Teslaverse #5: Cybertruck delivery event — Q3 (l)earnings — Toyota joins NACS
⚡ Caution! High Voltage
Something to set the mood today:
just chill and enjoy the sun. (source)
Hey, Jaan here.
Welcome to our monthly special issue: the Teslaverse.
This edition is a collaboration between EV Universe and Beast Rent. I'm excited about what Beast is building in the EV space because they're impacting EV adoption from two angles:
Providing the 24/7 app-accessible premium Tesla rentals for everyone with the Beast Rent;
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Our regular EV industry newsletters are already in draft and coming your way over the next few days.
Here’s what I’ve got for you today:
Cybertruck starts deliveries on Nov 30th, goes off-road, gets shot at by Elon&co, gets weight ratings, and might be OK to come to Europe;
Tesla Q3 earnings deep dive;
Tesla offers wraps, and transferring your free unlimited Supercharging if ordering a new S/X/Y in the US;
Even Toyota joins NACS.
I hope you don’t mind, but this one will turn out a bit of a Cybertruck-themed issue. Love or hate the Cybertruck (I’m not sure myself even), but it sure is something else. And about to hit the roads.
Words: 3,769 | Time to read: 14 minutes | Feeling like: I could send a newsletter about Tesla to you every single day and still run out of the e-mail space.
Before we get to the serious stuff — if you watch just one video for fun this week, make it this Cybertruck » Back to The Future video. It is surprisingly well done:
*Questions on Say are submitted by (verified) retail and institutional shareholders before the call with a live vote going on before the call. The Tesla shares voters represent will determine the most “popular” questions, which are usually answered on the call. For example, the 2024 Cybertruck delivery questions were represented with 4.7M Tesla shares (worth almost $1B in market cap). I think it’s a genius way to build a voting platform, hence my little off-track bit here.
$1.8B GAAP operating income in Q3
$1.9B GAAP net income in Q3, $2.3B non-GAAP (-43.7% YoY)
Revenue: $23.35B in Q3, up 9% year-over-year.
Total GAAP gross margin: 17.9%
Operating margin 7.6%
$554M in regulatory credit sales ($1.357B so far this year)
$26.1 billion in cash on hand
Main objectives, per Tesla, remained unchanged in Q3: reducing cost per vehicle, free cash flow generation while maximizing delivery volumes, and continued investment in AI and other growth projects.
However, there was a very noticeable downbeat (almost like depressed) tone on the call especially from Elon’s side — with most words supporting that the times are tough enough in this high-interest rate environment, and rough waters are still ahead too. Although, still, the company expects to “maintain a strong balance sheet during this uncertain period.”
TESLA EXPANSION IN NUMBERS:
In Q3, Tesla delivered 435,059 vehicles.
In Q1-Q3 this year, Tesla has delivered 1,324,074, which is already 10,223 more than the 1,313,851 in the whole of 2022.
In Europe, Model Y remains the best-selling vehicle of any kind (based on the latest available data as of August). “We are on track for the Model Y to be the best-selling car on earth (in volume terms) this year,” says Musk.
From the deck, we see that Tesla has now over 2,350,000 of installed annual vehicle production capacity:
Note the >125k CT pilot production capacity and Giga Shanghai jumping to >950k from 750k shown last quarter. This should mean Shanghai is maxing out its current factory size.
On the business side, in Q3 Tesla globally
Opened 61 new service/store locations, now at 1,129 (+25% Year-over-Year)
Opened 330 Superchargers locations, now 5,595 (+31% YoY)
Added 3,023 Supercharger connectors, now at 51,105 (+31% YoY)
Added 77 to the Mobile service fleet, now at 1,846 (+20% YoY)
Global vehicle inventory (days of supply): 16 (same as last Q, +100% YoY)
And other Tesla’s “add-on businesses”:
49MW Solar deployed (-48%).
3.980 GWh storage deployed (+90%). Tesla Energy brought a gross profit of $381M (or gross margin of 24.4%) in Q3, up 33% vs Q2 2023 and up 163% YoY.
The Energy side of Tesla remains one of the underestimated yet very important business arm, and the ramp-up is just starting.
Tesla FSD Beta now at 525 million cumulative miles driven.
Tesla has “more than doubled” the size of their AI training compute, for their growing dataset and Optimus Robot project.
Growth rate for 2024:
Giga Mexico: Interest rates delay Giga Mexico and likely the expansion of Giga Nevada too.
My wild guess — From this and recent Tesla communications, it seems to me that Tesla is also playing a bit of a hard-to-catch for Mexico to force the hand a little bit to… get a better bargain?
