Elon Musk, the CEO and founder of electric vehicle maker Tesla has flagged some “big news” for Friday morning (Australia time), and the share price and the Twitter-verse has reacted as it normally does,
After making the announcement – via Twitter – that something “big” is about to be announced, Musk caused Tesla’s stocks to increase in value by 6 per cent, ending at $US314.74, the highest close for the EV maker in 3 weeks.
Changing his Twitter handle to “Elon Tusk”, the electric vehicle and battery storage entrepreneur first tweeted a date, then a place, causing Twitter of course to also go wild, wondering what Musk could be planning:
— Elon Tusk (@elonmusk) February 27, 2019
He then elaborated, simply saying, “Some Tesla news”.
Some Tesla news
— Elon Tusk (@elonmusk) February 27, 2019
Other than that, his followers and the media alike have been left to speculate on what to expect next from the company that has disrupted both the energy and automotive industry with its battery storage products and electric vehicles.
There are a number of R&D projects that come to mind.
These include the all-electric SUV that will be known as the Model Y and is expected to go into production by the end of 2019.
Musk said at the Q4 2018 earnings call earlier this year that Tesla had completed tooling for the Model Y – not a huge task since it shares 3/4 of its architecture with the Model 3, but a development nonetheless.
Then, there is Musk’s pet project, the all-electric pickup (or ute) that he first pondered in July 2018 to the joy of the Twitterverse and Musk has said will be “some next level stuff”.
On December 2018 Musk admitted he was aching to get a prototype of the all-electric ute out there:
I’m dying to make a pickup truck so bad … we might have a prototype to unveil next year
— Elon Tusk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2018
Another usual suspect that cannot be ignored is the all-electric Semi – Tesla has been working on this for some time now.
With pre-orders already taken from several companies such as Walmart and retail trucking giant Albertsons, the release of the Semi onto the market could bring in some much needed cash flow to help fund the EV maker’s expansion into global markets with the Model 3 and eventually the Model Y.
An all-electric van is also a possibility, albeit an off-chance as the Tesla CEO has only mooted the idea once:
Better yet, Tesla goes ahead and makes its own sprinter van 😊
— Frozen Canuck (@frozencanuck) November 19, 2018
Then, there is of course the 2020 Tesla Roadster, which Tesla thinks will be the “quickest car in the world” and for which it is already taking pre-orders.
So what will it be?
While Tesla Australia was not able to comment, in fact, Musk has already said himself that the order of priority for Tesla is “Model Y, solar roof tiles, pickup, semi, Roadster”.
Lot on our plate, so it’s either get van gliders (no battery, powertrain or compute tech) from Daimler & produce sooner or do all & produce later. Not a big difference to total vehicles produced either way. Priority list is Model Y, solar roof tiles, pickup, semi, Roadster.
— Elon Tusk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2018
But with the Model 3 only freshly arrived onto the Chinese and European markets, and the UK and Australia set to follow (hopefully) within months, is it the best time to whip up an appetite for the Model Y while there is still a hungry Model 3 market?
There is of course the chance the Tesla news will not be R&D related – it could also be an updated version of Autopilot – the company has been working on the improving the ability of its autonomous technology to navigate complex environments like traffic lights and intersections.
So stay tuned …. Australian time for the announcement is tomorrow morning – 6am in WA, 7:30am in NT, 8am in Qld, 8:30am in SA and 9am in ACT/NSW/TAS/VIC.
What do you think it will be?
Update: this article has been edited to show the correct time conversion.
Update: You can now read about Tesla’s announcement here.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.