Powerwall batteries manufactured by Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) were installed by 450 U.S. and 1,000 European homeowners last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. One-hundred U.S. industrial Powerpack system installations were also reported.
When Tesla CEO Elon Musk first launched the home energy solution in April, 2015, customers appeared to enthusiastically cheer its arrival. Within days, Tesla reported that 38,000 no-deposit reservations for the Powerwall had been received by the electric car and energy company, as reported by Clean Technica.
Perhaps noteworthy is the current Tesla Powerwall Wikipedia page, which includes two seemingly relevant passages.
“Announced in 2015, with a pilot demonstration of 500 units built and installed during 2015,” the second paragraph of the Wikipedia Powerwall page reads, giving a Tesla-hosted file as a source that contains no mention of a 500-unit pilot.
“Shipments of 500 pilot units were planned to begin in the late summer of 2015,” the first paragraph under the “Market” heading of the Wikipedia page reads, giving an Information Week source that also contains no mention of a 500-unit pilot.
At the time the Powerwall was released, Musk was optimistic about the potential of the product and the interest Tesla had been receiving from consumers.
“In the course of less than a week, we’ve had 38,000 reservations for the Powerwall,” Elon Musk was quoted. Thirty-thousand “reservations is more like 50,000 or 60,000 actual Powerwalls… We’re basically, like, sold out through the middle of next year… in the first week. It’s crazy.”
Musk’s May-2015 words appear to be in stark contrast to GTM analyst Ravi Manghani who spoke with the Wall Street Journal recently.
“It’s still a relatively tiny market, compared to solar or wind today, and minuscule if you look at the complete electricity infrastructure.”
On August 3, Tesla reported its second-quarter 2016 financial results, which included a per share earnings loss of $1.06, missing the already reduced Wall Street analyst estimate consensus of $0.52 by 103.8 percent, as reported by Yahoo Finance.
Over the past 90 days, the full-year 2016 EPS consensus estimate has been reduced from a profit of $0.90 to a loss of $0.24, or 126.6 percent. The full-year 2017 view has been reduced from a profit of $3.32 to $2.10, or 36.7 percent.
The market for power storage is expected to grow by 700 percent from 1,000 megawatts in 2015 to 7,000 megawatts in 2025. The Wall Street Journal described the market for home-energy storage solutions like the Powerwall as being “slow to materialize” and of “getting off to a slower start” than Elon Musk expected.
During the Tesla analyst conference call on August 3, Musk stated that he expects 2016 Powerwall sales to be “heavily concentrated” in the later part of the fourth quarter, in November and December. A Tesla representative stated that management had decided to wait until more progress had been made in the construction of the Nevada Gigafactory, where Tesla batteries are produced. The Gigafactory is reported to be now close to being “fully operational.”
Powerwall and Powerpack revenue figures are said not to be available from Tesla. Analysts who follow the company reportedly describe the situation as one where Tesla is selling “far less” Powerwalls than it had originally estimated.
Despite the second-quarter EPS miss, TSLA stock has remained relatively steady, though it lost $3.87, or 1.6 percent, today on lighter-than-average volume, as reported by Yahoo Finance. Over the past 12 months, TSLA stock has lost 6.2 percent of its value, compared with a gain of 5.2 percent for the broad market, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI). Over the past six months, TSLA shares have gained 57.4 percent, compared with a gain of 16.4 percent for the Dow.
[Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]