Tesla EVs show profit while solar business hits new lows in revenue and deployment

All of Tesla's North American Model S Long Range Plus vehicles now have an official range of 402 miles.

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Building on the company’s first-ever profitable Q1 in 2020, Tesla reported a positive Q2 GAAP net income, marking four straight quarters of profit, the first time that has happened in company history. The company has shared that its revenue reached $6.04 billion during the quarter, with $428 million of that from regulatory credits.

CEO Elon Musk ended his initial summary of the results by saying “I’ve never been more optimistic or excited about the future of Tesla in the history of the company.”

Tesla credits the profit to “fundamental operational improvements,” since the company saw financial losses in the quarter due to both factory shutdowns and automotive revenue declining by 4% year-over-year, down to $5.18 billion from $5.38 billion in Q2 2019.

While it was a strong quarter for the company as a whole, the same is not true of its solar division. The company installed 27 MW of solar in Q2, down 23% from the 35 MW installed in Q1 2020, yet only down 7% from the 29 MW installed during Q2 2019. Q2 2020 marks the second quarter in a row that Tesla has seen a decline in installed solar capacity, after installing 54 MW in Q4 2020.

While overall solar installations dropped in Q2, Tesla did note that solar roof installations roughly tripled when compared to Q1.

Where solar faltered a bit, Tesla’s storage business was able to regain its stride in Q2, with the installation of 419 MWh worth of storage, up 61% from the 260 MWh installed in Q1 2020 and 1% over the 415 MWh installed in Q2 2019. The company installed 477 MWh and 530 MWh in Q3 and Q4 2019 respectively.

The results also show that Megapack generated a profit for the first time in Q2.

While vehicle production saw a dip in Q2, due in large part to virus-related factory shutdowns, vehicle deliveries actually rose in the quarter. The company produced just 82,300 vehicles in Q2, which includes the hard-hit Models S and X, which saw a combined production of 6,300, down 59% when compared to Q1. On the whole, vehicle production was down 20% compared to Q1’s 102,700 and down 5% from Q2 2019’s 87,000. On the delivery end, Tesla delivered 90,900 vehicles in Q2, up 3% from Q1’s 88,500, though that figure is down 5% year-over-year from Q2 2019’s mark of 95,400.

Musk emphasized the accomplishment of turning a profit in a traditionally slow first half that featured an international pandemic and manufacturing shutdowns.