Staff from Tesla’s UK sales office have said that the EV maker is on track to start delivery for its best-selling Model 3 sedan in June 2019.
Prior to starting deliveries, it will open up the Model 3 configurator for UK drivers on its website within 1-2 months, and there is a small chance that it will be offering the mid-range option.
Reported via Twitter user EV Maps who spoke to Tesla’s Uk sales staff, the news is encouraging for countries with right hand drive – including Australia.
Still looking at June delivery dates for the @Tesla #Model3 in the UK according to sales this morning. Configurator emails expected in 1-2 months. Possible mid range option, probably not short range to start with. Hopefully in time to give people rides at @FullyChargedShw live! pic.twitter.com/9jPEOe3qMA
— EV Maps (@EVMaps) February 6, 2019
Being a right-hand drive country has its drawbacks as far as new model introduction goes, as it is the norm for carmakers (unless originating from a RHD drive country) to expand first into left-hand drive markets.
As Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk noted in May 2018, the EV maker has planned the Model 3 in such a way as to minimise disruption to its assembly lines when switching to RHD production.
At the time, Musk also said that RHD production was set to start “probably middle of next year” – which of course left a pretty wide caveat on a specific month.
Model 3 was designed for min engineering & tooling change for RHD. Note left/right symmetry. LHD for Europe & Asia first half of next year. RHD probably middle of next year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 25, 2018
However, with the Model 3 now officially in Europe, it seems Tesla is indeed on track.
Tesla’s strategy for disruption has consistently been to start with premium models, which is where the most profit can be made, to enable the carmaker to fund building of cheaper models for the wider market.
This has held true for Europe, where only the long range and performance versions of the Model 3 are available – so if what Tesla’s UK staff says is true, it’s a break from the norm.
For Australia, where the high price of EVs means they are regarded for many as a luxury item, the introduction of the mid-range would be welcomed, to say the least.
Even so, it is likely a mid-range Model 3 in Australia would still cost somewhere between $A65,000-70,000. A $US35,000 base model currently translates to about $A49,000, plus perhaps shipping and other add ons, and registration etc.
Regardless, it seems Australians can at least still count on a mid-2019 arrival date for the Tesla Model 3 – speaking with Australian sales staff this morning, The Driven was told that the RHD Model 3 configurator will be available in “the next few months” and vehicles would arrive “soon after”.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.