A Tesla fan and electric vehicle enthusiast reached out to Elon Musk to raise the issue of the Model 3’s price in Australia, which is significantly higher compared to territories like the United States.
David McCann, who goes by the Twitter handle @EVHQ2, asked the Tesla CEO if there’s a way to cut the cost of the Model 3 in Australia. McCann posted a screenshot showing a Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor AWD with a price of AUD 110,747 ($74,636) and a price of AUD 105,147 (USD 70,864) after estimated savings.
The inquiry caught the attention of Musk, who replied in agreement, “This does seem high.”
In the United States, a Tesla Model 3 RWD Standard Range Plus starts at $39,900 before incentives. The AWD Long Range version goes for $48,990 and the Performance Model 3 goes for $56,990.
This does seem high
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 12, 2020
The higher price of Model 3 in Australia is primarily due to the falling value of the Australian currency against the US dollar. Other factors also come into play, such as the country’s Goods and Services tax, luxury car tax, and stamp duty. The cost of shipping the vehicles from the United States is also priced in.
Tesla aims to provide consumers with electric cars that are as affordable as the company can muster while sticking to the mission of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy. This is the primary reason why Tesla offers a $35,000 Model 3, despite the version being off-menu.
David McCann’s issue with the Model 3 price in Australia may represent the dilemma of other Australian consumers who want to shift to greener vehicles but hesitate because of the hefty price tag of EVs. This is quite ironic, since the country hosts one of the most notable Tesla Energy projects to date, such as the Hornsdale Power Reserve.
While Elon Musk did not detail how Tesla would eventually address Australia’s high prices, the electric carmaker does have a way to drastically reduce its operating costs. A Tesla Gigafactory in Australia or in a nearby country, for example, can lower the company’s expenses in shipping the Model 3 to the country.
“The biggest problem we have to solve right now is having production on each continent, because it’s insane to be making cars in California [and] shipping them to Europe and Asia,” Musk remarked in an interview on the Third Row podcast.
With Gigafactories all over, Tesla can meet the demand for its vehicles in different markets more efficiently without having to worry about high tariffs, carrying costs, or damage costs. This is what Tesla did in China where the price of Model 3 went down from $63,000 when imported to around $46,000 when locally produced. The same is true for Giga Berlin where Tesla can get a grant of up to as much as 100 million euros for its first factory in Europe. It may also get subsidies for a battery cell production in the country.