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TSLA - Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ)

bluekelah

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I am sure those situations are included in both auto pilot and non autopilot situations, if fact if a driver is going to be drunk or have a stroke or be severely fatigued I hope that the do have autopilot engaged for their safety and mine.

Thats actually an argument for autopilot, because as you have pointed out humans can be un reliable for a number of reasons.



Thats the whole point, two heads are better than one, autopilot will prevent crashes humans normally cause, and the alert person can prevent autopilot crashing, In Australia Teslas are not "full autopilot" updated yet, the driver is meant to be monitoring it, and be ready to take over.



Why does it have to be perfect? it just has to be better than humans.

For example if on average humans cause a crash that results in a death every 100,000 miles, but auto pilot caused a crash every 500,000 miles, thats a huge improvement.




Current version of autopilot do not say that you can sleep, it clearly says you need to be alert.

However, drivers even without auto pilot suffer from "micro sleeps" that cause accidents, and you would be much safer in that situation with autopilot on.





I can't see how that could happen, an alert driver with autopilot on would just take over. only a distracted Tesla driver would crash, but then again a distracted Tesla driver is far less likely to crash than a distracted non autopilot car.
Tell that to the bloke involved in this model y crash who had been using autopilot for 3 years and now finally crashed. I am pretty sure he was alert, as the reporter said he claimed the car just wobbled and went off the road. Even if he took over the car would have crashed, many car accidents are split second, like if u are rounding a corner at even 50 or 60kms, by the time system says take over the car would have already gone straight out of the bend. Why would I want to put myself in a car that the autopilot can malfunction and run through red lights , suddenly go off the road , explode in flames at rest or soon after a big accident? Yeah sure the incidence of this is less compared to drunk drivers and all the riff raff.

But I am a safe defensive driver , have been for past 20years , never had any accidents , one speeding ticket every 10 years. And my parents 40 years clean driving records , never crashed a car. Why would I wanna risk the chance I have to 'take over and correct a autopilot mistake, especially if I have wife and kids on board.

And what's the point of an imperfect autopilot u have to be alert all the time to make sure it doesn't f up.

And yeah it's not just in Australia, Tesla's everywhere are still only at level 2 autonomous whether usa or Europe or australia. Elon keeps saying Tesla will be at level 4 but yeah crashes keep happening and there u go.

I might get a new electric for the wife in a couple years time , maybe even a tesla, but autonomous driving package? No thank you..
 
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Tell that to the bloke involved in this model y crash who had been using autopilot for 3 years and now finally crashed. I am pretty sure he was alert, as the reporter said he claimed the car just wobbled and went off the road. Even if he took over the car would have crashed, many car accidents are split second, like if u are rounding a corner at even 50 or 60kms, by the time system says take over the car would have already gone straight out of the bend. Why would I want to put myself in a car that the autopilot can malfunction and run through red lights , suddenly go off the road , explode in flames at rest or soon after a big accident? Yeah sure the incidence of this is less compared to drunk drivers and all the riff raff.

But I am a safe defensive driver , have been for past 20years , never had any accidents , one speeding ticket every 10 years. And my parents 40 years clean driving records , never crashed a car. Why would I wanna risk the chance I have to 'take over and correct a autopilot mistake, especially if I have wife and kids on board.

And what's the point of an imperfect autopilot u have to be alert all the time to make sure it doesn't f up.

And yeah it's not just in Australia, Tesla's everywhere are still only at level 2 autonomous whether usa or Europe or australia. Elon keeps saying Tesla will be at level 4 but yeah crashes keep happening and there u go.

I might get a new electric for the wife in a couple years time , maybe even a tesla, but autonomous driving package? No thank you..
Some people like cruise control some don’t- same thing
 

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Tell that to the bloke involved in this model y crash who had been using autopilot for 3 years and now finally crashed. I am pretty sure he was alert, as the reporter said he claimed the car just wobbled and went off the road. Even if he took over the car would have crashed, many car accidents are split second, like if u are rounding a corner at even 50 or 60kms, by the time system says take over the car would have already gone straight out of the bend. Why would I want to put myself in a car that the autopilot can malfunction and run through red lights , suddenly go off the road , explode in flames at rest or soon after a big accident? Yeah sure the incidence of this is less compared to drunk drivers and all the riff raff.

