Electric vehicle (EV) company Tesla is having a really, really solid month so far, and we’re not even half way into it. With the EV industry reeling from grim news regarding Coda’s bankruptcy announcement and Fisker Automotive’s apparent demise, Tesla Motors is basking in a trifecta of great news stories that emerged from their camp.
First Profit in Company’s Ten-Year History
Arguably, the most surprising news was announced this week as the emerging car company completed their first quarterly profit in its ten year history. The car maker noted a first quarter net income of $11.2 million for 2013, compared to a loss of nearly $90 million from the same quarter last year. News of the profit resulted in a huge boost on the stock market too, which closed at $73.10 on May 9th, capping off a massive 31 percent gain for the day and a 65 percent gain for the year.
Their competition was well-aware of the news, as Bill Ford, executive director of Ford Motors was quick to praise their progress. “It’s really hard to start up a company, particularly in the auto business, and be successful,” said the great-grandson of founder Henry Ford. He continued, “We’ve seen many who have not, and so the fact that they are off to a really good start and doing well [this year], I think, is a real tribute to them.”
It’s notable to acknowledge the company would have still reported around a $50 million loss if not for their carbon credit efforts in California. The State offers zero-emission vehicle credits to Tesla, which in turn sells them to other carmakers – the end result was an additional $68 million revenue stream in the quarter.
Read More: Tesla Solar Roof Reviews
Tesla’s Model S ‘Excites’ Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports was more than happy to add to the fervor this week, announcing that Tesla’s crown jewel, the Model S plug-in car, was deemed “the best car it has ever tested” in its latest edition. In the report, they said the car “is brimming with innovation, delivers world-class performance, and is interwoven throughout with impressive attention to detail.” Following all of the tests, the Model S earned 99 out of 100 points – a rating that hasn’t been achieved by any car, gas-powered or otherwise, since the 2009 Lexus LS460. No car has ever scored a perfect 100 in the magazine’s 77 year history.
“We don’t get all excited about many vehicles, and with this car we really did,” said Jake Fisher, head of auto testing for Consumer Reports. He added, “If it could recharge in any gas station in three minutes, this car would score about 110.”
For a brief recap of additional Tesla’s Model S achievements, check out our story on EVs from back in February.
Talks with Google to Aid in ‘Autopilot’ Technology
“I like the word autopilot more than I like the word self-driving,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk explained when discussing the technology that they’ve discussed to coordinate with Google. Musk is quick to dismiss the notion of a vehicle that would not need any human assistance, but rather a driver aid – in case of a medical emergency, for example. Google, no stranger to the green energy industry, has been testing driverless car technology for some time. As USA Today indicated earlier this week, the Tesla CEO not only wants to take advantage of Google’s current innovations, but he wants to make the system even better by using upgraded optical equipment to monitor traffic and potential hazards. Musk believes the cameras and software would be cheaper this way.
In addition to the news announced this month, Tesla also announced earlier in the year that they intend to pay back the $465 million loan awarded from the US Department of Energy ahead of schedule. All in all, 2013 appears to be emerging as a banner year for Tesla Motors.