Musk Showcases Electric Car Innovations at Tesla’s ‘Battery Day’ Presentation

Date: 2020-09-22 21:42:34

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Tesla Inc. will provide a highly anticipated technology update on Tuesday when Elon Musk takes center stage at an event the chief executive officer has dropped hints about for months — and which has helped propel the company’s sky-high valuation.

The “Battery Day” presentation, which follows the annual shareholders meeting, is expected to showcase innovations designed to keep the company’s lead in electric cars as rivals flood the market with new battery-powered vehicles over the next couple of years.

If history is any guide, Musk could talk about demand for Tesla’s vehicles at the shareholder meeting or give updates about new factories in Berlin and Austin, Texas. In an internal email to staff in Sunday, Musk indicated Tesla may be in line for a record quarter.

The company’s shares closed at $449.39 in New York trading, up 1.6% after falling as much as 7.9% earlier in the day.

The first-ever Battery Day, where Tesla will stake out its technology road map, is of keen interest to investors. The tiniest improvement in batteries can have a huge impact, because they are an electric car’s most-expensive part.

Will Musk and Chief Technology Officer Drew Baglino go super deep with a highly technical presentation on battery chemistry and improvements made since Tesla acquired Maxwell Technologies in 2019? Is Musk — who just last year vowed that 2020 would be the year of the robotaxi — going to promise flying cars? Or will he tout improved range for Tesla’s existing vehicles and pledge to add a more budget-friendly car to Tesla’s lineup?

“A lot of the stuff that Tesla has been working on is about making the battery manufacturing cheaper, not a new recipe for a battery or a completely new revolutionary structure,” said Sam Jaffe, managing director of Cairn ERA in Boulder, Colorado. “But when they institute all of these advances, they will be able to make a $25,000 car.”

The shareholder meeting gets underway at 1:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday in Fremont, California, and Bloomberg will cover it as it unfolds in a live blog. Musk likes to keep his fans and rivals guessing, but here are seven educated guesses about what he may unveil.

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