Skip to main content

Tesla delivered more electric cars in 2019 than in any previous year

Tesla took a big step closer to becoming a mainstream automaker in 2019. The automaker said it delivered 367,500 electric cars — 50 percent more than the previous year. That still makes Tesla a relatively small player in the auto industry — Toyota said it delivered more than 2 million cars in North America alone in 2019 — but shows that the company is making progress in scaling up car production.

In the fourth quarter alone, Tesla said it produced 104,891 cars, and delivered 112,000. The automaker didn’t provide a full breakdown, but the Model 3 accounted for the majority of those fourth-quarter numbers. Tesla said it built 86,958 of the sedans in the fourth quarter, and delivered 92,550. Fourth-quarter production and delivery totals for the Model S and Model X were lumped together by Tesla. The combined production total was just 17,933 cars, with deliveries of 19,450 cars.

The vast majority of cars are still built at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, but the company recently opened a second assembly plant in Shanghai. The factory went from groundbreaking to car production in just 10 months. The initial batch of Model 3 electric cars built at the Shanghai factory were earmarked for employees. Tesla said it has produced just under 1,000 “customer salable” cars in Shanghai, and claims the factory is capable of building up to 3,000 cars a week.

As always, Tesla noted that its delivery figures are conservative. The automaker said it only considers a car to be delivered once it is “transferred to the customer and all paperwork is correct.” Final numbers could vary by 0.5 percent or more, according to Tesla, which claimed the numbers already published are in line with previous guidance. Tesla will release full fourth-quarter 2019 financial results at a later date.

Tesla faces increasing competition from established automakers, which are finally getting around to launching more long-range electric cars, and a host of new startups. But the Silicon Valley firm has managed to keep ahead by continually updating its cars, and promising more new vehicles.

In November 2019, Tesla unveiled its first pickup truck to thunderous applause from fans. Dubbed Cybertruck, the vehicle features an unusual, angular design and stainless-steel construction. The unveiling generated a flurry of reservations, but Tesla doesn’t plan to start production until late 2021. Keep in mind that Tesla already has three other new vehicles — the Model Y crossover, Roadster sports car, and an electric semi truck — waiting in the wings.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Tesla used car market no longer as lucrative, data shows
Tesla Model Y One Millionth Car

The cost of a used Tesla is starting to fall, new data shows.

Up until fairly recently, it seemed that customers were happy to pay more for a used Tesla than a new one to avoid having to spend months on a waitlist. The buoyant market also proved lucrative for current owners who found they could make a few bucks by selling their Tesla electric vehicle (EV). But that opportunity now looks to be disappearing fast.

Read more
Tesla to fix window software on 1M of its U.S. cars
A 2021 Tesla Model S.

Tesla is sending out an over-the-air update to a million of its vehicles in the U.S. to fix faulty window software that could leave occupants with pinched fingers.

According to a document issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Tesla engineers discovered that the affected vehicles may not meet certain automatic window reversal system requirements. It said that in some cases, the window may exert more force before automatically retracting when sensing an obstruction such as a person’s fingers. The condition “may increase the risk of a pinching injury to the occupant,” the NHTSA’s document says.

Read more
Are EVs more expensive than gas cars? It’s complicated
Front three quarter view of the 2022 Volvo C40 Recharge electric car.

Cost is a major consideration no matter what kind of car you're buying. Electric vehicles are great options for helping to save the environment, but what use is that if they're outside of your budget? Let's take a look at the factors that go into pricing electric vehicles and see how they stack up against traditional cars.

Do electric vehicles cost more than traditional cars?
Electric vehicles have a higher up-front cost than gas cars but are less expensive over the course of their lifetime, primarily due to cheaper fuel. Several studies break down this total cost of ownership. Consumer Reports estimates that "for all EVs analyzed, the lifetime ownership costs were many thousands of dollars lower than all comparable ICE (internal combustion engines) vehicles’ costs, with most EVs offering savings of between $6,000 and $10,000."

Read more