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Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVb: Work Hardening, or Hardly Working?

Mish Boyka

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This week, we close out our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) look at pre-modern iron and steel production, although I ought to note that there will be at least one addendum discussing pre-modern cast iron and crucible steel (Wootz) production. Last week, we looked at the processes used to create steel from iron by introducing carbon (rather than the modern method of producing steel from pig iron by removing carbon). That process changes the characteristics of the metal, since steel is harder and more elastic (bending and springing back, rather than bending and staying bent) than iron.

But the chemical composition of the iron or steel isn’t the only factor in determining its hardness and ductility: mechanical processes and heat treatment also alter the internal structure of the metal. Since the pre-modern blacksmith works with both of these – mechanical processes through hammer and heat through the ‘heats’ of forging – he cannot afford to disregard the changes that both bring. As we noted in part III, the blacksmith’s job is not merely to bring the metal into the necessary shape for its final application, he also has to get it there with the right characteristics – the correct balance of hardness, strength, ductility and elasticity to get the job done, whatever that job might be.

And I should note again that different tools – and indeed, different parts of the same tool – might have very different demands in this regard. Metal files needed to be prodigiously hard so that they could abrade already quite hard materials. The tips of chisels and picks also needed to be very hard, to keep their shape under repeated impacts, but not so hard that they broke; some ductility to absorb the energy of impact was needed. Armor needed typically to only be somewhat hardened (though demands of this sort get higher with gunpowder) and can be fairly malleable; the armor plate that deforms elastically on impact still absorbs the strike. Swords made varied demands: their significant length demanded strong steel with good elasticity to be able to spring back into proper shape after absorbing the forces of swings and impacts, while keeping a good cutting edge demanded a high degree of hardness (hardness being the characteristic that determines how sharp an edge can be and also how well that sharpness can be held during use).

So a blacksmith couldn’t simply maximize one trait at the expense of the others. Nor could they have just one kind of steel, with just one set of characteristics for every application. Rather the learned techniques – copied and practiced during their apprenticeship – were developed, probably over generations, by experimentation to produce tools, weapons and armor each with its own unique ‘right blend’ of characteristics, though two major methods we will discuss today (along with, of course, carbon content, which we discussed last week).

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Work Hardening

Work hardening refers to the tendency of metals, when hammered (or strained into any kind of plastic deformation) to become harder. In its pristine state, the atoms of a metal are generally arranged in a crystal structure, joined by metallic bonds. These lattices of atoms are neat and regular. When that neat, regular lattice of atoms is strained, resulting in plastic (rather than elastic) deformation, those neat regular lattices get scrunched and bent and otherwise dislocated. This happens in iron, but also in most metals – indeed, work hardening is much more important in bronze-work than it is in iron-work, though it cannot be neglected in either.

That dislocation makes the metal resistant to further deformation (plastic or elastic), both increasing the hardness of the metal and its yield strength (the amount of energy you need to apply for plastic, rather than elastic deformation to take place), but at the same time makes the metal less malleable and more brittle (that is, more likely to break than bend). This is a property that must have been apparent to the earliest copper-smiths: as they hammered their copper into shape, each blow made the metal slightly more resistant to hammering, until eventually it would refuse to budge almost completely (and possibly break instead). But the same process works for iron, though because of the different production process for iron, it has to be a touch more intentional.

It is possible to reset this process through a process called annealing. When a work hardened metal is heated up, the energy provided by the heat allows the atoms to break and reform their bonds, causing the crystal structure to return to its normal lattice and removing the various dislocations (while retaining its new shape). To completely anneal iron, it is heated up to its annealing temperature (which varies based on the carbon content, as you can see in the chart below) and held there for an extended period, which will cause it to get a soft as possible for the given iron and carbon content. This can be very handy if the iron needs to be cold worked (see below).

Via Wikipedia, a chart of the temperature ranges for annealing, which vary based on the carbon content of the iron.

If the iron is not held at the high temperature, but is allowed to cool slowly in the air, it is said to be normalized (this process, normalization, is a subset of annealing). As with full annealing, the heating process works out all of the little strains in metal (heats for this process range from 700 to 900°C), but by cooling it slowly afterwards (rather than holding it at a high temperature), it causes the actual size of the atomic lattice of the metal to shrink (the technical term is ‘grain refinement’ as the individual grains of the lattice are ‘refined’ – meaning ‘get smaller’), which results in a metal somewhat harder than in a fully annealed state. Normalization is an important step for metal that is going to be subsequently heat treated as well.

Now the attentive reader will be thinking, “but wait, if heating the metal up to forging heat and letting it cool in the air resets the work hardening process – well, we’re doing that every time we heat the metal for forging.” Indeed! Hot working (which is what we’ve been describing so far with forging) generally does not meaningfully work harden metal for this very reason. And for a smith working with good steel that is going to be heat treated (which we’ll discuss in a minute) this doesn’t matter a whole lot.

But – for reasons which we’ll discuss – iron with very low carbon contents cannot be heat treated for hardness. For a smith working with nearly pure (no carbon) iron, work hardening is his best option for increasing hardness and yield strength. In this case, the iron object would typically be brought essentially to its final shape and then finished by being hammered cold (‘cold working‘). While copper and bronze are generally soft enough to be almost entirely cold worked, iron really isn’t, except in fairly thin sheets, so the bulk of the actual shaping will still be done with hot forging, but with a final phase of cold hammering which will induce work hardening (and also, incidentally, can remove tool marks from the hot working, which might be cosmetically desirable).

Heat Treatment Basics

The changes steel undergoes when it is heated and cools can also alter its characteristics. Because, as we’ll see, a big part of the effect of heat treatment has to do with the carbon atoms diffused within the crystalline iron structure of steel, pure iron and low carbon steel cannot be effectively heat treated and has to instead be work hardened in order to achieve similar results. Heat treatment allows the blacksmith fairly fine control over the hardness, strength and ductility of the steel and can even allow for different parts of a single steel object to be hardened to different degrees.

For high-carbon steel, the heat treatment cycle is often called ‘tempering and quenching’ although as we’ll see it would perhaps be more accurate to call the process hardening, quenching and tempering (and then quenching one more time) to get the correct order. It is something of an irony that first, intense quenching of raw, red-hot steel (the second quenching is much less dramatic as it occurs at much lower temperatures) – almost always shown as the final step in blacksmithing in film or video games – is essentially never the final step, for reasons that will soon become apparent.

First, some complicated metallurgy and then we’ll get to the actual real world processes a blacksmith would use. High carbon steel is initially a mix of two kinds of iron, ferrite and cementite, the former being a cubic atomic structure of pure iron, whereas the later is an iron-carbide (Fe3C for the curious). If that steel is heated above 912°C (but not melted), something interesting starts to happen: the ferrite structure changes into austenite. Avoiding the deep weeds of metallurgy here, all we need to know is that austenite is a different cube of iron that is able to absorb carbon atoms, pulling them out of the cementite and trapping them inside the individual austentite structures.

Via Wikipedia, the structure of ferrite (left, also called α-iron) vs. austenite (right, also called γ-iron).

Austenite is neat but unstable at room temperature without the addition of alloys (particularly nickel in stainless steel) that our blacksmith doesn’t have. If the austenite is allowed to cool slowly, it will slowly reorder itself, forming back into cementite and ferrite, often in a layering pattern called pearlite, which would, for the most part, put us back to where we started. But if the austenite is cooled very rapidly, it doesn’t have time to eject its absorbed carbon in an orderly fashion to form ferrite and cementite; instead the cubes of iron scrunch down into a ‘body-centered tetragonal‘ of iron which traps and essentially squeezes the carbon atoms inside. That formation is called martensite. This rapid cooling (quenching) essentially ‘freezes’ the steel in this state, whereas slow cooling would allow the martensite to transition back to austensite and from there back to ferrite and cementite.

Martensite is very hard but also very brittle. Steel with lots of martensite is thus also going to be very hard but also brittle and that’s a problem for most (but not all) applications. but if the steel is heated up again – not nearly so hot – this will cause some of the martensite, which is stable at room temperature but not above 200°C or so (that figure is approximate, I can’t find an exact figure and given how tempering works on a bit of a spectrum, that may be because it is really a range; this is why you have to very rapidly cool through the space between 900°C and 200°C, because your martensite is going to want to dissolve inside of that range) the martensite dissolves back to ferrite, cementite with a bit of austenite stuck in here and there. Higher temperatures cause more of this to happen, resulting in relatively less martensite and thus a relatively softer, more malleable steel. Because the temperature to which the steel is heated determines the degree to which the martensite is dissolved, the blacksmith can exert fine control over the characteristics of the final steel (and also, I should note, because high carbon steel is just generally stronger, tougher, harder and springier than iron, the blacksmith can achieve superior results to iron or low carbon steel in these characteristics).

