While Tesla got off to a very slow and troubled start, it has been proving for years that a company can actually profit from EVs. One of the biggest reasons legacy automakers took their time on EV development and production was due to the fact that they’d most certainly lose money, at least initially. Fast-forward to today, and Tesla may earn about eight times more per car sold than automotive powerhouse Toyota.
Toyota is one of the largest automakers in the world, and we can certainly assume that after all these years, the Japanese company has a firm grasp on how to build successful products that also allow it to make a profit. Moreover, while Toyota hasn’t moved forward quickly with fully electric cars, it sells a vast lineup of vehicles, most of which are available with fuel-efficient hybrid powertrains, and a few of which come with a plug.
Meanwhile, Tesla still produces just four fully electric models (five if you count the electric Semi). Tesla launched its newest vehicle, the Model Y crossover in March 2020, and it hasn’t brought another passenger vehicle to market since. The Model 3, Model S, and Model X have been around for years, and the Tesla Cybertruck doesn’t appear to be due to market now until late 2023.
Considering these details, it’s interesting to learn that Tesla earns eight times more per car than Toyota. Tesla has proven that it can turn a consistent profit every quarter now for two years or more. The company also boasts plenty of free cash flow, which, according to Electrek, was at around a whopping $3 billion in Q3 2022.
While the math here isn’t super-scientific, the fact that Tesla is out-earning Toyota by leaps and bounds cannot be disputed. Electrek writes that Tesla reported $3.29 billion in net profit in Q3 2022 to Toyota’s ~$3.15 billion. During that time, Toyota delivered eight times more vehicles than Tesla globally.
It’s important to note that Toyota owned some 3 percent of Tesla for a time, which it paid just $50 million for. Now, as Electrek points out, Tesla makes another $50 million in free cash flow about every two days.
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