Early in December 2014, Tesla finally began selling its electric vehicles in Australia with its first showroom officially opened in north Sydney by company founder Elon Musk. The first EV available from the Tesla range for Australian motorists is the Model S, a four-door sedan with an impressive 500km range.
Tesla also unveiled its two supercharger stations; one is in the Sydney showroom while the other is at Darling Harbour’s Star casino. These stations will allow electric drivers to fully charge their vehicles in 60 minutes and half charge it in 20 minutes. While it is not the first electric car on the Australian market, the Model S is certainly one of the most expensive at $117,000 AUD. Add in extras such as a dual motor to increase the range and power plus an amazing autopilot feature which has the ability to change lanes and steer autonomously and the price goes to $200,000AUD.
According to Heath Walker, the company spokesman in Australia, the vehicle’s 500km range and ability to accelerate from 0-100km in 3.4 seconds means it is well worth the price as it rivals high-performance vehicles in the same price bracket. Walker described the Tesla Model S as the fastest accelerating 4-door sedan that has ever been built.
A Lifestyle Statement
If you decide to purchase the Model S, bear in mind that you also have to pay the cost of installing the 40-amp single phase charger which is crucial for the smooth running of the vehicle. If you live in an older home, you may have to pay up to $1,000AUD for an electrical system upgrade that can power the Model S. In contrast, it is possible to plug the Nissan Leaf or Holden Volt into a regular household powerpoint and both vehicles are substantially cheaper than the Model S.
Tesla Super Charger Network. Source: Google Images
Tesla also announced plans to add eight superchargers across Australia in cities such as Canberra and Melbourne with more superchargers to be installed in Sydney in 2015. Tesla hopes to extend its network to Brisbane in 2016.
The company’s Gigafactory is scheduled to be opened in Nevada in 2017; this plant will create lithium ion batteries and this mass production should help reduce the price of Tesla models. Eventually, the company hopes to introduce the Model III in Australia for a slightly more affordable $60,000AUD which brings the price below the nation’s luxury car tax; this should make the Model III an appealing prospect.