Elon Musk has an ambitious goal for 2030 for Tesla. He wants the US automaker to be producing 20 million vehicles a year by the end of 2030.
For some context, Tesla’s current production and delivery rate is just above a million cars a year. Zooming out and looking at the overall auto market, the top selling automaker in the world last year was Toyota, with 9,562,483 sales. Zooming out even a bit further, pre-pandemic, in 2019, the top selling automaker in the world was Volkswagen Group, with 10,975,352 sales. So, Elon Musk’s goal of 20 million vehicles a year is … well, ambitious may be an understatement. Nonetheless, the automaker is marching on with that goal in sight.
With its humble beginnings taking over the NUMMI factory in Silicon Valley, California, in 2010, Tesla has come a long way. Not many — Elon Musk included — expected Tesla to take over that old GM–Toyota factory in 2010 and a decade later be the guiding force behind a massive industry-wide transition to electric cars, trucks, and SUVs. Very few at that time expected Tesla would be producing a million cars a year in 2022.
Tesla relied on that Fremont factory for years in order to get off the ground financially in a sustainable way. Then, once the opportunity arose and Tesla had started true automobile mass production, it quickly built and opened up a factory in Shanghai, China. It’s those two factories together that brought Tesla to a manufacturing run rate of a million cars a year. However, 1 million is far from 20 million and backup was quickly arranged from two new gigafactories — one in Germany and one in Texas. The Texas gigafactory is expected to be huge, as it has been designated Tesla’s new global headquarters. At this point, though, it is arguably in its seed stage, or maybe the better metaphor is that it’s just barely sprouting.
The big milestone of the month at “Giga Texas” is that it just recently rolled out its 10,000th vehicle.
10,000 Model Ys built at Giga Texas to date pic.twitter.com/4cOlnpCRa0
— Tesla (@Tesla) September 17, 2022
The first 10,000 feel like they took a while, but I’m sure the next 10,000 will come fast, and it won’t be long at all until this milestone feels quaint and irrelevant. In Tesla’s Q2 shareholder report, the company noted an installed annual production capacity of >250,000. That doesn’t mean that Tesla has hit a production rate of >250,000/year, but it does mean the manufacturing equipment is in place that makes that rate of production possible. And that’s just concerning production of the Tesla Model Y. Tesla also plans to produce the Cybertruck there.
And, being a “gigafactory” (rather than simply a factory), Tesla also has a battery production component at play in The Lone Star State. From that aforementioned 2nd quarter shareholder report, Tesla writes, “In Texas, we have added flexibility to produce vehicles with either a structural battery pack or legacy battery pack. The next generation of 4680 battery cell machinery has been installed in Texas and is in the process of commissioning. Factory output in Texas continues to grow.”
We’ll see what Tesla’s update is in the 3rd quarter 2022 shareholder report and conference call.
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