing things down. The example for this was given as a port in the front of battery packs to accommodate eventual front-wheel motors. Holes were being made, than blanks placed over them, but as these batteries were being made for rear-drive cars, these weren’t needed, and only added time and cost. The change in various procedures has seen pack production times reduced from seven hours three weeks ago to under 70 minutes now.
  • Musk went on to discuss production rates of other parts of the process: body shop is already capable of over 3,000 cars per week. General assembly, now with temporarily more humans, should be at the 3,000 level soon.
  • After touting its increasing share of mid-size premium market from almost the biggest to the biggest later this year, he then touched on his tweet about achieving profitability, saying, although it’s not a certainty, he feels it quite likely for both the third and forth quarters. Part of that increased likelihood of profit should come from a “reorganization/restructuring of the company” this month. In particular, he mentioned the number of 3rd-party contracting companies they are using being reduced. He promised to “scrub the barnacles,” saying “we’ve got barnacles on barnacles” and that there will be a lot of barnacle removal.
  • Tesla

    Tesla Energy power module (with new 2170s)

    Asked whether a 5,000 Model 3 per week run rate was dependent on a 24-7 work week, or whether things would move back to a 5-day, 2-shift operation, Musk replied that he thought the latter was “a ridiculous way to operate,” as it would be a poor use of cap-ex. Eventually, they want to have all parts of the company working on the same schedule, although that couldn’t be 24/7 as robots need maintenance.

  • Asked how having more humans affect costs, Musk explains costs should decrease, since it could reduce certain production stations and the number of expensive robot technicians.
  • Asked for insight into how costs are being affected by changing battery chemistry (less cobalt), Elon made it clear he thinks they have the lowest costs already, and that they will continue reducing cobalt and “get it to almost nothing” to make further gains.
  • In response to another question, this time from Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas, Musk underlined that he “specifically” doesn’t want to do another capitol raise this year.
  • The analyst’s next question touched on whether Musk saw the roll out of a communications satellite constellation as an opportunity for Tesla to take advantage of some of SpaceX’s work, by providing world-wide broadband service for the cars. Musk said he hadn’t really thought about it much. “There’s a lot of interesting things you could do.”
  • In answer to a question about what needs to improve at Fremont to get to the 5,000 per week production mark, general assembly was named as the biggest risk, and Musk would be spending time there in the upcoming weeks.
  • The Model Y crossover finally came up for the first time with a question concerning the timing of cap-ex towards that program. As he did last quarter, Musk said there will be some minimal spending this year, relative to revenue, but much more in 2019. He then went on to discuss about design decisions impacting eventual cap-ex, and said, ” I think Model Y  is going to be a manufacturing revolution. It will be incredible from a manufacturing standpoint…”
  • Tesla

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk

    Pressed about changes to gross margin improvements on the Model 3 being pushed back by Bernstein’s Toni Sacconaghi, CTO Ahuja pointed to a combination of tariffs, countervailing duties, commodity price increases, and weaker dollar adding costs, in addition to increased labor costs being responsible. Musk then jumped in to say it was only a few percentages different and “don’t make a federal case out of it.” The tension on the call increased after his question, a somewhat meandering attempt to pin down which costs were being targeted, had Ahuja speaking of smarter expenditures. After pressing even harder, Musk broke in with “next, next,” indicating his displeasure, and stating that “Boring , bonehead questions were not cool. Next.”

