Tesla had its annual shareholder meeting today, and instead of taking place in California, it took place in Austin, Texas, where CEO Elon Musk announced the company’s relocation of its headquarters from Palo Alto to Austin. However, that doesn’t mean Tesla is done with California. In fact, it is expanding its factories there in multiple places.
“I’m excited to announce that we’re moving our headquarters to Austin Texas.
“Just to be clear though, we will be continuing to expand our activities in California. So this is not a matter of Tesla leaving California. As I said, our intention is to actually increase output from Fremont and from Giga Nevada by 50%. But we’re just hitting the sides of the bowl.”
Elon started the meeting by emphasizing the importance of the hardworking Tesla team and highlighted the Tesla China team as well. He touched upon record vehicle deliveries and noted that in regards to the Model 3, this could be the fastest that any large manufactured product has ever grown.
Best Selling Vehicles
Elon shared some thoughts about the Model Y as well as statistics on the Model 3.
“The Model 3 became the best-selling premium vehicle globally — of any premium vehicle — in 2020.”
“We think the Model Y will be the best-selling vehicle of any kind globally. So I think it will exceed the Model 3. I think we’ve got a good chance of it being the best-selling vehicle by revenue next year. And then, I think, quite likely to be the best selling vehicle of any kind numerically in 2023.”
He explained that Tesla will need to get Giga Texas and Giga Berlin online, and when they are, this is highly possible.
Giga Shanghai is actually now producing more vehicles than the company’s original Fremont factory, he added. Elon also touched upon Tesla’s growth from 2017 to 2020. In 2017 and 2018, things were a bit dicey, he admitted, but Tesla is growing rapidly now.
Cost Pressures In The Supply Chain Lead To Increased Prices
Elon Musk explained that the goal was to make Tesla vehicles as affordable as possible, but currently Tesla has been seeing cost pressure in its supply chain that led to the increased prices of some of its vehicles. The Model 3 and Model Y’s base price increased $2,000 this week, for example. Elon noted that this would be temporary and said that Tesla hopes to reduce the prices of these vehicles over time and make them more affordable. He added that Tesla has spent a lot of money flying parts around the world and that this is not great and he looks forward to more localized production, particularly once Giga Berlin and Giga Texas are online and in mass production.
Elon described the best way to value Tesla and led with a plan to reduce the cost per kilowatt-hour of batteries. He noted that Tesla’s suppliers have similar plans.
“This is really supplemental to our suppliers. We’ll make cells. They’ll make cells. We’ll use them all. The fundamental good of Tesla, I think — by how many years did we accelerate sustainable energy? This is the fundamental, I think, way to think of the value of Tesla. So if we are able to accelerate sustainable energy by more years, that is good.”
3 Parts Of A Sustainable Energy Future
Elon explained the three parts of a sustainable energy future.
“The fundamental pillars of sustainable energy future are basically solar and wind — those are the primary — stationary batteries and electric transport, and if you have those three, then you have a sustainable energy future as long as the sun is shining.
“Sometimes people ask me about fusion and I like it as an idea. And by the way, I think it’s totally doable. But there’s a giant fusion reactor in the sky that shows up every morning and has zero maintenance.
“So, it sounds like a good idea.”
Elon also reminded everyone that only a small amount of land is needed to power Earth.
“A couple hundred miles by a couple hundred miles of solar panels will power the entire United States.”
Tesla Will Need Lots Of Batteries
Returning to the topic of batteries, Elon pointed out that Tesla will need a lot of batteries. Some of Tesla’s suppliers were worried about Tesla putting them out of business, and Elon pointed out that this is not the case. He told the suppliers that as many battery cells as they want to make and supply to Tesla, Tesla will buy them with no limit as long as the price is right.
“We’re really going to order a lot — we have ordered a lot of batteries from suppliers basically telling suppliers literally go — as much as you can make, we’ll take. And we’ll prioritize batteries for vehicles, but then use any excess cells that we have in in the Powerwall and Megapack because, over time, we think the demand for stationery is going to be at least as high as the demand for vehicles.”
Elon briefly spoke about Tesla’s Impact Report and emphasized that Tesla is always trying to do the right thing. The company is committed to trying to do the right thing, on all matters.
“In all respects, we try very hard to do the right thing. In all respects. We sometimes don’t always succeed, but if you’re looking for a company where you say, ‘is that company really trying to do the right thing?’ That is Tesla.”
Goal: Safest Factories On Earth
Elon quickly touched upon the safety improvements at the factories.
“We’ve made huge improvements on factory safety. We’re now 18% better than the industry average, so this is great. It’s always tough with safety as you ramp production lines and as you start up factories, but then once it’s in a steady state, then the injuries naturally decline because people get used to it and you iron out the issues. So we’re seeing excellent factory safety in Tesla, and our goal is to have the safest factor on earth.”
Eventually, Elon pointed out that all manufacturers will make autonomous vehicles. Along those lines, he said again that Tesla is open to licensing autonomy.
“I think autonomy will be such a significant lifesaver and preventer of injuries, that it is not a technology that we want to keep to ourselves. So I think it will be morally right to license it to other manufacturers if they would like to use it.”
Elon brought up battery recycling and noted that you can envision batteries as essentially high-grade ore.
“You can either get your lithium and your nickel and the various constituents of the battery from rocks or from batteries. It’s much better to get them from batteries, and Tesla has already started recycling. And there are lots of companies going to do recycling because it basically pays to do recycling for batteries.”
Some Thoughts On The Texas Move
These are just some key takeaways that I found important as a shareholder (see my bio for reference), and I think that Tesla is on a good track here. I am a bit divided on the move to Texas, as the state has been a bit anti-women’s rights as of late, and many of my own friends are pretty upset with the move.
I personally am pro-choice because every woman has the right to her own body and many of my friends have told me that they felt that Elon is anti-women’s rights because of his refusal to get involved with politics and to stand up for women’s rights in Texas.
I don’t think that he is against women’s rights, and I would certainly hope he isn’t. He’s proven to have a good heart filled with love for humanity, in general. He’s even helped my state with hurricane recovery in 2020.
If anything, I think and hope that his presence there in Texas would encourage those who are in favor of human rights, civil rights, and women’s rights to move and help vote out those with archaic mentalities who are still in power.