Tesla Right-Hand Drive?

Model S
Photo by Jonathan Varghese on Unsplash

Tesla Right-Hand Drive? Tesla has taken a stance on delivering the Model S and X to Right Hand Drive (RHD) countries. 

But why are RHD countries so hard to cater for?

It is true we have a smaller cumulative population than left-hand vehicle countries.

It is also true that some of the RHD countries may not be considered cost-effective due to the distance of transport and cost of living.

But it is also true that we have been advocates of the Tesla company even when many others were not.

We championed the value of the company and we helped to spread the word about the redeeming features that Tesla vehicles provided. 

So, I ask once again why?


Tesla Owners Club Western Australia recently tweeted some images that they found from a recent tear-down of the Model S from Munro Associates 

These images compared to an older tear-down of a Model S chassis do not have the tell-tale right-hand drive capability. This would suggest that Tesla had known this outcome from the start of manufacturing.  

Once again it appears that RHD countries are considered the poor cousin when it comes to the possibility of providing the Model S and X to our shores.

However, to appease some right-hand drive countries that also cater to left-hand drive vehicles it appears they are looking to those markets to provide access to the Model S & X left-hand drive versions.

Sawyer Merrit(@SawyerMerritt) highlighted this in a recent tweet. 

Tesla Perspective

Tesla Right-Hand Drive? But let’s also look at it from Tesla’s perspective. The new Model S & X vehicle numbers may be the reason for the change in direction. RHD drive countries have taken up the Model 3 and Y in great numbers outstripping and overtaking the demand for the Model S & X ten fold. 

Tesla could have looked at the cost-benefit and decided that in countries where the right-hand drive is the only option that the numbers were small enough that the change would not be significant for the company. 

Furthermore, countries like the UK and Japan which can also cater for left-hand drive vehicles can still access these vehicles. Tesla can still deliver the vehicles just left-hand drive. 

Tesla has made no secret of their need to streamline manufacturing and this could have also been a determinant factor in the decision.

Unfortunately, the group that feels the impact of this decision is the customers in those RHD countries that do not cater to Left-hand drive vehicles.

I have never considered buying a model s or X as the cost here in Australia has always been exorbitant. Way beyond mine and many others mean. Not that I wouldn’t consider it if the cost was more reasonable.

But in this instance, the customer, the advocates, the prompters and most importantly the fanboys miss out. 

The mission

Tesla’s mission has always been the transition to sustainable transport and energy. If this is true and Tesla wishes to stand by this mission, then it would seem they would maintain a version of vehicles for all corners of the globe. 

However, it would seem based on internal calculations that right-hand drive vehicles in the Model S & X class are no longer viable. 


So, the next question that some have been asking is what next?

What about the Cybertruck reservations that have been placed in many of the right-hand drive countries is there a possibility that they too will be declined?

Time will tell, but, let’s hope that this is an isolated incident and that the right-hand market is still a viable market for future Tesla vehicles.

Tesla Right-Hand Drive? A mission is one thing, but passion rules the heart. Let’s hope that the passion that most fans of Tesla and especially for their Model S & X are once again rewarded as time moves.  

It was a shock that this was the decision, but I hold out hope that one day not that far ahead we will see their return and the future of Tesla vehicles ongoing will be bright. 


David McCann

David created EV-HQ to share his passion for Electric vehicles

EV-HQ is here to inspire you to consider the possibilities

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