Tesla shares have plunged as the electric carmaker reported a bigger-than-expected loss despite notching record car deliveries. Shares tumbled 10 per cent to US$238.39 in after-hours trading.

Tesla reported a second-quarter loss of USD 408 million, or USD 1.12 per share on Wednesday, compared to the loss of 40 cents forecast by analysts.

Overall revenues jumped 66 per cent from a year earlier to US$5.2 billion as Tesla reported sharply higher deliveries of its Model 3, the most affordable vehicle in its lineup and the hope for giving the company a wider customer base.

"We achieved record deliveries of 95,356 vehicles and record production of 87,048 vehicles, surpassing our previous quarterly records," Tesla said in a letter to investors.

"This is an important milestone as it represents rapid progress in managing global logistics and delivery operations at higher volumes." Tesla said Model 3 deliveries reached an all-time record of 77,634, making it "the best-selling premium vehicle in the US, outselling all of its gas-powered equivalents combined."

While Tesla cars have strong consumer appeal, investors have been frustrated by the pace of production and the ability of the company to hit its financial targets.
Tesla, led by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, said it expects to turn a profit in the current quarter and is on track to launch local production of the Model 3 in China by the end of the year."We believe our business has grown to the point of being self-funding," the quarterly update said.

Musk said earlier this year that Tesla's autonomous driving technology was moving forward and that he expected to deploy self-driving "robotaxis" by 2020. But many analysts have been skeptical of his claims.

In April, Musk was required to reach a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission setting out clearer guidelines on topics he should avoid on Twitter or other social media, including statements about acquisitions, mergers, new products and production numbers. (AFP)

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