Approximately 1,200 more Tesla Model 3 EVs have arrived at Port Kembla, south of Sydney, signalling the potentially record-smashing impact the Californian automaker will have on the local market in 2021.
Sources say that deliveries in NSW will be put on hold until a $3,000 rebate and the waiver of stamp duty kicks in from September.
The latest shipment, which has been reported by Tesla ship tracker @VedaPrime, brings the number of now Shanghai-made electric sedans shipped to Australia in 2021 to approximately 7,500, following 2,100 shipped in Q1 and 4,200 in Q2.
As The Driven has previously reported, it is thought that at least 10,000 more Teslas will be on Australian roads than in 2020 by years’ end – but being barely halfway through 2021, this number could be even higher than estimated.
Nine days into July and Tesla has shipped more Model 3s than Toyota has sold Camrys.
As @VedaPrime notes, the newest vehicles to arrive “were built in June at Shanghai which is unusual to see cars crossing quarters like this.”
1st Q3 #Tesla delivery ship has arrived in Australia at Port Kembla.
Another >1200 shipment
Over 7000 for the year now. More than double all of 2020 arrivals.
These cars were built in June at Shanghai which is unusual to see cars crossing quarters like this.
Archive Image pic.twitter.com/1Kaao75pXH
— VedaPrime (@VedaPrime) July 8, 2021
Tesla only records a sale once a vehicle is delivered, but importantly it only makes a vehicle once it is ordered.
And while the date on which vehicles are shipped to the country may not be the same quarter they are delivered in, recording the shipping data is important because it is the only means of tracking deliveries – apart from waiting for state authorities to make public registration data available, as Tesla does not report local sales data to Vfacts.
Tesla already increased its Australian fleet by more than 50% in the first half of 2021. A video of Model 3s lined up at port in early June as reported by The Driven was likened to an army of clone warriors from the legendary sci-fi movie series “Star Wars”.
According to VedaPrime, who tracks vehicle movements for customers after they arrive in Australian ports, Tesla hasn’t even had a chance to deliver all the previous vehicles yet.
And it is thought that with the introduction of rebates for new electric vehicles and waiver of stamp duty which will save NSW drivers thousands on their purchase costs, many of Tesla’s NSW customers may be waiting to take delivery in order to claim the new incentives.
Another question arising from the massive influx of Model 3s is, of course, will there be enough charging infrastructure?
One salient point to note on the uptake of Tesla electric cars over other models (a little more than 2,200 EVs from other carmakers have been bought in 2021 to date) is they can use both the Tesla Supercharging network and third-party chargers such as Chargefox and Evie Networks.
While it is not necessary to use DC fast chargers all the time to charge an electric car – they can quite easily be topped up at home, or when doing the shopping if there are destination chargers available – no doubt the ability to access all chargers is a deciding factor for some buyers.
And with super-fast V3 chargers now being installed in Australia and more than 20 new sites planned by Tesla, it would appear the company is well aware of the need to ramp up infrastructure as its fleet grows.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor 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 Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.