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Australian Tesla Model 3 likely to be sourced from China

By Tom Fraser, 19 Jan 2021 Car News

Australian Tesla Model 3 likely to be sourced from China

Australian Tesla Model 3s now built in China, not California

Australia’s Tesla Model 3 supply will reportedly switch from the company's Freemont facility in California, USA to the Shanghai Gigafactory, which was initially intended to only supply the Chinese market.

According to EV-HQ and Tesla delivery tracker VedaPrime, changes to Tesla’s Australian website indicate that new Model 3 orders will be built in China going forward.

China-spec Model 3s are identified by dash trim that extends to the doors

China-specific dash trim that wraps around to the doors, the (previously unavailable) $1500 option of a white interior and the $2200 option of 19-inch Sport wheels on the Standard Range Plus car all point towards a Chinese-built Model 3 becoming the norm for Australia.

MORE Tesla Model 3 review: was it worth the wait?

Additionally, The Driven notes that the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus maximum range is now 508km instead of 490km (NEDC standard). It also uncovered an Australian Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS) listing indicating a Chinese “LRW-“ VIN and an increased in kerb weight.

This suggests that versions of the 2021 car will use heavier but longer-lasting lithium-ion phosphate batteries.

2021 Tesla Model 32020 Tesla Model 3 interior without extended dash trim

Notably, it seems these changes only affect the Standard Range Plus car and Long Range AWD car for now, with the fate of the range-topping Model 3 Performance as yet unknown.

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While it’s possible that other markets could follow with the new-design Chinese-spec interior trim, a redesign has not been officially confirmed officially by Tesla. Other regional Tesla websites still show the ‘old’ cabin design.

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Prices remain unchanged from the 2020 model year Model 3; a Standard Range Plus car still costs $66,900 and the Long Range remains at $81,900 (before on-road costs).

Wait times are currently 9-12 weeks, which means it could be some time before we see any of the new Chinese-built Tesla Model 3s on our roads.

Tesla Model 3 Performance review feature

WhichCar has contacted Tesla Australia to confirm the supply switch and will update this story when information becomes available.