Anyone reluctant to purchase a Tesla now has a steadily increasing selection of electric vehicle choices from a range of traditional vehicle makers such as Hyundai, MG, Nissan, and Kia, and this will only broaden over the next few years.
Having a wide variety of vehicle sellers in the electric vehicle segment keeps the market competitive, which in turn benefits the consumer in many ways. Importantly, Tesla cannot be expected to electrify every vehicle segment across the entire globe all on its own.
There is an interesting dynamic developing in Western Australia. The charging infrastructure rollout for Tesla vehicles has continued with the Perth North and Williams Supercharger sites being operational for a number of weeks now.
Add these to the original Eaton Superchargers plus the expected installations in other parts of Western Australia, and anyone purchasing a Tesla can be confident that charging away from home is not a major hurdle.
On the other hand, the knowledge that a widespread reliable DC charging infrastructure in WA will only be partly operational in two years, and unlikely to be fully operational until just before the 2025 state election makes it a hard sell for the established vehicle dealerships in Western Australia.
I don’t personally see the lack of widespread DC charging infrastructure being a problem for the majority of WA drivers but it’s the traditional dealerships that have used that excuse consistently over the past decade. It appears their negativity is coming back to haunt them.
If readers don’t see this as a problem for legacy auto in WA it’s time to look at some facts: Tesla sales have grown rapidly each quarter of 2021 in Western Australia from less than 150 in Q1 to over 450 in Q3, to a predicted 800+ in Q4.
Of course Toyota sell more than 800 vehicles in WA in 3 weeks, let alone 3 months, but let’s look at the comparison of resources – Toyota is the most well known brand in Australia for the past 20 years, it has a huge marketing budget, it has over 21 dealerships in Western Australia, it sells 15 completely different types of passenger vehicle, including 16 variations of the Hilux, that’s a huge amount of choice.
Tesla on the other hand has one showroom in WA, it has no paid marketing, Tesla currently only sell one type of vehicle in 3 variations, the model 3 mid sized 4 door sedan in 5 basic exterior colours with 2 interior options, the model 3 is priced from $66k to $95k drive away yet sales are climbing rapidly and will continue to do so as new owners take friends, family and work colleagues for test drives.
Toyota’s huge advertising budget is no match for 1,000s of enthusiastic Tesla owners. On top of this rapid growth will be the opening of orders for the Model Y medium size SUV, which will likely outsell the Model 3 two to one.
The longer it takes for a generic DC charging infrastructure to get built in Western Australia the more time Tesla have to gain market dominance backed by their own superior Supercharging infrastructure, having nowhere to charge is only a problem for legacy auto in Western Australia.
Rob Dean is the chair of Teslas Owners Club Western Australia and also a member of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association.