Elon Musk presenting Tesla’s Model X crossover SUV at a 2015 company event.
Somehow, amid Elon Musk’s demanding job of gutting Twitter, the multi-company CEO/founder/owner also plans to make time for Tesla this week: The electric carmaker is gearing up for its first annual investor day and the release of the company’s third “ master plan” on Wednesday, March 1, at Tesla’s Austin, Texas Gigafactory.
Musk is expected to take to the stage at the investor day and outline his vision for his company’s future, an exercise that will likely involve making a lot of lofty promises. In a tweet hyping up the event earlier this month, the billionaire pledged that “the path to a fully sustainable energy future for Earth will be presented on March 1.” Which is big if true! But it seems unlikely. Musk has a habit of vowing big, flashy innovations and advancements on tight turnarounds. Often, things don’t work out exactly according to plan.
What’s in the Tesla “Master Plans?”
Tesla has previously had two other “Master Plans.” The first, released in 2006, outlined a general strategy of creating a luxury electric sports car, and then progressively more affordable models of electric vehicles. Musk has basically met those initial goals with Tesla’s three available sedans.
From there, things veered off course, and Musk’s company announcements grew increasingly grandiose. The most recent plan, released in 2016 and titled “Part Deux,” outlined goals for Tesla to expand its EV vehicle line to “address all major segments” of transportation, including a pickup truck and “high passenger-density urban transport.” In July 20, 2016 blog post announcing the plan, Musk also forecast that Tesla would have entirely autonomous vehicles “10x safer than manual” driving that could act as a fleet of robotaxis—earning passive income for the car owners.
Since then, Musk has seemingly abandoned all mass transit plans beyond his less-than-impressive glorified tunnel system in Las Vegas. The Tesla Cybertruck—the company’s vision of a pickup—has been languished in the pre-production phase for years now, and has been delayed repeatedly. Most recently, Musk claimed production would begin on the truck sometime this year. Meanwhile, Tesla’s driver assistance technology is still far from fulfilling the vision of autonomous robotaxis—although other companies have achieved that benchmark. Tesla has been marketing its tech as “Full Self Driving,” when it’s not.
“Looking forward to Tesla Investor Day on March 1,” Musk posted on February 13. “By this, we mean the broadest definition of investor, as in the people & life of Earth. It will be a message of good hope & positivity for the future.” Keep in mind: This is just an update on Tesla’s business plan.
Outside of Tesla execs and Musk himself, it’s unlikely anyone really knows what the exact announcements this Wednesday’s event will include. However, there are some solid bets and guesses out there.
In a brief press release, the company said the event will feature Tesla’s “most advanced production line,” explaining its long term expansion and capital allocation plans, and discussing the “generation 3 platform.” For more specific forecasts, it helps to look backwards.
In the past, the billionaire has hinted at a $25,000 EV— often referred to as the “Model 2.” Such a car would certainly be in line with Musk’s initial “Master Plan” promises of increasingly affordable vehicles. In an October 2022 earnings call, the CEO said Tesla was working to cut its production costs in half, which could potentially enable such a vehicle. Analysts remain skeptical of the $25,000 number, and the company has delayed and backed away from plans to lower consumer costs before. But it’s still quite possible the company will announce a cheaper Tesla model.
In the same October 2022 earnings call, Musk also referenced progress made on those aforementioned robotaxis, predicting those self-driving EVs would be in production by 2024. The company previously promised a robotaxi takeover in 2020, though obviously that didn’t happen. But maybe Tesla finally has something to show for all its autonomous vehicle talk.
Earlier this month, Tesla tweeted out a GIF showing an energy “ecosystem,” where solar panels on a home’s roof charge up a Tesla EV. Between this post, a “new luxury roof with integrated solar” listed on Tesla’s website, and the “bright future” line in the Investor Day announcement, it seems likely there will be some news about the company’s solar panels.
Solar power was a part of both of the company’s previous “Master Plans,” and in 2016 Tesla acquired SolarCity, a company once owned by Musk’s cousins. Since that acquisition, not much has happened for Tesla’s solar panel arm besides a class action lawsuit over price hikes. But it seems likely we’ll hear some news on Wednesday regarding Tesla’s energy generation and storage projects.
Finally, it’s possible that Musk will use the March 1 event to make good on old commitments. Maybe the people who pre-ordered Cybertrucks years ago will finally get a delivery date. Maybe the Tesla CEO will revive the second generation Roadster the company first showed off in 2017.
And it’s just as likely there will be new, unrelated promises—which could easily turn into future delayed projects.
How to watch Tesla Investor Day 2023
To find out what’s actually going to happen, you’ll have to watch for yourself. According to a Tesla tweeted on February 8, the event will be streamed live on YouTube and Twitter, but no link has been provided yet.
We’ll update this story as new details and links become available.
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