On the next-gen model: “The high-volume, low-cost smaller vehicle is actually much more conventional. We're doing everything possible to simplify the next-generation vehicle in order to achieve a units-per-minute level that is unheard of in the auto industry.” He called the vehicle both cool and beautiful, but also utilitarian.
For Vaibhav Taneja, the interim (or is it interim?) CFO who recently took over from Zachary Kirkhorn, this was the first rodeo earnings call to be on where he essentially needs to take the #2 spot on. Mixed opinions on him from all around, but we had some good info from him too. For example: "Despite those factory shutdowns, our cost per vehicle (COGS) decreased to approximately $37,500". So we could assume the cost drops further if the production line utilization grows?
Got to like the trend here:
Note, however, that per Viecha’s comment later on, “leased vehicles don't go through Autos Sales COGS.” (link)
Interesting side note — Tesla says all of their investments (eg factories, product line, all the “AI stuff”), come from their own positive cashflow.
When upgraded Model 3 available in US? No comments.
Musk pumped the brakes on the Cybertruck-for-masses anticipation a little:
Cybertruck reservations: I also believe this might’ve been the first time Tesla (or well, Elon) has confirmed that there are over a million people who have reserved the Cybertruck.
Meanwhile, the largest unofficial CT order tracker has arrived at a likely 2,047,695 Cybertruck reservations so far. (link, choose ‘General Results'‘)
“AI has the potential to make Tesla the most valuable company in the world by far.” — Musk
🔋 4680 cell production in Giga Texas +40% Quarter over Quarter. Drew gave a good overview of the progress. From other news, just this month, Tesla built their 20-millionth 4680 cell in Giga Texas, amounting to nearly 2 GWh produced and up from 10 million in June this year. (link) Scrap is also down 40% quarter-over-quarter, cell costs improved month over month, lot more work to do. We also got a deeper update, that:
The Cybertruck cell with 10% higher energy than our Model Y cell started production on line 2 in Texas. In Q4, they’ll convert to building 100% Cybertruck cells to simplify ramping all four manufacturing lines in “Phase 1”. “Phase 2” with another four lines is under construction, targeting production start in late 2024.
Note, that this is all now in the primary production location, Giga Texas. Kato Road facility, where previously the 4680 cell production was started up from, will be retooled to start with the next-gen cell designs. Kato will become the launch pad for new cells, one generation ahead of Tesla’s mass production facilities.
Note that I don’t comment on the FSD-related topics. Mainly just because I don’t know enough about the topic. Perhaps an interesting answer by Musk was that the lowered FSD price is “a kind of temporary low” and will increase proportionately to its value. Oh, and Tesla released a rare official video of an FSD capability demo in Austin (5-min video).
Most analysts lowered their $TSLA price targets after the call. “We would characterize last night’s conference call as a mini disaster,” said one analyst.
Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley writes “In our opinion, 3Q23 was one of the most cautious Tesla conference calls we’ve heard in years."
$TSLA stock tumbled -14.96% to $206.37/share the lowest after the call by the weekend and is currently settled at $212.08/share (-12.61% from the market close before the earnings call). Market cap for now is $664.55B and the stock is up 96.19% since the drop in the beginning of the year
I said I won’t be inserting my opinions here and I won’t. You can listen in on the call and form your own.
I do, however, continue to be very excited about Tesla’s impact on our world and think you can easily disregard all the doom and gloom headlines.
Keep calm and carry on, or as they say.
In case you missed last month’s Teslaverse where we did a massive deep dive on the Model 3 Refresh, here it is.
Tesla is now offering OEM wraps in its online store for the 2023 Model 3 & Y, with installation currently available in two California Service Centers. (link to shop and FAQ) I’d expect this to roll out nationwide and perhaps elsewhere soon enough.
The wrap and installation of the 7 colors — GIF with them by yours truly here — costs between $7.5k and $8k. Tesla says the wrap has Self-healing, urethane-based film and is more environmentally friendly than traditional vinyl wraps.
Cheers, sip, repeat. While we’re on the Tesla Shop topic, “CyberBeer + CyberStein set”, along with the “CyberOpener” is now up on its website for the US — though already sold out. (link) Also, the Tesla Cyberquad for 8 to 12-year-old kids is now available in Europe for €1,990.
Hieu Duong, the lead inventor Dry Electrode Coating for Tesla, has left the company for AM Batteries of Chelmsford, Massachusetts as their Chief Manufacturing Officer, according to Steve LeVine’s The Electric. (link)
Tesla-wireless-Wiferion thing: Tesla sells the recently acquired Wiferion to PULS, also a German company. (link) But Tesla keeps the engineers. Wiferion’s engineering team has vast experience in high-power wireless power transmission, so we can assume further development (link)
Tesla is likely about to start monitoring drivers for drowsiness with its cabin-facing camera. Icons for “Driver Drowsy” now appear in the software (link).
