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Tesla delivers 6,457 Model S cars worldwide in Q1; GAAP net loss of $50M, non-GAAP net of $17M

During the first quarter of 2014, Tesla Motors produced a record 7,535 Model S vehicles for global delivery; the company also delivered 6,457 cars worldwide—slightly exceeding guidance—while also filling the pipeline of deliveries into Europe and Asia. North American net orders grew sequentially by more than 10% in the quarter. Tesla delivered 1,181 cars with a resale value guarantee (RVG) in Q1.

Non-GAAP revenue was $713 million for the quarter—up 27% from a year ago, while GAAP revenue was $621 million, up 10.5% year-on-year. Q1 non-GAAP net income was $17 million—up 10.3% from Q1 2013 results—while Q1 GAAP net loss was $50 million, compared to Q1 2013 GAAP net income of $11.4 million. Both results include a $6.7 million net gain from a favorable foreign currency impact. (Tesla continues to report both GAAP and non-GAAP results.)

Cash at quarter end, including cash equivalents and short-term marketable securities, increased to almost $2.6 billion, due in part to the issue of $2 billion of senior convertible notes with five- and seven-year maturities. Q2 financials will reflect an additional cash inflow of $267 million from the exercise of the convertible notes over-allotment option by the underwriters.

Q2 & 2014 Outlook. Tesla is planning to deliver some 7,500 Model S vehicles in Q2, moving toward a 2014 goal of more than 35,000 units. The company plans to produce 8,500 to 9,000 cars in the quarter, representing a 13% to 19% increase over Q1. Battery cell supply will still constrain production in Q2 but should improve in Q3, the company suggested.

Production is now at almost 700 vehicles per week, up 15% from the weekly production rate at the end of Q4. By the end of 2014, Tesla expects the production rate to rise to 1,000 vehicles per week.

Tesla said that Model X efforts are on track to ramp up production in the spring of 2015. The company has completed the final studio release of the vehicle, and the tooling process has started with several suppliers. Tesla expects production design prototypes to be ready in Q4 of this year.

Tesla also said that its Gigafactory project is on course to begin battery cell and pack production in 2017. The ultimate location for the Gigafactory is not finalized, and Tesla will start work on at least two locations in parallel in order to minimize risk of delays arising after groundbreaking. Tesla said that its planning discussions with Panasonic and other potential production and supply chain partners “continue to go well”. At full, annualized production, targeted for 2020, Tesla expects battery pack production capacity to reach 50 GWh and cell production capacity to be 35 GWh.

Recognizing leasing revenue
Tesla will recognize lease revenue over the term of the lease in both GAAP and non-GAAP financials. Automotive OEMs recognize full revenue for the price of the vehicle—even if that vehicle is eventually leased—because the vehicle is first sold to an independent dealer.

Although leasing has begun, Tesla expects to lease only about 200 cars in Q2, due to the lead times between vehicle orders and deliveries.

Tesla has also begun production of powertrains for the Mercedes B-Class EV, and expects to ramp up production and see continued growth during the year.

Tesla plans to invest $650-850 million for the year in capital expenditures for increased production capacity, growth in store, service center and Supercharger footprints, Model X and S development and start of Gigafactory construction. This will lead to being slightly free cash flow negative in 2014, before considering the equity required for leasing.


Roger Pham

Thanks, Herman, for the continual insights.
I thought so too, it's probably simply due to Tesla's disdain for the Internal Combustion Engine rather than any technological issue that they are not planning any future PHEV's.
The case in point: BYD is a company deep rooted in battery manufacturing, and yet they are making PHEV's and ICEV's left and right, and their latest Qin PHEV is selling like hot cakes!

Quite ironically, to move us off oil as fast as possible will actually involve making PHEV's using 1/8th the battery capacity as the hot selling BEV flagship! With 8x as many PHEV's as BEV's for a given quantity of battery, and each PHEV's will run on electricity 3/4th of the time, or more if charged daily, perhaps 9/10th of the time, then much more petroleum displacement will happen.



If Tesla added an ICE to their cars, they would lose most of their brand value.

The Cadillac ELR, which follows your suggested design almost to the letter, sold 60 units last month! That is a textbook unmitigated disaster (less than 1 unit per state/province/month). Why would Tesla want to emulate that?


Roger, while I think you are tilting at windmills in making a case for Tesla to adopt a range extender (which they will never, EVER do), your second paragraph is right on.

It is counter-intuitive, but the mid-range PHEV (~12kWh / ~50km) actually encourage more electrical adoption and in all likelihood a higher number of electrical miles driven. When I was driving the Volt, I didn't worry about the occasional incorrectness of the ChargePoint app, and I wasn't nervous about driving around (a la Broder) looking around for the obscure charger. I didn't sweat the unexpected drop in temperature before a 35mi client visit. Unless I was driving over 100km/hr for more than 10km or so, I would just strike out on the battery and see where I could go. You DO NOT do that in the Leaf.

