Tesla vehicles were snubbed in favor of diesel cars by the Australian federal government’s COMCAR fleet earlier this week. The government agency has decided to opt for BMW’s powered by diesel fuel and Toyota Camry Hybrids.
The decision came from the Department of Finance, who initially had plans to include two separate models of Tesla vehicles in its fleet used to carry politicians, senior bureaucrats, and senior judges around Australian cities.
In the past, the fleet has been comprised of Australian-made Holden Caprice sedans. A decline in Holden’s production and manufacturing in Australia was the main influence behind the decision to seek out new vehicles from international manufacturers. Kia, BMW, Nissan, Hyundai, Mercedes, and Toyota were all among the potential candidates, according to The Driven.
The Tesla Model S and Model X were the two potential vehicles considered to comprise the new array of vehicles but ultimately did not make the final shortlist of the seven vehicles that were selected. The Model 3 was not considered as it was not yet available in the country when new vehicles were being tested.
The reasoning for not including sustainable electric vehicles in the fleet had to do with purpose due to available space for cargo. “COMCAR undertook a preliminary assessment of a wide range of vehicles, including a number of all-electric vehicles, which were not considered fit-for-purpose for COMCAR’s operations, due to their size and capacity,” a spokesperson said for the department said.
Interestingly enough, the Model X offers more cargo space than both the BMW 6 Series GT sedan and Toyota Camry Hybrid vehicles that the department chose to purchase. The Model X has a best-in-class 88 cubic feet of space, while the BMW and Toyota have 65 cubic feet and 15.1 cubic feet, respectively. While the Model S does not offer as much cargo room as the BMW, it does offer more than the Toyota with 28 cubic feet of space.
Price also seemed to be a factor in what vehicles were ultimately purchased. Both the Tesla Model S ($115,600) and Model X ($122,812) would have cost the Australian government back over $100,000 per vehicle. However, the 6 Series GT sedan from BMW also eclipses the six-figure mark at $102,900, making it ironic that they had chosen a diesel-powered vehicle over the electric options from Tesla that ultimately would have saved the government money through low operating costs.
Tesla has had a considerable presence in Australia as its Model 3 is the most popular electric car in the country. The government’s decision could have been because of the initial financial cost, but over time the Tesla vehicles would have been cheaper due to significantly less routine maintenance compared to gas and diesel-powered cars. Hopefully, Australia’s Department of Finance will reconsider when they update the fleet again in a few years and make a decision that will benefit both the environment and their pockets in the long run.