Credit: Bridie Schmidt
Credit: Bridie Schmidt

Travelling south towards Canberra, a car carrier was spotted on Saturday full to the brim with some of the first Model 3s destined for Australian customers.

Posted on social media channel Twitter, a video recorded by a member of the Tesla Owners Club of Australia shows the car carrier near Picton.

The video has sparked a great deal of excitement, has been viewed over 11,000 times, and drawn a great deal of comment from customers keenly awaiting the delivery of a vehicle that some have been waiting three years for.

As the Driven wrote last week, reports of delivery dates from Tesla staff in Sydney to commence this week have started trickling through.

This has been in line with the arrival of what is understood to have been about 500 Model 3s aboard to Cap Capricorn (about 150 of these may have been for New Zealand, leaving 350 or so for the first Australian arrivals).

As explained last week by Tesla’s logistics handler AutoNexus, delivery of vehicles to dealers or showrooms can take up to five days after a three day clearance at the docks.

While the majority of customers awaiting the best-selling who grabbed the opportunity to finalise orders as soon as the configuration page went online will not see their vehicles until at least September, it is clear that the Model 3 invasion in Australia is now well underway.

This is a significant time for Australia’s auto industry, which is experiencing the lowest downturn in ICE vehicle sales in 8 years, according to FCAI data.

But not so electric vehicles, sales of which are heading in exactly the opposite direction, and at a pace.

This is not exactly a surprise, with a small but increasing number of affordable electric vehicle models now available here, and current EV registrations over the last 9 years numbering in the thousands.

But data from market analysis firm Roy Morgan backs up the FCAI data as a continuing trend, as double the nunber of drivers from this time last year indicate they will buy a hybrid next time they purchase a car, and 85% more an electric vehicle.

If trends in Europe and the US are anything to go by, the arrival of the Model 3 in Australia is likely to become a driver behind a continuing trend as Australia finally picks up its act in the transition to electric vehicles.

A need for a transition to electric mobility has been recognised on a global level as the increasing impacts if climate change due to carbon emission looms large.

While countries around the world encourage a transition to EVs, with a range of policies and financial incentives designed to accelerate uptake, Australia has remained a global laggard.

Yet by Australia’s own admission, there is a dire fuel security emergency, with only 3 weeks worth of oil reserves, far far less than the IEA understanding that member countries (of which Australia is one) have 90 days oil reserve at any one time.

To counter this, “minister for emissions reduction” Angus Taylor is – instead of working on the obvious answer to thus conundrum, encouraging uptake in Australia – attempting to secure a risky deal with US president Trump that would see Australia left vulnerable in the case of an oil supply emergency.

Meanwhile, as the market stands currently, it will have to consumer demand that will instead drive the transition to cleaner transport in Australia – with the Model 3 potentially epitomising this shift.

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