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  • In 2021, Tesla says, it delivered 936,172 vehicles around the world. Exactly how many were in the U.S.—or in China or Europe or elsewhere—the company isn’t saying and doesn’t have a habit of ever saying.
  • The sales figures were an 87 percent increase from Tesla’s 2020 sales, and the automaker has now posted six quarters of record high deliveries in a row.
  • The best way we can tell how many EVs Tesla sold in the U.S. comes from a recent recall, in which the company said it would fix all of the Model 3 sedans it sold from 2017 to 2020: 356,309.

    Anyone who thinks the legacy automakers are catching Tesla in the electric-vehicle sales race should take a quick look at some recently released figures. Over the weekend, Tesla announced it delivered 308,600 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021. Model S and Model X EVs made up 11,750 of those deliveries, while the bulk—296,850—were Model 3 and Model Y deliveries. These numbers brought Tesla’s 2021 full-year deliveries to 936,172 vehicles.

    The 936,000 vehicle deliveries represent an 87 percent increase from 2020, Reuters and other news sources noted, based on Tesla’s announcement dated January 2, while the 306,600 deliveries for the quarter mean that Tesla delivered 71 percent more electric vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021 than it did a year earlier.

    Tesla’s 308,600 deliveries last quarter made it the best quarter ever, said the automaker, beating the 241,300 EVs it delivered in the previous record quarter, the third quarter of 2021. Reuters reports that Tesla has set new record delivery numbers for six quarters in a row now, despite the well-known problems that the auto industry is having with various supply chains and a lack of semiconductor chips.

    Tesla doesn’t break out its deliveries by country, but its sales are strongest in Europe and China, the New York Times notes. Tesla itself called those two regions “important markets” in its last SEC filing, but the U.S. is still the region where Tesla makes the most money. In the third quarter of 2021, for example, an SEC filing shows Tesla made more than $6 billion in revenue in the U.S., compared to $3.1 billion in China and $4.2 billion in “other” regions.
    As for the actual number of Tesla sold in the U.S., we know that it sold 356,309 Model 3s here for model year 2017 to 2020, or an average of just under 90,000 a year for those years. Of course, since Tesla’s sales are going up, that’s not a reliable figure for a year. In any case, the confirmation came through recent recall documents regarding problems with the EV’s backup camera’s wiring harness. Perhaps when the company’s next major recall happens, we’ll learn more about how many of the almost million EVs the California automaker sold last year were in its home country.

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