How Accurate Is Tesla’s Yearly Delivery Projection? Year-by-Year

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 1.4M in 2022 and expects to surpass that with new factories built.

As usual, I go into further detail in the article below. So if you need more interesting info, check it out!

Accuracy of Delivery Estimates Through the Years

The accuracy of Tesla’s delivery estimate has been going on unpredictable patterns since time immemorial, so 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 promises.

To give you some visuals, we 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
201555,00050,58092%
201680,00076,23095%
2017100,000103,091103%
2018500,000245,24049%
2019360,000367,500102%
2020500,000499,55099%
20211,000,000936,17294%
20221,400,000TBA
Tesla delivery target data obtained from Tesla’s official reports

As you can see, there have been fluctuations in Tesla’s annual forecasts. This is caused by the changing situation in the global supply chain, where shortages affect the whole automotive industry.

3 Tesla Delivery Estimate 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.

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

1. Over Optimism

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 are 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

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

According to Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk during the report of their fourth-quarter results in January, the company won’t be releasing any new models in 2022 due to the ongoing semiconductor shortage.

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

As per the official press release, Tesla was able to ship 310,048 vehicles during the first quarter of this year, outpacing the 184,800 deliveries they made in the first quarter of 2021.

If the company keeps up with this momentum, there’s a huge chance that it will go above and beyond its 2021 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, but (non-surprisingly) Tesla Inc. still confidently predicted that it would deliver 50% more vehicles than last year. 

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

As of writing, a new Tesla Gigafactory is being established in Austin, Texas to join the ones in Fremont, Nevada, New York in the US, and Shanghai, China. This is where the company plans on setting up its headquarters. 

Tesla-Giga-Berlin
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.

Most Tesla models are sold out until 2023, and delivery estimates for the recent orders are pushed to a timeframe between January to July of next year, depending on the model. 

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.

To learn more about Tesla’s latest Gigafactory, you can watch this video.

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 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

December 31, 2022

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.

December 31, 2022
December 31, 2021

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.

December 31, 2021
December 31, 2020

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.

December 31, 2020
December 31, 2019

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.

December 31, 2019
December 31, 2018

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.

December 31, 2018
December 31, 2017

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.

December 31, 2017
December 31, 2016

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. 

December 31, 2016
December 31, 2015

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.

December 31, 2015

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.


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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting evspeedy.com. The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.