By Carly Forster
On Friday, December 26th, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) announced in a press release that they made new enhancements to its “Roadster” model electric car. This innovation comes after Tesla stopped producing the vehicle in 2012 in order to focus on the production of its increasingly popular Model S. The enhancement will improve the Roadster’s driving range from about 245 miles per charge to about 400 miles per charge. Current Roadster owners now have the option to buy the upgraded battery.
Three components were applied to improve the Roadster’s driving range to 400 miles on a single charge: a new lithium-ion battery, a new aero kit, and new tires. Tesla noted, “Combining all of these improvements we can achieve a predicted 40-50% improvement on range between the original Roadster and Roadster 3.0.”
In regards to an upgrade of the Model S, Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned in a tweet, “a battery pack upgrade is not coming soon for the Model S, but it obviously *will* happen long-term.”
On December 26th, Global Equities analyst Trip Chowdhry reiterated an Overweight rating on Tesla with a $385 price target following the company’s Roadster battery enhancement announcement. He reasoned, “TSLA is probably the only Technology Company to retrofit an older generation product with the latest technology.” Although Tesla said that there was no upgrade for the Model S coming in the near future, Chowdhry noted “We expect TSLA Model S to have 500 mile range probably by 2017 – 2018; and all the existing Model S, could be retrofitted with the new Battery Packs, when available.”
Chowdhry has rated Tesla 11 times since June 2013, earning a 60% success rate recommending the stock and a +36.3% average return per recommendation.
Chowdhry has experience recommending big player stocks such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL). He has rated Apple 12 times since May 2013, earning an impressive +37.8% average return per recommendation. However, Chowdhry has not seen the same success with Google, having recommended the stock twice since March 2011 with only a -5.1% average return per recommendation.
In the past year, Chowdhry has successfully made 20 ratings out of 27 total, earning a 74% success rate recommending stocks and a +30.2% average return per recommendation.
Chowdhry is optimistic about Tesla with high hopes for an eventual upgrade on the Model S battery, but will the electric car company be able to meet these expectations?
On average, the top analyst consensus for Tesla on TipRanks is Moderate Buy.