Tesla produced and delivered more than 200,000 electric cars in the second quarter of 2021, it said on Friday (US time) – a record for the company and more than double its efforts for the same period last year.
Of these, almost 99% were Model 3 and Model Y cars. Just 2,340 Model S and X were made and even less – 1,890 – delivered, with premium customers no doubt waiting for the unveiling of the Plaid tri-motor Model S and Model X earlier in June.
Tesla CEO and co-founder Elon Musk congratulated the Tesla team via Twitter, saying, “Congrats Tesla Team on over 200,000 car built & delivered in Q2, despite many challenges!!”
Congrats Tesla Team on over 200,000 car built & delivered in Q2, despite many challenges!!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 2, 2021
The first half of 2021 has been challenging for many sectors, as a global semiconductor shortage led companies to over-ordering, compared by Musk to a Covid-related toiler paper rush in June.
Our biggest challenge is supply chain, especially microcontroller chips. Never seen anything like it.
Fear of running out is causing every company to overorder – like the toilet paper shortage, but at epic scale.
That said, it’s obv not a long-term issue.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 2, 2021
While the second-quarter figures fell short of some analyst expectations, they broke Tesla’s previous record of 185,000 cars delivered in the first quarter of 2021.
Tesla barely missed its calendar 2020 deliver target of 500,000, but in the first six months of 2021 it has already delivered nearly 80% that figure.
In the first quarter, Tesla halted production of its Model S and Model X lines to prepare for a design refresh. It is also in the throes of completing construction of two more factories, one in Texas, USA and one in Berlin, Germany.
The Texas factory will focus on production of the as-yet-unreleased Cybertruck, while the Berlin factory will concentrate on making Model Ys for the European market, using giant casting machines to make whole rear and then front end body pieces thereby reducing parts required and manufacturing costs.
It is understood that both sites will also make 4680 battery cells, with Musk saying the Berlin site would become “the biggest battery factory in the world“.
After releasing Tesla’s 2020 production numbers in January, Musk said, “The factory is the product,” underscoring the impact both factories, and particular the stamping process as well as the new 4680 battery lines, would have on electric vehicle production and cost
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.