11 February 2022

Tesla store officially opens in Canberra

| James Coleman
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Tesla Canberra

There’s no mistaking the shop for anything else. Photo: James Coleman.

Canberra’s very own Tesla showroom is officially open for business.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr cut the ribbon on Friday (11 February) at the brand-new store on Bunda Street, paving the way for members of the public to wander into a physical store, have all their questions answered in-person, and go for test drives.

“I visited Tesla in Sydney last year and strongly encouraged them to set up a showroom presence here in the ACT,” Mr Barr said.

“It’s fantastic to see that they’ve realised the opportunity that is the ACT market, and I wish them all the best.”

Tesla Canberra

The Tesla Canberra store on Bunda Street. Photo: James Coleman.

The store comes as the Tesla Model 3 takes home the honour of best-selling EV in Australia, and by a huge margin.

According to figures released last month from the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC), 15,054 units were sold last year. This was followed by the MG ZS EV at 1388, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV at 592, and the MG HS at 580.

National sales of plug-in electric vehicles more than tripled in the past year, from 6900 in 2020 to 24,078 in 2021. EVs now account for over 2 per cent of the market for new vehicles, up from 0.78 in 2020.

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EVC CEO Behyad Jafari said the boost in sales was being driven by positive policy change at a state level and that momentum could now be built upon.

“The penny has now well and truly dropped about how good electric vehicles are,” Mr Jafari said.

“Most people in the car market will now be considering an electric option. The role of government is to help them make the jump.”

Tesla Canberra

The Model 3 is the best-selling EV in the country. Photo: James Coleman.

Mr Barr described the ACT’s uptake of EV’s as “nation-leading”, and sees the vast array of incentives as one of the reasons for their success here.

New zero-emission vehicles bought in the ACT are exempt from stamp duty and receive two years of free registration. The latter was recently expanded to the used EV market as well.

The ACT Government’s ‘Sustainable Households Scheme’ also offers zero-interest loans of between $2,000 and $15,000 to eligible ACT households to help with the upfront costs of investing in energy-efficient home upgrades, including EV infrastructure.

Andrew Barr at the Tesla showroom

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr cutting the ribbon on the new Tesla Canberra showroom. Photo: James Coleman.

The cheapest EV currently on sale in Australia is the MG ZS, starting at $42,990.

The Tesla Model 3 represents the brand’s entry-level model and starts at $59,900, with an estimated range of 491 km. Two ‘Dual-Motor’ all-wheel-drive models are also available, the ‘Long Range’ for $73,200 or ‘Performance’ for $84,900.

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Kristy is the proud owner of a blue two-wheel-drive Model 3 and attended the official showroom opening. She was the first in her family to make the switch to electric before she happened to take her husband’s car to work on the day of the fateful Canberra hailstorm.

“Now he has a Model 3 too, and we both love them,” she says.

“We often find ourselves driving further than we need to, or going to the shops on the other end of town. It’s very much a case of coming back from a test drive and saying, ‘Take my money!'”

Andrew Barr in a Tesla

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr at the wheel of a Tesla Model 3. Photo: James Coleman.

Jeremy bought the Performance model and said that for years, people have had to go to a ‘special place’ to refill their cars.

“People ask me, ‘How long does it take to charge?’ And I say, ‘Two seconds’. I plug it in when I get home, and it’s charging while I’m asleep. You always have a ‘full tank’.”

In a first for the world of car sales, a Tesla can be ordered completely online, but due to their popularity, the estimated delivery window for a Model 3 is 14 to 20 weeks.

Tesla Canberra

The Tesla Canberra store on Bunda Street. Photo: James Coleman.

Before the new store, Tesla’s only presence in the capital region was the service centre in Beard. EVs require next to no maintenance, so a day at the service centre includes changing tyres, performing checks on battery health, fitting accessories, and repairing bodywork. Cars ordered online would also be delivered here.

The new store will assist with the ordering process, with real salespeople on the ground to answer any queries directly rather than going through the website alone. Prospective buyers will also come here for test drives.

The Tesla Canberra store on 114 Bunda Street is open from 10 am to 5 pm every day except Sunday.

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HiddenDragon6:30 pm 15 Feb 22

The hypnotic appeal of American techno-cults for overpaid Australians really is something to behold.

That will age well

Re the impracticability of travelling from Canberra (or Sydney) to Perth in an EV, because of the current lack of high speed charging across the Nullarbor, an EV will struggle to do it in 4 days as you can in a petrol/diesel car, although you certainly could do it with 2 drivers.

