Last week we reported on how impressed we were that Tesla tripled the book value of its Supercharger network to $339 million during the last year. Though we were not clear on how they managed to do it since they increased the value per Supercharger by 81%, but as it turns out, the reason was as simple as Tesla misreporting the value in its financial report.
After market close today, Tesla issued the following correction to its 10-K financial report:
“An immaterial error that overstated the cost and resulting net book value of the Supercharger network was included in Tesla Motors, Inc.’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015 (the “Form 10-K”). In Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation—Management Opportunities, Challenges and Risks—Trends in Cash Flow, Capital Expenditures and Operating Expenses, the net book value of the Supercharger network as of December 31, 2015 should have been stated as $166.6 million.”
Overstated indeed. Tesla somehow mistakenly added $173 million to its Supercharger network.
At the end of 2015, Tesla had 584 Supercharger locations globally and ~3,400 Supercharger stalls, which means that Tesla values its Supercharger locations at about $285,300 each or $49,000 per stall.
While at the end of 2014, Tesla was operating 334 stations and valued the network at $107 million (~$320,000 per station) representing a ~11% decrease in value per station, which makes a lot more sense than the 81% increase the misreported value was leading us to believe.
It would indicate that Tesla managed to decrease cost across its network while increasing the number of stations.