The sticker price for the Tesla Model 3 in Australia dropped by up to $A7,000 on Friday, as the Californian car maker also upgraded numerous specifications, delivered a reported increase in driving range, and most notably, added the Model Y’s highly efficient heat pump.
The base Standard Range Plus (SR+) Model 3 is now priced at $A66,900 (before on-road costs), a drop of $A7,000 from its previous $73,900 sticker price that Tesla had imposed earlier in 2020 after a fall in the value of the Australian dollar.
The reversal – following a rebound in the value of the Australian dollar – means the Model 3 is now almost back to its original August, 2019, price of $A66,000, but with much better specs.
The Long Range (LR) variant pricing has also dropped $A6,000 to $A81,900 and the Performance (P) variants has dropped $A5,000 to $A90,900, all before on-road costs and options.
All variants now also get a range of interior and exterior feature updates, as flagged by The Driven in September.
Most importantly, Tesla has confirmed that the Model 3 now includes the Model Y heat pump, which greatly improves efficiency. Tesla has not said by how much, but recent testing by Motor1.com now puts the Model 3 as the most efficient EV it has ever tested, with an electricity consumption of 11.9kWh/100km.
On the inside, updates include a redesigned centre console that now includes two wireless charging mats and a sliding lid on the front compartment.
Sunvisors now have a magnet to snap them back in place, and trim updates include a matte black finish to replace a previous glossy finish, satin black sill plates, graphite finish on seat controls, and metal-like scroll wheels on the steering wheel.
Two more USB-C ports are also included for high speed charging of mobile phones and other devices, as well as an extra USB-A port in the glove box for accessories like storage devices for Sentry Mode and Dash Cam media files.
Local Tesla owners have reported spotting other upgrades not outlined by Tesla in an email to The Driven, including an increase in acceleration for the LR and P variants, black door handles instead of chrome, new wheel alloys and Pirelli P Zero tyres for the P, a smaller but electric-powered “frunk” (front trunk), and an auto dim mirror.
All models also now drive further according to Tesla: the SR+ is put at 490km instead of the previous 460km, the LR range is put at 657km instead of 620km, and the P is put at 628km instead of the previous 560km.
It must be noted that in Australia it uses the NEDC rating to determine driving range (which stands “not even damn close” according to the vernacular). US-based EPA ratings via fueleconomy.gov gives drivers a more accurate idea of actual driving range: 402km for the SR+, 531km for the LR, and 506km for the Performance.
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.