Photo by Kyle Field/CleanTechnica

1st Slide for Tesla Shareholder Annual Meeting Adamant to Debunk, But Vague & Confusing

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Covering the 2024 Tesla shareholder annual meeting, I’ve discussed two extremes that could be the future of Tesla depending on how the company’s current “big bet” turns out, and I’ve discussed 10 highlights from the main presentation. However, the first page of the slidedeck after the cover was an interesting one that I thought I’d briefly cover on its own. At first, I was thinking, “Oh, good, they’ve debunked some negative headlines and claims and given us more information about what’s actually going on.” Though, when I started looking at these more closely for this article, I realized they didn’t explain or debunk as clearly as I’d assumed or hoped. Take a look down below and let me know what you think.

First of all, since this is the second slide in the slidedeck, it really stands out. It seems it was Tesla’s quick attempt to debunk various criticisms that have been going around, but it feels like something Elon Musk just inserted right at the last minute without much time on clear messaging or explanation. Anyway, the points here are that:

  • Tesla says it’s still focused on expanding its vehicle lineup. How much and whether it’s putting enough attention into this has been the question, and that wasn’t really resolved with this brief note and the slide later on showing three models under covers. We’ve seen models under covers before. We’ve known for several years Tesla was supposed to eventually build a van and minibus of sorts, and a more affordable Tesla was supposed to come out this year. We didn’t really hear anything about that “tiny Tesla” in this annual meeting, though.
  • Tesla isn’t abandoning Superchargers. Good, but I didn’t see much concern that Tesla was abandoning Superchargers, just that it wasn’t growing the network like it used to. I never assumed they weren’t going to maintain existing Superchargers, and Musk said soon after laying off almost the entire Supercharger team that they’d still add stalls to existing stations and focus more on that. The concern was about how much Tesla would slow down expansion, and there was no clear roadmap in that regard explained in to debunk concerns. So, it’s again hard to evaluate this vague retort. Elon Musk did talk later in the presentation about the vast Supercharger network and made a brief note about how many more Superchargers would be added this year — but there are already tons of them in various stages of planning or construction.
  • Elon Musk isn’t threatening to move AI out of Tesla. I really don’t understand this one, because Musk said straight up that if he wasn’t awarded his compensation package again, he was inclined to go develop AI outside of Tesla. I’m honestly confused about this one. Of course, his gigantic compensation package was reapproved, so he shouldn’t be thinking about doing relevant AI work outside of Tesla anymore anyway. And if Tesla hits its targets and succeeds in this field, based on Musk’s stock price forecast, he could become the world’s first trillionaire. My autocorrect is telling me right now that isn’t a word.
  • Tesla isn’t a one-man show. Did anyone claim that? I guess this might be a retort to Elon Musk having too much control over the board of directors? It’s hard to know, as it’s a super vague quote debunking a claim no one makes. With over 100,000 employees, you’d have to be completely out of your mind to think Tesla is a one-man show. Again, though, I honestly don’t even know what this is trying to debunk.
  • Elon isn’t a part-time CEO. Well, this one should give reassurance to many Tesla fans who have been concerned that Elon Musk isn’t full time at Tesla anymore since he seems to spend so much time on X and also has about a half dozen other companies to lead. If you want Elon to be spending 40+ hours a week working at Tesla, this should give you some degree of reassurance that he’s doing just that.

Any other thoughts on these 5 “NOT TRUE” statements?

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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