5 Things We Learned From Tesla’s 2015 Second Quarter Report

David McNew/AFP/Getty Images
David McNew/AFP/Getty Images

Tesla announced the results of its second quarter recently, and as always, there was a lot of information packed into just a few pages. So what did we learn? Here are five takeaways.

1. Deliveries are being adjusted down

Previously, Tesla had said it hoped to deliver 55,000 units in 2015, but now that projection has been adjusted down. It’s not a major adjustment, and “50,000-55,000″ still means the company still thinks it might be able to hit its initial projection, but the original number sounded more firm.

Whether Tesla delivers 50,000 units or 55,000 units in total, it’s total deliveries through the first half of the year have been right around 21,500, meaning it needs to have a great next couple quarters in order to meet the low-end projection. Then again, introducing a second model to help prop up sales of the Model S would probably make reaching that goal a lot easier.

 2. Investors are still fickle

Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

No one really knows what Tesla is worth because at this point, Tesla is still a startup selling the idea of electric cars as much as it is a company that sells cars. Its achievements over the past few years are impressive, but it needs a more complete lineup to make the transition into becoming a real company.

Non-GAAP revenue for the quarter was $1.2 billion dollars, which is up drastically from last year, but since the company is investing so much money in the future, it still operated at a loss for the quarter. That loss was less than expected, so you’d think investors would be happy. Instead, softening the delivery projections looks to be spooking them, leading to a drop in the stock price.

3. The Model X is coming


Thanks to a slew of delays, figuring out when Tesla would actually begin deliveries of the Model X SUV has been difficult. Tesla needs a second model to continue growing, but Musk refused to give up on the Model X’s “Falcon Wing” doors even in the face of serious engineering challenges.

Tesla didn’t give a specific delivery date, but it said deliveries would begin sometime in September of 2015. Full production will begin a bit later, just in time for everyone to buy themselves an early electric Christmas present. There’s still no word on whether or not Tesla will offer the Model X with a giant red bow on top, though.

4. You’ll see the Model 3 soon

tesla model s
Source: Tesla

The Model 3 is probably more important for Tesla’s future than the Model X, but luxury crossover SUVs are popular right now, and Tesla wants to take advantage of their popularity by selling the Model X before the even-cheaper Model 3 goes on sale. It’s a strategy that makes sense, but at the same time, we still have yet to see what the Model 3 looks like.

Tesla finally announced in its report that it would unveil the Model 3 in the first quarter of 2016 and that deliveries would begin towards the end of 2017. Whether that 2017 delivery date is accurate or not, it will at least be interesting to see what the Model 3 is going to look like. Will it be a shrunken Model S? Will it get its own look? We’ll find that out next year.

5. Tesla Energy is ramping up

Source: Tesla
Source: Tesla

As an electric car company, Tesla likes batteries. It got a lot of attention last quarter for its home battery system, the Powerwall, and it looks like production and deliveries will ramp up in the fourth quarter. Total reservations have apparently topped $1 billion, which doesn’t necessarily mean confirmed sales, but clearly there’s interest in the Powerwall.

In order to meet high demand, it’s even more important for Tesla to get the Gigafactory up and running. The economy of scale it will offer is going to be necessary to bring down the cost of the Model 3 sedan, but with higher-than-expected demand for storage batteries, meeting demand is going to mean producing a lot more batteries.

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