But I am a safe defensive driver , have been for past 20years , never had any accidents , one speeding ticket every 10 years. And my parents 40 years clean driving records , never crashed a car. Why would I wanna risk the chance I have to 'take over and correct a autopilot mistake, especially if I have wife and kids on board.

And what's the point of an imperfect autopilot u have to be alert all the time to make sure it doesn't f up.

And yeah it's not just in Australia, Tesla's everywhere are still only at level 2 autonomous whether usa or Europe or australia. Elon keeps saying Tesla will be at level 4 but yeah crashes keep happening and there u go.

I might get a new electric for the wife in a couple years time , maybe even a tesla, but autonomous driving package? No thank you..
Firstly, your safe defensive 20 year driving history is to small of a sample to compare, because so far Teslas with auto pilot engaged have only recorded 1 crash for every 8 Million kms driven, and I doubt you have driven 8 Million kms, you might not even have driven 1 million, driving 20,000 kms a year would take 400 years to reach 8 million, so even your parents 40 year history is to small, your family would need to avoid a crash for 10 generations to equal the safety of a Tesla.

There was probably multiple other car crashes that day involving human error, they just don’t make the news.

We don’t know if the guy was alert or not, he could have been sending a text message who knows, you can take control of the car in literally less than a second, a soon as you resist the steering wheel turning the autopilot shuts off.

A lot of teslas in the USA now have full self driving, which is different from the autopilot currently available here, we just have the standard autopilot.
 

bluekelah

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Firstly, your safe defensive 20 year driving history is to small of a sample to compare, because so far Teslas with auto pilot engaged have only recorded 1 crash for every 8 Million kms driven, and I doubt you have driven 8 Million kms, you might not even have driven 1 million, driving 20,000 kms a year would take 400 years to reach 8 million, so even your parents 40 year history is to small, your family would need to avoid a crash for 10 generations to equal the safety of a Tesla.

There was probably multiple other car crashes that day involving human error, they just don’t make the news.

We don’t know if the guy was alert or not, he could have been sending a text message who knows, you can take control of the car in literally less than a second, a soon as you resist the steering wheel turning the autopilot shuts off.

A lot of teslas in the USA now have full self driving, which is different from the autopilot currently available here, we just have the standard autopilot.
Some of the Teslas in USA are on full self driving BETA... you should read this article by a Tesla car fan who is currently trialling the system. https://cleantechnica.com/2022/05/02/tesla-full-self-driving-beta-how-close-to-level-5-autonomy/

Most notably still errors in :
[Choosing the correct lane, Unprotected turns in heavy traffic,Speed bumps and dips, Phantom braking, Phantom swerving, Premature stopping, !!Running stop signs!!, Stopping at rotaries, Timid behavior at stop signs]

[From the improvements I have seen in three versions of FSD Beta, do I see significant progress toward Level 5 autonomy? Short answer: I won’t be holding my breath.]

Written by : Arthur Frederick (Fritz) Hasler, PhD, former leader of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization & Analysis Laboratory

As I said before, if your autopilot runs a stop sign or does some sudden wierd moves that will swerve you off the road in one second, you wont even have time to react even if you are alert and take control.

We shall see, Elon is probably not gonna buy twitter now, or cant afford his offer price. Tesla looks like its lost the EV battle in Europe / China for now. Even the most highly touted full self driving is in doubt as other car makers embrace LiDAR tech and get to level 3 autonomy. Mercedes Benz became first to get regulatory approval in producing vehicles capable of Level 3 autonomous. not that it matters, it would take a lot to convince me to put my family at risk with an autonomous system thats not perfect lol...
 

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Some of the Teslas in USA are on full self driving BETA... you should read this article by a Tesla car fan who is currently trialling the system. https://cleantechnica.com/2022/05/02/tesla-full-self-driving-beta-how-close-to-level-5-autonomy/

Most notably still errors in :
[Choosing the correct lane, Unprotected turns in heavy traffic,Speed bumps and dips, Phantom braking, Phantom swerving, Premature stopping, !!Running stop signs!!, Stopping at rotaries, Timid behavior at stop signs]

[From the improvements I have seen in three versions of FSD Beta, do I see significant progress toward Level 5 autonomy? Short answer: I won’t be holding my breath.]

