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Tesla Model S Fourth in Plug-In Sales, Looks to Pay DOE Loans in Half the Time

Plug-In Sales - Fourth Quarter 2012
Plug-In Sales – Fourth Quarter 2012

2012 was a big year for Tesla Motors, especially in preparing for full-production of the Model S, which achieved in January. Profits and losses show the significant capital that went into these preparations, but don’t reflect the whole story.

According to sales numbers for the fourth quarter of 2012, Tesla Motors is doing rather well, ranking fourth in plug-in sales. Tesla Model S sold about 2,400 units, behind the Chevy Volt [7,113], Toyota Prius Plug-In [5,106], and the Nissan Leaf [4,607].

Behind the Tesla Model S, the Ford C-Max Energi [2,374], Ford Focus EV [457], Mitsubishi i-MiEV [149], Toyota RAV4 EV [131], and the Honda Fit EV [61]. Considering that the Model S easily costs twice as much as most of these offerings, ranking fourth out of nine contenders is an impressive feat.

If we drop the hybrids from the chart, Tesla’s standings look even better, second only to Nissan Leaf, and beating out Ford Focus EV, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Toyota RAV4 EV, and Honda Fit EV.

Now that Tesla Model S is in full production at 400 cars per week, Tesla Motors will be focusing on two things, making a profit and paying back the Department of Energy [DOE] loans, amounting to $465 million.

The loans were granted in Summer 2009, and here we are, four years into a ten-year loan, and now that Tesla Motors is in full swing, Elon Musk plans on paying off the DOE loans completely by next summer, just five years into the loan.

Tesla Motors has risen from non-existence to a real automaker, and such success is rare. Mr. Musk’s business plan and his ability to overcome the obstacles has placed him and Tesla Motors in a league with few other members. Bringing a new vehicle to market can be done, goals can be met, and it seems like Tesla Motors is well on its way to being debt-free and profitable.

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