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  • Blog, Gadgets, Industry - Written by on Monday, April 14, 2014 14:07 - 14 Comments

    Tesla Model S may come to Australia shortly


    blog If you’re a fan of electric motor vehicles and live in Australia, you are probably very aware that your options have been quite limited. Sure, millionaires such as Simon Hackett have been able to import Tesla Roadsters, and there are a few hybrid models around as well. But in general things have been a fair bit more limited than most of us would like. Well, queue the hype train, because Gizmodo reported this morning that US electric car firm Tesla has shipped one of its popular Model S units over to Canberra for testing. The site reports (we recommend you click here for the full article):

    “According to our source, Australia’s sole Model S is (apparently) in Canberra, being inspected and tested by the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch to make sure that it complies with the Australian Design Rules.”

    Of course, these are still very early days. The launch has not yet confirmed, Tesla has none of the direct to market outlets in Australia yet that it prefers to use to sell its units, and even when the Model S does launch, you can expect it to sell at a premium and in limited availability. Plus, there are none of the so-called ‘supercharger’ terminals in Australia that Tesla has deployed in the US, meaning it will be difficult to use the Model S on long drives in our vast continent.

    However, this is still exciting news. Electric cars are awesome, and Tesla electric cars are the most awesome of the awesome. It’s great to see these early moves and I look forward to several sightings of cashed up tech sector luminaries (I’m looking at you, Matt Barrie) driving Tesla Model S units around town soon. Nice. It would also be good if Tesla founder and all-round Tony Stark lookalike Elon Musk could make a trip down under to launch the range. Now that would make us feel all special.

    Image credit: Tesla

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    1. Kal
      Posted 14/04/2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I can’t afford a Tesla, but if anyone has a competition to win one I’ll be entering it a few thousand times.

    2. Senectus
      Posted 14/04/2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink | Reply


    3. Bryn
      Posted 14/04/2014 at 3:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Tesla has a policy of pricing by cost & currency only- so it should be reasonable. Some leaked info a few weeks ago suggested about $70k starting price but I guess we’ll see!

      I really want one…

      • Greg
        Posted 14/04/2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

        AUD$70k is too low. The base model is selling in the USA for USD$70k, excluding US federal tax credits. That is ~AUD$74.5k. The base model is GBP£50k in the UK, which is ~AUD$89k.

        • Lachlan
          Posted 14/04/2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Tesla starts at USD 70k, for the 60KWH version
          @ 0.94c = AUD 75k
          Add $5k freight and localisation.
          Add 5% Car tariff, $4k
          Add GST $8.4k
          Price is now AUD $93k
          Then there is luxury car tax, which cuts in on amounts over about $75k for fuel efficient vehicles.
          Adding an extra $6k
          So, a bottom barrel model S for under $100k, if your lucky.

          Plus rego of about $4k in WA at that price range.

        • Bryn
          Posted 14/04/2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Quite likely but it is the price listed on the tesla website if you view source on this page: http://www.teslamotors.com/en_AU/models/design

          Base price from the AU rice book is $70k. Of course they haven’t released that, so well have to see what actually happens. VAT is list at 0% too, so that will have to change :)

    4. DisgruntledLoner
      Posted 14/04/2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Is the steering wheel on the proper side?

      • Posted 14/04/2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink | Reply

        According to Gizmodo, yes.

      • nonny-moose
        Posted 14/04/2014 at 8:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

        yes, they are doing from-factory LHD and RHD versions; which pleased me no end to see. just about all the images out atm are LHD shots tho, hopefully that changes soon.

        this car – well i read the Ars Tech article on it and it was an immediate money-no-object-i’ll-have-one-thanks response. i imagine after passing VSSB theres not a whole lot to do to get it on the sales floor; looking forward to seeing one in the flesh.

      • Eric
        Posted 14/04/2014 at 11:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

        If the steering wheel wasn’t on the “correct” side, the car wouldn’t be allowed on our roads.

        Ask me how I know!

        (No, don’t ask me – but I do know)

        • midspace
          Posted 15/04/2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

          Funny, how I recently saw a Ford on the road with a big sign on the back, indicating that it was Test vehicle, AND it was a Left hand drive.

        • Grant
          Posted 15/04/2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

          I regularly see LHD cars around and about in my daily commute. Not that uncommon at all.

          Some are obviously test vehicles, others are imports.

          Besides, it’s no more or less difficult to drive a car sitting on the left hand side, it’s just different.

    5. Greg
      Posted 14/04/2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      On the electric car topic, the BMW i3 has had it’s list price and launch date announced. Starting at $64k, out in November.


      • Morrissey
        Posted 14/04/2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

        Great to see more competition, I wish it had more subtle styling though.

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