Elon Musk says Tesla will develop an 'electric leaf blower'
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk says his company is planning to develop a new creation — only this time, it won't be rolling on four wheels.
- The statements come on the heels of Musk's other viral non-automotive related creations, such as The Boring Company's "Not-a-Flamethrower" flamethrower.
- The 20,000 flamethrowers Musk sold were essentially roofing torches encased in an air rifle shell.
- They were valued at $500.
- They sold out in five days.
- Like the flamethrower, electric leaf blowers already exist.
- And judging by videos, they still emit quite a bit of sound.
- Business Insider has reached out to Tesla for comment on Musk's proposed electric leaf blowers.
- Get the latest Tesla stock price here.
How the SEC can be the babysitter Elon Musk needs
- The SEC would be both embarrassed and injured if the Court found that Musk's post on Twitter in February — in which he asserted that Tesla would produce about 500,000 cars this year — did not violate that standard.
- Given that Musk has been wrong twice and didn't consult counsel despite the settlement, the SEC must have thought it was an easy case when it sought to hold Musk in contempt of court for the February tweet.
- The settlement could state that Musk must consult a Tesla attorney about any written communication (including tweets) that he makes about Tesla unless it would be obvious to any reasonable person that the statement could not possibly be deemed material at the time it was made.
- What is critical, however, is that the standard not require the SEC to prove that a statement was material in order to show a violation of the settlement.
Tesla robotaxis 2020? Be skeptical of Elon Musk’s latest prediction.
- Musk unveiled a new microchip that he claimed would be “objectively” the best in the world, predicted that fully autonomous Teslas capable of operating without a human driver would be on the road by mid-2020, and said the company would have a fleet of “robotaxis” out by next year as well.
- This isn’t the first time Musk has predicted that a fully autonomous car was on the one-year horizon for Tesla — the company made a pretty similar guarantee in October 2016 when Musk said Tesla would have a vehicle that could make a handsfree, self-driving trip from Los Angeles to New York by the end of 2017.
- Musk on Monday said that, given the potential for Tesla’s vehicles to be a moneymaker for customers who loan out their cars as taxis, it would be “financially insane” to buy anything else.
Investors are looking for 3 things from Tesla's earnings
- Tesla shares are down about 14% year-t0-date, and CEO Elon Musk already said that the company won't post three straight profitable quarters.
- Carmakers enjoy huge amounts of cash sloshing through their businesses, and now that Tesla has captured about 3% US market share, it can expect the same.
- The big questions is, "How much?" Investors will want to see if Tesla can regain topline momentum and start looking forward to $10-billion quarters.
- Tesla paid off a roughly $900-million convertible bond earlier this year, depleting some of its cash balance, which was north of $3 billion.
- The expectation is that operations will send Tesla's cash reserve down to about $1 billion by the end of the year, which is skinny for an automaker and could presage a capital raise at some point in 2019 to cushion the balance sheet.
Elon Musk sent a two-line email telling employees how great Tesla's autonomy day was, but the plan has lots of holes
- Specifically, Musk gave guidance that Tesla will have a million "robotaxis" on the road next year, meaning a million truly driverless cars that can operate commercially in a ride-hailing network, generating passive income for their owners.
- But Musk went further to say that each Tesla -- equipped with some future version of its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving software -- could generate $30,000 in gross income for owners each year if operated as a robotaxi.
- In October 2016, Musk touted Tesla's second-generation autonomous driving hardware, saying that system could power full level 5 autonomy in his company's cars — that means the car could drive in all conditions with zero human attention.
- As of April 2019, Tesla has not demonstrated any of its vehicles completing such a trip, although self-driving pioneer Anthony Levandowski says a car from his new start-up accomplished the task last December.
GOLDMAN SACHS: Tesla's 'Autonomy Day' was held to distract investors from the pressures the company is facing
- Tesla held its 'Autonomy Day' on Monday, where it detailed its plans for a robo-taxi network to compete with the ride-hailing giants Lyft and Uber.
