'Tesla on positive charge'

2013-06-19 11:52

SAN FRANCISCO, California - Tesla Motors has been on a bumpy road but revenue has increased and the electric-car maker has found an easier way to swop depleted batteries for fresh power cells.

Tesla said it would demonstrate a way to recharge electric cars by simply swopping battery packs.

Company CEO Elon Musk used the social medium Twitter to put word out that a "live pack swop demo" would happen at the company's design studio in the southern California city of Hawthorne. Video from the event was to be posted on the Tesla website on June 14, according to Musk.


Making it fast and easy to restore full power to electric cars is seen as a big step in winning over drivers hooked on the convenience of refuelling vehicles that run on liquid fuels. Tesla said in May 2013 that Musk would invest $100-million in the surging electric car-maker, and that it would repay a loan from the US Department of Energy ahead of schedule.

The California maker of high-priced battery cars said it would launch a stock offering of some 2.7-million shares along with R4.5-billion in convertible notes to raise fresh capital. Musk was to purchase R4.5-billion in common shares and another R50-million in a private share placement, the company said.

Tesla said it expected to raise some R8.3-billion and use the proceeds to pre-pay a loan from the US Department of Energy.

The moves came amid a stunning surge in the value of Tesla, which has just a tiny share of the US car market but turned a profit for the first time in the first quarter of 2013.

Tesla shares were up slightly Tuesday to Wednesday (June 18-19 2013) to R1020.83.


The shares more than doubled in 2013 after struggling through 2012 on production delays and questions about whether it could turn a profit.

On May 8 2013 the California-based firm announced a net income for the first quarter of R110-million, as revenues rose 83% to R5.6-billion.

Tesla cited strong global demand for its Model S  with a price tag equivalent to R620 000 to R870 000, saying it was receiving orders at a rate of more than 20 000 a year and had seen "significant upside potential in Europe and Asia".

Although Tesla has been on the upswing, the road has grown bumpier for the battery-car market.