Tesla could soon be added to the S&P 500 index – analysts

UNTV News   •   July 10, 2020   •   993

Tesla could soon be added to the S&P 500 index, said analysts.

The company’s solid delivery numbers heightened expectations of a profitable second quarter, which Tesla will report on July 22.

If it indeed comes in positive, it would be Tesla’s four consecutive profitable quarter, a first for the company, and a key hurdle in a process to be added to the S&P 500 index.

On July 1st, Tesla became the world’s most valuable car company by market cap, surpassing Toyota Motors.

Fueled by stronger-than-expected car deliveries, shares of Tesla have surged over 40% in the past seven sessions, elevating its market capitalization to $259 billion.

If Tesla is included in the S&P 500 index, it could gain access to extra investments, said analysts.

It would also join a group of other largest, publicly traded companies in the U.S. represented in the prestigious and most widely quoted S&P 500 index. (Reuters)

(Production: Catherine Koppel & Aleksandra Michalska)

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Tesla’s Musk offers to fix South Australia’s power crisis in 100 days

UNTV News   •   March 11, 2017

FILE PHOTO: Tesla Chief Executive, Elon Musk enters the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, U.S., January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk on Friday offered to save Australia’s most renewable-energy dependent state from blackouts by installing $25 million worth of battery storage within 100 days, and offering it for free if he missed the target.

The offer follows a string of power outages in the state of South Australia, including a blackout that left industry crippled for up to two weeks and stoked fears of more outages across the national electricity market due to tight supplies.

Musk made the offer on social media, and the government said it could consider backing such a battery roll out by Tesla.

“The government stands ready through ARENA and the CEFC to work with companies with serious proposals to support the deployment of more storage,” Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said in an email to Reuters.

ARENA is the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the CEFC is the Clean Energy Finance Corp.

Musk made the offer in response to a comment on social media by Mike Cannon-Brookes, the co-founder of Australian software maker Atlassian Corp, who said he would be willing to line up funding and political support if Tesla could supply batteries that would solve South Australia’s problems.

100-DAY GUARANTEE

Musk responded by tweeting: “Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?”

He quoted a price of $250 per kilowatt hour for 100 megawatt hour systems, which would imply a price of $25 million for the battery packs.

“You’re on mate. Give me 7 days to try and sort out politics & funding,” tweeted Cannon-Brookes.

He said he was inundated with calls on Friday after the exchange and was eager to get the plan off the ground.

“My phone hasn’t stopped buzzing. The support is flooding in, both from individuals in terms of ‘Hell yes!’ and from corporates who are asking: ‘Can we buy power? Can we contribute dollars?’,” Cannon-Brookes told Reuters.

Tesla launched its Powerwall 2 in Australia, the world’s top market for rooftop solar, this week. Battery storage is just one of several options the government is looking at to help ensure reliable power supplies as the country grows more reliant on intermittent wind and solar power.

“We have been talking with a number of large-scale battery providers about potential storage solutions, including in South Australia. To the extent Tesla is interested, we’ll also talk with them,” Clean Energy Finance Corp Chief Executive Oliver Yates said in an emailed statement.

After a record-breaking summer, Australia’s energy market operator said this week that eastern Australia desperately needed more gas for power stations within the next two years to provide back-up electricity for wind and solar and avert blackouts. — By Sonali Paul | MELBOURNE

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Randy Fabia and Edmund Blair)

SpaceX to send first paying tourists around moon next year

UNTV News   •   February 28, 2017

File Photo: SpaceX CEO Elon Musk (R) unveils the Dragon V2 spacecraft in Hawthorne, California May 29, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

SpaceX plans to launch two paying passengers on a tourist trip around the moon next year using a spaceship under development for NASA astronauts and a heavy-lift rocket yet to be flown, the launch company announced on Monday.

The launch of the first privately funded tourist flight beyond the orbit of the International Space Station is tentatively targeted for late 2018, Space Exploration Technologies Chief Executive Elon Musk told reporters on a conference call.

Musk declined to identify the customers or say how much they would pay to fly on the weeklong mission, except to say that it is “nobody from Hollywood.”

He also said the two prospective space tourists, who know each other, have put down a “substantial” deposit and would undergo “extensive training before going on the mission.”

“I think there’s a market for one or two of these per year,” he said, estimating that space tourist fares charged by SpaceX could eventually contribute 10 to 20 percent of the company’s revenue.

