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Tesla Sales in Australia Picking Up Steam Despite Still Lacking Charging Infrastructure

In 2021, Tesla reported it sold 12,144 units in Australia compared with 3430 EV sales in 2020. That represented a 72% Increase, with the Model 3 being the best-selling EV in the country. Year to date, Tesla sales are just shy of 5,000. Overall, Australia now has over 26,000 Tesla on its roads.
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Sales of Tesla vehicles are rapidly approaching the number of Tesla Powerwalls in the country of just 26 million residents and over 2.9 million square miles (7.6 million square kilometers) in surface area. The popularity of home batteries and solar roofs is very high and, in fact, Australia has the highest per-capita of rooftop solar uptake of any other country.

Australia has a problem like many other countries, but on a more significant scale; battery charging infrastructure. With over 823,000 kilometers of roadways, the financial scale of building a charging network to support a limited EV vehicle market is enormous.

In addition, the country lacks the required transformers on its electrical grid to support a fast charging network. At the recent Australian Clean Energy Summit in Sydney, Chair Robyn Denholm urged the new Labor government to take steps to encourage consumers to buy electric vehicles and speed up electrical grid upgrades

The country represents just 1% of Tesla sales, which reached 2.5 million globally at the end of the second quarter in June 2022.

Australia supplies Tesla with over three-quarters of the battery materials such as lithium, which it requires to build batteries, but has limited refining capacity for higher value materials used in the production of EV batteries.

The enormity of domestic grid upgrades may prove to be too much when you consider the alternative of investing in the refining of homegrown materials with global demand.


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