Tesla Delivers 63,150 Model 3 In Q4, Almost 150,000 In 2018

JAN 2 2019 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 97

Q4 2018 was a big quarter for Tesla.

Not that we didn’t expect it to be. However, Tesla reports growth upon growth in this just-released Q4 2018 production and delivery report.

According to the automaker, Q4 saw a production rate of nearly 1,000 vehicles per day. This, it says, led to records in production and deliveries.

Here are the vital points of info:

  • Production in Q4 grew to 86,555 vehicles, 8% more than our prior all-time high in Q3. This included:
  • 61,394 Model 3 vehicles, in line with our guidance and 15% more than Q3.
  • 25,161 Model S and X vehicles, consistent with our long-term run rate of approximately 100,000 per year.

Moving to deliveries, the Model 3 set a new all-time quarterly record. Per Tesla:

Q4 deliveries grew to 90,700 vehicles, which was 8% more than our prior all time-high in Q3. This included 63,150 Model 3 (13% growth over Q3), 13,500 Model S, and 14,050 Model X vehicles.

And for the whole of 2018, the numbers shake out like this:

In 2018, we delivered a total of 245,240 vehicles: 145,846 Model 3 and 99,394 Model S and X. To put our growth into perspective, we delivered almost as many vehicles in 2018 as we did in all prior years combined.

This line from the release is highly interesting too:

More than three quarters of Model 3 orders in Q4 came from new customers, rather than reservation holders.

Lastly, here’s a not on inventory and in-transit vehicles:

1,010 Model 3 vehicles and 1,897 Model S and X vehicles were in transit to customers at the end of Q4, and will be delivered in early Q1 2019. Our inventory levels remain the smallest in the automotive industry, and we were able to reduce vehicles in transit to customers by significantly improving our logistics system in North America.

Full press blast from Tesla below:

Tesla Q4 2018 Vehicle Production & Deliveries, Also Announcing $2,000 Price Reduction in US

Source: Tesla, Inc.

PALO ALTO, Calif., Jan. 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In Q4, we produced and delivered at the rate of nearly 1,000 vehicles per day, setting new company records for both production and deliveries.

Production in Q4 grew to 86,555 vehicles, 8% more than our prior all-time high in Q3. This included:

  • 61,394 Model 3 vehicles, in line with our guidance and 15% more than Q3.
  • 25,161 Model S and X vehicles, consistent with our long-term run rate of approximately 100,000 per year.

Q4 deliveries grew to 90,700 vehicles, which was 8% more than our prior all time-high in Q3. This included 63,150 Model 3 (13% growth over Q3), 13,500 Model S, and 14,050 Model X vehicles.

In 2018, we delivered a total of 245,240 vehicles: 145,846 Model 3 and 99,394 Model S and X. To put our growth into perspective, we delivered almost as many vehicles in 2018 as we did in all prior years combined.

Our Q4 Model 3 deliveries were limited to mid- and higher-priced variants, cash/loan transactions, and North American customers only. More than three quarters of Model 3 orders in Q4 came from new customers, rather than reservation holders.

There remain significant opportunities to continue to grow Model 3 sales by expanding to international markets, introducing lower-priced variants and offering leasing. International deliveries in Europe and China will start in February 2019. Expansion of Model 3 sales to other markets, including with a right-hand drive variant, will occur later in 2019.

1,010 Model 3 vehicles and 1,897 Model S and X vehicles were in transit to customers at the end of Q4, and will be delivered in early Q1 2019. Our inventory levels remain the smallest in the automotive industry, and we were able to reduce vehicles in transit to customers by significantly improving our logistics system in North America.

Moving beyond the success of Q4, we are taking steps to partially absorb the reduction of the federal EV tax credit (which, as of January 1st, dropped from $7,500 to $3,750). Starting today, we are reducing the price of Model S, Model X and Model 3 vehicles in the U.S. by $2,000. Customers can apply to receive the $3,750 federal tax credit for new deliveries starting on January 1, 2019, and may also be eligible for several state and local electric vehicle and utility incentives, which range up to $4,000. Combined with the reduced costs of maintenance and of charging a Tesla versus paying for gas at the pump – which can result in up to $100 per month or more in savings – this means our vehicles are even more affordable than similarly priced gasoline vehicles.