Tesla is looking for Head of EMEA Charging. Rebecca Tinucci, Sr. Director of EV Charging at Tesla is the one lookin’ (link) (job page). This also means that Jeroen Van Tilburg, who formerly held the position, is moving somewhere? Looks like it, as his position now shows as Head of EV Charging Network.
Tesla has started advertising. In a recent tweet, Elon explained:
“I said we would advertise. We are doing so at small scale and will do so at larger scale as we figure what works best.”
I’ve seen a bunch of Tesla Google ads pop up on certain keywords, and there are also video ads on some airport screens. Here’s an example of Tesla advertising its new M3 in the Haneda Airport (video).
All Hertz rentals in the US now allow full Tesla app access. This means you can use keyless lock/unlock via phone key, remotely precondition the cabin, track charge status & more. And if you’re a Tesla driver, your settings can be automatically transferred to the rental (link). This is how true connectivity looks like, folks.
It’s official: Cybertruck delivery event takes place on 30th of November.
In Giga Texas. (link)
And I found that this will come over 11 years, actually 4,138 days to be more exact, from this tweet by Musk:
There are plenty of Cybertruck photos and videos to go around recently as well.
How about… a Cybertruck driving around with actual bullet holes dents its sides (video)? With Musk commenting later that they “emptied the entire drum magazine of a Tommy gun into the driver door Al Capone style. No bullets penetrated into the passenger compartment.”
Traditional OEM: we’ll do some pretty pics before the vehicle launch, all fancy as possible, maybe a video with celebs
Tesla: let’s empty a mag on the side of the Cybertruck and then just drive around 🤷♂️
— Jaan of the EV Universe ⚡ (@TheEVuniverse)
Oct 20, 2023
What we really don’t have, are the final specs and prices though. Except for that one low-VIN Cybertruck that sold for $400,000 at the Petersen Museum Gala auction (link).
The closest thing we’ve got so far is the official NHTSA VIN decoder that just launched (3-page pdf, is for Semi too), which confirms there’s a Dual Motor (Standard) and Triple Motor (Performance) 2024 model year Cybertruck.
This, I think, confirms that the quad-motor Cybertruck won’t be delivered anytime soon.
Two Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (note — not the curb weight) are written down in the decoder too:
Class G - Greater GVWR than 3,629 kg. to 4,082 kg. (8,001-9,000 lbs.)
Class H – Greater GVWR than 4,082 kg. to 4,536 kg. (9,001-10,000 lbs.)
INSIGHT: CYBERTRUCK → EUROPE
We’ve already known that Cybertruck would have some trouble starting deliveries in Europe in its current form. A lot of people argue that since the regular “B” driving license only allows 3,500 kg weight limit, there’s no chance we can drive the Cybertruck as large as it currently is here. However…
and here comes stuff that isn’t known widely yet,
but if you follow my Pro Reports you already know that:
There’s legislation proposed in European Commission in March this year, which would increase the B-category vehicle weight allowance to 4,250 kg for zero-emission vehicles only. (link) This is, as far as I know, currently under review in the European Parliament. I’ll keep an eye on this one and try to find out more.
By the way, the UK already has the increased 4,250kg limit set for the regular "B" category (if driving alternatively-fuelled vehicles) already in 2018.
The weight limit is, of course, just one of the potential issues in bringing CT to Europe. But I’m willing to take a bet they’ll launch here anyway.
This EU weight limit thing went rather wide with over 300k views on 𝕏 too (here), also bringing out a lot of European Cybertruck reservation holders. Special shoutout to our reader Florian who has 50 reserved.
Ok, enough of that. Let’s carry on with… what? MORE Cybertruck?!
We also get a peek at the CT frame: Not exactly the “exoskeleton” that it was first called. Seems it will actually mean a protective hard shell with hardened steel panels. This is what we get, also showing the front and rear giga-castings (link).
If you’ve ever wondered about the resemblance to the obvious next-of-kin of Cybertruck, the DeLorean… wonder no more (link):
Tesla team went on a trip with Cybertrucks to Baja for off-road durability testing. Here’s an X live stream from Tesla (video). A Tesla team member mentioned the only issues were two flat tires over the 1,280-mile journey. Interestingly, we also see two versions of Starlink Mobility dishes tested on top of the truck. (link) Will the product lineup feature Starlink connectivity?
Oh and hey — this Cyber-Owl in the Cybertruck’s Sentry mode works pretty well, it would scare me off indeed. (link)
Now if the Owl would turn towards whoever is outside based on motion from the cameras…
The upgraded Model 3 was spotted without any covers for the first time in the US. (link) Meanwhile, first deliveries of the refreshed M3 are expected at the end of October in China (link) and the first ship with the refreshed models arrived in the Zeebrugge port in Belgium just last week.