  • Joseph Spak from RBC Capital Markets came up next and asked how many Model 3 reservation holders, in light of negative recent news, with the ability to configure had taken that step.  This was met by a long silence and it seemed the Tesla execs were talking amongst themselves with the line muted. After a moment, Elon announced, “We’re going to go to YouTube (meaning Galileo Russell of the YouTube HyperChange TV channel) . Sorry. These questions are so dry. They’re killing me.”
  • Russell started by mentioning Waymo’s autonomous taxi service plan, and asked for an update on the Tesla Network, the automaker’s plan to have cars autonomously work as a car-sharing service when not needed by their owners. Musk’s response to this spoke of the regulatory hurdles that had to be crossed, and wandered into criticism of the media for inflammatory headlines and laboring under the misconception that autonomy is less safe, but eventually stated that he thought the cars would be capable of this from a technical standpoint by the end of next year.
  • The HyperChange TV host then asked about the Fremont factory’s capacity in light of the Reuters story that claimed production had been targeted for November 2019, and where the vehicle would actually be produced. Musk replied that “the Reuters report is based on…nothing.” He clarified that Model Y production might begin 24 months from now in early 2020, but not at Fremont. That new facility’s location hasn’t been decided yet.
  • He then moved on to ask about the Semi, mentioning that Daimler’s CEO had stated that it seemed to break the laws of physics. To this, Musk snorted, “Ha! He doesn’t know much about physics!” and went on to mention that he (Musk) had “actually studied physics in college.” Answering the question of whether there the Semi and Roadster depended on some sort of technological breakthrough, Musk stated that they could do a 500-mile truck with the technology they have now, and that he thinks the “actual production unit” would be capable of more than 600 miles. CTO Straubel mentioned that he thought the confusion stemmed from a misunderstanding of what Tesla’s current tech can actually do.
  • Kettleman City Supercharger

    Staying on the line, slightly unusual because questions are typically limited to two per attendee, Russell asked if they are “actually going to let Porsche beat them to market with 350 kW supercharger” going on to press for details about “V3” Superchargers. After saying a 350 kW system didn’t make much sense unless you have a really large pack or a crazy high C rate (a rating for power output), “in which case energy density is going to be really poor,” he said they were looking at a 200 to 250 kW charging rate.

  • Next, the conversation moved to other car companies using the SuperCharger and Musk said, once again, that the system wasn’t meant to be a walled garden or a moat, then moved onto Tesla’s planned fixed rate charging for it Megachargers for Semi. Musk spoke of the importance to trucking companies of the economic competitiveness over aesthetics. He then veered off slightly, bringing up a recent lawsuit by Nikola Motors which claims infringement of its truck design, calling it absurd. Nobody’s buying a semi truck because of the way it looks. Or because it’s got like a wraparound windshield, or whatever. Please.”
  • He then asked about Tesla Energy, and how they might be prioritizing residential and utility customers and how the Australian project changed the industry’s perceptions about what batteries can do. Musk says utilities that work with them really love the battery pack, and went on to tease an announcement of a gigawatt-hour scale project would be coming within a matter of months. Straubel then admitted they were behind in servicing its residential Powerwall backlog and would be putting more emphasis on that in the second half of the year.
  • Asked about Semi reservations and when it might be produced, Straubel said they were around 2,000 spoken for at the moment. Musk emphasized that they were actively selling that product at the moment and that companies were approaching them. Their focus is still on the Model 3 and becoming profitable, “it’s high time we became profitable.” He didn’t give any color on the timeline, however.
  • In response to a question about when the next factory would be announced, Musk said maybe next quarter, but definitely before the forth quarter. He also mentioned that a Gigafactory, which will include vehicle production, for China would also be announced soon.

Overall, it was an “interesting” call, even by Tesla standards, what with the flufferbot and a few fireworks. Tune in again in three months for the next call.

Source: Tesla, Inc.

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80 Comments on "Tesla Q1 2018 Earnings Call Overload"

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The questions Elon did not answer were key to understanding the backlog of Model 3 reservations. Elon being temperamental cost the shareholders 2B in valuation as the stock hit the skids immediately following.

Only fluffy, dreamy and positive softball questions please! Everything else is “dry” and “boring”. It is what it is. Invest in Tesla and this is the sort of accounting you’ll get I guess.

I have listened to hundreds of earnings calls, but never heard a CEO act like that, and then having Gali on there was a joke… The earnings call is not a Rah… Rah… Rah… session. The intention is to give the investors a better idea what they have invested into… Elon answered very view questions directly, and mostly skirted around the issues, it was obvious he is very upset with the negative press coverage.

