Tesla has made its millionth car

Tesla has made its millionth car

Is it affirming its place as the most important company in electric motoring?

TESLA’S enigmatic founder and CEO Elon Musk has revealed that the American company has made its millionth car.

Between musings such as “Coachella should postpone itself until it stops sucking” and “the coronavirus panic is dumb”, Musk announced the milestone on his twitter feed, alongside a picture of Tesla employees surrounding the millionth car, which was a red Model Y, the company’s mid-size SUV.

Last year it was revealed that sales of the Tesla Model 3, the company’s entry level car, had outstripped those of the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes Benz C-Class and the Audi A4 in Europe. In 2019, largely thanks to the success of the Model 3, Tesla’s sales in Western Europe more than tripled.

The compact saloon has an impressive range of 348 miles on the WLTP cycle in long range spec, at a cost of £47,000, when the government’s £3,500 plug-in car grant is included. However it is available from £39,000 with a 254-mile range between charges.

However, the Palo Alto company may struggle more this year, according to Forbes, as it faces heavier competition from competitors such as Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Polestar (a Volvo offshoot) and BMW.

BMW unveiled the i4 concept last week, which will hit the roads at some time in 2021. BMW claims that the i4 will have a range of up to 373 miles and the ability to do 0-60mph in four seconds.

All car companies are likely to struggle in 2020 due to supply chain issues related to the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Musk followed up the tweet this morning with a nod to one of his early stated ambitions of disrupting the car market and rapidly accelerating the industry’s move to electric vehicles, saying, “to those who quietly help advance the causes we mutually believe in, knowing advancing the cause is the only reward: thank you”.

He also showed no sign of slowing down, tweeting that Tesla is ‘scouting locations for Cybertruck Gigafactory” in the central USA. Gigafactories are huge-scale battery production plants. The Cybertruck is Telsa’s polarising electric pickup truck, which will be rolled out to customers in 2021.

One million cars is a huge milestone for the company, which was only founded in 2003 and didn’t release its first production car until 2008, in the form of the Tesla Roadster. Many people argue it could be the most important car in the history of electric vehicles. The car was based on a Lotus Elise chassis, had a range of over 200 miles and could do 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds. Elon Musk’s personal Roadster, incidentally, went into space.

In 2017, Musk announced that an all-new Roadster is in the works, and the comparison shows how far the company has come. The new iteration has a purported range of 620 miles, a 0-60mph of 1.9 seconds and a top speed over 250mph. Musk even claimed it can fly.