Tesla has added numerous new locations to its Supercharger map, indicating it is preparing for a substantial increase in charging spots, and sales, ahead of a Model Y launch expected later in 2021.
It is more than likely that the new spots, which are slated to open between now and early 2022, will be V3 Superchargers also, with the first of the 1-megawatt units that can charge four cars at a time at a rate of 250kW each with no loss of power spotted by a reader in Brisbane on Saturday.
As The Driven noted previously, Tesla had already listed new sites at Hobart (TAS), Bundaberg (QLD), one site in Perth, Williams (WA), Colac, Frankston, Geelong, Traralgon and Warrnambool (VIC), Wollongong (NSW), as well as two more sites in both Sydney and Melbourne.
In addition to these locations, it has also now listed Holbrook and Bairnsdale in Victoria, a second site in Perth, two new sites in Brisbane as well as Rockhampton in Queensland, and Tenterfield and Armidale in NSW.
The new locations bring the total number of planned Superchargers to 22.
The growing DC fast-charging network – which can only be used by Tesla cars – signals a modest ramp for the EV maker in Australia. Tesla also has an AC destination charging network which is available to other EVs depending on the site operator settings.
Tesla’s mass-market Model 3 is a best-seller locally as well as in many overseas markets, but Tesla and Australian-born chair Robyn Denholm have both lamented the slow-to-no action by the government to accelerate a transition to clean transport.
In some cases, action such as proposing EV taxes be introduced to replace declining road excise caused not by EVs but by more efficient vehicles has in fact been in the opposite direction.
In a video address to the New Zealand parliament in early April, Denholm noted that both Australia and New Zealand have some of the most polluting fleets in the world, but applauded NZ’s efforts in its proposals to introduce clean car standards.
More recently, Tesla warned the South Australian government that introducing new standards requiring EV chargers, along with pools and air conditioners, be installed with demand response capabilities – effectively a third-party off-switch – would put the brakes on EV uptake by costing consumers thousands, and was contrary to EVSE standards work being done internationally.
While it seems the Australian government is hell-bent on discouraging EV uptake, Tesla as well as local DC fast charging networks such as Chargefox and Evie Networks are at least getting on with it.
And in Tesla’s case, there is another reason waiting behind the curtains – the imminent local release of the Model Y.
There is word floating about that orders for the Model Y will open for Australian customers by the end of 2021, and this writer’s hunch is it will be early in the fourth quarter.
Considering it upped the price of the Model 3 in October, only to drop it down to $62,990 for the Standard Range Plus before on-roads in April, it seems that Tesla makes market changes in Australia on a six-monthly basis. Fingers crossed I’m wrong and it is earlier than that.
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 since 2018. She 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.