In the midst of a pandemic-led slump for the global auto industry, shares of the world’s carmakers are down — except for Tesla’s, whose stock has quintupled, including 74% last month alone. Even after a 34% plunge in its share price this week, Tesla’s price-earnings ratio is still at an orbital 948. Which is to say that the electric vehicle industry is superlatively hot, and Musk is the gasoline.
Over the next three to five years, the world’s major automakers will debut scores of new electric SUVs, pickups, and sedans. Among a slew of high-dollar deals involving EV startups, GM said Monday that it will take a $2 billion, 11% stake in Nikola, an EV unicorn competing with Tesla’s future Cybertruck and Semi. And last week, VW-backed QuantumScape, an EV battery startup, said it will go public in a $4.3 billion reverse merger with Kensington Capital, a listed shell company. The share prices of all four companies — GM, Nikola, VW, and Kensington — surged in response.
The result has been obsessive speculation on Wall Street and among EV and battery nerds as to what he will say, including a forecast that he intends to create a business feeding the electric grid.
The incitement to all this activity, beyond pure and primordial desire to get in on a presumed coming electric vehicle boom, is a cold fear of being overtaken by an iPhone moment — a runaway Tesla sales craze that leaves everyone else a wannabe.
Musk knows how to seize on that anxiety. On September 22, he will appear in a live webcast for Tesla “Battery Day,” a first-time-ever promotional event linked to the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting at its Fremont, California, factory. Batteries do not ordinarily excite mass anticipation, but Musk has teased that what he will reveal will “blow your mind.” The result has been obsessive speculation on Wall Street and among EV and battery nerds as to what he will say, including a forecast that he intends to create a business feeding the electric grid and…