Tesla Motors Inc Stock Dips After Software Update Announcement

Tesla Motors Inc Stock Dips After Software Update Announcement
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Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk promised to end range anxiety for good, but it seems he’s come up short of expectations. The automaker held its promised business update today to reveal new features of its next software update, but Wall Street was seemingly unimpressed.

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Shares of Tesla fell as much as 1.32% to $198.06 after the update, plunging the stock back below the $200 per share mark.

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Did Tesla eliminate range anxiety? Eh, not so much

Most expected Tesla to reveal how the next software update would extend the range of the Model S. However, that wasn’t what the announcement was about after all. Instead, Tesla is adding a Trip Planner and Range Assurance feature which shows drivers how far they can go between charging stations. Tesla tweeted this shortly after the announcement:

CNBC‘s Jacob Pramuk reports that the new feature supposedly makes it “basically impossible” for Model S drivers to run out of charge before they can reach a charging station, unless they “do so intentionally,” according to Musk. The feature will warn drivers before they drive out of range of a charging station.

There are more than 9,000 electric car charging stations in the U.S., but range anxiety has been a big issue that keeps many people from buying electric vehicles. While adding the feature will certainly help, it seems like a far cry from completely eliminating range anxiety, which Musk promised to do.

Another issue is the length of time it takes to recharge an EV battery, but the technology for that isn’t here just yet.

Tesla is adding self-driving features

One area in which Tesla did deliver is self-driving, as analysts at Stifel said they expected some sort of self-driving feature to be added to the Model S in the software update discussed today. According to CNBC, the upcoming software update does add what Tesla calls an “auto steering” feature. That update is expected to be ready in the next few months, according to Musk. The Tesla CEO said the update will make it possible for drivers to travel from Seattle to San Francisco “basically” without “doing anything.”

Additionally, the software update will add automatic emergency braking and warnings about side collisions.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for ValueWalk.com and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at Mjones@wordpress-785388-2679526.cloudwaysapps.com.
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  1. @The Mogget – Does the S already have enough range? Wouldn’t that depend on where you live? In California … no problem. In Traverse City, MI … a big problem. Lithium Ion technology has hit a wall. There are many variations and derivatives but all of them, when used in cars; Lose much of their range in bitterly cold temps (An 85D owner on Tesla’s forum reported 50% in single digit temps). Cannot tolerate sustained high Interstate cruise speeds (75 – 80 MPH) especially in winter while using the HVAC system. Slow recharge time. I’ve never seen a BEV on I-70 West of Denver. In addition to the other factors, BEV’s also struggle with steep grades. I-70 has all of the battery killers. While there is a Supercharger in Silverthorne, waiting a half hour to get to the slopes with two kids is not fun. Also, if discussing Tesla’s, most Americans cannot afford one. Still, for many, a BEV works great and nothing more needs to be said. But that’s not the case for everybody.

    Meanwhile, FCV’s are making their run. Although there is little to no infrastructure, the cars themselves already equal the capability of the ICE cars we drive now. The Toyota ranges over 300 miles on 11 lbs. of hydrogen. The 85kW S struggles to reach 250 using a 1,200 lb battery … and less in bitter winter conditions. The FCV’s are immune to cold down to -31F. They feature fast recharge. Toyota seems prepared to take a long, slow, measured approach to building the infrastructure. They are not in a race and can wait as long as they choose. Europe is already producing, transporting and storing hydrogen. It can be done. London’s biggest supermarket chain, Sainesbury, already has a public “hydrogen dispenser.” Meanwhile, many are building PHEV’s which can fill the gap between now and the distant future. I don’t have any position about what will power the electric motors of the future, as long as they do what we need.

  2. “Most expected Tesla to reveal how the next software update would extend the range of the Model S”

    Most were stupid then. If he was going to ‘extend range’ he would have said so.

    Range anxiety is an emotional problem, not an engineering problem. The Model S already has enough range, and charges at home. What may cause anxiety is either not knowing where to charge, not planning for charges, or otherwise doing something silly. As more superchargers come online, this whole issue fade away.

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