Tesla’s 4680 cells, FSD, and Robotaxi in focus with investors ahead of Q3 2020 Earnings Call

Tesla’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) retail and institutional investors are aggregating a number of inquiries that will potentially be addressed by the electric car maker’s executives in the upcoming Q3 2020 earnings call, which will be held today, October 21st, 2020. The questions are aggregated from verified retail and institutional TSLA shareholders by Say, a startup that aims to create and develop investor communication tools.

Using the platform, Tesla’s retail and institutional investors have been submitting and voting on inquiries they wish to be discussed and clarified by the electric car maker. Here are a number of notable questions that garnered a high number of votes from the company’s retail and institutional shareholders.

RETAIL SHAREHOLDERS

  1. Is Tesla planning to start 4680 cell production at Giga Berlin at the same time as vehicle production? Can Tesla share more information on what products will use the battery cells from the pilot line in Fremont?
  2. Does Tesla’s tables cell design allow for significantly higher peak charging rates? Does it improve the required taper curve?
  3. Would FSD ever be able to be transferred to our next vehicle or pay a transfer fee? It would add to brand loyalty. The same way gaming companies and cell phone companies keep you in their ecosystem by letting you transfer purchases to upgraded hardware.
  4. What are the remaining constraints to be solved for Solar Roof installations to ramp significantly?
  5. You recently referred to Tesla as a conglomerate of start-ups. Other than manufacturing Electric Cars, what do you suppose will be the most valuable business units within Tesla over the next 5-7 years? Could you envision any of them ever spinning out from Tesla?

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS

  1. As a bridge to the ride-hailing network, could you leverage the insurance product to give customers the ability to rent out their vehicle via the app, thereby enabling the car to make money for them? [So basically a proprietary version of Turo].
  2. Residential energy use accounts for roughly the same magnitude of carbon emissions as road transport. Today’s boilers and aircon units are profoundly unsexy. Could you elaborate on hints that HVAC advances with the Y could also find use in a domestic system?
  3. If meeting your long-term volume targets requires price reductions that preclude you from achieving your LDD% stated margin targets for the auto business, will you still reduce prices accordingly?
  4. At what point do you expect to have enough internal or external battery capacity to start ramping up stationary storage deployments again?
  5. Manufacturing is hard. Delays happen. What contingencies do you have in place to ensure that bottlenecks you might encounter while ramping internal cell production will not preclude your ability to hit your Y production volume targets in Berlin and Texas?

Tesla is yet to fully confirm if it will be entertaining questions from Say in the upcoming Q4 earnings call, though the company has regularly addressed inquiries from retail shareholders in past quarters. By doing so, Tesla is democratizing the process of communicating its earnings to shareholders and institutional investors. Such a strategy is yet another step away from convention, considering that traditional earnings calls usually feature exclusive questions from Wall Street analysts and the occasional member of the media.

Tesla’s Third-Quarter Earnings Call is expected to be held on Wednesday, October 21st, 2020, at 2:30 PM Pacific Time (5:30 PM EST).