Tesla has gone through some difficult times over the last couple of years. They had to push their employees to get as many cars as possible out of the doors at the end of each quarter. So, how accurate are Tesla delivery estimates?

Tesla’s yearly delivery estimate has been over 90% within its own projections over the last 8 years. The company went through production hell in 2018 and only managed 49% delivery of its own projections. Tesla projects deliveries of over 1.8M in 2023 and may surpass that with new factories built.

As usual, I go into further detail in the article below. See a timeline of Tesla’s deliveries over the past few years and decide for yourself whether Tesla’s estimates are reliable.

Accuracy of Delivery Estimates Through the Years

The accuracy of Tesla’s delivery estimate has been going on unpredictable patterns since time immemorial. This means it’s difficult to identify an exact time range to pinpoint the annual gap between ETA and actual delivery date. 

What we know for sure is that the company has been continuously struggling to reach its delivery target every year and that the customers are growing frustrated over the CEO’s “empty” or rather “unfulfilled” promises.

To give you some visuals, I created a table providing a general picture of Tesla’s annual target deliveries vs. the number of vehicles they delivered at the end of each year. This table covers the year 2015 to 2021, enough to give you an answer to the question, “Does Tesla deliver to its targets?”

YearTarget DeliveriesNumber of Vehicles DeliveredPercentage Delivered
Tesla delivery target data obtained from Tesla’s official reports

As you can see, there have been fluctuations in Tesla’s annual forecasts. In some years they underdelivered based on their target, while in other years they actually delivered more vehicles than anticipated.

This is caused by the changing situation in the global supply chain, where shortages affect the whole automotive industry.

Why Does My Tesla Delivery Date Keep Changing? 3 Factors

If you’re waiting for your car to arrive after making your Tesla purchase, we get the frustration. With Tesla’s website pushing back the delivery time multiple times a day, you can confidently make the assumption that weather forecasts are more accurate. So what impacts the Tesla estimated delivery date accuracy?

To help you understand the reason behind the late delivery of your vehicle, here are some main factors that contribute to Tesla’s inaccurate delivery estimate.

1. Over-Optimism in Estimated Teslas Produced

The general sentiment among Tesla clients is that they are very open to late deliveries as they understand that the production of a Tesla will really take time.

What they get frustrated about is empty promises and the delivery dates that keep changing, which add to their growing anxiety.

No need to sugarcoat things—much of this inconvenience can be blamed on Tesla, specifically on the company’s aggressive planning strategies.

For the most part, Elon Musk’s arrogance in promising things that can’t be fulfilled despite the ongoing supply chain crisis is why they are unable to meet their deadlines.

2. Chip Shortage Year After Year

Aside from Tesla’s over-optimism, another major issue that affects the whole automotive industry is shortages in the global supply chain. Scarcity in semiconductor chips, in particular, is still a growing concern to the company. 

This global phenomenon forced Tesla to cut down a steering component in their vehicles’ power system and made matters on deliveries even more complicated.

The chip shortage also pushed back the rollout of Cybertruck to 2023, which means another promise that Musk has failed to deliver.

3. High Mix of Custom-Ordered Vehicles

Considering that Teslas are customizable with a lot of configuration options for the interior, wheels, and exterior color, a high mix of custom-ordered cars may be one of the reasons for the company’s unreliable delivery estimate. 

Thousands of customers order different combinations of customizable features for their vehicles, and the factory tailors every car in the specific order it was purchased. 

Present Estimate

There was also no official forecast announced for this year, but by looking at the company’s performance in the first quarter of 2023, we can say that Tesla is performing well so far.

According to CNBC, Tesla was able to ship 422,875 vehicles during the first quarter of this year, outpacing the 310,048 deliveries they made in the first quarter of 2022.

If the company keeps up with this momentum, there’s a huge chance that it will go above and beyond its 2022 achievement.

Of course, we should still take the persisting supply chain problems into account. Analysts report that the chip shortage can be expected to last until 2023.

This might be possible given the innovative measures Tesla is currently practicing to defy chip shortage, but buyers should expect longer delays in shipment and production.

The Future of Delivery Estimate Accuracy in the US

The new Tesla Gigafactory in Austin, Texas opened in 2022 to join the ones in Fremont, Nevada, New York in the US, and Shanghai, China.

Additionally, the Giga Berlin plant, which opened last March 2022, was built to cater to increasing global demands by planning to produce 500,000 vehicles annually starting next year.

In 2022, most Tesla models were sold out until 2023, and delivery estimates for orders were pushed to a timeframe between January to July of 2023, depending on the model. 

Current estimates seem to show an approximate two month waiting period, although some inventory is available immediately.

