Teslanomics Predicts Model 3 Production At Almost 200,000 For 2018 – Video


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.

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

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34 Comments on "Teslanomics Predicts Model 3 Production At Almost 200,000 For 2018 – Video"

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The best predictor of 3 production is 3 production. The second best is X production. Given the Gigafactory contractor fiasco with 3 batteries, the refusal to debug the production line before deployment, the lack of capital available to add another 3 production line, and the very painful X ramp (including many items unrelated to the FWDs), my prediction is, at most, 50,000 units for 2018.

Given S/X sales profiles along with slow ramp and the “value-add” of the Model 3 being rare at this time, it actually makes sense to slow-deliver the Model 3. Makes some reservation holders just go get inventory Model S, especially at quarter-end push periods.

I am going to estimate about 4k Model 3 per month for H1 and then a possible ramp for H2. That is 24,000-28,000 for H1 Model 3 and alongside about 8000 S+X combined for about about 12,000/mo H1 sales of 72,000 for H1, but somewhere in there they may announce new reservations for Model Y and other future items that will ramp up the desire to do another capital raise from Wall Street.

It is either that or they come clean as to whether they are willing to really intend to make the $35,000 Model 3 or not.

Six Electrics — So your prediction is that Tesla will stay at the sub-1k units per weeks that they have right now, and make absolutely no progress for an entire year? I think you are unrealistically pessimistic. Bonaire — “… it actually makes sense to slow-deliver the Model 3.” I disagree; Tesla has guided 1k+ production throughout 2018Q1, with the quarter ending at or above 2.5k per week. If they push this back once, it will be bad publicity; if they push it back twice it will be disastrous. Tesla cannot keep drawing on investor goodwill forever, and I think the folks at the top realize this. Also, comments from Mr Musk seem to indicate that the operating costs of keeping the Model 3 line running don’t make sense at low production numbers — and that he is relying on hitting approximately 5k per week to earn much needed margin. I think Tesla genuinely intends to try to hit (or exceed) their projections. “I am going to estimate about 4k Model 3 per month…” I don’t think your numbers add up correctly; the first half (H1) is 26 weeks, this would indicate 104k Model 3’s produced in H1 by your… Read more »

December’s sales averaged 250/wk and November’s was less than 100/wk. you’re talking about 1000/wk as no progress. It’s 400% higher than they are at now. 1000/wk sustained will actually require a lot of “production hell” to achieve!

I am guessing that Math and common sense is not your strong suit

Oh snap! What an ad hominem!

Tesla Q3 production was just over 26K, most of it for model they control and have ramped up the production.

If Tesla can double that number by ramping up M3 product to the same level, that will by an incredible achievement.

So expect production of the model to be between 50K to 100K, and Q3 2018 production should be around 30K for X/S and 20K for model 3. That if everything goes well, but based on the past, expect growing pains.

The chance I’ll hang on to my reservation until it’s actually converted into an order seems to be going ever down. And the probability that I’ll ever have the option to buy a new Model 3 for $35k, as I was foolish enough to hope, must be near zero at this point.

If it was me, I’d look at it this way: any delay gives me more time to increase the size of my down payment, making monthly financing easier.


I think that most people are missing the big picture. It is really not important to know how many cars they will make in 2018. What is important is how many new factories will they build. If Tony Seba is right then 80% of all new cars will just disappear. So say 3 or 4 million new cars will be sold per year in the US. Can Tesla make 3 or 4 million cars from the Giga Factory? The answer is DEFINITELY.

“It is really not important to know how many cars they will make in 2018.”

It’s important in several respects, Alaa:

1. It’s important to those waiting on getting a TM3

2. It’s important to investors, as Tesla’s stock price performance is now largely based on its ability to ramp up TM3 production.

3. It’s important to Tesla’s long-term goal of capturing as much of the growing BEV market as they can. The slower TM3 production is ramped up, the more time other auto makers will have to start selling something that buyers will buy because they can’t get the Tesla car that they want.

And besides, it provides endless excuses for more fluff piece articles about Tesla. 😉

It’s getting cold in here!

200K(elvin) is not much…


After not being able to understand how this guy came up with the cost of his S (or X??) though I’m not sure the #’s he comes up with are really that good anyways though.

Unrealistic prediction based on two data points randomly placed on an S curve. You can’t make a prediction based on that. Using an S curve like that makes it much more important to know exactly where you are on the S curve. I could move those data points to justify any prediction.

