Here’s A Brief Look At Tesla’s 2017 Accomplishments

3 weeks ago by EVANNEX 12

Tesla

2017 marked the launch of Tesla’s Model 3 (Facebook: You You Xue)

TOP TESLA MILESTONES FOR 2017

Whatever else 2017 may have been, it was a watershed year for electric vehicles, and especially for Tesla. Plug In America’s 2017 Top Ten Electric Car Milestones listed several events of great symbolic significance, such as the declarations by China, India, Germany, France, Britain, Norway, and the Netherlands (nearly half of the world auto market) that they would eventually eliminate sales of legacy vehicles; as well as less widely reported (but probably more important) developments, such as China’s new mandate that plug-in vehicles make up 10% of auto sales by 2019, and Los Angeles’s purchase of 95 electric buses (a first step toward the total electrification of its fleet).

Teslanomics offers a more Tesla-centric list of 2017 milestones in a new video. The biggest event of the year (and arguably the most important milestone in Tesla’s history) was, of course, the culmination of Elon Musk’s master plan, the launch of Model 3. The company delivered the mid-priced, long-range everyman’s EV at the obligatory theatrical extravaganza in July.

But wait, there’s more (there always is with Tesla). A couple of months later, the company revealed the Tesla Semi, which has the potential to revolutionize the trucking industry (and, indirectly, much of the world economy), and threw in a new generation of the Roadster for lagniappe.

Away from the headlines, Tesla’s energy division reached a couple of significant milestones in 2017: Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo started producing solar roof tiles, and the much-publicized battery installation in Australia (the largest in the world, for now) quietly went into operation. Tesla’s rapid deployment of a battery backup system to a children’s hospital in Puerto Rico provided an object lesson in how quickly commercial-scale batteries can take over from outdated fossil-fuel generators.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris.

Above: Teslanomics provides his recap of 2017 highlights for Tesla (Youtube: Teslanomics by Ben Sullins)

The company also made a number of important advances that fall into the category of gradual growth rather than distinct milestones: the Supercharger network (including the new, more compact urban chargers) is on a growth spurt, and Tesla Energy products are starting to show up in the company’s showrooms. Tesla is beginning to feel less like an automaker, and more like the provider of an “ecosystem” of closely integrated products, like Apple or Google.

Steady progress is also to be seen on the financial front. While stock market analysts harp on Tesla’s continuing quarterly losses, on the top end of the ledger, things look far sunnier. As Teslanomics details in its recent video, gross revenue has shown substantial growth every year since 2010 – a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 93%, or 77% per share. Those who get their news only from the mainstream media (as opposed to media focused on the EV industry) may be surprised to learn that Tesla’s gross profit has grown at a CAGR of 84% since 2010.

It’s true that net profit is a different story – Teslanomics estimates that the company will post an operating loss of $1.6 billion for 2017 (also a new record, by the way). Translated into layman’s terms, this means that Tesla is making plenty of money on the sales of its products, but it’s investing all of that and more in future growth – a pattern that’s actually typical for a young company that’s focused on building market share.

Tesla

A look at Tesla’s revenue growth since 2010 (Source: Hyperchange TV)

The ruddy financial picture, frightening as it may be to those of little faith, reflects a forward-looking strategy that’s all too rare in today’s world. Tesla isn’t focused on the next quarterly report, but rather on a sustainable transport and energy system that will take years or decades to build. The achievements of 2017 might be better described not as milestones, but as starting posts for journeys that we’ll be following closely in 2018. The true fulfillment of Model 3’s promise will only come once it starts to be delivered in serious volume, making it clear to John Q. Public that electric vehicles are here at last. The revolutions that will be sparked by the Tesla Semi and Tesla Energy lie a little further down the road.

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Written by: Charles Morris

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

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12 responses to "Here’s A Brief Look At Tesla’s 2017 Accomplishments"

  1. ffbj says:

    The success of Tesla is proportional to the fear of the legacy automaker’s.
    Trust your own research and not the legacy media channels who are in essence, shills for the legacy automakers.

    Since Tesla does not finance legacy media this inclines the bent of said media to be dilatory and derogatory in regard to Tesla. FOX, CNBC, are probably the worst in their decidedly anti-Tesla views.

    Over the years the media has become much more biased, on both sides, but when it comes to just obvious stuff like the superiority of Tesla specifically and evs in general, they just look like fools, when they try to deny it.
    So a great year for Tesla as they increase their lead into 2018 in all aspects of ev integration and mass adoption into our transportation systems.
    I think 2018 will be a watershed year.

    1. Don Zenga says:

      +1. Hope Model 3 production will ramp up and will become a mainstream model in luxury lineup.

      You mentioned only 2 media outlets and there are many more.

      1. James says:

        Same goes with politics and special interests such as the oil and gas industries.

        How can we expect fair and balanced “news” reporting from cable outlets when politicians, parties and PACs pay $100,000,000s for advertisements. Mitt Romney spent $1.4 billion on a losing presidential campaign. Barack Obama spent $1 billion in the same race. The Clinton campaign was actually caught bragging that they had as much as $3 billion to spend should the have needed it!

        Tesla doesn’t advertise, and thus all media attention it does get relies on fair reporting and the star power Musk gets just for being himself.

