Tesla: Production of the Model 3 On Schedule, Starts In July

In the second half, the company should be delivering Model 3 vehicles, but it's not clear how many. Musk also said Tesla's new Gigafactory, based in Nevada and responsible for building batteries and power components, will help Model 3 production, as the batteries won't have to be built in its Fremont plant.

Being "very close to the edge" is not new for Musk, who famously went deep into personal debt during the financial crisis, as both Tesla and SpaceX, the private space company for which he also serves as founder and C.E.O., veered close to insolvency.

Musk indicated the electric saloon, which has an entry-level price of $35,000 (about £28,000), may not be unveiled until this July, when limited production will begin.

Tesla received 49 percent more global net orders for vehicles in the December quarter than it did the year before, producing 24,882 vehicles and delivering 22,252. The Model 3 is part of Musk's goal to transform Tesla from being just a luxury auto maker to a sustainable energy company selling EVs, offering solar power to generate energy and producing batteries for storing the power. This would represent year-over-year growth of 61% to 71%, giving Tesla some strong momentum as it begins production on the Model 3 in July.

The possibility of a capital raise comes as Tesla reported a narrower-than-expected loss in the final three months of 2016, while revenues rose more than Wall Street had forecast.

The company has made its original Gigafactory operational, but it is far from being completed. Musk envisions the combined company offering a full selection of renewable energy products - from solar panels, roofs and home power storage to electric vehicles. There was speculation in the market that the Model 3 of Tesla has gone behind schedule.

Wednesday reported a loss for the fourth quarter that was narrower than previous year.

"It's going to be pretty close to what I showed at the Model 3 unveiling, with some polish and refinements and a few more details that are added", Musk said.

Over the past three months, the stock has enjoyed a 41 percent rally and is near record highs, while short bets against Tesla remain elevated despite almost $2 billion in paper losses suffered by short sellers this year.

To start, Tesla vehicle batteries are expected to account for two-thirds of the production. And the Model 3 is its best chance to prove that it actually is worth its lofty ambitions.

  • Zachary Reyes