A long hiatus in the shipping of Tesla electric vehicles to Australia is at an end, with more than 100 Tesla Model 3s arriving by cargo ship on Saturday.
The automotive and shipping industry have faced significant challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, adding to the issues faced by manufacturers such as Tesla, which was forced to shut down its main Fremont plant for long periods.
Australia, being one of the company’s smaller markets, has been badly hit, even though the Tesla Model 3 had a huge impact when it finally began arriving on Australian shores in August, 2019.
Its arrival sparked a massive jump in electric vehicle sales in Australia, resulting in a tripling of EV sales in 2019 compared to the previous year, and it continued to lead the way in the EV market in Australia into the first quarter of 2020, albeit from a low base.
Tesla shipping tracker known as @Vedaprime on Twitter confirmed that in 2019, Tesla made 3,132 Model 3 vehicles for Australia – almost half of the 6,718 electric vehicles sold in that year.
Since then, 1,047 Model 3s were made for the Australian market, and although Tesla does not report actual local sales figures to industry body Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, inventory of Tesla Model 3 vehicles have likely dwindled since the last vehicles were shipped into Australia by Tesla in February.
Now, @Vedaprime has confirmed that Tesla has commenced shipping the Tesla Model 3 to Australia again, with 116 vehicles arriving aboard the Debussy cargo ship on Saturday.
According to @Vedaprime, 74 of these vehicles are Standard Range Plus models, accounting for 64% of the total, with the rest made up of the range-topping Performance variant, based on VIN records from the ships.
Debussy is confirmed to have had 116 cars arrived last Saturday. 74 SR+, 0 LR, 42 P.
— VedaPrime (@VedaPrime) June 15, 2020
As the quarter draws to a close, the re-start of shipping to Australia will be welcomed by the fledgling electric vehicle market.
On a broader scale, the arrival of Tesla Model 3s again in Australia confirms that Tesla is again shipping Model 3s to overseas markets – something that will be important in Tesla’s second quarter round up of delivery figures for 2020.
The next question is when Tesla make its new electric vehicle, the Model Y crossover, available for order in Australia.
Outside of the US, the Model Y has been available to order in China and certain parts of Europe, with an early vehicle reportedly imported to Germany by automotive company JB Car Concept for test drive purposes spotted recently in Dordrecht, Netherlands.
Who said that Model Y wouldn't be seen in Europe before 2021? Well, today at Supercharger Dordrecht. Will they speed this up too? pic.twitter.com/0T41MFmO9P
— Hans Noordsij (@HansNoordsij) June 14, 2020
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.