The New South Wales energy minister Matt Kean has just taken delivery of a Tesla Model 3 electric car, but other government employees hoping that these EVs will soon become a feature of the state government fleet will be sorely disappointed.
That’s because state government rules prevent them. The Model 3s strike out on two criteria – one being the power to weight ratio and the other its acceleration.
The NSW Department of Treasury places a limit of 130 kilowatts per tonne on cars in the government fleet. They are usually applied to P-plate drivers, but that is the standard for government fleets.
The Tesla Model 3 standard range plus electric car currently has a kW/t value of 121, but there is a chance that it could one day be updated by software improvements delivered over the air. And that would make it ineligible.
The NSW Centre for Road Safety also says that any vehicle that can get from 0 to 100km/h in less than 6 seconds should also be considered as high performance vehicles, and also ineligible for government fleets.
That rules out the Model SR+, which can get from 0-100km/h in 5.6 seconds, despite the fact that it has a 5 star ANCAP rating which means that it is regarded as one of the safest cars in the country, and the car with the lowest probability of injury.
And it also means the government employees won’t get to share in the minister’s excitement. “It’s the best car I’ve ever driven to be honest,” Kean told the Energy Insiders podcast in an interview last week.
And it’s not just the fun that the government and its employees will be missing out on. Kean also notes that the Model 3 is cost effective – over a four year lease, because of the low running costs, and has significantly lower greenhouse emissions, and no tailpipe impacts on the environment.