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The Last Time Tesla Had A Big Day Not Every Claim Quite Worked Out

Illustration for article titled The Last Time Tesla Had A Big Day Not Every Claim Quite Worked Out
Photo: Getty Images (Getty Images)

Tomorrow is Tesla’s Battery Day, in which it will likely unveil some battery advancements and in which CEO Elon Musk will likely make some grand claims. I’m gonna watch because Elon Musk is nothing if not entertaining but for comparison’s sake let’s have a look back on the last time Tesla did this.

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That would be Autonomy Day, as April 22, 2019 will forever be known. That day, Elon went up on a stage and said a lot of things!

Here’s one thing:

By the middle of [2020], we’ll have over a million Tesla cars on the road with full self-driving hardware, feature complete, at a reliability level that we would consider that no one needs to pay attention.

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That would be Level 5 autonomy, which, hmm, I don’t think that’s happened yet.

Here’s another thing:

“From our standpoint, if you fast forward a year, maybe a year and three months, but next year for sure, we’ll have over a million robotaxis on the road,” Musk said, per TechCrunch. “The fleet wakes up with an over the air update; that’s all it takes.”

Hmm, I don’t think that’s happened either!

Here’s one more thing:

“It’s financially insane to buy anything other than a Tesla.”

Hmm, this is still as untrue today as it was in April 2019, which is all to say when Elon goes on stage tomorrow it’s fair to take a lot of what he says with a grain of salt.

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What’s he going to say, anyway?

Here’s The New York Times:

On Tuesday, Mr. Musk could unveil a technology offering 50 percent more storage per pound at lower cost, according to analysts at the Swiss bank UBS.

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And here’s The Verge:

Recent acquisitions, leaked photos, patent applications, and research published by Jeff Dahn, one of the pioneering developers of the lithium-ion battery and Tesla’s head of battery research, all point to Tesla making this big shift to in-house battery production.

Several photos of Tesla’s supposed in-house batteries recently surfaced on Electrek. The batteries, which are rumored to be from Tesla’s secretive “Roadrunner” project, appear to be twice the size of Panasonic’s 2170 cells. They also may be higher capacity while being lower cost for the company to produce by removing the tab, a part of the battery that forms a connection between the cell and what it is powering.

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And here’s Elon himself:

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I am excited to check in two years to see where Tesla is at with everything. I had almost forgotten about the Tesla Semi! That was unveiled almost three years ago, still not in production. The show starts tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. eastern.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.

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DISCUSSION

Tesla has produced four completely new vehicles in eight years, built an expanding global charging network, built an energy storage business, an AI business, sends up rockets, etc etc etc.

I’m sure that Elon would be happy to write you an apology note if you feel that he’s let you down. But business priorities change. One of the main things that changes priorities is based on the enthusiasm that the marketplace has in a product. No one is really interested in robotaxis, so that plan was probably moved to the back of the line after full self driving becomes legal and practical. However, battery capacity is absolutely in-line with Tesla’s core business and not a completely new business unit. So I have a feeling that that goal will be met.