Tesla tries new direct-from-factory customer delivery

As Model 3 production keeps hustling, service centers are getting overwhelmed with customer deliveries. Perhaps in an effort to reduce some of that strain, Tesla’s trying out something a little more personalized.

Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday that Tesla was trying out a new delivery system that takes a vehicle at its Fremont factory and delivers it directly to the customer in an enclosed trailer. Musk was on hand for this first delivery, taking a few pictures with the new owner of a blue Model 3.

Tesla didn’t immediately return a request for comment, so we don’t have a whole lot of information about this new delivery method right now. It’s unclear what kind of vehicle towed the Model 3’s trailer, but based on past Tesla service vehicles, it was likely a traditional gas or diesel pickup of some kind, which isn’t exactly an efficient vehicle. It’s also unclear if it would even be feasible for deliveries far away from Tesla’s Fremont factory.

Even though Tesla might be working through its “production hell,” there’s still the matter of “delivery hell.” With production ramping up, there have been reports of Tesla centers getting overwhelmed, lumping multiple deliveries together and offering group-based vehicle walkthroughs as opposed to the more personalized service offered prior to the production ramp.

While Tesla’s willing to give anything a try once, it’s likely that this kind of delivery service would be unsustainably complex if applied to an area larger than that around Tesla’s home base. Traditional delivery trucks are used because they can carry multiple vehicles at once, and centralized stores reduce logistical complications. Sure, it “saves plastic wrap” as Elon Musk puts it, and it makes for a good photo op if the boss comes along, but every other part of the system seems a bit too convoluted.