All eyes on Tesla earnings Wednesday

Colleague Dana Hull has a story about Tesla, the electric car maker that produces thousands of vehicles each year in its Fremont factory, at the former NUMMI site in the city’s Warm Springs district. Here’s Dana Hull’s story:

PALO ALTO — Electric car enthusiasts as well as skeptics will be watching Tesla Motors on Wednesday as the Palo Alto-based automaker holds its quarterly earnings call, the first since its high-profile feud with The New York Times over an unflattering review of a Model S road trip.

The main thing they’ll be looking for is how many Model S vehicles were delivered to customers in the fourth quarter, whether or not the company has succeeded in ramping up production of the new luxury sedan and the pace of new reservations for the car.

In November, Tesla said it was on track to deliver 2,500 to 3,000 units of the all-electric Model S sedan in the fourth quarter after delivering just 250 cars in the third quarter.

Many analysts, including Ben Kallo, a senior research analyst at Robert W. Baird, expect Tesla to reach its target.

“We have them coming in at 3,013 cars for the year,” Kallo said.

Tesla has promised to reach a 400-car-per-week rate this year at its Fremont factory, which would allow the company to produce 20,000 vehicles a year. And as Tesla ramps up production, many hope to see costs, including sizable research and development costs, coming down.

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Chris DeBenedetti