The big news in the U.S., however, is the start of production at the Austin plant, which will host an opening celebration on April 7. Production there will begin with the Model Y but will eventually include Tesla’s long-awaited Cybertruck, perhaps in 2023, according to Musk. AutoForecast Solutions estimates the plant will ramp up to 400,000 vehicles by 2024.
Future production of the delayed Semi tractor-trailer, Musk said, depends on securing battery supplies.
Whether Tesla ever achieves anywhere near Musk’s 20 million production target depends heavily on circumstances beyond the company’s control. Even Musk suggested in Berlin that the number could be closer to 10 million, which would still make it among the biggest automakers in the world by today’s rankings.
“Nobody outside of Tesla has the capacity for as many electric vehicles as they do, and absolutely nobody has the market share that they do,” Fiorani said.
But it’s relatively early in the transition from combustion engines to EVs, and legacy automakers are making huge investments in their own plants, as well as building new ones.
Automakers such as Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Hyundai Motor Group and even Toyota are planning dozens of electric models in multiple segments. In a few years, consumers will have significant non-Tesla EV options, and likely at lower price points. Tesla’s most inexpensive vehicle, the Model 3, now starts at nearly $50,000 with shipping.
“Tesla is absolutely going to lose market share for EVs because they started with no competition,” Fiorani added. “It doesn’t matter if Tesla were to double or triple its size, the market is going to grow and there are going to be other players coming in.”