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Photo by Carolyn Fortuna/CleanTechnica.


What Was It Like To Be One Of The 308,000 Tesla Deliveries In Q4 2021?

Taking delivery of a Tesla Model Y during the recent quarter was a really cool experience — one to be recommended!

Tesla announced this week that it had not only hit but exceeded its 2021 fourth quarter delivery goals. The all-electric carmaker delivered 308,600 vehicles, far higher than analysts’ forecasts of 263,026 vehicles. In its investor announcement, Tesla thanked “all of our customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and supporters who helped us achieve a great year.” I was one of those customers who was part of the Q4 2021 Tesla deliveries, and I can tell you that it was truly exhilarating to be immersed in that moment in time.

It was compelling to be in the midst of momentum toward zero-emissions transportation. But the thrill of being part of the Q4 Tesla deliveries was even more than that. The Tesla Way is so different than owning a traditional legacy car — my Model Y is so high tech, so innovative that I felt upon delivery as if I was on a wave of something that would advance how I would live, work, and play.

Photo by Carolyn Fortuna/CleanTechnica.

Delivery day for my new Tesla Model Y was quite memorable — from the trepidation of driving a computer-on-wheels and knowledge that I was investing a lot of money into an auto, to the delight in the customer service delivery experience and pride in my decision to join the Tesla family. In the month or so since I took delivery, it’s been a constant learning process. Every time I get behind the wheel and drive, I find a new option that makes my road experience easier and more appealing.

Over-the-Air Updates

One of the most fascinating perks of the Model Y is how it regularly receives over-the-air software updates. These updates add new features and enhance existing ones over Wi-Fi. There are two phases to a software update: the Download phase, in which the new update is released over the air and prepared for install in your car, and the Install phase, in which the fully downloaded software update is installed in the car.

Photo by Carolyn Fortuna/CleanTechnica.

My condo is a bit too far away from where I park to pick up its Wi-Fi signal, so I sat in the Model Y yesterday, enabled my hotspot, and accepted the invitation to install the update immediately. I listened to a podcast while the update loaded and watched the percentage increase on my iPhone, which was seated in a charging well that’s part of the center console. After the update was ready, I needed to install it, which would prohibit me from driving the car at that time or using the touchscreen. I made sure I was comfortable with all the car’s environmental and entertainment settings, and I started the installation of what I believe was 2021.44.30. (Again, this is all new to me.) It took about 25 minutes.

You know what was fascinating about experiencing the over-the-air update installation? I could hear the car changing around me. If you don’t own a Tesla, you might think I’m imagining it, but periodically I would hear a slight wheel clunk. There was an occasional whirring noise. Or the podcast would fade out for a minute or two and then reawaken as the touchscreen reset. When the update was complete, the touchscreen and all its possibilities were again fully visible, and my iPhone indicated all updating was complete.

Yet the touchscreen looked completely different — it had a new running toolbar where settings can be accessed, options can be chosen, and adjustments can be made. As a human who is inherently averse to change, I was a bit caught short. Then I laughed at my own intransigence and accepted that, if I want to own a Tesla which needs fewer repairs than a traditional gas-powered vehicle, I’m going to have to be resilient and adapt to updates.

The process of Tesla discovery will keep me young. 🙂

I’ll be resorting to using the Voice command on the right hand side of the steering wheel to find the item I’m seeking for a while, I’m sure. I’m also not nearly as concerned about the change as I might have been a month ago; I’m starting to think of the Tesla as adult play. It’s a constant process of discovery, which triggers my curiosity. Those are good things. [Editor’s note: I would point out that many Tesla owners have been very unhappy with this update, and it’s probably the only update in my time owning my Model 3 or previous Model S that I’ve felt like the car got worse — in particular, the infotainment screen got worse — and significantly so. You can find many similar responses from Tesla owners across the interwebs. —Zach Shahan]

I understand that I can adjust my software update preferences by tapping Controls > Software> Software Update Preference. I think I’m going to opt for Advanced to receive software updates as soon as they become available for my car configuration and region. (This feature is only available with software update 2019.16 or later.)

Photo by Carolyn Fortuna/CleanTechnica.

Envy of the & EV Emissary to the Neighborhood

While it wasn’t for status that I purchased the Tesla Model Y, it certainly has elevated my position in my community. The shiny new white Model Y sits in the carport and definitely catches the eyes of the neighbors as they walk by heading to pickleball, tennis, golf, or water aerobics. Owning a Tesla elevates the neighbor’s opinion of my place in the social hierarchy, for sure. I hold my head high now when the Mercedes owner meanders by, glancing in my direction.

It’s not just the price tag of the Model Y purchase that attracts interest. Owning a Tesla is a visual signifier that I’m concerned about ESG (environmental, social, and governance) impacts and walk the talk through the vehicle I drive. Tesla stakeholders like me support Tesla using industry best practices in a variety of ways – from human rights, to mining and recycling, to vehicle capacity expansion and new factory construction.

Tesla established a marketing plan in 2015, detailing the current target individual as “business executives and entrepreneurs who are city dwellers, tech-savvy and green-friendly … wealthy, early adopters in the upper to middle class.” Up until recently, their customers were mostly males looking for a premium luxury car who already owned other luxury brands like BMW or Audi. I’m a symbol of the Tesla broadened mass market audience, in which females, traditional careerists, suburban dwellers, and sorta tech-savvy but definitely green-friendly folks are finding a way to park a Tesla in their yards. It’s a new demographic, and one that Tesla worked hard over a decade to cultivate.

I realize that I am an emissary to EV adoption as well, both for those luxury vehicle owners and others who are starting to see themselves driving an EV. So I strike up conversations with inquiring bystanders about the Model Y and offer rides so they can experience an EV up-close-and-personal.

Final Thoughts about Tesla Deliveries in Q4 2021

Q4 2021 Tesla deliveries were as follows: Model S/X 11,750 17% and Model 3/Y 296,850, or a total 308,600 vehicles. Those October-December deliveries exceeded the previous year by about 70% and were nearly 30% higher from the company’s record deliveries during the preceding quarter.

To me, however, those numbers only support the position I took about my own carbon footprint through upgrading my Nissan Leaf to a Tesla. As a company that’s been producing EVs for over a decade, Tesla has a massive knowledge lead when it comes to what works successfully — from production line to the road experience. Tesla vehicles are a really good value due to the long range, tech, Supercharger network, scaled battery production, and constant updates. It’s been a delight to be part of the Tesla deliveries in Q4 2021.

2022 is going to be a lot of fun driving my Model Y!

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Written By

Carolyn Fortuna (they, them), Ph.D., is a writer, researcher, and educator with a lifelong dedication to ecojustice. Carolyn has won awards from the Anti-Defamation League, The International Literacy Association, and The Leavy Foundation. Carolyn is a small-time investor in Tesla. Please follow Carolyn on Twitter and Facebook.


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