(Bloomberg) — Tesla Inc.’s highly anticipated “Battery Day” fell short of expectations that helped fuel its $320 billion surge in market value this year, with Elon Musk outlining grandiose goals that will take time to pull off.
The chief executive officer laid out a plan Tuesday to build a $25,000 car and cut battery costs in half over the next three years. Analysts said while the technology and manufacturing innovations outlined were impressive, Tesla’s valuation already reflected its ability to disrupt and that investors may be let down by the lack of surprises at the much-hyped event.
“With the Battery Day in the rearview, we think there is a lack of upcoming catalysts and are cautious about demand given the recessionary environment,” Robert W. Baird’s Ben Kallo wrote in a Wednesday report naming Tesla a bearish “fresh pick.”
That was echoed by Patrick Hummel, an analyst at UBS with a “neutral” rating on the stock, who said in a research note Tesla’s leadership in battery technology and costs is fully valued into the stock. “Given the high expectations into the event, we think the market will initially respond negatively to the relatively long timelines of the innovations and the lack of granularity,” he wrote.
Tesla shares fell 5.4% to $401.19 as of 9:50 a.m. in New York. The stock has soared about 400% this year.
Musk, 49, said Tesla wants to eventually produce 20 million cars a year. He described a series of innovations that include using dry-electrode technology and making the battery a structural element of the car. Those incremental and longer-term advances belied expectations for a blockbuster leap forward, which Musk himself played up in the weeks leading up to the event.
“The challenge with the stock is that everything they are talking about is three years away,” said Gene Munster, managing director of Loup Ventures. “I think traditional auto is in an even tighter spot, but Tesla investors want this tomorrow.”
Vertical-integration improvements — from making its own battery cells on a pilot line at its factory in Fremont, California, to owning rights to a lithium clay deposit in Nevada — are designed to allow Tesla to cut costs and offer a cheap car as soon as 2023.
“This has always been our dream from the very beginning,” Musk said at the event showcasing Tesla’s battery technology. “In about three years from now, we are confident we can make a compelling $25,000 electric vehicle that is also fully autonomous.”
Halving Battery Costs
Musk, 49, is teasing prospects for a cheaper mystery model without ever having really delivered on the $35,000 price point he had long promised for the Model 3. Three years after Tesla started taking orders for the car in early 2016, the CEO announced plans to close most of Tesla’s stores as a cost-saving measure, allowing him to offer the car at that cost. He backtracked 10 days later, and the cheapest Model 3 available now is $37,990.
Making a truly mass-market electric car and boosting Tesla’s current annual production to 20 million cars will require vastly more batteries than are currently being produced from a handful of suppliers around the world. So Musk plans to expand global capacity by manufacturing battery cells in-house to supplement what it can buy.
“Today’s batteries can’t scale fast enough,” said Musk, who is driven in part by the need to find sustainable energy sources. “There’s a clear path to success but a ton of work to do.” Musk said the gasoline-powered internal-combustion engine will one day be obsolete.
Musk described an “incredible series of innovations with varying levels of difficulty,” said Venkat Viswanathan, a battery expert at Carnegie Mellon University. While battery-manufacturing advances are feasible and deliverable in the three-year time frame, Viswanathan thinks that chemistry developments will take a longer.
If the planned innovations pay off, vehicle range could increase 54%, cost could decrease 56% and investment in gigafactories could decline 69%, said Andrew Baglino, Tesla’s senior vice president for powertrain and energy engineering.
BloombergNEF estimates Tesla’s pack prices were $128/kWh in 2019. A 56% cost reduction would bring prices down to $56/kWh. In addition to the pilot line for battery-cell production in Fremont, and Musk said the company also will make cells at the factory that is under construction in Berlin.
Battery Cell ‘Leap’
Most global automakers have shied away from making their own battery cells, citing the high investment costs and their lack of expertise in an industry dominated mostly by Asian electronics manufactures such as Panasonic Corp. and LG Chem Ltd.