Yes, his behavior is worrying for a public-company CEO. For me, the multitude of companies/projects he’s actively heading are a sufficient reason not to invest in Tesla. No way that the various companies aren’t suffering as a result, and were I a member of the Tesla board, I’d try to get him to choose one company to run plus one external project (like The Boring Company).
I wonder if that may not still happen… He does currently have support on the board (Kimbal etc.) in addition to his 22% stake, but there are institutional investors as well, and at some point they’re going to start getting worried about the debt burden (further money raising is virtually certain this year).

I also find it hard to believe he’s really interested in the nitty-gritty details of car interiors, supply chain management etc. His real passion is Mars.

He didn’t help himself in the “negative press coverage” arena. Bizarre CC. The guy is cracking.
You’d think he’d take a hint from the White House about what NOT to do. Guess not.
West Coast Trump is what he has become! Sad!

I have felt that way for a while, Elon is picking way too many of the wrong battles. There were some very worrying comments yesterday, but in general over the last couple quarters, he seems to be under heavy stress. I wonder if there is friction between him and the board? After all the board has a duty to protect the shareholders, and their value, not play footsies with the CEO.

” The intention is to give the investors a better idea what they have invested into… ”

Actually, with Elon unplugged, I believe the investors finally DID get a better idea of what they have invested into…the mask has fallen off.

How is it key to understanding the backlog? It still has 450k reservations and new features and version are coming in the next quarter. Why does it matter what the conversion rate is?

Are you serious? It’s the ONLY thing that matters.
Since the reservations are non-binding and refundable (*), they’re not in themselves an indication of real market potential. They’re on the order of putting yourself on an email interest mailing list.
I know of a lot of people who’ve canceled reservations the past month or so, either directly due to the multiple postponements (anyone who is non-Californian and not a current Tesla owner and wants AWD or a short-range model is unlikely to get it before 2019, and if in the US, is pretty much guaranteed to miss out on the full tax rebate) , or because they no longer generally trust the company, and want/need to buy a car in the next 6 months.
Of course, that’s anecdotal, but Tesla obviously has the conversion numbers. If they were good, there’d be no good reason not to provide them. Either they’re bad, or Musk let his annoyance with the conference call get the better of him. Very bad juju for a CEO of a public company.

(*)Hopefully. Since that money isn’t in escrow, I’d personally not pay it to a company in debt.

So what are ‘a lot of people you know’ ordering instead that is electric drive?

Depends on geography. In the US, I know of a couple of Bolts (people who wanted a LR vehicle), a Leaf and, surprisingly, someone who ended up opt for the Honda Clarity PHEV (disillusioned by Tesla requiring the US$5K premium package for all Model 3s. He still anticipates 80% of his driving will be electric).
In Europe, a Ioniq BEV and one is considering the Kona. While they had known European deliveries would take a while, with the 3d delay they decided not to trust Tesla’s timetable any more.

You can only know the conversion number after you have all the models available.
If there was a separate list for the Long-Range + option-pack reservations, the conversion number on that group would be meaningful.

The cancellation rate was mentioned in another discussion.
It is lower than the new reservations made.
The motivation as Tesla unveiled, was mostly due to needing a car now and Tesla not being able to deliver (RHD, Dual Motor, Standard Range, Export market not serviced yet, etc.)

What is the latest Tesla statement on reservation numbers anyone knows of? I think I read that total Tesla reservations for all 3 cars was “declining for a bit then rose slightly to 450,000” to paraphrase what I read last month, but my memory is a bit fuzzy on that one. Do you remember anything recent on res numbers? Thanks for any info you may recall or links you may be able to share.

From yesterday’s financial letter: “Model 3 net reservations, including configured orders that had not yet been delivered, continued to exceed 450,000 at the end of Q1…”

Thanks, Domenick! That is just what I was looking for and managed to read right past! Even if a third of the reservation holders drop out, which is worse than I expect, they still have around 300,000 buyers, most of whom seem to be willing to wait since they made their reservations knowing there was a huge line in front of them.
Having 300,000+ eager buyers waiting for you to deliver a brand new electric car is a “problem” most car makers can only dream of.

Number of reservation holders represents just the tip of the iceberg for demand anyways. Tesla has already sold a full order of magnitude more S/X’s than there were original reservation holders. Model 3 will be the same. Sales in the next years will require another digit.

I know a lot of people without reservations who are interested in buying. So I don’t really care if the list is 300K or 450K. How fast can Tesla reduce the waiting period matters more. TM3 is not advertised.

The press is good at spinning good news into bad.
Tesla production goes way up and Bloomberg says Tesla barely made 2700 a week.
SpaceX recovers 1 half of a fairing and they say launch went well but fairing crashes into the sea.

The follow-up question should have been what percentage of Model 3 reservations are seeking the $35K standard model (the one that is not profitable for Tesla)?

The CURRENT conversion rate to the only configuration choice currently available is absolutely meaningless. There is no way to distinguish between people who won’t buy any Tesla from those who are waiting for a number of future configurations to be available to purchase.

If doesnt fix the issues he will go bankrupt

The only thing that is going bankrupt here is your constant and whiney FUD trolling of all things Tesla.

Its not trolling. I want tesla to succeed without them legacy will just go back into selling only gas guzzler

I do not care about reservations, as anyone can go down and put $1000 on their credit card for a deposit, I care about what percentage are taking the current configuration, that is the real question, if more then half are waiting for the base configuration, Tesla is in deep doo doo.

no it’s not. even if only half would take the current config having 225k people waiting to get their car , that’s more than a year backlog, PLENTY of time to improve the margins and release the standard battery, so, No, even in that case tesla is not in deep doo doo. But of course that the said doo doo would be lucrative for some people here and there that really want to see them fail, hence the FUD masked as a “worry”.
As a really minor investor and reservation holder I am not worried AT ALL that he did not answer that

All wheel drive + performance model will be bigger sales than either the long or short range spec cars. M3 reservation holders, if they pass on a M3 are first in line for M-Y. Base configuration isn’t the issue for Tesla that it is for deposit holders that are only interested in the base. If Tesla can sell every higher spec model they make then production is Tesla’s main issue.

And all that paper loss will come right back as they have 20 BILLION$ of Model 3 orders to fill.

I know that Seeking Liars and other right-wing financial gambling websites are singularly focused on the negatives so they can cover their shorts but Tesla’s upside is too phenomenal to pass up on for the smart long-term investors who mange large pools of investment money.

Real the cultist at its finest

Another Euro point of view

The guy may be short on sleep, this may explain him being temperamental.

He Is the CEO of a large publicly traded company, he needs to be “up” for the earnings call.

The questions came from investors who only interested in short term stock investing. Elon doesn’t care for that which is why he did not answer those questions. He even said on the call, that he doesn’t care for day traders. And that if Tesla’s stock volatility is scary for you then don’t invest. I think this is bang on the point. Elon doesn’t care about short term investors, it’s the long term investors who believe in Telsa and what they are trying to achieve, that Elon cares about.

So, at least two new factories will be announced in the second half of 2018?

One Gigafactory in China, and one factory in the US (regarding the production of the Tesla Model Y)?


That’s certainly how I understood it.

I’ve listened to that part (starting at 1:02:37, LOL) and it’s still a bit unclear. Maybe every GigaFactory will include vehicle production, but the converse(?) is not true, or at least in the near term and for the Model Y. In which case, your interpretation would be the most likely. Love to know which state will get Model Y production… wish he had answered that directly!

You’re wondering if the Model Y factory will have battery and drivetrain component manufacturing? If so, that’s a good question. I tend to doubt it, but haven’t done the math on that yet.

He then moved on to ask about the Semi, mentioning that Daimler’s CEO had stated that it seemed to break the laws of physics. To this, Musk snorted, “Ha! He doesn’t know much about physics!” and went on to mention that he (Musk) had “actually studied physics in college.”

Don’t get too far ahead on those skis Elon…. The CEO and most of the board have advanced technical degrees.

Dr. Zetsche was born in Istanbul, Turkey, on May 5, 1953. After attending school in Frankfurt and obtaining the Abitur (university entrance examination), he studied electrical engineering from 1971 to 1976 at the University of Karlsruhe and graduated as an engineer. He joined the research department of the then Daimler-Benz AG in 1976. Dr. Zetsche completed a doctorate in engineering in 1982 at the University of Paderborn.

