While we’re distracted by bickering between Mobileye and Tesla, Tesla has quietly signed a massive Powerpack contract with the state of California. These boring contracts for boring batteries represent the proliferation of clean energy. That sounds an awful lot like the very mission of Tesla, and the backbone of the TSLA stock story. But, sigh, battery contracts aren’t sexy.
Somewhat sexier — though not Mobileye sexy — is Michigan’s refusal to grant Tesla a dealer license in Michigan. Tesla expected as much. Now the company has a legal building block for its next maneuver, whatever that may be. TeslaMondo hopes it involves giving violent wedgies, resulting in broken underwear straps, to Michigan politicians.
Sexier still — Oil industry consultant Todd A. Katz tries to pry inside info from Tesla using a Musk-like email address, in a plot apparently hatched in a middle school espionage class. Katz would have gotten farther by simply walking briskly through Tesla HQ while wearing jeans and a sport coat, and keeping his head down while tapping a phone — banking on the notion that people won’t make direct eye contact with Musk anyway. There’s a serious side to this folly, however. TeslaMondo has repeatedly fretted about Elon Musk’s personal safety. Polarizing figures attract unwanted attention from all manner of humanity, from the lunatic fringe to clean-shaven business execs who suddenly find themselves on the wrong end of a market trend. Sometimes, in a wrap-around effect straight from an Atari game, the clean-shaven business execs go off one side of the screen and emerge as lunatics on the other side. “The list of people that would not mind if I were gone is growing.” That’s Musk, in the Ashlee Vance book. Is it possible to rattle the petroleum industry, car industry, space industry, energy industry — and come out alive? We’ll find out.
And now, the sexy stuff. Mobileye and Tesla had an amicable breakup just a little while ago. “Us parting ways was somewhat inevitable. There’s nothing unexpected here from our standpoint,” Musk said. “We’re committed to autonomy. They’ll go their way, and we’ll go ours.” There now. Anything inflammatory? No, in fact, that was Elon on his best behavior. It was the guy on the other bar stool that started with the mouth. Tesla had little choice but to respond with a full can of Musk.