Check Out This S3XY Chart Forecasting Tesla’s Future Growth


This S3XY chart shows Tesla’s exponential growth in the making

Tesla’s production figures for the first quarter 2018 were released recently and provided great support to the company’s mission to accelerate the adoption of electric cars. Elon Musk’s company is under intense pressure as it strives to ramp up production of its first affordable car, the Tesla Model 3, which is seen as a game changer as it will appeal to a wide variety of customers, particularly with the forthcoming $35,000 base model.

*This article originally appeared on opportunity:energy. Author Carlo Ombello graciously shared it with InsideEVs.

Production numbers at Tesla’s factories are increasing dramatically with the addition of Model 3 to the lineup. This, together with the expected ramp to full speed production as well as the future Model Y crossover – due to be unveiled later this year – provide a clear indication of how Tesla’s journey to mainstream is quickly reaching a tipping point.

Whilst further models such as the stunning new Roadster or the Tesla Semi truck are on their way and will contribute to Tesla’s revenue, they are unlikely to be making the same sales numbers as the more mainstream passenger car models: the Model S and X, the Model 3 and the upcoming Model Y (a range often referred to as S3XY due to Elon Musk’s original idea behind the model codes).

With a focus on these four models, I have tried to anticipate what Tesla’s production numbers could look like between now and the next six years, when both the affordable Model 3 and Y will be reaching mature stages of production, and new factories are expected to come online outside the US, particularly in China (the most important market by far for electric cars).

It’s safe to say that the road to success is hard to predict and will not necessarily be smooth, as the ongoing ramp of Model 3 production has shown so far. However Tesla’s historical annual numbers and recent ramp figures – combined with Elon Musk’s very public future goals – provide useful insight when trying to forecast future production ramps, whether it’s new models or new factories coming online. With Model 3 aiming for 500,000 units produced per year by sometime in 2019 (originally that was supposed to happen this year), it is likely that Model Y will follow a similar trajectory two years down the line, likely to plateau at around the same 500,000 level as Model 3.

The more expensive Model S and X are likely to see growth over time, due to increasing awareness of the Tesla brand and more crucially to the blossoming of yet untapped markets in Europe and Asia. One particular focus will be China, as a combination of reduced tariffs for foreign cars and the much-talked-about future Tesla plant(s) on Chinese soil could on their own easily pave the way for a doubling of Tesla production in the long term. I have plotted this separately to show the pattern of production of all four models outside of US factories, and it may include contributions from other plants (in Europe?) yet to be proposed.

Should Tesla deliver on its promises, the young carmaker could boast over 200,000 sales this year, doubling up to 400,000 sales in 2019 as Model 3 increases production. 2020 could see Model 3 reaching maturity and the start of Model Y production in low volumes (I am sure Elon Musk’s target is tighter than this), while I see China – and any other future foreign factories – contributing gradually from 2021 while Model Y ramps up in a similar fashion to Model 3. 2022 may be the year Tesla breaks the 1 million units per year. We are then in uncharted territory, but we know electric cars will by then have become truly mainstream. The sky is the limit.

An important note is that while the “S3XY” models currently identify the core of Tesla’s offer, we can surely expect future product unveils, perhaps on the lower side of the spectrum (below Model 3?) to further boost numbers and market penetration. This chart, while seemingly optimistic, could soon prove to be a low growth scenario. Anyone still betting against Tesla?

Source: opportunity:energy

Categories: Tesla

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60 Comments on "Check Out This S3XY Chart Forecasting Tesla’s Future Growth"

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LOL, thanks for the good laugh. Lets keep it real, without those insane EV incentives they’ll never sell more than 500k

Thankfully, your comment will be able to be tested with data in the next 2 yrs.

just ignore these russian trolls. they are quite literally fighting for their survival ’cause russia is an oil producer too.

This is silly… Why make charts that project dreams, lets try to focus on what we can see and believe.

What you can believe is not what most of us here can believe. Trolls like you are the minority here.

What about the Tesla pickup fitting into these predictions? I’d hate to think we can’t get one before 2024.

Yes I agree in the USA the pickup will be a major seller.

