Tesla delivered 936,172 electric vehicles in 2021, with the fourth-quarter setting a new record

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A parking lot of predominantly new Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles is seen in Richmond, California, U.S. June 22, 2018.

Stephen Lam | Reuters

Tesla on Sunday said it delivered 308,600 electric vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021, beating its previous single-quarter record as well as analysts’ expectations. The automaker produced 305,840 fully electric vehicles total during the same period.

For the full year, Tesla delivered 936,172 vehicles, an 87% increase versus 2020 when it reported its first annual profit on deliveries of 499,647.

In the third quarter of 2021, vehicle deliveries reached 241,300, Tesla’s previous best quarter.

According to a consensus compiled by FactSet, Wall Street analysts had anticipated Tesla deliveries of 267,000 in the fourth quarter and 897,000 for all of 2021.

Deliveries are the closest approximation of sales reported by CEO Elon Musk’s electric car company.

Tesla combines delivery numbers for its higher-priced Model S and X vehicles, and lower-priced Model 3 and Y vehicles. The company does not break out sales or production numbers by region.

Deliveries of its flagship Model S sedan and Model X falcon wing SUV represented just under 3% of Tesla’s total deliveries in 2021. Model 3 and Model Y deliveries amounted to 296,850 in the final quarter of 2021, and 911,208 for the full year.

Tesla makes Model 3 and Model Y vehicles at its factory in Shanghai and in Fremont, California, but only produces the Model X and S in Fremont.

Shrugging off shortages

At Tesla’s 2021 annual shareholder meeting, Musk bemoaned a year marked by supply chain problems that made it difficult to obtain enough microchips and other unspecified parts.

Throughout the second year of a global coronavirus pandemic, Tesla was able to increase vehicle deliveries by ramping up production at its first overseas factory in Shanghai, and by making technical changes to the cars that it produces in Fremont, California, so that it could ditch some parts altogether.

Notably, Tesla announced in May that it was removing radar sensors from Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built for customers in North America. Those cars now rely on a camera-based system to enable Tesla’s driver assistance features such as traffic-adjusted cruise control or automatic lane-keeping.

Looking ahead

Industry outlook

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