What's one of the most popular pastimes for EV enthusiast right now?

Though we can't verify it scientifically, guessing how many Model 3 sedans roll out of the Tesla Fremont factory this year is probably right up there. Certainly there's already a thread on the InsideEVs Forum with a wide variation of possible results.

Tesla tax credit estimator
While yours truly foresees about 200,000 examples of the highly-praised "affordable" Tesla produced in 2018, my number is the result of the 2 percent math, 98 percent pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey method. That's not really a reliable enough way to generate an accurate figure, so we turn now to someone who encapsulates math and all things Tesla: Ben Sullins of the aptly-named Teslanomics YouTube channel.

Mr. Sullins has just produced his own figures (which, I'm happy to point out echo mine) based on actual math. He even has the graphs to prove it.

Using the electric automaker's Q4 production numbers as a starting point — specifically, the 1,000-vehicle-per-week reported run rate — Sullins applies his mathematical magic and makes a finding far different than what Tesla has announced. Both use Tesla's guidance of 2,500 per week by the end of the 1st quarter (March  31), but as the company calls for production to reach 5,000 per week by the end of the 2nd quarter (June 30, 2018), Sullins doesn't see this number being hit until sometime in December of this year. That's a significant difference, and with Tesla already have moved its production estimates back twice recently, it's not difficult to share Sullins somewhat pessimistic outlook. Many would even say he (and I) are being far too optimistic.

Besides making reservation holders wait longer for their cars, the Teslanomics numbers impact the timeline for the Federal EV tax credit. As manufacturers reach 200,000 deliveries of plug-in vehicles, the amount of the rebate begins to drop until it is phased out completely. The Sullins projection sees the full $7,500 rebate available for Tesla customers up until the 3rd quarter of this year, and dropping to half of that ($3,750) in Q4 of 2018 and Q1 of 2019, before halving yet again (in Q2 of 2019).

Of course, these projections, both by Sullins and Tesla, are likely to be affected by unforeseen events which could either speed up or (more likely) delay the production ramp up. Considering the number of promised products from Tesla and the need to build the facilities needed to fulfill them, no doubt the company (and investors) are hoping for the steepest ramp up possible.

Source: Teslanomics via YouTube