Tesla Q1 Earnings: Robotaxi in 2024, Cybertruck in 2023, Record profit

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla continues to simplify the manufacturing process
Tesla continues to simplify the manufacturing process

Financial Results

Tesla just reported first-quarter results for 2022 and beat analysts' expectations on the top and bottom lines. Despite factory shutdowns, inflationary pressures and semiconductor chip shortages, the automaker delivered 310,000 vehicles, up 81% YoY.

Revenue also rose 81% to $18.6 billion from $10.39 billion a year ago, thanks to higher average car prices and increased vehicle sales, the company said.

For the period ending March 31, 2022, Tesla reported $3.22 earnings per share. Since posting a record profit, shares have risen as much as 6% in after-hours trading.

Tesla vehicle deliveries since 2018
Tesla vehicle deliveries since 2018

Challenges This Quarter

In its letter to investors, Tesla said supply-chain problems and raw-material prices costs have increased “multiple-fold”.

"Our own factories have been running below capacity for several quarters,” Tesla said in its shareholder deck. The company did not give detailed guidance on deliveries going forward, but said it expects 50% annual growth on a multi-year basis, and warned that supply chain constraints are likely to continue through 2022."

Tesla said that a spike in COVID-19 cases caused a temporary shutdown of the Shanghai factory and shortages in the company’s supply chain.

Tesla had its most profitable quarter
Tesla had its most profitable quarter

“Although limited production has recently restarted, we continue to monitor the situation closely,” the company said.

The ramp-up in the newer Texas and Berlin gigafactories will also depend on supply-chain obstacles, Tesla said.

“Factory ramps take time, and Gigafactory Austin and Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg will be no different.”

The company also stated it would release its Full-Self Driving to all U.S. customers that opted for the $12,000 package “before the end of this year.”


Tesla’s solar deployments dropped by 50% YoY to 48 MW this past quarter. The company deployed 846 MWh of battery storage systems, up 90% YoY, but down from the previous quarter. The company said declines in solar deployments were caused by supply chain constraints on certain components.


Tesla says they are the 2nd largest insurer of Teslas in the state of Texas, and could be the largest by the end of next quarter. Tesla is now a fully integrated provider of insurance in the states (list of states) where they have released their insurance product.

Cybertruck and Robotaxi

On the earnings call, Elon confirmed Cybertruck production to begin in 2023 and a vehicle built for autonomy, without a steering wheel or pedals to be produced in 2024 which would be "a massive driver of Tesla's growth."

Elon also reiterated his stance on Tesla's optimus robot, saying that it has more potential opportunity than the car business over time.

When asked about raw materials and scaling to extreme size, Elon stated that Lithium mining is the limiting factor to production. He later said that "Tesla will likely need to help the industry on this."

When asked about the future of EV affordability, Elon stated that the robotaxi will provide the lowest cost per mile of transport ever, a 5x-10x reduction, making it accessible to everyone. Based on their projections, it appears that a robo taxi will cost less than a subsidized bus/subway ticket.

Earnings Overview

Twitter user @DBurkland put together this overview of everything that was discussed during the earnings call.

Opening remarks from Zach Kirkhorn

  • Per unit vehicle costs increased due to inflation, raw material costs, and supply chain constraints
  • Slight shift towards more profitable vehicles like the Model Y
  • Energy business continues to be impacted by macro conditions more than vehicle business (chip constraints)
  • Achieved record operating margin over 19% amidst construction of 2 new factories (Giga Berlin & Giga Texas)
  • Tesla has reduced debt (excluding product debt) to nearly 0
  • Lost 1 month of build volume lost due to COVID-related shutdowns at Giga Shanghai (will dramatically affect Q2 delivery numbers)
  • Inefficiencies of ramping process at Giga Berlin & Texas will affect bottom line
  • Tesla still believes 50% YoY growth w/ vehicle production in 2022 is still achievable