Tesla’s achievements in 2018 likely represent the biggest single-year growth in the history of the automotive industry. We started the year with a delivery run rate of about 120,000 vehicles per year and ended it at more than 350,000 vehicles per year – an increase of almost 3X. As a result, we’re starting to make a tangible impact on accelerating the world to sustainable energy. Additionally, 2018 was the first time in decades that an American car – the Model 3 – was the best-selling premium vehicle in the U.S. for the full year, with U.S. sales of Model 3 roughly double those of the runner up.

We want to thank our customers, suppliers, investors, and especially our employees, who worked so hard to accomplish this.

***************

Our net income and cash flow results will be announced along with the rest of our financial performance when we announce Q4 earnings. Our delivery count should be viewed as slightly conservative, as we only count a car as delivered if it is transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct. Final numbers could vary by up to 0.5%. Tesla vehicle deliveries represent only one measure of the company’s financial performance and should not be relied on as an indicator of quarterly financial results, which depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of sales, foreign exchange movements and mix of directly leased vehicles.

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97 Comments on "Tesla Delivers 63,150 Model 3 In Q4, Almost 150,000 In 2018"

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Pretty stellar finish to the year considering where Model 3 production started.

It will be interesting to see how they handle the transition to shipping globally.

They far exceeded my 100k +/- 25k prediction.

I plan to write a short recap comparing my predictions to the actual 2018 numbers once they are all in.

I suspect it will help distribution immensely as they can offload about half their production straight to ships.

Well, remember they still have to distribute to customers on the other end.

They ship from the east coast to Europe. Used to transport to ship by train, but I believe they switched to trucks a while back.

I don’t think shipping is a big issue for Tesla so it should just be about staffing up their delivery centers.

In the past, deliveries certainly were “a big issue” for Tesla. Remember how at the end of last quarter they used volunteer Tesla owners to help with deliveries?

None of that reported this quarter, despite about the same number of deliveries (only very slightly higher). Seems pretty clear that Tesla has improved its delivery system, at least domestically.

Here’s hoping that 2019 will be as good a year for Tesla as 2018 was!
😀 😀 😀

Save the recap until you are ready for 2019 predictions! I know predictions used to drive Jay crazy but hey, we love it! It would be interesting to see an article written condensing all the years predictions with the final outcomes including the prediction of the million EVs by the end of 2015. It is really interesting when you look at the few models and flatlining of productions in that paper. When you compare yours to that forecast, it is really pretty impressive. I don’t think they are paying you enough. =)

Haha thanks, definitely don’t pay me enough 😉

I can hold on the recap a bit I guess, but the prediction write up is already very long, so i really need to split it into two posts.

Typically I will put the finishing touches on the predictions after the Detroit show and Tesla Q4 report.

Great job on the estimates again! Starting to think you have an inside source 😉

I assure you, no inside source. 🙂 But thank you, we take the estimates seriously and try to get them as close as possible. Happy to see yet another quarter right on the nose from our ‘what to expect’ article.

Tens or perhaps even hundreds of millions of investors and Tesla fans around the world breathlessly await the posting of InsideEVs sales estimates for Tesla, every month, but especially the estimates for the entire previous year; estimates which have proven to be amazingly accurate over the years. Billions of investor dollars hang on your numbers, Wade.

But no hurry, no pressure.
😛 😛 😛

Wow, over 63,000 Model 3 cars, that is really impressive. Doing my math quickly, that averages over 21,000 a month. More than I figured. Almost none left in transit either. I figured there would be more, but makes sense given tax credit ending.

Excuse my typo, it looks like 61k Model 3 units, so just over 20,000 a month. That is great 😉

Edit: nevermind, confusing production and deliveries, yes, 63150 is delivery number…

That’s absolutely awesome.

Just wait until model Y is announced.

The rest of the industry is going to want to join the party.

Wow! Awesome 2018 performance Tesla! So glad to be a new part of the family. Looking for many more great things in 2019 and beyond. Changing the world.

Tesla says it’s reducing the price of Model S, Model X and Model 3 vehicles in the U.S. by $2K to counterbalance in part the reduction of the EV tax credit.
More evidence that the growth narrative is dead. You don’t reduce prices when demand is strong.

The net effect is a $1750 price increase for the consumer.

To some of us that only have $3750 or less tax liability, this is a welcome $2000 price cut.

