At the last product unveiling, a massive robot hoisted a dual-motor powertrain above a cheering crowd while carnival barker Musk boasted of better range, carrier-deck acceleration etc.
Initial street reaction? Disappointment. The stock dipped. Obviously, many were expecting either an entirely new model, or a glimpse of the X or III. Something more than just a new variation of Model S. In hindsight, the carnival barker’s hyperbole was justified. The “D” platform has transformed the product lineup, opened Tesla to foul-weather markets, validated the Model X platform, and turned “insane mode” into a mini-meme.
This time around, we’re talking about a . . . battery. No matter how you eroticize it, it’s still a battery. A purely cerebral product whose forté is sitting around doing nothing. Some shorts must be rubbing their hands together, thinking they’ve got a pattern figured out. A pre-event groundswell followed by a nice face-plant. Ah, but this time the masses likely expect LESS than what the unveiling will deliver. A lowly battery might do what the mighty “D” failed to: exceed expectations and boost the stock.
Assuming JB Straubel issues a tight, layman’s version of this keynote presentation last year, so that even Bloomberg’s Betty Liu can understand, and assuming the home battery looks at least remotely sultry — sultry enough that adoptees will be tempted to show it off in the living room instead of hiding it in the basement behind an old Ted Nugent poster — sultry on par with, say, Betty Liu — then this could be the Apple Watch for your house. It could render you forward-thinking, savvy, stylish, smart, shrewd, and a Tesla owner, you sexy thang. Hmm. This battery might find its way onto a bedroom wall or two.
Short Squeeze Part I, you’ll recall, came after the Q2 2013 profit shocker. Well, TSLA is once again sitting on the launch pad, enriched with short fuel that comprises about 30 percent of the total float. Five days to cover. That’s a Biblical flood. And shorts may already be a little rattled by yesterday’s 6% noogie. Oh, and that winged Assassin X lurking just around the corner isn’t helping any. And now this, this, this . . . darned battery wildcard.
Pundits differ on the battery. Do they ever agree on anything Tesla? This article says Tesla batteries could save the electrical grid from eventual collapse. And we’ve read about the potential for a $100/share boost. And we’ve also read that Tesla will fold any day now because it ignores the Harvard Business School recipe for success.
As Billy Preston once asked, “Will it go ’round in circles, or will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?” Normally that question befits a SpaceX launch, but this time it might befit a Tesla launch.