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People in Japan can now see the Tesla Model 3 on display in local Tesla stores. Elon Musk says Tesla may open its first store in South Africa late next year.


Tesla Model 3 Comes To Japan, & Tesla Store Planned For South Africa Next Year

People in Japan can now see the Tesla Model 3 on display in local Tesla stores. Elon Musk says Tesla may open its first store in South Africa late next year.

Tesla may not be able to sell its cars in many US states, but that hasn’t kept it from finding enthusiastic buyers in many foreign countries. The latest news is that the Model 3 is now on view in showrooms in Japan, with the first deliveries scheduled for late 2019 according to Japanese news source Response.

Model 3 in Japan

In the story, retweeted by Vincent, Response claims all versions of the Model 3 currently available in the US — long- or medium-range battery, rear- or all-wheel drive — will be available to Japanese customers as well. With rear-wheel drive + the medium-range battery, the price in Japan is about ¥5,190,000 ($46,000). With all-wheel drive and the long-range battery, the price is ¥5,980,000 ($53,000). The Model 3 Performance will sell for ¥7,230,000 ($64,000).

On the other side of the world, add South Africa to the growing list of countries where Tesla will have a store. Elon Musk tweeted on December 11 that Tesla is planning to open its first store in his native country next year. Well, probably next year.

While that is good news for South Africans, the idea of bringing electric cars to that nation is fraught with technical challenges. The electrical grid there is chaotic, with rolling blackouts common. Selling cars will be easy. Creating a network of Supercharger locations to keep them charged will be hard. So far, electric cars are enjoyed only by South Africa’s wealthiest citizens, according to Fortune.

South Africa is the most industrialized nation on the African continent but it still faces major challenges in meeting the needs of its citizens. Basic necessities such as access to clean water are still unavailable to many of its citizens. Earlier this year, Cape Town came very close to running out of drinking water for its residents because of an extended drought. Tesla may find South Africa is more ready for its solar energy and storage products than electric cars.

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.


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