Any growth investor would be thrilled with the increase that electric vehicle (EV) leader Tesla (TSLA -3.21%) has reported in both revenue and income in 2022. But valuation still matters, and Tesla shares experienced a serious correction this year.

Shares have dropped about 57% year to date, nearly twice the decline experienced by the Nasdaq Composite index. But Tesla's fundamentals have been strong, with revenue increasing nearly 60% over the first nine months of 2022 versus last year. Now that the stock has corrected, it's a good time to break down where that revenue growth has come from to see if now would be a good time to buy Tesla shares. 

Strategic revenue source

Everyone knows Tesla sells electric cars, but those sales only made up 83% of third-quarter revenue and were not its fastest growing source. The balance of revenue came from vehicle leasing and regulatory credits, its energy generation and storage products, and what it designates as services and other revenue.

While vehicle sales grew 56% in the third quarter versus last year, Tesla's services and other revenue jumped 84%. That fast-growing segment represented almost 8% of all sales generated in the third quarter. 

Graph showing Tesla's full revenue streams for Q3 2022.

Image source: The Motley Fool, based on data from Tesla's SEC filings.

Services and other revenue consists of vehicle services, paid supercharging, sales of used vehicles, retail merchandise, and vehicle insurance revenue. It's the company's Supercharger network that gives it a strategic competitive advantage.

Tesla increased its global network of Supercharger stalls by 33% in the third quarter year over year, and now has more than 40,000 worldwide. More than two-thirds of its Supercharger stations are in the U.S. and China. Tesla's Superchargers are fast-charging with the ability to provide up to 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes. Less than 20% of EV charging ports in the U.S. are fast-charging, giving Tesla an important selling point for some EV consumers. 

Translating into profits

It's not specifically the growing revenue from Superchargers and other services that investors should focus on. It's what that growing revenue really means for Tesla's future. Tesla has already turned its first-mover advantage into sharply increasing profits, but that could just be a sign of things to come. 

Tesla's quarterly net income from Q1 2021 through Q3 2022.

Data source: Tesla. Chart by author.

Early adopters of electric vehicles embraced Teslas and probably don't focus on the convenience of its Supercharger network. But buying decisions to achieve mass adoption of EVs will most certainly include access and convenience of charging infrastructure.

Realistically, consumers aren't going to work an hours-long stop into every trip they make, whether for business or pleasure. Tesla's network is the flywheel that could maintain the momentum in Tesla's vehicle sales, helping to justify additional factories and keep driving increasing profits.

That advantage is a good reason for investors to take a position in Tesla in the wake of the stock's recent decline.