Australia’s best-selling electric car, the Tesla Model 3, has had its estimated wait times blow out as to as much as 12 months.

    According to the Tesla Australia website, new orders for the Model 3 sedan will now take between nine and 12 months to arrive.

    This latest development builds on the six-to-nine month estimated wait time we reported for the Model 3 sedan in March 2022, and the five-to-seven month estimated wait reported in February 2022.

    It’s a far cry from the one to three-week waits quoted as recently as October 2021.

    Orders for the Model 3 sedan are still open, with all variants built at Tesla’s Giga Shanghai plant in China and shipped to Australia.

    Pricing for the 2022 Tesla Model 3 remains unchanged for now and is the following:

    • 2022 Tesla Model 3 RWD: $63,900
    • 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD: $76,200
    • 2022 Tesla Model 3 Performance AWD: $88,900

    All prices exclude on-road costs.

    Tesla has previously appeared relatively immune to the global semiconductor shortage crippling automakers, but this wait time extension cements the fact it’s experiencing the effects.

    CNBC has previously reported Tesla has removed one of the two electronic control units from the steering racks of Chinese-made Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, which will prevent more sophisticated autonomous driving technology from being deployed over-the-air.

    In 2021, Tesla removed passenger lumbar support from Model 3 and Model Y vehicles due to the chip shortage. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during an earnings call in January 2021 his company was having difficulty sourcing chips for this feature.

    Mr Musk has previously stated that 2021 was “a supply chain nightmare”.

    Estimated wait times have been removed for the Model S sedan and Model X SUV on Tesla’s Australian website. The mid-life update versions of these vehicles aren’t expected to arrive locally until 2023 or 2024 as Tesla pushes to meet global demand.

    Mr Musk has previously taken responsibility of the slow updated Model X rollout saying Tesla “dropped the ball badly” and it “was idiotic to stop production of [the] old X in Dec 2020 when there was still plenty of demand”.

    The Model Y, the Model 3-based SUV, was expected to go on sale in Australia in 2021. Evaluation vehicles were reportedly shipped to Australia for certification, but that hasn’t materialised.

    Pricing for the Model Y leaked earlier in April 2022 with the range starting at $67,990 before on-road costs for the Standard Range model, which is $4090 more expensive than the equivalent Model 3.

    According to VFACTS, Tesla sold a total of 4417 examples of the Model 3 sedan in the first quarter of 2022, making it the best-selling electric car in Australia.

    Its sales accounted for almost two-thirds (65.4 per cent) of all Australian electric vehicle (EV) sales in the first quarter of 2022.

    Despite no recorded deliveries of the Model S, Model X, and Model Y, Tesla is comfortably sitting ahead of Audi (2713) and Lexus in the luxury sales race, although it still trails BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

    The Tesla Model 3 is trailed by the Mercedes-Benz EQA (318 sales) and the Hyundai Kona Electric (304 sales) on the EV model sales charts.

    MORE: Everything Tesla Model 3

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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