Elon Musk Finds Press Coverage of Battery Day Sad: “Average” People Know Nothing

Last week was Tesla’s Battery Day 2020 event, which offered a glimpse into the company’s plans for full vertical integration through the production of an all-new in-house battery cell. Though the goal was for the event to touch upon Tesla’s plans, investors were hoping to see an actual prototype of the battery.
Elon Musk says coverage of Tesla Battery Day 2020 is "sad" 1 photo
Photo: Instagram / Elon Musk
So, when Musk said that this battery was three years ahead into the future, the stock took a tumble. That long a wait was too much for long-term investors, apparently, because they make plans on a year-long basis.

At the same time, press coverage of the event deemed it underwhelming and disappointing. It totally missed the point of Battery Day, Musk himself says on Kara Swisher’s podcast Sway (story via Electrek). For starters, Musk concedes that he wasn’t really trying to convince anyone of anything, but rather to expose Tesla’s plans towards full sustainability and vertical integration.

“I wasn’t trying to convince people that much – the results will speak for themselves,” Musk says. “My focus is never to convince people why they should invest in Tesla. Sell your stock, I don’t care.”

Musk is famously intolerant towards short-sellers, even putting out a pair of Tesla Short Shorts as a jab to this type of investors. Still, he’s clearly frustrated with how Battery Day was described in the press and by industry watchers, calling it “sad” and saying it was “a sad reflection of their understanding, really.”

People just don’t get it.

“This is something that the average person has no idea about whatsoever,” he explains. “Smart people on Wall Street generally have not the faintest clue about manufacturing and how difficult it is. They think that once you have come up with a prototype, that’s the hard part and everything else is trivial copying after that. It’s not. It’s perhaps 1% of the problem. Large-scale manufacturing, especially of a new technology, it’s something between 1,000 and 10,000% harder than the prototype.”

Musk goes on to say that, in order for transport to go fully electric, an “ungodly, gargantuan” amount of battery cells must be produced. Tesla is doing its part and, because of it, it’s way ahead of any carmaker, so maybe the focus should be on that.

As for short-sellers and haters in general, they can do as they please. Tesla is in no mortal danger right now, not like it was some three years ago, Musk adds.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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