Still patiently waiting for the Dual-Motor version. Wonder when that is gonna be available? Supposedly some time this year to be announced, then probably 6+ months after that for first delivery……

Sigh… so long… wife is suggesting getting a used Model S 75D.

As production problems continue to be resolved, the critical metric controlling the 2018 total going forward will be what the conversion rate will be from refundable $1K reservations to $40K-$55K sales contracts.

Especially as the configuration offers go beyond the avid fans who reserved first-day as opposed to those who may not be quite as motivated.

Anyone have stats on how many new configuration offers are going out each week now? And more importantly, anyone have stats on the conversion % among the current batch of offers to 1st day reservation holders?

I rather suspect that Tesla will hold that info as trade secrets, for they same reason they started randomizing VINs: Because they don’t want outsiders to get an accurate gauge of what their current rate of production is.

It’s a good thing (for those of us interested in the performance of Tesla, the company, rather than TSLA, the stock) that Tesla is a public company, because that means they are required to disclose such information in their quarterly financial statements. If Tesla was privately held, we wouldn’t even be getting that!

I’ll be thrilled if they deliver as many in January as Chevy did in December.

Get ready to be thrilled.

If the Model 3 production curve keeps up at roughly the same pace as it has in 2017 (using InsideEVs monthly numbers), then they should deliver approximately 100,000 Model 3s in 2018, then should get to 2500 cars a week in August or September 2018, and they will reach 5000 cars a week around January or February 2019. If we assume that lower production rate in 2017 was a result of now cleared bottlenecks, then Mr. Sullins’ estimate of between 190,000-200,000 seems reasonable.

And extrapolating to 2019 gets us to about a 1,000,000 cars rate by the middle of the year.

The run-rate ceiling is about 10,000 per week, so the most that would be produced in a 6-month period, without adding more capacity, somehow, would be 260,000.

Would be nice if Trevor and I at Model 3 Owners Club got a mention in this article. We made our predictions on our latest episode and 200K is way too high. Hey Domenick, would welcome if you want to talk to us too. We love Ben but there are more opinions out there and we’ve been covering the Model 3 since day 1.

You guys are great. Love the show, attention to detail, insights, dedication etc…

I thought of a new T-Shirt
cross out reservation when the car comes, and underneath write It’s Here! But you probably thought of that already.


I watched the first part of your latest video yesterday evening. 140K and 180K predictions are noted.

I’ve also subscribed to your YouTube channel now, so I’ll try to be more up to date on what you’re discussing.

“Teslanomics Predicts Model 3 Production At Almost 200,000 For 2018”

Well, let’s hope that this prediction is much closer to the mark than Teslanomics’ prediction of 83,000 TM3’s in 2017!


Well, my 2017 in 12/2016 was for 20k, a magnitude lower than Musk’s pronouncement.
So I’m going low again, relatively.
125k Delivered. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t see 50k by mid-summer, that would be a dream. So then how do they triple that get to over 200k. I don’t think so.

I think an evolving important variable is demand, and Tesla’s appetite to sell as they work down the list, and most importantly, the price. This is where those refundable $1,000 deposits convert, or not.

If not enough demand exists north of 40-45k, and not enough will-to-sell exists south of this range, there could be a big swing in the outcome.

Yeah I think a lot of the depositors expected to buy a $35k Tesla. It remains to be seen if it ever materializes.

Yes, if the price is too high I am out. Already got my deposit back on the S , ordered a llooonng time ago when the S was first announced.
I did plonk a $1500 deposit (Australian currency) on the 3, but like others, are not sure whether the price at the end of the wait will be worth it. We will see. ordered 2016 , estimated wait time over 3 years. So you could describe my feelings as both keen, and wary.

The problem with predictions made by Tesla fans is that they are based on projecting their own enthusiasm for the car to the rest of the population. I’m the only Tesla driver in my neighborhood and there isn’t anyone else even remotely interested in a Tesla. It’s just hard to imagine the demand will be there to support that production rate.

His estimate for production in 2017 was of by about 70,000 if I remember correctly, don’t see how anyone can take him seriously.
He’s a fanboy who is getting a free Roadster, the last thing he is going to do is say there not going to make many.
I predict there going to make just over 100,000 Model 3’s but i think most of that will be a late push right at the end of the year, as there will most likely be other problems especially when they start producing the AWD Model 3.

Considering how badly Tesla has scaled in the past, their limited resources and how the ramp date keep slipping quarter after quarter, I think Tesla will struggle to produce 100k model 3’s this year. That is my prediction: less than 100k.