Tesla Has (Probably) Built Its 50,000th Model S


It’s been just a little over two years since the first Tesla Model S was delivered to a customer, and in that time the company has become the pre-eminent electric automaker in the world. According to estimates by Hybrid Cars, Tesla should build its 50,000th Model S sedan sometime this month.

Though Tesla’s quarterly financial report hasn’t been released yet, through the end of September an estimated 49,928 Model S sedans had been built for customers worldwide. That’s nearly double the culmative Tesla deliveries from June 2012 through December of 2013, when Tesla announced it had built some 25,000 electric vehicles. That’s a huge leap in less than a year, and by the end of 2014 the Tesla EVs could become the most popular in America, which is currently the automaker’s largest market.

This growth can be largely attributed to a recent retooling which has increased production to up to 2,500 vehicles a week, which much of that tooling is reserved for the (once again delayed) Model X SUV. These numbers are right on track with Elon Musk’s plans to sell 35,000 vehicles this year, and 75,000 by the end of 2015. The Model X stands to make up a huge chunk of Tesla’s business, though the Model S remains in high-demand.

Tesla itself doesn’t seem ready to make a big deal out of a major milestone celebrated by other electric automakers, though I imagine there will be quite the celebration once the company reaches six figure sales. In comparison, the Nissan LEAF only just surpassed 100,000 global sales this summer, after nearly four years on the market, and it was back in February of 2013 that Nissan crossed the 50,000 unit market.

If Tesla keeps up this momentum, by this time next year the automaker should be ready to build its 100,000th electric vehicle. That’s a milestone worth celebrating.

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.