Here's What The Tesla Model S Will Cost In Australia

The Model S from Tesla Motors is coming to Australia, and we now know the all-important price ahead of its official release date.

Here's The Difference Between Tesla Model S Variants

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.



    That is a surprisingly good price. Although with electricity prices the way they are I doubt you would really see much savings in the way of fuel/running costs.

      A Model S should be around $10 to charge using off-peak electricity whilst an M5 is probably $80-90 to fill. Plus, the Model S has no moving parts so maintenance should be a lot cheaper!

        I don't know about *no* moving parts (the doors open, the wheels and motors spin etc), but the point is that it has significantly less moving parts. Certainly nothing as inherently self-destructive as a petrol engine is.
        Suspension and other systems still work the same, so on our pot-holed roads you'll still get plenty of wear and tear.

        No moving parts? Then how does the car go forward? And how does the steering work?

        It costs me $60 to fill my Toyota Yaris. And I live in Darwin. $1.82 per liter.

          Apples and Oranges

            And that's even a closer comparison than an m5 and a yaris.

            Sometimes you have to compare Apples to Oranges.

        Does anyone have a comparison of how far the $10 goes in kms, versus the $80-90 in fuel?

          Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal has one, he says that a full charge of the 85kW battery goes for 260 miles, which equates to 418 km of highway driving. Most small to mid size petrol cars claim to get 6.2l/100km to 8l/100km, depending on the fuel tank size in litres (45-60 litres) you may get 500-700km of highway driving. So not much more distance for your money on petrol, you can go the same distance as a petrol car for $20.

          You also have to remember that electric cars will have fewer maintenance issues and services, as the electronic components would be designed to last for a longer time than mechanical components.

          If you're comparing a similarly performing car with similar luxury etc then you're probably comparing luxury 6 boosted or 8 cylinder models. You'd be probably getting around 12L/100km at the best. They'll also be sipping premium fuel which in WA is about $1.60/L last I checked.

          Tesla does conservative 400km for $10 of electricity.

          So it's pretty easy. Petrol car - $20/100km, Tesla - $2.50/100km. Include maintenance etc etc and you're probably talking well under 7% of the running costs of a petrol car.

          Even if you included my old Honda Accord Euro. It got about 9L/100km average. It still costs about 10x as much to run as a Tesla. You can buy 3 Accords for every Tesla you buy though ;)

        A little off topic, but you realise you are only allowed to have one thing on of-peak and that is your hot water service?

          So I can't stay up late and watch TV?
          What about my electric blanket, fridge, Internet router, alarm, and phone charger?

          Just to clarify, what you are talking about is the controlled load off-peak tariff, which, like you said, is limited as to what can be used on that circuit (such as hot water heaters). What the other poster was talking about is time of use metering (using smart meters), which is totally different to controlled load off-peak. It has various rates applied at different times of the day, usually consisting of peak, shoulder and off-peak. A lot of people with solar panels move to time of use metering as their panels offset the higher peak rate and part of the shoulder rate as this is generally when their panels are producing power.

          Hi GWorm, I think what you are "allowed" will vary between states and between energy companies. Here in Brisbane Energex provides power to the various retailers, but we can have whatever devices we want plugged into the off-peak circuit so long as it as hard-wired in.
          I have my pool pump and the air-con in my living room on it. For me off-peak cuts out at 6pm and power comes back on at about 9pm. It is sometimes off in the morning too (not always though - it depends on what sort of load the rest of the network is under).
          I asked my sparky if he could put a new GPO (general power outlet) in my laundry and hook it up to my off peak circuit but he said "no, that would be illegal". The appliance is hard wired in or it must stay off the off-peak.

      You will see a very large saving because tesla owners receive FREE charging

        FYI, the free charging is via using the Supercharger network, which will be put along main highways for long distance trips and will not begin to be rolled out in Australia till next year. They may eventually come to the cities at some point in the future for those who don't have garages to install their own charging equipment in (I'm speculating on that, BTW), but most people will not have problems charging their own cars at home. Plugging in at home, IMHO, is much more convenient than having to go out of your way to charge at a Supercharger (or other public charger for that matter) unless, of course, you are going on a long trip.


