Right on time for a Christmas miracle, the shining star of the electric vehicle movement has perhaps what is the best news for EV owners and advocates all over the world. Last week Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla Motors had its first cash flow-positive week from doing what the company was founded to do; selling electric cars.
For those too lazy to click the link, Musk tweeted;
Am happy to report that Tesla was narrowly cash flow positive last week. Continued improvement expected through year end.
Big news for sure, as this is the first time Tesla has made any money from, you know, selling cars. With production of the Tesla Model S slowly ramping up to 400 cars a week, a significant number when you consider that the Tesla Roadster sold just 2,500 units over three years. With a reported 13,000 Tesla Model S sedans on backorder just a few months ago, even at 400 cars a week, it will take Tesla some time to work through the backlog. Tesla hopes to produce 20,000 vehicles in 2013, but such goals have proven difficult for automakers like GM and Nissan to hit.
Tesla Motors has come a long way, but it still has a lot farther to go. There’s the little matter of the government loans Tesla must begin paying back, and the electric car company has an obligation to investors as well. Oh, and the fact that the company has burned through $864 million (probably more by now) since its founding means actual profitability is still a long ways out. But now that production is getting going, Tesla is looking more and more viable long-term.
Don’t expect Tesla to deliver a cash flow-positive year for a while yet though. With all that debt to pay off and limited commercial appeal, the road ahead for Tesla is still long and tough. Yet the company keeps trudging forward, and it’s hard not to root for them.