Tesla’s long-awaited Battery Day gave attendees and watchers plenty to talk about, but if the company’s day-after stock performance is any indication, the discussions aren’t positive.
The EV maker’s stock dropped 20 points in overnight trading, opening Wednesday morning at $405.19 after closing at $424.23 on Tuesday. Since the opening with a morning jump over $410 a share, the stock has steadily fallen more than 40 points closing at $380.36 Wednesday. It slumped even further in the next round of after-hours trading.
The investor response runs counter to many of the overnight kudos offered by Tesla-friendly websites and social media outlets; however, even many of them expressed disappointment about not hearing about the possibility of a million-mile battery and a few other items that were subject to speculation.
CEO Elon Musk and Drew Baglino, senior vice president, Powertrain and Energy Engineering, did offer up some compelling and very detailed information about Tesla’s new battery cell technology. The new cells, using a revolutionary new design, will be larger and be able to produce 5x the energy, resulting in a 16% increase in vehicle range.
Additionally, the company is shifting away from using increasingly rare and politically charged cobalt in its cells, lowering the cost and helping the company improve its record on human rights as the world’s largest source of cobalt, the Democratic Republic of Congo, has a lax record about preventing the use of children in the mining of cobalt.
Ultimately, the company’s new battery cell technology will improve range by 54% while lowering the dollar per kilowatt hour cost by 56% and cutting the investment per gigawatt hour by 69 percent. However, there are some small downsides.
First, the impact won’t be felt on a full-volume scale for about three years, Musk noted. Second, it won’t be used in any of the current vehicles in production. Finally, it could take longer and the returns aren’t guaranteed, despite the assuredness with which all these advances were described by Musk and Baglino.
However, the fall is even more surprising given the excellent product news offered up by Musk prior to and during battery day, starting with new Model S offering: Plaid. The new Plaid version of the sedan races from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2 seconds while sprinting the quarter mile in just 9 seconds — both besting Lucid’s public times for the Air – and with a range of at least 520 miles. It can be ordered now with delivery, according to the website, in “late 2021.”
In addition to the omygoshitsfast new Model S, he revealed that the company is moving toward an as-yet-named $25,000 car. He noted that the company is “confident” it can design and manufacture a “compelling $25,000 electric vehicle so, you know, this has always been my dream from the beginning of the company.”
He also added that the new $25K EV would be autonomous and it would cost less to operate and maintain than a gas- or diesel-powered for the same price. “So actually, it becomes even more affordable at that $25,000 price point,” pointed out Drew Baglino, senior vice president, Powertrain and Energy Engineering.
Additionally, Musk revealed that the company will build two version of the Cybertruck. He said the company had at least 600,000 pre-orders for the uniquely designed pickup truck, which is slated to be built at its future Gigafactory Texas, just outside of Austin, Texas.
“The orders are gigantic,” he said. “Basically we’ve stopped counting.”