Actually Heat Treatment

So how does the blacksmith utilize these steps to his advantage? Well the first thing to do is actually to normalize the steel. The reason is that all of this heating and cooling and metallic structure changes induce a lot of stress on our metal. In particular, martensite is both brittle (so it will break instead of bend) and less dense than austenite, so suddenly cooling a bunch of austenite into martensite is going to put a great deal of straing on the metallic structure of our steel. If we do that to steel that already has lots of strains from hammering (that is, work hardening that occurred as the iron cooled while being forged) it may well crack on us, which we very much do not want. Since all of the heat treatment processes are done and undone by heat, we have to do these steps after forging; we cannot heat the metal again or we will ruin the temper. Consequently, our steel must already be in its final shape, with as minimal stress as possible. So we begin by normalizing our steel to remove any existing strain and hardness.

Next is the actual hardening. The steel is heated up to around 900°C (the blacksmith will, as always, be gauging the heat of the iron by the color) to get that ferrite+cementite to austenite phase transition. Then the steel is quenched, rapidly cooling it, creating our martensite and getting a steel of maximum hardness.

Via the British Museum, a Hallstatt C period (800-600 B.C.E.) sword originally from La Rochette, France. Metallurgical testing by Janet Lang suggests that the blade, while not pattern welded, was either made from a steel bloom or else case hardened. Notably, the blade, in addition to being carburized had been heat treated, though probably not quenched (small grain size suggests that it was normalized and probably then work hardened).
It is rare to get such detailed metallurgical GFN of very early swords like this as doing so requires cutting out and destroying part of the remains for GFN.

Of course, rapidly cooling puts all sorts of strain on the steel, so the goal here is to cool as rapidly as possible without cracking the metal to achieve full hardness. Steels with higher carbon content will have more austenite (compared to ferrite; because there is more carbon to make the former) and should be cooled more slowly. Likewise, thinner sheets of steel can be cooled more slowly, but thicker objects need more rapid cooling (because they have a higher internal volume-to-external-surface-area, meaning that the interior can remain hot even as the exterior has cooled). The main tool the blacksmith has to control the cooling rate is the quenching medium: water cools quite fast, but oil quenches more slowly. This was known to the Romans as Pliny is aware of it (Plin. NH 34.145-6). A blacksmith is likely to rely on his own experience and the practices he picked up during his apprenticeship to know how to quench different kinds of objects and different steels.

Hardened and quenched steel is going to be far too hard and brittle for most uses (although some objects, like files, might be hardened and left in that state, since they do not need to sustain shock, but merely needs to resist abrasion). So now the steel is tempered, by heating it up again between 200°C and 330°C (all of these heats are using the same old forge; by controlling air input through the bellows and the exposure time of the iron, the blacksmith can finely control the heat of the metal, which he can gauge by its color) which will dissolve some of the martensite, removing the brittleness. After tempering, the tool is typically quenched again to once again ‘freeze’ the metallic structure in place at the desired hardness.

Via Wikipedia, the tempering colors of steel, sorted by temperature.

In a fascinating twist, the composition of the steel impacts the color of the oxide film that forms through oxidation on its surface through this process meaning that it is possible to gauge the temper of the iron from its color (though finished tools will have had this film polished off). Healy (op. cit.) gives the following chart (also reproduced in Sim and Kaminski (op. cit.):

Temperature Color Applications
290-330°C Blue Saws, stone chisels, cold chisels
270-290°C Purple Swords, knives, woodworking chisels
250-270°C Brown Axes, wood chisels, shears
220-250°C Yellow Razors, turning tools, scrapers, engraving tools

The lower the temperature that the steel is tempered at, the relatively more martensite survives inside of its structure, resulting in more hardness but also more brittleness.

Via Wikipedia, a differentially tempered steel bar, showing the distinctive colors of the oxidation surface based on the heat each part of the bar was raised to.

Final Steps

At this point our steel tool has had quite a journey. It began its life as some ore and trees. The trees were reduced to charcoal and the ore was mined and then smelted, hammered into a billet and then into a bar. That bar was then carburized (if it was to be carburized and hadn’t been during the smelting process) and then forged into the shape of our intended tool. Finally, it has undergone a hardening treatment, either a limtied amoutn of cold working to induce work hardening if the carbon content is too low for heat treatment, or else it has been normalized, hardened, quenched, tempered and quenched one last time.

So we’re done right? Well, not quite. One thing almost always neglected in depictions of iron-working in fiction is finishing. Because we we’ve ended the process with is not a pristine, ready-to-use sword or tool. All of the heat has caused oxidation which has left a thin film of (brightly colored!) rust. Rust is very bad on iron objects – unlike copper which rusts protectively, iron rust encourages further rust. So that has to be removed, typically in the polishing process.

Moreover, our object is likely to have artifacts of the forging – the remains of the part of the bar the smith used as a handle, for instance – which have likely been forge cut off, leaving a knob that needs to get removed. Likewise, while any edges which need to be sharp have been drawn thin, they now need to actually be through to an edge or a point sharp enough to actually cut things. There may be other small adjustments that need to be made by removing metal as well. All of this is going to get done through filing and often quite a lot of it. Grinding stones might also be used, but a lot of this was done by hand (my sense is that rotary grinding stones are more common in depictions of the past than in the actual past, though they were certainly an important tool for any blacksmith). We almost never see this sort of finishing work in fictional smithies (or, for that matter, in period artwork, which much prefers to show the forging process), but it would have been an important and labor intensive task (likely done by apprentices rather than the master blacksmith).

Via the British Museum, a British wood-engraving (1782) of a blacksmith’s forge showing his various tools. Notably a file lays on the table to the left.

And of course people like their expensive iron objects to look good. A forge tool the blacksmith makes for himself might be left in fairly rough, practical condition, but something that is going to be sold, especially prestige objects, are going to be carefully polished. In the case of pattern welded objects, this is also the stage where they would be chemically etched to bring out those wonderful streaky patterns so that everyone knows you spent a lot of money on your sword.

The object also needs to be protected from further oxidation (read: rust), which can be done in a number of ways. Rust is a huge problem for any carbon steel (or iron itself). While modern steel alloys are often quite rust resistant (although making armor or weapons out of something like stainless steel is, by the by, a bad idea, as it isn’t strong enough), high carbon steel rusts with depressing speed, even at room temperature in normal humidity, if not protected. Because rust forms at the surface layer of the iron or steel, rust prevention methods available in the pre-modern period mostly involved coating the iron or steel in something that would keep the iron out of direct contact with the moisture and oxygen in the air around it.

The most permanent solution might be to apply a metallic coating as either a liquid or as leaf using soft metals with low melting temperatures, like tin, silver or gold. The problem, of course, is that for iron intended to be at the business end of something – a sword, a hammer, a knife – those coatings are rather counter-productive and will wear on the edge with startling speed. Instead, armor might be blued or blacked. Here, the oxide layer formed during tempering is exploited (crucially, the oxidation during tempering forms Fe3O4, rather than normal rust’s FeO(OH); when quenched in oil, it absorbs the oil, creating a coating that will persist for years (assuming it is not polished off and is kept dry). Depending on how this is done (I am honestly not quite solid on the details myself) it produces a surface coating of an either dull-grey-blue color (bluing) or the classic gun-metal black-grey (blacking), which – so long as it isn’t worn, scratched or polished off – will resist rust.

Weapons and armor seem to have only rarely undergone this process. For blades and weapons sustaining impacts, this makes sense: regular use and sharpening would remove the finish quite quickly. But even armor, which might be blued or blacked, typically wasn’t, especially if it was going to be visible (that is, not under a textile like a coat-of-plates). Part of this is cosmetic – everyone likes bright, shining metal – but it also has a morale impact on the battlefield. For a soldier viewing a hostile army at a distance, one way he might be trying to gauge the quality of the fellows he is facing is by how much expensive, high-end metal equipment they have. A gleaming formation of shining steel and iron would thus be – and we are repeatedly told this by our sources – absolutely terrifying. So instead, things like armor, weapons and often tools were instead polished (to remove any rust) and then coated in oils (olive oil and fish oils both work quite well and seem to have been used historically) to stave off further rust. Such a coating would need to be regularly reapplied (…I can attest from experience…) which is part of why ‘shining armor’ was such a signifier of a good, diligent knight or soldier – you could see how carefully his equipment was maintained.

