Tesla's ride-sharing network could be a game changer
Imagine that owning a Tesla could make you money. It turns out that Elon Musk laid out an exciting new vision for ride-sharing back in 2016 as part of Tesla's Master Plan Part Deux. Since then, it's been radio silence on the so-called Tesla Network. However, famed Apple analyst Gene Munster recently turned his attention to Tesla and believes ride-sharing could represent a massive opportunity for the company. It could also prove to be lucrative for Tesla owners too.
Above: Tesla Model S and X at Supercharger (Instagram: teslainbmore)
Munster elaborates, "Suppose your Tesla drives you to work, drops you at the front door, embarks on a full day of autonomous ride-hailing, and picks you up when you are ready to leave. By adding your vehicle to Tesla’s autonomous fleet, you may be able to earn enough money to cover your entire lease payment and earn income. "
So how much could your Tesla make? Munster's firm, Loup Ventures estimates, "By our calculations, an individual Tesla owner could make $6,892 per year after paying 10% to Tesla. This includes energy, insurance, maintenance, and non-cash depreciation expenses. Compared to the average U.S. lease payment of $350-$500 per month (which doesn’t include fuel or insurance), a Tesla owner could earn $574 per month. This reduction in the true cost of ownership could dramatically boost demand for Teslas."
Above: Tesla Model 3 fleet charging at the Supercharger station (Image: Charged)
Assuming Elon Musk and his Autopilot team can achieve full self-driving and Level 5 autonomous vehicles are legalized, Tesla could find itself with an edge over others in the ride-sharing space. Munster outlines four key advantages he sees for Tesla compared to its competition:
- Ability to produce electric and autonomous vehicles at scale
- The largest catalog of autonomous training data collected from its existing fleet
- An extensive network of charging infrastructure and service centers
- Ownership of the entire system and ability to capture value from manufacturing vehicles, providing software services, and operating the platform
How big is the business case for a Tesla ride-sharing fleet? Based on these key competitive advantages, Munster believes, "Tesla could have between 4% and 10% of the U.S. ride-sharing market in 2023." By his estimation, "the magnitude of the opportunity is too large to ignore... The fleet could add $2B to $6B in high margin revenue for Tesla starting in 2023." And Munster's not alone — other firms on Wall Street envision Tesla taking a leadership position as autonomous ride-sharing fleets come to prominence in the coming decade.
Source: Loup Ventures