Written by : Arthur Frederick (Fritz) Hasler, PhD, former leader of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization & Analysis Laboratory

As I said before, if your autopilot runs a stop sign or does some sudden wierd moves that will swerve you off the road in one second, you wont even have time to react even if you are alert and take control.

We shall see, Elon is probably not gonna buy twitter now, or cant afford his offer price. Tesla looks like its lost the EV battle in Europe / China for now. Even the most highly touted full self driving is in doubt as other car makers embrace LiDAR tech and get to level 3 autonomy. Mercedes Benz became first to get regulatory approval in producing vehicles capable of Level 3 autonomous. not that it matters, it would take a lot to convince me to put my family at risk with an autonomous system thats not perfect lol...
I have owned my Tesla for nearly 3 years now, and have seen constant improvements ins the autopilot.

If you see a stop sign and your car isn’t slowing down and acting like it’s going to stop, you just press the brake, this is what it means to be “alert”, especially in the trial mode of the beta program, the vehicles are actively learning.

As the stats show though, one crash in 8 million kms is far better than 1 crash in 2.5 Million which is the Human figures.
 
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Reading the previous post highlights one thing to me - people that have no experience with the subject material have to jump to conclusions.

Want to comment, no problems everyone has the right to a say. Want to tell everyone how it is, get some experience first.
 
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Some of the Teslas in USA are on full self driving BETA... you should read this article by a Tesla car fan who is currently trialling the system. https://cleantechnica.com/2022/05/02/tesla-full-self-driving-beta-how-close-to-level-5-autonomy/

Most notably still errors in :
[Choosing the correct lane, Unprotected turns in heavy traffic,Speed bumps and dips, Phantom braking, Phantom swerving, Premature stopping, !!Running stop signs!!, Stopping at rotaries, Timid behavior at stop signs]

[From the improvements I have seen in three versions of FSD Beta, do I see significant progress toward Level 5 autonomy? Short answer: I won’t be holding my breath.]

Written by : Arthur Frederick (Fritz) Hasler, PhD, former leader of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization & Analysis Laboratory

As I said before, if your autopilot runs a stop sign or does some sudden wierd moves that will swerve you off the road in one second, you wont even have time to react even if you are alert and take control.

We shall see, Elon is probably not gonna buy twitter now, or cant afford his offer price. Tesla looks like its lost the EV battle in Europe / China for now. Even the most highly touted full self driving is in doubt as other car makers embrace LiDAR tech and get to level 3 autonomy. Mercedes Benz became first to get regulatory approval in producing vehicles capable of Level 3 autonomous. not that it matters, it would take a lot to convince me to put my family at risk with an autonomous system thats not perfect lol...

That was an exceptionally useful insight into the current status of autonomous Tesla cars.
The writer is clearly very supportive of the technology and uses it extensively.
It works well in many situations.
Nonetheless there are still some important driving situations that haven't been sorted out.

That doesn't mean it is rubbish or useless. Just means that people need to be awake when they are driving.
I also think that it would pay to be aware and made aware of the particular quirks that drivers should look out for. They are not small potatoes and in fact represent some significant driving situations that would put drivers at risk.:2twocents
 
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Looks like Australia also missed the boat.

Tesla Is Hedging Its Global Supply Chain Bets
Elon Musk is hunting for new Asian production hubs for his EVs. Indonesia looks like the clear winner, while India appears to have missed the boat.

From India to Indonesia, Elon Musk is scouting out sites to make more Teslas for global roads. With the world mired in supply chain chaos, access to materials matters most. He’s got it right.

After lobbying against India’s tight policies around manufacturing and prohibitive import duties, Musk is headed to meet Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and visit several areas across the country, which is also the top producer of nickel, a key metal for batteries. That’s an astute bet — for Tesla and Indonesia. And a missed opportunity for New Delhi.

To meet ambitious electric vehicle targets, Indonesia has drawn in several battery and car manufacturers in recent months with a variety of incentives. Government ministers say they hope to have investment across the supply chain.

