Can Tesla Sell 500,000 Vehicles In 2020?

tesla-potential-annual-sales_largeThis year, Tesla Motors hopes to sell approximately 35,000 Model S sedans. By 2020 though, Tesla plans to sell 500,000 electric vehicles. Can they do it?

This chart that Motley Fool attributes to Tesla and an interview with Automotive News shows that after this year, production of the Tesla Model S and Model X is anticipated to double annually. Once the Gen III car (formerly known as the Tesla Model E) hits dealerships, production is predicted to explode from 150,000 in 2017 to somewhere around 500,000 just three years later.

2020 could be a huge year for Tesla, as it will also see a Model S redesign, as well as a new Gen III convertible and sporty model. Take these charts with a whole shaker of salt though, as Tesla has a history of delaying production of its cars until Elon Musk approves of every detail. That helped win hearts and minds with the Model S, but by setting the bar so high, Tesla isn’t making things any easier for itself.

This plan also hitches on a smooth road without any major setbacks or opposition from automakers or dealership groups. The Tesla Gigafactory also needs to get up-and-running to meet that kind of demand, and such growth hinges on Elon’s ability to keep both stocks and hype built up. China is also a major player in Tesla’s anticipated growth, and the passage of a recent EV tax exemption that applies to both foreign and domestic surely produced a sigh of relief among investors.

There are still a lot of “Ifs” that have to fall into place for Tesla to surpass the annual sales of Mazda while causing rivals like Mercedes to reevaluate their EV plans. Such growth hasn’t been seen in the auto industry for decades, but so far Elon Musk and Tesla Motors have done everything else people have said was impossible.

It may not be a smooth or easy road, but most things worth doing are rarely easy.

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.