We previously covered how Tesla plans to open up Superchargers in Norway, but Elon Musk has now said that Tesla plans on opening up Superchargers in all countries over time. We'll explain why this can be an absolutely brilliant move by Tesla.
In Europe Tesla uses a universal CCS port on their cars and chargers, making it much easier for owners to charge elsewhere without the use of an adapter. In this case though, it will also help Tesla open up their Superchargers to others.
In the US and other regions where Tesla uses their proprietary connection, it will be a little trickier. Tesla would likely need to develop an adapter from CCS to Tesla’s port. It’ll be a hurdle for any customers wanting to use Tesla Superchargers.
Why is Tesla doing this?
So here’s where it gets interesting. Why is this Tesla opening up Superchargers to others when they’re already congested in some areas? Tesla built their proprietary cable connection and their Superchargers because they had no other choice. Fast charging DC stations were simply not available when Tesla released their first Model S in 2012 (the original Tesla roadster used a different connection). So if Superchargers are not a revenue stream for Tesla, then they’ll likely be surpassed as the leader in fast charging stations.
So what I believe Tesla is thinking here is that they can get actually two hugely important things out of opening Superchargers to everyone. First, they create a new revenue stream for themselves. They’re not giving out this energy for free, and they’ll likely charge a premium for it. Secondly, with this additional revenue, they could use it to continue building out their Supercharger network and become the de facto standard for car charging. Something that surely would please Tesla owners as they can keep the simplicity of charging at Tesla’s chargers, and don’t need to buy an adapter when charging. Having a greatly expanded Tesla charging network would be a great form of advertising for Tesla and would surely help sell Tesla vehicles.
However, there is something Tesla needs to solve. Today, Superchargers communicate with the vehicle to transmit information such as how much energy was transferred and it leaves the authentication and payment details to the car.
In order to allow other vehicles to charge at Superchargers Tesla would need to change or add a way for other cars to authenticate at the Supercharger and pay for the charging session.
I still remember my first experience at a Supercharger and being in awe with the simplicity of the whole thing. The first time I used one I thought I’d need to authenticate at the charger, or maybe even on my phone. I was even ready to pay for it manually, like at a gas station. Tesla absolutely nailed this experience for its customers so I don’t believe they’re going to want to change any of that, nor should they.
Instead I believe they’ll create a payment system where a non-Tesla vehicle could go up to a Tesla Supercharger and open up the Tesla app to start a charging session. Very similar to what some gas stations do today. You simply log in, choose your pump and start pumping. The charging session would be automatically terminated when the charger is removed from the car. This will again force non-Tesla vehicles to use Tesla’s system, instead of the opposite where Tesla owners would need to use someone else’s chargers, possibly interrrupting the simplicity of charging that exists today at Superchargers.
By having non-Tesla owners use the Tesla app to authenticate their charging session, Tesla also gains a unique opportunity to sell them on a Tesla, right there while they’re waiting for their car to charge. Clever move.
So as Tesla expands their Supercharging network and offers non-Tesla vehicles fast DC charging, we face the question, why is Tesla still using their proprietary adapter? Sure, it was necessary in 2012, but in 2021 where so many things have changed, it doesn’t add many benefits over a CCS connection. It prevents Tesla owners from charging at CCS stations, it prevents some non-Tesla owners from their at Tesla chargers and it requires Tesla to build and manage multiple parts for their cars.
We believe Tesla will announce that all future Teslas will come with a CCS charge port, instead of the Tesla port. They will slowly switch over Superchargers to use a CCS connection and offer an adapter at the station for non-CCS Teslas.
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Tesla's fourth quarter and 2022 earnings call with investors was mostly good news unless you were planning to drive a Cybertruck soon. While company executives eagerly jumped on every question asked by investors, there was a noticeable pause when a point-blank question was asked about Cybertruck's mid-year production date.
Elon Musk responded "um, we do expect production to start, I don't know, maybe sometime this summer. But I always like to try to downplay the start of production because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it's always very slow at first. So I wouldn't put too much thought in start of production."
Volume Production Next Year
If the millions of people with Cybertruck reservations were in attendance, you might have felt the air leave the room. The previous belief was mass production would start by the end of 2023. There may be some stainless-steel beauties on the road by then, but only a few. "It's kind of when does volume production actually happen, and that's next year," said Musk.
Perhaps sensing some disappointed buyers, Lars Moravy, Tesla's Vice President of Vehicle Engineering added, "(I'd) like just to emphasize on that, we've started installation of all the production equipment here in Giga Texas, castings, general assembly, body shops. We built all our beta vehicles, some more coming still in the next month, but as you said, the ramp will really come 2024."
The Cybertruck Will be Elon's Next Car
Cybertruck was originally announced in 2019 at the memorable event that included the unbreakable armor glass smashing. Musk was wearing the smashed glass Cybertruck t-shirt while taking questions from investors. While the wait continues, he is adamant that it will be worth it, "So it's an incredible product. I can't wait to drive it personally. It will be the car that I drive every day… it's just one of those products that only comes along once in a while, and it's really special."
The original release deadline was set for 2021. However, the production date has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, like a global pandemic. Nevertheless, it is a positive sign that beta vehicles have been produced. Images of what appears to be a Cybertruck were leaked a few months ago.
Recently, chief designer Franz von Holzhausen did confirm that the Cybertruck was ready for production, but it's a work in progress. Every Tesla beta product gets thoroughly examined and meticulously reviewed before the next step. But at least it's a step in the right direction.
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
Tesla published their Q4 2022 and full-year financial results, setting new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations. Tesla’s annual profit rose to $12.6 billion in 2022, from $5.5 billion in 2021. Annual revenue rose to $81.5 billion, from $53.8 billion the year prior. Tesla reported fourth-quarter revenue of $24.32 billion beating analysts' $24.07 billion estimate. The automaker also reported earnings per share of $1.19 beating analysts' $1.12 estimate.
Tesla’s stock rose more than 5% in after-hours trading following the earnings release and surged more than 10% the next day.
Tesla's Q4 2022 revenue set a new record for the company, up 59% from a year earlier. In addition to automotive revenue of $21.3 billion, Tesla recognized $324 million of deferred revenue from the company’s driver assistance systems.
FSD Beta Numbers
Tesla reported that 90 million miles have now been driven with FSD Beta, up from 58 million miles in the previous quarter. The company also confirmed that they have about 400,000 FSD Beta users in North America, a sizeable increase since the last report. With such a steep increase in miles driven and FSD Beta becoming widely available in North America, Tesla is making significant progress with its autonomous driving software.
In late 2022 and into this year, Tesla began cutting prices on its cars globally. Elon spoke about how recent price cuts have fueled a surge in demand for Tesla: “Thus far in January we’ve seen the strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history. We’re currently seeing orders of almost twice the rate of production.” He added: “These price changes really make a difference for the average consumer.” Tesla acknowledges that average sales prices have to decrease over time because affordability is part of Tesla's mission to grow into a company that sells multiple millions of cars annually.
Price cuts will impact profitability, but margins should remain healthy, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn affirmed. Tesla has wider operating margins than the industry average, which allows them to make such price cuts.
Elon issued an uncertain forecast for 2023, saying Tesla planned on 1.8 million vehicles for the year without specifying whether that was a target for production or deliveries. If the company were to deliver 1.8 million vehicles in 2023, that would result in 37% annual growth.
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