Car News

Tesla Burning Half a Million an Hour

Tesla's new Roadster is impressively quick, but a new report suggests that the company is burning money at an equally rapid pace.

The new report comes from Bloomberg and is based on data that they have compiled about Tesla. It shows that the electric car - and now truck - maker is burning through their cash reserves at US $8,000 per minute. That's US $11.5 million a day.

Fortunately for the automaker, they have a big pile of cash on hand. Enough to last until August at the present rate.

But the cash burn isn't expected to last that long. As Tesla has been quickly learning, designing, engineering, and releasing an all-new model costs a lot of money. Especially when you're more than doubling your lineup. And when the launch of the car is delayed, those costs start to pile up quickly.

When Model 3 production starts to ramp up, money will start to flow in. And with 500,000 plus reservations, the money could start to flow in for some time.

While that production has been delayed multiple times, it looks like the car might start to arrive for regular customers sooner rather than later. Model 3 reservation holders found out yesterday that they can now configure their car online, via Tesla's website. Something they were not previously able to do. The configurator going live suggests that reservation deposits will begin to turn to orders. Currently, the only Model 3s on the road are those sold to employees or test cars used by Tesla.

Tesla's concern for cash flow may have had something to do with the surprise launch of the Roadster last week. If you wanted one of the first 1,000 Founder's Series cars, you needed to pay the $250,000 cost up front. For a car that isn't expected for three years. And a deposit on the base model is still $50,000. That's like giving them a zero-interest loan until they are ready to begin production.