Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S might soon be available to customers in Australia, says a report from Gizmodo. The report claims that there is only one Model S in the country, which is currently undergoing official certification for local sales.
Model S might not be crash-tested
Citing a source, the report says that the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) vehicle is being inspected and tested by the officials of the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch, possibly in Canberra, to examine whether or not the model meets the Australian Design Rules (ADRs). All vehicles that are sold and manufactured in Australia have to undergo the same ADR examination. Australian safety standards require vehicles to have a level of occupant and pedestrian safety in an accident, anti-theft features, etc.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S might not have to go through a crash-test in Australia, at this time, though it may have to later. Such tests are conducted by ANCAP, which follows a Niche Vehicles Test Policy. As per this policy, vehicles that are expected to sell less than 600 units can be accepted on the basis of international trials and manufacturers’ own in-house testing. Tesla’s Model S is expected not to cross this number, as the company has been selling Model S sedans faster than it can build them.
Right-hand drive version could open many markets for Tesla
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is expected to apply for a standard, high-volume compliance for the Model S. Tesla Roadster, sold between 2009 to 2012, had been granted a low-volume import under Australia’s Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles exemption, which means that only 100 units could be sold in Australia each year. Surely, Tesla will have much bigger aspirations.
Considering the high quality standard followed by Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), the tests appear to be a formality. However, the fact that presently, there are only five Model S sedans worldwide with right-hand drive (RHD) and one is currently in Australia, make the situation more exciting. After approval from the Australian authorities, more RHD models will be manufactured, but this model has been assembled by hand, says the report.
Tesla’s Model S has been available in the United States since 2012 and in Europe since mid-2013. The vehicle is only available as a left-hand drive version even though the company has a presence in the right-hand-driving UK market. A right-hand drive version will open many new opportunities for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) including Australia, where importing a left-hand drive vehicle is considered illegal unless the car is over 30 years old.