Elon also said something about wanting to talk with him in a public forum about it, and that he knows the guy. It sounded as though he likes him, but just knows better about the feasibility of Semi with current Tesla tech. (at least that’s what I recollect.)

The article goes on to say “CTO Strabel mentioned that he thought the confusion stemmed from a misunderstanding of what Tesla’s current tech can actually do.”

Yes, I think that’s most likely. It’s not that Daimler engineers don’t understand the laws of physics; it’s far more likely that some of the assumptions and/or premises they used to come up with the “breaking the laws of physics” conclusion, are wrong.

To put it another way: Tesla has likely engineered their Semi Truck to be energy-efficient in ways that Daimler engineers didn’t consider. Thinking outside the box is good!

Musk wasn’t responding to Zetsche, he was responding to Martin Daum’s comment who is the head of MB Trucks and who is an economist BTW.

Meanwhile the Model S continues to kick the previously best selling S Class in the ass and the Model 3 will do the same to the C class.

The S class sold about 70000 units worldwide in 2017. So it’s still ahead of the Model S, though Tesla’s progress has been impressive.

S-klasse is profitable even if it’s flagship (more about prestige than about profit).
If Model S would sell price with S-klasse margin, sells would plummet to 10% of current ones.

Also, Tesla S “luxury” is of VW Golf, compare the numbers, moron.

It was not the CEO of Daimler that made the stupid remark about the laws of physics.

The Model X is going to be a manufacturing revolution
The Model 3 is going to be a manufacturing revolution
The Model Y is going to be a manufacturing revolution
The Model Z is going to be a manufacturing revolution

Another Euro point of view

I don’t remember Elon saying anything of that sort about Model X but he did say this about Model 3 so it is a bit strange that he now says this about Model Y as it may sound as already giving up about this for Model 3 production. I don’t think he does but it is a weird communication strategy. Hearing this conference call I get more than ever the feeling how Elon is easily frustrated by whatever is “not cool”, the problem is that manufacturing cars has many (mainly ?) “not cool” aspects to it.

I think the realities of car production have sunken in at Tesla. There is no denying that as they stumble through production hell, they will learn a lot along the way.
I think that by the end if and when they have model 3 production perfected. That Model Y production will be relatively easy.
Since the model Y will be largely based on model 3.
It’s a work in progress, perhaps in a year they are where they want to be, and can claim it’s revolutionary.
It might well be.

I am not sure they can learn so much with Elon at the helm, it seems too many of the decisions are about his ego, and not what makes the most sense for the company. The Model 3 is about as simple a car as you can imagine, and they are only building 1 configuration, this should be easy. Big companies launch much more complicated cars every month and they usually launch most option packages and configurations at once. This is not brain surgery… As Elon said…

That’s what the Apple board thought too when they ousted Steve Jobs…..

Problem is when you try to be great in a complicated brain injury, when the task has simply been to cut somebodys hair.

haha! My thoughts exactly… We have heard most of this BS before.

Model random(100) is going to be revolution

“…unless you have a really large pack or a crazy high C rate (a rating for power output)…” In this context, ‘C rate’ defines how quickly a battery cell can charge, how quickly it can absorb energy, ‘C’ representing the capacity (in Ah) of the pack. Eg if you have a 100Ah battery or cell and it has a 3C charge rate, you can charge it at 300A max – typical for some forms of lithium-ion battery chemistry.

Bringing amps and amp hours into the discussion just confuses it. A C (charging) is the reciprocal of the time, in hours, it takes to charge a battery. A 1 C battery takes one hour, 3 C takes 20 minutes.

Well, I think C rate is generally thought of in regard to discharge, but it does also apply to charging.
From http://web.mit.edu/evt/summary_battery_specifications.pdf
“A C-rate is a measure of the rate at which a battery is discharged relative to its
maximum capacity.”

So, while a C rate can give a good indication of charging speed capability, I can’t say for certain that it applies equally to charging. Consider this: anodes and cathodes often have different compositions, so the ions may be collected by one electrode quicker than the other.

Thanks for a factual reporting of the conference call, and not about the hurt feelings of analysts.
Many analyst questions could have been answered with: “That is extensively answered in the shareholder letter, next please.”