Here’s a train full of ‘em (video) and trucks too (link). Looks like the first deliveries have already taken place, like this one in the Netherlands (link) and in Germany (link). The upgraded model is now available to order in the UK starting at £39,990, with deliveries set for January.
Today first deliveries of the #Tesla#Model3#Highland in #Bielefeld Germany. Thanks to our outside reporter Michel.
pictures © bei i3sMichael
— Planwerk 🥨 (@planwerk)
Oct 21, 2023
Tesla Asia also uploaded some high-quality pics of the car (link), and Tesla held an event to debut it in Hong Kong (link). MotorTrend put it side-by-side with the old Model 3 for a great comparison (link).
🕵️♂️ The Performance version of the refreshed Model 3 is also coming — now spotted near the Palo Alto HQ in slight camo, but including the 20’’ rims seen in the recent collision manual that hints at a performance version.
In Canada, Model Y is now the cheapest it’s ever been with CA$2k drop on all variants, RWD now starting at CA$57,990 (US$42.2k) (link)
Model Y starting prices across the US were shared in the Q3 deck, including the local and state incentives:
Tesla unveils plan for 120-acre “ecological paradise” around the Colorado River at Giga Texas, in this new presentation Tesla gave to the Travis County Commissioners Court. (13-page pdf).
A fun find in light of the recent UAW theme too: average equity+wages for Tesla employees in Travis County was $131,020 in 2022 ($74.2k base wage + $56.8k equity compensation).
The document also claims Tesla has already invested $5.8B in the factory and plan to spend at least $10B.
Giga Texas’ main entrance, made to look like the Plaid effect, is finished (video).
Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel García visited his 4th Gigafactory, Shanghai, to “learn about previous experiences to apply them in the construction of the one in Nuevo León, which will be the largest in the world.” (4-min video). García also said two of Tesla’s Chinese suppliers, Ningbo Tuopu Group and Hesai Technology, will invest around $700M and $260M respectively in Nuevo Leon.
The state government is also already doing the preliminary work on the highway exits for the factory, along with necessary environmental studies (link).
this is where the Giga Mexico will be sitting on
… and elsewhere: “The Thai Prime Minister told the press that he had borrowed his wife Pakpilai’s car because he wants to win Tesla’s heart when he gets to talk to the company next month.” (link)
Tesla gears up to launch in South America, based on the recent listing of General Manager position for Chile, to “help launch the market.” (link)
Tesla now offers to transfer your free unlimited Supercharging if you order a new S/X/Y in the US for end-of-year delivery (link). Not yet sure if this will be available in Europe too, and also no clue why they would exclude Model 3 from this list?
NACS adoption: Toyota and Lexus announced they will adopt the NACS standard for their upcoming EVs from 2025. So did the BMW Group (BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce).
Here’s a nice graph to visualize who has and hasn’t joined the party:
ChargePoint has also started shipping NACS retrofit kits to customers with existing DC chargers around the US. (link) The CEO of ChargePoint, Pasquale Romano, commented (link): “Tesla vehicles have initiated more than 35 million historical ChargePoint sessions. If it weren't for Tesla, we would be dead.”
Here’s a great overview 20-minute interview (video) on NACS retrofits with Chargepoint's Chief Commercial and Revenue Officer Michael Hughes and the one and only Kyle Conner from Out of Spec.
ChargePoint Introduces NACS Retrofit! Here’s How Station Upgrades Will Happen
— Out of Spec Podcast (@OutofSpecPod)
Oct 19, 2023
Meanwhile, V4 Superchargers are popping up all around, including US (completed one (not open) in Prattville, Alabama (link) and one in the works in Oregon). These feature the payment screen and Magic Docks also. (link) Here’s the first in Hong Kong (link) and in Italy (link).
“Not sure why Elon doesn’t like unions when they are literally shutting down the competition.” — by Earl. I just found this too funny not to share.
Remember the Tesla Pool? Make way for the Tesla Bouncer, also in Hilden charging hub, and complete with PV panels on top.
Adam won a Tesla Model 3 Performance on the Tesla referral program raffle (link). He gave it to his parents.
Tesla owners in Canada created the Canadian Flag with their Teslas in this Tesla light show video.
This is how the Tesla website looked like in the early days.
✔️ We’re done with the Teslaverse #5.
This newsletter went out to 4,499 EV Universe readers and was made in collaboration with Beast Rent.
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See you soon
riding off to the sunset pulling a frunking Raptor rocket engine with the Cybertruck.
(image source: @cnunezimages)