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Tesla shares rise on Elon Musk’s tweet about “exciting” announcement

Tesla Model S



Tesla chief Elon Musk is making a major announcement next week, and here’s guessing it’s not another salvo about what a bad job that reporter from The New York Times did writing up the Tesla Model S.


“Am going to put my money where my mouth is in v major way.” – Elon Musk

“Am going to put my money where my mouth is in v major way,” Musk tweeted Monday, saying there would be an “exciting” announcement on Thursday. Later on Monday, Musk updated the timing of the statement to next Tuesday in order “to ensure no end of quarter distractions.” Tesla shares rose 2.5 percent in Nasdaq trading Monday and were up another 1.2 percent after hours.



Seeking Alpha wonders if Musk may have another stock offering and will use some of the cash to pay off its government loans. Late last month, Musk said he’d cut his company’s slated 10-year timetable to pay back its $465 million US Energy Department loan in half because of better-than expected results, including what Musk said would be Tesla’s first-ever profitable quarter in the first three months of 2013.



Either way, the Tweets are more sanguine than the blasts Musk sent out after a reporter from The New York Times said in a write up last month that the single-charge range in the all-electric Model S is far less than advertised. Some Tesla owners and a few other publications backed Musk’s assertion that the reporter was sloppy in his record keeping and a Times editor allowed that some missteps may have been made in the review.

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Tesla Model S demand exceeds expectations, 40-kWh model nixed

tesla model s



Elon Musk has promised he will make an “exciting” announcement tomorrow, but Tesla Motors issued two bits of news late last night to add to whatever we’ll learn about on Tuesday. First off, sales of the Model S have “exceeded the target provided in the mid February shareholder letter” by 250 units. Second, sales of the low-end 40-kWh Model S were so low that the model has been scrapped.



In February, Tesla said in a shareholder letter that it expected “about 4,500 deliveries in

Q1″ of 2013. It has instead sold 4,750 and it is thus “amending its Q1 guidance to full profitability, both GAAP and non-GAAP.” The company is now delivering 500 vehicles a week, up from 400 not too long ago. We now have to wonder it the original estimate of 20,000 sales in 2013 will also change.


“Only four percent of customers chose the 40 kWh battery pack, which is not enough to justify production of that version.”

It was just about two months ago that Tesla started delivering (what had been) the mid-level Model S, which has a 60-kWh battery. The top-of-the-line version uses an 85-kWh pack. As of this writing, the 40-kWH model remains listed on the Tesla website, but apparently, “only four percent of customers chose the 40 kWh battery pack, which is not enough to justify production of that version.” What about those four percent? They will get a 60-kWh model that “will be software limited to 40 kWh. It will still have the improved acceleration and top speed of the bigger pack, so will be a better product than originally ordered, and can be upgraded to the range of the 60 kWh upon request by the original or a future owner.” Originally, the 40-kWh model was supposed start deliveries in the middle of 2013.



Lastly, Tesla revealed that every 60-kWh Model S – where Supercharging was supposed to be an optional upgrade – has the Supercharging hardware built in. The company calls this a “small Easter egg” (it is based in Silicon Valley, after all) and says it “is taking a slight cost risk that ultimately all customers will want to buy the Supercharger upgrade and receive unlimited, free long distance travel for life. Even for those that never drive long distances, this will improve the resale value of their car to people that do.” This means that every Model S out there will have Supercharging, and Tesla has already said all future vehicles will have the fast-charging technology as well, so it is a technology the company believes in.



So, after all this, what will Musk’s big announcement be tomorrow?

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