Technology stocks smoked, with Nvidia stock falling 10% to mark its worst week of the year

If the future of self-driving is one pillar that supports Tesla's (TSLA) impressive market valuation, then an electric car that is cheap enough for most families is another.

But changes from within the company and from outside forces are quickly complicating this vision.

Tesla's stock price is based in part on mass-market electric vehicles and driving a paradigm shift in how much of the country gets around.

But the high costs of cars — especially electric cars — have dampened consumer demand and extended any timelines for adoption.

While governments are determined to steer society toward the electric transition, legacy automakers are resetting the timing as they adapt to dwindling demand. Several big players, including Ford (F) and General Motors (GM), have recently scaled back their electric vehicle plans, while others are relying on hybrid vehicles to begin the transition.

Just as rivals are turning to cheaper hybrids and better-selling gas models, Tesla appears to be turning away from its long-awaited entry-level electric car and cementing its position as a luxury car manufacturer.

Meanwhile, resources for an affordable Model 2 EV project have now been allocated to a far-fetched robotaxi plan.

Against an increasingly pessimistic backdrop, the Model 2 was supposed to be a sparkling answer to Tesla's short-term problems. But without a bold entry-level vehicle to revitalize Tesla's finances, the challenges the company faces look less temporary. For some analysts and investors, Tesla has no future without the Model 2.

The idea of ​​driving without human intervention has played a crucial role in Tesla's technology-enabled growth story. But what if it's the only part?

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