Opening remarks from Elon Musk

  • Record deliveries and production even with many headwinds
  • Even with COVID shutdowns in Giga Shanghai Elon believes they still have a shot at 60% YoY growth for 2022
  • Two new factories opened in Q1 and exponentially ramping (Giga Berlin & Giga Texas) with higher production volumes achievable by end of this year
  • Just crossed 1m units in the last year however long way to go as Tesla aspires to produce 20m units per year (only 5% towards their goal)
  • Elon never more excited for Tesla and their future then he is now
  • Robotaxi
    • Highly optimized for autonomy (no steering wheel or pedals)
    • Numerous other innovations
    • Fundamentally optimized for lowest fully considered cost per mile, accounting for everything (very powerful product)
    • Expect to reach volume production of Robotaxi in 2024
  • CyberTruck
    • On track for volume production in 2023
  • Optimus
    • Elon surprised people weren’t more excited for this but he thinks folks will fully understand its capabilities & impact will be greater than FSD or vehicle businesses
  • Energy
    • Battery & solar production will improve as supply chain issues are resolved


FSD Development Progress

  • Elon has never seen more false dawns than with the development of FSD. Real world AI has to be solved for (nobody has solved yet) and with our roads designed for humans, NNs & cameras have to be solved in a way that is on-par with (and exceeds) the capabilities of humans. Elon still believes they will deliver on FSD in 2022. Best way to realize this is participate in FSD beta program and experience it for ourselves as they’ll be expanding the program later this year. Still targeting new FSD release cadence of every 2 weeks.

Giga Shanghai Shutdown

  • Production is coming back with a vengeance and Elon expects weekly production records to be broken as they work to catch up. Still possible to match / exceed Q1 numbers however Q3 & Q4 are expected to be record quarters in terms of production. Elon believes Tesla will easily be able to produce 1.5m vehicles this year.
  • It’s important for new factories to target limited configurations during ramp and that is why both Giga Berlin & Giga Texas are hyper-focused on producing the Model Y.
  • Ramp period (5k per week) takes typically 9-12 months from start of production however it’s possible for Tesla to ramp sooner based on their experience.

Price Increase

  • Elon says it is understandable that there are many folks questioning price increases especially amidst record profitability however the price increases are there to account for an increase in raw materials costs and potential supply chain constraints in the future (since vehicle deliveries are a year out).

State-based Dealership Laws

  • Tesla would love federal-based laws that allows direct sales across the country however congress is not willing to take up this sort of legislation at this time (so Tesla is approaching it on a state-by-state basis)

800V Battery Architecture

  • Tesla is not ignoring the reality that they can go to a higher voltage however there is not any compelling reason to change at this point
  • Going from 400V to 800V might save them $100 per vehicle (however requires changing all of the backend infrastructure)
  • Switching to 800V might make sense down the road however Tesla needs to increase vehicle volume to absorb the cost of moving from 400V to 800V first
  • For larger vehicles where higher power on the battery side and/or charging side is required (where current requirements go up), savings can be seen by increasing voltage as it would reduce semiconductor needs (and thus save $)
    • Tesla is considering different voltages for CyberTruck and Semi
    • For 3, Y, and Robotaxi they see no need to switch

4680 Batteries

  • Tesla is working in all areas that they described during the battery day event and making good progress
  • Going to take several years to achieve the cost savings and performance numbers they described during battery day
  • 4680 structural pack will be competitive with the best alternatives later this year and exceed the best alternatives next year
  • New chemistries hinted at however will be included in 4680 production later on
  • Based on Giga Texas factory construction, the 4680 production equipment cost 5x less than what it would have been with other battery cell designs
    • Cost model well understood, rate and yield will be better understood as they ramp over next few years
  • Giga Berlin will transition to 4680s from 2170s later this year
  • Giga Texas has the capability to produce non-structural pack for 2170s (mitigation)
    • Volume production for 4680s in Giga Texas targeted by end of Q3, for sure Q4
    • Sizable cell inventory thanks to Giga Shanghai shutdown and allows them to be more deliberate in 4680 development (gives them some breathing room during ramp)
    • 4680 production not a risk to achieving vehicle production target in 2022 however would be in 2023

