Tesla Research & Development Expenses

  • Post author:
  • Post last modified:May 15, 2019

Research and Development Expenses for Tesla since 2006 (in thousand dollars)


[table id=38 /]

Tesla’s R& D expenses in 2017 stood at 1.38 billions which was more than 5 times that in 2011. In 2012 its R&D expenses were only 273 millions.  For both 2017 and 2016, Tesla’s R&D expenses were 12% of the entire revenue whereas in 2015, it was 18% of the entire revenue.  The Research and development (“R&D”) expenses include the personnel costs of its engineering and research teams, manufacturing engineering and manufacturing test organizations, prototyping expense, contract and professional services and amortized equipment expense. Compared to 2016, there was an increase of $543.7 million or 65% in 2017 in Tesla’s spending on R&D.  This increase was mainly because of increase in employee and labor related expenses in R&D department. The employee and labor related expenses increased by $274.9 million. Headcount increased because of the expansion of automotive and  energy generation and storage businesses.  There was an increase of $44.3 million in stock based compensation expense  because of increased headcount. Moreover, facility expenses and professional and outside expenses supporting  the  development of future products also led to increase in R& D costs. Overall, Tesla has continued to make very large investments in R&D for the development of more efficient and safer automotives as well as better energy generation and storage products.


The data is sourced from Annual reports (Form 10 K ) of Tesla to be found on its investors website.


Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.