No doubt. I work with a very conservative-everything fellow who said “As soon as Tesla makes an SUV or truck that can haul a 12,000 lb tractor I’m buying one.” You see, while he may or may not believe what the climate scientists say (I’m aftaid to get that conversation going with him), he is very practical and patriotic and Tesla fits.

Hopefully the price for the Tesla truck won’t be much more than ICE trucks by then as battery prices come down.

Good for you Tom Brown! I mean good that you resist the urge to discuss AGW with your very conservative friend. Many would not have the strength to resist, and by discussing would simply drive a wedge between themselves and their convservative friends who might otherwise be inclined to look at a Tesla or another EV. I speak to my felllow conservatives all the time about EVs and why we (as conservatives) should support them. Energy independence being the main reason, followed by supporting American industry (in the case of Tesla, and all power plants), and of course clean air in general (not AGW, just clean air).

If the global warming die-hards on the left would simply give up the AGW argument and focus on those talking points that resonate with conservative Americans, we could drive EV adoption much quicker.

I agree, there are so many good reasons to buy an EV, why bring up global warming? It is a bonus if you believe in it, sure.

I thought climate change and environment protection was against their religion or something…it’s unfortunate that these issues become politically charged or should say it’s unfortunate that some right wingers allowed themselves to be fooled into believing these are political issues.

Yes, I think we should ignore the global warming argument in favor of EVs when talking with the general public. Rather, talk about pollution. Everyone knows that’s real, whether or not they believe climate change is caused by human activity. Everybody wants clean air and water even if they’re a “climate change skeptic”.

Gasmobiles and diesel trucks emit staggering amounts of poisonous fumes, and soot particles laced with carcinogens, into the atmosphere. Even those who deny the reality of climate change will have a hard time denying that’s true!

I would think that conservatives (and others) might be very motivated by the prospect of removing the oil revenues from Putin, Iranian mullahs, and endless numbers of dictatorial kleptocracies around the world.

Terrorism is largely supported by oil money. Take that away and there would be peace in the mid-East in very short order.

I agreed in total with you until you said “there would be peace in the mid-East. I wish for it also but that is a leap of faith at best.

Mr Brown, we are a long time from the day Tesla can replace my GMC 2500 diesel, over 900 LB ft of torque and 650 mile range. I hope it happens because an EV pickup would be awesome, but the physics and economics always seem to get in he way of making real progress.

Tom/Dave — the 2500/3500 and 250/350 diesels that can tow 12000+ lbs actually ALSO aren’t a replacement for the vast majority of 1500/150 class pickups and smaller pickups that dominate the pickup market sales. That is why the diesels are only a small fraction of the overall pickup market.

A 150/1500 may have towing capacity in the 7,000 range. Smaller trucks like a Colorado or Tacoma (VERY popular truck) can be in the 3K to 6K range for towing depending on engine, gearing, and wheelbase.

The Model X already has nearly 5,000 lbs in towing capacity, even though they have really done nothing to optimize for towing. With simple changes, like a stretched wheelbase, a lower gear ratio, stiffer springs, etc a pickup version of the Model X using current technology and build a pickup that could compete with that vast majority of pickups with towing capacity 3K to 8K.

What is the model X range towing a 5000 lb boat? Chevy Silverado 1500 max towing is 12500 lbs and 2500HD is 23,300 lbs That is taken right from Chevrolet website, the max I tow with mine is 16K equipment trailer.

The Model X can tow your boat anywhere along any Tesla supercharger corridor, the same as you can keep towing your boat as long as there are gas stations.

Do you have a goose-neck boat trailer? If not, there isn’t a single 1500 that is rated to tow 12500 lbs from the receiver/bumper. That max rating is for fifth-wheel ONLY. A Tesla pickup would also get rated higher than the Model X for fifth-wheel towing too.

The stock 1500 receiver is a class III/IV meaning it rated to pull up to 7,500 lbs by itself, without a WDH. So towing your boat is limited by the hitch rating at 7500lb, even if the truck is rated 12500 for fifth-wheel.

