I’m watching a long, mainstream trading news discussion about Tesla stock right now. It’s wonderful to see us get to that point with a pure EV company. In 20 minutes, Tesla is holding its Q3 2013 Financial Results Q&A in about 15 minutes. I’ll be live blogging interesting comments from that right here while it’s going on. Check in again then! 😀
(Update 2:37pm PT) Elon Musk: We’re still production constrained, not demand constrained. So, there’a strong focus right now on figuring out how they can ramp up production faster, which is largely based on lithium-ion battery cell production constraints. “When we think about the constraint on growth, that’s the biggest item, and that gets the most attention.” They expect to see relief on that constraint at some point next year.
(Update 2:40pm PT) Elon Musk: Tesla still aims for the generation through Tesla (the Tesla Model E) to have a price point of $35,000.
(Update 2:42pm PT) Elon Musk: Just like with SolarCity, sees electric vehicle market being dominated by leasing. This removes that high upfront cost issue, any concerns about advancements in battery technology or lifetime of batteries. And is more competitive than gasmobiles.
(Update 2:43pm PT) Elon Musk: Going to have to figure out battery cell supply for the generation 3 model.
(Update 2:47pm PT) Elon Musk: Tesla has had to slow US deliveries in order to deliver vehicles to Europe for people who have been waiting for a long time, even years.
Current demand in Europe is something like it was in the US in January, about 10,000 cars a year. However, Elon notes it’s not worth trying to increase that demand until it can supply more demand.
(Update 2:49pm PT) Elon Musk: We’ll probably have 60%+ of our sales going outside the US (e.g., Europe, Asia, South Africa, South America) eventually.
(Update 2:52pm PT) Elon Musk & Deepak Ahuja: Tesla has all the China regulatory requirements for shipping cars to China. It expects cars will start arriving in China by February. Despite a super soft initial opening into China, they are seeing growing demand.
(Update 2:56pm PT) Questioner: Any thoughts on building your own battery cell plant?
Elon Musk: Exploring a lot of different options right now. If it did get along to that, it would be looking to build a “gigafactory” with partners, probably somewhere in North America. But still looking at a lot of options.
Questioner: Raw materials is not a supply concern, right?
Elon Musk: Yeah, that’s not an issue. There’s a lot of lithium out there. And lithium actually just makes up 1.3% of the battery pack / 2 % of the battery cell.
(Update 2:58pm PT) Questioner: Is the Tesla Model X still targeted for 2014 production?
Elon Musk: Yes, still looking for initial rollout at the end of 2014, but very small numbers. Mass production of the Model X is probably going to happen in the 2nd quarter of 2015.
(Update 3:04pm PT) Elon Musk: Says now is not the time to talk about the potential “gigafactory,” then proceeds to talk about it for a couple minutes. 😀 Says that it would be super green, solar powered, huge, but still have a lot to figure out with that.
Questioner: What’s the wait time in Europe, on average?
Elon Musk: Thinks it’s about 3–4 months.
Questioner: And China?
Elon Musk: If you order a car in China now, you’ll probably get it in mid- to late-Q2. Furthermore, encourages anyone in China who wants to buy a Tesla to reserve sooner than later, since it seems like the wait time is going to only increase for awhile.
(Update 3:09pm PT) Questioner: Does it seem there’s a leveling off of demand in North America?
Elon Musk: No, there’s still a lot of latent demand in North America.
Deepak Ahuja: There was actually increasing demand in Q3 in North America. The reduction in growth of deliveries in North America is simply due to the need to deliver cars to Europe.
(Update 3:15pm PT) Elon Musk: The internals of the battery cells are evolving quite a lot. And Tesla is working closely with Panasonic on that.
That’s it! Any questions or thoughts?
Me (side note): Perhaps it’s just my imagination, but it sometimes seems like Deepak is partly there to be more positive and enthusiastic. Elon is so modest and hypercritical sometimes in the way he talks about things (not like a normal CEO). 😀
For a few more Tesla stories from recent days, check out:
- Tesla Model X To Be AWD Only, More Expensive Than Model S
- Tesla Signs $7 Billion Deal With Panasonic
- Apple Advised To Purchase Tesla Motors
- Tesla Model S Can Now Travel From San Diego To Vancouver!