Tesla Model 3 finally on sale in Australia – here’s what you need to know

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The day has finally come: Tesla’s best-selling all-electric Model 3 sedan is available to order online in Australia. And the drive away price for the lowest cost version is…

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The Driven

The day has finally come: The best-selling all-electric Model 3 sedan from Californian EV pioneer Tesla is now available to order online in Australia. But the drive-away price for the lowest cost version is around $71,000.

The online configurator for the Tesla Model 3 went live on Friday afternoon in Australia, with deliveries to start in August. The configurator is available for both reservation holders, of which there are thousands – some waiting since the original unveiling three years ago – and the general public.

Deliveries will be based on date of reservation (so priority for those waiting a while), as well as location of delivery and configuration options.

While in the US, Europe and China only the Long Range and Performance variants of the all-electric sedan went on sale to begin with, Australian consumers – like those in the UK – will be able to order either the performance or the standard plus (Tesla’s upgraded version of its base model) from day one.

The price, however, is not quite the mass-market number that many might have been hoping for. That’s because the plain standard model is not available, and because autopilot comes with every car, and is no longer considered an option.

So, According to the configurator viewed by The Driven this afternoon, the upgraded version of the base Model 3 will have a starting price of $66,000 (before drive aways) and the Performance will start from $85,000 (before drive aways). Drive away prices vary from state to state because of the stamp duty and other taxes.

In NSW, the basic model drive away is $71,840. The drive-away price for the performance model, without additions, is $95,489. The ACT looks to be the cheapest, drive away.

Those prices do not include any additions – such as different colour (apart from standard black), interior, wheels, and other options such as full self driving.

The Model 3 has proven itself a game changer for the entire automotive industry, becoming the best-selling electric car of all time in the US a month ago, the best selling car in its class in the US (including against internal combustion engine vehicles) in 2018, and has since also proven popular in European countries such as Sweden and Norway.

The unveiling of the Australian configurator does deliver on Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s promise that it would be available by May, although some were expecting mid May, rather than the last day of the month.

It also coincides with the recent reappearance of the Model 3 on showroom floors.

Credit: Marc Talloen
The Model 3 on show in Brisbane. Credit: Marc Talloen

As in the US and other countries overseas, it is available in Solid Black (standard), Midnight Silver Metallic or Deep Blue Metallic for $1,400 extra, Pearl White Multi-Coat for $2,100 extra and Red MultiCoat for $2,800 extra

The Standard Range Plus is only available with 18″ aero wheels (standard), while the performance model has a “performance extra” for $6,200 that includes 20″ sport wheels and upgrades for brakes, suspension, pedals and top speed (261km/h vs 233km/h).

Full self-driving comes at $7,100, and is available post delivery, but Tesla warns that it will likely be more costly then. Musk has also said that cars with full self driving will increase in value as self driving is progressively allowed on city streets and cars are available to serve as robo-taxis.

One customer, Tim Eden, noted that the maximum price for the performance version with all the options, including red paint and full self driving, is $115,559 drive away.

“This is actually a bit cheaper than I thought it was going to be. I’m also impressed that the standard range plus is $70k drive away,” he said, but added that he was holding fire for the dual-motor on-performance and the tow bar option (not immediately available) “so I can still have my weekend”.

Another customer said he had ordered the performance model, plus white colour and full self driving. The drive away cost in Victoria is $107,000.

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