Tesla Motors Now Profitable, Drops 40 kWh Model S Battery Option
April 1, 2013 10:02 AM
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Tesla said only 5 percent of customers chose the small battery option of 40 kWh, which is not enough to enter it into production
Tesla Motors may not have had the easiest time with its Model S sedan, the vehicle has
exceeded sales targets
and the company is now profitable.
Tesla announced today that Model S sales reached 4,750, exceeding the sales outlook of 4,500 posted in the February shareholder letter.
This has led to a change in Tesla's first quarter guidance, where the company has announced full profitability in both GAAP and non-GAAP.
"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. "I would also like to thank our customers for their passionate support of the company and the car. Without them, we would not be here."
Tesla Model S
Tesla made another Model S announcement today regarding the battery pack. According to the automaker, only 5 percent of customers chose the small battery option of 40 kWh, which is not enough to enter it into production.
Hence, these customers will receive the 60 kWh version that has been “software limited” to 40 kWh. While capacity will be limited to 40 kWh, customers will still be able to take advantage of the quicker acceleration and higher top speed afforded by the larger battery pack.
In addition, Tesla said all 60 kWh vehicles have been built with Supercharger hardware included, meaning that customers can drive longer distances by stopping at a
Supercharger recharging station
Tesla encountered some rough patches earlier this year, such as when a journalist from
The New York Times
took a test drive this winter and reported
a horrific venture
. More specifically, he said that the Model S didn't have the range Tesla said it did, and ended up on a flatbed truck at the end of the trip. Musk and the NYT journalist (John Broder)
ended up feuding
over the matter, with most people siding with Musk.
Tesla also recently announced that there would be a delay to production of
the Model X
. Tesla had hoped to begin production of the vehicle this year, but those plans have been put off until late 2014 (meaning deliveries will likely be pushed to 2015).
However, Tesla also has much to celebrate. Not only is the Model S taking off and the company is now profitable, but it recently announced that it will be able to
pay off its $465 million government loan
within five years.
Just last month, Tesla said it was shipping
over 500 Model S EVs
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
4/1/2013 1:38:38 PM
Only because of the low volume (5% is about 1000 cars). The cost of making modifications to the assembly process would take a big bite out of the battery savings.
On top of that, if they built it, they need new EPA certification for range/efficiency, they dilute the brand a bit (the "slowest" one would be 6.5s instead of the current 5.9s for the 60kWh), they need another model for documentation, the smaller battery would go through more cycles for the same range and thus could affect model reliability scores, etc.
Personally, I think they should instead seriously consider building a 30kWh PHEV with a tiny generator in the frunk, maybe even natural gas if they insist on being gasoline free. They'll sell every EV they can build for a while, so they don't need it right now, but it really is the next step for going mass market.
4/1/2013 3:13:33 PM
In addition, it will allow for paid software upgrades to the full capacity.
If/when they start their "quick battery swap" program, it will allow for more regularity across the line (take in the limited-to-40 battery and perform the firmware swap to make it a full 60, etc.)
4/2/2013 11:56:42 AM
it will allow for paid software upgrades to the full capacity.
Tesla Owner calls Tesla dealership: "My battery is empty again, I'm stuck on the side of the road!"
Dealer: "You know, for a mere $10,000 we can remotely enable the extra battery capacity"
4/1/2013 3:20:16 PM
Totally agree. For lower end models offer a generator with no connection to the drive wheels to recharge the battery. I'm sure Tesla can figure out how to make it very quiet as well.
"We can't expect users to use common sense. That would eliminate the need for all sorts of legislation, committees, oversight and lawyers." -- Christopher Jennings
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