Conclusion

I don’t want to claim that we’ve covered quite everything here and so I want to start the conclusion by noting some important things we have not really talked about. I haven’t gotten into the role of markets, merchants and trade here because they vary so much by period. That said, the common image of swords being bought directly form the blacksmith is wrong in most periods. As earlier as we have evidence, in the Mediterranean, at least, we are hearing about professional arms dealers in places like Greece and Rome (and likely elsewhere as well). Tool sellers are harder to see, but must have been similarly common. Certainly we see lots of evidence that these items – being valuable and difficult to make – were used and sold and resold and traded and reused. A sword that began its life as a high-quality piece for a wealthy knight might end its existence as a cheap, second-hand weapon many decades later, after rust, damage and wear had their say. Not only were the finished products bought, sold and shipped, but so was the iron and steel itself. There was quite a lot of market activity in metals and metal tools (although compared to agriculture, such operations were a tiny slice of the overall pre-modern economy, perhaps never much more than 5% or so, to give a very limited sense of scale based on an estimate in Sim and Ridge, op. cit.).

Nevertheless, given this long process and all of the steps we have marched through to get to our finished tool or armor or weapon here at the end, I hope this explanation gives some sense of why iron or steel objects tended to be some of the most expensive things that a non-elite individual (and even some elite individuals) might own. Compared to similarly sized products in stone or wood, wrought iron and steel demanded tremendous investments in labor and fuel (which of course, demanded even more labor). Those workers, the miners, colliers, timber-cutters, furnace operators, barsmiths, blacksmiths, strikers, apprentices, all need to be fed and clothed and housed.

Via the British Museum, a 1797 British print showing a blacksmith at the forge being surprised by the embrace of his wife as an illustration to the story of “Humphrey Clinker.” This isn’t apropos to anything in particular, but just a decent reminder that all of these workers and artisans were people too, with families and inner-lives and personal struggles.

Leaning back on our series on agriculture, you can quickly imagine the impact that has on the structure of society. Almost all of our iron-workers (save perhaps our timber-cutters and colliers) are specialists who are not going to be providing those basic goods for themselves, which means that in order to employ them, the broader society needs to be producing surplus agricultural products (food, but also textiles) for them. That in turn brings us back to the idea of societies potentially having both high- and low-equilibrium points, because good iron tools can enhance the productivity of almost everyone: a good steel axe is much better at cutting down trees, a good iron plow is much better at plowing than stone, copper or wood equivalents.

Consequently, we can imagine two societies, on identical lands, with identical farming bases, but if one has developed an extensive iron-working industry (with improved tools leading to higher yields and lower labor requirements and thus greater efficiency) and the other has only a limited iron-working industry, the former is likely to be able to support more people at a higher standard of living than the latter. Moreover, just like with our plow-teams and fertilizer, the second society might find itself in a capital ‘trap’ where the absence of the tools and equipment needed to raise yields keeps surpluses low, which prevents the accumulation of the tools and equipment. I stress this because there is an assumption (occasionally even among scholars!) that because the basic biological yields of farming – how many seeds a wheat plant grows – were more or less static that then the productivity of the society must also be static. Certainly the efficiency gains from iron tools and plow-teams is nothing compared to the explosive productivity growth of industrialization, but nevertheless it could be significant on the smaller scale of pre-modern societies and have real implications for the living standards of the broader population.

And that is our series – for now – on iron production. I expect to add at least one addendum to this series, covering pre-modern Chinese cast iron production as well as Indian crucible steel (‘Wootz’ steel). That said, I am taking next week off from the blog (I have a mix of grading and writing that is time sensitive and needs to get done) – there will be a post next Friday, but it will be me ‘re-surfacing’ some of my older posts that I think are good but perhaps didn’t get quite so much reading the first time around.

Election

Why 780 retired generals and former national security leaders spoke out against Trump

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Donald Trump
Trump departs the White House for a photo op outside St. John’s Church on June 1, 2020. Walking behind the president are, from left, Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

On June 1, retired Army vice chief of staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli sat staring out at the Pacific Ocean in Gearhart, Ore., where his family had vacationed throughout his long military career. The peaceful scene was occasionally interrupted by the news flashing across the notebook computer in his lap. In a Rose Garden speech that afternoon, President Trump addressed the racial justice protests spreading across the nation after the brutal killing of George Floyd in police custody a week earlier.

In the speech, Trump proclaimed himself “your president of law and order,” and claimed the protests had been hijacked by “professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rider rioters, antifa and others” intent on “domestic terror.” News cameras showed some of the hundreds of National Guard troops from around the country that had been sent to reinforce the D.C. Guard, and there were reports that 1,600 active-duty troops were on high alert just outside the capital. Privately, Trump was threatening to invoke the Insurrection Act in order to send thousands more active-duty troops onto the nation’s streets in a show of dominant military force, criticizing weak governors and mayors around the country for not doing more to forcefully stamp out the protests.

The television cameras shifted to a mostly peaceful crowd of protesters across Lafayette Park from the White House. Chiarelli sat up when a phalanx of federal police and National Guard troops suddenly marched into the peaceful crowd, backed by a small cavalry of Park Police on horseback. There were flash-bang explosions, clouds of tear gas and the crackle of pepper balls as riot police used shields and batons to pummel some in the crowd. A woman could be heard plaintively shouting above the din, “Why are you shooting at us?!”

After the crowd was dispersed, Chiarelli watched with growing alarm as President Trump strode purposefully across Lafayette Park flanked by Attorney General William Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Chiarelli had served in combat with Milley in Iraq, and considered him a good friend. That Mark Milley would have known better than to appear at the president’s side in his camouflage uniform after a show of dominant force against protesters on the streets of America.

In front of historic Saint John’s Church, damaged by fire during earlier protests, Trump posed silently holding a bible aloft for a 2-minute photo op. At long last, President Trump had the image of the “American carnage” that he had promised to end in his inauguration speech, insisting that he alone could fix it.

Donald Trump
President Trump holds a Bible as he visits St. John’s Church across Lafayette Park from the White House on June 1, 2020. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Along with a cadre of other retired generals, a very upset Peter Chiarelli decided to contact his old friend General Milley, the most senior uniformed leader in the country. After serving as commander of the 147.000 U.S. and coalition troops of Multi-National Corps – Iraq, Chiarelli as vice chief of the Army had led Defense Department efforts to treat post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and suicide prevention. On his retirement in 2012, he became the first CEO of One Mind, which supports research into brain illnesses and injuries.

“That whole incident around Lafayette Square was stunning to me, because those were mostly peaceful demonstrators exercising a right guaranteed by the Constitution that I’ve sworn allegiance to throughout my entire career,” said Chiarelli in an interview. That allegiance is not given to a political party, Congress or the president of the United States, he noted, making the image of a uniformed chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the defense secretary at Trump’s side that day so alarming. General Milley later apologized for his presence in Lafayette Square, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper earned the president’s enmity by publicly opposing invocation of the Insurrection Act in order to use U.S. military troops to “dominate” the streets.

Along with more than 780 retired high-ranking officers and former national security leaders — including 22 retired four-star generals and admirals and five former secretaries of defense — Chiarelli signed an “Open Letter to America” endorsing Joe Biden for president. “We love our country,” the signatories wrote. “Unfortunately, we also fear for it.”

“Signing that letter was very hard for me to do, because I have never done that before or even given a dollar to a political campaign. Frankly, even as a retired general I didn’t think it was the right thing to do,” said Chiarelli, stressing that active-duty military officers are indoctrinated from a young age to remain strictly nonpartisan and apolitical. “But this president has assaulted the military justice system on behalf of individuals charged with war crimes. He has ended the career of service members like [impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander] Vindman for doing his duty and what was right. He has maligned mail-in voting as a fraud and suggested he might claim victory in a close election before all the ballots are counted, when as a service member I have voted absentee by mail my entire life. So like everyone else I’ve become numb after four years of this, but we have gone places in that time that I never dreamt we would go as a nation. I really do fear that the republic that I swore allegiance to is now under threat.”

