Tesla CEO Elon Musk hosted a four-hour presentation on Tuesday, sharing his vision of building the next phase of Tesla’s growth around sustainable energy.
Unfortunately, while the presentation was rich with information about products like heat pumps, no new information was shared about cheaper electric vehicles. For example, there was no word on the $25,000 model, which was promised over two years ago.
During the presentation, Musk confirmed that a new plant in Monterrey, Mexico, will be built to manufacture the next generation of vehicles. However, no timeline was given. Lars Moravy, Tesla’s Vice President of Vehicle Engineering, was also vague, stating, “We’re gonna go as fast as we can.”
As the event progressed, investor confidence dwindled. Tesla’s shares fell as much as 6.8% to $189 in after-hours trading.
Nonetheless, before the presentation, Tesla’s stock had soared from a two-year low in early January. TSLA added roughly $310 billion of market value and returned Musk to the top of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Musk started the presentation by outlining his vision for a global shift to electric vehicles, driven by $10 trillion in spending on sustainable energy worldwide. “Earth will move to a sustainable energy economy,” he said. “And it will happen in your lifetime.”
Musk also showcased Tesla’s deep bench of executive talent. However, bringing 16 executives on stage, several of whom were unknown to investors, wasn’t necessarily the best idea. Even so, it is good to see some fresh faces.
Rebecca Tinucci, the head of global charging infrastructure, was among those who spoke about the company’s Supercharger network and the “Magic Dock” that allows drivers of other EVs to charge at Tesla stations.
There was a strong emphasis on cost-cutting. The EV maker plans to reduce the footprint of future manufacturing plants by 40%. Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn vowed to cut production costs in half for Tesla’s next-generation vehicles.
While the emphasis on cost-cutting was “encouraging,” Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights for Edmunds, noted that Musk failed to reveal a lower-priced Tesla, even conceptually. Given the growing range of EVs on offer, such a reveal would have been a shrewd move to entice future buyers. It would also “grow even more investor love for Tesla,” she added.
On a positive note, the company’s plans to offer unlimited overnight home charging in Texas for $30 a month. That approach mimics the transformation in mobile-phone billing.
In conclusion, Musk’s vision to build a sustainable energy future for Tesla is admirable. However, investors may have preferred a clear path toward sustainable profits in a high-growth market.
Nonetheless, Tesla’s innovation in reducing manufacturing costs, expanding charging infrastructure, and a deep bench of talented executives continue to inspire confidence in the company’s future.