Also, Chevy/GMC 1500’s are only capable of 12,500 fifth-wheel with the EcoTec3 6.2L V8 with Max Trailering Package ONLY. And then only with specific wheelbase, gearing, and drive combos. All other versions are rated significantly less, down to 5,600 lbs. GM does a better job at telling the truth in their literature, showing how the more common 4.3 and 5.3 engines are rated much lower:

A lot of folks get suckered into the max towing capacity claims, and ignore the star next to the headline 12,500 number, and never check to see what THEIR truck is actually rated for. The just assume that all 1500’s are rated at the topline 12,500 rating that only a single digit percent of 1500’s are rated for.

Ford is even worse. They don’t even rate the F150 4X2 with manual transmission and 4.9 engine with 2.73 gear ratio for towing AT ALL!!! Same with 4X4 with auto and 4.9 engine.

Ford also reminds you that you have to subtract the weight of all your passengers and cargo you are carrying from the towing rating. This is actually true for ALL trucks, but not every truck maker tells you that either.

Finally, keep in mind that the J2807 towing ratings are based upon a max altitude of 5,000 feet. You have to derate your gas engine towing capacity for higher altitudes, EV’s do not have to derate for altitude. Because batteries.

And EV’s can use the weight of the load to increase regen downhill back into the battery. So if you are climbing a mountain pass at altitude with a 150/1500 gasser, you will probably drop to single digit MPG. And an EV will chew through battery too. But down the other side of the pass the EV puts energy back into the battery pack proportionally to the weight of the vehicle and trailer.

Also keep in mind that everything I’ve said is for making the case for replacing the much more popular 150/1500 and midsize trucks with EV trucks that most people buy instead of HD diesels. There is no reason to limit Tesla entering the truck market to only when they can beat HD diesels. Toyota has already proven that.

Not that Tesla couldn’t build a downsized Semi to take on even F650’s and F750’s if they wanted to.

That “Down-Sized Semi”, would be “The Pickup that Carries a Pickup!”😂😱😳

Tesla does not have a semi… 2 prototypes hardly constitutes a vehicle program that can be modified. Tesla cannot even offer options on the Model 3 11 months into production…

Interesting! Imagine that Silverado 2500HD towing that 23,300 lbs down Wolf Creek Pass! Now think of C. W. McCalls song: Wolf Creek Pass! Also imagine it crawling up to the summit! Just how black would be the air behind it, as it drags its cargo up that hill! Then, think of this: Of all the energy a Tesla used going Up, likely 70-80+% would be recaptured going down, from strong Regen!

For the Pulling Power, I see a variant of the New Roadster 3-Motor Drivetrain coming into play, with different gearing: instead of focusing on 250+ Mph, it can focus on 10,000 to 15,000+ Pounds Towing, and maybe 90 to 120 Mph Top Speed.

For Range, a Tesla Pickup will want a bare Minimum of 150 kWh, but really, that 200 kWh of the New Roadster, will likely be there in the Roadster, to test, before bringing it to the Tesla Pickup!

Empty the Pickup should get 400+ Miles Range, maybe close to 450-500! Fully Loaded, or Towing, it should get not less than 220 miles, with Battery up size choices taking it to 300+ Miles – under full load!

A “Performance” version of the Pickup, could be 300+ kWh, & 4 Motors, as well, borrowing from the Semi, & Rated to Tow 25,000 Pounds! Also with 500 Miles Range, Fully Loaded! Another Smack Down for ICE Vehicles, the “Pickups”, this time!

Keep dreaming…

And you keep trolling Dave.

Dave, do you really need 650 mile range when you start each morning with a full charge?

As to the 12,000 pounds towing, I have a coworker whose real target is his 9,000 pound trailer he has, but same idea! Next, would be, to tow it a decent range, of 300 miles, and easily use Superchargers while hooked up (I think the Hooked up part is the hardest, as it requires a whole new Supercharger Site Design, in most cases)! For the Pulling Power, I see a variant of the New Roadster 3-Motor Drivetrain coming into play, with different gearing: instead of focusing on 250+ Mph, it can focus on 10,000 to 15,000+ Pounds Towing, and maybe 90 to 120 Mph Top Speed. For Range, a Tesla Pickup will want a bare Minimum of 150 kWh, but really, that 200 kWh of the New Roadster, will likely be there in the Roadster, to test, before bringing it to the Tesla Pickup! Empty the Pickup should get 400+ Miles Range, maybe close to 450-500! Fully Loaded, or Towing, it should get not less than 220 miles, with Battery up size choices taking it to 300+ Miles – under full load! If Elon, JB, & Team can Nail those points, and deliver on them, to Customers, by 2021-2022, I… Read more »

A million a year when it takes over from the F150 as the number 1 vehicle sold in the US. Tesla has a way of going straight to the top of every market they enter (except the X).

