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.
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.
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:
New Software Update: Trip Planner & Range Assurance expand Model S intelligence to give drivers peace of mind and eliminate range anxiety.
— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) March 19, 2015
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.