Elon Musk has made a staggering prediction for the next five years. During Tesla’s third quarter earnings call on Wednesday, the CEO announced that the company had reached a grand total of a quarter of a million electric cars delivered since its inception. But Tesla’s biggest days, Musk claimed, are still to come.
“Five years ago we had only delivered 2,500 cars, so the Tesla fleet has grown by a factor of 100 in five years,” Musk said. “I would expect five years from now to be at least an order of magnitude beyond where we are right now and possibly even close to two orders of magnitude.”
That means Musk expects Tesla is 2023 to have shipped at least 2.5 million cars overall, and possibly even edging toward a staggering figure of 25 million. It’s not that big a figure when compared to traditional automakers, as General Motors sold around 10 million cars globally last year. But it’s huge in the context of the electric vehicle market, as last year there was only around 1.2 million battery electric vehicles on the road.
The Model 3 forms a key part of this production increase. The $35,000 car, which entered production in July, is expected to reach a broader audience with its lower price. However, production has hit a bottleneck as the company works through issues with a subcontractor. Musk said in July that Tesla could reach 20,000 cars per month in December, but in the earnings call, a new goal was set of 5,000 cars per week by March next year.
At the moment, production is gradual. Tesla shared footage of the robots in action with the disclaimer that “if you can see the robot move, it’s too slow”:
The Model 3 is envisioned as a 10-year project, though, so Musk is hopeful that this slowdown of a few months will be minor in the grand scheme of things.
Right after his statement, Musk had a message for the doubters: don’t underestimate Tesla.
“For the skeptics out there, I’d like to say – ask them which one of you predicted that Tesla would go from 2,500 units delivered to 250,000 units delivered now,” Musk said. “I suspect the answer is zero.”
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