Does that loss result in a 3-4 dollar loss for each share in Tesla? I guess the loss was less then expected. Do you guys think we will see the Model Y before 2021? Things tend to take more time then expected. Rumors says they are in talks with a leading aluminium casting company on advanced hollow thin walled castings with or without metal foam core used in subframes that can be directly bolted to the frame. Wonder if that will be to expensive for a car in this price range – or if the weight saved, and the use of one single part (solid, super stiff and less time to assemble) is worth it? The vehicle frame will be somewhat quicker and cheaper to make too. From a technical point of view I hope they choose a solution like this, unless it’s too pricey for this vehicle class. Can save weight with subframes like this in the front and rear. Will be a very “clean” design too, and the shape of a casting like this can look much smoother with less room for dirt/grime to build up. Aluminium steering knockles would be nice too. The technical construction on the… Read more »

I haven’t heard the rumor you speak of. I think 2021 is a safe bet for Model Y. Hopefully, they can have some production in 2020, but I wouldn’t put my money on that.

Another Euro point of view

Actually one of the questions Elon refused to answer (from Toni Sacconaghi) was really relevant and to the point. It was about reduced amount of capital expenditure (Capex) for year 2018. I mean Tesla can produce a zillion Model 3 in 2018 but if the network for distributing them and service them is not on par with production this may jeopardize Tesla’s services reputation.
I also had a tour to have a look at Tesla Motors Club investors threads and a widely shared opinion there about this conference call is that hard questions from analyst should indeed not be replied to because “you are either with us or against us, and if you are with us you should have faith”. ?!?! Those are the same guys that get angry when remarks are made that there are some “cult” aspects to Tesla’s following. Faith and no questions is very characteristic of cult members, at least to me.

While there are definitely concerning aspects to the responses or lack of responses from an investor standpoint, it’s also fair to point out that most investors see Tesla primarily as a future stock. In other words, even though many investors look for quarterly profits as the baseline for most companies, they will give Tesla the benefit of the doubt for another year or two.

Yean thats is why invenstors invest to make money for thier clients and for themselves

Elon sound alot like Trump when he communicates to the mass. Just be smart and articulate. Dont beat around the bush

No one sounds as bad as Trump but i do agree that speaking to public is not Elon’s strong point. That was more than obvious at the m3 presentation.

I tod those freaks in hyperchange, that Rueter model Y article was bogus and no the the Y was not going to have falcon doors. It will be late 2020 and 2021. Please dont have cultist in a shareholder meeting

Anyone wonder if Nikola Motors was funded on short-selling TSLA?

Given the reluctance of the old guard car makers to fully embrace EVs, it should be not at all surprising that we’d get a company and CEO that are decidedly (ahem) non-traditional leading the charge on electrification. This is problematic for me. While I have no investment incentives to root for or against Tesla, and I admit to being a fan of Musk, my primary interest is in seeing EVs take over transportation as soon and as completely as possible. And with the legacy car makers dragging their feet, it’s more important than ever that Tesla succeed and continue to pump out vehicles.

I still think that there’s a fair chance we’ll see a major shakeup in the next few years, e.g. Tesla sells the car manufacturing piece of their business to Apple and keeps the battery factories. As long as they keep advancing on the EV front, I couldn’t care less.

Yet again: This is incredibly reminiscent of the early days of the PC when we were awash in speculation and promises from various companies, technical discussions, seemingly endless efforts to educate the public, debates about startups vs. the old guard, etc.

