In Brief

Tesla’s value drops by $50bn after Elon Musk’s ‘Battery Day’ presentation

Electric car tycoon pledges to roll out $25,000 fully autonomous vehicle - in three years

Tesla is on track to manufacture a new generation of electric vehicle batteries that will be more powerful, cheaper and longer lasting, Elon Musk has announced. 

The company founder told shareholders that Tesla’s new larger cylindrical cells would provide five times more energy, six times more power and 16% greater driving range. Musk unveiled the new technology, which he hailed as a “massive breakthrough”, during a live presentation yesterday at his firm’s annual “Battery Day” event, reports The Independent

The US tycoon also “teased the possibility” of what he termed “an affordable car”, says the BBC. But as the broadcaster notes, “the technology announced is likely to take years to implement”. 

“We’re confident that around three years from now we’ll be able to offer a very compelling $25,000 vehicle, which is also fully autonomous,” Musk said, adding that producing affordable EVs “has always been our dream from the beginning of the company”.

“That’s something we will have in the future,” he continued. “But we’ve got to get the cost of batteries down.”

How did investors react?

The socially distanced presentation saw Musk addressing 240 shareholders who were each sitting in a Tesla Model 3 outside of the firm’s vehicle plant in Fremont, California.

The meeting also marked the unveiling of a Telsa new car: the Model S Plaid. The 520-mile range sedan can reach top speeds of up to 200mph and has a price of $139,990 (£110,249). 

But while the gathered shareholders “honked their car horns in approval” at the various offerings, others were clearly less impressed, Reuters reports. 

Investors are said to have expected two significant announcements at Battery Day: the development of a “million mile” battery good for ten years or more, and a specific cost-reduction target that would drop the price of EVs below those of gasoline cars.

“Musk offered neither,” says the news agency. 

In the wake of that disappointment, Tesla’s stock price fell by almost 7% yesterday, with the firm’s market value slashed by $50bn (£39.3bn) by the close of trading. 

Roth Capital Partners analyst Craig Irwin told Reuters that “nothing Musk discussed about batteries is a done deal. There was nothing tangible.”

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