Lots of good news from the Californian electric car makerIn mid-February, Tesla predicted that it would deliver about 4,500 Model S electric cars during the first quarter of 2013. That was a pretty ambitious target to begin with, but with Q1 now over, Tesla has announced that it has actually delivered over 4,750 EVs, well over its goal. Enough so, in fact, for the company to revise its financial guidance and predict that once Q1 numbers are crunched, the company will have its first ever profitable quarter.
“I am incredibly proud of the Tesla team for their outstanding work. There have been many car startups over the past several decades, but profitability is what makes a company real. Tesla is here to stay and keep fighting for the electric car revolution,” said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO.Musk is absolutely right. All the design and engineering prowess in the world are not sustainable if a company isn't making money and can't pay employees and suppliers. It's an important milestone.
News on 40kWh and 60kWh Model STesla has also released some news that affect both 40kWh and 60kWh Model S owners. Because of low demand - only 4% of Model S buyers chose the smallest battery pack - the company will not produce that model. Instead, those who have pre-ordered the 40kWh model will get a 60kWh battery that is software-limited to the capacity of a 40kWh. "It will still have the improved acceleration and top speed of the bigger pack, so will be a better product than originally ordered, and can be upgraded to the range of the 60 kWh upon request by the original or a future owner."
Owners of the 60kWh Model S are also getting a little bonus. It was originally announced that only the bigger 85kWh Model S would be able to take full advantage of Tesla's super-quick Supercharger technology. Well, it turns out that all 60 kWh Model S EVs have been and will be built with Supercharger hardware included. "Tesla is taking a slight cost risk that ultimately all customers will want to buy the Supercharger upgrade and receive unlimited, free long distance travel for life. Even for those that never drive long distances, this will improve the resale value of their car to people that do."
Tesla now seems to be in under-promise, over-deliver mode.
Investors obviously liked the news:
The stock ended the day up a hair under 16%, making the whole company now have a market cap of 5.1 billion dollars.
Even after these good news, Elon Musk has said on Twitter that the company has another announcement later tonight that is "arguably more important". Stay tuned.
While I have no idea what they're announcing, I'm hoping that it'll be a preview of their third generation electric car platform, the one that will be high-volume and low-cost (maybe around $30k, which isn't much for an electric car since you pay so much less for fuel). Some other guesses are: A major expansion of the Supercharger network, the addition of more production capacity at their Freemont factory or the acquisition of a new factory somewhere else (Asia? Europe?), a reduction in the price tag of the Model S (unlikely, since it would anger early adopters and they're still selling out what they can make), or maybe a new partnership with a major automaker. Or something else entirely...