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Elon Musk Talks Cybertruck, Solar Roof, and Tesla Semi

By Daniel Sparks - Feb 9, 2021 at 7:45AM

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Here's a look at three potential catalysts for Tesla.

Following a year of big milestones for Tesla (TSLA 7.33%) in 2020, the company has some pretty ambitious projects underway in 2021 as well. But how are Tesla's product pipeline and expansion plans faring? To get a better grasp on how things are going for the electric-car maker and clean energy company, investors can tune into Tesla's quarterly earnings calls.

Here are three must-see takeaways from Tesla's fourth-quarter earnings call. These quotes from CEO Elon Musk will give investors more insight into how the company's product plans are faring.

Tesla's Cybertruck.

Cybertruck. Image source: Tesla.

2021: The year Tesla's solar business finally takes off?

Though Tesla's electric car sales always seem to be soaring, the company seems to be seeing a slow start in its solar business. This is supposed to finally change in 2021, according to management.

The company revealed some impressive growth for the business in its fourth quarter of 2020, setting the stage for more strong growth in 2021. Tesla deployed 87 megawatts of annual solar energy generation capacity in Q4 2020, up from 54 megawatts in the year-ago quarter and 57 megawatts in the third quarter of 2020. 

Further, Musk was optimistic about the young business in its fourth-quarter earnings call, noting that the company expects "to become the market leader in solar and then go far beyond it."

Musk said the company's slow start in solar was due to a need to devote virtually all of the company's resources to Model 3 production in recent years. "But now we got a little more bandwidth, we're putting a lot of attention on solar, and it is growing rapidly," Musk explained.

Cybertruck deliveries could start this year

Another product in Tesla's pipeline that received some attention during the company's earnings call was Cybertruck -- an all-electric pickup truck that the company unveiled in late 2019.

Musk's timeline for the vehicle is similar to what he's said in previous earnings calls. "If we get lucky, we'll be able to do a few deliveries toward the end of this year, but I expect volume production to be in 2022," the CEO explained. He notably remains excited about the product, saying, "It's going to be an incredible vehicle."

Here's what's holding up Tesla Semi production

Like Tesla's Cybertruck, Tesla also expects to start limited production and deliveries of its Tesla Semi this year. But there's one major supply constraint holding the vehicle back for now: battery cells.

"[W]e could easily go into production with the Semi, but we would not have enough [battery cell production capacity] for it right now," Musk said. But it will "absolutely make sense for us [to build the Semi] as soon as we can address the cell production constraint."

As 2021 continues, investors should continue to keep an eye on newer development at Tesla. Solar, Cybertruck, and Tesla Semi all have the potential to be significant catalysts for the company. For now, however, they're all in their early stages.

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