Raw Materials Required To Scale

  • Tesla needs to think about tonnage of Nickel, Iron Phosphate, Graphite, Separators, Electrolytes for the world as a whole
  • Then take action on limiting factors that get in the way of the advent of a sustainable energy future
  • Tesla is thinking about mining & refining Lithium is a current limiting factor and responsible for cost growth per cell as of late (single biggest on a percentage basis)
  • Lithium only makes up only 2-3% of a Li-Ion cell (5kg per car)
  • Cathode (Nickel & Iron Phosphate) is the heaviest in terms of cost and raw materials composition of a battery cell
  • Exciting announcements on the raw materials topic in the months to come, Elon hinted to a follow up call / event
  • Tesla committed to recycling at all cell factories, recycling 50T per week in Reno (ramping to 150T) which is putting materials right back into their Cathode supply chain
  • As they are building new vehicles at new factories, Tesla is recycling everything they can from a raw materials perspective
  • Tesla figured out they can recycle cast aluminum wheels from retired ICE cars and throw it into their aluminum melting pot and use for vehicle body production for 3 & Y
  • Half of Tesla’s products were LFP-based in Q1 2022 which shows how nimble they are regarding battery chemistry
    • Also looking at other cathode options to give Tesla further agility
  • Some of the challenges with Lithium market are not related to supply & demand fundamentals (frustrating to Tesla)

Giga Berlin & Texas Ramping related to Giga Shanghai

  • Elon thinks they need to ramp Berlin & Texas faster than Shanghai as they are more experienced now and have learned so much in the simplification of Model Y production
  • Body line for front & rear cast underbody + structural pack is 60% smaller than it would be otherwise in terms of equipment required
  • If you are waiting for the best Tesla ever you will be waiting forever as they are constantly improving


  • Unveiling event sometime next year, Elon doesn’t want to go into too many details until then
  • Volume production in 2024
  • Sizable investment required to build robotaxi production lines

Prices Over Time

  • Elon wants to make EVs as affordable as possible however this has become very difficult due to inflation (40-50yr high)
  • Likely to continue for remainder of 2022
  • Long term contracts with suppliers have helped Tesla keep costs down longer than expected but eventually they run out
  • 20-30% cost increase from suppliers over last year which is why Tesla has raised their prices
  • Lithium margins are practically software margins right now (Elon encouraging more to get into this business)


  • Ignoring battery cells Tesla believes the CyberTruck is made of 20-30% less parts than a typical pickup truck

Giga Nevada

  • Room for expansion there and the plan is to expand production at Giga Nevada further
  • Majority of battery cells will be produced at Giga Texas going forward

COVID Shutdowns in China

  • Elon doesn’t think recent COVID shutdowns in China will negatively impact production elsewhere

Elon compensation

  • No plans or talks to increase Elon’s compensation further

3rd Party Access to Supercharger Network in USA

  • Tesla plans to provide 3rd party vehicle access to the entire world and remains committed to that
  • Tesla is pursuing a technical solution to address the difference in charging connector in the US (magic dock)
  • Growth of Supercharger network is being accelerated to match increase in vehicle production 

Tesla Insurance

  • In state of Texas Tesla is the second largest insurer of Teslas and should be #1 in the next quarter
  • Working to get 80% of states access to Tesla insurance by end of year at which point they’ll look to expand to other markets
  • Having realtime feedback for driving habits (safety score program) is proving helpful to Tesla owners w/ Tesla insurance as it directly relates to a lower rate
  • When a crash happens it gives Tesla a new feedback loop to improve vehicle design, reduce costs, etc (End-to-end visibility)

You can also find outlines from previous earnings calls on his website DBurkland.com.

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Tesla News This Week: A Look at Software Update 2023.20, Tesla App Updates and Model Y Hardware 4.0

By Not a Tesla App Staff
This week we take a look at Tesla's upcoming update, 2023.20, Tesla's improvements to Autowipers and its latest app update
This week we take a look at Tesla's upcoming update, 2023.20, Tesla's improvements to Autowipers and its latest app update

Join us as we take a look back at this week's top Tesla stories. From an early look at the features included in Tesla's upcoming 2023.20 software update, to Tesla's latest app update, we dive into the top stories of the week.

An Early Look at Tesla's 2023.20 Update and Its Features

Tesla is introducing the ability to track your tire mileage in update 2023.20
Tesla is introducing the ability to track your tire mileage in update 2023.20

Preparations are underway for Tesla's next software update, version 2023.20. Although currently in testing, this update has been drawing attention since it was first noticed last week. Considering Tesla's 2023.12 update brought numerous new features, it appears this next may be smaller. However, we now have our first look at some of the features included in Tesla's 2023.20 update.

