The first batch of all-electric Tesla Model 3 sedans have been spotted on car transport trucks in the UK, as the best-selling electric car arrives in its first right-hand drive market.
A number of bright red models of the long-awaited “mass-market” electric car were seen being transported towards London on the M20 on Saturday (UK time), as captured by a member of Tesla Motors Club forum.
“Rubbish photo but they were definitely RHD and looked like they all had the carbon spoiler,” reported forum member tcxcadet.
Closer inspection shows the two vehicles visible in the photo have the white interior (no doubt much to the chagrin of Australian drivers where black is currently the only option).
Other photos of car transports with black Model 3s have also since emerged, confirming reports in various social media channels that buyers have been informed they will have their Model 3s delivered starting this Thursday (UK time).
More spotted pic.twitter.com/NZ9JAYBfkD
— R Symons LTD (@RSymonsLTD) June 15, 2019
The arrival of the Model 3s is bang on schedule – since going live with the online order page on May 2, 2019, UK buyers of the more affordable Tesla car were advised that deliveries were estimated to commence in June.
With the UK now committed to an aggressive “net-zero” goal to reduce or offset the country’s entire carbon emissions by 2050, the arrival of yet another zero emissions vehicle on the UK auto market will no doubt help Brits work further towards that goal.
While it’s not surprising that it is most likely Londoners that will receive the first Model 3s to enter the UK, it is worth noting that drivers of zero emissions cars in London not only benefit from the £3,500 ($A6,400) UK plug-in car grant but also the London congestion incentive reducing the price of the Model 3 by an additional £5,500 (around $A10,000).
This effectively brings the base price for the Standard Range Model 3 in the UK, before fuel savings and on road costs (but including VAT), down to £29,900 (around $A54,700 converted at today’s rates).
As the first right hand drive market to receive the Model 3, the UK precedes fellow RHD markets Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Ireland, Macau and Japan by just under a month. although we do not expect to see Model 3s begin arriving on Australian roads until some time in August.
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.