      I was to put my deposit down this June however the various taxes added around $50,000 to the config I wanted. I can't justify that right now with other higher taxes on the way. Maybe next year after a bit more saving.

    Would you buy a Tesla Model S for $100,000?

    No. I'd never spend that much on any car. As somebody who is shortly going to have a mortgage, that figure is a pretty decent percentage of it.

    I get that this is a luxury vehicle, but I seriously don't think I would ever spend more than $40,000 on a car even if I was rich.

    Currently I can't see myself ever spending more that $20,000.

      I reckon you'll be able to enter the electric car market in maybe 5 years? That should see Nissan's LEAF and other entry-level EVs broaching that price second-hand...

        I'd certainly love to get an electric car, but the question of battery life becomes an issue for the second hand market.

        "Nissan said the battery will lose capacity gradually over time but it expects a lifespan of over 10 years under normal use" -

        If you buy a 5-7 year old Leaf, then you are going to have the additional cost of a new battery.

        You run the risk of engine troubles in a petrol car, but it's going to be a legitimate question of which is going to last longer; a 5 year old petrol car or a 5 year old electric.

        I personally don't see electrics taking off until there is a model that competes with the low end of the market. It's going to be quite a while before somebody in the market for a Micra or Fiesta has an electric alternative.

          batteries degrades maximum capacity. they dont just die in one day. they have a capacity loss curve overtime (from high to low), depending on chemistry (i do believe the Tesla's degradation curve is alot flatter then most other chemistrys). as an example if you buy a new electric car that has 200km of range, then after 50% degradation you may only get 100km of range. BUT, if you buy a new 400km ranged electric car, (aka the Model S), then even after batter degradation, you will still have more range then most electric cars today.

          In other words, the bigger the battery, the longer the electric car lasts before it becomes impractical, therefore holding its value.

          Overtime, if demand increases, batteries will be cheap enough to replace anyway.

          Also take note that the Tesla Roaster, even after being on the road for more then 8 years and 100 000 miles driven, it still obtains more then 80% of its original capacity.

          As the demand for electric cars increases, so does the need for innovation to manufacture batteries cheaper and mass scale of production, therefore cheaper electric cars.

          I would rather my car be powered by thorium nuclear power/solar/wind/hydro/geothermal etc then by non renewable carbon based fuels, or at least a small percentage of it.

          Market Demand will drive the price down. but where does market demand come from? If we make a choice to take up these cars, then they will get cheaper. For the good of future generations, i hope those who can afford to take up these cars will take them into their lives.

          Last edited 25/05/14 4:00 pm

            Going by the changes in battery technology in the RC world the price will come down and the capacity will go up.

            Also there are some very promising cheap battery technologies being developed in Japan. They have a Cotton Battery that is super light and can hold more charge than a Lithium Polymer (LiPo) of the same size.

        Not a Nissan but still. $20k already for a 2nd hand EV.

        I'm hoping within 2-3 years there will be a wider range of (in my opinion) vehicles more "appealing". I'm not sure why most of the current EV's are designed like fisher price bubbles.

          I think a big part of it is the twin requirements of interior space, and aero efficiency.

          Given that current battery tech means that range is limited, anything the manufacturers can do to improve this (improving the drag coefficient, low rolling resistance tyres, etc.) they will do.

          So, you get EV/Hybrids that all look like fluid bubbles.

        I so want to have an electric car. TBH though I really feel like five years is a hugely optimistic figure to have electric cars that are comparable to small hatchbacks in size and price in Australia. :(

      you not really a target market for this vehicle

      Down vote for a giving a reason why he wouldn't spend $100k on a car? He has a budget and sticking to it. I'll up vote ya buddy. I wouldn't spend $100k on a car either. Even with savings for electricity it doesn't make sense... YET (See Campbells post).