Yeah there are Superchargers near many Interstates and $100k Teslas to use them and other stuff that doesn't matter to (dare I say it?) 97% of drivers. Oh, and don't worry: Tesla will have the $30k BlueStar in 2015... I mean the $35k Model E in 2017... I mean the half-the-price-of-the-Model S Gen III really soon for sure.

So don't do something great now, just wait however long it takes and however much it costs to get something PERFECT. Since most of the people in the EV press comment echo chamber don't drive EVs but simply hold them up as some kind of moral aspiration, they are deaf to the genuine concerns of REAL customers who would love to enjoy the EV experience but cannot face the price tag or the constraints on their mobility.


Too bad our Prius III and Camry HEVs do not have a 50% Tesla S-40 like (20 kWh) flat battery under the floor. They would be enjoyable PHEVs?

Roger Pham

Thanks, Bernard, for bringing the Cadillac ELR PHEV into the discussion. It is essentially a slightly juiced up Volt with about 58 hp more of electric power, for a total of 207 hp. Yet, the sticker price is $75,000. Shocking...pardon the pun!

A Volt now can be had for $34,500. Adding $7,500 Fed incentive and it is priced comparable to a ICEV, yet, at the 160,000 mile point, it can save the owner $15,000-20,000 overall operating expenses. Yet, the Volt is rather unappealing due to its lack of internal space and lack of passenger space (4 passengers instead of 5 for the size of the car), and that's perhaps why GM has to deeply discount the Volt to the tune of $5,000 incentive rebate. See below:

"I hear that best price for a chevy volt can be about $2000 less than invoice.
So for a fully loaded , with Premium trip, navigation, safety 1 and 2, the price would be $39500...... and then take another $5000 off dealer incentive.
$34500...... =+ tax and License."
Quote from Edmund.com :

For the $75,000 asking price of the Cadillac ELR, one can buy a Tesla Model S that is bigger and has far more internal space and seating for 7 people instead of for 4, plus trunks in the front and in the back. Those having that kind of money don't usually do road trips on personal vehicles, so the 200+ mile range of the Tesla 60kWh version is plenty, plus increasing availability of SuperCharger stations on major hwys to come, for occasional juice up away from home. Perhaps those above explain the phenomenon sales of the Tesla model S. The hypothetical PHEV version using Tesla technology and 1-liter 90-kW turbocharged engine with 90-kW electric power train will retain the large interior space of the current BEV, yet will be 1,500 lbs lighter than the 85-kWh version, and having a combined 180 kW of power (241 hp) or more than the Cadillac ELR 207 hp, yet, the Cadillac has a curb weight of 4,000 lbs, or 1,000 lbs heavier than the hypothetical Tesla PHEV that is more powerful, because GM's battery is so HEAVY. 0-60mph acceleration time of the CAdillac ELR is only 8 seconds...This cannot justify the $75,000 price tag of a vehicle that can seat only 4 people! The hypothetical Tesla PHEV will be capable of 0-60 in 5.x seconds...and if listed at $45-50,000 USD, will sell like hot cakes, just like the BYD Qin is selling in China!

Recent article on GCC about the Chevy Spark BEV having a battery that weighs 20% less and yet still has a meager 88 Wh/kg, while Tesla battery technology can nearly triple that!



I doubt you could fit an ICE and associated systems (cooling, fuel tank, exhaust, emission controls, etc) in a Tesla without increasing weight and diminishing carrying capacity. On top of that, the car would no longer be clean and quiet, which would make it unexceptional. It wouldn't be any cheaper either, given Tesla's comparatively low production.

The Tesla story has proven that consumers are uninterested by compromised solutions. Cars like the Volt lack identity: Are they electric or ICE or both or neither? Are they premium or basic, overpriced or cheap?
Consumers can't relate to that, because there is no clear narrative. You need to go through 50 pages of fine print to explain to your friends what you just bought ("it's electric, except in situations defined in appendices A5 through A23, notwithstanding subclauses h12 through h82, subject to change at any time at the sole discretion of ...").

Account Deleted

Roger the 5000 deep cycles for the Panasonic battery in Model S is BS and you should know that for a fact as we have already previously had this discussion here at GCC. I pointed you to Panasonic's official documentation that clearly says 300 deep cycles to about 80% of original capacity at 25 Celsius. That documentation also fits with Tesla's warranty on the battery.


Nothing that you say or any academic might say can triumph the quality of the manufactures own documentation.

You are also wrong about Tesla's Wh/kg at the pack level. It is about 140 Wh/kg or about 60% better that the state-of-the-art 90Wh/kg at the pack level for short-range BEVs.

It also sounds as you think there is a limit on how many kWh we can produce on this planet. However, there are no supply restrictions with lithium batteries as they contain materials that are massively abundant on this planet. The limit is on the demand side. How many people are willing to pay x USD for x number of vehicles. Tesla has found a recipe for making a BEV that so far shows no demand limitations. Very unlike Nissan that can produce 250k units per year of their Leaf but sell between 50k and 80k instead. Apart from Tesla the only other successful pluggable car is Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV that also is in much higher demand than its current production. I also think the BMW i3 will be a success. It will also be interested to follow how the e-golf and e-Benz will sell.