A noteworthy improvement under the upcoming update pertains to tire service tracking. Post-update, vehicle owners can track how many miles have been driven since their last tire service.

Tesla Updates App to v4.21.5, Adds New Loot Box, Referral Rewards and References New Features

Tesla has updated its app to 4.21.5
Tesla has updated its app to 4.21.5
Not a Tesla App

This week Tesla updated their iPhone app to version 4.21.5. The updated features include a new Loot Box design and a notice to Canadians using their Superchargers. Tesla also hints at several upcoming features including Boombom v2.

Tesla's Model Y With Hardware 4.0 Doesn't Include Radar: We Take a Look at Why

Tesla's Model Y with HW4 is coming without radar
Tesla's Model Y with HW4 is coming without radar

As Tesla continues to redefine the automotive industry, insiders have revealed that the company's upcoming Hardware 4.0 (HW4) will not include the radar module in its Model Y vehicles, at least not initially. This marks a shift in the company's approach towards autonomous driving, relying more heavily on vision-based systems. This strategic decision builds on the recent introduction of HW4 in the luxury Model S and Model X models.

Previously, the integration of HD radar in the Model S and Model X indicated an evolution in the company's Full Self-Driving (FSD) hardware.

Tesla Reduces FSD Beta Suspension Duration With FSD Beta 11.4.2

Tesla has reduced the FSD suspension to one week with FSD Beta 11.4.2
Tesla has reduced the FSD suspension to one week with FSD Beta 11.4.2

Tesla is again modifying the Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta suspension policy. Initially, the system, which is based on a strike policy, suspended users until Tesla reset strikes globally, which ranged from about every three to nine months. The driver has up to three strikes for vehicles without a cabin camera and five for those equipped with them.

More recently Tesla changed their policy to reset FSD suspensions on an individual basis after "approximately two weeks," according to Tesla. But with the introduction of FSD Beta 11.4.2, Tesla has now reduced the suspension interval from two weeks to approximately one week.

Tesla and Ford Forge New Partnership: Ford To Incorporate Tesla Charge Port (NACS) in Future EVs

Ford will add a Tesla (NACS) port to its future EVs
Ford will add a Tesla (NACS) port to its future EVs

In a move that attests to Elon Musk's words on fostering industry collaboration over competition, Tesla and Ford have announced a partnership to enable the latter's electric vehicles access to Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network.

Contrary to earlier speculations that Tesla's move to open its proprietary charging connector might be a futile attempt at standardization, Ford has embraced the North American Charging Standard (NACS) - Tesla's charging system. With this, Tesla’s charging plug design, known for some advantages over the current CCS standard, might start gaining traction across the North American EV sector.

Tesla Upgrades Autowipers to v4, Musk Apologizes for Poor Performance

FSD Beta 11.4.2 introduces Autowipers v4
FSD Beta 11.4.2 introduces Autowipers v4

For Tesla owners, the auto wiper system has been a contentious feature. Loved by some for its attempt at autonomous convenience yet criticized by others for its hit-or-miss performance, the system has often had trouble with extreme light conditions or misty weather. Now, Tesla has introduced v4 of their autowipers system that aims to correct past issues and enhance the user experience.

The updates come via the new Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta 11.4.2, as reported by Tesla hacker @GreenTheOnly. While release notes didn't indicate changes, Green pointed out significant differences under the hood.

Tesla to Deliver Cars at 50% Charge, Offers 150km Free Supercharging

Tesla will now give owners a 150km Supercharger credit
Tesla will now give owners a 150km Supercharger credit

Tesla has recently come up with a new way of doing things when it comes to delivering cars. The company claims this change has been made to align with some new rules in the industry. In the past, Tesla always delivered cars with a full charge. Now, they are to be delivered with only half charge.

When electric vehicles are being transported from one place to another, having them fully charged can pose a risk. Keeping the state of charge (SOC) at 50% during shipment reduces the chances of battery fires. This practice is not new. Other battery-operated devices, like e-bikes, are also shipped at a lower SOC for the same safety reasons.