        The Model S looks like a very nice car, and I believe that electrics are the most likely future for cars.

        The article asked a question and I answered it.

      I'd love to own one but 100k is unaffordable for me. maybe a small house for 100k but a car? but if i did have the money i would buy it in a heart beat! its also a very good investment

      How can anybody not respect a person trying to live within their means. As much as this car is a dream car of mine I'd need multiple millions before I'd consider buying one.

      $100,000 on a car or $100,000 on a house, surely the House is a no brainer for everyone right?

      But man Leasing these as Company Cars becomes a super attractive option right? You can claim a smaller Carbon Footprint, lowers your Carbon Tax that the Liberals may say their removing but so far haven't been able to.

    It looks remarkably similar to my Kia Optima. It may not run on electricity, but it also cost a hell of a lot less to buy.

      What have you got against Kia's m38?

        While I would never begrudge a proud car owner, comparing any Kia produced in history with a Tesla does seem to be drawing a long bow. That's probably what m38 meant. Anyway that Optima is a good looking car, but I feel it will age pretty poorly.

          I was only referring to the general appearance based on the photo in the story, nothing more. I only keep cars for two years anyway, so I'm not overly concerned about how it ages.

    There will be a time when electric cars will be the default cheap option for the urban commuter and petrol cars will be the expensive option for further trips and heavy transport.
    But I fear that the government will have a policy that transport will always have a premium and will charge an excise for electricty or a road use charge.
    The transport premium is, like the petrol excise, extra revenue and nothing to do with the cost of infrastructure.

      I'd love to see the government do more to support electric cars. The current incentives don't seem that great...

      The Luxury Car Tax threshold for a fuel efficient vehicle is AU$75,375 compared to AU$57,466 for conventional vehicle. Save over AU$5,000 with a Tesla Roadster relative to a similarly priced petrol vehicle.

      Electric Vehicles registered in the Australian Capital Territory are exempt from vehicle stamp duty – Save over $8,580 with a Tesla Roadster.

      Electric Vehicles registered in Victoria receive a $100 reduction in registration fee per annum.

      There should be national incentives rather than limited state ones.

      Last edited 23/05/14 12:15 pm

        Luxury car tax is an abomination anyway. People who can afford them get taxed more anyway (although probably not enough, but that's a different point). All it does it is keeps powerful or efficient or high tech cars away from the common people.

        I wonder if the initial reason for the luxury car tax was to help prop up local car industry... perhaps now that we don't have a local car industry we can scrap that tax?

        I remember hearing somewhere that the Government makes more money from every Porsche sold in Australia than Porsche does. Not a huge incentive to manufacturers to sell here is it? We're already a small, far away market with strict regulations, why make it harder?

        Wait wait wait? What do I register it as? No Cylinders right so that's got to be cheaper than a 4 :D

        Yes I know it's up to 4, but it's funnier this way.

      You are correct about the government. Why do you think that the recent budget scrapped all infrastructure spending on rail and swapped it to roads. They make lots of money from petrol excise and SFA from electricity. Until such time as we get a government that actually gives a crap about the environment, nothing will change.

      You are spot on. The fuel excise and registration costs don't come anywhere close to paying for the cost of infrastructure. The cost of infrastructure is so immense that many people would probably choose to not drive if they had to compensate the full cost directly (it's why every recent toll road project has failed financially). Same with the cost of parking, with the cost of most parking structures (per space) far exceeding the cost of a mid-sized family car.

      The changes to the fuel excise indexation will only pay for a small fraction of the cost of the new roads planned under the budget, with most of the funding removed from commuter rail. The problem is that commuter rail is expected to attempt to obtain all it's funding from the fare box to compete with metro systems in much smaller countries, and only two in the world actually achieve this. This distorts the market in favour of the much more expensive motor vehicles. While this is a problem for commuter use, it's a much more serious problem for freight use of the road system. It is a well established fact that in both the road and rail systems, commuters and freight don't mix without lowering the safety of each transport system.