Roger Pham

You're making it harder than it is! A $35,000 Volt minus $7,500 incentive = $27,500-car with the potential to save $17,000 USD off of fuel cost after 160,000 miles! Let see...um...that would be equivalent to a $10,500 ICEV! Too bad, the Volt's poor packaging and lack of internal space makes it unappealing.

The luxury Tesla PHEV, however, at $45,000 and can perform on equal footing with other luxury sedans at the same price, yet will save $20,000 at 160,000 miles to be equivalent of a $25,000 ICEV, should not be hard to sell...You get both statuses...Rich and Green...like a Ben Franklin ($100 bill), while paying little for that!

A 1-liter ICE turbocharged in a 3,000-lb car would be quite imperceptible vibration-wise due to the small size of the engine and the turbocharger really muffle the sound real good. A 1-liter turbocharged engine is already produced by the millions by Ford (Ecoboost), Honda, Toyota...VW (?) etc. and quite popular in Europe and Japan and in China by BYD etc...No new development there! Emission treatment is already figured out. A 1-liter rice burner has it's own status and cult of followers...like in the movie "Fast and Furious." The Honda 1.5 liter engine and now 1-liter engine are developing status of its own...the road no longer just belongs to deep-throated V-8 or super-expensive V-12.

The Nouveaux rich buying Green cars are sort of renegades, revolting from the status quo big-bore V-8.

Roger Pham

It's obvious that Tesla's battery warranty is much better than laptop PC's battery, which won't last more than 3-5 years even with little use, so you know that the Tesla battery is far superior! Perhaps some kinda trade secret is going on and it's not wise to disclose details of your advantage. The documentation from the particular Panasonic battery that you referenced is not what is going inside the Tesla Model S.

BYD's PHEV batteries are advertised to last for 4,000 cycles at 80% DOD and w/ shelf life for over 10 yrs, and many newer chemistries are capable of similar.

Over several decades, we will be able to produce more and more batteries, but right now, Tesla may be facing a constrain on battery supply that is limiting their rapid growth...according to Mr. Musk's mantra to get us off petroleum...however, the 2 billion-cell deal w/ Panasonic will last for quite a while at current rate and I'm sure that the company will be doing just fine!

What many Greenies would like to see is as many EV's (BEV's PHEV's and FCV's) and solar PV and wind turbines produced as fast as possible if we are going to halt GW in time! Going the PHEV route will produce far more EV's than going the BEV route!

Roger Pham

One more thing regarding battery supply: Solar City, a sister company to Tesla w/ the same founder, is also dependent on battery for rapid growth of residential solar PV. The less battery needed per car, the more battery will be available for rapid growth of solar PV installation. RApid growth of Solar PV is very important to curb GW.



The "PHEV Tesla" that you describe will be on sale this Fall. It's called the BMW i8. Only trouble is, it will sell for $100,000 more than you estimated. And have very limited carrying capacity. And be worse in every facet of day-to-day performance than a Tesla, except for the quality of leather stitching and the opportunity to hang out in gas stations.

Roger Pham

Thanks, Bernard, for bringing up the BMW i8 for discussion. Details can be reviewed at :

Yet at $135,000, demand exceed production: "— BMW has reported that demand for the i8 is already exceeding planned production volume during the ramp-up — just as the model’s predecessor the BMW i3 also did. A good sign."

Electric range of the BMW i8 is only 23 miles, with only a 7 kWh battery pack. Electric motor is 96 kW, comparable to the hypothetical Tesla PHEV of 90 kW, though the ICE is slightly larger at 1.5 liter though almost twice as powerful, (expensive hardware due to being overboosted) at 170 kW instead of at 90 kW in the 1-liter turbocharge (economical Ford 1-liter Ecoboost engine's spec).

This bodes well for the potential market success of the hypothetical Tesla PHEV having equal size and passenger capacity (7) as the Tesla Model S, yet 1500 lbs lighter and perhaps $25,000 less ($45,000 vs Model S 60-kWh pack), and UNLIMITED RANGE! While costing 1/3rd that of the BMW i8!

If the Tesla Model S 60 kWh pack costs $70,000, then reducing battery pack from 60 kWh to 10 kWh while reducing the electric power train by 2.5 folds will save tens of thousands of dollars, while the addition of an equivalent of a Ford Ecoboost 1-liter engine should only cost a few thousand dollars. $45,000 price tag should be feasible assuming volume production of around 100,000 units yearly. At a few thousand units yearly, the price tag will be higher, perhaps $50-55,000...but still represent much Greater Value than the BMW i8, at 1/3 the cost, or ANY PHEV now or in time to come at any price! The sheet metal body of the Model S can be retained while lighten up the chassis, the suspension, brakes, wheels, etc...for a much lower curb weight!

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