Exactly, and the higher the MSRP, the more the state charges me every year for registration. A $2000 price cut represents $120 state and local tax cut for me and $20 per year registration drop. Also likely lower insurance. It won’t make up the $1750 difference, but helps offset it significantly. Assuming the buyer doesn’t apply the tax credit to the car principal a person might be paying interest on that money as well. Also, the lower MSRP means easier to get a loan and lower monthly payments.

Why would you want to buy a $50k car if you’re paying less than $3750 in taxes? Even if all your income is from capital gains and you’re fabulously wealthy, that would mean that you’re buying a car that costs more than what you bring in for a whole year. I guess east coasters like me are trained to be a little more fiscally conservative than average, but this seems like a really bad idea, Rad. The EV revolution should succeed, but not over people’s broken finances.

Depends a lot on tax situation. For example a family might have to make over $100,000 a year to have a $7500 tax liability.

That’s exactly my point. Someone who is buying a car that is almost equal to their annual income!

If the car lasts 20 years, that’s only 5% of income spent on mobility. That’s not so bad.

If you’re wealthy, especially through investment income, and you pay taxes, you’re doing it wrong.

He’s not wealthy. He just said that his tax liability is less than 3750. Assuming that ALL his income is from investment income, his AGI is still in the 5 digits.

Define wealthy. He could have 20 million in tax free mutual funds for example, and realized income minimized to avoid taxes.

Retirees. Scrimped and saved all their life. Lots of money in the bank (or investments). Little taxable income. You’ve seen the grey haired guys driving Corvettes. Can’t take it with you.

Also if your earned income is less that $78,000 for a married couple, your capital gains tax rate is zero. You could claim a $100,000 capital gain and pay no federal tax on it.

Best plan for a retiree is to do some 401k to Roth conversions to generate enough tax liability. The investments can remain the same and still generate protected income in the Roth.

People who retired having huge savings, but not high enough income for $7500 tax return.
People have a lot of tax deductibles (family, properties, charities..etc)

Do some Roth conversions to generate enough tax liability to get the credit.

Because the saving on gas and maintenance in long term makes Model 3 cheaper than a middle priced ICE if you keep the car more than 10 years. That’s why a fiscally conservative person should buy a Model 3. The icing on the cake is every time you drive the car, it puts smile on your face.

Why the Tesla bashing, Dan?

We know from many, many first-hand reports that a lot of Tesla owners spend far more on their Tesla car than they ever did before on any other car. This is confirmed by the list of cars most traded in for Tesla cars, a list which includes the significantly cheaper Honda Civic and Honda Accord.

Yeah, I’m sure a lot of people are straining their finances to afford a Tesla car. That just shows how desirable a well-designed an well-build BEV can be!

How odd that you seem to be trying to suggest (or insinuate) that people trying to live beyond their means is somehow the fault of Tesla, or a bad sign for the EV revolution. I’d say it’s a fantastic harbinger of how fast the EV revolution is going to progress over the next decade or two!

Go Tesla! Keep going Tesla!

You reduce prices when you’re profitable to help consumers. This is a good thing. Don’t twist it into failure. They obviously don’t need to reduce prices to increase demand. Demand is through the roof. They delivered a record number of vehicles again this quarter.

Growth will certainly continue due to expanded markets and essentially no competition with any real volume.
We’ll have to wait to see what happens in the US. Knocking $2k off their prices is a clear sign that they are expecting the credit reduction to hit sales. Not saying it’s a bad move, but the OP is right that companies don’t drop prices when demand is strong.

I agree, but I think they would have reduced it even if they hadn’t made a profit or demand is strong. I think there’s been an expectation from customers that it would happen. In addition, focus will move to delivering vehicles abroad, with less sales in the U.S., so it may not have a major impact. Like you said, we’ll see.

The premise that companies don’t drop prices when demand is strong is not a necessarily correct premise. Tesla is not just any company making any product. Their mission is to get as many EVs on the road as possible and prove the viability of EVs, and to do it profitably (ie financially sustainably). Why on Earth wouldn’t they keep pulling the demand lever like this when it makes sense for their mission? They can afford to drop the prices and have done so, and this bodes very well for the $35k Model 3 coming to market.

Exactly! It’s overly simplistic to look at this as a simple case of supply and demand regulating prices. Tesla’s costs for making their cars has been falling; it’s perfectly understandable that they might want to use some of the fatter margin to reduce prices, to further increase demand.