- The company provided details on its hardware, software, and data capabilities, as well as prediction that the roll-out of the service may begin as early as next year.
- After record third and fourth quarters, in which Tesla showed strong profitability, doubts have emerged as to whether the financial performance represented pent-up demand rather than repeatable performance.
- Expectations for the first quarter are dim as deliveries came in below expectations despite Musk trying a variety of tactics to drive sales.
- Doubts on the company also surfaced outside the analyst community.
- Tesla is expected to post revenue of $5 billion and a loss of $1.09 a share, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
- Tesla was down more than 20% year to date.
Nvidia fires back at Tesla's claim that it created the world's best chip for self-driving cars
- But Nvidia, which also makes hardware designed for self-driving cars, said on Tuesday that Tesla made an inaccurate comparison between the two companies' technologies.
- During an event for investors centered around autonomous-driving technology, Tesla compared its Full Self-Driving (FSD) Computer against Nvidia's Drive Xavier computer, saying the FSD Computer has more processing power.
- Nvidia disputed Tesla's comparison in a blog post, saying the Drive Xavier is capable of 3o TOPS, but is designed for semi-autonomous driver-assistance tasks, rather than complete autonomy.
- Nvidia's Drive AGX Pegasus computer, which is designed for full autonomy and capable of 320 TOPS, is a more accurate point of comparison, the company said.
- Nvidia credited Tesla for focusing on developing the significant computing power necessary for self-driving vehicles, but suggested that Nvidia's technology, by allowing customers to build on top of it, is superior.
Elon Musk says Tesla will have 1 million robo-taxis on the road next year, and some people think the claim is so unrealistic that he's being compared to PT Barnum
- Elon Musk unveiled grand plans for Tesla's network of robo-taxis on Monday, with his sights set on a million autonomous electric vehicles shuttling passengers within a year.
- Tesla estimates the cost of running a robo-taxi on the "Tesla network," onto which any owner can add their car, to be less than $0.18 per mile.
- Using a sample fare of $1 per mile, that translates to $30,000 per car annually or $30 million when 1 million cars are running, as Musk predicts.
- Autonomy is key for ride-hailing, and not just for Tesla.
- Many Wall Street analysts have suggested that with self-driving cars, that expense could be minimized, giving both companies a gateway to profitability.
- CNBC's Jim Cramer went so far as to compare Musk to the famous showman and circus leader PT Barnum on air.
- Wall Street analysts were also underwhelmed.
- Get the latest Tesla stock price here.
Elon Musk thinks it's 'financially insane' to buy a car that isn't a Tesla — but Tesla wouldn't be able to make enough cars to meet that demand
- Even if Musk and Tesla were able to convince every single future US car customer to buy one of the company's vehicles, it would take decades to create new manufacturing capacity, or convert existing capacity.
- Musk has never really been comfortable with the dynamics of the traditional auto industry, so he constantly seeks to keep Tesla on a separate plane, promoting it as a tech firm and a creation of Silicon Valley rather than a West Coast outpost of Detroit.
- Silicon Valley and Tesla are rightly pursuing self-driving tech because it should be safer.
- If I want a car, I can go and buy one for about $20,000 and drive it home in an afternoon.
- The upshot here is that it's OK to give Tesla and Musk the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the self-driving dream.
Cramer: Elon Musk is the P.T. Barnum of our time — call him 'P.T. Musk'
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk is just like P.T. Barnum, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday.
- Musk said he was confident in his prediction.
- Cramer said Musk and Tesla's claims, in particular that its new data chips can potentially perform seven times better than a competing product from Nvidia, put the CEO's "credibility" into question.
- Nvidia later said in a statement that Tesla misstated details about its chips.
- Cramer, host of "Mad Money," has been critical of Musk ever since the CEO's take-private tweet on Aug. 7 stunned the financial community and Washington regulators.
- Cramer later argued that Musk should be removed as CEO of the company.
- Last week, Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission asked for a one-week delay to resolve their latest dispute, stemming from last year's settlement over that take-private tweet.