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Tesla Q1 2020 earnings: 6 questions and how to listen to post-Model Y call

Elon Musk's three-phase plan to bring electric cars to a broad audience has completed a new goal. What comes next?

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Tesla's next earnings call is almost here. On Wednesday, the company will announce its first-quarter 2020 earnings, followed by a conference call with analysts to answer questions.

These calls are a key time to learn more about Tesla and its future trajectory. Similar to CEO Elon Musk's Twitter account, these calls are sometimes an opportunity to hear about new confirmed features, upcoming plans, and insights into how the company is aiming to fuel a transition to sustainable energy. In previous earnings, Tesla has confirmed the "Hardware 3" full self-driving chip and plans for new Gigafactories.

The first-quarter 2020 earnings come at a critical time for Tesla. It started shipping the Model Y compact SUV to consumers in March, the second vehicle in its three-part plan to reach a mass market. This project started with the Model 3 sedan in 2017, and looks set to conclude in 2021 with the launch of the Cybertruck. But it also comes as businesses around the world are grappling with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, which the International Monetary Fund has predicted will lead to a three percent contraction in the global economy.

Here are the key questions that Tesla may answer during the call.

Tesla Q1 2020 earnings call: 6 key questions

6: How has the business been affected by the coronavirus pandemic? – Likely the biggest question from an investor standpoint. Tesla closed its Giga Shanghai facility due to the outbreak, reopening it on February 10 after a week and a half of closure. The New York and Fremont facilities closed on March 23. Despite these closures, Tesla posted its best-ever first quarter of production at the start of April. Has the picture changed since then?

5: When is Battery Day? – The company's planned battery and powertrain event was expected to take place April 2020, on a similar model to the April 2019 autonomy day where Tesla detailed progress on its full self-driving technology. This month, it was revealed that battery technology and powertrain advancements would receive their own days each this year.

The battery event is expected to detail advancements in its energy storage technology, possibly discussing a reported project to build Tesla batteries in-house rather than depending on Panasonic. The powertrain event will likely cover the Plaid powertrain, set to roll out to the Model S in late 2020 before making its way to the Roadster and Model X at a later date. The scheduled date for these events, however, is unclear.

4: When is the Tesla Roadster release date? – Musk claimed earlier this week that the Roadster and Semi truck would receive news updates later this year. The Roadster was originally announced in November 2017 with a 2020 release date, but the schedule for the Plaid powertrain suggests 2021 is more likely. The Roadster boasts dazzling specs like 620 miles of range and 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, paired with a dazzling entry price of $200,000. When will the cars start shipping, and how fast will they come off the production line?

Tesla Roadster.Tesla

3: Has there been any changes with Tesla Cybertruck production plans? – The Cybertruck was unveiled in November 2019 with a late 2021 production start date. Tesla has already tweaked its plans so the more powerful models will launch sooner and the less powerful later. Analyst reports suggest the Cybertruck has proven popular with its target audience, leading Loup Ventures to boost its predicted share of Cybertruck production from five to 15 percent of the company's total output. Has this filtered through to any more changes?

2: Where will the next Tesla Gigafactory go? – Musk explained in February how placing a Tesla Gigafactory on every continent would help production soar. The issue, he explained, is shipping vehicles around the world is fraught with issues with transport and regulations. Tesla has a Gigafactory in Nevada, Buffalo and Shanghai, and it's building another in Berlin. Another factory producing the Cybertruck and Model Y has been suggested by Musk for the central United States, somewhere more than halfway to the east coast. Electrek notes that Nashville, Austin, and Joplin in Missouri have all been linked to the project.

1: What is the latest with Tesla full self-driving? –Tesla could reach a feature-complete with full self-driving this year. Musk explained this month that its robo-taxi project, which could enable users to let their cars join a wider network and earn money, is "looking good" to be ready this year functionality wise. It also emerged this month that Autopilot has logged over three billion miles. Although Tesla may not receive regulatory approval this year, is Tesla still expected to reach a feature-complete state this year where the car can drive A to B with human oversight?

Will Tesla's full self-driving launch soon?Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Tesla Q1 2020 earnings call: when will it start?

The Tesla earnings call will start at these times:

  • 3:30 p.m. Pacific time
  • 6:30 p.m. Eastern time
  • 11:30 p.m. British Summertime
  • 12:30 a.m. Central European time
  • 6:30 a.m. China Standard time (Thursday)
  • 8:30 a.m. Australian Eastern time (Thursday)

Tesla Q1 2020 earnings call: how to listen

Listening to the call is simple:

  • Visit the company’s investor relations page. The listings should show the quarterly results, plus a link to the webcast.
  • Visit the webcast link. You will be asked to enter your first name, last name, email address, and company.
  • Hit submit, and you will be taken to the media player.

Note that following along requires using Windows 7 or later, macOS version 10.11 or later, iOS 10 or later, or Android 4.4 or later. It will also require using one of the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome (two latest versions)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11
  • Microsoft Edge (two latest versions)
  • Firefox (two latest versions)
  • Safari (two latest versions)

And that's all! If you happen to miss the event, Tesla normally provides a post-event recording for playback at any time.

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