      But the transportation infrastructure in Australia is decided on a political whim to win key seats rather than based on science so we all lose. Fuel excise or no excise, it's all change compared with the bigger picture.

    Base 60 kWh in the USA is not 81'000 its 69'900 So we are still paying "Australia Tax" somewhere.

    Last edited 23/05/14 12:16 pm

      currency exchange brochacho

        Current exchange rate puts the $US69'900 at just over $AU75'000 and for your reference "brochacho" as per the article.
        That $95,000 buys you a stock 60kWh Tesla Model S, which normally costs just over $US81,000 in North America. See the $US...

          You should read the whole article...including the part about luxury car tax
          75K is close enough to 80k to justify him sticking to his word on no australia tax

      In the real world, products are priced based on the consumer's willingness to pay, not on what it costs in a totally different country. The 'Australia Tax' is just an uninformed whinge beloved by IT donks who should have taken a microeconomics class instead of Modula-2 or something.

        Haha - I am an IT professional who did Modula-2 and I used an elective on an Economics subject just before completing my degree. The Economics class was way more interesting and useful than the Modula-2 one. And yes I am being serious.
        Still, the "Australia Tax" is a rort, and is part of the reason people pirate music, movies and software. If we could "download a car" people would do that too. Kudos to Tesla for not gouging Australian buyers.

    That's a surprisingly good price. If I was looking at spending that kind of money on a car I would be highly tempted by it

    According the the Telsa website there doesn't seem to be a lot of incentives...

      convince friend in ACT to let them use your address, register the car there, save $8500, then transfer to your home state, avoid paying stamp duty australia wide

      thats what id be doing if I was buying one, which im not...I prefer performance cars with a more conventional engine

        From 0-100km/h in 4.5seconds... How fast do you really need to get there?

          It's not about speed, it's about fun. I'd take a cheap little manual car over a fast automatic car any day.

            I think this will be one of those things you have to try before you bag it out.
            I'd say that max torque at 0RPM and super fast acceleration will greatly outweigh the "fun" of a manual gear box.
            I think driving this thing will be like driving a Nissan GTR

            It's not an auto. Like most electric traction systems, it's a single fixed ratio gear box. Unlike an internal combustion engine, electric AC induction motors have very high torque at low speeds eliminating the need for a variable speed gear box.

            Last edited 23/05/14 9:47 pm

            As someone who has very recently tried it, I can tell you that it's both fast and fun. If you find roller coaster acceleration fun that is!

          It not just about zero to 100 times, its a whole experience you dont get, the noise of a petrol car, turbochargers spooling, breaking traction, etc etc
          that and if you thrash it all day you are going to be spending 3/4 of your day charging the car

            It can Break Traction and did you check the Charging times because it's not like your AA battery charger that takes 20 hours to charge a pair it charges the car much quicker than that.

            I believe it's closer to 6hrs. I do tend to sleep for about that long.

    That is actually less than I was expecting, but still way out of my price range for a car :(.

    If I had the cash, I'd love to buy one. However, I'm a student at the moment. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to buy one, the technology will have improved in leaps and bounds. Very excited and hopeful that it will take off here.

    What a great price. I'll definitely buy one, in just 59.93 years, it will have paid for itself in fuel savings over my Yaris!

    I bought a Camry Hybrid Luxury last year and I'm really happy with it. I'm not entirely sold on pure electric cars, I'm scared of not having the safety net of petrol and getting stranded in the middle of no where.
    The luxury model has pretty much all the features and comfort of these "Luxury" cars and only cost about $46k and uses less than 6L/100km on average.

    At ninety grand your still better off with a mid range four cylinder sedan, because it'll cost a lot less in fuel consumption over the life of the car compared to the buckets of cash you paid for the pissing points that come with the electric... Yes I'd love to go all electric, and one day when the costs come down, I will..!