Tesla Model 3 Refresh Reveal Rumors Coincide with Elon Musk's China Visit

Is Tesla getting ready to unveil the refreshed Model 3?
Is Tesla getting ready to unveil the refreshed Model 3?

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's recent visit to China, his first in three years, has set the stage for widespread conjecture around the unveiling of the revamped Tesla Model 3. Dubbed Project Highland, this model refresh has been a topic of discussion for some time. Industry insiders believe Musk's significant stop at the Shanghai Gigafactory might be strategically timed to coincide with a potential sneak peek of the new Model 3 design.

Tesla Screen Size Comparison for All Tesla Models, Including Size, Resolution and Aspect Ratio

A good view of all the displays available in a Model S
A good view of all the displays available in a Model S

Tesla is a pioneer in the automotive industry, and one of the most defining features of its vehicles is the use of large touchscreens. These screens are a central hub for most vehicle functions, including music, vehicle settings, navigation, and more. Tesla's commitment to a minimalist and user-friendly design is evident through integrating these screens, which have become iconic in electric vehicles.

Between 2012 and 2020, the Model S and Model X were equipped with vertical screens, which stood out due to their impressive size and orientation.

NHTSA Concludes Probe into Tesla's 'Passenger Play': No Recall Sought, Concerns Remain

By Kevin Armstrong
NHTSA closes its investigation into Tesla's 'Passenger Play' feature
NHTSA closes its investigation into Tesla's 'Passenger Play' feature
Cf Tesla/YouTube

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has concluded its investigation into Tesla's 'Passenger Play' feature, stating it will not pursue a recall of the scrutinized vehicles. Passenger Play allowed passengers in the vehicle to play certain games like the Sky Force Reloaded while the vehicle was in motion. Tesla was quick to respond to NHTSA's concerns and issued an update that requires the vehicle to be in park before games can be launched.

The closure of the probe comes amidst continuing concerns over the potential for driver distraction.

Investigation Ends, Still Leaves Room for Future Actions

While NHTSA's conclusion signifies a milestone in Tesla's ongoing scrutiny, it does not entirely absolve the electric vehicle maker. The administration emphasized that the end of the investigation does not mean a safety-related defect doesn't exist. Furthermore, the NHTSA's decision opens the possibility for future action if additional concerns arise.

NHTSA's apprehensions were primarily rooted in Tesla's decision to allow video games to be played on the front center touchscreen of the vehicle while in motion. Having acknowledged these concerns, Tesla voluntarily took action by disabling the 'Passenger Play' feature through an over-the-air software update soon after NHTSA launched its investigation in December 2021.

Tesla's Voluntary Disabling of Feature Commended

The administration confirmed that Tesla reported a 97% completion rate of the software update disabling 'Passenger Play', within a month of its release. The agency lauded Tesla's swift action, which showcased a responsible approach toward ensuring driver safety and mitigating distractions. This action appeared to significantly address NHTSA's concerns, as the agency cited the importance of "affirmative technology-based lockouts" as more effective than merely using labels or disclaimer screens.

Ongoing Scrutiny of Tesla's Autopilot System

Despite the conclusion of this specific probe, Tesla remains under the lens of the NHTSA, which is currently investigating Autopilot. The investigation, covering approximately 830,000 Tesla vehicles, aims to understand better human factors concerning Tesla interfaces and the dynamic driving task.

A History of Safety First

Tesla has always portrayed itself as an automaker that prioritizes safety. From advanced driver assist systems to top-tier safety ratings, the electric car manufacturer has consistently sought to revolutionize transportation safety norms. The swift action in disabling the controversial 'Passenger Play' feature further underscores the company's commitment to road safety and user well-being.

Tesla’s case serves as a potent reminder for all automakers that in-vehicle infotainment devices must balance entertainment and safety. In 2014, the NHTSA issued guidelines encouraging automakers to design in-vehicle devices so the driver can’t use them to perform inherently distracting secondary tasks while driving. As the lines between automobiles and technology blur, the importance of these guidelines will only grow.

Although the 'Passenger Play' investigation has concluded, Tesla’s journey with the NHTSA is far from over. The ongoing probe into Tesla’s Autopilot system indicates that the auto giant will remain under close watch to ensure the highest levels of safety for users and fellow road users alike.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


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