Peter Chiarelli
Retired Gen. Peter Chiarelli. (Alastair Grant/AP)

Even among the cascade of scandals and controversies that have characterized the Trump presidency, the use of excessive force against mostly peaceful protesters near Lafayette Square, and the involvement of the top ranks of  the U.S. military, still stands out. The incident conjured a truly dystopian vision of a U.S. president not only willing but eager to use the world’s most powerful military to crush domestic protests and “dominate” the streets of America, one that an increasing number of retired generals and senior national security experts believe could become all too real in a second Trump term.

Lafayette Square was so alarming that it shook Trump’s former Defense Secretary, retired four-star Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, out of his long silence on the president’s leadership, writing afterwards that “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try.”

Trump’s troubling authoritarian instincts, focus on image over substance, constant misuse and politicization of nonpartisan institutions and penchant for chaos were all on clear display in Lafayette Square, and the incident crystalized the concerns expressed in the open letter. Traditionally both active-duty and retired U.S. military and intelligence officials have steered clear of politics, but in mid-September the Trump campaign released a letter signed by 235 retired senior military officers endorsing the president for reelection with the claim that Americans’ “historic way of life is at stake” if the “socialists and Marxists” of the Democratic Party take control of the government.

The willingness of hundreds of career officers to break with tradition and speak out on behalf of one candidate reflects beliefs, on both sides, that the nation faces an uncertain future, facing the worst pandemic in over a century, the worst economic decline since the Great Depression and the worst racial unrest since the 1960s. To the signers of the “Open Letter to America,” a second Trump term would only make things worse.

Protestors
Protestors at Lafayette Park on June 1, 2020. (Ken Cedeno/Reuters)

“Over the last three-plus years, I’ve watched the Trump administration politicize the Department of Justice and eviscerate the State Department, and the situation in Lafayette Square made clear that if reelected, Trump will politicize the Defense Department as well,” said retired Rear Adm. Mike Smith, who was instrumental in organizing the “Open Letter to America.” “A lot of us who spent our careers in the military would rather have stayed out of politics, but we have a deep moral conviction that the country can’t afford to go through another four years of this kind of leadership.”

Already the Lafayette Square incident has sunk beneath a wave of subsequent controversies and scandals, including recent revelations in investigative reporter Bob Woodward’s book “Rage,” based on numerous on-the-record interviews with Trump, that the president knew early on about the deadly and extremely contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus, but chose to continually play down the threat; the revelations in an article in the Atlantic, backed by reporting by the Washington Post, Fox News and other outlets, that Trump has repeatedly shown contempt for U.S. service members killed in combat, including referring to fallen soldiers and marines in cemeteries overseas as “losers” and “suckers”; Trump’s bullying and hectoring performance in the first presidential debate that astounded viewers at home and abroad; the president’s decision to put the health and lives of his Secret Service detail in jeopardy for a photo op after he tested positive for the coronavirus; and Trump’s insistence that the presidential election weeks away will be “the most rigged” in history, and his refusal to commit to accepting its results and peacefully transfer power if he loses.

Civil-Military Dysfunction

Donald Trump and Melania Trump
Donald and Melania Trump celebrate Independence Day on the South Lawn of the White House, July 4, 2020. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

President Trump’s relationship with military commanders might have been an asset in his reelection campaign. He has increased defense spending each year of his presidency, with the United States on track to spend more on the military in 2020 (adjusted for inflation) than at any point since World War II, with the exception of a few years at the height of the Iraq War. Early in his term, Trump pleased commanders by relaxing battlefield restrictions in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and he ordered successful strikes that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Iranian Quds Force leader Qassem Soleimani.

As commander in chief, Trump also clearly revels in the pomp and spectacle of military parades, and in salutes to the troops. Yet from the early days of his presidency there were signs of severe tension between a president who has racked up an unprecedented 20,000 falsehoods since taking the oath, according to the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker,” and an institution built on the ethos that officers “will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” There were also early indications that Trump was willing to politicize the most stringently apolitical institution in the U.S. government, treating appearances with the troops like political rallies where he excoriated Democrats and signed “Make America Great Again” hats. Before the 2018 midterm elections, Trump alarmed senior military leaders by sending active-duty troops to the southern border to confront a ragtag caravan of asylum seekers and migrants in a nakedly political stunt, and he diverted Pentagon funds to build sections of the wall he promised that Mexico would pay for.

From the beginning of his term, Trump has also exhibited indifference bordering on contempt for the sacrifices and principle of selfless service that underlies the military profession. Many officers were willing to look past the five draft deferments Trump received during the Vietnam War, including one for a “bone spur” diagnosis from a New York podiatrist who reportedly rented an apartment from Trump’s father.

More troubling to many uniformed leaders was Trump’s belittling of the Muslim Gold Star parents of a slain U.S. soldier who criticized him during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and the president’s casual dismissal of the wartime service of the late Sen. John McCain, a former Navy pilot who spent more than five years being tormented in the notorious “Hanoi Hilton” prison. “He’s not a war hero,” said candidate Trump, when he was feuding with the Arizona senator. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Donald Trump
Then presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, in July 2015. (Nat Harnik/AP)

In his first briefing inside the Pentagon’s classified “tank” with then Defense Secretary Mattis and the Joint Chiefs, Trump famously bristled at their arguments supporting NATO and ongoing operations in Afghanistan. “You’re all losers,” Trump reportedly said to a room full of four-star flag officers and combat veterans. “You don’t know how to win anymore.” After Mattis later resigned to protest Trump’s rash decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria and abandon Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS, Trump publicly dissed him as “the world’s most overrated general.”

“President Trump routinely shows disrespect towards exemplary leaders like Senator McCain, and towards General Jim Mattis, one of our very best,” said retired Marine Lt. General Frank Libutti, a combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient who signed the “Open Letter to America.” “It recalls his public ridicule of many of his top military and intelligence community leaders, and his insistence that he knows more about issues of national security than they do, which is nonsense. But what I found truly shocking were Trump’s comments about the Marines who sacrificed their lives for victory at Belleau Wood. I believe words count. Character counts. Temperament counts. And President Trump has shown himself beneath the dignity of the office.”

A seeming contempt for military service came through most clearly when Trump canceled a planned visit to a World War I military cemetery near Paris because of rain during a 2018 trip. Quoting four anonymous sources with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day, the Atlantic’s editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg reported that Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump reportedly referred to the more than 1,800 Marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed. Fox News and the Washington Post later confirmed similar episodes of the president denigrating military service.

Retired Air Force Gen. Charles Boyd spent more than six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, and he is the only Vietnam War POW to later reach four-star rank. “When I read the Atlantic article, I found it absolutely disgusting. The idea that the commander in chief holds those who serve under him with such contempt, just because they are not driven by the same desire for money and wealth as him, made me sick to my stomach. In all of my experiences in life, I’ve never known any group that is more honorable than military professionals, who sign an unlimited liability contract to sacrifice their lives if called to for this nation.”

In the past, Boyd has also opposed even retired flag officers endorsing candidates or becoming involved in partisan politics, but he made an exception this year by signing the “Open Letter to America.” “There’s a saying in the military that ‘officers eat last,’ which means that leadership is all about what’s best for your troops, and for the nation. President Trump has no concept of that kind of leadership. Everything he does is driven by what’s best for him personally, including casting doubt on any election results that don’t declare him the winner. That’s destructive to the very fiber of our democracy.”

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Twin Cities area youth sports coaches add COVID-19 protocols to daily routines

Emily walpole

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Mary Guzek is used to playing the role of “Team Mom” for her two sons’ Fridley youth football, basketball and baseball squads. Time was, that meant supplying snacks or filling water bottles.

But this fall, in the midst of a global pandemic, it means taking players’ temperatures before every practice and game, counseling parents of sick kids to keep them home and running down a checklist of whether any of the 22 players on the fifth-grade football team have a cough or feel short of breath.

“Unfortunately, it’s what we have had to do to make sure our kids can play,” said Guzek, whose boys are 12 and 10. “But it was worse in the spring, when seasons were canceled, and the kids were sad and depressed. Now, they can play.”

It’s hard enough for some parents to volunteer their time and energy at the end of a workday to coach youth sports. But with COVID-19 rapidly spreading, they’re now forced to do more than manage lineups and the Xs and Os to keep players on the field and the virus at bay.

