What Tesla achieved in Quarter 4 of 2021 was nothing short of amazing. The company produced 305,840 vehicles, a dramatic increase over the 179,757 produced during the same time just one year ago.
The quarter was led by Model 3 and Y, producing a massive 292,731 and delivering 296,850. While Tesla doesn’t split these models out in their data, it is safe to say the Model Y outsold the Model 3 for the first time this year, with the mid-sized SUV appealing to more customers.
The refreshed Model S and Model X continued to ramp in Q4, with 13,109 produced and 11,750 delivered, compared to 8,941 produced and 9,275 deliveries in Q3, 2021. Again Tesla doesn’t separate these out, but given the Model X has only recently begun shipping, we can expect a majority of these to be the Model S.
While Tesla officially guided for a 50% growth in production over the last year, the reality was dramatically better, with an 83% growth in production and 87% growth in deliveries. For the full 2021 calendar year, Tesla produced a massive 930,422 and delivered 936,172 to customers.
With various logistics challenges determining the actual delivery numbers, in many ways, the production numbers are more important. If we average these per month, Tesla on average produced 77,535 vehicles each month in 2021. That equates to 17,892 per week and 2,549 cars per day.
It is stunning to consider that Tesla produced just over 500,000 for the entire year in 2021, to produce 305,840 in a single quarter now, shows just how dramatic this growth really is, particularly with the background of the Covid-19 pandemic and global supply shortages.
These numbers are seriously impressive, something other EV startups could only dream of, and Tesla is now selling EVs in numbers that are propelling the company to one of scale that should scare legacy OEMs. Not only has Tesla’s Market Cap exceeded that of many other automakers, but their production numbers are also set to exceed many others in the next couple of years as well.
If we annualise the Q4 numbers, Tesla would produce around 1.2M vehicles in a year, but clearly, they’ll make a lot more than that in 2022. This year, Tesla will turn on two new factories, with Giga Texas and Giga Berlin and while they’ll take some time to ramp to full production, these combined are capable of almost doubling Tesla’s current capacity.
With these 4 models, Tesla appears to have a license to print money and that money is being re-invested into more factories to make more cars. They designed cars that people want, with the right balance of features, range and price, they have constructed a winning formula here.
What we don’t know is how well Tesla will do with the production of the Cybertruck, that’s still a big unknown at this point and if things go well, we’ll see Tesla start to make a dent in the Million+ order book in the second half of this year.
2022 will also be a story about Tesla’s new in-house battery tech, with their new 4680 cells designed to have 5x the energy density, offer 16% more range and 6x the power. These have been in pilot production at the Kato Road facility for many months now and this year are expected to make their way into high-performance vehicles like the Cybertruck and Tesla Semi.
This new battery form factor comes with a range of new aspects, particularly a new cooling technique and as a pack will combine to form a structural part of the vehicle. Again, there are more unknowns here and it’s all down to execution, something Tesla has had good success to date within recent times, but there are big variables at play here.
In many ways, 2022 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years for the company. I expect we’ll see Tesla set another 50% growth target, which they will again smash as they have done this year, leaving other OEMs to wish they’d started their EV transitions a lot earlier.