After the outstanding first quarter of 2021, some investors say that Tesla is "entering into the slope of its growth S-curve."

That's what Loup Ventures has written recently, but is it really the case?

The momentum is strong - that's for sure. The perspectives are also good: Model S/X refresh, a new plant in Europe and Texas, and new models in the pipeline.

We guess that Tesla will continue to grow at a high rate (the year 2020 was affected by the COVID-19 lockdowns which also lowers the comparison base). However, only time will tell whether an S-curve is possible, especially since Tesla's scale is already very high.

The company itself has said clearly that it expects a growth rate of about 50% a year on average. In some years (like in 2021), it will be more.


Q1 2021 was the best quarter ever (slightly better than the previous best Q4 2020).

We always must pay attention to year-over-year changes and here the result is two times better than before. When we look only at Q1 results over the years, it looks like an S-curve for a long time.

  • Total deliveries: 184,800 (up 109% year-over-year)
    • Model 3/Y deliveries: 182,780 (up 140% year-over-year)
    • Model S/X deliveries: 2,020 (down 83% year-over-year)

The 12-month rolling sales result is at almost 600,000, which is maybe a better indicator of the growth rate.

With the existing manufacturing capacity, Tesla heads towards 1 million electric cars a year. It will increase probably every quarter now, but as we can see, it's not a consistent move.


Dynamic changes on the market (demand side), retooling of the plants and launches of new production lines with ramp-up phases affect the results.

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