With the forecast becoming a bit more reasonable than usual, along with the increased number of Tesla’s plants and Gigafactories, it might soon be possible for production to speed up and the delivery estimate to become relatively more accurate.

Does Tesla Deliver Early?

You may be wondering if you order a Tesla, is it possible that you receive it earlier than the estimated delivery date?

Tesla May Arrive Before Estimated Delivery

It’s possible for your Tesla to arrive before the estimated day of delivery, but it rarely happens. To increase the chances, you must purchase a low-demand model in the inventory (in stock vehicles) during the initial months of a quarter.

Tracking the Delivery Status of Your Tesla

Tesla has no delivery tracking feature so far, but it’s possible to track your car’s shipment status if its carrier has that feature. After receiving your VIN, you’ll need to enter it into the carrier’s tracking website.

Tesla EVOriginal Estimated DeliveryRevised Estimated Delivery
Model Y Long RangeSeptember 2022April 2023
Model X 2021December 2021July 2022
Model S Long RangeNovember 2022March 2023
Model X Long RangeOctober to December 2022March 2023
The table shows the original delivery estimates for a few Tesla models and the revised timelines for 2022 and 2023.

Timeline of Tesla’s Delivery Estimates and Actual Deliveries from 2015 – 2022

January 1, 2023

2022 Tesla Delivery Estimates and Actual Deliveries

Tesla started 2022 on a reasonably accurate note, but its delivery estimates have fallen off the radar for the last two quarters. There are reports blaming chip and semiconductor shortages for various models being pushed to 2023.
However, Tesla has been more resourceful than other car companies when navigating shortages. The company’s resourcefulness and expansion overseas could help alleviate some of these delays and could result in more accurate estimated delivery times in the future.

January 1, 2023
January 1, 2022

2021 Tesla Delivery Estimate and Actual Deliveries

After over a decade since the launch of the Roadster, Tesla continued to struggle with its dates, whether production or delivery. Tesla Model X deliveries were delayed in 2021 due to production issues. 
The Model X Plaid was announced in January when the standard variant already had customers waiting since 2020. 

Customers waited for Model X, ordered in 2020 through the entirety of 2021, and eventually got their cars delivered in 2022. Some deliveries were as late as the second quarter of 2022. So the delivery estimate was inaccurate by almost 2 years for a model already in production.

January 1, 2022
January 1, 2021

2020 Tesla Delivery Estimate and Actual Deliveries

Tesla Model 3’s February deliveries in 2020 got delayed due to the pandemic. The deliveries of Model Y promised in 2019 didn’t happen per the estimates, and all rollouts got pushed towards the end of 2020. 
Tesla delivered 500,000 cars in 2020, the highest ever at the time. However, the number doesn’t include the thousands of Model Y promised for the year. All those estimated delivery dates were off by several months as Tesla postponed subsequent Model Y rollouts to 2021.

January 1, 2021
January 1, 2020

2019 Tesla Delivery Estimate and Actual Deliveries

The delivery estimates in the first and second quarters of 2019 were revised, and the buyers had to wait for several weeks to 3 months longer. The blame was put on an unprecedented demand overseas. These delays affected the deliveries of Tesla’s Models 3, S, and X. 
The year didn’t pan out any better as Tesla dealt with production issues and ambitious plans for the future. Many buyers were informed that their estimated delivery dates in the last quarter of 2019 were moved to 2020.

January 1, 2020
January 1, 2019

2018 Tesla Delivery Estimate and Actual Deliveries

2018 started with a gigantic backlog for Tesla’s Model 3. However, the company streamlined all the production issues and tried to ramp up deliveries. The wait times for new orders came down from 12-18 months to 6-9 months, but Tesla soon went from production to delivery hell
Many buyers witnessed their estimated delivery dates pass by. The wait turned into weeks, then months. Tesla postponed promised deliveries of S and X to prioritize Model 3. But that still couldn’t solve or prevent the subsequent delivery limbo for Tesla. 

For some time in 2018, new owners received a delivery estimate of 1 to 3 months which quickly changed to 4 months. Then, buyers started reporting wait times of weeks and months after their expected delivery dates. 

Even after such waits, some buyers were told on the delayed delivery dates that their cars were not available for the scheduled pickup.

January 1, 2019
January 1, 2018

2017 Tesla Delivery Estimate and Actual Deliveries

Tesla’s delivery estimate didn’t improve in 2017. In the first two quarters, Tesla delivered around 47,000 cars, which includes 10,000 Model X and 12,000 Model S in the second quarter alone. However, these deliveries were a part of the backlog from 2016. 
So, the apparent 53% increase in the numbers for these two quarters of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 doesn’t reflect the reality of inaccurate delivery estimates. Besides, Tesla’s delivery estimate for Model 3 turned into a nightmare for all in 2017. 

Tesla announced the Model 3 in the first quarter of 2016, and the estimated delivery was the fall of 2017. Around 400,000 people were on the waitlist for over a year when Tesla postponed the delivery period from October through December 2017 to March 2018. 

Some 1,500 people got their Model 3 by the end of 2017. The others had to wait for 3 to 6 more months after a year’s wait.

January 1, 2018
January 1, 2017

2016 Tesla Delivery Estimate and Actual Deliveries

Tesla’s delivery estimate continued to be inaccurate throughout 2016. The company failed to deliver around 3,000 Models S and X in the second quarter as promised and pushed those dates to the third and fourth. Thus, these buyers waited 3 to 6 months longer than expected. 
Tesla blamed supply chain and production issues, among other factors. However, the deliveries didn’t improve even towards the end of 2016. Tesla delivered around 76,000 cars that year, but ~4,000 buyers didn’t receive theirs despite waiting several months longer than expected. 

January 1, 2017
January 1, 2016

2015 Tesla Delivery Estimate and Actual Deliveries

Tesla’s delivery estimates were already in disarray through 2014, which persisted in 2015.
Although Tesla delivered ~50,000 cars in 2015, it couldn’t fulfill its commitment for either Model S or X. The delay for Model S was a new assembly line set up in 2014. So, most buyers waited for 3 to 6 months beyond the delivery estimate to get their Model S.

Tesla’s delivery estimates were also off by more than a year for its then-new Model X. The original estimated delivery was early 2014, which was revised to later that year. Subsequently, Tesla shifted the expected deliveries to the first and second quarters of 2015. 

However, the Model X didn’t get delivered until the end of the third quarter in September 2015. Tesla blamed parts shortage as the primary reason for the delay. Yet, the estimates for Model S, which was already in ongoing production in 2015, didn’t turn out to be accurate, either. 

The company fell short by around 2,000 Model S deliveries by the end of 2015. Thus, those buyers waited much longer, and some deliveries were over a year after the first estimated date.

January 1, 2016

Why Does My Tesla Delivery Date Keep Changing?

In conclusions, it’s not uncommon for Tesla delivery dates to change. The prediction of a delivery date is a projection based on many factors, which can change. There are a few reasons why this could happen:

Firstly, production delays can occur. Just like any other car manufacturer, Tesla may face challenges in their production process. These could be due to issues with the supply chain, manufacturing hurdles, or unexpected fluctuations in demand.

When production gets delayed, it can affect the delivery schedule, and that’s why the date keeps changing and Tesla isn’t delivering as fast as it would like.

Another possibility is that any customization or configuration changes you requested could be causing the delays. If you decided to personalize your Tesla or made modifications to the original configuration after placing the order, it might take some extra time to accommodate those changes. As a result, the delivery date gets adjusted accordingly.

Logistics and shipping can also play a role. Sometimes, unexpected issues like bad weather, shipping delays, or logistical hurdles can impact the transportation of the vehicles.

Tesla uses various methods, such as trucks and carriers, to deliver their cars to customers, and any disruptions in these processes can lead to changes in the delivery timeline.

Tesla also prioritizes deliveries based on factors like location, order sequence, or specific vehicle configurations. Depending on these factors, your delivery date might be shifted to fit the overall delivery strategy of the company.

Lastly, Tesla may make internal scheduling changes to optimize efficiency or address unforeseen circumstances. These adjustments can impact individual delivery timelines, causing fluctuations in the delivery date.

If you’re concerned about the changing delivery dates, it’s a good idea to get in touch with Tesla’s customer support or your designated Tesla advisor. They’ll be able to provide you with more specific information about your order and help address any concerns you have.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Accurate Are Tesla Estimated Delivery Dates?

Tesla estimated delivery dates aren’t accurate unless you have been assigned the VIN. The initial estimated delivery date can change in due course.

Why Are Tesla Delivery Estimates Not Accurate?

Tesla’s delivery estimates have been inaccurate over the years due to production, supply chain, and logistics issues. Also, Tesla prioritizes certain models or variants per its policies.

Check out these 20 great gift ideas for yourself or a Tesla fanboy.

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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

A renowned Tesla enthusiast, and successful entrepreneur, enlightens global audiences through his compelling EV narratives. Discover more about his electric journey on his About Me page. Venture to read Erwin's incredible story that's reshaping the future of motoring. Want to spark a conversation with Erwin? Visit his Contact page, and let’s electrify the world together.