The day has arrived for the Tesla Model S to officially launch in the Land Down Under, along with a planned Supercharger network along Australia’s east coast. Nine owners were handed the keys to their Model S sedans at the launch party in Sydney, though Tesla’s plans for Australia extend beyond sales.
By some estimates there are about 50 pre-orders for the Model S in Australia at the moment, hardly a record-breaking number to be sure. With a starting price of $97,000 after import duties and taxes, the Model S is even more expensive there than it is here. But the electric automaker is still making an effort to be noticed by the public, and they’ve also been busy recruiting potential employees as well.
Australia’s domestic auto industry has been decimated by the shuttering of GM’s Holden brand, as well as Ford and Toyota’s closure of local assembly plants. That leaves a lot of talented car engineerings unemployed, so Tesla has been busy trying to recruit potential employees to their ranks. Tesla was also at the Web Directions web developer conference to try and pick some potential candidates out of the crowd as well. Tesla is more Internet-savvy than most automakers, and it’s little wonder that Simon Hackett, founder of Aussie ISP Internode, was among the first to take delivery of his right-hand drive Model S.
Though it might not be its biggest market, Tesla is still making sure to take care of Australian owners with a Supercharger network that will connect Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra. Unfortunately, the lower amperage of many Australian homes means that it home charging could take a good deal longer. Many homes in Oz have 10 or 20 amp services, whereas the Tesla typically plugs in with a 40 amp charger. While the automaker is included a special adapter for the lower amp service, charging times will end up being noticeably longer.
It’s a unique problem for Australia, but that won’t deter determined Tesla fans from finally getting behind the wheel of this unique electric car.