Tesla will be launching a new product line on April 30, and it is not a car, Elon Musk tweeted on March 30. Immediate guess from industry analysts is that Musk is talking about a home battery. But a group of experts said the new product could be a motorcycle.
New product not a car, not a battery, but a motorcycle
Major new Tesla product line — not a car — will be unveiled at our Hawthorne Design Studio on Thurs 8pm, April 30
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2015
Benzinga has sought opinions from industry experts. Kelsey Mays, consumer affairs editor for cars.com, said the timing of Musk’s tweet hinted that the new product is not a battery.
“It’s interesting that Musk would tweet [this] on the eve of the [New York] Auto Show. Very interesting that he would choose to signal a move by Tesla into a non-automotive sphere, but this is a guy who’s doing SpaceX and things like that. He has plenty of experience outside of automotive and clearly Tesla has tons of brand equity,” she told Benzinga.
Another expert, Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle group, told Benzinga that Musk has been speaking with people in the motorcycle industry.
“He’s been looking at motorcycles. There’s been a lot of people that have met with him [to discuss the matter]. Motorcycles would be a natural extension. They’d go right into the stores without any trouble at all,” Enderle said.
He noted that Musk had tweeted about a new product, not a new technology. If Musk was talking about a battery, then he would’ve described it as a “breakthrough,” according to Enderle, adding that launching a battery product will put Tesla in direct competition with Panasonic.
“If it’s custom batteries, he’s in direct competition with Panasonic, and that would be ugly. That’s one of the core businesses Panasonic is in. But a motorcycle would be a no-brainer,” Enderle said.
Sean Udall, Quantum Trading Strategies CIO, said that at first he thought Musk was talking about a battery. But as he continue to think about it, a motorcycle is more likely. He said Tesla might be buying a company that already has electric motorcycles in its pipeline. If Musk chose this direction, then it would be a “home run” for the company.
Elsewhere, analysts are confident Musk will be launching a home battery come April 30. On social media, the hashtag #TeslaNewProductGuesses has been trending.
Forbes noted that Musk has spoken about a battery during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call.
“We’re going to unveil the Tesla home battery … that will be for use in and people’s houses or businesses, fairly soon. We have the design done and it should start going into production probably about six months or so. We probably got a date to have sort of product unveiling, it’s probably in the next month or two. It’s really great. I’m really excited about it,” Musk said during the call.
Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research believed that Tesla’s new product is going to be a battery. In a note to investors obtained by Bloomberg, the analyst said Tesla has been testing home batteries in as many as 250 households in California for the past two years now.
Bloomberg also noted that Tesla is in the midst of constructing its gigafactory aimed at doubling supply of lithium-ion batteries. The company is spending $5 billion for the project.
Tesla’s New Product Is A Mystery
For CNN Money, Musk has spoken about a completely mysterious product that will not be known until April 30. CNN said this was hinted during Musk’s interview on StarTalk Radio with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
During the interview, Musk said he believed there are five things that would affect humanity’s future “the Internet, production and consumption of sustainable energy, space exploration and exploring life beyond earth, artificial intelligence and rewriting human genetics.”
Also read: James Bond Feature of Tesla’s Model S
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