Speaking on the quarterly earnings call with investors, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company's production rate will "essentially double" in the fourth quarter when things ramp up for building the Model X (with the X configurator probably going live in July). Without going into details, he said that he drove the latest prototype today and believes that, "this is by far the best SUV." Tesla said it expects to deliver about 55,000 vehicles in 2015, of both the Model S and X. That would represent a 74-percent increase from the total delivered in 2014. Looking to the future, Musk said that he hopes to show off the upcoming, lower-cost Model 3 in March 2016, with production starting in late 2017. Those dates are early predictions, though, he made clear.
On the topic of Model S battery swaps, Tesla's Jeff Evanson said that there are hundreds of vehicles involved in the battery swap program today, but Musk added that there is simply not a lot of interest from owners in swapping their packs.
There was a lot of discussion about the new Tesla Energy products, including the Powerwall and Powerpack. Musk said that demand for this kind of stationary storage is so strong – there are already 38,000 Powerwall pre-orders – that the entire output of the Gigafactory could be sent into energy solutions, but Tesla will still prioritize building packs for cars since, well, you know, there's this other Tesla factory in Fremont ready to build cars.
On a per-share basis, the Palo Alto-based company said it had a loss of $1.22. Losses, adjusted for non-recurring costs and stock option expense, came to 36 cents per share of TSLA. The results were larger than Wall Street expected. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 52 cents per share.
The electric car maker posted revenue of $1.1 billion in the period, also surpassing Street forecasts. Ten analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.04 billion. Tesla shares have risen roughly 4 percent since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $230.43, a climb of 11 percent in the last 12 months.
The AP contributed to this report.