Tesla Reaches 1 Billion Miles Driven, Forecasts More Growth

Tesla Motors (TSLA) has reached a new milestone. Not since Ford Motor Co. debuted on Wall Street (with an IPO) in 1956 has a publicly traded American car company made this much progress so quickly. 

Tesla has passed the 1 billion miles driven mark, an impressive milesteone, as all the miles logged by Tesla Motors have been 100% electric. According to Tesla, "In just the three years since Model S hit the road, owners have traveled the equivalent of over 4,000 trips to the moon, or almost 40,000 times around the Earth. Driving electric miles, Tesla owners have saved more than half a million tons of CO2 and, by skipping trips to the gas station, they’ve saved more than $175 million in fill ups. A billion miles on a fleet of just under 75,000 Model S is a testament to the safety and durability of Model S and the ease of charging and driving electric vehicles." Check out Tesla's corresponding infographic (and video) that represents the 1 billion miles equivalency to some of these other notable metrics...


Source: Tesla Motors

Tesla also included a few other helpful charts that showcase how much time and money has been saved during these 1 billion miles. In addition, growth charts provide timeframe and worldwide contribution (by region) of miles driven, see below...


Source: Tesla Motors

Of special note, Tesla miles driven still only represent only 7% in the Asia Pacific region (see above). It's likely that this region could provide significant growth in the years ahead. But sales are rapidly increasing in Asia Pacific's biggest market, China. Vehicle licensing data gathered by the China Automobile Dealers Association suggested that Tesla China sold 2,499 electric cars last year... however, [already] in the first quarter, sales revived with 1,055 new Tesla vehicles being licensed, according to marketing consultancy JL Warren Capital.

Along with this accelerated worldwide growth we've seen to date, some compelling forecasts have come more sharply into focus. Tesla Founder and CTO, J.B. Straubel recently gave a presentation, "Energy Storage, EV's, and the Grid" at the 2015 EIA Conference in Washington, D.C. Note: although the presentation points to mass production occurring later, Tesla has confirmed that the Model 3 will debut in 2016 and go into production in 2017. More importantly, this presentation lays out three critical forecasting benchmarks. First, by 2020, Tesla will have over 1 Million+ vehicles on the road. Second, Tesla will be producing 500,000 vehicles per year by 2020. Third, with battery costs falling so rapidly, the price gap with ICE (internal combustion engine gasoline-based) vehicles will shrink and disappear leading to the following prediction: "Electricity will replace petroleum as primary fuel for LDV (light duty vehicle) transportation." See below...


Source: EIA

This presentation certainly forecasts significant growth ahead for Tesla Motors. So... is the 500,000 vehicles/yr by 2020 data point likely? Hard to know for sure, but, according to Forbes, Tesla Board Member Steve Jurvetson said that "Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told him that if Tesla cars are autonomous by 2020, Kalanick wants to buy all 500,000 that are expected to be produced."