Model 3 (Tesla)

With $3 billion in cash in the bank, Tesla said today that it will add to its warchest by selling $1.5 billion in junk bonds to finance its planned surge in production of the mainstream electric Model 3. The rating agencies left their view of the company unchanged, and Tesla shares were steady on the news.

The news is not a surprise — CEO Elon Musk signaled in an earnings call with analysts on Aug. 2 that he might sell bonds to raise cash, and analysts had encouraged him to do so while Tesla's image among investors is strong. Musk unveiled the Model 3 to substantial fanfare on July 28, with 455,000 pre-orders and plans to ramp up to annual production of 500,000 vehicles by the end of next year, and to 1 million by 2020.

Why it matters: The added cash will make Musk's enormously ambitious Model 3 scaleup — not just production of the cars themselves, but a buildup of his Nevada battery "Gigafactory" — more realistic.

One level deeper: The Model 3 is seen as a bellwether of a possible new age of electric cars. Should sales continue at the same clip as the pre-orders — at 500,000 vehicles a year or more — the vehicle could trigger a frenzy among rival carmakers, which are already worried that Musk may capture the lion's share of a new car market.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 18,187,396 — Total deaths: 691,352 — Total recoveries — 10,841,436Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 4,711,323 — Total deaths: 155,379 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  4. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  5. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.

In photos: Thousands evacuated as Southern California fire grows

A plane makes a retardant drop on a ridge at the Apple Fire north of Banning in Riverside County, which "doubled in size" Saturday, per KTLA. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A massive wildfire that prompted mandatory evacuations in Southern California over the weekend burned 26,450 acres and was 5% contained by Monday afternoon, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The big picture: As California remains an epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., some 15 separate fires are raging across the state. About 7,800 people were under evacuation orders from the Apple Fire, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, as hundreds of firefighters battled the blaze. CalFire said Monday that a malfunction involving a "diesel-fueled vehicle emitting burning carbon from the exhaust system" started the Apple Fire.

Twitter faces FTC fine of up to $250 million over alleged privacy violations

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket

The Federal Trade Commission has accused Twitter of using phone numbers and emails from its users to make targeted ads between 2013 and 2019, Twitter said in an SEC filing published Monday.

Why it matters: Twitter estimates that the FTC's draft complaint, which was sent a few days after its Q2 earnings report, could cost the company between $150 million and $250 million. The complaint is unrelated to the recent Twitter hack involving a bitcoin scam.