Meet the first person in the queue for a Tesla Model 3 in Australia – EFTM
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Meet the first person in the queue for a Tesla Model 3 in Australia

He doesn't even have a garage yet

With two years or more to wait for delivery, you’d be forgiven for just waiting till you naturally wake up on Thursday rather than setting an alarm to wake up and head to a Tesla showroom to put your money down for a Tesla Model 3.  But colour him keen – Andreas Stephens is going to queue outside for 48 hours to put his name down.

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It’s a scene reminiscent of Apple Stores around the world ahead of the release of new flagship products from the tech giant, and while it’s a first for Tesla in Australia there are plenty of parallels between these two Modern giants of technology.

Both have a hugely dedicated fan-base, both innovate in new products, and both have a new and direct retail channel allowing those very fans to queue out the front – or around the block.

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On Thursday at 8am when the Tesla Showroom on Sydney’s Lower North Shore in Artarmon opens up, Andreas Stephens will be the first man inside.

He’ll put down a holding deposit of around $1,500 to secure his place in the queue for the yet to be announced Tesla Model 3.

The Model 3 will be revealed in a live event on Friday afternoon Australian time – until then we – and that includes Andreas, have no idea what the Model 3 even looks like, what its features and inclusions are, what its electric driving range will be and perhaps critically what the price will be.

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But that’s not stopping him.  As the owner of a Toyota Corolla Seca right now, Andreas doesn’t even have a garage – “I’ve got two years to build one”.

He credits his 19-year-old son with putting him onto the story of Tesla – the very same son who will likely be keen for a drive in Dad’s Model 3 when he’s 21 years old.

Of course, Andreas is also aware he won’t be the first person in Australia to own a Model 3 – priority in the queue will go to current owners of a Model S, but still, his queuing up to be one of the first is a story he’s keen to share with his grandkids in the future.

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Oh, and as for price – Andreas shares my view, the Model 3 will likely cost between $65,000 and $70,000 when it arrives in Australia in 2018.

In the meantime, let’s hope it doesn’t get too cold or wet.  Andreas doesn’t have a tent, just a warm coat and a book.  His iPhone battery isn’t that great so he’s likely to struggle to keep in touch with family while he’s there.  Fortunately the Tesla staff have looked after him with coffee – and a ride in the Tesla Model S

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Motoring

Trevor produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He has a weekly radio show on 2UE, as well as appearances across the country and regularly provides Technology Commentary to Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
18 Comments on this post.
  • Stephen
    29 March 2016 at 1:43 pm
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    Not sure why you think it’ll be so expensive. Tesla have announced the price (US$35000 base) and have a stated policy of only charging exchange rate differences and local taxes. They’re not like the ‘traditional’ car importers, they don’t just double or triple the US price without any real justification.

    It should come in around A$55 000 (current conversion rate plus applicable taxes, well below the luxury car tax) and may drop if the dollar improves before launch.

    • Trevor Long
      29 March 2016 at 1:47 pm
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      Let’s hope so… but it isn’t always that easy… I’m putting my cash down.. so I’ll be happy with anything less than that!

  • Mark Melocco (@MarkMelocco)
    29 March 2016 at 1:57 pm
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    Andreas may be the first person in the world to reserve Model 3 outside of Tesla and Space-X staff due to the luck of our time zone.

    • Trevor Long
      29 March 2016 at 2:15 pm
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      Quite possibly – but I didn’t want to say that having not confirmed someone else wasn’t queued up in another country – he’ll certainly be first to put his name down, but wont even be first in Australia to take delivery

  • Brian
    29 March 2016 at 2:25 pm
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    Does Australia not have online reservations? I mean, I lived in Sydney for awhile and no that the country only sort of has something passing for Internet, but seems like Tesla could easily take their US site and add “,au” to the end and poor Andreas wouldn’t have to wait in line…

    • Trevor Long
      29 March 2016 at 2:26 pm
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      We do, but as per globally, you can reserve IN STORY before the online reservations begin… so he gets a 36 hour jump on the online orders

      • Brian Baumgartner
        29 March 2016 at 9:21 pm
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        Neato. Cool to see the Apple-style lines happening for Tesla. I reserved mine last week, so I hope the announcement is cool…especially the pricing.

  • Brendan
    29 March 2016 at 4:29 pm
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    Trevor – it doesn’t matter if someone else is lined up in another country, Andreas will be the first in the world (apart from Tesla employees), possibly tied with whoever is first in line at the Melbourne store. The reason is we have the easternmost Tesla stores in the world, so due to our time zone, every other Tesla store in the world will open at a later time than the Sydney and Melbourne stores. Brisbane will be next @9am local time, which is 2 hours after Sydney and Melbourne due to daylight saving being in operation here but not Queensland. Then it will be stores in Japan, then China, etc.

    Really, it’s not like that was impossible to work out and verify.

    • Trevor Long
      29 March 2016 at 4:40 pm
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      Wow, congrats narky mcnarky – As stated above in reply to mark – YES he’ll be the first in the world to put his name down, but NO I couldn’t confirm there was not another person lining up, thus, there might have been another person FIRST To LINE UP.. geez mate, take a chill pill – how serious is life at your place?

      • Brendan
        29 March 2016 at 9:26 pm
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        Life at my place is very narky and serious, it’s great. I love it. Precision makes the world go around.

        • Trevor Long
          29 March 2016 at 11:18 pm
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          Good to hear:)

  • jovan
    29 March 2016 at 6:27 pm
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    give me a model Tesla car that you advertise in Bosnia

  • Michael O’Halloran
    29 March 2016 at 9:42 pm
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    I hope I’m missing something here and I’d appreciate any comments but electric cars are not going to make the environmental difference they should unless IC cars are being progressively removed from the roads as electrics are added. Most people who buy a Tesla aren’t going to mothball their current IC car in a barn and make it redundant – they will sell it. The new owner will use their old car and emit the same as before. The fact you have a Tesla makes you feel fuzzy and warm inside (assuming heating doesn’t reduce the car battery range too much) but the cold hard environmental equation of emissions has gone backwards as the Tesla has required energy and emissions to create. Heck, even the transport and factory emissions to create and get it to Australia on the other side of the world would be a large chunk of the emissions savings in its lifetime, especially if the electricity it uses is coal fired). I love the idea of Tesla and the passion behind it (I was lucky to test drive one in California mid-last year and loved it) but we need far more worldwide changes to make the hype sadly
    anything more than that – hype.

    • Kyle Field
      30 March 2016 at 4:15 am
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      The number of drivers in the world does not increase just because I buy a Tesla. Yes, the Corolla will be sold and someone else will buy it…but they will sell their old car…and the person that buys that will sell their old car…but somewhere along the line, a car gets shelved or was totaled in a car accident. The net effect is that the same 1 billion people that were driving…are still driving…just that ~100,000 of them are driving zero emission teslas…and another couple million are driving plug in cars.

    • Andreas “First in Line” Stephens
      31 March 2016 at 7:45 pm
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      Hi Michael

      Please excuse me if I can not follow your logic, I am still trying to catch up on two days of sleep. But by buying a Telsa I am starting the process of progressively replacing Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICEVs).

      In his post below, I think Kyle has already highlighted that there will definitely be a net benefit from me buying an Electric Vehicle (EV) instead of an ICEV. Thanks Kyle!

      Also, at 22 years, and having recently spent more money on a repair than what its insured value, I say chances are that is more likely to become decommissioned and sold for recycle value rather than being on-sold.

      As an aside, I am not sure that you are aware that there is next to no local car manufacturing happening in Australia, with the little remaining manufacturing capacity being shut down by 2017. So if I want to purchase a car in 2-3 years from now, it will most likely be shipped from overseas no matter what. Maybe Japan is closer than shipping from the USA, but then again the USA is closer to Australia than Europe…

      If you are trying to point out that I am achieving a sub-optimal environmental outcome by buying a Tesla, you are right. It would be better if I subscribed to a car sharing service like “goget” which actually takes a car off the road, or used a bicycle or public transport (I admire and respect everyone who does any or all of these things). While I have considered all those alternatives, for various reasons I have decided against them. So you can call me ignorant, naive and/or a hypocrite – I am guilty as charged.

      By the way, it is always easy to criticise any environmentalist for hypocrisy – like people tearing down Al Gore for the power consumption in his mansion, instead of giving him credit for the massive awareness he created with his “Inconvenient Truth” documentary and all the other good work he is doing for the future benefit of our children.

      Anyway, let me give you my cold hard reason for buying a Telsa Model 3 and why I think it will assist in a small way to create a better world for my son and hopefully one day my grandchildren to live in:

      We can continue to rely on ICEVs and if China and in a few years India also go down the ICEV route – as is their right to do so – God help us – because in that case we are certainly not helping ourselves!

      An alternative future will see autonomous (i.e. self driving) EVs taking over the commoditised personal transport function, where in every street a few cars are on standby to take you at a moments notice safely from A to B. The cars are recharged from renewable energy sources only. This alternative future – which I thought a lot about during the two days that I waited in front of the Tesla store – will see cities with clean air and little transport noise.

      OK, I totally get that some enthusiasts will want to keep driving cars – maybe even ICEVs – and hopefully they can be accommodated, but I am talking big picture here.

      How do we get to this future?

      I think the Chinese say that every journey begins with a first step. For me, today, with the resources available to myself that means I have to buy a Tesla car. I need to support a business that literally stakes its future on the success of EVs replacing ICEVs. I no longer want to support traditional car manufacturers who offer a token EV in their product range. Like tobacco companies before them, their products are choking our cities.

      With the Tesla Model 3 becoming available, we are running out of excuses to start the shift to an EV future.

      Even if we merely shift car emissions inside our big cities to coal power stations in less heavily populated areas surrounding them, while not solving our man induced climate change problem, this will improve the quality of life of millions of people living in densely populated areas.

      For me personally, the eight PV solar panels on our roof top are not enough to provide the power both for our domestic use and in 2-3 years time the Tesla, so I will have to also buy a share in a community PV solar project to cover my overall electricity use (by the way, these expenses will hurt. I am not so rich that this will all come easy to me and my family – otherwise I would have bought the Telsa Model S!). I can no longer sit back and wait for government regulation to remove ICEVs from our roads – which might be what you are suggesting should happen. I can not hide behind the simplistic and pathetically selfish argument that “It does not matter what I do, but what the Chinese government does to reduce carbon emissions”. I have to show my government what I want by buying a Tesla. I have to let the Chinese travellers visit our quiet and clean city so they go home and demand the same from their government.

      Heck, change begins with me – and my new Telsa!

    • Andreas “First in Line” Stephens
      31 March 2016 at 7:53 pm
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      Sorry Michael – I wanted to respond to your post, but as I am still half asleep, I accidentally posted my response to Kyle Field’s post below.

  • Mike Lee
    30 March 2016 at 4:01 pm
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    good job Andreas and thanks for the article Trevor

  • Michael
    30 March 2016 at 5:56 pm
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    Hi guys over there! Can’t await buying one, but it depends on the capacity of the 2nd row to carry 3 kids’ seats. In the meanwhile, I enjoy watching guys like Andreas, and hope, many will join! Greetings from Austria.

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