Middle adopters likely budged today

Early adopters already have EVs and don’t have range anxiety. Late adopters haven’t arrived yet. We’ll meet them circa 2020. It’s the middle adopters — the fence-sitters, the people who believe in the product but also believe in Murphy’s Law, the ones who tend to start sentences by saying, “With my luck . . . ” — those are the folks may finally click the “Buy” button after today’s press conference. “That Tesla car is foolproof now? I’m in.” A little psychological nudge is all it takes to get middle adopters over the tipping point.

Want an example? The Prius. The first generation captured early adopters. The second generation “tipped” the middle adopters not with a big wow feature, but with incremental improvements in fuel economy, cargo space and winter road grip — a series of updates. Okay, so the Model S is still a first-generation car — but only on the outside. It has molted many times over on the inside. It’s a different creature. It might as well be considered second or even third generation.

The impact on TSLA shares today? A negation of a two-day anticipatory rally. Oh well. It took a while to digest the impact of the dual-motor car. It will take a while to digest today’s revelations also. Contrary to some comments today, Elon was wise to call a press conference instead of quietly issuing yet another OTA. He drove the point home to middle adopters that Tesla constantly and relentlessly improves the product even as it sits in your driveway. This makes an S-Class seem like a throwaway.

On deck: Home battery. Let’s see if Tesla can create excitement over a big flat thing that doesn’t move, yet promises to move vast amounts of $$ into Tesla’s bank account.

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