Tesla achieved a record production month in June, and has increased its global deliveries by 50% in the first half of 2022 compared to 2021, with 254,695 electric cars worldwide in the second quarter.
More than 242,000 Model 3 and Model Ys were produced by the Texas-headquartered company, while 16,411 Model S and Model X were also made.
The delivery numbers are an 18% drop from the previous quarter (310,048), due to the shuttering of the EV maker’s Shanghai factory and the resulting industry-wide supply chain challenges, which have affected Australian deliveries particularly badly.
But as Tesla noted in its press release on Saturday, “June 2022 was the highest vehicle production month in Tesla’s history.”
And in comparison to the second quarter of 2021, Tesla deliveries increased by 26.5%, underlining Tesla’s long-term growth despite the recent difficulties. Year-to-date deliveries are up 46%, from 386,050 for the first half of 2021 to 564,743 in the same period of 2022.
It also demonstrates how crucial Tesla’s manufacturing in Shanghai is to the company’s operations. In March, Tesla shut down its Shanghai manufacturing several times as a result of an increase in COVID-19 cases that led to a partial government-ordered closure.
As reported by The Driven’s Riz Akhtar, this closure directly affected the import of Tesla EVs into Australia in the second quarter. While 4,417 cars were delivered in the first quarter of 2022, it is expected Tesla will report in coming days around 200 for the subsequent quarter.
The challenge for Tesla now is cash flow as it works to rapidly ramp up production at its new Berlin and Texas EV factories.
It was widely reported in late June in an interview with the Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley that Tesla boss Elon Musk said, “Both Berlin and Austin factories are gigantic money furnaces right now. It’s really like a giant roaring sound, which is the sound of money on fire.”
While it made a great soundbite for much of the mainstream media at the time, higher outgoings are to be expected as the company enters another phase of growth. Analysts also expect the shutdowns in China, where it is thought most of its free cash flow is generated, will also put a leash on the ability to outlay cash.
The next quarter will see Tesla expand the Model Y – which in May topped SUV sales in China – into more right-hand markets including Australia and New Zealand.
Having opened order books for the Model Y in early June, the high local interest has already drawn a “promise” from Musk to further ramp up Model Y production. Deliveries are expected to commence locally in August.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.