Elon Musk tweet suggests further delay for Tesla Model 3 in Australia

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More heartache for Australian EV enthusiasts, after Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted at further delays on arrival of “mass market” Model 3 electric vehicle.

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Source: Tesla
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Source: Tesla

More heartache for Australian electric vehicle enthusiasts this week, after a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk hinted at further delays on the arrival of the company’s long-awaited “mass market” Model 3 electric vehicle.

The Tweet from Musk (below), posted in response to a question from a UK customer, said it would probably be mid-2019 before the US EV maker could start turning out right-hand drive versions of the Model 3 – the sort needed for Australian roads.

The Model 3 had been expected to arrive in Australia sometime in 2019 – optimists were hoping for the first part of the year. But Musk’s frank appraisal of how RHD manufacturing is tracking suggests late 2019 is now “best-case” and for many it could be 2020.

Production and deliveries of the Model 3 have been delayed across the board, thanks to a year of manufacturing setbacks that Musk said had put the Model 3 “deep in production hell.”

The company is due to report to the market on its latest production target – 2,500 vehicles by the end of March, and 5,000 by the end of Q2 – in just a couple of days.

The delay on the roll-out of the RHD version of the cars – implied though it is – deals another blow to Australia’s prospective EV buyers, after learning just yesterday that the new Nissan LEAF might not be arriving here until at least March 2019.

The LEAF, new models of which have not been available to Australian buyers for a couple of years now, was due to go on sale on our market in the second half of this year.

Like the Model 3, its arrival has been much anticipated, due to the distinct lack of mid-priced EVs – or any sort, for that matter – currently available on the Australian market.

As Bryce Gaton noted in his article here, Australians wishing to buy an EV currently have only five models to choose from, three of which are in the prestige price range.

The new Nissan, as well as the Hyundai Ioniq, were expected to change that with their arrival later this year, closely followed by the Tesla Model 3.

Sophie Vorrath

Sophie is editor of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and deputy editor of its sister site, RenewEconomy.com.au. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.

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14 Comments
  1. George Michaelson 9 months ago

    The new Nissan is also reportedly running late isn’t it? Even a story on this website

    • neroden 9 months ago

      Yep, it’s late too.

  2. Chris Jones 9 months ago

    At least the new Nissan Leaf (60 kWh) version might get here first. If they can get their s&!t together!

  3. George Darroch 9 months ago

    Bloomberg’s production tracker shows them well behind even their recent estimated schedules. Granted, they’re being conservative, but they haven’t reached production nirvana yet.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-tesla-tracker/

  4. Jason Van Der Velden 9 months ago

    Useless!

  5. Colin Nicholson 9 months ago

    Probably cancel my model 3 and get a jag in October

    • Carl Raymond S 9 months ago

      I’ll keep getting the Subaru serviced till my 3 arrives. Just having the order keeps my conscience clear.

    • neroden 9 months ago

      If you’re going to buy the iPace, why not get a Model S or Model X? Longer track record, access to Superchargers, and about the same price.

      Also… I see no indication that the iPace will be available in Australia any time soon either.

  6. MaxG 9 months ago

    What I thought it would be, why I bought another ICE car.

    • neroden 9 months ago

      Unwise financially. Unless you bought a used car. Buying a new ICE car right now is a mug’s game — it’ll depreciate so fast you won’t know what hit you.

  7. onesecond 9 months ago

    The few RHD countries should just switch to LHD. Of course it is massively expensive to do that, but after that it is an economic advantage forever, so a payback is garantueed.

  8. Nick 9 months ago

    Come on I read this tweet on the 22nd! A bit old news don’t you think? Besides, anyone who actually thought it would get here pre 2020 was kidding themselves. Who cares, they will come. By 2025 you’ll have more EVs for sale than you could poke a stick at.

  9. Ralph Wolf 9 months ago

    I’m happy to wait for AWD M3, but I’m also looking with one eye for used AWD MS…. Dang they are spendy though! Oh well. Leaf60 might be worth considering, if the battery is water cooled…. but the lack of SuperChargers is annoying.

  10. neroden 9 months ago

    I’m not surprised. Switching the line to RHD is a big pain, even with the additional symmetry designed into Model 3. They have to get AWD out first (lots of people are waiting for that), and the base model (lots of people are waiting for that), and the light-colored interior (lots of people are waiting for that), and they still haven’t managed to produce the existing configuration at full speed. Mid-2019 is the first plausible date for an RHD model 3.

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