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.
— EV News Daily ⚡️ (@EVNewsDaily) March 23, 2018
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 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.