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Elon Musk on battery breakthrough hypers: 'STF' up or deliver

Elon Musk

Aug, 3 2017, 8:36 AM

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says 'Oh, God" and then tells companies touting breakthroughs in battery technology to either deliver or "STF." You can check urban dictionary for a variety of STF definitions, but a couple seem to fit Musk's frustration best.

(WTW will let you decide. BTW, do you speak Romanian?)

With its huge investments in a giga production plant for lithium batteries to power Tesla's all-electric cars and other potential uses, Musk says the company is not only pushing its own R&D but is ready to embrace any breakthroughs in battery tech.

Asked about the battery hype machine during a conference call Wednesday about Tesla's latest earnings, Musk responds:

"Oh, God."

Rod Lache of Deutsche Bank Securities had poised the question and asked for Musk's "thoughts."

"Okay. Here's my opinion. The battery breakthrough of the week, battery breakthrough du jour. When somebody has like some great claim that they've got this awesome battery, you know what, send us a sample.

"Or if you don't trust us, send it to an independent lab, where the parameters can be verified."

"Otherwise, STF."

[Urban Dictionary definitions: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=stf]

Musk complained that "everything works on PowerPoint" and says he could tout "teleportation to the Andromeda Galaxy" if he wanted.

"So Tesla is the biggest buyer of lithium ion batteries on earth. You know who people come to first when they've got a lithium ion battery? Us, because we're their biggest customer," he added.

"I would love it if we could have some breakthrough. It'd be awesome. I think there are some interesting things on the horizon. But then the time it takes from something working in the lab to working at moderate production levels to working at higher production levels to optimizing the cost is several years. So it's not like it suddenly pops out of nowhere."

Musk went on to add that Tesla doesn't have to be the inventory of the next big thing in batteries.

"Please. Please. If someone please come up with a battery breakthrough, we'd love it," he said.

Entrepreneurs, take note.

Musk also indicated Tesla may be on the verge of its own big advance.

"I mean, there are some breakthroughs that I think are achievable. They're confidential, so I can't talk about them on this call, but there's one particular avenue that I'm confident could be made to work. That would be fairly – the most significant one breakthrough in a while," he said.

Hype?

Read the full conference transcript at:

https://seekingalpha.com/article/4094115-tesla-tsla-q2-2017-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single





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