The first-ever right-hand-drive Tesla Model 3 was recently spotted on the Interstate-280 California highway (see below) — I-280 has been notorious for Model 3 spottings in the past, as this freeway happens to be near Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto.
|The first right-hand-drive Tesla Model 3 was recently spotted driving on the highway (Source: Mister_Salty_Peanuts)|
Tesla Model 3 reservation holders from right-hand-drive markets like the United Kingdom have been very patiently waiting for their turn to take delivery of one of the most well-reviewed and safest cars on the planet.
Elon Musk has stated that the Tesla Model 3 is designed in a way that requires minimum engineering and tooling changes in order develop its RHD variant. In a tweet last year he said that the RHD Model 3 deliveries will probably start mid-2019. Now, with this latest Model 3 RHD spotting, the timeline appears to (hopefully) be on track.
|Elon Musk’s tweet about RHD Model 3 engineering and launch timeline (Twitter: Elon Musk)|
Tesla brought the first display Model 3 to the United Kingdom at the end of last year after a jam-packed tour of its European stores. Although this was a left-hand-drive United States version of the car, it gave reservation holders a chance to experience the vehicle first-hand.
EV Maps, a British electric vehicle routing website, talked to Tesla’s staff in the United Kingdom last month and was able to learn that the Tesla Design Studio / Model 3 Configurator will be open to RHD markets in the next month or so.
|EV Maps gets some inside information about RHD Tesla Model 3 launch in the United Kingdom (Twitter: EV Maps)|
The right-hand-drive Model 3 was spied in a basic black color with aero wheels and, according to the Tesla subreddit user who photographed this rarity, Mister_Salty_Peanuts, this specific RHD Model 3 had a “Dual-Motor” badge on the rear — unfortunately, he was only able to snap one photo.
In the typical Tesla rollout strategy, higher-end variants likely will be first introduced to the RHD markets (mainly the United Kingdom and Australia). Sometime after that, Tesla’s new base-trim, lower-priced Model 3 will be available.
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