The first three Model Ys have arrived in Australia, heralding a local launch of the popular electric car in the imminent future.
There are one of each variant – a Standard Range (not Plus, as previously stated), a Long Range and a Performance, according to Vedaprime, who tracks Tesla ships heading for Australia and New Zealand and who broke the news on Twitter on Tuesday evening.
While 3 Model Ys were shipped to New Zealand in July 2020, those vehicles were likely headed for testing in cold weather proving grounds.
It was not known at the time if those vehicles were left-hand or right-hand drive, but importantly, the latest batch consists of right-hand drive vehicles.
And according to photos seen by Vedaprime, the VINs on three vehicles on display at Tesla’s Model Y launch in Hong Kong on Tuesday correlate closely with the vehicles shipped to Australia, indicating they are Shanghai-built.
As VedaPrime notes these three vehicles could be used for a number of purposes, from ANCAP testing to homologation ahead of being added to the Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS), or for staff education.
I am excited to announce the 1st #Tesla Model Y has been detected on Oz shores in Vedaprime tracking. A release candidate model has arrived. This could be being used by Tesla for Australian certification, crash testing, or to educate staff on the new model.
#modelYau 🐂🦵🐻 pic.twitter.com/V1IaNOczln
— VedaPrime (@VedaPrime) August 3, 2021
The Model Y electric crossover, which was Tesla’s first vehicle to use a heat pump instead of resistive heating thus making it more energy-efficient, was first launched in the US in March 2020, and in June joined the smaller Model 3 as one of the top two selling EVs in Europe in June.
According to Tesla’s Hong Kong website, the Standard Range will have 455km driving range (WLTP), acceleration from 0-100km/hr in 5.6 seconds, with 19″ Gemini wheels as standard or an optional 20″ Induction wheels.
The Long Range will have 542km driving range (WLTP), with acceleration to 100lkm/hr in 5 seconds and 20″ Induction wheels as standard. Images shared to the Australian Model 3 & Y Facebook page indicate that the Long Range at the Hong Kong launch is kitted with new Michelin Sport EV tyres.
The Performance Model Y offers up to 528km driving range (WLTP) with accelration to 100km/hr in 3.7 seconds and 21″ Überturbine wheels, performance brakes and lowered suspension as standard.
It is understood that in Hong Kong, also a right-hand drive market, Tesla will commence Standard Range deliveries in September, with Long-Range to follow in late 2021 and early 2022 for the Performance.
The Model Y is only available in the US in the more expensive Long Range and Performance versions, which are priced at $US53,990 ($A73,010 converted) and $US60,990 ($A82,476 converted) respectively.
But as has been noted by The Driven previously, the already high price of electric vehicles in Australia due to import costs, currency conversion and on-road fees and taxes has the potential to push the sticker price of even the cheaper LR version well north of $A85,000.
The fact that a Model Y Standard Range – which is also now available in Hong Kong, has been also shipped to Australia firms up reasoning that the cheapest variant will go on sale here from the get-go.
Pricing models suggest that the Model Y SR+ may go on sale for around $A66,000 (before on roads) – the same price that the Model 3 first sold for when it was introduced in late 2019.
This article has been updated to include model specifications and clarify that the base model is a Standard Range, not Standard Range Plus.
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.