This “reading comprehension” thing seems to be your favored argument, Bud. And it just doesn’t work here.
The words in the article are very clear, and as usual there is expressed herein a faith that somehow Musk has the ultimate trick up his sleeve: “Perhaps Tesla is doing some R&D on capacitor storage deep in its Palo Alto, Calif. labs?”
Now, there is no proof of that: ZERO public indications that ultracapacitor work is going on at TSLA facilities, or under TSLA-funded, TSLA-directed research. None.
All we have is the comment of a guy who just a few days ago stated on-the-record: "I can't figure out how to grow a company's production by 30X (times) while being profitable.” Now, you can tell me all you want, with overtones about my literacy, that that was a brilliant sarcastic joke by a visionary who has a far more prescient view of the future than the rest of us, and that he has a plan we cannot comprehend. (Naturally, if this were uttered by a Carlos Ghosn or Alan Mulally --- that is, a REAL CEO ---talking about a REAL car in a REAL transition to production, REAL investors would be in a panic calling for his head on a pike.) So, in turn, an off-the-cuff remark that “I’d think there is a good bet” that he’s using a second-choice technology clearly shows he actually has a secret message for us.
You know, from where a believer sits, he certainly does speak and move in mysterious ways, and interpreting the words of the prophet is an important calling.
But non-believers like me just see it differently. Nope, je comprends tres bien, mon ami. What Musk has just told us is: “My team has designed a really neat car with TREMENDOUS engineering effort around a battery package, battery charge/discharge and thermal management system, power management architecture and motor control topology that is driven by the use of commercially-available Li ion cells. In fact, the scheme of using this type of cell has been a key raison d’etre of the Tesla brand: we’re smarter than Big Auto, who have been using custom cells. We have poured all of our R&D money into this, and if EVERYTHING comes out perfectly we’ll get 10-15% market share of the 1% of the total auto market that will be EV. Moreover, if we manage to get more than twice the typical gross margin earned by well-capitalized major manufacturers with well-developed low cost global sources, we might not destroy investor value. But, you know, in retrospect, we probably should’ve used a different design approach.”