I agree

A single reliable 200 kW charger is worth 2 350 kW chargers that aren’t installed due to the higher cost of a 350 vs. a 200 kW charger. Build the chargers that cars this year and next can actually fully use. Maybe, MAYBE, make them up-gradable to 300 kW down the road. 200 kW chargers can get you nearly 50 kWh in 15 minutes, or around 175 miles of additional AER at highway speed. 120 kW charging is excellent this year and next. 200 kW charging future proofs you for several years beyond that. The unwillingness of Musk to address the amount of reservations opting to configure at this time is a mild concern. Even if they lose 30% of the reservations, they still have several years of dedicated production of the 3. The final thing I took from this call is that the level of bombast (and a bit of bullying) that Musk directs at the audience of this call is surprising even for him. It seems unusual for a public company CEO to react in that dismissive manner on an issue that could have been spun so much better. In this call he reminded me of a much… Read more »
The people who were saying the SEMI charger was going to be in the 1000-2000 kw range will be downhearted now to find the ‘next’ V3 supercharger to be released, will be ‘only’ 200-250 kw. But for whomever is paying the electricity bill, 200-250 sounds much more practical and affordable. When I questioned the higher figures just a bit (mainly who was going to pay for it), many of the BIG EXPERTS said I didn’t know anything about the “PHYSICS of the problem, nor the 2nd Law of THERMODYNAMICS”…. I sure fooled the University I went to then, taking 3 semesters of Calculus based Physics as well as 2 Labs. And getting an “A” in thermo, generally considered a very rigorous course, and an AUTOMATIC HIRE at the local power plant at the time for anyone receiving an “A” in the course. So I’m Glad Musk revealed he has a University Physics background and HE says 200-250 kw is adequate for the V3 SuperCharger. Just as the current SEMI can charge at a regular supercharger I’m sure in a pinch, the SEMI will also charge just fine at the new V3, whenever it is developed. Nice to be in Good… Read more »

Nice write-up, thank you. However based on Mr. Musk’s comments to Wall Street yesterday, he had really better not have to go back for additional financing. Can’t imagine the interest rate valuations he will face next time. Stock is down 24 points in PMT however. Not a good indication of trust.

Where is my $35 M3 ?? Nearly one year after sales started, still can’t buy one.

Margins would sink Tesla even faster than the negative margin $50k M3.

It’s amusing to see that in areas where Tesla cannot claim to be leading, they no longer consider it relevant or meaningful to the customer. “Who needs 350kW charging?” I wonder what the response were if somebody would question the 0-60 time relevance of the Model S/X/3.
I guess Apple went down the same route before they had to admit that some customers actually enjoy larger screen etc.

You don’t seem to understand that currently there are no cars that can charge at 350kW. All those chargers will charge current cars at a much slower rate.

You also don’t seem to understand that Tesla Superchargers are based upon modular construction, so Tesla can retrofit existing chargers to fit the demand of actual cars that actually exist at the time. So if cars that can charge at 350kW come into existence, Tesla can do that in the future with a module upgrade.

Bloomberg News is praising this site for the “spot-on” delivery estimates for the Tesla Model 3. They are wondering why this sites delivery estimates are so far off from those reported by Tesla, the company.

Yes and that’s nice to hear. Tesla didn’t report deliveries. Link please?

Bloomberg News (Radio 1130AM in New York area). Commentator stated your website has very accurate delivery information, and also a past history of accurate comments about Tesla. He questioned the information and data supplied by Tesla in yesterday’s press conference. They also compared the Bloomberg Model 3 delivery estimate calculations.

TSLA stock is down over 7% so far today.
You piss off/refuse to answer legit questions from Wall St investors, and your stock tanks. Imagine that!

I see that the serial anti-Tesla troll MadBro has naturally neglected to mention that the whole market is down today.
Welcome to Trumplandia MadBro, you are more like Trump in your cherry-picking and self-serving drivel here as an employee of a GM stealership.

The stock markets are also down 7%?
The Dow Jones is down 0.28%/ NASDAQ 0.29%. Lol

TSLA profits are like hydrogen FCV’s: They are the future – and always will be.

re: flufferbots: So Tesla’s engineers concluded they didn’t need the problematic acoustic insulation fluff at all? If so, this does not speak well for their NHV modeling and prototype testing. These types of things are usually optimized right to the millimeter for density and thickness to achieve specific acoustic dB attenuation levels. Or was this yet another “our engineering design isn’t quite ready for production yet” issue that made it to the production floor. Or was it an arbitrary Musk executive-decree over the objections of the NHV team?

The rest of the auto-world’s engineering teams are probably having quite a chuckle about that one – along with about 100 other Tesla shoot-self-in-foot problems.

Previously the word was “silo” now it is “moat”.
Stop making up words.