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Expand chart
Data: FactSet and company filings; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Tesla delivered over 241,000 vehicles in the third quarter, a new record for the electric automaker that also beat analysts' projections.

Why it matters: The tally came despite the global chip shortage and supply chain problems, and it's a sign of growing global demand for electric cars.

  • Tesla, in announcing the numbers Saturday, thanked customers for their "patience as we work through global supply chain and logistics challenges."

What they're saying: Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives, in a note, called the numbers "eye popping" in light of the industry's supply woes.

  • The results suggest an EV demand that "looks quite robust for Tesla heading into Q4 and 2022" and "should improve broader sentiment on the EV space as a whole."

Zoom in: Sales of the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y, a small SUV, accounted for over 232,000 of the estimated 241,3o0 Q3 deliveries.

  • Tesla doesn't provide data by country. But Future Fund portfolio manager Gary Black tells Reuters that record deliveries in China fueled Tesla's total, which is "putting to rest any notion China demand is slowing."

Go deeper

Oct 26, 2021 - Economy & Business

How Hertz's big Tesla deal could boost EV adoption for everyone

Hertz is adding 100,000 Teslas to its rental fleet in a big push toward electrification. Photo: Hertz

People who are on the fence about buying an electric vehicle — or who can't afford one — can now rent one from Hertz.

Driving the news: The giant rental car company said Monday it is adding 100,000 Teslas to its fleet as the first step in a major shift toward electrification.

  • The order represents $4.2 billion in revenue for Tesla and is the carmaker's biggest-ever order, Bloomberg reported. Tesla's market cap reached $1 trillion following the deal.
  • The vehicles will account for more than 20% of Hertz's global fleet. And Hertz is also adding thousands of charging stations to its rental locations and hiring seven-time Super Bowl champ Tom Brady to pitch EVs to consumers.

Why it matters: Broader availability of electric cars on rental lots could give the EV movement a needed boost by allowing cautious consumers a no-risk way to try before they buy.

The big picture: President Biden wants half of all new cars sold to be electric by 2030, and many carmakers are making the pledge to switch away from gasoline-powered vehicles by the middle of the next decade.

  • But consumer demand remains low, with battery-electric vehicles accounting for less than 5% of auto sales.

Yes, but: Consumers are getting more curious about plug-in models.

  • "Consumer confidence and acceptance of EVs is growing gradually," says Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Cox Automotive, adding that the opportunity to try one for a few days could snag more interest.
  • Surveys show that when people gain experience with new technologies, they become more accepting, she said.
  • For example, luxury car owners with driver-assist systems like adaptive cruise control are much more accepting of autonomous vehicles than those who've never experienced the technology.

What they're saying: "Electric vehicles are now mainstream, and we've only just begun to see rising global demand and interest," Hertz interim CEO Mark Fields said in a statement.

What's next: Consumers will be able to rent a Tesla Model 3 at Hertz airport and neighborhood locations in U.S. major markets and select cities in Europe starting in early November, with availability growing through 2022.

  • They'll have access to 3,000 Tesla Supercharger stations, besides the Hertz-installed chargers.

But EVs take some getting used to and features like regenerative braking could be confusing to drivers getting acclimated to their rental car late at night in an airport garage.

  • Hertz said it will offer help to educate customers about their EV through the Hertz mobile app.

Of note: Teslas are already popular on the peer-to-peer car rental site, Turo, CEO Andre Haddad tells Axios.

  • Some are booked by travelers and others by potential buyers looking for an extended test drive.
  • Many Turo hosts maintain small fleets of Teslas and EVs to keep up with demand.
Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Oct 26, 2021 - Health

Supply chain shortages' latest victim: crutches

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An aluminum shortage tied to the global supply chain crunch has led to a new medical supply shortage: crutches.

Why it matters: The latest example of pandemic-spurred medical supply chain problems could become a much bigger problem in the next couple of months which are typically the busiest time of the year for orthopedic surgeries.

  • That's because many people try to squeeze their surgeries before the end of the year before their deductibles reset in January.

GM's plan to end EV charging deserts

GM is introducing a line of EV chargers under the Ultium brand. Photo: GM

General Motors will work with its dealers to fill gaps in America's electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including installing new charging stations in underserved urban and rural areas.

Why it matters: People aren't likely to buy electric vehicles unless it is convenient to charge them at home, at work or on road trips. That's why the Biden administration wants Congress to allocate funding for as many as 500,000 new EV chargers across the U.S., for example.