Yes, I was disappointed to see the absence of the Tesla Semi Truck and the Tesla Pickup from this long-term prediction.

Of course we can’t be sure either of those will be in production by 2024, but I certainly hope they both are!

Hi Pushmi-Pullyu, I thought about that when writing the article but there is still too little information around the pick-up. I doubt it would come out before 2022, hence picking up in sales around 2023-24, almost out of my chart. Also, volumes will be great in US but inexistent in the rest of Tesla’s markets, where pick ups are not as popular.

I think the model Y will not be for (real) sale before 2022, and then they will spend some time to ramp up production. I think a facelift of Model S and X will end up in more cars sold – and I’m sure they must have a facelift ready soon? Maybe offer a model with competitive interior quality. Model 3 is old in 2022.. they must do some kind of facelift on that as well. I think they will sell about 1 million in 2024. Hope for more, but they will start to get more compatition by then.. I have a dream of a Tesla minibus with proper range, and that can tow 1,5-2 tonns. In this time frame – we should see some kind of truck sales as well, and maybe the roadster in limmited numbers. Would love to see they start to build several models on the same platform – to get more economy of scale, and a wider selection. A stretched, and slightly wider model X platform with a different chassis could work as a 9 seater (3+3+3) minibus with sliding doors. That would be a market with no competition at all! Stretch it more to… Read more »

Model Y will be at least 2022 in volume, there is no factory for it… By that time there will be so much BEV competition here in the states, lots of choices.

Wishful thinking….yeah, that will get us there.

Mark, watch and see the next 3 years, there will be more BEV’s then the market will want to absorb.

Yikes. Anyone trying to predict what any company does re:EVs more than a couple of years from now is playing darts, blindfolded. We can see the broad outlines of where the whole EV market is going, obviously, but there are too many unknowns, including really fuzzy things like corporate culture/leadership, that come into play. (Does anyone really think Nissan has better engineers and scientists than Fiat? I don’t. But I do know that one company was determined to make EVs a viable product, while the other wanted to stick their head in the sand.)

Yeah. I always look at projections like this as having, at best, entertainment value. Certainly none of the attempts to forecast EV industry growth, or Tesla’s production growth, have proven to be even remotely close to accurate.

At least this one isn’t laughable, like most of Navigant’s forecasts are!

I take it as a huge compliment! Indeed the main reason for me to come up with this was to check whether I could be better than big consulting companies at predicting “stuff”. I’m kind of tired of inaccurate forecasts by insiders who never manage to get it right despite doing that for a living. At least I would have an excuse if I’m wrong. 🙂

Now let’s see how far my chart goes…

Unfortunately we’ll have to wait 6 years to see how good your forecast is. (And will InsideEVs put it on their calendar to do a follow-up article in 2024?)

But good luck to you! Here’s hoping that your prognostication abilities shine. 🙂

You are too conservative. You show the Model 3 stabilizing at about 500,000/year. That = peak US+Canada sales of the Camry. I would expect much more if you include all markets. 30% of the mid-range market worldwide would be comparable to the Model S share of the high end sport-coupe market.

Hi Michael,

To clarify on my chart, the Model 3 and Y going flat to 500k per year would be from US original factories. The bit in red, which I labelled as China, would be the additional contribution for all S3XY models from any new plants around the world. China will likely see the first foreign Tesla factories so I left it like that, but it could be also European etc. Eventually the red bit of the chart would grow over and over as Tesla production increases out of California and Nevada.

Beach Bunny EV Makers, those “Traditional” Auto OEM’s seem to be, for sure! It will take Tesla doing a Solid 500,000+ Model 3 sales, Annually, to get their Attention, it seems!