With a friendly policy bolstering the country’s EV goals, manufacturers have started committing billions of dollars. LG Energy Solution, along with other companies, is investing about $9 billion to set up a supply chain — from mining to manufacturing — in the country. Together with Hyundai Motor Co., the firm is developing a battery plant, too. Meanwhile, the world’s largest powerpack maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. is investing almost $6 billion in a battery project with state-backed PT Aneka Tambang Tbk and PT Industri Baterai Indonesia. Further up the value chain, China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co. and PT Vale Indonesia Tbk announced last month they would work together on the former’s fifth nickel project in the country.

The move by companies across the EV supply chain into the Southeast Asia’s largest economy shows how important it is to be close to the source of raw materials that feed into manufacturing. If there’s one thing the past year of logistical screw-ups and delays has shown the industry, it’s that proximity is key. Even if global supply and demand is balanced on paper, moving industrial goods around has become expensive, slow and cumbersome.

Tesla knows this well. It has created large manufacturing hubs in China and now Germany — countries known for their prowess in industrial production and policies that will help sell its cars. After having trouble making EVs in the US, its market share has grown globally. Now the company is looking to secure materials and make its own batteries, while stopping short of buying mines and getting into a new business. Wherever Musk sees problems in the production process, he looks for a solution. Tesla is essentially creating discrete supply chains across the globe.

Automakers wouldn’t have necessarily made their way to Indonesia. The country churns out around 1 million cars in a good year, and is dominated by Japanese producers’ smaller vehicles. The auto market pales in comparison to the likes of China and the US, and EVs make up a small portion. In addition, its geography doesn’t make it an ideal place for electric vehicle charging stations and infrastructure connectivity, although the government aims to make the capital, Jakarta, and the tourist hub of Bali model centers for greener transport.

Potential sales generated in Indonesia wouldn’t really move the needle for Tesla. Yet, the country is leveraging existing resources, an EV business-friendly policy and the right story to make it fertile ground for large-scale investment. The moment that happens, Indonesia will be able to boast about its battery manufacturing supply chain on the global scale — a much vaunted accolade these days that even the US is vying for. Private investment into manufacturing batteries will only draw more attention.

Meanwhile, India continues to hem and haw around whether it will lift duties. Government officials there have made big, bold statements about their ambitions, talking up their desire to draw in Tesla. Earlier this month, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari went as far as to say that Tesla would benefit from manufacturing in India. Yet customers who placed orders are still waiting and it’s unclear how Musk’s firm would get a leg up. Now, there are questions around whether Tesla will make its way into India at all, given all the roadblocks.

That probably is a good bet, too. Setting up manufacturing now, especially as companies struggle to procure parts for their products and deal with logistical issues and high shipping costs, is the one thing firms don’t want to face. Progress toward EVs has been scattered and commitment isn’t clear. Toyota Motor Corp., one of the world’s biggest automakers but a laggard in EVs globally, has pledged to invest $624 million to making EV-related components through its existing units in India, however it’s unclear who they will buy them. Even India’s dominant automakers Maruti Suzuki India Ltd isn’t planning on EVs until 2025. Add in policy hoops and punitive taxes, and India has all but ruled itself out by making the cost of investing in its market so high.

India’s vaccine king, Adar Poonawalla, also decided to weigh in earlier this month. He tweeted that putting capital into making cars in India would be the “best investment” Musk would “ever make.” That’s perhaps too optimistic.

EV and battery manufacturers are in high demand across the globe and it will take far more than bold words and political ambition — that includes making existing resources available and coming up with a coherent policy that manufacturers can work with. It’s bizzare, then, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government continues to hold back. Yes, there are a few domestic EV models however, the Indian auto market remains an aspirational one. That means wide-scale adoption will pick up pace where there are models that people want to buy — like Tesla’s Model 3 — or enough charging facilities that make it easy, as the evolution of the two-wheeler market showed.

Much like China made Tesla a global company, Indonesia could do the same for its battery supply chain. All while making manufacturing more affordable and eventually, electric vehicles, too. It’s a means to an end — and a smart one at that.