Musk said in a tweet Monday that Tesla will need to start producing its own battery cells to support its various products, even as it ramps up purchases from outside suppliers. He wrote that the company expects significant shortages of cells in 2022 and beyond unless it ramps up output of its own.
“I’m really surprised that they’re taking that leap themselves,” said Tony Posawatz, a consultant who led development of General Motors Co.’s plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt and now sits on the board of Lucid Motors Inc., a Tesla rival. “I think this is going to be a bit harder than what they think, and I don’t think we’ll see a lot of volume out of that for quite some time.”
Tesla’s most important and long-standing partner on batteries is Osaka-based Panasonic, but it also has smaller-scale agreements with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., or CATL, in China’s Fujian province and South Korea’s LG Chem.
Read more: LG Chem, Panasonic Slide as Tesla Looks to Lower Battery Costs
The highly technical Battery Day presentation included several nuggets of news that were overshadowed by the talk of cathodes and electrolytes. One example: The “Plaid” version of the Model S sedan — with a range of 520 miles — is now available to order, though the vehicle isn’t expected to go on sales until late 2021.
Tuesday’s three-hour event began with the annual shareholder meeting, held outside to allow for social distancing. Shareholders sat in Tesla cars in a parking lot, beeping loudly instead of cheering as Musk spoke.
Investors voted to re-elect Musk and chairman Robyn Denholm to the board and voted against resolutions that would have required more transparency about human rights in the supply chain and the use of arbitration with employees. One shareholder resolution, which requires Tesla to adopt a simple majority vote, did pass.
Musk told shareholders he expects to see deliveries grow on the order of 30% to 40% this year, reaffirming Tesla’s forecast at a time when automakers are struggling to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. “While the rest of the industry has gone down, Tesla has gone up,” he said.
Tesla has said it anticipates delivering 500,000 vehicles in 2020, up about 36% from 2019. In July, the electric-car maker said achieving that goal would be “more difficult” due to a pandemic-related production shutdown early in the year. Global sales are projected to drop about 17% this year to 75 million from 90 million last year, according to research firm LMC Automotive.
(Updates with additional analyst comment in fourth paragraph and opening shares in fifth paragraph.)
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When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines, how good will be good enough? – National Post
Article content continued
The difficulty is, hospital admissions and deaths from COVID-19 are uncommon, and it would require a large population over a longer period to accumulate enough deaths to see a difference between the vaccine and placebo group, Kimmelman said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set a minimum target of 50 per cent efficacy for a COVID-19 vaccine, meaning a vaccine would have to be 50 per cent better than a placebo at preventing disease.
In an early-stage study, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies in 45 healthy, 18- to 55-year-olds who received two vaccinations, 28 days apart, the company reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. Side effects — fatigue, chills, headache or muscle aches — occurred in more than half the participants.
Dr. Jacqueline Miller, head of Moderna’s infectious diseases development, told last week’s FDA advisory panel meeting that more than 25,000 people have received both doses of its study vaccine, or a placebo, and that the vaccine was designed to evaluate Americans “at the highest risk of severe COVID disease.” Forty-two per cent of study participants are older adults or people with heart disease, diabetes or other underlying conditions, Miller added.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine, developed with Oxford University, has produced an immune response in both the young and old, Reuters reported this week. Less clear is how well an antibody response translates into how well any vaccine can actually fend off COVID.
Fastly Announces Third Quarter 2020 Financial Results – Business Wire
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fastly, Inc. (NYSE: FSLY), provider of an edge cloud platform, today posted its financial results for the third quarter 2020 in its shareholder letter on the Investor Relations section of its website at https://investors.fastly.com.
“Despite the customer-specific challenges we faced this quarter, we are pleased with the continued strength and resilience of our business, including a 42% year-over-year top-line growth in the third quarter,” said Joshua Bixby, CEO of Fastly. “We not only continued to gain new customers, with the second-highest quarter of new customer additions since going public, but we also expanded our engagement with existing customers. Looking ahead, we remain confident in the future of Fastly. Customers are increasingly relying on our platform to transform their businesses, and we are delivering on two key pillars of our long-term strategy with Secure@Edge and Compute@Edge.”
