Tesla deliveries grow 70 percent sequentially to 24.5K cars in Q3

Tesla is making progress in increasing the pace of its vehicle deliveries, as well as its vehicle production, according to a press release issued by the company on Sunday. The electric car maker delivered around 24,500 cars in its fiscal Q3 this year, including 15,800 Model S and 8,700 Model X. That’s a 70 percent jump from Q2’s 14,402 total deliveries, and Tesla says they’re estimating on the low side, since a delivery only counts if the customer actually has the car in hand, and all the paperwork has gone through.

For example, Tesla says there were 5,500 vehicles “in transit to customers,” but none of these were counted in the Q3 total, and will instead be reflected in the Q4 quarter, which Tesla anticipates will be “at or slightly above” Q3 for deliveries. Likewise for production, which hit 25,185 vehicles in Q3, up from 18,345 in Q2.

Tesla’s progress in delivering and making cars will mean it can achieve its existing guidance of delivering 50,000 cars during the second half of 2016, which is essentially how many it delivered during all of 2015 (50,580). The ramp up in production is impressive, but it also shows just how far Tesla still has to go in order to match CEO Elon Musk’s ambitious targets of producing 500,000 electric vehicles annually by 2018, and 1 million per year by 2020.

Sill, the company is making progress – its order volume for Q3 2016 represents an over 100 percent increase in deliveries vs. the same quarter in 2015, for instance. If it can keep up that pace of growth with existing facilities until they reach saturation, and add on new manufacturing capacity at the same time, 500k cars per year in a couple of years’ time starts to look achievable.