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  • Thu, Oct. 20, 8:28 AM
    • Shares of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) are lower in early trading after the company announced it is loading all new cars with self-driving hardware.
    • Elon Musk told reporters last night that he envisions that by the end of 2017 a Tesla vehicle will be able to drive from Los Angeles to New York without the driver touching the wheel. He also said the software system will be built by Tesla and run off of Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) chips.
    • Tesla's timetable is aggressive in relation to the stated plans of some rivals. Earlier this year, Ford (NYSE:F) said it aims to bring a high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle to the ride sharing industry by 2021, while Nissan has a target of 2020 for "commercially viable" autonomous models. General Motors (NYSE:GM) already has a pre-production Bolt EV out in the wild, but hasn't set a specific timetable for a fully autonomous version.
    • Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is the company that has posted the most information about the challenges of the self-driving car initiative. A scan of Google's monthly reports is not a bad way to catch up on the burgeoning technology.
    • Previously: Tesla announces all vehicles to be loaded with self-driving hardware (Oct. 19)
    • TSLA -1.74% premarket to $200.01.
    | Thu, Oct. 20, 8:28 AM | 235 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 8:10 PM
    • Tesla Motor (NASDAQ:TSLA) announces that all vehicles being produced now will have full self-driving hardware built in.
    • A quick roll-out of the updated version of the company's autonomous platform was anticipated by many.
    • Details on the full autonomy hardware: "Eight surround cameras provide 360 degree visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar with enhanced processing provides additional data about the world on a redundant wavelength, capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car ahead."
    • Tesla blog post
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 8:10 PM | 717 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 5:47 PM
    • Jim Chanos tells CNBC he is still shorting Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) since the company's fundamental story has not changed, and reiterates the combination of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) is "completely perplexing" and "makes no sense."
    • CAT is up ~30% YTD but Chanos claims "the fundamentals by our view have not yet changed... [regarding the real estate and debt bubble in China] the collapse has not happened, the unwind has not happened. That's ahead of us, not behind us."
    • "The supercycle in commodities that peaked out in '11 and '12... was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing," Chanos says. "The overcapacity that exists in mining, mining equipment, construction equipment is serious."
    • On TSLA, Chanos says the company would double its cash burn by taking over SCTY and calls the deal a “big distraction.”
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 5:47 PM | 60 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 4:12 PM
    • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) will make its product announcement tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. Elon Musk indicated that 30 minutes of media Q&A will follow the product reveal. In the past, Tesla has been a little loose with the start times of their events.
    • While conjecture on the new Tesla product started off with talk of Autopilot 2.0, Model Y, Tesla Truck, Tesla Glass and new versions of the Model S and Model X -- Musk tweeted this afternoon that the product is in reference to "Model 3 part two."
    • More to come.
    • Shares of Tesla ended the day up 2.29% to $203.66.
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 4:12 PM | 109 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 11:35 AM
    • The focus on Apple's (AAPL -0.2%) influence in the automobile sector has shifted away from straight manufacturing to ways the tech company could integrate software, information systems, or automated driving capabilities into next-gen models.
    • The recent developments with Project Titan also raise the stakes on which automakers strike a significant partnership with Apple if the venture makes it past 2017 (the reported AAPL deadline).
    • While many auto industry watchers think major automakers won't convert to the Apple ecosystem across their portfolio, high-end "Applefied" models are seen as a realistic possibility.
    • "A luxury automobile with 'Apple Inside'? That could be hit, and a profitable one yet," writes Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik.
    • SA contributor Bret Kenwell also dug into the Project Titan issue earlier this week.
    • Previously: Bloomberg: Apple scales down automotive strategy, plans to build car postponed (Oct. 17)
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 11:35 AM | 64 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 18, 2:06 PM
    • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) has now confirmed that the newly-posted schedule for Model 3 deliveries applies to new orders.
    • The automaker confirmed last June that there are over 400K pre-orders for the highly-anticipated model - a level of demand that has impressed many industry insiders.
    • Shares of Tesla are now up 1.64% for the day. The session high printed earlier was $199.47.
    • Previously: Tesla Motors posts later schedule for Model 3 deliveries (Oct. 18)
    | Tue, Oct. 18, 2:06 PM | 98 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 18, 1:32 PM
    • Shares of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) took  a turn lower after a posting on the company's website pointed to a "mid 2018 or later" delivery estimate for new Model 3 orders.
    • Production is now expected to begin in late 2017.
    • It's not perfectly clear yet if the above time frame covers orders on record or orders still to be received.
    • It's all quiet on Elon Musk's Twitter account so far today.
    • The company has a product reveal scheduled for tomorrow.
    • Update: Tesla confirms the schedule applies to only new orders.
    • Tesla is still up 1.38% on the day.
    | Tue, Oct. 18, 1:32 PM | 162 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 18, 12:45 PM
    • Oil producers such as ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) must prepare for radical change as adoption of new technologies like electric cars could happen faster than originally anticipated, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings.
    • "Widespread adoption of battery-powered vehicles is a serious threat to the oil industry," and an acceleration of the electrification of transport infrastructure could create an "investor death spiral" as investors flee the oil patch, Fitch warns.
    • Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) upcoming Model 3 will start at $35K before rebates and begin production in late 2017 and is aimed at a broader market, GM's Chevrolet Bolt starts at $37.5K before government incentives and will be available later this year, and other automakers are offering affordable all-electric vehicles, as Fitch estimates battery costs have plunged by 73% since 2008.
    • Fitch notes that some oil majors have taken steps to diversify their offerings, including Total (NYSE:TOT), which has invested in batteries via its $1.1B purchase in May of Saft Groupe and bought a 60% stake in solar panel maker SunPower in 2011.
    | Tue, Oct. 18, 12:45 PM | 229 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 17, 2:20 PM
    • Baird backs its Outperform rating and $338 price target on Tesla Motors (TSLA -1.8%). Bordering on the trivial, but the PT is actually just about at the halfway point from the Street high mark of $500 from Dougherty and the $160 pegged by Cowen and Company.
    • The Baird team expects Q3 non-GAAP revenue of $2.408B vs. $2.340B consensus. The forecast for Q3 gross automotive margin is 21.0% vs. 22.22%. The investment firm sees EPS of $0.27 vs. $0.06 consensus.
    • There's a sense that Baird wants to ride the wave on the lightning rod stock, with it predicting that updates on the Gigafactory will serve as a driver of investor enthusiasm.
    • "We expect to hear updates on the production ramp and potential full production capacity of the factory on the Q3 call and at the opening event on January 4," writes analysts Ben Kallo and Tyler Frank. Of course, there's also a product announcement and merger vote to watch this month.
    | Mon, Oct. 17, 2:20 PM | 34 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 17, 2:03 PM
    • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) has “potential short-term upside” given upcoming product announcements that may “set up a ‘yes’ vote for the SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) merger, Barclays analyst Brian Johnson writes in note.
    • Upside may be followed by “downward drift as investors contemplate cash needs” of the combined company.
    • Barclays still expects a fund raise this year despite Elon Musk's insistence to the contrary.
    • Here's a table of TSLA's upcoming events
    • TSLA -1.9% today as is SCTY.
    | Mon, Oct. 17, 2:03 PM | 32 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 17, 7:06 AM
    • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) announces it will collaborate with Panasonic (OTCPK:PCRFY, OTCPK:PCRFF) on manufacturing photovoltaic cells and modules from a production site in Buffalo.
    • The company plans to use the cells for a solar energy system that works with the Powerwall and Powerpack products.
    • The venture is contingent on the SolarCity merger closing.
    • Tesla blog post
    | Mon, Oct. 17, 7:06 AM | 101 Comments
  • Sun, Oct. 16, 9:52 PM
    • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) pushes back a new product/service announcement to Wednesday after originally teasing a Monday reveal.
    • Elon Musk says a few more days of refinement are needed.
    • While there are plenty of guesses on what the latest development will be from Tesla, the most popular theory seems to be that Autopilot 2.0 will be unveiled.
    | Sun, Oct. 16, 9:52 PM | 143 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 13, 6:58 PM
    • Tesla's (NASDAQ:TSLA) impending merger with SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), which goes up for a shareholder vote next month, will require raising ~$12.5B by the end of 2018, Oppenheimer analyst Colin Rusch says.
    • TSLA will need to fund $5B-$8B in capex as it combines its stationary power business with SCTY, another $2B in capital for the auto unit, plus cash for working capital and operating lease obligations, Rusch maintains.
    • Rusch is not keen on the merger plans, believing investors will be "concerned with visibility into the business" and that the way the merged company reports the performance of its varying units will be critical to convincing investors to stay aboard.
    • Oppenheimer has a Neutral rating on TSLA, with lack of disclosure as one of the reasons, despite the company's potential to be a "transformative technology company" that could deliver "outsized returns for investors."
    | Thu, Oct. 13, 6:58 PM | 94 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 12, 12:59 PM
    • Tesla (TSLA +0.7%) and SolarCity (SCTY +1.9%) shareholders will vote on their proposed merger at a pair of special meetings on Nov. 17, according to a new SEC filing.
    • The companies say each SCTY share will receive 0.11 TSLA share upon completion of the proposed merger, unchanged from previous SEC filings; on June 21, when TSLA's plans to purchase SCTY were announced, the notional value of a SCTY share, based on 0.11 TSLA share, was $24.16.
    • TSLA also says it will provide strategic and product plans for a combined company ahead of the merger vote.
    | Wed, Oct. 12, 12:59 PM | 100 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 12, 10:27 AM
    • A special meeting of Tesla Motors (TSLA +1%) shareholders will take place on November 17 to vote on the SolarCity (SCTY +2.3%) merger plan.
    • Tesla expects to issue ~11,080M shares of Tesla common stock to SolarCity shareholders in connection with the deal, which would result in Tesla shareholders owning ~93.1% of the Tesla-SolarCity amalgam and former SolarCity stockholders holding ~6.9% of the combined entity.
    • SEC Form Schedule 14A
    | Wed, Oct. 12, 10:27 AM | 46 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 12, 9:52 AM
    | Wed, Oct. 12, 9:52 AM | 16 Comments