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Tesla (TSLA) will hold its 2016 Shareholders meeting tomorrow – here’s what you need to know

tesla 2016 shareholders meeting

Tesla (TSLA) 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “2016 Annual Meeting”) will be held tomorrow on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. If you can’t attend, don’t worry because as usual Tesla will be live-streaming the event on its website.

The meeting generally starts with a formal part for shareholders to vote on a few things. Last year it was a little more complicated because of two shareholder proposals about the use of leather in Tesla’s vehicles, but this year it should be fairly straightforward. Shareholders will vote on the reelection of two board directors, the reappointment of Tesla’s public accounting firm and on a stockholder proposal to eliminate limited supermajority voting requirements.

After the formal part, CEO Elon Musk should make a short presentation followed by a Q&A session. The Q&A is most entertaining part of the event and Musk generally releases a few interesting nuggets of information. This time will be a little different though as Tesla will apparently take questions voted by the community ahead of time.

Tesla’s investor relations will choose some of the most popular questions to ask Musk from a thread by Tesla community members on the TMC forum.

Here are some of the most popular questions which should be the ones making it to the meeting, as well as my comments on the questions (I don’t pretend to speak for Musk but simply to provide more context if I can):

Techmaven asked:

Since the Gigafactory is critical to a successful Model 3 launch, would Tesla please provide updated Gigafactory capacity in terms of GWh’s, including how many Model 3’s can be built with the pilot phase?

A similar question was asked during the Q1 2016 conference call. CTO JB Straubel refused to update the Gigafactory’s output of 35 GWh of battery cells and 50 GWh of battery packs, but he said that Tesla is prepared to adjust the Gigafactory’s output to the demand for the Model 3.

If Musk could provide an estimate for the pilot plant’s output, it would be very interesting. The pilot plant is the current Gigafactory building which represent ~14% of the final facility.

As for converting the plant’s output into Model 3 output, Tesla said that the base Model 3 will have a battery with a capacity smaller than 60 kWh. From there, it would be relatively easy to get a fairly good estimate of the pilot factory’s capacity if we have its total pack or cell output.

Hogfighter asked:

Regarding Tesla Energy, was the choice to raise prices on Powerpacks a function of higher costs, or higher pricing power due to demand….and can we expect higher profit margins as well?

I think Hogfighter is referring to Tesla releasing some Powepack pricings through its new Tesla Energy website, but I wouldn’t really say that this was a price raise. The website quotes the Powerpack at $470/kWh versus Musk saying that it will be priced at $250/kWh a year prior, but the website quotes only up to 54 Powerpack units and asks to contact Tesla for more information on other systems.

The pricing is likely different for utility-scale projects. I doubt Musk will go in details about that.

AIMc asked:

Do you expect the model 3s first produced in Q4 2017 to be hardware equipped for true autonomous driving with only government regulations and software validation holding up implementation?

This is probably the most important question on the mind of every Tesla Model 3 reservation holder – myself included. Musk’s latest prediction for when the fully autonomous level 4 technology will be ready (regardless of government regulations) actually falls right in Q4 2017 – he said “in about 2 years”  back in December 2015.

Tesla’s Director of Autopilot programs, Sterling Anderson, was asked this very question during a conference just last week and he said that Tesla will introduce the next generation Autopilot whenever it is ready, not necessarily in the Model 3 – hinting at a possible Model S o X introduction if it is ready before the 3.

Ludicrousspeed asked:

How can Tesla reduce SG&A costs (as a % of revenue) while simultaneously expanding service networks to accommodate for the massive increase in Tesla vehicles/owners?

I would like to hear Musk elaborate on this one. So far Tesla has been fairly good at keeping up its service expansion with its growing fleet, but we have mainly been hearing about Tesla’s plan for manufacturing to keep up with Model 3 demand, it would be nice for reservation holders to hear about the plan for servicing these millions of vehicles Tesla plans to have in its global fleet by the end of the decade.

Dennis asked:

At the Model 3 reveal Elon stated that the number of Service Centers and Superchargers would double by the end of 2017. Given the acceleration of Model 3 delivery targets, have the plans for more SCs and Superchargers also been accelerated?

This is interesting and directly related to the last question. Tesla officials revealed that they expected about 100,000 Model 3 reservations in the month following the unveiling, not the almost 400,000 pre-orders they received.

They announced the expansion of the charging infrastructure with this expectation in mind. The automaker said that it will double the number of Superchargers to 7,000 units and quadruple the number of Destination chargers to 15,000 units within the next 2 years.

It would only make sense to also accelerate charging infrastructure programs following the higher than expected demand and subsequent build plan ramp up.

These were the most popular questions from TMC, but Elon will likely answer plenty more questions from the audience during the shareholders meeting. We will be covering the event – make sure to follow us: TwitterFacebook or Google+

What: Tesla 2016 Annual Meeting

When: Tuesday, May 31, 2016, at 2:00 p.m., Pacific Time

Where: Computer History Museum located at 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View, CA 94043

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