Why is Indonesia's President Joko Widodo hanging out with Elon Musk?

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo visited Washington last weekend along with other South-East Asian leaders, as his US counterpart Joe Biden seeks to court the region against growing Chinese influence.

But it was a trip to the small town of Boca Chica, Texas, that attracted more attention back home in Indonesia.

Mr Widodo had lined up a high-profile meeting with Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk at the private space agency's headquarters, where he was given a private tour.

As Mr Widodo praised the tech baron as a "super genius", Mr Musk declared he was "very interested" in the future of Indonesia, a country of 270 million people.

The world's richest man also said the country exuded "positive energy".

"We're going to look, from a Tesla and Space X standpoint, to try and do some partnerships in Indonesia," Mr Musk said, flagging "future collaboration on many fronts".

Indonesia, South-East Asia's largest economy, seeks to cash in on the global transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by luring foreign investment from the likes of Mr Musk.

Nickel is a key component of lithium-ion battery cells, which are used in most EVs.

So demand for the metal is rapidly increasing.

Sumitomo Metal Mining — Japan's largest nickel smelter and a supplier for the Panasonic lithium-ion batteries used in Tesla EVs — said in March it expected global demand for nickel to increase by 20 per cent during 2022 alone.

According to research firm Wood Mackenzie, nickel consumption for EV batteries is projected to increase 64 per cent between 2019 and 2025.

Along with Australia, Indonesia has the world's largest nickel reserves, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), an American government body.

USGS reports that mine production in Indonesia increased by 30 per cent during 2021, which it attributed to the "ongoing commissioning" of projects across the resource-rich archipelago.

Mr Widodo's visit to Space X followed a recent meeting between Mr Musk and senior minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, and Indonesian officials told Reuters that working-level discussions on investment in the nickel industry had already taken place.

Indonesia's Minister for Investment, Bahlil Lahadalia, said Mr Musk would "lose out" if he did not invest in the country.

Musk 'fired up' about Indonesia​

"I think it's great that Indonesia has a big population and the population is growing," Mr Musk said during his meeting with Mr Widodo in Texas.

"This is very good. Because, like, we need a lot of people for the future — and also Mars. Mars does not have any people, so we need people for Mars," he joked.

3333&cropW=5000&xPos=0&yPos=0&width=862&height=575.jpg

Elon Musk is a "super genius" according to Indonesia's leader.(Reuters: Laily Rachev/Indonesian Presidential Palace)
"Indonesia seems very optimistic and positive about the future, which is awesome," Mr Musk added.

"I'm really fired up by how fired up you all are."
But not everyone is so excited by the prospect of further investment in nickel mining in Indonesia, which is associated with coal-fired power plants.

A group of Indonesian environmental activists have written to Mr Musk, pointing to previous statements the billionaire has made around environmental sustainability.

"If Tesla wants to invest in Indonesia, they should make it free from coal-fired power plants," said Pius Ginting, coordinator of the Action for Ecology and People's Emancipation Association (known by its Indonesian acronym AEER), in the letter.

"Because doing so conflicts with the aim of electric transportation: reducing total gas emission," he added.

In mid-2020, Mr Musk called upon mining firms to boost their production of nickel to meet Tesla's needs.

"Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way," Mr Musk said at the time........
 

orr

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Looks like Australia also missed the boat.
Don't be to dispondent JD, events of the last day or so give me hope.
Indo can go hard I'd like nothing beter than to see industrialisation down this line for Indonesia: But then add in all the minerals across the top of the Coral sea and a rapprochement with the French in New Calidonia.
The regional economic/ security advantages should be obvious to any longer term strategic planner; That is 'a planner above a certain level.'
 
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Tesla battery research group unveils paper on new high-energy-density battery that could last 100 years

Tesla’s advanced battery research group in Canada in partnership with Dalhousie University has released a new paper on a new nickel-based battery that could last 100 years while still favorably comparing to LFP cells on charging and energy density.

Back in 2016, Tesla established its “Tesla Advanced Battery Research” in Canada through a partnership with Jeff Dahn’s battery lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada.

Dahn is considered a pioneer in Li-ion battery cells. He has been working on the Li-ion batteries pretty much since they were invented. He is credited for helping to increase the life cycle of the cells, which helped their commercialization.

