California carmaker Tesla has officially announced the start of deliveries of its best-selling Model 3 electric sedan in Australia, posting a video of one lucky recipient to Twitter Monday morning.
A black Standard Range Plus Model 3 was filmed rolling out of Tesla’s Richmond Service and Delivery Centre in Melbourne, with one very pleased driver flashing the victory sign as they drove off silently into the Victorian capital’s streets.
Model 3 has arrived in Australia 🦘 pic.twitter.com/lXpeWxG4Pj
— Tesla (@Tesla) September 1, 2019
Tesla actually commenced deliveries last Tuesday, as reported by The Driven, however the post on Twitter is a clear signal to the rest of the developed world – where the shift to electric mobility is well under way – that Australia is slowly but surely beginning the long road to catch up.
To date in Australia, the number of sales by Tesla have been very low – in 2017, the carmaker sold just 1,410 vehicles in Australia – although that is likely to be a reasonable share of the overall Australia market.
In comparison, in Tesla’s domestic market, the US, it sold just over 103,000 vehicles in the same year according to data compiled by Inside EVs.
It is not known how many Model 3s have been ordered in Australia – Tesla is notoriously tight-lipped about localised sales figures – but it is likely that the arrival of the Model 3, just another in a flurry of new electric vehicles available to the Australian market in the last 12 months, will accelerate the shift here that is so badly needed.
Along with other electric vehicle offerings such as the Tesla Model X and S, Hyundai’s Kona Electric and Ioniq, BMW i3 and i3s, Nissan Leaf, Jaguar I-Pace and Renault Zoe, the sight of more and more Model 3s driving on Australian roads and charging at EV charging stations will no doubt go towards normalising zero emissions transport for the wider population.
Tesla’s role in driving electric vehicle sales overseas, where the Model 3 was the most sold electric vehicle in Europe and the US in the first half of 2019, is surely also an indicator of the significance of the Model 3’s arrival on the Australian market.
Along with the official announcement that Australians are now taking possession of Model 3s, the carmaker – which is known for its tongue-in-cheek social media strategy – also posted a slightly odd but nevertheless humourous tweet following its initial tweet this morning:
Tesla is the kangaroo of the automotive world because we raise little Teslas in the frunks of our cars.
— Tesla (@Tesla) September 1, 2019
As much as we question that the frunk (ie, front trunk because there is no engine under the bonnet) is actually where little Teslas come from (or that Australia is actually upside down), we’ll have to defer to the Tesla twitterdom, who responded with a number of equally humourous responses…see below!
Soooo, like this?! 😏 pic.twitter.com/fii0epl6NZ
— Jen Street (@jenstreet) September 1, 2019
Hmmm, mine was raised in the trunk.
Breach baby? pic.twitter.com/cJByHbJclO
— Mad Hungarian (@IanPavelko) September 1, 2019
What about Frunk men pic.twitter.com/IFeortffKD
— Tesla Owners Silicon Valley (@teslaownersSV) September 1, 2019
— Viv (@flcnhvy) September 1, 2019
Skippy approves! pic.twitter.com/SL0XRjBQmj
— AussieMumInATesla♥️🇦🇺 (@AusMumTesla) September 1, 2019
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.