While Elon Musk has traditionally managed to win over investors with his visions, winning over analysts promises to be a lot harder. Here’s why.
In an interesting tun of events, Tesla Inc upstaged the debut of its own electric heavy duty truck by showcasing a brand new $200,000 red roaster sports car which Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO saying it would be the fastest production car ever.
Although the showmanship enthralled the crowed, the collective head of analysts were throbbing at the sheer variety of new projects the company has launched in the midst of a herculean struggle to produce the more affordable sedan on which rests the comany’s future.
The roadster, featuring a removable glass roof, is an updated version of Tesla’s first production vehicle. It can accommodate four people and has a milerange of 620 miles (1,000 km) on a single charge.
The milerange on a single charge is a new record for an electric vehicle, said Musk. He went on to add, the roadster has touch 0 to 60 miles per hour (100 km per hour) in 1.9 seconds with a maximum speed more than 250 mph, making it the fastest car in general production.
”You’ll be able to travel from LA to San Francisco, and back, at highway speed without recharging. The point of doing this is to just give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars. Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche,” said Musk.
While the first 1,000 cars will cost $250,000 each, paid fully upfront, subsequently the cost will lower by $50,000 and models starting from $200,000.
Musk has yet to attach a cost to the company’s electric heavy duty truck.
However, he did mention that it would begin production in 2019 and the Roadster would be available in 2020.
Although Musk’s showmanship has got his fan base wild, analysts were not very impressed, with some fearing that the truck will be an expensive distraction for Tesla.
Musk has stated the company is facing “manufacturing hell” for the production of the $35,000 Model 3 sedan, which is in big demand.
“Elon’s showmanship remains intact, even as his customers’ patience for Model 3 delivery wanes,” said Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader.
He went on to add, ”The specs on the new semi truck and sports car would put both vehicles at the top of their segments…assuming they can be produced and sold as part of a sustainable business plan. So far that final element has eluded Tesla Motors, which makes it difficult to see these vehicles as more than ‘what if’ concept cars”.
With the unveiling of the electric heavy duty truck, Tesla is trying to convince the trucking community that it can build affordable electric big rigs with a matching cargo and range capacity to that of its polluting gas guzzling peers.
Musk disclosed, its electric truck can traverse up to 500 miles (800 km) at maximum weight at highway speed. He however did not mention the size of the payload.
He did however state, the Class 8 vehicle’s batteries can be recharged in 30 minutes, enough for it to go another 400 miles.
Class 8 vehicles are the heaviest weight classification for trucks.
Tesla has also stated it would build a network of solar-powered “megachargers.”
In comparison to its electric truck, diesel equivalents are 20% more expensive to operate per mile, said Musk.
Significantly, self-driving technology would allow the trucks to move in convoys with only the lead truck needing a driver, which makes these electric trucks more cost effective than rail, said Musk.
This vision however is likely to face regulatory hurdle with the U.S Congress deliberating to exempt heavy duty trucks from loose self-driving rules that are in the works; the truck industry has lobbied the U.S. Congress saying millions of jobs are at risk.
Incidentally, Tesla is facing more competition in the electric truck segment in comparison to the time when it introduced its electric cars.