Tesla’s Q2 earnings report was released on July 31 while they exceeded expectations, it had people talking. Tesla, the manufacturer of the world’s most-coveted electric vehicles (the Model S), has come a long way since its inception in 2003. Last year, it posted its first profits in 10 years. So, at the halfway point of 2014, what are the most important things to know about Tesla going forward?
10. Better batteries are coming.
One of the major things detractors of Tesla point to is the limited battery life of the vehicles. That may not be true for much longer, however. Tesla is working on new batteries which a pure lithium anode, which could triple the life of the battery. Currently, the batteries soon to be produced in its production Gigafactory will have an increased 10 to 15 percent battery life.
9. Batteries will also cost a lot less.
The Gigafactory will also help decrease the cost of batteries by roughly 30 percent, which will help lower the overall cost of the car. As Tesla strives to make electric cars more consumer-friendly, this will be an integral point of its business.
8. Musk isn’t going anywhere—at least for now.
Tesla stands on steady feet as a company, but definitely benefits from its founder and CEO Elon Musk. A leader often seen as a visionary, Musk has a hand in some of the most innovative companies operating today. He’s also realistic about his future with Tesla, though. “No one stays a CEO forever,” Musk said, “Eventually they carry you out.” Still, he plans to stick around for up to 5 more years.
7. Production is continuing to increase.
Tesla production is actually quite low. Musk knows that comparatively, they’re really just a drop in the automobile bucket. While production is increasing steadily this year, next year Tesla will really take off. It aims to produce 100,000 cars by the end of 2015. Musk also postulated about doubling that number by the end of 2016, but it’s not clear if that’s just a projected number, or if it’s actually possible.
6. However, production does not equal sales.
The supply of Tesla’s cars is certainly not on pace with demand, seeing as how getting a Tesla is still relatively difficult. However, the fact remains that the Model S is still an expensive automobile. A greater supply does not necessarily mean the sales will skyrocket, though Musk believes that the sales will continue to grow as opposed to dropping off.
5. The new Model X is expected to do as well as the Model S.
The Model X is Tesla’s crossover/SUV releasing this spring. Despite the fact that no one actually knows what the car looks like, Musk claims Tesla has taken numerous orders for it. It’s fair to say that there are those pre-ordering the car entirely based on hype, but knowing Tesla, it will be a quality car. Whether the Model X actually does as well as the Model S, however, remains to be seen.
4. The Model III will make Tesla’s cars accessible.
While Tesla’s cars are extremely popular, they’re not exactly cheap: a Model S can run a consumer almost $100,000. In order to reach a wider user base, Tesla is introducing its Model III, which is expected to cost around $37,000. As with many of its conceptual cars, very little is known about the Model III, though Musk has said it will be unveiled in 2016 and be released in 2017.
3. Driverless cars could change everything.
Much of the conversation about the future of driving is revolving around driverless cars. While many believe Tesla to be on the current cutting edge, that rug could be pulled from under them at any time. Musk hinted that they’re maybe not revealing everything they’re working on currently, though, and some are postulating that Tesla is working on a driverless car. As with many things will Tesla, it’s hard to tell as of right now.
2. Tesla automobiles are still in extremely high demand.
Tesla isn’t just a U.S. phenomenon. There are those around the world looking to get their hands on the Model S. Tesla is also extremely popular in China, though they’re quite difficult to get. Tesla is hesitant to expand its sales operations since it knows demand will outpace supply.
1. Tesla is still king of the electric automobile.
While the Prius and other electric vehicles are certainly popular, no other EV elicits such as strong fan response quite like Tesla’s. The Model S is a favorite among car enthusiasts, both those that love the rumble of a gas engine and those that are looking for forward-thinking technological innovation. Its wide appeal and the undeniable coolness factor make Tesla the extremely popular auto manufacturer that it is today—and will be for years to come.
By Kevin Smead of Energy Digital