Or you could “Take it easy” with overnight “destination” charging and a top-up charge during lunch. Timings for a Tesla 3 LR from ABRP:

Canberra to Balranald 637km (recharge Wagga 70 min)
Balranald to Adelaide 530km (recharge Tailem Bend 10min)
Adelaide to Port Augusta 308km
Port Augusta to Ceduna 467km (recharge Poochera 70 min)
Ceduna to Eucla 491km (recharge Yalata 2 hours)
Eucla to Caiguna 337km (recharge Madura 2 hours)
Caiguna to Kalgoorlie 557km (recharge Balladonia 2 hours)
Kalgoorlie to Freemantle 593km (recharge Meredin 90 min)

59.5 hours driving, 9 hours recharging during the day, 3953 km, 560 kwH of electricity.

It already is just as fast to drive from Sydney to Melbourne or Brisbane with an EV using fast chargers because the car chargers much quicker than you can eat and ablute), and it will be just the same from Adelaide to Perth very soon not least because petrol stations have a strong economic incentive to install chargers and are starting to do so: https://thedriven.io/2021/07/30/ampol-to-add-ev-fast-chargers-at-121-petrol-stations-around-australia/

Capital Retro5:16 pm 15 Feb 22

It sounds like a modern day version of the Cobb & Co coaches.

Absolutely right – until fast chargers are as common as petrol stations, you have to plan long trips off the most common routes, just like your grandparents did before petrol stations were everywhere!

“ the estimated delivery window for a Model 3 is 14 to 20 weeks’…. How hickory things change. Now it’s 5-7 months. A long time, but still faster than many other car delivery estimates.

I pick mine up this Thursday. I’m so excited 🙂

Capital Retro9:16 pm 15 Feb 22

You will be happy twice. This Thursday when you get it and in a few years, when you sell it.

Capital Retro2:29 pm 14 Feb 22

Rick Jackson said: “What is interesting is that the ACT Govts $15,000 EV loan excludes Tesla cars…”

But it doesn’t exclude Tesla batteries for the home solar system.

And if they did you would still be complaining.

Borrowing money to buy a depreciating asset, such as a car, doesn’t make any financial sense.
It’s not free money. You still need to repay the principal.

Capital Retro8:00 am 16 Feb 22

Says the apologist in residence for the ACT government.

Capital Retro10:55 pm 13 Feb 22

Tesla stores also sell lithium home batteries to compliment solar arrays.



Capital Retro10:39 pm 13 Feb 22

I think most Tesla drivers would be driving leased Teslas and have an interest in the company/business that is leasing the Tesla. They are “not bothered” with a novelty no interest $15,000 loan or the token free rego and no stamp duty.

I’d buy a Rivian before a Tesla. Check out Long Way Up – Ewan McGregor/ Charlie Boorman

I love the Rivan SUV (R1S), but at the current production ramp up speed, it’s likely to be 3-5 years before Australia gets any. Tesla is here now.

Tesla Model Y – coming to Australia – when? Tesla build quality, especially on the model X – sub standard. Tesla Model 3s coming to Australia, missing certain features due to the semiconductor shortage. Not good enough for the price you are expected to pay. Better options, including the Kia EV6 and the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Audi, BMW, Mercedes, streets ahead of Tesla for refinement and quality. But like most EVs – expensive, especially with current lithium price:

Capital Retro8:16 am 12 Feb 22

I don’t think the centre of the city is an appropriate place for a car dealer. Does it fit with the zoning requirements?

I note Mr. Barr isn’t wearing his seatbelt.

I often don’t have my seatbelt on when the door is open.

Or when the car is parked inside.

But perhaps you do?

Capital Retro4:13 pm 12 Feb 22

If I am going to drive it I do.

They aren’t a car dealer per se. It’s a showroom.

They don’t sell teslas there. They can show you where the website is to buy though. You can however organise a test drive.

I think it’s a fantastic location. Tesla showrooms are a breath of fresh air to the crappy car dealers. People working on commission at car dealers can be super pushy and often disingenuous.

Capital Retro11:49 am 15 Feb 22

Yes, it’s a Clayton’s set-up, that’s for sure.

And consistent with the Tesla elitists’ hype they have “real salespeople”. None of those riff-raff “commission” salesmen you have at a crappy car dealer, most of which have EVs in their ranges too, however.

I thought Harley Davison owners were cultists but you Tesla people have really stolen their mantle.

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