Explaining Southern California's economy

Tesla reports HUGE quarterly revenue increase in latest earnings statement

Tesla Model S electric car on display du

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Tesla Model S electric car on display during the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Will Tesla be able to deliver 20,000 of these babies next year?

The startup electric carmaker Tesla, helmed by CEO Elon Musk (his other company, SpaceX, just splashed-down its first successful commerical resupply mission to the International Space Station), continues to lose money — $1.05 a share in the third quarter, says its most recent earnings statement released today. 

That's worse than in previous quarters and a lot worse than last year's third quarter, when Tesla lost 63 cents a share.

Compounding this bad news: Tesla lost more than analysts had expected. But there's some good news, too - a massive uptick in revenues for this quarter over the one before. This is from Tesla's SEC filing:

Our Q3 revenues were $50 million, an 88% increase from the prior quarter, which reflects ramping deliveries of Model S, continued sales of the remaining Roadsters internationally, and an increase in powertrain component sales to Toyota for the RAV4 EV. We delivered 253 Model S and 68 Roadsters in the quarter. Limited development services revenue was recognized in the quarter; however, progress on the full electric powertrain for the Mercedes Benz EV continues on schedule.

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CODA Automotive makes the case for the Very Simple Electric Car

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Nate Napierala

The CODA electric car looks...just like any other compact. And that's a selling point.

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CODA

Wind power, meet electric car. You might want to be careful about straying too far from home with the CODA sedan, but range is good, at about 100 miles per charge.

CODA-Engine

CODA

Electric car engines are models of simplicity. You'll save money on maintenance.

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CODA

Need a charge? There are stations through the Southland, plus smartphone apps to help you find them.

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CODA

This is the upscale interior trim package. Not a fancy car, but there's a place for that,

CODA-All-Electric

CODA

No gas required.

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CODA

Not your father dealership. In fact, it isn't even a store. It's an "Experience Center" in an upscale Beverly Hills mall.

CODA-Map

CODA

Think EVs are only good for short hops? CODA says you can do better than that. This map is at the company's Century City Experience Center.

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CODA

A test drive took the CODA fleet to the historic L.A. River.

CODA-Battery

CODA

It's what makes the magic happen: CODA's battery pack.

CODA-Charger

CODA

If you have an EV, you need to get used to looking for these. CODA keeps them in the parking garage and keeps the cars juiced up for test drives.

CODA-Plugged in

CODA

It really is as simple as plugging the thing in.

CODA-Back

Nate Napierala

One car, one name, and very simple, startup view of the future of driving.


Let me draw a picture for you of the electric car market, circa autumn 2012. At the high end, you have Tesla Motors, selling or not selling, depending on your patience with the startup's delivery schedule, an all-electric Roadster, priced over $100,000; and an all-electric sedan, the Model 2, priced anywhere from about $50,000 to upwards of $100,000, depending on how you spec it out.

Then there's Nissan's Leaf, which can be be had for less than $30,000, once you get finished with various credits. The Ford Focus EV is in the same ballpark, around $30,000 once the tax credits kick in.

The Mitsubishi MiEV, even farther down the ladder, is yours for just over $20,000. But it's bare-bones.

You can lease, but not buy, the Honda Fit EV for around $400 per month. 

Pretty much everything else is some type of hybrid or plug-in hybrid, so you don't get pure, zero-emissions, all-electric motoring.

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Talking electric cars at the Crawford Family Forum

Matt DeBord and Chris Paine

KPCC

DeBord Repor blogger and "Revenge of the Electric Car" director Chris Paine talk, what else? Electric cars with a panel of experts.

I'm getting this post up late — but better late than...later. Anyway, we had a great film screening and panel discussion last week at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum. The main event was Chris Paine's "Revenge of the Electric Car," the follow-up to his hit "Who Killed the Electric Car." The evening was the result of a partnership between KPCC and Community Cinema

After the screening for a packed house, I moderated a panel discussion about the film and electric cars in general, featuring Paine, Greg "Gadget" Abbott (who appears in the documentary), Geoff Wardle — Director of Advanced Mobility Research at Art Center College of Design — and Brandy Schaffels, a senior editor at startup consumer car-buying resource TrueCar.com. You can listen the to entire discussion here.

We covered a lot of ground. The upshot is that we're all optimistic that the auto industry has finally accepted the electric car as a reality, although there remain ongoing challenges to its breakout success. At least the story in "Revenge of the Electric Car" doesn't end like "Who Killed the Electric Car," with the innovative EV1 being crushed by General Motors.

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