Why Tesla (TSLA) Gave Me a Bright Blue Model X to Drive

I’ve been writing positively about Tesla (TSLA) since 2011, when I first recommended the stock for my Cabot Stock of the Week readers …

… but that’s not the reason Tesla gave me a bright blue Model X to drive.

I bought my own Tesla Model S (bright red) in 2013 and have raved about the car to everyone possible since…

… but that’s not the reason Tesla gave me a bright blue Model X to drive.

Many of my readers—who now have profits exceeding 1,000% in TSLA—have bought their own Tesla cars. One reader has even driven from Washington state to Massachusetts twice in his own Model X to attend the Cabot Wealth Summit.

But that’s not the reason Tesla gave me a bright blue Model X to drive.

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No, the reason Tesla gave me a bright blue Model X to drive is that my own car suffered an abrupt battery failure!

Here’s how it happened.

My wife and I had driven to dinner at my brother-in-law’s house and parked the car with the battery roughly half full (more than 100 miles range). But when I returned to the car after dinner, there was an unusual message on the screen saying that charging would be restricted. Looking at the battery gauge, I saw that the range was just 22 miles (not enough to drive the 28 miles home).

So we drove a few miles to a Level 2 charging area (at Tufts University), and tried to charge. But the battery wouldn’t accept a charge. The screen said, “Charging complete.”

S0 I called Tesla in California, and talked to a helpful young man named Michael. He looked at my car’s logs on his computer, confirmed that there was a major battery problem, and concluded that the car would need to go to the Watertown service center for further diagnosis.

So we drove back to my brother-in-law’s house, borrowed their spare car to drive home in, and Tesla arranged for a flatbed to take my car to the service center.

The next day, Jessica at the service center told me my battery would need to be returned to California for repair (a process that will take many weeks), and said that they would put a spare battery in my car so I could drive it in the meantime—but that there were no appropriate batteries available at the moment.

So she said she’d provide me with a loaner vehicle until they could find a spare battery.

And that’s why Tesla gave me a bright blue Model X to drive.

Note: My previous car was an Audi, but the dealer also sold Toyotas, and when they gave me a loaner, it was usually a Toyota. (A bit of a downer.)

With Tesla, there is no dealer. The company itself owns everything. And when I get a loaner, it’s always a newer and better Tesla than mine. (That’s nice.)

This Model X, interestingly, sports a manufacturer’s license plate from California—with the prefix MFG.

The Model X has a 90kWh battery, rated for 257 miles.

It has all-wheel drive.

It accelerates from zero-to-60 in 4.8 seconds.

And it seats six people, with two of those very comfortable bucket seats in the second row—which are accessed from those showy falcon-wing doors— and two on fold-down seats in the third row. My wife loves the space in the front seat.

But my favorite feature is the front windshield, which ends right over the driver’s head, and enabled a panoramic view of the foliage on recent weekend trip through the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts and into upstate New York.

Also, the Model X is the smoothest, quietest car I’ve ever driven; Tesla has made a lot of improvements since they built my car four years ago!

But the increased height of the SUV combined with the increased weight (5,300 lbs vs. 4,600 lbs) means that it isn’t quite as much fun to drive as my Model S. (And it’s also not as beautiful.)

In any case, it’s fun to be part of automotive history!

Six years ago when I first recommended TSLA stock, no one knew if the company would even survive. Now, with its Model S having been named Car of the Year by Motor Trend, and earned the highest-ever rating by Consumer Reports, and having forced every other car manufacturer on the planet to play keep-up in the electric car business and led the way in self-driving car technology, Tesla is well acknowledged as the pacesetter in the industry.

But the big question is this: Is TSLA stock still a good investment here?

TSLA Stock Today

After all, the stock is up more than 1,000% since I first recommended it, and other manufacturers (many with greater resources than Tesla, including many Chinese companies) are working hard to provide competitive vehicles—many at dramatically lower price points—in the years ahead.

Also, the stock is far better known today—and far better respected— than it was when I first recommended it, and that means that there are fewer investors who might become buyers of the stock, while there are an increasing number who might become sellers if the competition intensifies.

And then there’s the chart.

Tesla (TSLA) stock has been trending upward all year, and is setting up a strong base at the moment.While the broad market has been hitting new highs in recent weeks, Tesla stock peaked at 387 back in June and hasn’t been able to top that level since. In short, it’s been lagging the market.

Now, I still like TSLA as a stock to buy and hold, and every week I update the readers of my Cabot Stock of the Week on my latest thoughts on both the company and the stock. But Tesla no longer offers the opportunity it did six years ago when it was an unrespected little stock.

So I’m not recommending buying TSLA today; instead, I’m recommending the stock of a fast-growing (and unrespected) lithium miner, because lithium is the material that every electric car manufacturer is going to need in the years ahead!

In fact, a recent industry expert predicted that demand for lithium would explode 400% between now and 2025.

Most investors don’t know the name of this company I’m recommending, just as most investors didn’t know the name of Tesla six years ago. But if it performs as well as I expect it to, a few years from now, its name will be known far and wide.

Of course, by then, the stock should be a lot higher too.

If you’d like to know the name of this company, and join me on the road to growing profits in what I consider to be the best lithium stock, you can find more info here.

But don’t delay. Act today, while the bull market is alive and well!

Timothy Lutts

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