Tesla’s more affordable Model 3 is officially unveiled tomorrow, but that hasn’t stopped some keen Tesla fans from pre-ordering. Its not often the international timezones work to Australians advantage, but this morning it did, making Australians the first in the world to pre-order a Tesla Model 3. Pre-orders were prioritised for people already in the Tesla family and cost A$1,500.
While speculation has been fierce online, these are people that don’t know the performance numbers, the range numbers or even the important price of the Model 3 which shows just how committed fans of electric vehicles and the Tesla brand, really are. Estimates put the more affordable Model 3 around $50-60,000 in Australia, but as low as US$35,000.
Elon Musk is well aware of the Aussie enthusiasm, posting the following tweet to his 3.6 Million followers. Its sure to be an exciting day for Musk given he’s now getting some competition in the affordable EV space, with GM announcing the Chevy Bolt earlier this year with sales starting late 2016 in the US, there’s currently no word on Australian availability of the Bolt, so if you want an affordable EV, watch the Model 3 launch tomorrow morning, very closely.
Model 3 order day starting in Australia pic.twitter.com/T6aUnG5BCv
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2016
Business Insider Australia says the number of people pre-ordering at the Sydney and Melbourne stores is well into the hundreds. If you’re an international reader, don’t stress, each country will have their own pre-order list, so our enthusiastic Aussies can’t take them all.
Australia’s history with fully EV cars is not a great story. The Mitsubishi iMiev was a A$60,000 small car that got poor range and at the time, had no infrastructure to recharge. There were so many compromises that they only sold hundreds and most were to enthusiastic businesses. There’s plenty of hybrids on the market, but using both petrol and electric systems to power the vehicle misses the dramatic benefits of a simplified all-electric drivetrain, controlled largely by software.
There’s also the Nissan Leaf which costs A$40,000, unsurprisingly hasn’t set the world on fire with a seriously ugly design. It features a maximum of 135km range and takes up to 14 hours to recharge. So with these poor entrants into the Aussie EV space, its not surprising people are excited about latest from Tesla. Tesla are well known for their design and styling as well as their technology and it’ll be interesting to see if the futuristic Autopilot technology fits in the lower price point of the Model 3.
A key part of the success of Tesla’s 4th car (Roadster, Model S, Model X and now Model 3) will be their ability to capitalise on the electric infrastructure they’ve constructed over the last couple of years. This Supercharger network will allow owners to recharge for free for the life of the vehicle and make it possible to drive the east cost at no cost. We’ll be keen to watch out for the exact range available on the Model 3, while its not expected to be the 500km of the big brother, we could see 350-400km.
In the last few days, we seen cues outside Tesla dealerships around the globe and this morning, EV loving Aussies were out in force. Campbell Simpson over at Gizmodo has a great post with photos from the Aussie cue this morning. The first in line was Anrdreas Stephens who was featured on EFTM 2 days ago when the cue began, and was the first in Sydney and Car Advice captured a guy named Sam entering first in Melbourne.
— CarAdvice (@car_advice) March 30, 2016
Some were more prepared for the wait than others, with this potential Model 3 owner in Montreal, Canada camping out in a branded tent.