Tesla ESS business is just a fraction of the EV business

Tesla has shaken the world by achieving strong third quarter results with revenues of $6.824 billion and net income of some $255 million.

Most of the revenue comes from sales of 83,775 electric cars (56,065 Model 3 and 27,710 Model S/X).

The energy storage and solar business add just $399 million in revenue, which shows that it's just less than 6% of the total result.

"In Q3, energy storage deployments grew to 239 MWh, an increase of 18% sequentially and 118% compared to Q3 2017. This means that we are well on track to achieve our goal of tripling energy storage deployments in 2018 compared to 2017. We increased Powerwall production so that we can continue to work through our order backlog. We also rolled out new software features for Powerwall, including Time Based Control and Storm Watch (full Powerwall recharge in case of a storm forecast), to continue to bring additional value to our customers."

Tesla energy storage deployed - Q3'2018

The 239 MWh of ESS delivered in Q3 is more than two times higher than a year ago, however the amount is not in the same league with battery packs for cars.

Assuming 100 kWh packs, 239 MWh would be good for 2,390 cars or less than 3,000 packs in the case of Model 3. With electric car sales growing quickly, ESS probably will remain side business for quite some time.

This brings us to an important conclusion that we will probably not see many ESS-focused companies around the world. The reason is that for an EV company, with all the competence in battery packs, it's easy to produce several more percent of packs for ESS, while an ESS-focused company would need to survive only based on the ESS business. And probably this why we see Tesla, Nissan, Renault, Daimler and others interested in ESS, not even touching the topics of use of the second-life batteries.

Tesla energy storage deployed (quarterly) - Q3'2018

Tesla solar deployed - Q3'2018

In the case of solar, Tesla is slowly increasing deployment to 93 MW in Q3, although sales are far lower than in the past when the company was mostly leasing or before the acquisition of SolarCity. Overall, the step back was good from a profitability perspective.

Higher results could be achieved in 2019 or 2020, when the Solar Roof will finally gain some traction.

Tesla solar deployed (quarterly) - Q3'2018