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Tesla in Australia

Rheazombi

Member
Dec 17, 2008
618
2
Boston
Well I'm thinking the second they make right hand-side steering wheel versions available for the UK, they'll become available in Australia/NZ too.

Though is it actually illegal to use a left-hand-side car to drive on the left side of the road?

Also, how hard is it to convince Tesla to sell it to you in Australia? with enough money you can do anything i guess
 
Last edited:

PeterW

Member
Feb 20, 2009
402
1
Palmerston North, New Zealand
My point is that the article says that an Austrailian has brought a Tesla but Tesla do not sell
them in Australia. So is it second-hand? What about Servicing?

Yes in New Zealand it is legal to drive a left-hand drive vehicle, you need a permit.

BTW New Zealand and Australia are different countries, in case you didn't know
 

aussielectric

Member
Mar 4, 2009
8
0
The car will be on show at the "Murray Walker's Extreme Machine's" display (with plenty of other exotica as usual) at the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar event over four days in Adelaide.

As that event is coming up soon there has been a special effort (a huge effort) by various people to get the car landed here on time. The Clipsal 500 has again been voted "Australia’s best Major Event or Festival at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards", so it is a great showcase for the Tesla.

Clipsal 500 Adelaide

From there it will be bouncing around the country at promotional opportunities.

I have it on good advice that, as it cannot at this time be registered for street use in Australia, it will be visiting race tracks to stretch its legs :)
 

Rheazombi

Member
Dec 17, 2008
618
2
Boston
BTW New Zealand and Australia are different countries, in case you didn't know

Yes I am well aware of the fact. Just wishful thinking on my part that they might show up here (NZ) if they come to Australia.

They're different countries but NZ gets a lot of Australia's handmedowns and of course the driving style is the same (like the UKs).

Thats interesting about the permits tho.
 

doug

Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
16,927
1,041
SF Bay Area
The car will be on show at the "Murray Walker's Extreme Machine's" display (with plenty of other exotica as usual) at the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar event over four days in Adelaide.
Well be sure to get some photos for us, and may find out which VIN it is. :)
 

aussielectric

Member
Mar 4, 2009
8
0
Well be sure to get some photos for us, and may find out which VIN it is. :)

If you are interested I could ask the owner to post here if anyone has anything they want to ask him? Seeing as his name was splashed around in the news article I guess it ain't no secret :smile:
 

meloccom

Moderator Aus/NZ
Feb 11, 2008
2,341
1,241
Sydney Australia
I would be interested in knowing why it can not be registered on Aussie roads.:confused:

In Australia we drive on the left thanks to being an ex-British colony.
So all cars in Australia have the steering on the right and the Motor Authorities will not register a new car with 'left hand drive' like all Tesla's.
Would be an interesting excercise to see how hard it is to convert using Lotus Elise parts. The biggest problem I see is moving the brake booster from left to right as it looks pretty tight in the front compartment there.
 

doug

Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
16,927
1,041
SF Bay Area
In Australia we drive on the left thanks to being an ex-British colony.
So all cars in Australia have the steering on the right and the Motor Authorities will not register a new car with 'left hand drive' like all Tesla's.
Would be an interesting excercise to see how hard it is to convert using Lotus Elise parts. The biggest problem I see is moving the brake booster from left to right as it looks pretty tight in the front compartment there.
Interesting... the UK allows LHD cars. I assumed those Commonwealth countries that are RHD would also have a provision for LHD cars.
 

dpeilow

Moderator
May 23, 2008
9,152
891
Winchester, UK
This one was news to me too.

So if you import an already registered foreign car, will they allow re-registration (with the same owner)? Perhaps the solution is to get Tesla to handle the paperwork - say in the UK - and ship it over with plates on.
 

graham

Active Member
Dec 2, 2007
1,573
4
Aptos, California
I remember hearing that Tesla's biggest hurdle with doing RHD had something to do with the HVAC system. I guess it is on one particular side, and their supplier does not make a chiral version?

At any rate, with Tesla in Europe now, I would be surprised if we go for another year without a legitimate RHD version being produced.
 

doug

Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
16,927
1,041
SF Bay Area
I remember hearing that Tesla's biggest hurdle with doing RHD had something to do with the HVAC system. I guess it is on one particular side, and their supplier does not make a chiral version?

At any rate, with Tesla in Europe now, I would be surprised if we go for another year without a legitimate RHD version being produced.

Right, I had heard that they needed to change HVAC vendors to be able to do RHD. No idea if they've done that yet. But it would have the added benefit of opening up the Japanese market as well. Thing is, I think it's a bit of a low priority at the moment.
 

vfx

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2006
14,790
40
CA CA
A local coworker on a job I did in OZ had an LHD American Muscle 70 Mach1 Mustang. It was a daily(ish) driver.
 

meloccom

Moderator Aus/NZ
Feb 11, 2008
2,341
1,241
Sydney Australia
A local coworker on a job I did in OZ had an LHD American Muscle 70 Mach1 Mustang. It was a daily(ish) driver.

Yes there are exemptions to the 'No Left hand drive" rule in Australia but they only apply to cars over 30 years old and visiting tourists. For our Australian Citizen friend with a new Tesla he will have to convert it to get it registered.
 

meloccom

Moderator Aus/NZ
Feb 11, 2008
2,341
1,241
Sydney Australia
Interesting... the UK allows LHD cars. I assumed those Commonwealth countries that are RHD would also have a provision for LHD cars.

Australian authorities have always pushed the hard line on left hand drive cars. Unlike the UK we are not surrounded by countries that drive on the right. New Zealand, Japan and many of the Pacific Island nations are right hand drive so it was easier here to hold fast on the right hand drive only rule. The exemption for old cars over 30 years was only given in the last 5 to ten years as a result of lobbying from the classic\muscle car movement.
 

meloccom

Moderator Aus/NZ
Feb 11, 2008
2,341
1,241
Sydney Australia
This one was news to me too.

So if you import an already registered foreign car, will they allow re-registration (with the same owner)? Perhaps the solution is to get Tesla to handle the paperwork - say in the UK - and ship it over with plates on.

This would only work if your were not an Australian citizen and you can only register the car for a limited period, 6 months I think and have to pay a bond that you only get when you export the car out of Australia again. So this provision is designed for tourists only.
Believe me I've worked all the angles and there is no getting around the law in Oz. :frown:
 

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