Are Tesla throttling Australian customers?
Moves to throttle charging speed and battery capacity may impact Tesla owners in Australia.
Tesla was recently found guilty in a court in Norway of throttling charging speed and battery capacity through a software update.
The company could be forced to pay $US160 million ($A200 million) to Norwegian Tesla owners.
Unless Tesla appeals, they have to pay $US16,000 ($A20,000) to each of the thousands of owners affected in the country to settle the complaint. Tesla sold around 10,000 of the particular Model S during the period in question.
The fine could be even more significant as other similar legal efforts are underway in other countries.
Tesla faces class action lawsuit
Tesla is facing similar complaints in the US, where customers have filed a class action lawsuit against the company alleging slower charging speeds in older model vehicles.
The US lawsuit alleges fraud and seeks class action status for the owners of older-generation vehicles whose range has been curtailed by as much as 60 kilometres.
In Norway, Tesla owners reported significant 20 – 50 kilometre drops in range and slower charging speeds following a software update.
Norway is one of the largest electric vehicles markets in the world with electric vehicles accounting for more than half of all cars sold in the country last year.
Tesla was the top seller in the country for many years but was recently overtaken by Volkswagen. Aggressive tax incentives are helping Norway achieve its goal of ensuring all new vehicles sold are zero emission by 2025.
Growing Australian demand for electric vehicles
In Australia, Tesla shipped an estimated 1,500 Model 3s in May. The new cars will be delivered in June. That shipment will give electric vehicles a record 2 percent share of the Australian new car market.
By the end of June, an estimated 5,000 electric vehicles will have been delivered to Australian customers by Tesla for the year.
Added to an estimated 10,000 vehicles shipped locally in previous years, the first half of the year will increase Tesla’s fleet in Australia by 50 percent.
Around three-quarters of new electric vehicles sold in Australia are Tesla Model 3s.
Electric vehicles are becoming more popular in Australia. $3,000 rebates in Victoria and the interest-free loans in the ACT are boosting demand and purchases.
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