Fastly management will host a live Q&A session today at 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET to discuss financial results and outlook.
Fastly Third Quarter 2020 Q&A Session
When: Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Time: 2:00 p.m. PT / 5:00 p.m. ET
Conference ID: 2491525
Live Call: (833) 968-2077 (US/Canada) or (236) 714-2139 (International)
The webcast will be archived on the investor relations site following the call.
Fastly helps people stay better connected with the things they love. Fastly’s edge cloud platform enables customers to create great digital experiences quickly, securely, and reliably by processing, serving, and securing our customers’ applications as close to their end-users as possible — at the edge of the internet. Fastly’s platform is designed to take advantage of the modern internet, to be programmable, and to support agile software development with unmatched visibility and minimal latency, empowering developers to innovate with both performance and security. Fastly’s customers include many of the world’s most prominent companies, including Vimeo, Pinterest, The New York Times, and GitHub.
This press release contains “forward-looking” statements that are based on our beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to us on the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding our future financial and operating performance, including our outlook and guidance, our ability to gain new customers and expand engagement with existing customers, our customers’ reliance on our platform to transform their business, and our ability to deliver on our long-term strategy. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially are detailed from time to time in the reports Fastly files with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on Fastly’s website and are available from Fastly without charge.
Source: Fastly, Inc.
Canadians are feeling pandemic fatigue. Experts say ‘greater good’ message isn’t enough – Global News
COVID-weary. COVID-tired. COVID-fatigued.
No matter how you chop it up, the feeling likely resonates for many at this point in the coronavirus pandemic. Months of isolation, fears and lifestyle changes have taken its toll. In turn, following COVID-19 safety guidelines has begun to feel like more and more of a challenge.
A new poll puts into perspective just how fatigued Canadians are. The poll, conducted by Ipsos, found nearly half of Canadians are getting tired of following public health recommendations and rules related to the virus. The feeling of burnout was most prominent in Quebec (52 per cent) and Alberta (53 per cent) and less so in British Columbia (34 per cent).
The challenge now — both for people and policymakers — is tackling it.
Igor Grossmann, psychology professor and director of the Wisdom and Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo, said understanding the situation at hand might help strengthen our resolve.
“We often get this ‘hunker down and get through it’ message,” he said. “But if we start accepting that this is a marathon situation, the sooner we develop meaning out of the situation.”
Riots in Italy, pushback in Spain over COVID-19 curfews and rules
Falling off the bandwagon
Not only has the medley of measures imposed by countries plunged economies into a sharp contraction, it’s also had a profound impact on people’s psychological well-being. Nine months since the lockdown, rules and restrictions still keep many aspects of life fenced in. In a separate poll, 25 per cent of Canadians said their stress level is higher than during the first COVID-19 wave.
Coronavirus: How stress and fatigue is taking its toll in the pandemic
Understandably, “we’re exhausted,” said Steven Joordens, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
High-stress situations often elicit a “fight-or-flight” response, he said, but that reaction is “meant to be short term.”
“When there’s a predator in front of you, you either take on the predator or get the heck away from them. Either way, 15 or 20 minutes and it’s over, and you come out of that state,” he said.
“We’ve had this predator staring in our face for months.”
What’s followed is a collective burnout or exhaustion, and everyone experiences it differently. Some may feel restless, irritable, lack motivation or have difficulty concentrating on tasks. Some people may find themselves withdrawing from socializing, while others might feel physical symptoms like changes in eating and sleep habits. Young people are particularly susceptible, according to Joordens.
How ‘pandemic fatigue’ could be leading to case surge
The age divide is reflected in the Ipsos poll. Pandemic fatigue was highest among Generation Z (57 per cent), Millennials (50 per cent), and Generation X (53 per cent).
The burnout has become somewhat of an adversary for governments trying to quell a second wave of the virus.
