750 million electric miles driven so farTesla released its fourth quarter and full year 2014 results, and they show rapid growth and big investments in the future. The company built 11,627 electric vehicles in Q4, allowing it to reach its target of 35,000 Model S vehicles in 2014. But they're not planning to rest on their laurels, and have a goal of selling 70% more EVs in 2015, or about 55,000 (which will include the upcoming Model X). They're also aiming to bring production to 2,000 vehicles per week by the end of 2015, which would give them a run-rate of over 100,000 EVs per year for 2016.
During 2014, the company increased the number of Supercharger stations by 400%, to 380 stations at the end of the year, and they plan to further increase that number by 50% this year (above is the map showing planned and existing U.S. Supercharger stations for 2015). As a reminder, all these fast-charging stations are free to use and powered by renewable energy (the original tagline: "Drive for Free. Forever. On Sunlight.").So far, Tesla customers have driven 750 million electric miles, and they're expected to pass 1 billion electric miles this year.
Between 2012 and 2014, Tesla revenues have growth by 700-800% (depending how you look at the accounting). While the company is not yet profitable, that is mostly because it's in hypergrowth mode, investing way more than they make into future models, new factories, new infrastructure (stores, service points, charging stations). A lot of those investments won't be recurrent, so at some point when growth slows down, hopefully profits will show up (hey, this is not investment advice! but it would be nice for Tesla to stick around for the long term since they are a great catalyst for the rest of the industry).
On a conference call to discuss the company's results, CEO Elon Musk mentioned that work on a Tesla home battery system was completed, and that they would be ready to unveil the design in "the next month or two", with production possibly starting in about 6 months. "It's really great. I'm really excited about it," said Musk.
This is of course part of the larger plan. Tesla never saw itself as just an electric car maker, but rather as an "energy innovation company". This innovation first came out in cars, but that's not the only place where we'll see it. By combining the company's battery technology with solar panels (Musk would probably recommend that you give SolarCity a call -- he's chairman of the company), the intermittency problem of solar would go away and it would be much easier for people to become truly independent from legacy power utilities and produce all of their power cleanly and locally.
And as can be seen on the slide above, these battery systems won't be just for residential homes. They'll be able to scale up to meet the needs of big commercial power users.
Of course, all the batteries required to make enough Tesla home battery systems will be made affordable thanks to the Gigafactory, which we've covered in detail.