Tesla’s Model 3 hit the Australian market just as September began. It did have a good record of initial sales that almost every automotive-dedicated website or outlet reported about it. Model 3 is indeed a work of both science and art.
An electric motor and 50-kWh battery serve as the power source for the car. It is available as a single-speed reduction gear transmission. NEDC showed it has a distance range of 460km, but you expect less than that in real life trips. With a 5-star ANCAP rating, it, once again, does well safety-wise.
The sales showed that the local market is indeed starving for Tesla. Various sources confirmed that the Model 3 had thousands of orders that Tesla encountered a problem meeting the demand. Tesla was said to be in a "delivery hell". As a result, it came as no surprise that Model 3 became the best-selling EV.
Data from the FCAI revealed that the number of sales of zero- and low-emission vehicles last year was twice the sales made in 2018. It came as a surprise considering that the local market recorded a decline for the 17th consecutive month (up to September 2019).
Putting that aside for a while, we see how the market thirsts for EVs, and Tesla is set to quench this thirst.
Even so, there were a lot of complaints regarding delays in delivery, which Tesla could have dealt with more competently by communicating to customers promptly the issue on possible delays.
Push notifications from Tesla mobile apps, for instance, would have made a lot of difference to customers. We hope that Tesla does consider such an idea next time lest they lose an already flowering market.
Locally, how does Tesla's new EV compete?
Saying that Model 3 has been favourably competing is an understatement. Tesla's new EV has performed exceptionally well in the domestic market. As of the moment, Tesla stands out as the trendsetter in the electric vehicle arena. Owing to its innovation and cutting-edge technology, Tesla has been well received in Australia.
Even though the lack of updates from Tesla - especially when it comes to delivery - is a letdown, Tesla can work on that.
Further information from the FCAI pointed out that some of the best-selling premium car manufacturers had a dip in terms of sales early last year. They include Land Rover (23.1% fall), Infiniti (16.4), and Maserati (13.2) which was closely followed by Mercedes-Benz (13.1%), Porsche (12.8%), and Audi (11.8%).
Of course, those were not all. In the category of 10% or less decline in sales, lie other brands such as BMW, Bentley, and Mini.
All this happened just around the same time the Model 3 was set to enter the Australian. Coincidence or not, it seems like the Model 3 had a somewhat forestart seeing that the rival brands recorded declines.
Let’s find out how the Model 3 stacks up against its competitors. First, it is priced just about the same tag as its rival premium cars. However, fuel and operational costs vary. Tesla’s Model 3 is at the lower end, making a mockery of other gas or diesel and hybrid vehicles in the market.
By and large, this does show that the Model 3 costs less than its competitors that use gas. Here is a breakdown of their base prices as per the Australian market.
BMW 330i $70,900
BMW 320d $67,900
Tesla Model 3 $67,900
Mercedes C class $63,400
Audi A4 $61,509
Model 3 also recorded excellent ratings in terms of safety, although these results were calculated from tests in the US and Europe. In terms of technology, the Model 3 is challenged by only two cars – both from Tesla. Therefore, it’s safe to say that among its competitors it is the best tech-wise.
When it comes to performance, the Model 3 still comes out on top as the quickest car. Here is how Tesla Model 3 compares to its rivals (0-100km/hr time)
RANK CAR 0-100km/hr TIME (seconds)
1 Tesla Model 3 Performance 3.4
2 Mercedes-Benz C63S 4.1
3 BMW M2 Competition 4.2
4 Tesla Model 3 (Long Range) 4.6
5 Mercedes-Benz C43 4.7
6 Tesla Model 3 (Standard Range Plus) 5.6
7 Audi A4 45 TFSI & BMW 330i 5.8
8 Mercedes-Benz C300 5.9
9 BMW 320d Coupe 6.8
10 Mercedes-Benz C220d 6.9
With the above comparison, one can easily see that the Model 3 is giving its rivals a run for the money. Perhaps this explains the increased speed and scale of delivery that has been witnessed by Tesla to ensure the local demands are met.
All in all, the Model 3 does seem to have an appeal to many customers compared to gas and diesel rival cars of the same price range.
The biggest question at the moment, though, is whether the demand for the Model 3 car will remain, increase, or decrease from the rate we saw last year. All factors considered, the latter might be the most likely scenario.