Serial Tesla bashers have been bleating “falling demand, falling demand, falling demand” ever since 2012. The only thing that changes is what they’re pointing to when they make that claim.

It’s almost hilarious that Tesla bashers are still flogging that dead horse, especially right after Tesla published its sales for the year, showing a 142% increase in sales/deliveries over 2017!

Only on Planet Bizarro would a 142% increase in annual sales be an indication of “falling” demand!
😆 😆 😆

“…companies don’t drop prices when demand is strong.”

That’s a glittering generality. The case in question is certainly an exception, because the Federal tax credit dropping by half means the price will actually go up for many or most U.S. buyers, despite Tesla dropping the list price by $2000. The maximum Federal income tax credit is dropping by half, from $7500 to $3750. Someone who formerly qualified for the full $7500 will see their final price go up by (3700 – 2000 =) $1700.

As I see it, this isn’t response by Tesla to prop up falling demand. This is a preemptive measure by Tesla to prevent domestic demand from falling.

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I don’t think those running Tesla Inc. have little minds.

Well considering their price for paint is beyond ridiculous I think it’s only reasonable for them to bring the price down a little bit.

This will also be better for the customer since the savings is up front, rather than built into a credit that they have to wait for or may not be eligible for in the first place.

Bingo ‼️

Promoting the EV, the ultimate goal, how to explain that to americanized brain?

bore a tunnel under the Atlantic and shoot them to Europe. We’ll be waiting with nets on our side :o)

So….did you short TSLA? LOL….

I might regret this, but I bought long at open. The stock crashing because of a made up narrative of Tesla not meeting forecasts just seems like people wanting to create a buying point so I’m going to assume that the stock will be back up when the jig is up,

Price doesn’t respond to the made-up narrative. The narrative is made-up after the crash to try and explain it.

TSLA can move $30 for no reason at all. It’s just very volatile.

FUD has its limits as proved by the fact that TSLA remained expensive despite wall to wall FUD campaigns but the media wide anti Tesla FUD campaign preceding the Q3 unexpected (as a result…) profit numbers definitely managed to move needle downward on Tesla. On top of that there is other manipulations like selling stock at the opening of the market to trick the suckers into panic sales. So no, TSLA doesn’t move for no reason at all, it’s carefully orchestrated manipulation all around.

That’s how stockmarkets work.

Interesting analysis of the manipulation of TSLA in this Now You Know video including fascinating testimony of highly successful hedgefund manager Jim Cramer about how he (illegally)manipulated the market when he needed stocks to go up or down starting at 4:03

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsd8S5nys3g

Sadly, that sort of thing is commonplace. Manipulation of stock prices is one of the ways that the very rich have managed to keep the overwhelming majority of new wealth for themselves over the past ~35 years, and is one of the reasons why the rich have been winning the “class warfare” battle all that time, getting richer while the middle class and poor are getting poorer.

I’m not a “financial guy”, but I think Tesla’s stock is particularly vulnerable to manipulation because it’s so volatile.

“Price doesn’t respond to the made-up narrative.”

“Tesla disappoints on deliveries” was the lead story on CNBC at open with a red breaking news banner. That must have had an effect on some one.

Stock was already down in pre-market.

Yup. Tesla’s stock price most certainly does respond to made-up narratives by professional Tesla FÜDsters and stock manipulators, assisted by their army of trolls and sycophants, using Reeking Alpha, Yahoo Finance, and other social media to spread their anti-Tesla smear campaigns. If it didn’t work, then they wouldn’t keep spending so much time and effort at it.

I just did a Google News search about Tesla dropping its prices by $2000, and was astounded to see all the negative articles about Tesla “missing its targets” and the stock price dropping.

Seriously? Sales are up 142% over last year — that is, Tesla much more than doubled its sales in a single year — and stock buyers are disappointed in the outcome?!?!

Sometimes I feel like *I* am the one living on Planet Bizarro!

How many heavy industry companies which are not brand-new startups have seen sales rise as much as 100% in a single year… let alone as much as 142%? I find this achievement to be astonishing. Equally astonishing to me is that any investor would consider this to be disappointing!