Plans call for SpaceX’s two-person lunar venture to fly some 300,000 to 400,000 miles (480,000 to 640,000 km) from Earth past the moon before Earth’s gravity pulls the spacecraft back into the atmosphere for a parachute landing.

That trajectory would be similar to NASA’s 1968 Apollo 8 mission beyond the moon and back.

Musk also said that if NASA decides it wants to be first in line for a lunar flyby mission, the U.S. space agency would take priority.

At the behest of the Trump administration, NASA is conducting a study to assess safety risks, costs and potential benefits of letting astronauts fly on the debut test flight of its heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule.

That mission is currently planned to be uncrewed and scheduled to launch in late 2018.

Musk said the privately funded moon expedition would take place after his California-based company begins flying crew to the International Space Station for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

NASA is hoping those crew-ferrying flights begin by late 2018.

SpaceX’s own Falcon Heavy rocket, which Musk wants to use for the lunar tourist mission, is scheduled to make a debut test flight later this year.

Musk, also CEO of electric carmaker Tesla, said missions around the moon could provide practice for eventual human flights to Mars, the long-term goal of SpaceX.

Except for needed communications upgrades, the Dragon spaceship in development for NASA astronauts is well suited for lunar flyby missions, Musk added.

The launch would require licensing by the Federal Aviation Administration.

SpaceX joins a growing list of companies developing commercial passenger spaceflight services.

Virgin Galactic, an offshoot of Richard Branson’s London-based Virgin Group, is testing a six-passenger, two-pilot spaceship to carry paying customers about 62 miles (100 km) above Earth, high enough to experience brief microgravity and see Earth’s curvature against the blackness of space.

Tickets to ride cost $250,000 each.

SpaceX has a $10 billion backlog of about 70 missions for NASA and commercial customers. The firm’s backers include Alphabet’s Google Inc and Fidelity Investments, which together have contributed $1 billion to Musk’s firm.

(This version of the story corrects SpaceX backlog to $10 billion from $70 billion in paragraph 20.)

(Reporting by Irene Klotz at Cape Canaveral, Florida; editing by Steve Gorman and Mary Milliken)

Tesla unveils autopilot system, but don’t let go of the wheel

admin   •   October 15, 2015

The Tesla Model S version 7.0 software update containing Autopilot features are demonstrated during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, California October 14, 2015. REUTERS/BECK DIEFENBACH

The Tesla Model S version 7.0 software update containing Autopilot features are demonstrated during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, California October 14, 2015.
REUTERS/BECK DIEFENBACH

Newer Tesla Motors Model S sedans will be able to steer and park themselves under certain conditions starting Thursday, the carmaker said, although Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk cautioned that drivers should keep holding the steering wheel.

New “autopilot” features, designed for cars built after September 2014, will be available for customers in the United States, Tesla said. European and Asian owners must wait another week. Tesla will provide the features through an over-the-air upgrade.

Musk cautioned that autopilot functionality was in beta mode and full “hands-off” driving was not recommended.

“We’re being especially cautious at this stage so we’re advising drivers to keep their hands on the wheel just in case,” Musk told reporters at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters. “Over time there will not be a need to have your hands on the wheel.”

Reporters who took Model S sedans with the new features for a test drive and took their hands off the wheel saw a notice saying “hold steering wheel” illuminate on the dashboard.

In more difficult navigating conditions, an audio alert will come on and if that also is ignored, the car will slow and eventually stop, Tesla said.

For drivers, “We’re very clearly saying this is not a case of abdicating responsibility,” Musk said. “That will come at some point in the future but … this is still early days.”

Instructions to owners say “autosteer is a hands-on feature. You must keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times.”

Tesla, which this month unveiled its Model X SUV, has been the U.S. pioneer in luxury electric cars charged by batteries. Its expertise in software has made it a leader in self-driving features, which more traditional carmakers have been slower to develop.

Musk estimated that within three years, cars will be able to drive “from your driveway to work without you touching anything,” but regulatory approval could take years.

He said regulators would need data showing that self-driving cars work.

Teslas already on the road will help the autopilot constantly improve and become more reliable, he said.

“The whole Tesla fleet acts like a network. When one car learns something they all learn it,” he said. “As … more people enable autopilot, the information about how to drive is uploaded to the network. Each driver is effectively an expert trainer in how the autopilot should work.”

(Editing by David Gregorio)

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