We have been holding our breath for a few months now, waiting for the Tesla factory in Germany (“Giga Berlin“) to begin production. Surely it has to be soon, but what are the implications for Australia and those waiting for a new Tesla Model 3 or Model Y? Will it make any difference at all when you consider that Australia’s cars are coming from the Tesla factory in Shanghai?
Here are some musings from me. At the moment, Tesla is supplying cars (both Model 3 and Model Y) to Europe from Shanghai. As the German Tesla factory is expected to start production of the Model Y as it ramps up, there may be an excess of vehicles at Shanghai looking for a home closer to home. As more of Europe’s needs are met with production from Shanghai, Australia may receive more Teslas. Will the demand hold? I expect so. (Other Chinese carmakers might be a wild card here.)
What of the implications for other carmakers in Europe? Will it mean Volkswagen will have some spare Škoda ENYAQs or VW ID.4s? Will Stellantis send us the Peugeot e-2008? And what of Ford — will it be able to free up some production and send us a right-hand-drive Ford Mustang Mach-E?
There is some speculation about how fast the Australian public will accept electric vehicles, and still some uncertainty about how an EV would cope traversing our wide, brown land. Some commentators think that the vertical section of the S curve of new technology penetration is a long way off. Some say we might reach 4% of new vehicle sales by the end of 2022. I believe it will be more than 6%.
Many European countries were at 3% only a few years ago and now are over 20%. BloombergNEF talks of peak oil demand. Shell and BP are pivoting towards being energy companies rather than oil companies. Electric car high-speed charging is becoming profitable. Who would have thought a decade ago that diesel would be in rapid decline?
Perhaps I should get a sandwich board, but not one that says “The end is nigh!” Rather, it should say: “The beginning has begun and the future is electric!” and more Tesla factory construction surely just means that more electric cars are coming. For those of you who can’t wait, here is the new Tesla factory, as it was a few days ago.
German Tesla Factory (Giga Berlin)
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