Tesla shares fall; Elon Musk says Germany is

Tesla Motors saw its share price fall further Wednesday amid news that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may investigate the Model S fire and a dour research note from Merrill Lynch.

On October 1, a Model S in Washington State caught on fire after the driver ran over a sharp metal object on the freeway which punctured the battery pack. The driver was not injured, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk wrote extensively about the incident in a blog post.

Now that the federal government is up and running again, it appears that NHTSA is looking at the incident more closely. Though an official investigation has not begun, the agency is gathering information to determine if agency action is warranted.

Bank of America analyst John Lavallo II released a report Wednesday that called Tesla’s shares “vastly overvalued from a fundamental standpoint” amid the potential NHTSA investigation and concerns about Tesla’s ability to win over consumers in Europe.

Tesla was down to $162 in mid-day trading. The Palo Alto-based company reports its third quarter earnings Nov. 5.

Meanwhile, CEO Elon Musk is in Germany, where he said that “right now, Germany is our top focus in the world.” He also calls hydrogen fuel cell cars “bull—-.”

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk in Germany. Image via YouTube.

Dana Hull Dana Hull (209 Posts)

Dana Hull covers clean technology and energy policy for the San Jose Mercury News. She often writes about electric vehicles, the smart grid, the solar industry and California energy policy, from RPS goals to Gov. Jerry Brown's big dreams for distributed generation.