Canada’s top doctor has repeatedly urged Canadians “not to give into COVID-19 fatigue.” So has the WHO. Its researchers estimate that about half the population of Europe is experiencing “pandemic fatigue” as infections surge yet again.
But the “stay home” message has expired, and experts worry the “greater good” or “we’re all in this together” message designed to keep people engaged has too.
“It’s very abstract,” said Grossmann. “For some people, it might work. But for individuals facing economic hardships because of the crisis, or people who are more concerned about simply surviving the next day with kids running around, that doesn’t resonate anymore.”
Coronavirus: WHO acknowledges pandemic fatigue, asks people not to give up
What needs to change?
For one, we need to acknowledge “things are different now,” said Samantha Yammine, a neuroscientist and science communicator.
Not only do we know far more about the virus than in March, we also have tools to make activities safer, said Yammine. She said too much of the focus has been the “no’s” and “you cant’s” despite the public appetite for wanting to do things, but do them safely.
“Fatigue comes from frustration.
“If we focus on what we can’t do rather than what we can, that’s why we fatigue. It feels very limiting.”
This is where adopting a harm reduction approach would be helpful, she said, both on an individual level and policy level.
“Every decision is a big task. … We’re at a point where should say, ‘Here’s how you reduce your risk as much as possible.’”
Yammine said people need to feel empowered to make a choice through the right information.
“I think then they’ll feel less trapped and hopefully less fatigued,” she said.
According to the recent polling, 93 per cent of Canadians say they’re doing their best to abide by public health recommendations and rules. Support for safety measures also remains high. On masks, nearly 86 per cent of Canadians say they support the mandatory wearing of face masks when in public, with younger Canadians even more likely to be wearing them when out-and-about.
“We’re in this process of modifying all of our habits, and it will get easier,” said Joordens.
Coronavirus: Trudeau acknowledges COVID-19 fatigue setting in with ‘tough winter ahead’, says it ‘really sucks’
He said it was trickiest when things first reopened, which might have sent out mixed signals. When governments opted to open bars, restaurants and gyms, even with new rules, he said some people might have interpreted that as these places being safe or safer.
“Habits are triggered by the environment. So as soon as you go back into that bar, everything about it triggers you to behave like you did the last time you were there,” he said.
“The hope is that we develop new habits over time to keep up with the changes.”
But it won’t be easy, said Grossmann. He said the vagueness in some of the ever-changing recommendations deviates from the core message — that “this won’t be over anytime soon.”
“Not every situation is alike, but we need to figure out how to balance something that is challenging in different ways across different provinces and different municipalities,” he said.
“You don’t want a new rule to come in and have people say, ‘Well, that doesn’t apply to me.’”
What can you do personally?
A looming winter will provide an extra challenge, experts agree. Weariness over restrictions might grow as cold weather forces people indoors.
It comes down to arming yourself with the “basics,” said Joordens — a good night’s sleep, good nutrition and routine exercise.
“Leading a random life makes our body unhappy,” he said. “You have to find activities that bring you to a better place mentally.”
Before the snow piles up, think about ways to get outdoors in advance, he said. And once it does, make sure you stay connected socially.
Winter blues setting in? How to cope during colder months
“I recommend the phone because people actually pay attention when they’re talking to you on the phone,” he said with a laugh.
It’s also good to remember that we’re not perfect, said Yammine.
“We’re still going to face tough decisions. It’s still going to feel exhausting,” she said. But keeping up with the twist-and-turns of pandemic rules and recommendations is “like any goal you can set.”
“A New Year’s resolution, even,” she said.
“People often say you give up on your resolution the first time you slip up — but that’s not the right thinking. Just because maybe you have more riskier encounter or you just don’t care one day, it doesn’t mean you can’t do better the next.”
“Risk is cumulative. It doesn’t need to be all or nothing. We can try again.”
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between October 23-26, 2020, on behalf of Global News. For this survey, a sample of 1,000 Canadians aged 18+ was interviewed online. Quotas and weighting were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the Canadian population according to census parameters. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within ± 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadians aged 18+ been polled. The credibility interval will be wider among subsets of the population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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