Tesla Builds Its 300,000th EV, Nissan LEAF Lead Looking Shaky

Believe it or not, the Japanese electric hatchback is still the world's all-time best-selling EV with over 350,000 units. Despite not really making the news so much, the highly debated model turned out to be more of a silent doer.
Tesla Model 3 1 photo
Photo: Tesla Inc.
However, 350,000 units over an eight-year period are far from impressive - it equates to just over 40,000 units each year. By comparison, Tesla's output in 2017 was somewhere around the 100,000 mark, and that's without receiving much help from the Model 3, its potential best-seller. Elon Musk's company delivered just short of 30,000 EVs in the last quarter of 2017 alone, making it the clear favorite for gaining the top spot by the end of the year.

It all depends on how the Model 3 production shapes up. The current goal is to reach 2,500 units a week by the end of next month, and a weekly output of 5,000 units by the end of the second quarter. If those numbers are met, the Nissan LEAF needs nothing short of a miracle to retain its top seller position.

Meanwhile, the Japanese brand is confident its second-generation LEAF launched last year will manage to do just that. It doesn't mention what it bases its very assured position on, but you know how every parent sees their child as the most beautiful in the world, so it's probably a case of that.

Tesla, on the other hand, is already breathing down its neck. According to electrek, the shareholders have received a proxy statement about the new compensation plan for Elon Musk for them to vote on. While that's of no interest to us, the paper also mentions the fact Musk had completed nine of his ten milestones in his previous compensation plan, one of which was the "aggregate vehicle production of 300,000 vehicles."

With just over 286,000 vehicles delivered until the end of 2017, that must have been pretty close. However, if the Model S and Model X maintain their average over the past six quarters - which puts them at around 25,000 units every three months - and the Model 3 reaches its 20,000 units monthly rate by the start of the summer, Tesla would be making roughly 85,000 cars every quarter. That's 340,000 units a year. And with enough Model 3 reservation holders remaining, it shouldn't have any problems finding new owners for each and every one of them.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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