Anyway, I’m deliriously happy that Tesla is now a solid success, is solidly profitable, and I refuse to let the stock market news dampen my enthusiasm at Tesla’s transformation, this year, from a financially risky startup to a solidly profitable company with pretty much guaranteed strong growth for at least the next several years.

It’s a great time to be a Tesla fan!
😀 😀 😀

Weird about the growth narrative being dead. This price cut makes me want to buy one more.

Your statement is more evidence that the short narrative of “no demand” is desperation. Apparently you think wanting to bolster demand means there’s no demand to begin with, a fallacious premise. When a company can afford to reduce prices and still be profitable, this is a no-brainer to drop the price and be even more competitive.

Yup. Tesla has become pretty good at using pricing and media “buzz” to control demand. Tesla dropping its prices isn’t a response to decreased demand, it’s Tesla ensuring that domestic demand won’t drop.

But of course, the “shorter” pravduh will always be to claim that demand for Tesla’s cars is “falling”, regardless of now strong the proof is pointing at ever increasing demand.

Tesla’s sales/deliveries are up 142% over last year; considerably better than double Tesla’s 2017 sales! This is what Tesla bashers are calling “falling demand”. 🙄

Wow, if I had a nickel for every time some Tesla basher claimed demand for Tesla’s cars is dropping…

Dude, Tesla won. You lost. Get over it, and take your Tesla bashing to some coal-rolling forum where it might be appreciated.

It’s absurdly easy to counter all the claims that demand for Tesla’s cars is dropping… especially after last year!

Tesla’s global automobile sales totals:
2012: 2650
2013: 22,300
2014: 31,655 (+41.95%)
2015: 50,580 (+59.8%)
2016: 76,230 (+50.7%)
2017: 101,312 (+32.9%)
2018: 245,240 (+142%)

“To put our growth into perspective, we delivered almost as many vehicles in 2018 as we did in all prior years combined.”

@Singh Do you even math, bro? It’ll still be a $1750 net price increase!

“In 2018, we delivered a total of 245,240 vehicles: 145,846 Model 3 and 99,394 Model S and X. To put our growth into perspective, we delivered almost as many vehicles in 2018 as we did in all prior years combined.”

BAM

About half a million in 2019?

Probably 400-450k.

Tesla is now running up against the limit of how many cars they can produce at a single auto assembly plant, the Fremont plant. I seriously doubt they will be able to produce even 400,000 in 2019, unless they start assembly at Gigafactory 1. My very rough guesstimate for 2019 is 325,000-350,000 Model 3’s delivered worldwide. And probably fewer Model 3’s delivered domestically in 2019 than in 2018.

And no, we won’t see significant production at Gigafactory 3, in Shanghai, in 2019. Tesla has already said it will take 2 or 3 years to get that up and running at speed. Tesla may do some assembly work in Shanghai this year, possibly the sort of “final assembly” used at the Tilberg (Netherlands) plant to avoid tariffs. And I expect Tesla to move as soon as possible to start assembling battery packs in China, to avoid the restrictions China has placed on using foreign-made batteries in cars sold there. So it’s possible we may see some battery pack assembly at Gigafactory 3 this year.

(continued…)

Oops, correction: Make that guesstimate 325,000-350,000 cars sold/delivered worldwide in 2019, not just Model 3’s.

Tesla just produced 86,555 cars in a quarter and sold 90,700. That extrapolates to 346,000 and 363,000 respectively assuming no improvements can be made to their lines at all. However, Tesla has said that they can get up to 9,000/week (450,000 per year) with efficiency improvements at Fremont. Unless you’re saying that Tesla is downsizing, I don’t see how they only make 325,000 cars in 2019.

(…continued)

Tesla has said it wants to start doing some assembly work at Gigafactory 3 as soon as possible. But Tesla won’t be making full cars there. We won’t see assembly of Model 3 gliders, or the body-in-white, at Shanghai until 2020 or 2021. In the meantime, all the Model 3 gliders and/or fully assembled cars are going to come from Fremont… unless Tesla surprises me and gets Model 3 production at Gigafactory 1 (in Reno) up and running this year.

A lot of Tesla fans are going to be claiming otherwise in comments posted to IEVs… but they will be disappointed.

The model 3 sales are really impressive especially given the lack of cheap leases which typically is the mother’s milk of the entry level luxury segment and the general trend in the US at least away from sedans and towards CUVs. I will be curious to see what the sustainable world-wide demand for the model 3 is.

