Tesla Shattered Its Own Record in Q3 2020

Sales of electric vehicles are a small but growing number. Electric vehicles make up about 2 percent of new vehicle sales. Tesla helps to create a good portion of this growing market, and its record-breaking third quarter helps demonstrate its dominance.

Tesla’s Q3 2020 record

Tesla set a new record in the third quarter, which ended on September 30, 2020, delivering 139,300 vehicles, according to Car and Driver. This topped its previous record from the third quarter of 2019 when 112,000 vehicles were delivered. It manufactured even more vehicles during the third quarter, building 145,036 total vehicles.

Tesla explained that its new vehicle delivery has become more efficient. The time needed from manufacturing to delivery has decreased, which is also decreasing Tesla’s inventory. Tesla also pointed out that its delivery numbers are calculated in a conservative way, only counting a delivery after the vehicle is transferred to the customer and paperwork is completed. True delivery numbers could be higher by up to 0.5 percent or more.

During the first three quarters of 2020, Tesla sold a total of 318,000 vehicles. With the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily closing factories located in Fremont, California, and Shanghai, China, that number is lower than it might have been. Tesla even filed a suit to reopen its California facility sooner than permitted, but the company and the county were able to reach an agreement.

Sales figures for Tesla’s models

According to Inside EVs, in the first half of 2020, Tesla dominated the battery-electric only market and was the top-selling company for the overall electric market of plug-in electric vehicles plus battery-electric only vehicles. Tesla had a 19 percent share of the overall electric market and an impressive 28 percent share of the battery-electric only market.

Looking at the recently closed third quarter, Tesla showed very strong sales of the Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. While the company didn’t provide sales figures for its individual vehicle models, it did sell 15,200 of Model S and Model X and 124,100 of Model 3 and Model Y.

Inside EVs also mentioned that the Model 3 and Model Y sales are up 56 percent year-over-year, with 280,643 sales in 2020 through the third quarter. Sales for the Model S and Model X are down 13 percent year-over-year, with 38,044 sold in 2020 through the third quarter. The Model 3 is the best-selling Tesla model and best-selling electric vehicle worldwide, according to Inside EVs. Teslas are the preferred brand in 21 out of 60 countries examined, with the Model 3 being the favorite in 19 of those countries.

The full lineup at Tesla

People look at electric vehicles at a Tesla store
A Tesla store in Shanghai, China | Yan Daming/VCG via Getty Images

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Tesla currently sells four models. The Model 3, the most affordable Tesla, is available in Standard Plus, Performance, and Long Range. Their ranges increase from 250 miles to 299 miles to 322 miles. The Model Y crossover seats up to seven people. The Performance trim has a range of 280 miles, while the Long Range AWD offers 316 miles.

The Model S and Model X are the two larger options. The Model S is offered as the Performance or the Long Range Plus. The Model S Performance is a sedan that seats five and has a range of 348 miles. It also has the fastest acceleration, going from 0 to 60 MPH in just 2.4 seconds, according to Inside EVs. The Model S Long Range Plus increases that to 391 miles. The Model X crossover can seat up to seven people. Its Performance version has a range of 305 miles, and the Long Range Plus version has a range of 351 miles.

Tesla offers several models for buyers to select from. And, buyers have been selecting lots of Tesla cars, giving the company a record-setting third quarter.