To buy a stock is more than buying a stake in a company; it’s voicing your belief in the company and your confidence in the future success of said company. This holds more than true for Tesla Motors (TSLA), with CEO Elon Musk at the bow steering the company into new waters every day.
From electric cars to solar powered home batteries, Elon Musk tirelessly throws himself, and his company, into new endeavors. The man who once said, “Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough,” is evidently the face of innovation.
Many believe that buying Tesla stock is buying confidence in the future: in clean energy, in solar power, or even in colonizing Mars. However, watching Tesla shares rise and fall in the past two years have been like watching a climber belay up a mountain.
Tesla has come a long way since convincing the public that an electric car is a feasible, convenient, and cost-efficient mode of daily transportation. Since then, Tesla has delivered more than 70,000 electric cars and recently expanded its scope to solar power batteries for homes. Elon Musk has transformed the plot of a futuristic sci-fi movie into an attainable status quo, so much so that the vast majority of Wall Street’s top analysts recommend buying the stock.
The next step for Tesla is transforming the brand from a luxury car to an affordable mode of transportation. The Model 3, set to be released in March, will be the least expensive Tesla with a $35,000 price tag. Last month, 4 star analyst James Albertine of Stifel Nicolaus attributed his bullish rating on the stock to the upcoming Model 3 and Model X.
To support vehicle demand, Tesla is building the Gigafactory in Nevada to produce enough lithium to supply the estimated 500,000 cars per year that the company expects to produce by 2020. Tesla expects the Gigafactory to begin cell production in 2017 and reach full capacity by 2020. In January, analyst Trip Chowdry at Global Equites was bullish on Tesla due to the independent value of the Gigafactory. The analyst estimated that the Gigafactory alone could be valued at $50 million upon completion. He has rated Tesla 15 times and has been correct 93% of the time.
Tesla is trying to overcome its latest obstacle of convincing the public that owning an electric car is a convenient and feasible option for everyone. Tesla’s first quarter 2015 sales in China lagged behind expectations due to misconceptions on how to charge the car. Tesla is having a hard time breaking into the massive potential market in China because most families live in apartments in the cities that lack family-style garages. Tesla is working within this framework to offer free at-home charging and set up charging stations in partnership with residential buildings.
Now, Tesla is setting its sights on clean energy and encouraging the world to consume less and store more. By announcing the Powerwall, Tesla is reminding consumers that it is more than just a car company, but an energy innovation company too. Tesla’s Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that will store energy for homes. It will allow homeowners to save money by charging during periods of low electricity demand, and expending during times of high demand. The Powerwall will begin retailing at $3,000 and be available for delivery in late summer.
Does Tesla have the ability to single-handedly change the way the world consumes? With someone as tenacious and resilient as Elon Musk at the forefront of the company, the majority of analysts think so.
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