Telsa building factories

There was a thread here a while back speculating on how many factories Tesla would need to build to keep growing at the current rate. I had a suspicion about some of the elements in those estimates and so I asked on the paid Tesla board

There is a thread on METAR where someone is forecasting the need for Tesla to build new factories. At some point, that is self-evident, but I have the impression that only a small amount of the total space in the gigafactories is already built out, i.e., that considerable expansion is possible without even building out the building envelope. Can anyone clarify this for me?

BrianKnittel responded:

From what I’ve read, Tesla is likely to expand Shanghai, Berlin, and Austin each to at least 2M cars per year. Fremont may not be able to expand beyond about 600,000 cars per year.

That means the ability to expand to 6.6M cars per year. The will probably happen over the next 3 or so years.

Historical Deliveries
500,000 2020
936,000 2021
565,000 2022 H1

Estimates show about 1,400,000 for all of 2022, showing a 50% annual growth rate. That is the rate that Tesla has said that it will grow as a minimum. If that growth continues, then this is what we will see:

Estimated Deliveries
2,100,000 2023
3,150,000 2024
4,725,000 2025
7,088,000 2026

So they need to have at least one more factory coming online early enough to produce about 500,000 in 2026, meaning they need to start building in 2024. But to produce another 3.5 million in 2027, Tesla would have to have 2 other factories with 2M ultimate capacity (assuming the 3 new factories are all ramping up). That probably means they need to be building factories at the rate of 1 per year starting in 2023, and even faster in 2025 and later to reach 15.9M in 2028 and 23.9M in 2029:

10,631,000 2027
15,930,000 2028
23,895,000 2029

This is the minimum that they say they will do, and I think we’d all be pretty happy with that! That means they would need the equivalent of 12 factories running at full capacity in 2029. At some point production will roll off, but with the advent of robotaxis, they may grow production beyond 2029. But at some point it will have to taper off. Revisiting this at least yearly would be useful.