Tesla Made A Record Second-Quarter Profit

And it did so even if you subtract what it took in selling regulatory credits.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
Image for article titled Tesla Made A Record Second-Quarter Profit
Photo: Getty Images (Getty Images)

There is a certain species of Tesla hater online that likes to tell you that, Actually, Tesla is only profitable because it sells lots of regulatory credits to other automakers, even though that particular revenue stream is a single-digit percentage of Tesla’s total revenue. Well, so much for that point now, anyway, after Tesla released second-quarter earnings Monday that show a quarterly profit of $1.1 billion, or several hundred million more than Tesla took in regulatory credit sales. That’s right, Tesla makes money from selling its products now.

In total, revenues were $11.9 billion, Tesla reported. The results were a bit better than analysts had expected, according to The Wall Street Journal, while this marks eight straight quarters in which Tesla has been profitable, or two full years. We are a long ways away now from the days when people (quite reasonably) wondered how long Tesla would be solvent. I suspect, in any case, that bitcoin might be a new cudgel for Tesla critics who previously pointed to the regulatory credit sales.

The company on Monday said the book value of its digital assets stood at $1.31 billion, down from $1.33 billion in the prior quarter. The price of the cryptocurrency fell substantially in the second quarter, but was up sharply Monday.

Tesla has said it revalues its bitcoin holdings quarterly, taking a write-down if the price of bitcoin falls below what the company paid to acquire the asset. The company can only recognize gains if it sells.


Tesla had previously said that it produced 206,421 cars in the quarter, which, combined with the first-quarter number means Tesla made nearly 400,000 cars in the first half of this year, putting them on track to potentially make a million cars in a year for the first time ever, as the WSJ says that analysts now expect third-quarter deliveries to be just under a quarter-of-a-million. Tesla provided the following update on the Tesla Semi and its factory in Europe, where it said that demand is outpacing supply.

We believe we remain on track to build our first Model Y vehicles in Berlin and Austin in 2021. The pace of the respective production ramps will be influenced by the successful introduction of many new product and manufacturing technologies, ongoing supply-chain related challenges and regional permitting. To better focus on these factories, and due to the limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges, we have shifted the launch of the Semi truck program to 2022. We are also making progress on the industrialization of Cybertruck, which is currently planned for Austin production subsequent to Model Y.


The supply-chain issues that Tesla is referring to there are in large part chip shortage issues, though the automaker has fared better in that department than other automakers like Ford and GM. Tesla could still be hurt by the shortage, expected to last into 2022, but its shareholders don’t want to hear about that; Tesla’s stock was up in afterhours trading.

It was a pretty good day for Tesla all told, then, or good enough for Elon to be feeling confident: