hat a week for Tesla, and there wasn’t even a model announcement to deal with! From a sighting of the soon-to-be-released Model Y and a tweet about a Giga facility in Texas, plus some surprising influence from a bug in China, anyone who doesn’t follow Tesla in the news might want to start keeping an eye on the finance and autos pages.
Could a Facility Be Coming to Texas?
On February 5th, a two-word tweet from Elon Musk (@elonmusk) simply said, “Giga Texas?” From current facilities, we know that he’s posing the question about whether a massive Tesla manufacturing plant in Texas would be a good idea. And from the polling results, of which more than 305,000 tweeters weighed, in, it’s an overwhelmingly popular idea at more than 4 to 1.
Why Giga Texas? While not mentioned at all in the two-word tweet, it would be the perfect solution to gain street cred for the Cybertruck among the world’s most notorious truck-buying people. The radical design is a tough pill to swallow for traditional Texans who love nothing more than homegrown steel and internal combustion engines. But if Tesla can convert Texas into an EV mecca, true EV pickup adoption is a reality.
Tesla has made some outrageous claims about the Cybertruck that’s aiming for a 2022 model-year release. Rated to tow up to 14,000 pounds, an estimated rage of 500-plus miles, acceleration from 0 to 60mph in as little as 2.9 seconds, standard adjustable air suspension, three possible configurations with prices starting at $40,000, it’s a truck that would be formidable to the North American competition.
Currently, Nevada is home to Gigafactory 1, a self-sustaining facility with the largest footprint in the world. Gigafactory 2 is in Buffalo, NY, and Giga Shanghai just began to roll vehicles off the assembly line, and another is possible in Europe in the near future. Fremont, California is home to the original Tesla Factory.
Model Y Sighting in Canada
Last week, a Tesla Model Y was sighted in Toronto, Canada. The vehicle was in traffic, stopped behind another vehicle when it was identified as the CUV to be released soon. About two months before the first unit is set to be delivered, it brought up questions about why it was out ‘in the wild’ already.
It’s probably a simple, straightforward answer. Leading up to an initial release as well as continuously after launch, carmakers test their products in real-world circumstances. The Model Y may have been in Canada for cold-weather testing, range testing, or to verify that it meets Canadian vehicle standards. We may never get an answer why a pre-release model was driving around TDot, you can be sure that it’s standard operating procedures for all automakers to do the same.
The 2020 Tesla Model Y is a long-awaited compact crossover utility vehicle with a more affordable price tag than the Model X. Based on the Model 3 sedan’s platform, it’s been given an official EPA rating of 315 miles on a single charge. It’s a 121 MPGe rating, effectively giving it top spot on the most efficient SUV ever. That range applies for both the Model Y Long Range Dual Motor and the Model Y Performance versions and a shorter range will come at a later time.
Model 3 Deliveries are Down with the Flu?
It’s true. The coronavirus pandemic has affected the Tesla Model 3. Not infected, but affected. Tesla’s don’t get viruses. However, Tesla has been unable to deliver Model 3’s from the Shanghai, China plant due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus. Chinese New Year has been extended and the plant has yet to reopen after the break for fears of spreading the virus. More than 24,000 people have been infected across more than two dozen countries, with nearly 500 related deaths in China alone.
For Tesla, delivering cars is a setback, but not one that could’ve foreseen the second largest decline in share values in a single day. On the news that Shanghai’s deliveries have been put on hold, shares tanked over 17%. The price drop is especially painful after two amazing days in trading that saw nearly 20% increase on Monday and 13.7% on Tuesday.
Tesla has been excited to penetrate China with the Model 3 as it’s seen as a huge potential market. More than a million electric vehicles were purchased in China in 2018 and around 2 million in 2019. Forecasts have that number growing year-over-year for the foreseeable future.
Update: Over the weekend there were reports that the Tesla Shanghai Factory is now open! This is stunning news considering the potential. Will this make the stocks go up again? Let us know in the comments!