Tesla’s NZ service centre close but long wait for the Model 3

The Tesla Model 3: 345km range per charge, zero to 100km acceleration: six seconds; delivery time: 18 months

RELATED AUDIO: Greater Auckland's Matt Lowrie sides with AT against electric vehicles (July 6)

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Tesla’s New Zealand service centre and showroom will open in a couple of months' time.

The company’s nearest press office (in Australia), did not immediately respond to a query about the American' company's new digs but a sales rep at the company’s pop-up store in the old Ponsonby Fire Station told NBR it would be October –  a little later than the “mid-year” time frame put forward in February.

The Tesla service centre and retail store will be on Auckland’s Karangahape Rd, on the block that used to host Telecom’s old headquarters. It will feature PowerPack batteries and solar tiles as well as vehicles.

Tesla founder Elon Musk handed over the first 30 units of the new Model 3 over the weekend in the US.

Billed as the company’s first affordable electric vehicle, it will sell in basic ($US35,000/345km range) and premium ($US44,0000/500km range) versions.

That’s certainly good buying compared to the Tesla Model X SUV on display in Ponsonby, priced from $NZ149,305 right up to $NZ308,465 if you include all of the available add-ons and upgrades, from a larger battery to extend its range from 413km  to 572km, a self-drive option, seven seats and superior acceleration of 0 to 100km in 3.1 seconds (delivery is promised in October).

That’s the good news.

The bad is that production delays, combined with the fact 300,000 people paid a deposit before the Model 3 before it was even launched, mean Kiwis who queue are faced with a long wait, along with everyone else.

A Model 3 today ordered today will arrive in New Zealand in approximately 18 months' time, the rep said (and despite the official manufacturing launch over the weekend, there is still no order option for the Model 3 on Tesla’s Australia-New Zealand website, although you can reserve a place in the queue for $US1500).

By that time, you might also be able to fulfil Transport Minister Simon Bridges' electric vehicle-incentive dream of driving your Telsa in the bus lane — although not if Auckland Transport has anything to do with it. As NBR earlier reported, the agency is bucking the minister's plan.

UPDATE: A Tesla spokeswoman tells NBR: "International Model 3 deliveries will begin in late 2018, contingent upon regulatory approvals, starting with left-hand drive markets, followed by right-hand drive markets in 2019."


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7 Comments & Questions

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The minister's plan is a masterstroke of pro-petrol, pro-car madness that is rightly being shunned by the councils. Bus lanes are for public transport and bikes - as soon as you allow cars in they'll all want a turn. No, minister. Bad.

How much will the Tesla 3 retail for in New Zealand? I've only seen US figures so far.

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The Tesla sales rep I spoke to said the NZ pricing will be the same as the US pricing, after allowing for freight (remembering that Yanks claim their $US7500 tax credit post-purchase).

The electric-vehicles-in-the-bus-lane policy is:

1. The kind of incentive you need to really jolt people away from petrol cars

2. Only applicable while EVs are less than 2% of vehicles on the road (that is, up to around 2020/2021)

3. The idea of driving an EV along the northern motorway buslane at rush-hour, zooming past the gridlock, is just so cool. Auckland Transport and NZTA have basically squashed Bridges' policy, but I tell ya <dragged away from keyboard by NBR sub-editors>

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Saw a Model 3 at the lights yesterday, being driven by Microsoft CEO. Looks great in the metal. Cheapest Model X is $75k US and $150k NZ so 2 x $35k = $70k NZ. That's my guess.

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My hubby's a tow-truck driver and attended an industry workshop briefing last month to bring himself up to speed on the insurance implications of towing FEV's (fully electric vehicles). He was saying most of the boys there were rubbing their hands together about the increased business that will be generated due to 'flat batteries'. As he said, "..... spare 5 liter petrol canisters wont be any use to those dudes".

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Although most electric cars have good range analysis and their navigation systems will inform you if you don't have enough range to get to your destination. Some will even suggest reroutes to charging stations on your way and tell you how long you need to charge at them.

I can't think of too many ICE cars where the nav system is hooked up to fuel gauges, consumption figures and reroutes you if you are going to run low.

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The future is here, but is it even going to be electric cars, or are we all going to be driving around in drones?

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Cant wait to rid the country of ice vehicles,manufacturers cheating emissions for their own cause, been happening for years, all in each others pockets,like oil companies fixing prices, rorting the nieve public.sooner we have eletrik vehicles the better,I hope musk sends them broke with tesla.

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