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Tesla Exporting Shanghai-Made Model 3 & Model Y Vehicles To Canada

The first batch of Tesla vehicles manufactured in Shanghai has arrived in Vancouver, Canada, and a second load is on its way.

A report by Reuters says that Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles manufactured in Shanghai are now available for immediate delivery to Canadian customers. According to Tesla’s Canadian website, both rear-wheel-drive Model Y vehicles and the long-range, all-wheel-drive versions of the Model 3 are now available for immediate delivery to people who live in British Columbia. Both models qualify for federal electric car purchase incentives of C$5,000 ($3,700). Unlike the United States, Canada does not link electric vehicle subsidies to the location of the factory where the cars are made.

The rear-wheel-drive Model Y has a list price of C$61,990 in Canada. The dual-motor Model 3 costs C$64,990 as of this morning. Reuters says the Model Y price is 22% higher than the list price for that car in China, which no doubt reflects some of the cost of shipping cars to Canada from Shanghai. DriveTeslaCanada reports that the first shipload of cars from Shanghai arrived last weekend and that a second ship, the Viking Sea, departed from Shanghai on Sunday and is scheduled to arrive in Vancouver on June 3, 2023, according to ship manifest records supplied by VesselFinder.

Reuters explains that Tesla uses a code when listing vehicles for sale that corresponds to the first three digits of the vehicle identification number. The VIN for Tesla models built by the Shanghai factory all start with the letters “LRW.” Tesla said last month that it would offer a new, cheaper version of its Model Y in Canada, a rear-wheel-drive variant of the SUV-style crossover that would qualify for Canadian government incentives. The cars qualifying for that subsidy on Tesla’s website carry a VIN code showing they were built by the company’s Shanghai factory.


Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai. Photo courtesy of Tesla.

Reuters and Elon Musk got into a bit of a spat last year when it was reported that Tesla was considering exporting cars manufactured in Shanghai to the US. “False,” said Musk in a tweet. Reuters was wrong. It should have said Tesla was considering exporting cars from China to North America, something that has now happened in reality.

Exporting cars from Shanghai to Canada could help Tesla keep vehicles made at its factories in California and Texas for sale in the United States, where they qualify for potential tax incentives of up to $7,500 under the Biden administration’s subsidy program. It also opens a new market for Tesla Shanghai, which last year accounted for more than half of the company’s production.

Tesla’s Shanghai factory manufactures EVs for sale in China and exports to overseas markets, including Europe. But Tesla faces growing competition on price and features from EV makers in China, and its Berlin factory has been ramping up output of the Model Y for customers in Europe.

An anonymous source has supplied a Tesla production plan to Reuters that shows the company has designed and tested Model Y vehicles built in Shanghai for export to North America, with a target of producing nearly 9,000 of them this quarter. The source claims those cars are intended to be sold in Canada.

Customers in western Canada may be able to take delivery of a Chinese made Model 3 or Model Y within a few weeks. Those who live in central and eastern Canada may have to wait a bit longer because the cars will need to be trucked from Vancouver to Tesla delivery centers near them. DriveTeslaCanada expects Canadians with Teslas on order will be getting delivery updates soon.

Sudden Unintended Acceleration Update

Tesla has been the target of “sudden unintended acceleration” allegations for years. Earlier this year, a Model 3 crashed at a West Vancouver ferry terminal, resulting in a total loss. The driver claimed that accident happened because the car accelerated unexpectedly.

But West Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Mark McLean said over the weekend, “Following an analysis of the vehicle data, the investigators determined the collision to be human caused.” As a result, the 68-year-old driver was issued a ticket for driving without due care and attention.

Last week, a former driver for ride-hailing service Revel in New York City sued Tesla because he says the Model Y he was driving “suddenly and automatically” accelerated. The driver claims he had to deliberately crash the car to avoid hitting pedestrians. According to his attorney, “He had his foot on the brake. He put the car into drive, took his foot off the brake, and then the car jumped forward.” When he took his foot off the brake, he lost control of the Tesla. Even after he put his foot back on the brake, the car would not stop. He tried putting the car back into park but that didn’t work either.

Last week, a taxi driver in Norway claimed his Model Y went berserk and crashed into several buildings. He was later issued a citation by the police.

Despite strenuous protestations by Tesla that its cars do not have a sudden unintended acceleration issue, the State Administrator for Market Regulation in China has issued a product recall for 1.1 million Teslas. It requires Tesla to restore a feature that allows drivers to disable regenerative braking. The update will begin May 29 and will restore the option of switching off regenerative braking. It will also warn drivers when they step hard on the accelerator pedal.

Apparently, some drivers are confused by “one-pedal driving,” a feature of most electric cars. When the accelerator is released, the electric motor that powers the car turns into a generator that sends electricity back to the battery to boost range. But some drivers apparently do not understand the process and think if they need to brake harder, they should press the accelerator.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has conducted an investigation into reports of SUI incidents involving Teslas. After looking into more than 200 crash incidents, the agency concluded driver error was the cause. Specifically, the NHTSA found Tesla drivers were mistaking the accelerator for the brake. That is exactly what police in West Vancouver concluded after investigating the crash last January at the ferry docks.

That Tesla SUA Blog Post

Tesla tackled the sudden unintended acceleration issue head on in a blog post in January 2020 in which it said a Tesla short seller was responsible for some of the claims. Here’s what Tesla had to say:

“We investigate every single incident where the driver alleges to us that their vehicle accelerated contrary to their input, and in every case where we had the vehicle’s data, we confirmed that the car operated as designed. In other words, the car accelerates if, and only if, the driver told it to do so, and it slows or stops when the driver applies the brake.

“While accidents caused by a mistaken press of the accelerator pedal have been alleged for nearly every make/model of vehicle on the road, the accelerator pedals in Model S, X and 3 vehicles have two independent position sensors, and if there is any error, the system defaults to cut off motor torque. Likewise, applying the brake pedal simultaneously with the accelerator pedal will override the accelerator pedal input and cut off motor torque, and regardless of the torque, sustained braking will stop the car.

“Unique to Tesla, we also use the Autopilot sensor suite to help distinguish potential pedal misapplications and cut torque to mitigate or prevent accidents when we’re confident the driver’s input was unintentional. Each system is independent and records data, so we can examine exactly what happened.”

That last part should be of interest to Tesla owners. If you are involved in a collision, your car may be a witness against you. Caveat emptor.

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