About 236 orders were recently placed for Teslas in Russia, which would be about an 80% increase in the current fleet if they are all fulfilled. The total there now is approximately 300, even though there are no Tesla stores or charging stations. The orders were placed on the website of Svyaznoy, a company that is now working with the Moscow Tesla Club to import more Teslas.
Of the new orders, a little over 40% were for the Model S and 26% were for the Model X, with some demand for the 3 and the Roadster as well. It may take as much as four months for the ordered vehicles to reach the Russian buyers. They will reportedly be shipped from the US to the Netherlands for some adjustments before traveling on to Russia.
The retail price of a Tesla in Russia is about 60% higher than in Western Europe because of extra fees like a customs duty.
Of course, the Model S and X are already priced at a point which is considered very expensive for many drivers, so adding such costs puts them out of reach of the vast majority of people. For example, one source stated that the customs fee for just one Tesla was $50,000. “Vratskiy, a 33-year-old software executive, wanted to swap his BMW X6 for a $75,000 Tesla S so badly that he agreed to pay almost double for it. With no sales network in Russia, he had to buy his sedan in the U.S. and spend $12,000 to fly it to Moscow, where it cost $50,000 to clear customs.”
The Model 3 is intended to be much more affordable, but it’s still not clear if the arrival of this more affordable level. In 2017, CleanTechnica reported about a rumor that Tesla might expand into Russia, but that idea is yet to become reality.
EVs are not exactly a hot commodity in Russia yet. “Only 82 EVs were sold in 2017, pushing the country’s total to 1,771 registered at the end of the year, according to Autostat, an analytical agency specializing in automobile markets.”
For his part, Putin has claimed gas-powered vehicles are better environmentally. “The kind of fuel as the gas motor fuel, we believe, at the end of the day, to be much more environmentally safe than the electric automobile.”
This claim seems Trumpian or Trump-like in its reversal of reality. Could it be that the presence of the Russian oil and gas industry is influencing his statement?
Perhaps a clue was left by Tatiana Mitova, the director of the Moscow School of Management’s Energy Center, “When we look at Russia’s economy, energy is an important part. Hydrocarbons still represent the biggest share of its federal budget, but their share has dropped from 50% to 40%. There is no consistent long-term plan, and many decisions are driven by short-term adaptations. There is no clear consensus.”
Image by Dmitry Grishin
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