Tesla's 2019 shareholder meeting recap: Business up front, submarine cars out back

This was a more somber meeting than we're used to, with less blue-sky solutioneering by Musk -- but that's OK.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
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We didn't get too many forward-looking statements this time around, but we got enough solid information to keep us optimistic about the Big T's future.


Tesla's annual shareholder meeting doesn't have quite the reputation for breaking news that the company's quarterly earnings calls do, but the 2019 edition gave us a few tidbits about the future of the Big T.

One of the most significant pieces of news is the announcement of a planned battery and powertrain investor day, which is set to happen sometime this summer, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk . This would likely take a similar format to the autonomy investor day that Tesla hosted back in April.

A large part of the conversation involved Tesla's battery production and how that is the largest constraint on the company's growth at this point. Musk stated that the Gigafactory in Nevada is currently operating at 85% capacity, but as Tesla expands its product lines, that additional 15% probably won't be enough to sustain things.

To that end, Musk joked that Tesla might have to start getting into the mining business to help keep the supply of rare-earth minerals consistent enough to continually meet cell and pack production goals.

One of Musk's biggest statements involved the forthcoming Tesla truck. In addition to suggesting that the vehicle would be unveiled later in the summer of 2019, its development has been difficult because the Tesla truck would "need to be a better truck than the F-150... and a better sports car than a basic 911."

As for the rest, it was basically a retread of what we've been hearing from Elon over the last year: full self-driving will be "feature complete" by the end of 2019, buying an internal combustion vehicle without the ability to drive autonomously is like buying a horse and a flip phone in 2019, the Supercharger V3 rollout is starting to happen at scale and more.

Oh, and a young man asked about the possibility of Tesla building aquatic vehicles and Elon didn't definitively say NO -- so fingers crossed.

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