A number of significant tidbits of information came forth from Tesla’s first quarter earnings report for 2020, which added together have confirmed just how far Tesla is ahead of the electric vehicle game.
Not least is the fact that the Californian auto maker has posted a modest but still positive $US16 million ($A24.5 million) profit, even amid the economic challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen Tesla’s Model 3 factory in Fremont, Alameda County, shut down by government order to help contain the spread of the highly contagious virus.
Musk is railing against the extension of closures, going so far as to call the stay-at-home measures “fascist” during the company’s earnings call, but Tesla has fared better than fellow car makers Ford and GM and other auto makers have also faced factory closures, as noted by Giles Parkinson on Thursday.
While Musk’s opinions on how to get back to a flourishing economy as the pandemic seemingly comes under control in some US states have divided many, one thing is clear: following Musk’s vision, Tesla has already put itself in a position to ride the waves of the crisis.
And car makers are reportedly worried. CleanTechnica author Alex Voigt last Sunday shared on Twitter comments made by VW boss Herbert Diess in an internal meeting that Tesla’s autonomous driving systems was giving him a headache.
“500,000 Teslas function as a neural network that continuously collects data and offers the customer a new driving experience every 14 days, with improved features,”Diess was quoted as saying by Voigt.
“No other automaker can do that today.”
Tesla, which has just released its latest Full Self Driving feature – the ability to detect and stop at traffic lights and stop signs – will soon be collecting data from 1 billion intersections a month as the feature is rolled out across markets, giving the company access to far more valuable and voluminous information about autonomous driving as drivers effectively label objects for Tesla as they drive.
No wonder car makers are worried.
Autonomous driving aside, other developments shared by Musk during the Q1 2020 earnings call also reveal Tesla’s strong hand.
Learnings from the ramping of production of Tesla’s first mass-volume electric car, the Model 3, have afforded the car maker the opportunity to leapfrog ahead of its own production schedule for its next mass-volume vehicle, the Model Y.
First deliveries of the Model Y began a full three months ahead, and Musk reported that it is now Tesla’s first vehicle to become profitable in its first quarter of production, with more Model Ys produced in its first quarter than were Model 3s in its first two quarters.
“Thus the Model Y ramp has been even faster than the Giga Shanghai ramp,” said Musk. “In other words, we are ahead of the schedule that we were ahead of already.”
To read the full story on RenewEconomy’s electric vehicle dedicated site, The Driven, click here…