Many parents and volunteer coaches across the metro have added COVID-19 protocols to their duties. Taking player temperatures, scrubbing down equipment and alternating practice times have, for most, become routine. Meanwhile, some park and recreation departments, not wanting to saddle volunteers with such responsibility, have moved away from traditional soccer and football games, offering instead skills camps run by paid staff members at a handful of hub sites.

Jayme Murphy, who focuses on COVID-19 issues for the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, said youth sports groups across the state spent much of the summer exploring ways they could safely play in the fall. Some, he said, were committed to playing out the season. Others created scaled-down versions of their usual offerings. Still others canceled seasons altogether.

Key to those decisions was determining whether coaches and parent volunteers would feel overwhelmed by the responsibility for keeping COVID-19 in check. The Minnesota Department of Health has issued 13 pages of guidelines for safely conducting youth and adult sports.

“The question for volunteers and parents to ask themselves is how comfortable are they with risk?” Murphy said. “If you’re uncomfortable with this, if you’re uncomfortable with your child’s participation in this, that’s ok.”

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across the state this fall, those comfort levels may be challenged even more as the winter sports season approaches.

Another way

In St. Paul, officials at the city’s Parks and Recreation department canceled sports at 26 recreation centers over the spring and summer. This fall, they replaced tackle football and competitive soccer with flag football and soccer skills programs hosted at six recreation centers.

They did so, because “we didn’t want to throw the responsibility for following those protocols onto volunteer coaches,” said Andy Rodriguez, recreation services manager.

By limiting offerings to six sites, supervised by city employees with help from coaches at Cretin-Derham Hall and the Sanneh Foundation, Rodriguez said the city can better control social distancing, sanitizing equipment and health screening. Nearly 600 kids, ages 3-14, registered for soccer in St. Paul, Rodriguez said. Almost 400 kids, ages 8-12, signed up for flag football.

“For the most part, the families we have been working with are just thankful for something for their kids to do in the fall,” he said.

Davis Vue who helped his 7-year-old son Memphis tie his shoes on a recent night, said he is one of the happy parents. The St. Paul native watched the coronavirus wipe out his own flag football league season, so he appreciates the city finding a way for Memphis to participate. It’s his son’s first year playing and he hasn’t missed a night, his father said.

“With this pandemic going on, I’m surprised Parks and Rec had this going on for kids,” Vue said. “I’m really glad they did.”

There’s also no tackle football in Minneapolis, where the city’s Park Board has offered flag football for young athletes 6-18. The soccer season has continued with a citywide schedule and volunteer coaches, said Mimi Kalb, director of Athletic Programs and Aquatics for the Minneapolis Park Board. Younger children — on 6U and 8U teams — are playing games in “smaller service areas” with city staff members conducting many of the COVID-19 protocols, she said.

Some coaches and players and families opted out of playing, “but for those who wanted to play, we tried to take a lot of the responsibility off the coaches,” she said. “Our park staff and league directors are doing a lot of that.”

Tim Grate, athletics program director for Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, said many coaches have successfully incorporated their new responsibilities.

“I’ve seen coaches who laid out cones to make sure [players are] social distancing,” he said. “I haven’t heard a lot of complaints.”

John Swanson, a Fridley varsity football coach who oversees more than 200 youth teams across the north metro, said about 30 % of them opted out of play due to COVID-19 concerns. Those that remained were committed to following all the necessary rules to keep playing.

“It’s one of the few things that still connects community,” he said. “Youth sports help us maintain that connectivity.”

Coaches and team moms and dads are keeping spreadsheets, taking temperatures, cleaning equipment, staggering practice nights and holding kids out if they show symptoms or test positive, he said. Teams have built time into their schedules to play makeup games when any had to quarantine for 14 days. So far, he said, there have been no COVID-19 cases transmitted on the football field.

“I don’t think we are asking the coaches to do too much,” Swanson said. “Volunteer coaches have proved they can do it.”

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tsla-ex991_57.pptx.htm

Mish Boyka

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Slide 1

Q3 2020 Update Exhibit 99.1

Slide 2

Highlights 03 Financial Summary04 Operational Summary06 Vehicle Capacity 07 Core Technology 08 Other Highlights09 Outlook10 Battery Day Highlights11 Photos & Charts13 Financial Statements23 Additional Information28

Slide 3

The third quarter of 2020 was a record quarter on many levels. Over the past four quarters, we generated over $1.9B of free cash flow while spending $2.4B on new production capacity, service centers, Supercharging locations and other capital investments.  While we took additional SBC expense in Q3, our GAAP operating margin reached 9.2%. We are increasingly focused on our next phase of growth. Our most recent capacity expansion investments are now stabilizing with Model 3 in Shanghai achieving its designed production rate and Model Y in Fremont expected to reach capacity-level production soon. During this next phase, we are implementing more ambitious architectural changes to our products and factories to improve manufacturing cost and efficiency. We are also expanding our scope of manufacturing to include additional areas of insourcing. At Tesla Battery Day, we announced our plans to manufacture battery cells in-house to aid in our rapid expansion plan. We believe our new 4680 cells are an important step forward to reduce cost and improve capital efficiency, while improving performance. We continue to see growing interest in our cars, storage and solar products and remain focused on cost-efficiency while growing capacity as quickly as possible. $5.9B increase in our cash and cash equivalents in Q3 to $14.5B Operating cash flow less capex (free cash flow) of $1.4B in Q3 Cash Record vehicle deliveries, profitability and free cash flow Buildout of three new factories on three continents continues as planned First step of FSD beta rollout started in Oct. 2020 Profitability $809M GAAP operating income; 9.2% operating margin in Q3 $331M GAAP net income; $874M non-GAAP net income (ex-SBC) in Q3 SBC expense increased to $543M (driven by 2018 CEO award milestones) Operations S U M M A R Y H I G H L I G H T S 3 SBC = stock-based compensation

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F I N A N C I A L   S U M M A R Y (Unaudited) 4 ($ in millions, except percentages and per share data) Q3-2019 Q4-2019 Q1-2020 Q2-2020 Q3-2020 QoQ YoY Automotive revenues 5,353 6,368 5,132 5,179 7,611 47% 42%    of which regulatory credits 134 133 354 428 397 -7% 196% Automotive gross profit 1,222 1,434 1,311 1,317 2,105 60% 72% Automotive gross margin 22.8% 22.5% 25.5% 25.4% 27.7% 223 bp 483 bp               Total revenues 6,303 7,384 5,985 6,036 8,771 45% 39% Total gross profit 1,191 1,391 1,234 1,267 2,063 63% 73% Total GAAP gross margin 18.9% 18.8% 20.6% 21.0% 23.5% 253 bp 462 bp               Operating expenses 930 1,032 951 940 1,254 33% 35% Income from operations 261 359 283 327 809 147% 210% Operating margin 4.1% 4.9% 4.7% 5.4% 9.2% 381 bp 508 bp               Adjusted EBITDA 1,083 1,175 951 1,209 1,807 49% 67% Adjusted EBITDA margin 17.2% 15.9% 15.9% 20.0% 20.6% 57 bp 342 bp               Net income attributable to common stockholders (GAAP) 143 105 16 104 331 218% 131% Net income attributable to common stockholders (non-GAAP) 342 386 227 451 874 94% 156%               EPS attributable to common stockholders, diluted (GAAP) (1) 0.16 0.11 0.02 0.10 0.27 170% 69% EPS attributable to common stockholders, diluted (non-GAAP) (1) 0.37 0.41 0.23 0.44 0.76 73% 105%               Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities 756 1,425 (440) 964 2,400 149% 217% Capital expenditures (385) (412) (455) (546) (1,005) 84% 161% Free cash flow 371 1,013 (895) 418 1,395 234% 276% Cash and cash equivalents 5,338 6,268 8,080 8,615 14,531 69% 172% (1) Prior period results have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the five-for-one stock split effected in the form of a stock dividend in August 2020. EPS = Earnings per share

