Elon Musk says Tesla is feeling inflationary pressures, challenges Putin to a 'single combat' over Ukraine
Tesla's CEO Elon Musk continues to insert himself in the conversation about the Russian invasion into Ukraine this week as well. After he answered a call by the Ukrainian deputy prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov to provide Starlink satellite internet access in the country, and urged for more fossil fuels and nuclear energy to offset the impact from the war, he is now challenging Russian President Vladimir Putin to a one-on-one fight. Mixing English with Russian and Ukrainian, Musk declared on Twitter "I hereby challenge Владимир Путин to single combat Stakes are Україна" and then directed the question to the official Kremlin account in Russian, asking them if they agree to the fight.
One reason behind Musk's frustration with the war in Ukraine and the havoc it brought to the markets is revealed in its earlier tweet that admitted "Tesla & SpaceX are seeing significant recent inflation pressure in raw materials & logistics." "We are not alone," he added, as the inflation is hitting every industry, yet the latest consequence for Tesla was to raise the prices of its vehicles with Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminum (NCA) batteries, like the Model Y Long Range and Model Y Performance, as well as the Model 3 Long Range, by a $1000. Due to the sanctions on Russia, its significant nickel production capacity was taken out of the market, sending the metal's prices soaring and forcing Tesla's hand on raising the tags on its long-range vehicles that don't use the cheaper LFP technology batteries.
At this rate, the Tesla Model Y Long Range price has risen by US$10,000 in the span of just the last twelve months, all the while there is no end in sight what else could be going up in terms of production costs. On the other hand, Tesla hasn't experienced any drop in EV orders because of its price hikes. On the contrary, the record gas prices in some U.S. regions that followed the announcement that America will wean itself from Russian oil, saw Tesla car orders there double in the span of a week. Tesla also responded to the logistical pressures in its own unique fashion by tripling the delivery time of its 2022 Model 3 from May to September unless buyers order the FSD Beta option for US$12,000 extra. If anything, Tesla is likely to exit these turbulent times financially unscathed as it keeps raising its car prices and widening EV delivery windows without any demand repercussions so far.