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Published on January 11th, 2018 | by Steve Hanley


Teslanomics Predicts 192,576 Tesla Model 3 Sedans Will Be Manufactured In 2018

January 11th, 2018 by  

Ben Sullins has created a nice little online business for himself with his Teslanomics channel on YouTube. Sullins has built a following by doing a credible job of taking the numbers Tesla provides, stripping away the hype, and having fun with numbers.

Teslanomics Model 3 production ramp

In his latest video, Sullins takes the guidance Tesla provided when it released its Q4 numbers, which said the company expected to hit 2,500 cars a week by the end of Q1 in 2018 and 5,000 cars by the end of Q2. Ben thinks that steep a ramp-up is unrealistic. Based on his 20 years of experience doing data analysis for industry, he thinks the logarithmic S curve to describe such a rapid ramp is just too steep. A more realistic production ramp would see Tesla getting to 5,000 cars a week by late this year or early in 2019.

Sullins’ estimate is not what a lot of Model 3 reservation holders or investors want to hear, but he believes it is realistic. If his forecast holds true, Tesla will build 192,576 Model 3’s in 2018. If Tesla’s numbers turn out to be accurate, the total for the year doesn’t change all that much, with about 245,000 cars being produced this year.

Part of Ben Sullins’ skepticism centers on the company’s claim that it would be building 1,000 cars a week by January 7. He personally doubts the accuracy of that statement and it is that doubt that has led him to make a more conservative estimate than Tesla’s. On another topic, Sullins has looked at the data to guesstimate when the federal EV tax credit will terminate for Tesla. Here’s what his analysis suggests:

You can see how that matches up with CleanTechnica’s take here: “330,000 Tesla Model 3 US Reservation Holders (Buyers) Could Take Advantage of the Federal EV Tax Credit.”

Teslanomics thinks Tesla will hit 200,000 total sales in Q2 of 2018. The federal tax credit continues for another quarter after that and then drops to 50% for 2 quarters and 25% for 2 quarters. So, Tesla buyers should get at least some federal tax credit through the third quarter of 2019. After that, the credit will likely disappear completely.

As part of his number crunching, Sullins has concluded that Elon Musk’s claim that the company will be building 10,000 cars a week by the end of 2018 is simply not realistic. In fact, he doubts the current production line at the Fremont factory can ever get to that level. He has no insider information but his industry experience suggests that 5,000 a week is much more credible number. Of course, Elon never said all those cars will necessarily be built at the Fremont factory.

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About the Author

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island. You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.

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