It’s been a rough couple of years for the auto industry in the Australia, with Ford, GM, and Toyota all pulling the plug on domestic manufacturing operations. Meanwhile, Tesla is preparing to launch the Model S in the Land Down Under, with a plan to power its Supercharger stations with solar power while simultaneously tapping into a large pool of automotive and software talent.
Motoring.com.au reports that Tesla talent scouts held an interview open house in Melbourne, which is home to most of the country’s automotive industry. The position requires people to move to California, and they’re looking for engineers regarding a wide variety of automotive features, from crash and cooling systems to body and interior engineers.
It isn’t just automotive talent that Tesla is scouting in Australia either, as the electric automaker sponsored Web Directions, a two-day web developer conference. The company offered free test rides and no doubt targeted some of the top investors and talent that attended. Though it’s still in its infancy, Tesla has already become a global contender, and it’s showing an impressive ability to adapt to different areas. That said, some good old-fashioned product placement (in the middle of a mall) can still be just as effective as well. Tesla has already priced the Model S in Australia at just over $97,000 to start though, so it’ll still cost a pretty penny.
With the launch of the Model S in Oz comes the need for a nationwide Supercharger network. Australia is unique in both its abundance of solar-powered homes and businesses, and the massive, mostly-unlivable desert known as the Outback that separates the inhabited coasts. Elon Musk, who sits on the board of directors at SolarCity, is naturally a big proponent of solar power, and according to RenewEconomy, the first batch of Aussie Model S owners will all have solar-powered homes. If Musk can also manage to entirely (or at least mostly) power the Australian Supercharger network from the sun alone, it would be a tremendous demonstration of how electric cars can be 100% renewable energy powered.
China might be Tesla’s biggest market, but there’s big potential to swoop into Australia just as the conventional auto industry packs up and leaves. It’s Elon Musk to the rescue once again.