Breaking: Tesla’s Australian Model 3 page shows Made-in-China interior

Yesterday I posted about new photos from the Shanghai Gigafactory, showing RHD Model 3s waiting for delivery. At the time I suggested some of these could be headed to...

Yesterday I posted about new photos from the Shanghai Gigafactory, showing RHD Model 3s waiting for delivery. At the time I suggested some of these could be headed to Australia.

Today Tesla has updated the Australian website to reflect the China-specific interior door trims, which appears to confirm that Australia will now source it’s Tesla Model 3s (and hopefully soon Model Ys) from Shanghai, rather than Freemont.

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If you follow Tesla closely, then you’ll know that the 2021 Tesla Model 3 refresh updated many components of the car, including the interior. When that update reached China, it came with something unique to that market.

The wooden and white dash trim piece now extended on to the door panels. Even today, these don’t appear on the US order pages. While we haven’t had official confirmation from Tesla, this definitely looks to confirm my theory that Australian orders will now be fulfilled from China.

When the first images appeared of the updated door panels, it was fairly controversial and while I still think the wood grain runs the wrong way, clearly Tesla are comfortable rolling that design to new markets. If I was ordering my Model 3 today, this may be enough to get me to the white interior.

There are some other important changes in the configurator, including the addition of white interior option for the SR+ model, something previously not offered in Australia.

You can also option up 19″ Sport wheels, over the 18″ Aero wheels for A$2,200.

As EV-HQ points out on Twitter, the range of the SR+ has now been increased to 508km (est.) which just a year ago was 460km (NEDC est). By comparison, the Long Range is rated for 657km (est.) and the Performance 628km (est.)

When it comes to price, it looks like things are fairly similar to what they were before, so we’re not seeing any significant discounts thanks to reduced shipping costs or cheaper LFP battery tech.

If you order today, the delivery estimate is 9-12 weeks, which means it’ll be a while before any cars of this new spec actually arrive in Australia.

To give you an idea of the logistical challenge of shipping vehicles to the other side of the planet, a ship carrying vehicles typically travels around 20 knots. To cover the 6,966 nautical miles, it would take 14 days and 12 hours to complete the journey. In reality, there are stops at many ports along the way, placing a typical delivery time closer to a month from the time it leaves port in California.

In comparison, the journey from Shanghai to Melbourne, is 5,193 nautical miles and would typically take 10 days, 20 hours.

With the production of Australian Tesla vehicles, specifically the Model 3 and hopefully Model Y to follow shortly, Tesla will significantly reduce the time between ordering and delivery, while saving cost to them and hopefully passing that saving on to customers.

The delivery fee listed on the Tesla Model 3 configurator is now A$1,375.

The Model 3 feature page also now includes the updated interior and interestingly they chose to showcase the white interior, a A$1,500 option.

From this shot, it’s easy to see the updated steering wheel, with no stitching and 10 and 2, like the original Model 3s. This strongly suggests we may also get the heated steering wheel. Although much of Australia doesn’t get cold enough to need it, there are certainly Aussie owners that would appreciate it. The website currently doesn’t list this, so it is also possible that Tesla would software lock this, and wake it up later, like they have the rear seat heaters in some markets.


Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021
6 Comments on this post.

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  • David
    17 January 2021 at 8:38 am

    I don’t want a heated steering wheel Jason, I want a COOLED steering wheel LOL 🙂
    Seriously though, cooled seats would be nice for our climate- there’s no sign of that in the pipeline anywhere unfortunately.

    Leave a Reply
  • Michael Statham
    17 January 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Good to see the white interior option is available will go for it. Any ideas on how the exchange rate with the dollar works given that the Au$ has appreciated about 7% over the last few months, would we expect an adjustment in price?

    Leave a Reply
    • Paul
      17 January 2021 at 8:32 pm
    • Ryan
      18 January 2021 at 1:29 pm

      Jason – I like your enthusiasm but this is not the best news. We should expect another price drop given the MIC and battery proposition. I for one have been waiting for the model Y and if it’s MIC/sub standard battery then I’m out

      Leave a Reply
  • Kent
    18 January 2021 at 10:04 pm

    What the hell! Isn’t the MIC model supposed to be cheaper, especially when we are still not getting enough support from gov? Guess my car for next 7 years will be ICE again. Scomo and oil miners, you win!

    Leave a Reply
  • David Sowden
    27 January 2021 at 4:47 pm

    What is the weight increase of the 55kW LFP battery compared to the NCA?

    Leave a Reply
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