Tesla: Revving up, a bit
The electric car manufacturer increases deliveries.
ELON MUSK, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has had two bits of good news recently about his various bets on new technology.
SpaceX, his privately-held launch company, last month became the first successfully to reuse a rocket to put a satellite into orbit.
And this week Tesla, his electric-car manufacturer, at last hit its production targets.
Some analysts doubted Tesla would meet its goals after a series of production difficulties.
But the carmaker said first-quarter deliveries were just over 25,000 vehicles, a record for the firm and a 69% increase over the same period in 2016.
Some 13,450 were its sleek Model S saloons and about 11,550 were the firm's new SUV, the Model X.
This puts Tesla on track to produce the 50,000 vehicles it has promised to make in the first half of this year.
That is good progress.
But Tesla is going to have to crank production up by an awful lot more to make the 500,000 cars a year which Mr Musk wants to see pouring off the production line by 2018, let alone the 1m intended for just two years later.
To reach those volumes, Tesla is counting on its forthcoming Model 3.
Priced at around $35,000, the new car will cost around half that of the other two models.
Due to begin production later this year, the Model 3 is supposed to take Tesla into the mass market, where it will face stiff competition from plug-in vehicles produced by existing mass manufacturers, including GM, Nissan and BMW.