Tesla's Supercharger Network Steers Towards $100 Billion Valuation

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's Supercharging network could become a central pillar to Tesla's profits
Tesla's Supercharging network could become a central pillar to Tesla's profits

In a striking turn of events, Tesla's Supercharger network — the globe's sole fast-charging infrastructure for electric vehicles — has been appraised by industry analysts to exceed $100 billion potentially. This evaluation, by one of the top Tesla experts, sends ripples across the EV charging business, marking a critical point for Tesla and the wider industry.

North American Standard NACS Connector Boosts Tesla’s Lead

Initially, Tesla's Supercharger network was meant as a perk for Tesla car owners, not a profit center. However, a fully developed EV charging market didn't materialize as expected, particularly in North America. Thus, automakers like GM and Ford have jumped on board, adopting Tesla’s NACS connector to provide their EV buyers access to Tesla’s Supercharger network. This is set to consolidate Tesla's position in the EV charging business, particularly in North America.

Morgan Stanley Forecasts and Scenarios for Supercharger Network

Adam Jonas, a highly regarded Tesla analyst at Morgan Stanley who also recently downplayed the Cybertruck, has extrapolated the potential value of the Supercharger business to Tesla. Jonas's team envisages a future where Tesla produces and stores its solar electricity to power Superchargers. By crunching the numbers, including assumed percentages of US electric vehicle miles in 2030, Supercharger market share, miles per kWh efficiency, and kWh revenue, several future scenarios emerged.

Understanding the Role of NOPAT in Tesla's Valuation

An important element in these scenarios is the Net Operating Profit After Tax (NOPAT) concept. NOPAT is a company's potential profit after taking out the costs of goods sold and operating expenses before deducting interest and taxes. It's used to gauge operating efficiency and profitability without considering the effects of the company's capital structure or debt.

To break it down, Jonas presents four unique cases:

  • The "reasonable case" estimates a 10% penetration of EV miles, Tesla's Supercharging capturing 50% of the market, and a 30% NOPAT margin. This scenario pegs the net present value at $3 per share.
  • The "plausible case" forecasts 20% penetration, Tesla capturing 70% of Supercharging, and a 50% NOPAT margin, resulting in a net present value of $14 per share.
  • The "dominant case" anticipates a 30% EV miles penetration, an 80% Tesla Supercharging share, and a 70% NOPAT margin, culminating in a net present value of $33 per share.
  • Lastly, the "monopoly case" foresees 50% EV miles penetration, Tesla seizing 100% of Supercharging, and an 80% NOPAT margin, leading to an astounding net present value of $78 per share.

Given Tesla's massive number of shares, surpassing 3 billion, the Supercharger network's valuation crosses $100 billion at a per-share price of $33.

This hefty valuation of Tesla's Supercharger network underscores the substantial profit potential waiting to be unlocked in the EV charging infrastructure. It also signifies the unyielding lead Tesla has carved out in the EV market, not just with their electric vehicles but also their charging network. As more automakers pivot towards Tesla's charging standard, this $100 billion valuation may indicate more seismic shifts in the EV industry.

Tesla Begins Testing FSD in China

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla was recently granted permission to test FSD on Chinese streets – specifically in Shanghai. Just recently, Elon Musk visited China and discussed the potential for FSD to come to China.

Gearing Up for FSD China

This is just the first step for Tesla to begin its customer deployments of FSD – Tesla conducts similar ADAS testing in North America, where special testing vehicles and testing employees run the latest FSD (Supervised) versions against a gamut of real-world, real-life tests.

Tesla has recently been working on translating FSD release notes into multiple languages, alongside building a data center in Shanghai and establishing an FSD Operations and Labelling team at the same center. These are the first, key steps to bringing FSD to a new market that has unique and different traffic rules when compared North America.

China doesn’t have the regulatory hurdles or challenges that Tesla faces in Europe to bring FSD and has been working with Chinese corporations as well as the government, which has now provided its official approval for FSD testing in-country.

We might even see FSD deployed to early testing customers in China by the end of 2025.

ADAS Competitors

There are quite a few competitors in the Chinese market already- with challengers like Xpeng and Xiaomi working on building their own homegrown systems, mostly driven by a mixture of cameras, radars, ultrasonic sensors, and LIDAR. However, many of these systems face similar challenges to other non-Chinese competitors and don’t have the mileage under their belts to tackle Tesla’s dominating lead in data and data processing.

European Union

Tesla is poising itself for an FSD rollout internationally, with increased testing also taking place in the UK, France, and Spain – some of the key locations with unique infrastructure in the European Union. However, some EU-specific regulations restrict how FSD can perform – each and every action must be manually approved by the driver. Until that regulation is changed to adapt to systems like FSD, it won’t be making its way there just yet.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Charging Improvements in Upcoming Update

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Former Tesla VP of Powertrain and Energy Drew Baglino previously mentioned that Cybertruck would be receiving charging improvements soon.

Wes Morrill, Tesla’s Cybertruck lead engineer, recently reposted Baglino’s comments on the charge speed update on June 16th and mentioned that it would be coming soon via OTA.

Charging Improvements

The 4680 cell has seen some difficulties in its charge curve, similar to Tesla’s other vehicles that have been deployed with the 4680. Tesla has alluded to difficulties in the manufacturing curve previously, and also with engineering improvements to the new cell standard, and eventually stopped manufacturing the Model Y with the 4680 cells.

However, this is the first time that Tesla has begun to deploy major improvements to the 4680 cell. It appears the improvements will allow up to 154 miles to be recovered in 15 minutes, which is approximately a 30% improvement to current charge rates.

We’re hoping that these improvements to the 4680 will also translate to older Model Y vehicles that have 4680 cells, which will be key to the owners of these vehicles. 4680 production is currently mainly focused on Powerwall, Megapack, and Cybertruck – with Semi not using 4680 yet.

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