In scenes reminiscent of a new Apple product launch, scores of Australians braved the early morning autumn cold on the last day of March to be among the first to drive the world’s most anticipated new electric car, the Tesla Model 3.
About 100 people – most of whom were willing to put down deposits of $1,500 today on the new Tesla vehicle despite having never seen or driven the car – were already lined up before the 8am opening of the car manufacturer’s showroom in St Leonard’s in Sydney’s northern suburbs.
Many in attendance said they were drawn to Tesla cars because of CEO Elon Musk’s visionary pursuits and that the Model 3 was the “way of the future”.
Andreas Stephens, originally from Germany, was first in line, having camped outside the showroom for two days.
“I’ve been here for the last two days waiting to be registered for the Tesla Model 3,” Mr Stephens said. “Because it’s from the only car manufacturer who believes in electric cars, who only does electric cars and not traditional cars.”
Another man, Frank Reeves, came from Wangaratta, Victoria and then Queensland specifically for the launch of the car in Sydney, New South Wales.
“I think in time people will realise that he’s [Tesla CEO Elon Musk] our current Albert Einstein,” Mr Reeves said. “In fact, I think he is a far greater mind than Albert Einstein was.”
Gary Warpole, who drove in the early morning from Australia’s capital city of Canberra more than 250 kilometres away just to get to the launch, said the new Tesla model would perhaps be the most impressive electric car to date.
“What it’s got going over every other electric car apart from Tesla models is their super charging network,” Mr Warpole said. “[By] the end of next year I believe you will be able to drive from Melbourne to Brisbane for no energy cost.”
Local Sydney resident, Janet France, said she hoped the car would become known as “the people’s car”.
“I’m so interested in saving the environment and not using any more petrol and coal,” she said. “I would love to be able to have a car that I can charge from the sun here in sunny Australia – we’ve got so much sun.”
What do you think? Are Tesla vehicles and other electric cars “they way of the future”? Let us know your thoughts below.