But – if Tesla can get their GF1 Finished and Fully Operational by 2020, they should be able to handle that many Model 3’s, and some good number of Semi’s, too!

How are they going to get GF1 finished, all work out there was stopped last month? No Money…

I think that with the vehicles Tesla has now, and ones we know are in the pipeline(Semi, Roadster, Pickup, Model Y), Tesla could easily become the largest automaker in the next decade.
What I am surprised about, is their total production numbers, the Fremont factory was built to be able to produce 500,000 cars per year, combine that with Gigafactory 1, which was built to be able to produce battery cells, battery packs, drive units, and power electronics, they should already be at 500,000 per year of production.

Another Euro point of view

“they should already be at 500,000 per year of production”.

It’s because “car biz is hell”.

Already they are…. When they get the Gigafactory built! What they have built, is just the Training Area! It is the First 3rd only! Once they get all this smoothed out, they need to expand the GF1, to duplicate what works! Then – at step 2, it will have them making enough Model 3’s to be both Profitable, and carry the GF1 expansion to completion!

The sky is the limit? Dude where will Elon Musk find 2 mil. internet junkies with no real life and hype them via twitter to buy those beta crap cars??

Don’t knock it ’til you try it.

Sorry to burst your Tesla Hater cult bubble, but Elon already has 17 million Twitter followers.

As far as those with “no real life”… well, you are the troll here, Jack.

Kanye has 27 million… does that make him 70% smarter than Musk?
Or 70% “more correct”?

Neither. It’s just an indication of celebrity (or notoriety) status.

But that’s rather irrelevant to my point.

The 17 million followers have not been doing much for the stock price recently.

Only 2 Million? Over the whole world? Why do you think so small? 😱😂😀

Predictions are hard to make, especially about the future.

Exponential? Remember when Musk couldn’t stop talking about “the S curve”?

This ramp is nowhere near “exponential”. It’s pretty linear, which isn’t all bad… too bad “expectations” are fixed around ‘exponential’.

Model 3 ramp has been more up and down, looks like an EKG machine. Hopefully it is getting some real momentum now, 10K built and Sold in May would be a real accomplishment.

Hi Tom,

The S curve is for one model in one factory though. Indeed you will notice that my chart shows an S curve for Model 3 and Y from one factory each, then in red i show new factories (mainly in China, could be anywhere) picking up to allow Tesla to expand and meet demand. I do think that will make it exponential for a few years. Of course it can’t keep going for ever, but the untapped market is huge, and Tesla is way ahead of any real competition.

Ahead of competition on Model Y? That baby is going to enter a crowded market…. Did you see Magna partnered with BAIC, that is serious competition in china in addition to BYD… Your chart is full of dreams, not many will be realized

Hi Dave,

Could well be. Ultimately I hope the EV market as a whole will explode, it shouldn’t be just thanks to Tesla. However Elon Musk is planning in huge production numbers, whereas legacy automakers are likely to start with a trickle, which will leave Tesla with a huge chunk of demand to fulfill (on top of existing EV brand awareness).

Magna shows signs of commitment, but with the i-Pace being built in small numbers (tens of thousands per year), I’m unsure how long it will take them to help growing the EV market. Perhaps their plans with BAIC will come to fruition in 3 years? That’s my best bet.

Magna is one of the biggest automotive suppliers in the world, and a top vehicle engineering firm. Their little factory in Graz is just a small part of the company, that hookup with BAIC is going to be HUGE…. I had just bought a bunch of BYD stock a couple weeks ago, but that hookup even makes me reconsider BYD. Tesla has a lot to learn about China, and the way Musk deals with governments, etc, his arrogance will not fly over there, it is still a communist country at the core. Building in China is also going to be painful for Tesla as they have no experience, and there is so much favoritism, and corruption. I am not trying to be a negative Nellie, but don’t underestimate the risk and challenges. Tesla has struggled with the launch of Model 3 for nearly a year, this should be easy, the car is very simple, and has far less parts then a loaded Camry. Tesla has launched 3 production car programs, and struggled mightily on all 3, each time saying we will get it right next time… haha! I guess I am a believer in first time “shame on you” second… Read more »