Californian car maker Tesla is believed to be preparing for another end-of-quarter ramp up of deliveries of its Model 3 electric sedans in Australia, with four more cargo ships due to arrive before the end of 2019.
The Australian arrival of the Model 3, that starts at $67,900 in Australia, before on road costs, has already rapidly changed the local auto market which is known for being a global laggard in the shift to clean transport.
The introduction of the Model 3 has likely doubled the number of EVs on the road in Australia since its arrival in August, when several thousand Model 3s arrived in the first shipments to Australia, although the pace of deliveries has fallen off significantly since then.
According to Tesla ship tracker account @VedaPrime, which keeps a record of the comings and goings of ships bound for Australia from California’s Port of Oakland, with 8 ships arriving from the start of November until the end of December.
Six of these are confirmed as carriers of Model 3, and with capacity for as many as 800 vehicles per ship.
Of these six, the ship carrying the most Model 3s is likely the Synergy Keelung which is due to arrive in Sydney on Saturday – VINs associated with each ship can be viewed via VedaPrime’s VIN tracking sheet here.
A further two of these six have already arrived in Sydney, with Model 3s now spotted aboard a vehicle carrier headed for Melbourne.
— VedaPrime (@VedaPrime) November 18, 2019
Tesla delivered an unprecedented number of electric vehicles to Australian customers in September in a flurry of activity that even saw Tesla chair Robyn Denholm pitch in, but October saw Tesla staff able to take a breather as deliveries temporarily slowed down.
It is understood that some customers who ordered Performance models in October received advice from Tesla that their vehicle deliveries would be delayed until early 2020.
This may be because of the three variants available in Australia, four out of ten vehicles ordered were Performance – a far higher proportion than may have been expected by Tesla given the higher price of the top-of-the-range version which costs in the vicinity of $100,000 after on road costs.
This also means that it is likely that the majority of Model 3s arriving before year’s end are Standard Range Plus models and to a lesser extent, Long Range according to an informal survey conducted by Australian Tesla Owners.
The same survey suggested that 7 out of 10 orders had not yet been filled by Tesla, although VedaPrime suggests that based on VINs being registered, the delivery numbers in the final weeks of 2019 may not be in the same league as initial deliveries.
Nevertheless, the arrival of a new influx of Model 3s will no doubt please many customers who have been patiently waiting for “the call” that Tesla is ready to deliver their Model 3.
Exactly how many Teslas are sold in Australia may always remain a mystery, as the car maker does not report local sales figures to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries of which it is a member, and also because state registration authorities do not transparently publish registration figures.
Since its introduction to right hand drive markets in the first half of 2019, it is understood that around 25,000 Model 3s have been shipped to Australia, New Zealand and the UK combined.
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.