To support the transitioning of the world from fossil fuel to clean energy, Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) builds a network of infrastructure that spans all over the world.
This network of infrastructure is made up of buildings and vehicles, including the supercharger stations, mobile service vehicles as well as stores and services locations that work tirelessly for the company.
These properties represent some of Tesla’s most important assets.
These assets help to produce sales and differentiate Tesla from its competitors.
Apart from being practical, these assets also provide the company with a competitive advantage and a barrier of entry that is hard to replicate as it takes years as well as a huge number of resources to build.
In addition, Tesla’s operations also rely on these infrastructures or assets to work seamlessly.
Therefore, a look at the growth of these assets will provide investors with valuable insights into the growth of Tesla’s business prospects.
In this article, we will explore the numbers of these infrastructures and track the growth of these assets which primarily consist of supercharger stations, mobile service vehicles, and stores and services locations.
Let’s take a look!
Tesla Supercharger Stations
Average YoY Growth Rate As Of 2022 => 35%
To remove the general perception that electric vehicles are typically having limited travel distances, Tesla has built a network of charging infrastructure referred to as Supercharger stations.
These Supercharger stations are built to provide fast charging to enable long-distance travel and to encourage the broad adoption of electric vehicles.
According to Tesla, they are built with an industrial-grade high-speed charger designed specifically to recharge a Tesla electric vehicle at a significant speed faster than other charging options.
For instance, Tesla Superchargers can replenish half the battery in as little as 20 minutes. Besides, Tesla has a growing network of Destination Charging partners – including hotels, restaurants, resorts, and Airbnb locations. The use of the Supercharger network is either free or requires a small fee.
A typical Supercharger station is equipped with six to twenty electric outlets and is strategically located along well-traveled routes to allow electric vehicle owners the ability to enjoy long-distance travel with convenience and minimal stops.
When we look at the chart above, the number of Tesla’s Supercharger stations has grown dramatically in the last 7 years.
Between fiscal 2016 and 2023, Tesla has more than quadrupled the number of Supercharger stations worldwide, growing from only 700 stations in 3Q16 to more than 5,000 stations as of 2Q23.
Tesla is relentlessly adding this important asset from quarter to quarter, suggesting that the expansion of a network of Supercharging infrastructure is crucial for the broad adoption of electric vehicles.
This unique asset is hard to replicate and requires huge upfront capital outlay.
Over the chart, we can see that the growth of Tesla’s Supercharger stations was particularly impressive between fiscal 2020 and 2022.
In 2022 alone, Tesla added more than 1,200 Supercharger Stations, beating all prior records while the number soared by 900 units in fiscal 2021.
These were the 2 best years in which the Supercharger stations grew the fastest.
In short, the healthy growth of Tesla’s supercharging infrastructure throughout these years should tell us that Tesla’s business prospects also have been growing healthily.
Tesla Mobile Service Fleet
Average YoY Growth Rate As Of 2022 => 58%
Tesla launched the mobile service fleet to create the best car ownership experience for its customers.
The biggest advantage of the mobile service fleet is that Tesla’s customers are not required to come to Tesla service centers to service their vehicles.
In North America alone, mobile service is now completing a substantial number of all service jobs, allowing its customers to never have to leave their homes or offices to get their cars serviced.
According to Tesla, the mobile service fleet has achieved a great deal of customer satisfaction because of its convenience and lower cost of service compared to its service centers.
Tesla will continue to increase its service capacity, especially during the period of Model 3 and Model Y ramp up.
As the chart above shows, Tesla’s mobile service fleet total has increased tremendously from only 100 vehicles in 2Q17 to nearly 1,800 vehicles as of 2023 2Q, representing an average growth rate of roughly 58% over the past 7 years.
Similarly, the huge volume of Tesla’s mobile service fleet also has created a high barrier of entry for other EV companies and a distinctive competitive advantage for Tesla.
In fiscal 2021 alone, Tesla added nearly 400 mobile service vehicles which represents a growth of more than 40% from 2020.
In 2022, Tesla added roughly 300 mobile service vehicles, up 24% from a year ago.
As of 2Q 2023, Tesla’s mobile service fleet grew 22% year over year, in just 6 months compared to a year ago.
Again, Tesla’s mobile service fleet is a valuable asset that indicates the growth of Tesla’s business prospects over the years.
Tesla Stores and Service Locations Worldwide
Average YoY Growth Rate As Of 2022 => 24%
Tesla opens its stores and service locations in highly visible, premium outlets in major metropolitan markets.
All these stores are owned and operated by Tesla.
As far as I know, there are no third-party vendors involved in Tesla sales and marketing.
The reason is that the company wants to have better control of inventory, manage warranty services and pricing, maintain and strengthen the Tesla brand, and more importantly, have faster customer feedback.
According to Tesla, opening a new store and service center in a new geographic area boost demand for its products.
Therefore, Tesla has been rapidly increasing its retail footprint by having more stores and service outlets.
In addition, Tesla combines these facilities with sales and personnel in service centers and refers to them as “Service Plus” locations.
Despite the importance of opening new stores and service locations, the average YoY growth rate has only been 20% for the last 6 years as shown in the chart above.
Tesla may have slowed down in recent years in opening new stores and service locations as the services provided by these stores can possibly overlap with the ones provided by the mobile service fleet.
Besides, maintaining new stores and service locations requires huge working capital and takes resources out of the company.
Tesla has been quite conservative in expenses and costs and has switched to online booking in recent years.
As such, the growth rate of new store openings has only been slightly above 20% on average as of 3Q23 due to the huge capital as well as the massive operating cost requirement for such a venture.
Despite the slowdown in new stores and service location openings, Tesla still operates more than 1,000 stores and service locations globally as of 2023 2Q.
In 2Q 2023, Tesla managed to grow its store and service locations by a massive 29% year-over-year, a highly impressive figure indeed.
In conclusion, Tesla’s mobile service fleet has the highest average growth rate of around 58% while the new stores and services location opening growth rate averages only 24% as of 2023 Q3.
One notable explanation for the mobile Service fleet having the highest growth rate is that it probably gives a higher return on invested capital.
From a comparison perspective, Tesla’s mobile service fleet is easier to maintain and requires less capital to operate but covers a greater area compared to a store and services center which is usually fixed to a certain location.
More importantly, according to Tesla, the mobile service fleet gives better customer satisfaction in terms of flexibility and cost.
For this reason, Tesla has taken some of the physical store sales to online ordering as depicted in this article: Tesla will close most of its stores and only sell cars online, which means that Tesla will most likely further slow down the opening of physical stores and service locations in the future.
However, Tesla’s physical stores and service locations are not without their merits.
For one, Tesla’s physical stores and service locations definitely provide a better shopping experience compared to online stores.
More importantly, we are seeing substantial growth across all of Tesla’s infrastructures in fiscal 2022 and 2023 and the result shows that Tesla’s growth train is still chugging healthily.
In short, despite the supply chain challenges and a high inflationary environment, Tesla’s infrastructure still expands healthily in a post-pandemic world.
Again, Tesla’s supercharging stations, mobile service vehicles as well as stores, and service locations are all important assets that the company can’t do without.
References and Credits
1. All data presented in this article were obtained and referenced from Tesla’s quarterly and annual update letters which are available in Tesla Press Releases.
2. Tesla supercharger detailed info: Tesla charging infrastructure.
3. Featured images in this article are used under creative commons license and sourced from the following websites: Ed Uthman
References and examples such as tables, charts, and diagrams are constantly reviewed to avoid errors, but we cannot warrant the full correctness of all content.
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