Tesla, World: Overpromised and under-delivered production

Assuming you weren’t distracted from the Tesla Roadster snugly tucked inside a SpaceX rocket hurtling out into the cosmos, you might’ve caught wind of the underwhelming deliveries of the Model 3.

We have to remember, Tesla was supposed to be rolling out 20,000 of these suckers every month by now.

It turns out just 1,543 Model 3s were delivered last quarter. Although there was some good news, such as a record deliveries of the Model S and Model X during the last three months of 2017.

Production bottlenecks and systemic snafus, call them what you will, these mistakes are being fixed, we’re told and the goal of 1 million car sales per year is still on for 2020.

China set a 2019 deadline for its strict production quota for companies to sell a minimum number of new-energy vehicles every year. All sales of vehicles using the internal combustion engine are expected to stop by 2020.

Yet the real kicker here is that China is almost entirely dependent on foreign sources of lithium and cobalt, practically guaranteeing higher lithium demand. If Elon Musk doesn’t secure his own supply of lithium, he’ll soon be in a full-blown panic.

Right now, the battleground is in South America, in an area being called the “Lithium Triangle” that holds more than half of the world’s lithium reserves. When just three companies control 90% of lithium production AND set their own price, Musk will have more to worry about than whether his Roadster makes it to Mars.



Read more about this Tesla EV prospects analysis on Energy & Capital.

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