Billionaire Ackman Courts Musk for Tesla HQ
Bill Ackman, the billionaire founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management reached out to Elon Musk on Twitter to suggest Tesla consider working with a real estate development company Ackman invests in, Howard Hughes Corporation, for Tesla’s next headquarters. The tweet contained a two-minute video showcasing $HHC’s master-planned cities. The video’s apparent superficiality may mean that Ackman’s goal here was less focused on recruit Tesla, and more focused on generating free press about $HHC’s master-planned cities. Savvy move, if so.
Tesla Vehicle-to-Grid Updates
Earlier this week, Electrek reported on the possibility of the Model 3 containing hardware capable of bi-directional charging which could allow the vehicle to use the energy in its battery as a source of external power. This could allow Tesla to enable vehicle-to-grid functionality. Unfortunately, upon further investigation, this bi-directional capability does not appear to exist in Model 3 hardware, at least as of the 2018 Model 3. YouTuber Ingineerix has demonstrated the lack of capability, and the engineer Electrek’s report had cited has commented on this demonstration admitting he had likely made an error in his determination of bi-directional capability.
- “Hey Ingineerix... Total credit to your analysis on this video. Yes you are right, it is not bidirectional unfortunately. A big miss on my part” - Marco Gaxiola
However, Sandy Munro of Munro & Associates reports that the Model Y does contain bi-directionality. Given the confusion on the topic, it would be wise to wait for a second confirmation of this.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Tesla will not add this capability, especially as battery day looms, but it may not exist in Tesla’s vehicles quite yet.
ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood Comments on Sales of TSLA Stock
TSLA’s stock fell into market close, and it may have been related to a CNBC article featuring one of Tesla’s most vocal bulls, ARK Invest’s Cathie Wood. CNBC published the article with the title of, “Ark Invest CEO: Why we've sold Tesla despite our long-term bull case”. This title is a bit misleading as in the body of the article, you can see that TSLA remains as ARK’s top holding and the sales of TSLA stock are part of standard portfolio rebalancing. As TSLA has outperformed, it has become a larger part of their portfolio, so the stock sales bring the weight down to a level ARK feels is responsible. This should be no surprise to anyone with familiarity of portfolio management.
Tesla Reinstates Attendance Policy for Production Workers
In an email obtained by CNBC, Tesla’s HR team has reportedly reinstated Tesla’s normal attendance policy for production employees in their Fremont, California and Sparks, Nevada facilities, beginning May 22nd. While still operating under state and internal safety policies, this hints at Tesla aiming to get back to normal production rates in the coming days. The attendance policy has added some exceptions for employees concerned with exposing household members.
Elon Musk Interview with Bloomberg
Elon Musk was recently interviewed for Bloomberg by the author of his biography, Ashlee Vance. Close followers of Musk will not learn much new information, but a couple comments were notable. On his Twitter usage, Musk dos not defend every single tweet.
- “It’s hard to make everyone happy, especially on Twitter. Look, you can either say things that are not controversial at all, and then you’re boring, and nobody cares. Some of the things I say, I would like to retract them. It’s not like I stand by all the tweets I’ve ever done. Some of them were definitely extremely dumb. On balance, the good outweighs the bad. It’s a means of communicating directly to the people without having to go through the press.” - Elon Musk
Lately, Twitter has been questioning Musk’s upbringing and his level of privilege in his younger years. Musk reiterated comments he has made in the past.
- “I paid my own way through college—through student loans, scholarships, working jobs—and ended up with $100,000 of student debt. I started my first company with $2,500, and I had one computer and a car that I bought for $1,400, and all that debt. It would have been great if someone was paying for my college, but my dad had neither the ability nor the inclination to do so.” - Elon Musk
Musk also received a lot of attention for his recent announcement that he will be selling his homes in California along with most of his other possessions. Musk addressed this in the interview as well.
- “I’d rather just stay with friends and rotate among their houses and stay in the factories when there are issues. I kind of like that better. It’s less lonely.” - Elon Musk
What about Musk’s kids?
- “I’ll probably rent a place or something. Renting a place that’s sort of small. But I actually don’t know where it would be.” - Elon Musk
- The Nasdaq is closed on Monday, May 25th in observance of Memorial Day.
- Fallout Shelter has been added to Tesla vehicles with firmware update 2020.20.
- Elon Musk and the Tesla Cybertruck are scheduled to appear on Jay Leno’s Garage on Wednesday, May 27th.
- Also on Wednesday, May 27th, SpaceX is scheduled to become the first private company to launch a crewed orbital spaceflight.