Elon Musk ‘on verge of tears’ during shareholder meeting

TESLA has plenty of new products in the works, but one thing it will never build is a motorcycle, despite Elon Musk's penchant for biker jackets.

The billionaire entrepreneur was wearing one at the automaker's annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday, when an audience member asked if Tesla had ever considered getting into the electric motorcycle business, which Harley-Davidson is about to enter.

Musk told him that he rode dirt bikes as a kid, and had a road bike until he was 17, when a truck almost killed him.

And apparently this near-death experience was enough to deter the Tesla boss from entertaining the idea of making motorbikes.

"So, we're not going to do motorcycles," he said.

Elon Musk gets emotional during shareholder meeting.
Elon Musk gets emotional during shareholder meeting.

It wasn't the only time Musk got personal during the event. He started the meeting appearing to be on the verge of tears as he explained that Tesla builds its vehicles with a level of care and affection that other automakers can't match.

"This is going to sound a little chessy but at Tesla, we build our car with love," he said emotionally, clearly holding back tears. "We really care."

He went on to talk about how difficult the past few months have been as the company's critics grow louder about production delays and the high rate of cash burn.

Musk said it has been "the most excruciating, hellish several months I've maybe ever had."

The Tesla chairman and CEO also offered updates on some future products, including the long-awaited $US35,000 version of the Model 3.

Musk said it likely won't be widely available until the beginning of 2019, as Tesla focuses on building and selling the more expensive versions of the sedan during its production ramp up, in an effort to maximise revenue.

Meanwhile, Musk said that Tesla's next mass-market vehicle, the Model Y, won't be fully revealed until mid next year, with production set to follow in the first half of 2020. A new teaser image of the small SUV shows the front quarter of the vehicle, which features a tall, blunt front end and high hood.

The recently unveiled Semi truck and Roadster sports car will arrive around the same time, according to Musk, both with better performance than originally announced, which included a 800-km range for the truck and a 400km/h top speed for the Roadster. Musk said that it is important that the sports car is better than its gasoline-powered rivals in every way, in order to prove the superiority of electric cars.

One new possible model that Musk mentioned is a compact car smaller than the Model 3, which he said could arrive within five years. However, he also joked that he has an "issue with time," referring to his overly optimistic and often missed production target dates.

"This is something I'm trying to get better at," he said.


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