The Tesla Model S Is Being Tested And Rubber-Stamped In Australia Right Now

The countdown to the Tesla Model S being released in Australia is excruciating, but it's not far off. We've had it confirmed by a few sources that a single Model S is in Australia at the moment, and it's undergoing official certification for local sales.

According to our source, Australia's sole Model S is apparently in Canberra, being inspected and tested by the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch to make sure that it complies with the Australian Design Rules (ADR). All cars imported or manufactured and sold in Australia must meet these standards, which mandate certain levels of occupant and pedestrian safety in an accident, anti-theft features and so on.

It's just a formality, but it's especially interesting because the particular Model S sitting in our nation's capital is one of only five right-hand drive Model S chassis that apparently exist in the world right now. More will be manufactured when production starts, but the current right-hand drive models are pieced together by hand.

Undergoing ADR testing doesn't mean the Model S will need to be crash-tested in Australia just yet; the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has a Niche Vehicles Test Policy that means that vehicles expected to sell less than 600 cars a year can rely on international trials and Tesla's own testing. If the volume of Australian deliveries is substantially increased — not likely, given that Tesla is already selling Model S sedans worldwide faster than it can build them — then we'll eventually see local ANCAP testing.

Tesla should be submitting the Model S for standard, high-volume compliance; the two-door Roadster, which was sold from 2009 to 2012, complied as a low-volume import under Australia's Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles exemption. The Low Volume Scheme notation meant that only 100 Roadsters could be delivered and sold in Australia every year, but Tesla obviously has higher aspirations for the mass-market Model S.

The Model S, sold since 2012 in the United States and since mid-2013 in Europe, is currently only produced as a left-hand drive version, despite being available in the right-hand drive UK market. A right-hand drive variant will open up sales across the world — including in Australia, where it's actually illegal to import a left-hand drive car unless it's over 30 years old.

With a massive 60kWh or 85kWh lithium-ion battery and electric motors driving the car's rear wheels, the Tesla Model S can scoot from 0 to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds — as fast as the $350,000 BMW i8 — and can travel up to 500km on a single charge. It is Tesla's second vehicle; the next in line for production is the Model X, and after that is the company's mainstream city car.

Compliance for the Model S being undertaken now means that an Australian unveiling — and the announcement of a local price — should be imminent. Given the relatively low pricing already announced in China, we're optimistic about what the Model S should cost for Australian buyers.



    How much already!!!

    Unfortunately, Mr Simpson, as much as I'd like one, it's just a tad out of my price zone...

      Pricing hasn't been announced yet, but it will definitely be out of my price zone too. As Mr Simpson mentioned though, their international pricing policy is not like other manufacturers, so I'm optimistic that it will be lower than people are expecting, though still, unfortunately, out of my price zone.... :'(

    Shutup and take my - damn it.....

    I don't know about calling Tesla's vehicles "city cars". With that kind of range, they can certainly cover decent distances - especially when you take Tesla Superchargers into account. In Australia every summer we get the "Stop. Revive. Survive." campaign asking us to stop every two hours on the roads. Seeing as a Supercharger can replenish 50% of a Model S battery in 20 minutes, this suits the natural flow of long distance driving to a tee. When we drive from Sydney to Brisbane, we tend to travel no more than 250km without stopping. Especially with kids, we need to stop every 2-2.5 hours anyway. Personally, I look forward to stretching the legs after driving for that long.

    Of course, the caveat to the above is that Tesla will roll out their Superchargers in Australia. Given their aggressive rollout plans in their existing markets, I don't see why this won't happen.

    Feel free to call the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf city cars though. I wouldn't call them long distance friendly, even if we had DC fast chargers along the A1 every 100km.

      The problem with that theory is though, you won't be finding Tesla chargers on the side of the Hume. In theory, it's great, in reality, these cars won't be any good for long distance driving.

        Nothing will happen if you keep pushing that attitude. By pushing and reiterating the scepticism pushed by the oil and car industries, you are limiting the worlds progress to sustainable transport and energy production/use.

      So many problems with this post, first of all, I really doubt that the majority of people travelling pay attention to stop revive survive, most people want to get to their destination and try and do it as fast as they can, which means not stopping. second, most countries arent as sparsely populated as australia so having tesla chargers every 2 hours or so is not going to happen and if it does ill be very shocked long does it take you to fill up your car? Also, do you not think that a person that is thinking of buying a socially responsible vehicle would also make responsible driving decisions? Not taking appropriate rest breaks is equivalent to justifying drink driving.

        This newfangled; no way it’s going to catch on. How far do you think you can go in this contraption before you run out of steam, it’s not like you’re going to be able to just stop somewhere and fill up on yer kerosene now. I’ll stick to my horse, old betsy can go anywhere and she just needs some good old grass and water to keep her going. Silly young’uns, don’t be knowing their own heads from a hole in the ground.

    I'm surprised it wasn't made illegal to sell it here, just like in Texas. This bodes well.

    Yes yes yes. Only problem is that it will be at least twice as expensive as anywhere else on the earth.

    I saw a Blue Tesla being driven by a "pretentious banker" wearing a cap just east of Bondi Junction in Sydney no more than two weeks ago. Old South Head Road, close to the Edgecliff Road fork.

    My head turned, because I initially thought it was a Lotus job, but then read the unmistakeable "T E S L A" at the rear.


    It's actually extremely equivalent. Do some research:

    "Only 2 h of continuous nocturnal driving were sufficient to produce driving impairment comparable to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%; after 3 h of driving impairment corresponds to a BAC of 0.08%";jsessionid=F0F9FF80026C877A8577CC2C295FC43B.d03t01

    "Sleepiness carried almost as much risk as alcohol ingestion. If alcohol use while driving can be reduced by legal interdictions and punishment correlated with BAC, the fight against sleepiness at the wheel can be addressed only by information and education."

    And a whole stack of other peer-reviewed studies with consistently repeatable results say you don't understand the true risks of driver fatigue.

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