Tesla has identified South Australia as its next Australian target market, a move the company says was motivated by increased local interest in its Model S and X electric vehicles, and the state government’s well-demonstrated commitment to renewable energy.
The US EV and battery maker said on Wednesday it had opened a pop up store in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall, pictured below, to showcase the recently launched Model X, offer test drives for both the Model S and X, and to display the latest iteration of the Tesla Powerwall home battery unit.
“The South Australian government has shown a commitment to renewables, which supports the mission of Tesla which is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” a company statement said.
Indeed, Tesla and the Weatherill government have been particularly aligned on the subject of grid-scale battery storage, after a weekend of Twitter and telephone conversations tossed over the possibility of installing 100MW of battery storage on the South Australian grid in just 100 days, as a competitive solution to the state’s energy security troubles.
Since those talks, South Australia has formally announced its plans to install at least 100MW of large-scale battery storage as part of a sweeping response to the past spring and summer’s series of blackouts and what it says are the failures of the National Electricity Market.
South Australian energy minister, Tom Koutsantonis, said on Tuesday that the government’s battery storage tender expected to attract a lot of bids, and noted that it was a “happy coincidence” that it was launched just days after the Tesla tweets.
The opening of a new Tesla store in the state now looks similarly well-timed .
Tesla says the pop up store, which is located on the ground floor of the Myer Centre – has been synchronised with last week’s initiation of an EV supercharger highway between Melbourne and Adelaide, with the opening of a Supercharger in Ballarat.
“This, along with Destination Charging sites across South Australia including Luxury Accommodation – The Frames and Burnside Village Shopping Centre – shows dedication to the development of infrastructure in support of owners,” Tesla said.
Up next for the state will be a Tesla Service Centre, when a suitable location is found. This will also include a Tesla Store, along with sites for future Supercharger stations.