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Elon Musk predicts Tesla energy could be bigger than its EV business

Tesla CEO Elon Musk forecast that the companys energy business will eventually be the same size as or even bigger than its automotive sector, the latest sign that the company plans to put more time and resources to scaling up its solar and storage products.
It could be bigger, butit willcertainly be of asimilar magnitude, Musk said during an earnings call Wednesday. The company surprised Wall Street by reporting a return to profitability in the third quarter.
The bulk of Teslas revenue is generated from sales of its Model S, Model X and Model 3 electric vehicles. In the third quarter, automotive revenues were $5.35 billion. The company doesnt break out revenue generated from solar, energy storage or other products and services. However, the total revenue in the third quarter was $6.3 billion, which gives some indication of the size of automotive compared to its other businesses.
Teslas energy and solar businesses languished for nearly two years as attention and resources were directed to the Model 3. That diversion of resources included redirectingbattery cell production linesmeant for its home Powerwall and commercial Powerpack energy storage products to the car because the company didnthave enough cells.
We had to do itbecause if we didnt solve the Model 3, Teslawouldntsurvived, he said. So, unfortunately thatshorted other parts of the company.
Now, the company is committed scaling up energy storage and solar. Kunal Girotra, who initially joined Tesla in 2015 as a senior product manager for Powerwall, was promoted to senior director of the companys energy operations.
In the third quarter, Tesla installed 43 megawatts of solar, a 48% increase from the previous quarter. Solarinstallations are still 54% lower than the same period last year.
Energy storage deployments have continued to grow, reaching an all-time high of 477 MWh in the third quarter, according to earnings posted Wednesday.
Part of this new effort includes its solar roof tile product, which was originally unveiled in 2016. Musk said that a new, third iteration of its solar roof tile will debut Thursday afternoon.
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