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F I N A N C I A L   S U M M A R Y Revenue Profitability Cash Total revenue grew 39% YoY in Q3. This was achieved mainly through substantial growth in vehicle deliveries as well as growth in other parts of the business. At the same time, vehicle average selling price (ASP) declined slightly compared to the same period last year as our product mix continues to shift from Model S and Model X to the more affordable Model 3 and Model Y. Our operating income improved in Q3 to a record level of $809M, resulting in a 9.2% operating margin. This profit level was reached while we took increased SBC expense in Q3 attributable to the 2018 CEO award, of which $290M was triggered by a significant increase in share price and market capitalization and a new operational milestone becoming probable. Positive profit impacts included strong volume, better fixed cost absorption and continuous cost reduction.  Quarter-end cash and cash equivalents increased by $5.9B QoQ to $14.5B, driven mainly by our recent capital raise of $5.0B (average price of this offering was ~$449/share) combined with free cash flow of $1.4B and partially offset by reduced use of working capital credit lines. Since our days payable outstanding (DPO) are higher than days sales outstanding (DSO), revenue growth results in additional cash generation from working capital. DPO and DSO both declined sequentially in Q3 2020.  5

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Q3-2019 Q4-2019 Q1-2020 Q2-2020 Q3-2020 QoQ YoY Model S/X production 16,318 17,933 15,390 6,326 16,992 169% 4% Model 3/Y production 79,837 86,958 87,282 75,946 128,044 69% 60% Total production 96,155 104,891 102,672 82,272 145,036 76% 51% Model S/X deliveries 17,483 19,475 12,230 10,614 15,275 44% -13% Model 3/Y deliveries 79,703 92,620 76,266 80,277 124,318 55% 56% Total deliveries 97,186 112,095 88,496 90,891 139,593 54% 44%    of which subject to operating lease accounting 9,086 8,848 6,104 4,716 10,014 112% 10% Total end of quarter operating lease vehicle count 44,241 49,901 53,159 54,519 61,638 13% 39% Global vehicle inventory (days of supply)(1) 18 10 25 17 14 -18% -22% Solar deployed (MW) 43 54 35 27 57 111% 33% Storage deployed (MWh) 477 530 260 419 759 81% 59% Store and service locations 417 433 438 446 466 4% 12% Mobile service fleet 719 743 756 769 780 1% 8% Supercharger stations 1,653 1,821 1,917 2,035 2,181 7% 32% Supercharger connectors 14,658 16,104 17,007 18,100 19,437 7% 33% (1) Days of supply is calculated by dividing new car ending inventory by the quarter’s deliveries and using 75 trading days (aligned with Automotive News definition). 6 O P E R A T I O N A L   S U M M A R Y (Unaudited)

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Delivery percentage of locally-made vehicles* V E H I C L E C A P A C I T Y Fremont We have recently increased capacity of Model 3 / Model Y to 500,000 units a year. In order to do this, we restarted our second paint shop, installed the largest die-casting machine in the world and upgraded our Model Y general assembly line. Production should reach full capacity toward the end of this year or beginning of next year. Shanghai Model 3 production capacity has increased to 250,000 units a year. We reduced the price of Model 3 to 249,900 RMB after incentives, making it the lowest-price premium mid-sized sedan1 in China. This was enabled both by lower-cost batteries and an increased level of local procurement. As a result of this shift in cost and starting price, we recently added a third production shift to our Model 3 factory. Berlin-Brandenburg Construction of the Gigafactory in Berlin continues to progress rapidly. Buildings are under construction and equipment move-in will start over the coming weeks. At the same time, the Giga Berlin team continues to grow. Production is expected to start in 2021.  Installed Annual Capacity Current Status Fremont Model S / Model X         90,000 Production Model 3 / Model Y    500,000 Production Shanghai Model 3       250,000 Production Model Y – Construction Berlin Model 3 – In development Model Y – Construction Texas Model Y – Construction Cybertruck – In development United States Tesla Semi – In development Roadster – In development 7 Installed capacity ≠ Current production rate. Production rate depends on pace of factory ramp, supply chain ramp, downtime related to factory upgrades, national holidays and other factors. * Locally-made is defined as (i) cars made in Fremont and delivered in North America and (ii) cars made in China and delivered in China. 1 Premium mid-sized sedan segment in China defined as Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Mercedes C-Class and Tesla Model 3.

Slide 8

C O R E   T E C H N O L O G Y Autopilot & Full Self Driving (FSD) Our Autopilot team has been focused on a fundamental architectural rewrite of our neural networks and control algorithms. This rewrite will allow the remaining driving features to be released. In October, we sent the first FSD software update enabled by the rewrite to a limited number of Early Access Program users — City Streets. As we continue to collect data over time, the system will become more robust. Vehicle Software New software functionality was introduced since the start of Q3. In order to make our products safer from unauthorized access, we introduced the ability to enable 2-step verification via a smartphone. Additionally, among many other updates, we improved active suspension comfort, updated Powerwall-to-vehicle charging coordination and added an automated window close function and glovebox PIN access. Our Model Y AWD customers can now purchase a $2,000 software update that improves 0-60 mph time to just 4.3s.     Battery & Powertrain On September 22, we hosted Tesla Battery Day where we described a path to reducing battery pack cost per kWh by 56%, enabling production of a profitable $25,000 vehicle. This, in our view, is a critical component to exceed cost parity with internal combustion engine vehicles. Additionally, due to a simpler cell manufacturing process, we believe capex per GWh of battery capacity should decline by 69% compared to today’s production process.  How our vehicles see an intersection 8 How our Neural Net understands the same intersection (generalized approach for any unmapped intersection)

Slide 9

O T H E R H I G H L I G H T S Energy Business Our energy storage business reached record deployments of 759 MWh in Q3. Megapack production continued to ramp at Gigafactory Nevada as production volumes more than doubled in Q3. Powerwall demand remains strong and is growing, particularly as our solar business grows as many customers include a Powerwall with their solar installation. Additionally, we are seeing accelerating interest in Powerwall as concerns with grid stability grow, particularly in California. We continue to believe that the energy business will ultimately be as large as our vehicle business. Our recently introduced strategy of low cost solar (at $1.49/watt in the US after tax credit) is starting to have an impact. Total solar deployments more than doubled in Q3 to 57 MW compared to the prior quarter, with Solar Roof deployments almost tripling sequentially. While not yet at scale, we recently demonstrated a ~1.5-day Solar Roof install, as shown below in the photos. For Solar Roof, installation time is a key area of focus to accelerate the growth of this program. We continue to onboard hundreds of electricians and roofers to grow this business. 9 7:30 am Noon 2:00 pm (the next day)

Slide 10

O U T L O O K Volume Cash Flow Profit Product We have the capacity installed to produce and deliver 500,000 vehicles this year.  While achieving this goal has become more difficult, delivering half a million vehicles in 2020 remains our target. Achieving this target depends primarily on quarter over quarter increases in Model Y and Shanghai production, as well as further improvements in logistics and delivery efficiency at higher volume levels.  We should have sufficient liquidity to fund our product roadmap, long-term capacity expansion plans and other expenses.  For the trailing 12 months, we achieved an operating margin of 6.3%. We expect our operating margin will continue to grow over time, ultimately reaching industry-leading levels with capacity expansion and localization plans underway.  We are currently building Model Y capacity at Gigafactory Shanghai, Gigafactory Berlin and Gigafactory Texas, and remain on track to start deliveries from each location in 2021. Tesla Semi deliveries will also begin in 2021.  We continue to significantly invest in our product roadmap. 10

Slide 11

B A T T E R Y D A Y H I G H L I G H T S

Slide 12

Area of improvement Description Range Increase* $/kWh Cost Reduction* $/GWh Capex Reduction* Cell Design After considering every form factor and cell size across quantifiable factors, we deemed 80 mm height by 46 mm diameter cylindrical to be best These dimensions maximize vehicle range (pack level energy density) while minimizing manufacturing and product cost The challenge is that large diameter cylindrical cells easily overheat during supercharging We identified a tab-less design solution to resolve the overheating challenge and simplify manufacturing 16% 14% 7% Cell Factory Electrode Current electrode production process involves mixing liquids with cathode or anode powders and using massive machinery to coat and dry electrode New process allows going directly from cathode or anode powder to an electrode film 0% 18% 34% Winding Larger cells improve winder productivity Incorporates our tab-less design Assembly Large cells moving at high speed with simplification in process steps enables a single production line to have 20 GWh of capacity Formation Leveraging our power electronics to densify and reduce costs of the final charging and testing step of millions of cells Anode Material Silicon is a better anode material than graphite – stores 9x more lithium, but silicon expansion brings challenges Silicon used in anodes today is highly engineered and expensive Raw silicon with our coating design will cost just $1.20/kWh Expansion of silicon is managed by stabilizing surface and by creating an elastic binder network 20% 5% 4% Cathode Material We are taking a diversified cathode approach to maximize available supply options: all usable in our 4680 cells We are planning to manufacture cathode in-house, using far less water and reagents in a simplified production process Focus on local sourcing for each cell factory to avoid unnecessary transportation cost Actively pursuing pathways to vertically integrate lithium production for a portion of supply 4% 12% 16% Cell-Vehicle Integration Current EV design: cells to modules, modules to battery pack, battery pack to vehicle Future EV design: cells directly integrated into vehicle body with giga castings Battery is no longer carried as “luggage”, will provide new utility as a load-bearing frame element This unlocks high-efficiency factories and mechanical structures— best manufacturability, weight, range and cost 14% 7% 8% Projected Total Improvement 54% 56% 69% F I V E A R E A S O F F O C U S 12 * Our current projections.

