How big will its impact turn out to be?
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a very happy man right now. Not only will his company soon build the world's largest energy-storing lithium-ion battery for South Australia, but production for mass-market Tesla Model 3 has officially begun, a fact Musk just announced on Twitter. Model 3 SN1 (Serial Number 1) was completed last Friday and the first 30 customers will receive their cars this month as well. Exact production figures haven't been released yet, but Musk previously stated that 100 Model 3s will be built by the end of August.
Another 1,500 units will follow in September. "Production grows exponentially," Musk stated. The Fremont, California production facility, by December hopefully, will be churning at 20,000 Model 3s per month. Assuming that all goes well, production could reach 500,000 units annually by 2018. Tesla has so far received some 400,000 pre-orders and counting for the Model 3. In addition, Tesla's already up and running Gigafactory will have the capacity to produce up to around 500,000 lithium-ion batteries packs per year by 2020. All in all, things appear to be running on schedule for Tesla. In the past, there were several production delays, such as with the Model X.
But it's the Model 3, with its $35,000 base sticker price, that's likely to propel Tesla into the mainstream buying public. Maintaining a production schedule for both the cars and their batteries has never been more vital.