But as for how quickly it’s burning cash, Bloomberg has come up with a startling figure: $8,000 a minute. That’s almost a bitcoin’s worth (the current value is $8,285) every 60 seconds, or $480,000 an hour.
If Tesla (TSLA, +2.93%) doesn’t bring in fresh funding, Bloomberg noted, its reserves will run dry in early August next year. That’s even slightly ahead of UBS’s recent predictionthat the depletion would take four quarters.
Tesla’s most recent gambit is to demand full upfront payments for the first 1,000 units of its upcoming Roadster sports car—a $250,000 car that may only be delivered in 2020.
If it succeeds, that would be a handy $250 million to add to the pot, but probably not enough. The Model 3 is going through what Tesla CEO Elon Musk has called “production hell” due to bottlenecks in battery module assembly, apparently thanks to a systems integration subcontractor “dropping the ball.”
The $35,000 Model 3 is the closest thing Tesla has got to its dream of electric cars for the masses, so it really needs to sell a lot of them if it is to recoup its $1 billion-per-quarter investment and finance other projects, such as the Roadster and the Tesla Semi truck.