Australians are now taking delivery of their Shanghai-made Tesla Model Y electric SUVs, about two months after the company announced pricing here.

    The company said to expect deliveries to get underway in August, and is therefore right on time. People early to put money down are receiving messages alerting them to their car’s arrival, at which point they can lock in a pickup time at a Tesla delivery centre.

    “It’s brilliant to see our new owners taking delivery only two months after orders began. A huge thank you to both our awesome local team and our colleagues at Giga Shanghai for making this happen,” said Tesla’s country manager for Australia, Thom Drew.

    Reputable Tesla shipment tracker VedaPrime has been reporting a steady ramp up at Giga Shanghai lately on both Model 3 and Y production for Australia after recent plant upgrades, with several ships having recently made their way here.

    The commencement of Model Y deliveries is another big moment in Australia’s fast-growing, but still under-represented, EV market where penetration sits below 2.0 per cent.

    Tesla remains the dominant player in EVs here, with the Model 3 sedan accounting for about half of total sales in 2022. Being an SUV, the Model Y is expected to be even more popular.

    Indeed, huge early interest saw Model Y delivery times for those who failed to place early orders blow out to 2023, prompting Elon Musk to remark: “We’re working on accelerating RHD Model Y production. Didn’t expect demand to be so high!”.

    Just days after this, Tesla Australia also increased Model Y pricing for the next order intake by between $3400 and $3640.

    We’re expecting a big sales spike for Tesla in Australia across the second half of 2022. It sold 4657 cars (almost all Model 3s) over the first half, but 4417 of these were delivered in March and the company has barely received any more cars since.

    Tesla Inc. Chair Robyn Denholm, an Australian who once worked at Telstra, last month gave a strong clue in saying she “wouldn’t be surprised” if the number of Teslas on local roads doubled by the end of the year.

    Ms Denholm reportedly told the Clean Energy Summit in Sydney this week that “we now have more than 26,500 Teslas on Australian roads, and the momentum is there”.

    “I personally wouldn’t be surprised if we double that number by the end of the year,” Ms Denholm claimed.

    Doubling its existing fleet by year’s end would be remarkable, given it delivered less than 5000 cars in H1. For added context, Tesla sold a tick over 12,000 cars in 2021.

    Ms Denholm’s bold sales target statement came shortly before Tesla released its latest financial and production results for quarter-two. In its slide deck the company said it was “focused on a record-breaking second half of 2022” in terms of vehicle production.

    Shanghai has the highest claimed installed annual capacity of any Tesla plant right now, said to be capable of making north of 750,000 cars a year – compared to 650,000 in California and about 250,000 each for Berlin and Texas.

    Shanghai’s COVID shutdowns, and plant upgrades, both curtailed output over the quarter, but Tesla claims it’s now well-placed for a spike across the remainder of the year, with the China plant achieving its higher-ever production month in June.

    Tesla Australia’s site currently advises that new orders of Model Y will be here by May 2023.

    MORE: Australia’s best-selling EVs in the first half of 2022
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    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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