Tesla: Model S Production Now More Than 500 Per Week, Over 12 Million Total Miles Driven So Far

MAR 22 2013 BY JAY COLE 17

Tesla Says More Than 12 Million Miles Have Been Driven To Date In The Model S Electric Sedans

Tesla Says More Than 12 Million Miles Have Been Driven To Date In The Model S Electric Sedans

After spending a month or so hitting the international auto shows/hot sports like Geneva, Amsterdam, and Norway (pretty sure Tesla skipped the Algiers Show which is happening now), Tesla is once again focusing on US production and sales in its tri-weekly bulletin.

After Tesla fell a little short on its Model S sales goals for 2012, thanks to slower than expected production (by about 450 cars), the company boldly set a goal of 4,500 electric sedans to be sold the first quarter…then promptly gave everyone the first week of January off.

Faster, Faster, We've Got Promises To Fufill

Faster, Faster, We’ve Got Promises To Fufill

That extra week of downtime, and some other extenuating circumstances, leads us to believe that Tesla has sold about 2,600 electric sedans though the end of February.  So to say they really need to put it in gear for March, would be an understatement.

Thankfully, according to George Blankenship, who is Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Ownership Experience (and also commission salesman extraordinaire), Tesla is doing just that:

“During the past three weeks we have averaged more than 500 Model S deliveries per week, and it looks like we’ll be setting another record this week.”

Mr. Blankenship notes that the cumulative amount of miles drive in the Tesla Model S is “more than 12 million miles since deliveries first began”. 

The Tesla VP also tells us that of the estimated 6,000 Model S sedans sold to date, that “today we registered our 3,000th Model S in the Golden State.”  We are unsure whether or not having 50% of all sales inside California is a good or bad thing, but it is interesting nonetheless.

Just as a reminder, the Tesla Model S was recently announced as a finalist in the World Green Car of The Year award for 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show, and the winner will be announced at the New York Auto Show a week from now, March 28th, 2013.  Also in the running at the 2013 Renault Zoe, and the 2013 Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid.

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17 Comments on "Tesla: Model S Production Now More Than 500 Per Week, Over 12 Million Total Miles Driven So Far"

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Mr. Blankenship, perhaps if there was greater visibility of the Tesla brand on the east coast, there would be more sold here. Perhaps a gallery in the King Of Prussia mall? May I suggest a few Superchargers in Pennsylvania? I know for a fact there is at least one Model S in Philadelphia. (I wish it was mine) By the way, Hire me.

500/wk still seems pretty slow. To me, a Tesla should be quicker/easier to build than something like a Volt.

I agree it should be easier to build. However the Volt production also ramped up rather slowly, and I recall the same concerns about its rate during the first 8 months. IMHO, 500/week is pretty darn impressive for a bunch of newbies. 😉

It might seem slow, but consider that it only needs to be as fast as its sales rate. If they’re only seeing 1,000 reservations per month, then thats how many then need to make after they get their backlog finished.

And even if they are seeing more reservations than that, it doesn’t make sense to build capacity for more than 400-500 units/week if thats what they expect long-term demand to be.

The interesting questions this raises in my head are that

1) Tesla has significantly reduced the amount of man-hours per vehicle such that their staff isn’t working 70-80 hour weeks to hit 400 cars/week.

2) They want to get as many US orders out of the way before they start working on EU cars in June/July as was recently stated by Elon Musk.

Good points!
They need a cheaper model to fill in the extra production capacity…..but I’m not sure Model X is going to fit that bill. Looks like, if you order a AWD Model X with 85 kwh battery it will almost 100,000 $ just like the S.

Maybe they need a Tesla Twizzy!

I’m with Anthony on this one.

You have to figure this production rush at 500+ units per week is in response to an earlier commitment to shareholders to sell 4,500 in Q1. Pretty sure Tesla worked on cost/labor savings in January/February and now that is out the window again for March (which makes sense to back-end as much as possible).

Tesla needs the good vibes, and market cap nice and high at $4 billion, at least through the next quarterly earnings, or until they can make one more big play at raising capital.

That being said, reservations are way off/low in Q1 (especially if you are looking at a 20k/year ongoing sales rate), so I think it is reasonable to assume the company is going to reset expectations in regards to sales and weekly production at some point later this year.

Nothing wrong with that, as long as they can still manage the business and turn a profit. I think 10k/year is a more reasonable number after the backlog/pre-orders are eaten up by year’s end. Sure its only half of the 20k originally forecast, but that is still a really decent chunk of premium EVs.

12 million ev miles is impressive. The USA Volt’s that are actually signed up for OnStar are “only” at 154 million ev miles. http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car.html

I would love to have one of these.. But I’ll have to wait for them to come up with something else. Primarily, I would want a Tesla that has these qualities:
-Something a bit smaller. Model S and X are too long.
-Front wheel drive.
-Less than $40,000.

That’s what I’m thinking. I want stylish/fast/250mile range, $40K pricing. However, i’m still leery about buying from a new car company.

Maybe they need focus more attention on their lower-price models, because the market for the $80k ones will disappear eventually (maybe sooner rather than later).

“250mile range, $40K pricing”

How does 2020 sound ?

I think even that is optimistic. But hopefully in my lifetime.
I also think to get a realistic 250 mile range for how I drive, I’d need 100kWh. So battery engineers have their work cut out for them. I’m sure others can do a lot better than me, especially in the more temperate climates.

An under $40K Tesla and I’m there! I considered an S but it’s too expensive even with tax credits and too big. Go Tesla! Go Elon! This guy is a national treasure, he really is changing the world.

I also would love a Tesla if it were less than $40k and smaller. They also have to get the vampire load of the S under control – burning 3-5 kWh / day just sitting there is insane for a “green” car.

Good for Tesla!

Looking at other $80k+ luxury sedans, the Model S outsells them all by more than double. If demand keeps up with 500/weekly, they are doing very well.

As a pretty happy Roadster owner, anyone know the pricing of the Detroit Electric Roadster?

It has a chance to be the number one selling EV in 2013… you never know.


Good chance that it could be world sales leader of EVs for 2013. But probably not in 2014 once all initial reservations are done with.