Tesla has sold ‘thousands’ of Model 3s in Australia, making it the best selling EV in the country

Image source: The Tesla Podcast

If you were in any doubt about the success of the Model 3 in Australia, fear not, we have confirmation that the car is selling incredibly well.

Thanks to an email reply I received today, I can confirm that Tesla has received “thousands of orders” and the delivery team are trying desperately to get those orders to customers. Some would say, they’re in delivery hell.

“..as one small team, are all working tirelessly to accommodate for the thousands of orders we have currently.”

While it’s hard to determine a specific number from the reference to ‘thousands’, it does show that Tesla has a smash hit with the Model 3. Despite its price tag, it is amazingly popular and will easily become the most successful EV in Australia’s history.

By way of comparison, Victoria has the highest electric car ownership count with 1324 vehicles bought between 2011-2017, closely followed by NSW with 1,238 vehicles in the same time period.

For Tesla to sell “thousands” of a single nameplate, the Model 3, that’s kind of incredible. At the 2nd generation Nissan Leaf launch, Nissan was excited by the prospect of dozens of pre-orders and that’s a car at almost half the price tag. The first generation was the previous best selling EV in Australia, with 635 total sales over its lifetime.

As someone who has a Model 3 on order, who hit buy when the delivery date said August, I was beginning to run out of patience with the lack of information about when I’d actually get my car.

Launching a new product in a new country is surely never easy and when that product is something as large and complicated as a car, I’m sure it’s incredibly hard. Tesla is not new at this process, they’ve sold the Model S and X in Australia for years, so should be familiar with the import process.

When it comes to customer communication, there’s a lot of excitement turning to frustration on the forums and that is largely born out of a lack of updates from Tesla.

It is kind of amazing that the Tesla mobile apps don’t send push notifications at each stage of the production and delivery process. Being such a technology-focused company, it’s pretty surprising this hasn’t made it up the priority list.

Instead, the relatively small team in charge of deliveries in Australia’s capital cities are clearly struggling to manage the time required to respond to an avalanche of emails and phone calls from customers seeking an update. All of this could be automated like it is for parcel tracking.

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Jason Cartwright
Jason Cartwrighthttp://techau.com.au/author/jason/
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


  1. Hi Jason

    Reading your article gives me enormous satisfaction. Particularly the line:

    “Despite its price tag, it is amazingly popular and will easily become the most successful EV in Australia’s history.”

    When I started queueing up in front of the St Leonnards Tesla store on 29th March 2019 to be the first person in the world to register for a Model 3, I did not do so in order to be the first to actually get the car. Rather, I sensed that the Model 3 is going to make history in moving the world towards more sustainable transportation.

    I hope that the Model 3 will move from “…. will easily become the most successful EV in Australian history” to simply the “most successful car of any kind in Australian history”. This would further enhance my bragging rights [and move Australia towards sustainable transportation].

    Climate change is real, solutions must be found fast!

    Andreas – 1st in Line – Stephens

  2. 50k for a Leaf VS 70k on road for a base model 3.
    I wouldn’t all that double the price. More like worth every cent of the diffence in price.

  3. I ordered a Model 3 in June 2016. I received ZERO communications from Tesla until June 2019 – 3 years later. They still couldn’t tell me when I’d get the car. In August I cancelled and bought an alternative vehicle.

    They may have “thousands of orders”. Not sure they’ll turn into sales…

  4. I can understand why. I have been dreaming of this day since I was a kid in the 70’s. Literally. Still waiting though!

    LeasePlan has mine slated for delivery of September 30 for our SR+ I wasn’t willing to take to finance for such an expensive car and try to organise insurance and other things so went for a novated lease. At least we can hand back (or get LeasePlan to handle repairs) if it turns out to be a lemon, or upgrade at the end of the lease. Anyone say Model Y?

    Due to the way the lease works through my employer, it worked out cheaper than cash too. I can also score ‘free’ electricity at work as long as I pay the hefty $1900 for annual parking!

    On day one it gets the bumper sticker “My other car is a Camaro”. That is the other car in the garage. Monday-Saturday – Tesla, Sunday – Camaro Convertible. And before you post, it is a lowly 3.4 V6. Not a V8 gas guzzler.


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