Finally: CEO and founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, has confirmed that the long-awaited, less expensive Tesla Model 3 all-electric sedan will likely be on Australian shores by this winter.
Production of the Australia right-hand drive version of the best-selling electric sedan will begin in late May or June, with shipments starting shortly after, Musk tweeted late Thursday (Australia time).
The Model 3, which has disrupted the US auto market, starting with its premium Long Range and Performance versions, was the global best-selling electric car in 2018 – and it was only on sale in the USA.
Only three weeks ago, Tesla finally delivered on its promise to sell an electric car for only $US35,000 ($49,400 at today’s rates) – unfortunately it will likely not be this cheaper Standard Range version that will first come to Australia.
The confirmation came, of course, via Twitter, and in response to a plea from Tesla enthusiast @teslainthegong.
“@elonmusk mate can we expect Aussie model 3 deliveries to start by the end of May ??”, he asked, linking an article on how drivers in Australia seem to be holding back for more electric cars to choose from.
“Probably start Australia builds in late May or June & start arriving in winter,” was the reply.
Probably start Australia builds in late May or June & start arriving in winter
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 21, 2019
While it has been known for some time, and confirmed by various other responses on Twitter, that Tesla has been planning a mid-2019 arrival for the Model 3 in Australia, the response has still drawn some excitement.
Just got lucky I suppose. But the main news is “WINTER IS COMING”
— Tesla in the Gong (@TeslaGong) March 21, 2019
While this brings us no closer to a price for the Model 3 in Australia, curious folks might like to take a look at this spreadsheet which makes a guesstimate at what that price might be.
Musk himself has said the best value option might be the “standard plus”, due to the extra range and nicer interior.
While it is not entirely clear if Musk is referring to the Australia/New Zealand or northern hemisphere winter, it’s not impossible that the company could start making cars in late May or June to arrive in July (which would actually be our mid-winter).
Just months ago, the EV maker started shipping cars to Europe and China, heralding the start of the Model 3’s spread across all reaches of the globe.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.