His work now focuses mainly on a potential increase in energy density and durability, while also decreasing the cost.

The group has already produced quite a few patents and papers on batteries for Tesla. The automaker recently extended its contract with the group through 2026 as it added two new leaders to be mentored by Dahn.

One of those new leaders, Michael Metzger, along with Dahn himself, and a handful of PhDs in the program, are named as authors of a new research paper called “Li[Ni0.5Mn0.3Co0.2]O2 as a Superior Alternative to LiFePO4 for Long-Lived Low Voltage Li-Ion Cells” in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society.

The paper describes a nickel-based battery chemistry meant to compete with LFP battery cells on longevity while retaining the properties that people like in nickel-based batteries, like higher energy density, which enables longer range with fewer batteries for electric vehicles.

The group wrote in the paper’s abstract:

Single crystal Li[Ni0.5Mn0.3Co0.2]O2//graphite (NMC532) pouch cells with only sufficient graphite for operation to 3.80 V (rather than ≥4.2 V) were cycled with charging to either 3.65 V or 3.80 V to facilitate comparison with LiFePO4//graphite (LFP) pouch cells on the grounds of similar maximum charging potential and similar negative electrode utilization. The NMC532 cells, when constructed with only sufficient graphite to be charged to 3.80 V, have an energy density that exceeds that of the LFP cells and a cycle-life that greatly exceeds that of the LFP cells at 40 °C, 55 °C and 70 °C. Excellent lifetime at high temperature is demonstrated with electrolytes that contain lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide (LiFSI) salt, well beyond those provided by conventional LiPF6 electrolytes.
The cells showed an impressive capacity retention over a high number of cycles:

Screen-Shot-2022-05-24-at-6.20.39-AM.jpg

The research group even noted that the new cell described in the paper could last a 100 years if the temperature is controlled at 25C:

Ultra-high precision coulometry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy are used to complement cycling results and investigate the reasons for the improved performance of the NMC cells. NMC cells, particularly those balanced and charged to 3.8 V, show better coulombic efficiency, less capacity fade and higher energy density compared to LFP cells and are projected to yield lifetimes approaching a century at 25 °C.​

One of the keys appears to be using an electrolyte with LiFSI lithium salts, and the paper notes that the benefits could also apply to other nickel-based chemistries, including those with no or low cobalt.
 
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I saw some info that talked about existing batteries that have lasted 100 years. The problems are fast recharging, capacity vs size or weight and many other factors.

Investors have spoken about buying nickel and lithium stocks which could be used extensively for batteries by Tesla or EV manufacturers worldwide, but I think investing in Tesla covers it all - materials now and in the future, battery manufacturing including the latest advances plus multiple uses for batteries as in cars, power stations, home energy storage, trucks etc. That way I hope to cover dramatic changes over time that might affect other investments in materials.
 
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Some say that Elon is now back tracking on his commitment to buy Twitter by selling more of his shares. Instead he will try get the price down and source backers. Large holders & fund managers are watching closely.

With Elon Musk’s Twitter bid in flux, some Tesla fans say enough already

Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover comments haven’t just riled the social-media company’s executives and staff. They have also frustrated some of the billionaire’s loyal Tesla backers.

The electric-vehicle maker has lost roughly 30 per cent of its value since April 1, as the will-he-or-won’t-he drama around Mr Musk’s investment in Twitter – and eventual $US44bn deal to take over the social-media company – has played out. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite fell around 15 per cent in that time.

The episode has sparked concerns even among some fans of the Tesla chief executive that he might risk stretching himself too thin. Mr Musk also runs rocket company SpaceX and helped start a tunnelling enterprise and a neuroscience start-up working on brain-implant technologies. Now with Twitter, some Tesla supporters are concerned that he could lose focus.

“I wish he would walk away,” said Gary Black, managing partner of the Future Fund, which owns roughly $US50m worth of Tesla, according to FactSet. Mr Black, a Tesla booster, said he views Twitter as a distraction that is likely to demand more of Mr Musk’s time than the billionaire expects.

