Tesla Motors Model S sedan appears to have outpaced the Nissan Leaf for the first time in the United States in December, becoming the best-selling electric car. Tesla Motors, which recently unveiled a modified version of the Model S, shipped 3,500 cars last month, according to an estimate by Inside EVs, a website that tracks electric car sales and news.
Tesla needs Gigafactory
The Palo Alto-based company does not post its monthly unit sales but conveys quarterly financial results to the investors, including total deliveries for the full quarter. The company is scheduled to release its next earnings report on Feb. 18, according to FactSet, although there is no official announcement from Tesla about the exact date when it will release its fourth quarter earnings.
To maintain its lead going forward, Tesla will be hoping that in the next two to three years, it will start making its mass-market electric car and also debut its much-awaited SUV, the Model X, sometime later this year. For such plans to become reality, the EV maker needs its much-hyped gigafactory, which is one of the most ambitious projects for Tesla Motors. The automaker needs the facility to manufacture lithium-ion batteries for its upcoming cars and drive the cost of making them lower.
Different numbers from different analysts
Since there are no official monthly sales figures from Tesla Motors, there could be a lot of discussion about the number of Model S sedans sold last month, says a report from MarketWatch. According to a report from Cowen analysts, the EV manufacturer sold 1,900 Model S sedans in December and 16,500 of the luxury sedans in all of 2014. Another industry watcher, Motor Intelligence, is expecting Tesla to report that it shipped 1,600 cars in December, bringing the total number of 2014 sales to 18,750.
The Leaf comes with a price tag of $30,000, and Nissan reportedly shipped 3,102 cars in December. The EV was tagged the best-selling electric car in 2014 with 30,200 units sold, said Cowen. Compared to the Leaf’s price point, Tesla Motors commands a premium, as the entry version of the Model S costs around $71,000. Another version of the Model S, the P85D with dual motors and all-wheel drive, is priced at $104,500, according to the official website of the company.
General Motors witnessed a drop in December sales for its electric car, the Chevrolet Volt. Around 1,490 units of the Volt were sold, which is 38% less than the previous year’s number. The primary reason for the drop could be that customers are waiting for the upgraded version of the 2016 model, which is apparently scheduled to debut next week in Detroit and become available for purchase in the second half of the year.