The big news in the US, however, is the start of production at the Austin plant, which will host a grand opening celebration on April 7. Production there will begin with the Model Y but will eventually include Tesla’s long-awaited Cybertruck, possibly in 2023, according to Musk. AutoForecast Solutions estimates the plant will grow to 400,000 vehicles by 2024.
Future production of the delayed tractor-trailer, Musk said, depends on securing battery supplies.
Whether Tesla ever achieves Musk’s 20 million production goal depends heavily on circumstances beyond the company’s control. Even Musk suggested to Berlin that the number could be closer to 10 million, which would still make it one of the largest automakers in the world according to today’s rankings.
“No one outside of Tesla has the capacity to have as many electric vehicles as they do, and absolutely no one has the market share that they have,” Fiorani said.
But it’s relatively early in the transition from combustion engines to electric vehicles, and traditional automakers are making huge investments in their own factories, as well as building new ones.
Automakers such as Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford, Hyundai Motor Group and Toyota are planning dozens of electric models in multiple segments. In a few years, consumers will have significant electric vehicle options other than Tesla, and likely at lower prices. Tesla’s least expensive vehicle, the Model 3, now starts at nearly $50,000 with shipping.
“Tesla is absolutely going to lose market share for electric vehicles because they started out without competition,” Fiorani added. “It doesn’t matter if Tesla doubles or triples in size, the market will grow and other players will come.”