A close follower of Tesla recently tweeted at Mr Musk and the Twitter CEO: “Elon, Twitter is an unnecessary distraction. Just focus on Tesla.”

Mr Musk has sought to quell such anxiety. “To be clear, I’m spending

Tesla didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Concerns Mr Musk may have taken on too much aren’t new, and he has been able to build Tesla into the world’s most valuable carmaker while also running Space Exploration Technologies Corp., as SpaceX is formally known.

Tesla investors have digested Mr Musk’s Twitter takeover effort in waves. The company’s stock fell around 8 per cent from April 1 – the last trading day before Mr Musk disclosed that he had taken a large stake in Twitter – through April 25, when Twitter accepted his bid to take over the company. The Nasdaq Composite slid roughly 9 per cent in that time.

Tesla’s tumble continued from there. First, Mr Musk sold roughly 9.6 million Tesla shares, worth around $US8.5bn, in the days after striking the Twitter deal. Then, facing the continued erosion of Tesla’s stock price, he injected fresh doubt into the Twitter deal, saying that the planned acquisition was “temporarily on hold” citing concerns about fake accounts, though he added at the time that he remained committed to the acquisition.

Twitter has said it is proceeding with the transaction as agreed.

Mr Musk, whose fortune is made up largely of Tesla stock, disclosed on Wednesday that he no longer plans to rely on a margin loan backed by Tesla shares to finance the Twitter deal. He committed additional equity instead, saying he was seeking additional outside financial backing.

The recent slide in Tesla’s stock price has prompted some, including Mr Black, to press Tesla to repurchase its own shares. Buybacks can project confidence to investors and support stock prices by reducing a company’s share count. Tesla was sitting on roughly $US17.5bn in cash as of the first quarter.

Tesla didn’t respond to a request for comment about whether it was considering buybacks. Asked in April about what Tesla plans to do with its cash long-term, Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn said the company was investing in its new factories and products.

It couldn’t be learned whether the comments of some Tesla loyalists are affecting Mr Musk’s thinking, or if they reflect the views of larger shareholders.

Earl Banning, a Dayton, Ohio, psychologist and Tesla investor, described himself as hesitant about Mr Musk’s pursuit of Twitter.

“He’s already a lightning rod, and it makes him more of a lightning rod,” said Dr. Banning, a Tesla enthusiast whom Mr Musk interacts with regularly on Twitter. That hasn’t spurred Dr. Banning to sell Tesla stock, though.

“Elon’s going to continue being Elon,” Dr. Banning said. “I feel that as a long-term shareholder, it will come back to where it should be because they’re executing. They are selling cars, and they’re profitable.”

Tesla reported a record $US3.3bn quarterly profit in the three months ended in March.

Twitter hasn’t been the only issue for Tesla investors to digest. Supply-chain bottlenecks and Covid-19 lockdowns in China have constrained the electric-car company’s sales. Tesla in April sold just 1512 vehicles made at its Shanghai plant, down 94 per cent from a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expect the company to deliver roughly 292,000 vehicles globally in the three months ending in June, down from 310,048 vehicles in the first quarter. That would mark Tesla’s first quarter-over-quarter decline in deliveries in more than two years.

Meanwhile, Mr Musk has waded further into politics, saying that he expected partisan attacks against him and that he plans to vote Republican moving forward.

“Unless it is stopped, the woke mind virus will destroy civilisation and humanity will never reached Mars,” Mr Musk tweeted last week.

Last week, news publication Insider reported that SpaceX paid an unidentified flight attendant $US250,000 in 2018 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Mr Musk, the company’s chief executive. Mr Musk responded on Twitter, calling the accusations “utterly untrue.”

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell told company staff in a subsequent email that she personally believed that allegations made against Mr Musk were false. Neither she nor Mr Musk addressed whether a settlement was paid. Ms Shotwell said in the email that SpaceX doesn’t tolerate harassment of any kind.

Some Tesla devotees see opportunity in the share-price decline. John Stringer, who runs a Tesla owners club in Silicon Valley, said he has increased his Tesla holdings in recent weeks.

“This is kind of what comes with the territory,” Mr Stringer said of Mr Musk’s unpredictable tweeting and his corporate juggling act.

The Wall Street Journal
 
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