The Model S from Tesla Motors is coming to Australia, and we now know the all-important price ahead of its official release date.
A source with knowledge of the pricing spoke to us this morning, and confirmed that the Model S would cost $95,000 in Australia, with pricing set to be officially released next week. Tesla customers who registered their interest in the Model S have already been contacted and given Signature Reservation slots. Advanced negotiations are already underway for these buyers to pick up their cars in the near future.
That $95,000 buys you a stock 60kWh Tesla Model S, which normally costs just over $US81,000 in North America. The additional charge comes not from the Australia Tax per se, but old-fashioned Australian taxes. The 10 per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Luxury Car Tax and Stamp Duty are all factors driving up the price in Australia for the base model car. The fully-optioned, performance-spec 85kWh Tesla Model S will come in at almost double the base price, topping out at around $200,000.
Tesla, however, is unconcerned by the slight price disparity in Australia relative to the US: all it cares about is the price compared to the new BMW M5. Tesla is reportedly telling buyers that while $200,000 may be a lot to spend on an electric car, it does have the performance and the options to outstrip and out-luxury the M5 sports sedan, which costs around $230,000 in Australia.
The total-cost-of-ownership argument also applies in Tesla's sales pitches, meaning that you won't have to keep paying for a thirsty turbocharged V8 engine -- you'll simply have to pay the power bill when you plug it in at home.
Tesla also confirmed this week that it would be building a Supercharger network in Australia in early 2015, which will allow Model S owners to plug in and charge their cars for free.
Tesla is always aggressive on price. When we saw the manufacturer launch its way into China, founder, CEO and future Bond-villain, Elon Musk, penned a blog saying that instead of gouging customers internationally, the company would offer the car for the same price it did in the US, with only the local import and duty taxes applied. From the looks of things, that's what Tesla is also doing in Australia.
Would you buy a Tesla Model S for $100,000? Tell us in the comments what you think is a fair price.