Car Industry

Tesla Model 3 customer deliveries reportedly under way

Lucky (very) early adopters may find a Model 3 under the tree.


If you were fortunate enough to attend the LA Auto Show recently, you no doubt saw Tesla had a minty-fresh Model 3 on display. If you missed it, however, the likelihood that you'll soon be seeing Model 3s on the road is increasing. According to reports from Reddit, Tesla has finally started to contact early Model 3 orderers regarding the delivery of their vehicles.

User ry8 posted in the active r/teslamotors subreddit this week that he's received email confirmation from Tesla that his non-employee, high-spec Model 3 is set to be delivered on Monday, Dec. 11. He also reports that he's been issued VIN (vehicle identification number) 2079, making his car one of a handful of cars spotted recently with VINs in the 2000s. This news suggests an uptick in production at the company's Fremont, California, factory, though the notoriously tight-lipped EV manufacturer did not respond to a Roadshow request for comment on the matter.

While the first 30 vehicles were delivered to Tesla employees back in July, these first customer deliveries appear to be trickling out in accordance with Tesla's revised production schedule for the Model 3, as the company seeks to remove various production bottlenecks, with larger-scale production estimated to be achieved closer to the end of Q1 2018. Tesla is focusing on building the highest-spec version of the Model 3 to start, and while price tags far exceed the preincentive $35,000 figure that was promised by Elon Musk at the vehicle's debut, production of more affordable variants is promised in the near future, likely some time in the second quarter of 2018.

The Model 3 has had a tumultuous gestational period, and while it represents a potential high water mark for an everyman's EV, it remains to be seen whether Musk and company can deliver at scale on the bright new electric future they've envisioned.