Exactly. No lease. No dealerships. No paid advertising. It’s a brave new world. I think global demand will surely sustain 3000+ per week much as the US market did for at least a year. At whatever point that slows expect to see the SR released in those markets including the US. At some point, they put together just enough of the Model 3 in China to avoid tariffs. Shortly after the Model Y is released so stir and repeat the Tesla process.

Hmmm… Tesla did start offering leases for the Model S, after the first few years of production. Model X leases too, unless I’m mistaken.

I think Tesla will eventually do that for the Model 3 also.

that makes model 3 dec deliveries to be ~ 26750. this is awsome.

Did they deliver any to Canada this quarter? That could eat into the number a little.

Looking forward to seeing the US numbers broken out soon. Cmon Wade/Steven, you know sleep is overrated!

Haha you can find the early preliminary estimates we published at: https://insideevs.com/december-2018-ev-sales-what-to-expect/

Based on Tesla’s announcement, the Model 3 numbers will not change much from this if at all. Final Model X and S will be broken out shortly but the numbers match our expectations as well. Good quarter for Tesla on the X and 3!

Looks like Model 3 production has been pretty stable at ~5000/week for the past 6 months or so. Guess it won’t move on from that number until oversees deliveries start and more affordable models become available for the NA market.

If there are not already Model 3’s on ships headed overseas, there soon will be! I think some European customers are already getting delivery dates?

They registered 1000 European VINs today, will presumably start making them soon.

How many of the reservation holders of Model 3 remain waiting?

Tesla stated in the release,” More than three quarters of Model 3 orders in Q4 came from new customers, rather than reservation holders.” I bet there are over 300,000 reservationists holding out for the base model. Combine that with new customers should sustain all they can build in 2019 and forward some. 2020 brings China gigafactory 3 and Model Y.

Still a lot of reservations from overseas buyers who want premium models, too.

Not too far from 500,000 a year.

I guess I was close with 145k.

ffbj

I think back in January I said 145k Model 3, and I have no reason to change that. Right in the middle of insideevs best/worst case scenario. Clearly the Model 3 will now take over, as it is just a matter of time.
The Bolt is pretty much done, with no plans to go worldwide with it. Of course there never were.
Maybe 25k overall U.S. and Canada. Still steady sales as Uber, Lyft, whatever programs they have going on, will find it a useful reliable vehicle.
The Leaf will struggle mightily to keep up, but there is no accounting for taste, or the intelligence of the buying public, but I think the older model Leaf will come a cropper. Word will get around, and until the long range new battery-pack one is out the, older models will falter. On the Leaf, I’ll take the low end at 85k, but I really don’t follow the Leaf all that much, as I prefer to be on the cutting edge of technology, not following yesterdays news.
7-6Reply
7 months ago

Title should be: Tesla’s BEST QUARTER EVER.

For a growth company, it would be best quarter ever every quarter.

Congratulations on all the sales. Unfortunately only so many people in the 1% can afford the best luxury performance car. They need to concentrate on shipping the right hand drive and Asian models while they work on developing a budget $18,000 USD model. Need something with about 100 miles of range for most families.

Yes, that’s what Nissan figured when it introduced gen 1 Leaf back in 2010 and it counted on great sales results. The market disagreed, Nissan lost focus and Tesla sure as heck won’t be making that mistake.

The top 1% in the US means over $400,000 income annually. Every one of those could afford $46k to $150k cars. They could buy 3-5 of these with after tax income.

Plenty of folks buy BMW 3/4 series, Audi A4, etc. without being in the 1%. The average transaction price for all vehicles (cars + trucks) in the US is around $35,000. That means a $46,000 car plus incentives is something roughly 1/3rd of all new car buyers could buy.

I think by 2030 we will look at breaking out EV sales vs ICE sales as extremely funny. Most sales will be EV and we will go back to lumping them all together like gas and diesel are now. They will just be sales: independent of the drive train.

I hope you’re right, but I think you’re optimistic on when “most” sales are EVs. The rEVolution will happen very unevenly in the US, let alone comparing countries. Not only will EVs have to come down a lot in price, but they’ll have to overcome some real issues (e.g. we need a charging infrastructure that’s friendly to non-enthusiasts) and some purely psychological ones, as in all the people who still think EVs aren’t real cars that are fully capable on highways and in snow.

