Tesla has warned its soon-to-be released Tesla Semi electric trucks will be too wide for Australian roads unless current rules are changed.
Under existing regulations, trucks are only allowed to use Australian roads if they are 2.5 metres wide or less. Tesla says its Semi trucks are between 30 and 50 millimetres wider than that, although they confirm to rules in the United States, where the limit is 2.6m, and in the European Union, where it is 2.55 metres.
In a submission to the National Transport Commission’s Heavy Vehicle National Law Review, Tesla urged the government to change the rule, saying the Australian market’s small size would likely mean Tesla would not make the adjustments necessary to sell its trucks here.
“The Commission will be aware that given Australia’s small size in comparison to global markets, inconsistencies like this between Australian regulations and larger markets will delay or preclude vehicles coming to local markets,” the submission says.
“Currently, Australia will likely miss out on the first generation of electric heavy vehicles such as the Tesla Semi because of this.”
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James Fernyhough is a reporter at RenewEconomy. He has worked at The Australian Financial Review and the Financial Times, and is interested in all things related to climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy.