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Published on March 25th, 2020 | by Zachary Shahan

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Tesla Service & Delivery Teams Implementing Several Social Distancing Practices

March 25th, 2020 by  


Many a CleanTechnica reader is probably curious about how Tesla deliveries and Tesla service are operating in the midst of the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis. Tesla has just published a new Tesla customer support page regarding deliveries.

First of all, as we noted recently, Tesla is now offering “touchless deliveries” in several states, and is also still providing home deliveries in some cases. A friend of the family’s just got a Tesla Model 3 last week and had a home delivery. He’ll be writing about that soon.

The new Tesla delivery page includes an “Express Delivery” option at all delivery centers, a “Tesla Direct Drop” option in some states, a “Tesla Direct” option in some states, and a “Carrier Direct” option in special circumstances.

First of all, though, I’ll note two things: 1) There are Tesla tutorials in the infotainment system (in the “Theater” section) that you can easily watch while inside your car, and they are also available on the Tesla phone app, 2) while the touchscreen seems a little daunting at first, there’s actually not a ton there and it’s super easy to use, so I think you can just sit in the car and go through each option on your own to find out about the features and settings. Oh yeah, there are also playlists for those on YouTube.

If you go the “I’ll learn about the car myself” route, Express Delivery may be for you. This is how Tesla describes it:

“Arrive at your scheduled delivery location and, after check-in, be remotely routed to your new car via the Tesla app’s location tracking tool. All required documents will be waiting inside the car with highlights indicating where to sign. When you’re ready to get on the road, simply pass your documents to the advisor at the exit for review, and we’ll mount a temporary tag and license plate.

“Explore the exciting features of your vehicle at your own pace via the in-car Tesla Tutorials and Owner’s Manual on your car’s center touchscreen. All tutorials can also be accessed from the settings menu in the Tesla app.”

I understand the desire to have someone walk through the car with you, but from my personal experience, I think it’s really not necessary — probably much less so than you think. Most important is to simply sit in the car patiently going through every tab and watching the tutorials, and then slowly getting on the road, driving somewhere quiet for a bit first (perhaps the parking lot at the service center), and then getting on some familiar roads to further get used to the car. Also, take your time learning about the features. You will have plenty of time with the vehicle, and it won’t be long before you’re waiting for your first over-the-air software update of new features. 😀

Tesla is performing service in a similar fashion in some places now. A Canadian Tesla owner went through such a service appointment a week ago and documented it on YouTube. You can catch the full video below or start at the key point at 5:20 in.

Tesla Direct Drop gets even more minimalist and cautious. I don’t have much to add beyond what Tesla writes:

“Designed as a completely touchless delivery experience, we will drop your new vehicle at a location of your choosing – typically a home or workplace – without any required interaction. Just complete all required paperwork, let us know where you’d like the car, and we’ll drop it off and leave the vehicle for you to unlock via the Tesla app. Please note that payment, paperwork and e-sign agreements must be completed in full prior to delivery, and you are required to send back any remaining physical paperwork in the vehicle via a pre-paid shipping envelope within 24 hours. 3rd party lending and trade-in customers are not yet eligible for this experience.

“We are rapidly expanding the availability of this new delivery type to new states. Locations currently offering Direct Drop include:

    • California
    • Hawaii
    • Indiana
    • Maryland
    • Minnesota
    • Missouri
    • Nevada
    • New Jersey
    • Ohio
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • Virginia
    • Washington, DC”

This just sounds like fun. It’s like being a secret agent (Bond, James Bond) and having your super high-tech, fast, futuristic car dropped in a secret location for you to swoop in and pick up. Okay, maybe that’s just my imagination gone wild, but that’s the only way I can picture this one.

If someone wants to buy me a Model Y, I’d be happy to go through this process and report back on whether or not it lived up to the dream.

Tesla Direct: This is Tesla’s pre-existing home or workplace delivery option (only an option for some people), with a twist. It’s similar to the Bond option above, but there’s a Tesla staff member on hand. The Tesla employee can either walk you through the car or can stay a distance away like an odd anti-social stranger and then just collect your paperwork (which was waiting for you in the car) once you’re done with it. Tesla direct is available in almost every state.

Also, the car can be brought to anywhere reasonable, not just your home or workplace (which is hopefully your home right now anyway). So, if you wanted to try to get the Bond experience another way, you can perhaps schedule delivery in a cave or forest or something and have Q walk through the details with you.

Photo © Frank Semmens

Carrier Direct: If you are a retired version of Bond and live 220+ miles from a Tesla location, you may be able to have your car brought to you on a vehicle carrier. You have to be “eligible” for that, but it’s not clear what eligible means.

Again, you can learn more at the new Tesla delivery page, and there’s also the Tesla Delivery Day support page for broader matters.

For a look back at some of the evolution in Tesla’s delivery process, there are a couple of podcasts I can recommend:

Related: 70 Reasons Why Tesla Model 3 Is Most Loved Car.

Want to buy a Tesla Model 3, Model S, or Model X? Feel free to use my referral code to get some free Supercharging miles with your purchase: https://ts.la/zachary63404. Or not. It’s always best to use the code of the owner who most helped you decide on a Tesla, imho.

You can also get a $250 discount on Tesla solar with that code. There is currently no use for a referral code when putting down a reservation for a Cybertruck or Model Y

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.



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