Electric cars have always been a hard sell. Super salesman Elon Musk came along and made electric cars look sexy with Tesla, but is there a Tesla on your street? The stock market is all about the future. That’s literally what the stock market is–a barometer of what people think is going to happen. By that barometer, Tesla’s future looks a lot less sexy right now than it did in September–when the Tesla stock peaked at $291 a share. Tesla stock is under $200 today. And a lot of people are pointing to cheap oil as the culprit.
But maybe oil isn’t the problem. Tesla won’t even complete its giant $5 billion Nevada Gigafactory until five years from now. If you can say precisely what the price of oil will be in 2020, there are plenty of high-paying jobs waiting for you on Wall Street. Maybe it’s just that the Tesla dream is meeting the Tesla reality, as all stocks must do, even stock in companies owned by amazing futurists. Musk himself said just months ago that the Tesla stock price was a little exuberant–a little too high. Or maybe investors are as scared of the future as Musk admittedly is–he said recently that artificial intelligence is on the verge of unleashing a “demon” into the unsuspecting human population. The Tesla stock drop is probably due to a combination of all these factors–cheap oil, uncertainty, and the problems inherent in building not just a company but a category. Maybe even the shadow of the demon threw some shade on Tesla. But Elon Musk is no John DeLorean.
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