Tesla published its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2022 on Wednesday evening. The company brought in $24.3 billion in revenue, up 37 percent over Q4 2021. Automotive revenue accounted for the lion’s share—$21.3 billion, up 33 percent from Q4 2021. That translated to $3.7 billion in net profit earlier generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP) in place – a significant 59 percent increase from Q4 2021.
That means Tesla had an excellent 2022, despite missing its sales forecast. Automotive revenue increased by 51 percent compared to 2021, bringing in $71.5 billion. Total revenue increased by the same percentage year over year at $81.4 billion. Operating expenses were $7.2 billion, and when GAAP was applied, Tesla ended the year with a net profit of $12.6 billion. Free cash flow fell 49 percent to $1.4 billion.
Tesla recognized revenue for its highly controversial “Full Self Driving” assistance this year after opening the beta to all Tesla owners – provided they paid $15,000. However, despite CEO Elon Musk’s claims that the company’s financial future depends on FSD, in 2022 that only translated to $324 million. Tesla’s financial presentation claims that “we expect to recognize nearly $1 billion of deferred revenue remaining with such customers over time as software updates are delivered.” Elsewhere in his financial presentation, he claims there are about 400,000 FSD users in the US and Canada.
Regulatory credits for clean vehicles played a more significant role in the company’s profitability, adding $1.8 billion to the bottom line. That’s a 21 percent increase from 2021 and the most money Tesla has made from regulatory credits, despite fears that the introduction of EVs from traditional OEMs could cause this to dry up. Perhaps for that reason, the company says that they are working hard to not have to deliver so many of their cars in the third month of each quarter.
As we reported earlier this month, in 2022 Tesla built 1,369,611 cars, of which 1,298,434 were Models 3 or Y. That’s a 43 percent increase in production of those models year over year. But it was only able to find homes for a total of 1,313,851 cars – while that was a 40 percent year-over-year increase, it was less than the 50 percent year-over-year growth the automaker promised investors. In addition, it means Tesla is sitting on more than 71,000 EVs unsold.
Tesla’s solar business had a flat 2022, growing by just 1 percent year over year in terms of solar megawatts deployed. But it deployed 6.5-gigawatt hours of battery storage, a 64 percent growth from last year.
In its outlook statement, Tesla remains optimistic and reiterates its annual growth target of 50 percent, although there is a caveat that “some years we may grow faster and some years we may grow more slowly.” For 2023 it says it will deliver 1.8 million cars. Tesla also claims it is in the tooling phase for its Cybertruck pickup, which will go into production in Texas later this year.