      With electricity prices in Oz, an electric car is a hard sell but I expect this will change over time.

      I live in SA (which for no understandable reason has super high electricity prices) where, at one point in summer a few years ago, I calculated that running a Diesel generator would be the equivalent cost of grid power if the generator was free. Petrol is cheap compared to electricity per unit of energy! It's just that ICE are less efficient than electric motors.

      Certainly, off peak power would be the way to go for this sort of thing (or a 10kw solar system perhaps?).

      Why are people comparing a luxury sedan with a mid rage 4 cylinder?
      That's like comparing a yaris to a 4WD.

      The price and value look a lot better when you compare it to similarly spec'ed AUDIs, BMWs and Mercs.

      Don't turn this into a debate about luxury sedan vs a camry coz they aren't even in the same ball park.

      When Tesla comes out with the "affordable" Model E (or whatever they're going to call it now), then we can compare it with other "affordable" sedans....

      Last edited 23/05/14 3:58 pm

        The way I read it, the more expensive two hundred grand model is the luxury version. The Ninety grand version is comparable to a midrange Camry...??

          You might want to read this article (which was linked to in the article above):

          The base model is definitely not comparable to a Camry. Unless you usually compare the BMW 5 series to a Camry that is. I own a Camry and there is no way I would compare it to ANY BMW, let alone a 5 series, which is realistically what the Model S is competing with. Having said that, I'd take a base model of the Model S over ANY BMW 5 series model any day, including the M5.

            Either way, I'd rather use the extra fifty grand or more, as a deposit on an investment property... :)

    Yeah, I think I'll stick to public transport for now.. $2.2k per year will get me 45 years of metro transport for my $100k, and no fuel, licensing, insurance, or maintenance/repairs, which gives me plenty of cash for the occasional regional bus, interstate plane, or emergency taxi.
    Unless I move to a regional area, I wont be paying $1000 for a car.

      I can't even remember seeing an M5 recently, but hey if they want a share of small numbers go for it. #bad business

      Whereabouts do you live? Here in Newcastle, public transport is terrible. I work in an industrial estate, and there are no bus stops nearby. The government is also tearing up the train track into the CBD, and selling the land off to developers. They'll be putting in light rail on another road, but who knows how long that's going to take.

        Ugh, that's terrible. I live in Melbourne, and whilst it's certainly no Singapore or Tokyo, it's actually usable. And there's plans in motion to build another line, and a further extension.

        I've seen the same tearing up of rails in some of the small regional towns I frequent, but not anywhere the size of Newcastle. What BS.

      You must get ALL the ladies!

        I don't want a lady that thinks a car is reason to go out with someone. I want a lady that goes "Oh cool, there's a guy that makes smart financial decisions, and isn't obsessed with material boasts of wealth! We can retire early and spend a lot of time travelling around the world, instead of travelling back and fourth to work every day for the rest of our lives." And that's the actual opinion of my wife :)

    Wait 5 years and you'll be able to pick one up privately sold for about 50-60k..

    Wait 10 and you'll grab one for probably under 20k..

    Overall i think the base price is quite acceptable. I expected somewhere around the 120k mark.
    Not sure why the top model is that much more expensive though.

      It's the luxury car tax (LCT) and stamp duty that kill it for every marginal dollar above the LCT threshold. Due to stamp duty being a tax on a tax and taking GST into account, you are basically adding 50%(!) to each marginal dollar over the pre-tax price above $75k in taxes. The US price for a maxed out Model S is about US$134k before any taxes and incentives, so I'm not surprised that it's close to AUD$200k when you take the exchange rate, import costs and taxes into account. As the article mentions, that's actually not too bad when you compare it to its competition.

    I'd happily pay the $100,000 upfront if that was a real figure that I could afford. But for most on a regular income - even saving over $30,000 on petrol over 8-10 years, I could never actually afford the upfront cost of one.

    No matter how much I love Tesla, I wont be able to afford one till they're about a third of their current price.

