Watch Now

Tesla mum on Semi progress as it posts record income

Leading electric carmaker books quick profit from Bitcoin runup

Tesla reported record profits in Q1 but had nothing to say about the long-delayed Tesla Semi Class 8 tractor. (Photo: Tesla)

Electric carmaker Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) reported record net income of $438 million in Q1 on $10.39 billion in revenue, slightly short of analyst expectations for revenue. The company provided no updates on the long-delayed Semi tractor, saying only it is “in the background.” 

First-quarter revenue nearly doubled the $5.99 billion from a year ago. Earnings per share of 93 cents exceeded the expected analyst consensus of 80 cents. Per-share earnings in the year-ago quarter were 23 cents. Tesla has been profitable for seven consecutive quarters. Much of the gain comes from selling emission credits to companies trying to meet air-quality standards.

Tesla is focused on making more electric cars, including the top-selling Models 3 and Y that accounted for almost all of the 184,800 deliveries in the quarter.

More batteries, please

It is also looking for help from suppliers that make battery cells as it works on its own advanced 4680 cell whose energy density is expected to increase driving range between charging. Full production of the advanced cells are 12-18 months away, CEO Elon Musk said.

“This is not being done to the exclusion of suppliers. It is done in conjunction with suppliers. We have good relationships with CATL, Panasonic and LG,” he said on an earnings call Monday evening. “Supply us with as much as you possibly can. Provided the price is affordable, we will buy everything you can make.”

The three companies are among the largest battery cell producers globally. Musk said he expected supplier output of batteries to double in 2022.

Fast profit from Bitcoin

Tesla’s widely reported purchase of $1.5 billion in Bitcoin cryptocurrency paid off almost immediately. The company sold 10% of its stake for a $272 million, booking a $101 million profit as a reduction in operating expenses.

“Bitcoin seemed at the time to be a good decision, a good place to stash money not needed right away and make some returns on that,” Chief Financial Officer Zach Kirkhorn said. “We are long-term holders and watching the space closely.”

Tesla accepts deposits and allows customers to purchase its vehicles with Bitcoin.

Chip shortage

Like all automakers, Tesla suffered from the global semiconductor shortage.  

“Q1 had some of the most difficult supply chain challenges we’ve ever had in the history of Tesla,” Musk said. “The chip shortage is a huge problem.”

Kirkhorn said the “landscape [around supply chain issues] is improving.”

Automotive gross margins grew by more than 1 percentage point to 26.5%. Cost-cutting helped expand profitability even with practically no production of higher-priced S and X models that are being replaced this year by new versions.

Tesla said in its letter to shareholders Monday that it still plans 50% average annual growth in vehicle deliveries over a multiyear horizon. Musk said 2 million Teslas will be on the road next year.

What about the Semi? Not much

Production of the Model Y continues to ramp up at Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory. New factories in Austin, Texas, and Berlin are expected to be at full production in 2022.

The Austin Gigafactory is expected to eventually produce the Semi. Tesla has hundreds of orders for the truck, first shown as a prototype in 2017. It was originally slated for production in 2019, but that date has slipped several times.

Media reports suggest the company could build a small number of Semi models at the Tesla gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada, to fulfill an order for Pepsi Co.’s Frito-Lay distribution center in Northern California. Frito-Lay said as much in a recent sustainability report touting its environmental gains.

Tesla invests in Bitcoin and may sell vehicles for cryptocurrency

Battery constraints a drag on Tesla Semi

Analysts: Tesla Semi a ‘distraction’

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Alan Adler


  1. Christ Alice

    Learn how to trade and invest in BITCOINS, contact Mr Oliver Donald today he will give you all the info you need to know about cryptocurrencies and at the same time he can help you make life changing profits by bitcoin email: oliverdonald927 @ gmail . com or whatsApp her on +1 (720) 466-3701  

    I have seen and tried different strategies and methods, until I lost a lot of money when trying. Until I presented this new strategy that I put back on track and managed to recover my lost money and still make consistent growth across my trade. Oliver Donald is an incredible professional, with vast experience and deep knowledge of agricultural negotiation, he helps me to take the financial penalty.

    All in weekly profits and 100% guaranteed. (Guaranteed payment). Free to contact – if you are interested via email [email protected] gmail . com or via WhatsApp: +1 (720) 466-3701

  2. Justin Riley

    HOW I GOT MY DESIRED LOAN AMOUNT FROM A RELIABLE AND TRUSTED LOAN COMPANY LAST WEEK Email for immediate response: [email protected] Call/Text: +1(646)820-1981 Whatsapp +19292227023 Visit their website and believe yourself Company Website:

    Hello everyone, My name is Mr.Justin Riley Johnson, I’m from United States, I’m here to testify of how i got my loan from CAPITAL MANAGEMENTS INC ([email protected]) after i applied Two times from various loan lenders who claimed to be lenders right here this forum,i thought their lending where real and i applied but they never gave me loan until a friend of mine introduce me to {Dr.Benjamin Scarlet Owen} the C.E.O of CAPITAL MANAGEMENTS INC who promised to help me with a loan of my desire and he really did as he promised without any form of delay, I never thought there are still reliable loan lenders until i met {Dr.Benjamin Scarlet Owen}, who really helped me with my loan and changed my life for the better. I don’t know if you are in need of an urgent loan also, So feel free to contact Dr.Benjamin Scarlet Owen on his email address: [email protected] CAPITAL MANAGEMENTS INC holds all of the information about how to obtain money quickly and
    painlessly via Whatsapp +19292227023 Email: [email protected]

    And consider all your financial problems tackled and solved. Share this to help a soul right now, Thanks
    Visit their website and believe yourself Company Website:

    1. Jeremy

      Notice the punctuation and grammar issues. Whatsapp is an international chat program that is used by many scammers from other countries. Beware of these types of posts.

Comments are closed.

Alan Adler

Alan Adler is an award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press and the Detroit Free Press. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.