Electric car maker Tesla has reported a record loss of $675.4 million — $4.01 per share — on a revenue of $3.29 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The Palo Alto car company partly blamed the worst-ever figures on the high costs related to the production of its Model 3 electric sedan, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday. Tesla, which lost $121 million in the same quarter last year, said revenue was up 36 per cent over the same period in 2016 because of the deliveries it made of the luxury electric Model S sedan and Model X crossover. “Revenue from automotive products rose to $2.7 billion for the final quarter of 2017 — up from $1.99 billion in the year-earlier quarter,” the report said. Tesla also reported that revenue from its energy storage products — batteries and home electric storage systems — rose by six per cent.
The Zero Emission Vehicle credits (ZEV) — that the company earns for building zero-emissions vehicles, which it can then sell to companies that produce too few such cars — rose to $179 million for the quarter from $20 million during the same period in 2016. On the contrary, in an earnings call with analysts, Tesla founder Elon Musk pointed to his immediate success in sending a Tesla Roadster into space as a test payload for SpaceX’s new Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday. “If we can send a Roadster to the asteroid belt, we can probably solve Model 3 production. It’s just a matter of time,” said Musk, who is also the CEO of SpaceX.