Tesla’s Model 3 Pushes New Boundaries

Tesla finds itself at the forefront of the electric car revolution. Is the new Model 3 worth buying if you live in South Africa?
U
Melissa
Cohen
Published: Tuesday, July 25th 2017
General
The time has finally come for the much anticipated arrival of the Model 3. It will begin production on its first set of orders on Friday. This has taken Tesla years to find the funds to design and create this next level electric motor vehicle. This car is available to people worldwide, however, is South Africa currently equipped to handle the car?
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Musk's Master Plan

On March 31 2016, Tesla's founder and CEO, Elon Musk unveiled the new Tesla Model 3 to complete the fleet. Musk aimed to use the previous Tesla models as a way to make enough money to create a one of a kind EV (electric vehicle). The Model 3 was designed to be a comfortable motor car that is real value for money. The price you ask? Well it is $35 000 (R455 000) and $1 000 to reserve the vehicle. Although this might sound like a good buy, when it comes to purchasing this vehicle with the exchange rate the way it is, you could possibly find more luxurious vehicles in its class for a cheaper price.

This Is What Makes It So Great...

Musk says that this is a "high volume vehicle at an affordable price". Not only that, but the Model 3 has received a 5 star rating in all of the vehicle test categories.
  • If fast is what you are looking for- how does 0-97km/h in under six seconds sound?
  • This cabby can travel 215 miles or 346 kilometres on one battery charge. That is as far as travelling from Cape Town to Stellenbosch and back three times!
  • This vehicle can fit five adults comfortably. "The front seats are designed to have enough space for adults to sit in the back. You could fit a 7ft surfboard inside the vehicle," explains Musk.
  • Every Model 3 comes standard with autopilot hardware fitted. This means that you can let the car drive you on the highway!
  • Super charging comes standard with all vehicles.

Is South Africa Ready For The Electric Revolution?

"If there's electricity- you can charge it," exclaims Musk. The Tesla boss makes this comment without question, but is it that easy in South Africa? According to Car Magazine's Senior Associate Editor, Ian McLaren, South Africans shouldn't be hasty to jump on the electric car band wagon just yet. "South Africa does not have enough charging points and infrastructure to properly run these cars. If you are in a traffic jam, its not like you run out of petrol- you need electricity," explains McLaren.  South Africa already has to deal with Eskom and the electricity crisis that has plagued our country for years. Now we must have rechargeable vehicles taking over our roads and stripping us of the electricity resource that we so badly need to conserve. McLaren describes electric vehicles as being part of a niche market at the moment in South Africa. The price of these vehicles such as the BMW i3 or i8 are exorbitant. People would be purchasing this vehicle knowing that they will probably go to the shops and go home due to the lack of charging stations.
"It is definitely the way things are going but I imagine that it will take a long time before the charging infrastructure is provided. You will be able to plug your car in while you go to the shops," adds McLaren. 
The people who have electric vehicles in SA most likely have a second car that they use in order to travel distances because distance travelling is not an option currently with these cars.

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Hybrid Might Be The Answer For Now

The various electric cars that are available in South Africa are equipped with a petrol engine as well. This is there to ensure that you don't get stuck travelling purely on a battery. Here are the Hybrid vehicles available in South Africa:
  • BMW i3 & i8
  • Mercedes S400
  • Honda Prius and Honda Jazz
  • Lexus CT200h and RX450h
  • Nissan LEAF
  • Infinity Q50S Hybrid
  • Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid and Panamera S Hybrid
  • Toyota Hybrid Auris and Yaris Hybrid
So are you sold on the power or are you still a petrol head? *CompareGuru tried to get in to contact with Tesla SA for further answers, however they were unreachable. 
Read More about electric car myths below!