SAN FRANCISCO: Tesla is speeding the timeline for building half a million cars annually as it steps up production to meet growing demand for its electric vehicles.
Hot demand for a new, more affordable Model 3 led the company to shave two years off its timeline for building a combined total of 500,000 vehicles, combining Model S, Model X, and Model 3, each year and make the new target date 2018.
“Increasing production fivefold over the next two years will be challenging and will likely require some additional capital, but this is our goal and we will be working hard to achieve it,” Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk said Wednesday in a letter released with a quarterly earnings report.
Musk affirmed the company’s plan to deliver 80,000 to 90,000 new vehicles this year, and said it was on track to begin deliveries of its keenly awaited Model 3 late next year, which at around $35,000 will be priced at about half the cost of its Model S.
Tesla received more than 325,000 orders for its Model 3 during the first week it began taking deposits, despite never paying for advertising or endorsements, according to the company.
“This implies about $14 billion in future sales, making the Model 3 introduction the biggest consumer product launch ever,” Musk said.
“Since then, reservations have continued to grow to surpass even our expectations.”
Musk theorized that the number of cars cranked out by Tesla, powered by batteries made in Gigafactory built in partnership with Panasonic, could ramp to a million by the year 2020.
“We actually believe that Fremont and the Gigafactory could scale to a million,” Musk said, referring to the Tesla plant in the Northern California city of Fremont.