      Yep, me too (unless my income improves dramatically). You've got to remember, though, that the savings aren't just on petrol. There's also much lower maintenance costs. The Tesla warranty remains in force, even if you NEVER get the car serviced during the warranty period! So, if you're going to keep the car for the warranty period of the battery (8 years) and assuming that you can pick up their next generation vehicle for about half the price (say about $50k), then it would probably be comparable in total cost of ownership to buying about a $25k internal combustion engine car.

      The equation will become compelling on a total cost of ownership basis when their next generation car comes out.

    My own electric FTO cost me about $30k to build and refurb the 20yo body and interior. I have done 38,000km in it and it performs extremely well. It costs me about 60cents a day to run it to work and back, less than my pool pump.
    If I was ever to spend $95k on a car I would certainly buy a Tesla.
    Electic cars are here to stay. I believe there will be an un-stoppable transition to EVs as they are cheaper to own in the long run. Inner city petrol stations will begin to be unviable with Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars being for those long trips in the country.
    When the manufacturing volume increases the cost should plummet. EVs should be MUCH cheaper to build than a ICE car, as there are so few intricate parts.

    I wouldn't buy one at that price, but I'd be interested in seeing how a leasing arrangement might work.

    Buy this car if your an electric enthusiast, but don't kid yourself by saying you want to save on running costs or you're trying to save the world. Coz that doesn't add up and you end up looking like a pretentious idiot.

      There was a survey done of owners in the U.S. (the car has been out in the U.S. for nearly two years now) to find out the reasons why they bought a Model S. Funnily enough, the main reason that people bought it was not for environmental reasons or the much lower running costs compared to the competition (although most considered these things to be a bonus), it was because the car is FREAKIN' AWESOME!!!

      Last edited 24/05/14 7:04 am

        That's good. There's just some people who want it coz they want to look like an environmental hero. You knew the type. It's hilarious.

    im buying the 60kwh version with supercharger capable. if the 85kwh version is not that fair of a price difference to the 60kwh, then ill go with the 85kwh.
    im buying it because its an awesome car AND also because there is a huge story behind the Model S and how it came into existence. Power to you Elon Musk! If you dont know who Elon Musk is then i suggest you do your research.

    OK, so I have a Ford Territory V6 petrol which I paid second hand $15k and it costs me about $2600/year in petrol as I live close to work.
    So I need to drive for 35 years ($91000/$2600 = 35 years) until I recover the cost of the car, then add electricity...

    This technology is going to be a necessity in cities like Bejing where the air is barely breatheable due to vehicle pollution. They will be the first to utilize new techn. and the price will descend rapidly. As soon as new energy storage methods are revolutionized (they will) things will change. Remember the old coaching system where horses were rapidly exchanged to make travelling long distance possible? Sooner or later someone will latch on to the business opportunity of supplying charged easily removable batteries in exchange for flat ones at a cost, and off you go! You don't own the batteries . This would bring down the cost of the whole car.
    Even better, stash your own spare battery if you can afford one, at your regular destination and pay them to recharge it for you for the home trip. Any corporate takers?
    A home solar system which we have already, makes the whole thing cheaper still.
    Personally I don't think the wait for prices to fall will be that long, as someone is bound to manufacture one such as Volkswagen did. The people's car. As long is there is a buck to be made from oil all this will be strongly opposed, but it's GOT to happen eventually. Look what's happened with computers!

    Oh incidentally, wouldn't it be a nice gesture from governments all over the world who are so hung up on their carbon emissions, as an act of sincerity about their stand on this issue, to forgo all taxes, levies or whatever on these vehicles? Better still make them cheaply in their own countries and give people jobs. Oh no it would be too easy, wouldn't it!!

    How many people have $100000 dollars I'd love to buy a tesla s but the initial cost is impossible for most people we'll have to wait a while before something more affordable is released.
    ie: we'll under $ 50000 for most people then it would be a great deal

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