Electric vehicle maker Tesla laid out its long-term vision at a 2023 Investor Day presentation in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday. CEO Elon Musk took the stage to share his “Master Plan 3,” and to discuss how Tesla plans to scale up in the face of increasing competition.
The presentation was long on vision and general statements about moving to sustainable energy sources, but short on new specifics about how Tesla would help society achieve that vision.
Tesla’s goal is to produce 20 million electric vehicles per year by 2030, executives reiterated. Musk said, “Earth can and will move to a sustainable energy economy, and will do so in your lifetime.”
To start, Musk was joined on stage by Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering at Tesla, Drew Baglino. They discussed a future in which the company would play a role in “re-powering the grid with renewable fuels,” even as drivers move into fully electric and, one day, autonomous vehicles.
Tesla design leader Franz von Holzhausen and vice president of vehicle engineering Lars Moravy took the stage to show off a number of planned manufacturing changes meant to improve the efficiency of Tesla vehicle production. But von Holzhausen said that Tesla would not yet reveal its “next gen” vehicle.
The company’s powertrain vice president, Colin Campell, said that Tesla’s next powertrain factory is 50% smaller than the one in Austin, Texas, but will have the same capacity, and that the company is working on a new kind of drive unit, and motor. The drive unit is compatible with any battery cell type. The motor will be built without any rare earth materials, he said.
Tesla shares have rebounded from declines during 2022, and are up more than 60% for the year so far. However, the stock dropped 1.43% on Wednesday prior to the event, and another 2.5% after hours during the event.
Musk’s ambitious Master Plan Part Deux was published in 2016, and has not been completely fulfilled. It included four main objectives:
- “Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage”
- “Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments”
- “Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning”
- “Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it”
Musk acquired the San Francisco-based social media company for around $44 billion in October 2022, selling around $23 billion worth of his Tesla shares in part to finance the deal. He may reveal more details about how the two plan to work together moving forward.
As CNBC previously reported, Musk has authorized a myriad of Tesla, SpaceX and Boring Co. execs and engineers to work for him at Twitter.
Ahead of the 2023 Investor Day, at a press conference on Tuesday, Mexico president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tesla had agreed to build a large factory in Monterrey, Mexico. He said Tesla agreed to use recycled water and take other initiatives to cope with water-scarcity in the region.
According to Ortex, a short interest tracker, “After delivering $4.5 billion in profits to short sellers in January, TSLA’s 19% rise in February has helped pile on losses for TSLA bears. ORTEX estimates that TSLA shorts incurred $3 billion in losses for February, the biggest short loss of the month by a meaningful margin (#2 was NVDA with a $1.5 billion loss for shorts).”
Mizuho Securities analysts maintained a buy rating on shares of Tesla ahead of Investor Day, seeing Tesla in a leadership position in a growing market for fully electric vehicles. They wrote, in a note earlier this week, “Near-term, we see continued strength in TSLA’s market share, but see cheaper competitor EVs coming to market as potentially dilutive to TSLA’s share of the US EV market.”
Currently, the lowest-priced Tesla available is the Model 3 sedan, which starts at a price point of around $43,000, they wrote. Seven models from other automakers are currently priced below that, Mizhuo noted.
This story is developing, please check back for updates.
— CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.