Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on an earnings call Wednesday that the company would build a second U.S. factory on 2,000 acres near Austin, Texas, where it plans to employ more than 5,000 workers, according to AP.

Why it matters: The company needs a second manufacturing site to build its fast-growing portfolio of electric vehicles like the Cybertruck pickup and Tesla Semi truck, as well as additional capacity for its mainstream Model 3 sedan and newly introduced Model Y crossover utility.

The big picture: Tesla earned $104 million net profit during the second quarter, despite the coronavirus-related shutdown of its main factory in Fremont, Calif., sending its shares up 6% in after-hours trading.

  • It was Tesla's fourth quarterly profit in a row, clearing a hurdle to be included in the the S&P 500 stock index of the largest U.S. companies and signaling a new phase of maturity for the electric carmaker.

Yes, but: Tesla also warned the ongoing pandemic makes the future hard to predict.

  • "Although we have successfully ramped vehicle production back to prior levels, it remains difficult to predict whether there will be further operational interruptions or how global consumer sentiment will evolve in the second half of 2020," the company said in a letter to shareholders.

Key takeaways:

  • Tesla revenue fell to $6.04 billion from $6.35 billion a year earlier, partly because because the company is selling more of its lower-priced Model 3 and Y vehicles.
  • About 8% of its revenues came from selling regulatory credits to other automakers, up almost 300% from the same period a year ago.
  • The higher income from emissions credits, along with savings on employee salaries during the factory shutdown, helped Tesla turn a net profit for the quarter.
  • Deliveries totaled 90,891 vehicles, down from 95,356 in the second quarter of 2019.
  • Despite the COVID-19 shutdown, Tesla produced 82,272 vehicles in the second quarter, compared to 87,048 in the same period last year. Inventories were tight during the period, at just 17 days' supply.
Data: FactSet; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

What to watch: Tesla's free cash flow fell 32% during the period, but the company ended the quarter with $8.6 billion cash and said it should have sufficient liquidity to fund future products, factory expansions and other expenses.

  • Tesla is building factory capacity in China and Germany to begin Model Y deliveries in both regions in early 2021.
  • Deliveries of electric Tesla Semi trucks will begin in 2021.

The bottom line: "We have the capacity installed to exceed 500,000 vehicle deliveries this year, despite recent production interruptions," Tesla said. "While achieving this goal has become more difficult, delivering half a million vehicles in 2020 remains our target."

Go deeper: Why Tesla is the company of the moment

Go deeper

Nikola stock surge shows power of corporate buys of electric vehicles

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

The electric truck startup Nikola Motors' stock surged 22% Monday and the company now has a market capitalization of $17 billion. That's pretty, pretty good considering they have basically no revenue yet.

Driving the news: The bump came after Monday's announcement that the waste management company Republic Services has ordered at least 2,500 electric garbage trucks, with deliveries slated to start in 2023.

Newcomer Lucid Motors sets new benchmark for electric driving range

The upcoming Lucid Air. Photo: Lucid Motors

Lucid Motors, a Silicon Valley-based electric vehicle startup, says its upcoming Lucid Air luxury sedan is expected to achieve an unprecedented driving range of 517 miles on a single battery charge.

Why it matters: Lucid's driving range is about 115 miles farther than Tesla's longest-range Model S, but more important, the efficiency breakthrough could enable the arrival of more affordable EVs in the future.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.