Tesla surpassed Wall Street’s expectations in terms of first-quarter revenue. The company reported a 74% increase in revenue with an income of $439 million.

The company, known for its electric cars, increased sales in the vehicle units, energy generation and storage products, and bitcoin. Profit reports have been posted seven times in a row showing most gains were driven by environmental credits.

Bitcoin helped the numbers

According to Tesla CFO Zackary Kirkhorn, the company invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin. He also added that they had profited about $ 272 million from sales of “digital assets”, presumably bitcoin, deeming the investment a “positive impact”.

The favourable outcome of bitcoin in the company suggested its permanence in the business. This plan was verified by Kirkhorn, stating that they intend to hold their current investment for the long term. They also intend to accumulate more bitcoins from clients purchasing vehicle units.

On the other hand, CEO Elon Musk confirmed via Twitter that he had not sold any of his bitcoins.

Bolstered by environmental credits

Environmental credits accounted for some of the increase in Tesla’s revenue. The company earned an increase of 46% in sales for those credits amounting to $518 million in total.

These credits are secured by surpassing emissions and fuel economy standards. In turn, the company sells the credits to other carmakers who experience credit shortage.

Since Tesla is founded on zero-emission vehicle production and sale, with their top of the line electric cars, the credits they earn are enough to make a profit by themselves.

The ups and downs of Tesla cars

Vehicle deliveries in the first quarter exceeded expectations as the industry braced the impact of global chip supply shortage issues. 

Tesla, for its part, relied on new chips while developing software for chips provided by new suppliers.

Musk admitted that the company had face challenges in the supply chain. Other issues the known carmaker had to go through including the drop in the average vehicle selling price by 13% due to the frozen production of Model S and Model X, which require updating.

The average cost of a vehicle unit is below $38,000 in the first quarter compared to $84,000 in 2017. With Model S set for delivery in May and on full production by the third quarter, Tesla is expected to materialize its goal of increasing volume growth by 50%.

The full self-driving software (FSD) of Tesla cars also faced investigations following 28 crashes, with a recent one in Texas killing two people.

In response to the most recent incident, during a call with the investigators, Tesla cited that the steering wheel had been deformed, suggesting that someone was at the driver’s seat during impact. Additionally, a Tesla official also pointed out the seatbelts were unbuckled after the crash. 

Nevertheless, Tesla is still on the verge of enhancing the AI technology behind FSD with the vision-based autonomous system as one of its main focus.