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The Tesla Model S Is Being Tested And Rubber-Stamped In Australia Right Now

The countdown to the Tesla Model S being released in Australia is excruciating. It’s not far off, though — we’ve had it confirmed by a few sources that a single Model S is in Australia at the moment, and it’s undergoing official certification for local sales.

According to our source, Australia’s sole Model S is (apparently) in Canberra, being inspected and tested by the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch to make sure that it complies with the Australian Design Rules. All cars imported or manufactured and sold in Australia have to follow ADRs, which mandate certain levels of occupant and pedestrian safety in an accident, anti-theft features, and so on.

It’s just a formality, of course, but it’s especially interesting because the particular Model S sitting in our nation’s capital right now is one of only five right-hand drive Model S chassis existing in the world at the moment (apparently). More will be manufactured when production starts, obviously, but the current RHD models are pieced together by hand.

Undergoing ADR testing doesn’t mean the Model S will needs to be crash-tested in Australia just yet; peak testing body ANCAP has a Niche Vehicles Test Policy that means that vehicles expected to sell less than 600 cars a year can rely on international trials and Tesla’s own testing. If the volume of Australian deliveries is substantially increased — not likely, given that Tesla is already selling Model S sedans worldwide faster than it can build them — then we’ll eventually see local ANCAP testing.


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