Tesla's set to ramp up production of its electric vehicles to hit the 500,000 mark by 2018, a tenfold increase from the 50,000 cars it assembled and delivered in 2015. Elon Musk, Tesla chief executive, is pushing to expand Tesla's factory in Fremont, California to accommodate production.
To put things in perspective, the company delivered 24,500 cars in the third quarter of the fiscal year, bringing a delivery total of more than 57,000 cars delivered before Q4. Tesla plans to ship 50,000 cars in the second half of 2016. If the goal is achieved, the total cars it will have shipped by the end of the fiscal year would sum up to more than 80,000. If Tesla is targeting 500,000 by 2018, the ambitious growth spurt would have to occur between 2017 and 2018.
Tesla's first preparation for this trajectory is a planned expansion of its California factory. According to the city planning documents published by the San Francisco Chronicle, Tesla plans to double the size of its factory by adding 4.6 million square feet on top of the factory's current size of 4.5 million square feet. The company is looking for possible extra spaces where the expansion can be erected, with the parking lot and the vacant lot beside the test track as two of the many probable options.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the plans Tesla submitted to city officials are scheduled to be discussed by the Fremont Planning Commission on Oct. 13. Once Tesla is given the go signal by the commission and the City Council, the company would follow up with permit applications for the specific planned expansions on the site.
A huge chunk of the targeted 500,000 cars will come from the forthcoming Tesla Model 3, expected to ship at the end of 2017. The Model 3 is a much more affordable Tesla variant out of all the models, marketed as an affordable entry point for potential electric vehicle adopters. The Model 3 was revealed in March this year, and has since garnered 400,000 reservations to date.
Elon Musk wants Tesla to be producing a million cars each year after 2020, a far cry from the paltry 50,000 it was able to assemble and deliver in 2015. To legitimize this massive target, Elon has remarked that it will eventually need to build new factories to pump up the numbers. The surge, while ambitious, might not be entirely impossible. Once the Fremont plans are given the green light, and if Tesla finishes the construction of its Gigafactory, the numbers might be within reach.
Tesla is seemingly having a hard time patching things up with Wall Street, as its stock continues to dip against expectations. But as a silver lining, Musk revealed that a total of 222 million miles have been recorded from autopilot travels. Part of the selling point of Tesla electric vehicles is the revolutionary autopilot feature, and this is one of the features the company must progressively improve if it wants to attract sales in order to justify Musk's goal of 1,000,000 cars each year after 2020.