        Twitter has completely added a new factor in distributing information to the public. Good or bad, each and every tweet from Elon or the president gets heard and reported upon.

  2. Doggydogworld says:

    “Translated into layman’s terms, this means that Tesla is making plenty of money on the sales of its products, ….”

    Should read “Translated into liar’s terms”

    “..but it’s investing all of that and more in future growth ”

    Capital investments don’t cause losses. They aren’t even part of the profit/loss calculation.

    “…. – a pattern that’s actually typical for a young company”

    Tesla will be 15 years old in a few months.

    There’s nothing typical about Tesla, or their finances. I can’t think of any company that grew to this size without a single profitable year. And while negative Free Cash Flow (FCF) is not unusual for high growth, capital intense companies I don’t know of any who repeatedly post negative Operating Cash Flow (OCF).

    Tesla is unique in their vision, CEO behavior, audaciousness, marketing, mind-share and, yes, finances. It’s dishonest to claim otherwise.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Doggydogworld said:

      [quote]“Translated into layman’s terms, this means that Tesla is making plenty of money on the sales of its products, ….”

      Should read “Translated into liar’s terms”[/unquote]

      Gosh, I didn’t realize that “income” is a liar’s term. 🙄

      Must be more of that kindergarten level of financial analysis that Tesla bashers love to use. You know, along with repeating the Big Lie that Tesla is “losing” money, when it’s actually investing money in future growth. Tesla isn’t “losing” money by investing in the future any more than you “lose” money when you invest in your 401(k)!

      1. Doggydogworld says:

        ” I didn’t realize that “income” is a liar’s term.”

        Haha. Income is, of course, an accounting term. But it is often used by liars 🙂

        The Model S/X sell for $100k, on average. It costs Tesla roughly 80k to make them (including R&D) and 20k to market and sell them (including corporate overhead). This info comes from the sworn statements they file with the US Government.

        There simply are no profits from making and selling cars (or other products) to “invest in future growth”. All the money to build factories and Superchargers and to fund R&D on future products comes from shareholders and lenders. So does the money to pay the interest on their loans.

        “Tesla isn’t “losing” money by investing in the future any more than you “lose” money when you invest in your 401(k)!”

        To be like Tesla you’d need to spend all your income on housing, food, utilities and such then fund your 401(k) with a payday loan and donations from your extended family.

        And that’s OK. There’s no law that says Tesla has to make a profit. They can lose money as long as shareholders and lenders are willing to underwrite their losses and fund their growth. This has worked terrifically so far and will probably continue to work as long as they keep growing and announcing breakthrough products.

        Of course investor sentiment can be fickle, and if the markets suddenly have a change of heart Tesla will be in a world of hurt. That would be a shame, because they’re by far the single biggest force driving EVs into the mainstream.

  3. Get Real says:

    +2

    And as Tesla’s success grows and grows, the shrillness of the shills, shorters, and haters who sometimes pollute this website and others is a pushback from those sick individuals and the money that is threatened by Tesla and so opposed to the positive changes that Tesla brings.

    Remember its not just the laggard Big Auto/Truck OEMs, its also Big Oil/ICE and other fossil fuel industries, Big Utilities, Big Advertising of course, dealerships and repair interests, potentially Teamsters, cabbies and contract drivers and maybe even big Telecoms eventually, and others too.

    We are talking many TRILLIONS of dollars invested and employed and mucho money used as lobbying by the threatened ones.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Indeed. With the Tesla Semi Truck, Tesla has added the Teamsters’ Union to the list of powerful organizations with a strong financial interest in seeing Tesla fail.

      Tesla is facing ever stronger headwinds, but fortunately economic forces are even stronger than political ones, and economic forces guarantee that the EV revolution will eventually triumph. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Tesla will still be leading that disruptive tech revolution 10 or 20 years from now. For the present, though — for at least the next 2-3 years if not longer — we can continue to say with confidence…

      Go Tesla!

  4. Paul de Wit says:

    Happy new year!

    Not that I hope so, but even if Tesla goes belly up it doesn’t matter that much in the grander scale of things.

    Elon’s main goal of being the catalyst that forces the traditional carmakers to go electric has already been met.
    (With a bit of help of the Chinese government).
    Just look at the recent announcements of VW, GM and Toyota they Are now willing to invest Billions in electrics.

    We just need Tesla around a bit longer to keep them Honest.

  5. Don Zenga says:

    It’s a wonderful year 2017 when the plugin vehicle sales crossed 1 million / year mark for the 1st time.

    If Tesla sells 11,000 vehicles in Dec, then it will hit the 100,000 mark and BMW has already done it. Most likely BYD & BAIC will also do this.

    So 4 companies; Tesla, BMW, BYD & BAIC will be selling 100,000 + plugins vehicles this year.

    Anxiously waiting for a better 2018.

  6. Goofcat says:

    Would be great if Tesla has a profitable 2018. Producing M3 at expected rates with high quality.

    Love to see this company turn the corner. They are the spear point of the EV revolution. What happens to Tesla affects all EV’s.

  7. BillT says:

    I actually think the battery installation in Australia is a very big deal and could lead to far more disruption than even BEVs. I can see at least some legacy automakers smoothly if reluctantly transitioning to BEVs but the impact of (eventually) cheap energy storage poses an existential threat to the current electric utility model.

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