Tesla will launch its highly anticipated new Model 3 car this week, but experts suggest Australia isn’t ready for an electric car overhaul.
Tesla founder Elon Musk announced in a series of Twitter messages on Monday that the Model 3 has “passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule”, and that the first cars are expected to “begin rolling off the line on Friday”.
Musk noted that 100 Model 3 cars would be produced in August, before increasing exponentially to 1500 by September and no less than 20,000 produced per month by December.
However, excited Australian customers have been warned to lower their expectations, as Tesla’s accessibility across the country is “poor”.
“I think Australia is notoriously slow with these things, it makes it hard for [Tesla] vehicles to be viable. Accessibility is poor,” Queensland University of Technology transport expert Tim Williams told The New Daily.
“It would be well received [in Australia] but a number of factors are slowing the outtake.”
Mr Williams said the main issue Australians face is the price.
“Cost is the real reason Australians may not buy it, the cost difference in Australia compared to the US definitely makes a difference sales-wise,” he said.
The Model 3 will retail for $US35,000 ($A45,700) but American customers can receive a $10,000 subsidy – bringing the base model price down to $US25,000 ($A35,900) – for buying an electric car, while Australians cannot.
And if you can afford the new model you could be waiting more than a year to receive it, with about 400,000 pre-orders already placed in the US, Business Insider reported.
But for Australians, the wait will be even longer with the production of right-hand drive models beginning nine months after the initial Model 3 release, Musk tweeted.
It’s estimated delivery for new reservations will occur in late 2018.
The company produced 85,000 cars worldwide in 2016.
The number of charging stations has also been a known issue for Tesla in Australia, with just 12 “Supercharger” stations installed – all located in Victoria or New South Wales.
Supercharger stations allow Tesla cars to receive a quick charge – from 0 to 100 per cent charged in 90 minutes – for long-distance drives.
This means drivers are forced to use home or destination charging stations, which can take anywhere between 4-12 hours, depending on wattage.
But according to Mr Williams it is a common misconception that people could get trapped without any battery in an electric car.
“These cars can drive some 500km on a full charge – who drives 500km a day?” he said.
“The reality is the average car user lives in cities and only drives a maximum 100km a day.
“People are quite capable of recharging at home, and I think it’s very unlikely someone would get stranded with no battery, or time to charge if you’re prepared. It’s a possibility though.”
The Model 3 is Tesla’s cheapest model to date, with the average Tesla currently selling for $US90,000 ($A117,000).
The new five-seat vehicle will have an acceleration from 0 to 100kmh in just under six seconds and can travel at least 345km on a single charge.
It also has autopilot capabilities including auto lane change, smart summon (which brings your car to meet you), and automatic emergency braking.
Model 3 passed all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule. Expecting to complete SN1 on Friday
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2017