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P H O T O S & C H A R T S

Slide 14

G I G A F A C T O R Y   S H A N G H A I   –   M O D E L   Y   F A C T O R Y   ( F O R E G R O U N D ) ;   M O D E L   3   F A C T O R Y   ( B A C K G R O U N D ) 14

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G I G A F A C T O R Y S H A N G H A I – M O D E L Y D I E C A S T 15

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G I G A F A C T O R Y S H A N G H A I – M O D E L Y B O D Y S H O P 16

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G I G A F A C T O R Y S H A N G H A I – M O D E L Y P A I N T S H O P 17

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18 G I G A F A C T O R Y B E R L I N – M O D E L Y F A C T O R Y C O N S T R U C T I O N

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19 G I G A F A C T O R Y T E X A S

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20 M E G A P A C K P R O J E C T AT M O S S L A N D I N G

Slide 21

Vehicle Deliveries (units) Net Income ($B) K E Y   M E T R I C S   Q U A R T E R L Y  (Unaudited) 21 Operating Cash Flow ($B) Free Cash Flow ($B)

Slide 22

K E Y   M E T R I C S   T R A I L I N G   1 2   M O N T H S   ( T T M ) (Unaudited) Vehicle Deliveries (units) Operating Cash Flow ($B) Free Cash Flow ($B) Net Income ($B) 22

Slide 23

F I N A N C I A L S T A T E M E N T S

Slide 24

In millions of USD or shares as applicable, except per share data Q3-2019 Q4-2019 Q1-2020 Q2-2020 Q3-2020 REVENUES Automotive sales 5,132 6,143 4,893 4,911 7,346 Automotive leasing 221 225 239 268 265 Total automotive revenue 5,353 6,368 5,132 5,179 7,611 Energy generation and storage 402 436 293 370 579 Services and other 548 580 560 487 581 Total revenues 6,303 7,384 5,985 6,036 8,771 COST OF REVENUES           Automotive sales 4,014 4,815 3,699 3,714 5,361 Automotive leasing 117 119 122 148 145 Total automotive cost of revenues 4,131 4,934 3,821 3,862 5,506 Energy generation and storage 314 385 282 349 558 Services and other 667 674 648 558 644 Total cost of revenues 5,112 5,993 4,751 4,769 6,708 Gross profit 1,191 1,391 1,234 1,267 2,063 OPERATING EXPENSES           Research and development 334 345 324 279 366 Selling, general and administrative 596 699 627 661 888 Restructuring and other – (12) – – – Total operating expenses 930 1,032 951 940 1,254 INCOME FROM OPERATIONS 261 359 283 327 809 Interest income 15 10 10 8 6 Interest expense (185) (170) (169) (170) (163) Other income (expense), net 85 (25) (54) (15) (97) INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES 176 174 70 150 555 Provision for income taxes 26 42 2 21 186 NET INCOME 150 132 68 129 369 Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests and redeemable noncontrolling interests 7 27 52 25 38 NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO COMMON STOCKHOLDERS 143 105 16 104 331 Less: Buy-out of noncontrolling interest – – – – 31 NET INCOME USED IN COMPUTING NET INCOME PER SHARE OF COMMON STOCK 143 105 16 104 300 Net income per share of common stock attributable to common stockholders(1)           Basic $ 0.16 $ 0.12 $ 0.02 $ 0.11 $ 0.32 Diluted $ 0.16 $ 0.11 $ 0.02 $ 0.10 $ 0.27 Weighted average shares used in computing net income per share of common stock(1)           Basic 897 902 915 928 937 Diluted 922 935 994 1,036 1,105 S T A T E M E N T O F O P E R A T I O N S (Unaudited) 24 (1) Prior period results have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the five-for-one stock split effected in the form of a stock dividend in August 2020

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B A L A N C E   S H E E T (Unaudited) In millions of USD 30-Sep-19 31-Dec-19 31-Mar-20 30-Jun-20 30-Sep-20 ASSETS Current assets    Cash and cash equivalents 5,338 6,268 8,080 8,615 14,531    Accounts receivable, net 1,128 1,324 1,274 1,485 1,757    Inventory 3,581 3,552 4,494 4,018 4,218    Prepaid expenses and other current assets 893 959 1,045 1,218 1,238       Total current assets 10,940 12,103 14,893 15,336 21,744 Operating lease vehicles, net 2,253 2,447 2,527 2,524 2,742 Solar energy systems, net 6,168 6,138 6,106 6,069 6,025 Property, plant and equipment, net 10,190 10,396 10,638 11,009 11,848 Operating lease right-of-use assets 1,234 1,218 1,197 1,274 1,375 Goodwill and intangible assets, net 537 537 516 508 521 Other non-current assets 1,473 1,470 1,373 1,415 1,436      Total assets 32,795 34,309 37,250 38,135 45,691 LIABILITIES AND EQUITY Current liabilities    Accounts payable       3,468        3,771       3,970        3,638       4,958    Accrued liabilities and other        2,938        3,222        2,825        3,110        3,252    Deferred revenue 1,045 1,163 1,186 1,130 1,258    Customer deposits 665 726 788 713 708    Current portion of debt and finance leases (1) 2,030 1,785 3,217 3,679 3,126      Total current liabilities 10,146 10,667 11,986 12,270 13,302 Debt and finance leases, net of current portion (1) 11,313 11,634 10,666 10,416 10,559 Deferred revenue, net of current portion 1,140 1,207 1,199 1,198 1,233 Other long-term liabilities 2,714 2,691 2,667 2,870 3,049       Total liabilities 25,313 26,199 26,518 26,754 28,143 Redeemable noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries 600 643 632 613 608  Convertible senior notes              —              —  60  44 48 Total stockholders’ equity 6,040 6,618 9,173 9,855 16,031 Noncontrolling interests in subsidiaries 842 849 867 869 861       Total liabilities and equity 32,795 34,309 37,250 38,135 45,691 (1) Breakdown of our debt is as follows:    Vehicle and energy product financing (non-recourse) 3,702 4,183 4,022 4,043 4,141    Other non-recourse debt 155 355 708 1,415 605    Recourse debt 7,882 7,263 7,600 7,106 7,448       Total debt excluding vehicle and energy product financing 8,037 7,618 8,308 8,521 8,053 25

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In millions of USD Q3-2019 Q4-2019 Q1-2020 Q2-2020 Q3-2020 CASH FLOWS FROM OPERATING ACTIVITIES Net income 150  132  68  129  369  Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by (used in) operating activities: Depreciation, amortization and impairment 530  577  553  567  584  Stock-based compensation 199  281  211  347  543  Other 69  204  175  167  269  Changes in operating assets and liabilities, net of effect of business combinations (192) 231  (1,447) (246) 635  Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities 756  1,425  (440) 964  2,400  CASH FLOWS FROM INVESTING ACTIVITIES Capital expenditures (385) (412) (455) (546) (1,005) Purchases of solar energy systems, net of sales (25) (37) (26) (20) (16) Purchase of intangible assets               —                —                —                —  (5) Receipt of government grants               —  46  1  —  —  Business combinations, net of cash acquired (76)               —                —                —  (13) Net cash used in investing activities (486) (403) (480) (566) (1,039) CASH FLOWS FROM FINANCING ACTIVITIES Net cash flows from debt activities (55) (591) 544  164  (630) Collateralized lease repayments (83) (87) (97) (71) (56) Net borrowings (repayments) under vehicle and solar financing 183  478  (160) 18  99  Net cash flows from noncontrolling interests – Auto 30  19  (8) (3) (31) Net cash flows from noncontrolling interests – Solar (28) 6  (40) (42) (49) Proceeds from issuances of common stock in public offerings, net of issuance costs               —                —  2,309                —  4,973  Other 71  96  160  57  144  Net cash provided by (used in) financing activities 118  (79) 2,708  123  4,450  Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash (11) 14  (24) 38  86  Net increase in cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash 377  957  1,764  559  5,897  Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash at beginning of period 5,449  5,826  6,783  8,547  9,106  Cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash at end of period 5,826  6,783  8,547  9,106  15,003  S T A T E M E N T   O F   C A S H   F L O W S  (Unaudited) 26

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In millions of USD or shares as applicable, except per share data Q3-2019 Q4-2019 Q1-2020 Q2-2020 Q3-2020           Net income attributable to common stockholders (GAAP) 143 105 16 104 331 Stock-based compensation expense 199 281 211 347 543 Net income attributable to common stockholders (non-GAAP) 342 386 227 451 874 Less: Buy-out of noncontrolling interest – – – – 31 Net income used in computing EPS attributable to common stockholders (non-GAAP) 342 386 227 451 843         EPS attributable to common stockholders, diluted (GAAP)(1) 0.16 0.11 0.02 0.10 0.27 Stock-based compensation expense per share(1) 0.21 0.30 0.21 0.34 0.49 EPS attributable to common stockholders, diluted (non-GAAP)(1) 0.37 0.41 0.23 0.44 0.76 Shares used in EPS calculation, diluted (GAAP and non-GAAP)(1) 922 935 994 1,036 1,105 Net income attributable to common stockholders (GAAP) 143 105 16 104 331 Interest expense 185 170 169 170 163 Provision for income taxes 26 42 2 21 186 Depreciation, amortization and impairment 530 577 553 567 584 Stock-based compensation expense 199 281 211 347 543 Adjusted EBITDA (non-GAAP) 1,083 1,175 951 1,209 1,807 Total revenues 6,303 7,384 5,985 6,036 8,771 Adjusted EBITDA margin (non-GAAP)(2) 17.2% 15.9% 15.9% 20.0% 20.6%         Automotive gross margin (GAAP) 22.8% 22.5% 25.5% 25.4% 27.7% Less: Total regulatory credit revenue recognized 2.0% 1.6% 5.5% 6.7% 4.0% Automotive gross margin excluding regulatory credits (non-GAAP) 20.8% 20.9% 20.0% 18.7% 23.7% R e c o n c I l I a t I o n   o f   G A A P   t o   N o n – G A A P   F I n a n c I a l   I n f o r m a t I o n (Unaudited) 27 In millions of USD 4Q-2017 1Q-2018 2Q-2018 3Q-2018 4Q-2018 1Q-2019 2Q-2019 3Q-2019 4Q-2019 1Q-2020 2Q-2020 3Q-2020 Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities (GAAP) 510 (398) (130) 1,391 1,235 (640) 864 756 1,425 (440) 964 2,400 Capital expenditures (787) (656) (610) (510) (325) (280) (250) (385) (412) (455) (546) (1,005) Free cash flow (non-GAAP) (277) (1,054) (740) 881 910 (920) 614 371 1,013 (895) 418 1,395                           In millions of USD 4Q-2017 1Q-2018 2Q-2018 3Q-2018 4Q-2018 1Q-2019 2Q-2019 3Q-2019 4Q-2019 1Q-2020 2Q-2020 3Q-2020 Net cash (used in) provided by operating activities – TTM (GAAP) (61) (389) (319) 1,373 2,098 1,856 2,850 2,215 2,405 2,605 2,705 4,349 Capital expenditures – TTM (3,415) (3,518) (3,169) (2,563) (2,101) (1,725) (1,365) (1,240) (1,327) (1,502) (1,798) (2,418) Free cash flow – TTM (non-GAAP) (3,476) (3,907) (3,488) (1,190) (3) 131 1,485 975 1,078 1,103 907 1,931 (1) Prior period results have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the five-for-one stock split effected in the form of a stock dividend in August 2020 (2) Adjusted EBITDA margin is Adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of total revenues

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A D D I T I O N A L   I N F O R M A T I O N WEBCAST INFORMATION Tesla will provide a live webcast of its third quarter 2020 financial results conference call beginning at 2:30 p.m. PT on October 21, 2020 at ir.tesla.com. This webcast will also be available for replay for approximately one year thereafter.   CERTAIN TERMS When used in this update, certain terms have the following meanings. Our vehicle deliveries include only vehicles that have been transferred to end customers with all paperwork correctly completed. Our energy product deployment volume includes both customer units installed and equipment sales; we report installations at time of commissioning for storage projects or inspection for solar projects, and equipment sales at time of delivery. “Adjusted EBITDA” is equal to (i) net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders before (ii)(a) interest expense, (b) provision for income taxes, (c) depreciation, amortization and impairment and (d) stock-based compensation expense, which is the same measurement for this term pursuant to the performance-based stock option award granted to our CEO in 2018. “Free cash flow” is operating cash flow less capital expenditures. NON-GAAP FINANCIAL INFORMATION Consolidated financial information has been presented in accordance with GAAP as well as on a non-GAAP basis to supplement our consolidated financial results. Our non-GAAP financial measures include non-GAAP automotive gross margin, non-GAAP net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders, non-GAAP net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders on a diluted per share basis (calculated using weighted average shares for GAAP diluted net income (loss) attributable to common stockholders), Adjusted EBITDA, Adjusted EBITDA margin, and free cash flow. These non-GAAP financial measures also facilitate management’s internal comparisons to Tesla’s historical performance as well as comparisons to the operating results of other companies. Management believes that it is useful to supplement its GAAP financial statements with this non-GAAP information because management uses such information internally for its operating, budgeting and financial planning purposes. Management also believes that presentation of the non-GAAP financial measures provides useful information to our investors regarding our financial condition and results of operations so that investors can see through the eyes of Tesla management regarding important financial metrics that Tesla uses to run the business, and allowing investors to better understand Tesla’s performance. Non-GAAP information is not prepared under a comprehensive set of accounting rules and therefore, should only be read in conjunction with financial information reported under U.S. GAAP when understanding Tesla’s operating performance. A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP financial information is provided above.   FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS Certain statements in this update, including statements in the “Outlook” section; statements relating to the future development, production capacity and output rates, demand and market growth, deliveries, deployment, safety, range and other features and improvements, and timing of existing and future Tesla products and technologies such as Model 3, Model Y, Cybertruck, Tesla Semi, Roadster, Autopilot and Full Self Driving, our energy products and services such as Megapack, Solar Roof and Powerwall, and the battery cells we are developing and related technologies; statements regarding operating margin, spending and liquidity targets; statements regarding manufacturing and procurement improvements, cost reductions and efficiencies; statements regarding construction, expansion, improvements and/or ramp at the Tesla Factory, Gigafactory Shanghai, Gigafactory Berlin and Gigafactory Texas; and statements regarding our hiring targets are “forward-looking statements” that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations, and as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those projected. The following important factors, without limitation, could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements: uncertainties in future macroeconomic and regulatory conditions arising from the current global pandemic; the risk of delays in launching and manufacturing our products and features cost-effectively; our ability to grow our sales, delivery, installation, servicing and charging capabilities and effectively manage this growth; consumers’ willingness to adopt electric vehicles generally and our vehicles specifically; the ability of suppliers to deliver components according to schedules, prices, quality and volumes acceptable to us, and our ability to manage such components effectively; any issues with lithium-ion cells or other components manufactured at Gigafactory Nevada; our ability to build and ramp Gigafactory Shanghai, Gigafactory Berlin and Gigafactory Texas in accordance with our plans; our ability to procure supply of battery cells, including through our own manufacturing; risks relating to international expansion; any failures by Tesla products to perform as expected or if product recalls occur; the risk of product liability claims; competition in the automotive and energy product markets; our ability to maintain public credibility and confidence in our long-term business prospects; our ability to manage risks relating to our various product financing programs; the unavailability, reduction or elimination of government and economic incentives for electric vehicles and energy products; our ability to attract and retain key employees and qualified personnel and ramp our installation teams; our ability to maintain the security of our information and production and product systems; our compliance with various regulations and laws applicable to our operations and products, which may evolve from time to time; risks relating to our indebtedness and financing strategies; and adverse foreign exchange movements. More information on potential factors that could affect our financial results is included from time to time in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including the risks identified under the section captioned “Risk Factors” in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on July 28, 2020. Tesla disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. 28

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