And there’s a political component to this, as well, in the US. Drive around in an EV and some right-leaning individuals assume you’re a liberal, tree hugging, do gooder who can’t wait to force everyone else to drive an EV. (I live in NY and have run into this.) Look at the reports recently of owners of diesel pickups “coal rolling” EVs in North Carolina, for example. I expect EV sales to grow, but much more quickly in cities than rural areas, and quicker in some US states than others.

You’re being unduly pessimistic. The historic trend is clear, regarding disruptive tech revolutions. It has taken time for the EV revolution to enter the fast-increasing part of the “S-curve” of the adoption of new tech, but I think it’s pretty clear that this did really start in 2018.

If you think that most new car sales in first-world countries will still be gasmobiles, and not plug-in EVs, 12 years from now… then be prepared to be surprised.

Yes, we do need faster-charging batteries. And as the EV revolution advances, there will be more and more pressure to develop those… meaning more and more resources spent on developing them. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Of course that’s no guarantee that we’ll see the needed breakthru within 10 years, but I think the odds are pretty good that it will happen. There is now a very large number of people furiously working at developing improvements in batteries applicable to the EV market.

Up the EV revolution!

Great to see Telsa getting this out. However remember, yes the sales are “record setting”, but not unexpected! They built up a backorder thru reservations of about 500,000 worldwide. So they need to ship out 150K or more a year just to fulfill these backorders, never mind taking new orders along the way.

This is all good for Tesla as I said, but let’s put this in perspective. The vast majority of these deliveries are just filling reservations still. They’ve got about another 350,000 or more to go globally yet and need to get the RHD versions out this year!

This is not completely true. According to Tesla’s report:

Our Q4 Model 3 deliveries were limited to mid- and higher-priced variants, cash/loan transactions, and North American customers only. More than three quarters of Model 3 orders in Q4 came from new customers, rather than reservation holders.

They’ve exhausted most of the U.S.-based reservation holders that wanted the more expensive variants. So, most of the Q4 U.S. deliveries are all new orders. The idea that the only reason Tesla is selling many cars is that they have set up a backlog is false information. The reason they’re selling so many cars is a ridiculous level of demand for the products and plenty of new orders.

Thanks Steven for the clarity. I am in no way trying to portray a “hater” or “shorter” view, as I am neither. I am also not one to believe that once all the reservations are filled they won’t sell any more Model 3s. They will of course continue to flourish with this and other models offered. After I had posted my comments I came across some further information that mentioned what you had stated in the majority of deliveries were NOT from reservations. I agree with others then that there is still a pretty big contingent of reservation holders who: are in U.S. and waiting for the $35K Base Model 3 as well as those who are in RoW areas and are waiting for their orders/orders to be opened in respective regions. I had thought that the number of folks waiting for the Base $35K would be a smaller group hence why I thought the majority of Q4 deliveries would be reservations fulfillments. My mistake. Since this is the case and new orders are gaining momentum and a bigger majority of Model 3 production allocations, this of course bodes well for Tesla’s future in helping to fund the Model Y… Read more »

Thanks, Ken. Understood.

As the co-host of M3OC, I don’t think anyone thinks that you are doom and gloom/shorter of Tesla! Keep up the well-thought out analysis, Ken!

impresive. thanks tesla Ice age become finish

“More than three quarters of Model 3 orders in Q4 came from new customers, rather than reservation holders.”

Ha, so people on the list not really deciding for the more expensive versions, but still waiting, and still a huge pent up demand.

Do Not Read Between The Lines

To paraphrase …
I want my
I want my
I want my SR3*

* With some of the winter-related problems fixed.

So now I can update the little chart that I use to refute the Tesla bashers’ falsehoods and myths about “falling demand” or “falling sales” for Tesla:

Tesla’s global automobile sales totals:
2012: 2650
2013: 22,300
2014: 31,655 (+41.95%)
2015: 50,580 (+59.8%)
2016: 76,230 (+50.7%)
2017: 101,312 (+32.9%)
2018: 245,240 (+142%)

“To put our growth into perspective, we delivered almost as many vehicles in 2018 as we did in all prior years combined.”
😀 😀 😀

Go Tesla! Keep going Tesla!

2019-Q1 will not be much higher than 2018-Q4, but 2019 will be higher.
This is because the production is probably at max in Fremont.