Tesla upgrades its cheapest electric car in Australia

The second most popular electric vehicle in Australia has scored a makeover after Tesla revealed upgrades to its entry-level car.

A redesigned Tesla Model 3 launched on the company's Australian website on Friday, with deliveries expected from January next year.

The new vehicle promises a longer range, safety improvements, and a touchscreen for back-seat passengers for the first time, though it will command a higher price.

Its launch will follow a bumper year for electric vehicles in Australia that saw more than 130,000 on roads and Tesla record more than 11,500 Model 3 sales in the first six months of 2023.

Rumours about a potential upgrade for the US car maker's cheapest vehicle, dubbed Project Highland, began in March but intensified in June when a prototype was spotted under wraps in California.

Outside, the new Tesla Model 3 will feature a refined body shape designed to reduce drag and increase its range by more than 20km per charge, redesigned headlights with integrated fog lights, and new shades of red and grey in Australia and New Zealand.

Inside the vehicle, the Model 3 will add a streamlined steering wheel, ambient lighting, ventilated front seats, and acoustic glass to reduce noise.

Passengers in the rear of the vehicle will also be able to access climate controls for the first time following the addition of an eight-inch touchscreen between the front seats.

The upgraded Model 3 will feature a new battery mount and metal body structure for safety, and offer different wheel configurations.

Tesla's newest vehicle will cost more than its predecessor though, with the price of the cheapest configuration rising $4500 to $61,900 and the long-range version costing an additional $500 at $71,900.

The popularity of electric cars more than doubled in Australia over the year to June, according to the Electric Vehicle Council, with sales up by 121 per cent.

US automaker Tesla has remained the most popular electric vehicle brand in the country, though its Model 3 has been overtaken by its larger Model Y with sales of more than 14,000 cars in the first six months of the year.

The Model Y was also the fourth highest selling new car in Australia during July, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries. 

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store