Tesla’s Model S available in Australia, but it doesn’t come cheap

10 Dec 2014

Model S image via Teslamotors.com

Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S electric car is now available in Australia, costing up to AUS$200,000.

PayPal founder Musk’s products have pushed the boundaries of electric vehicles, with the Model S reportedly having a 500 km range and acceleration of zero to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds – rivalling similarly priced high-performance vehicles.

“It’s the fastest accelerating four-door sedan ever built,” said Heath Walker, Tesla’s spokesperson in Australia.

According to The Guardian, the trimmings, including a dual motor that increases the vehicle’s power and range, and an autopilot feature that can autonomously steer and change lanes, inflate the base price (AUS$117,000) to around AUS$200,000.

“Beyond that there’s also the need for a 40-amp single phase charger to run the vehicle, which in older homes could require an electrical system upgrade costing about AUS$3,000,” according to Daryl Budgeon, from the Australian Electric Vehicle Association.

Other lower-end electric-car models, such as the hybrid Holden Volt (AUS$60,000) or the Nissan Leaf (AUS$40,000), have the capability to be plugged into an average household powerpoint.

“The Model S is an aspirational vehicle, a lifestyle statement,” Budgeon said.

So far, there are two supercharge stations in Australia which can handle the Tesla, with eight more to follow.

“Australia is a very driver-friendly country. Performance and smoothness will be valued, and because Australia is a very big ‘tech’ market, customers will appreciate the high-tech nature of the product,” said Walker in an interview before this launch on Renew Economy.

“It is a car, and it will get you from Point A to Point B, but it will do so in a way that changes your life. We see that in our owners. Some owners come in and buy it because of the way it looks, but many people say the really want to start making that difference, and they want to make that investment in the future.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic