A Tesla Model 3 was recently spotted in New Zealand. New Zealand is one of 18 countries where the driver’s side is on the right (India and Japan are the largest). The right-side-driver Model 3 will begin deliveries in 2019. The spotted Model 3 has the driver’s side on the left, so it is likely being used for testing purposes. The southern island of New Zealand has some of the windiest, curviest, snowiest roads in the world.
Moisture from Antarctica slams against the steep volcanic mountain ranges of New Zealand. The southern island is home to Milford Sound. which gets an amazing 6.4 meters or 252 inches of average annual rain. As such, it is not surprising that New Zealand gets 57% of its power from hydroelectric dams.
On its website, the New Zealand Ministry of Transport states, “More than 80 percent of electricity is generated from renewable sources and there is enough supply for widespread adoption of EVs. Even if every light vehicle was electric, there is sufficient generation capacity to charge these provided the majority are charged at off-peak times.”
Previously, CleanTechnica has documented New Zealand’s leadership in renewables and smart energy systems. The country has a stated goal of selling 64,000 EVs by 2021 and some moderate incentives. They have reduced fees for EVs until they reach 2% market penetration and the country will allow EVs to travel in HOV and bus lanes. Additionally, over the course of 5 years, New Zealand is spending NZ$1,000,000 annually to promote EVs and to inform the public about the benefits of EVs.
Currently, Tesla has 6 Supercharging stations in New Zealand, but another 6 are coming soon. Tesla recently opened a store and service location in the capitol of Auckland — one of the largest built to date. New Zealand has a massive tourist industry, which makes up 17% of its exports. This makes for a compelling possibility for early adoption of self-driving taxis. Kiwis are among the friendliest people in the world and the country is famed for hitch-hiking. Hopefully, this culture translates into more shared rides.
While Tesla has indicated it will not be reusing EV batteries for stationary storage, it is not stopping other companies from doing so. I can foresee a future where used EV batteries help to provide the storage needed to make one of my favorite countries carbon neutral sooner than than its Paris Treaty commitments indicate.
Check out the article in Driven for the spy shots of a white Model 3 in New Zealand.
Notably, this is not the first time a Tesla Model 3 was spotted in New Zealand. Back in July 2017, a Tesla Model 3 was spotted there.
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