Tesla Model 3 and other electric cars coming to South Africa?

Tesla is well known for its electrical vehicles and to date they are the best electric cars available in Europe, Australia and America.  

Elon Musk, who hails from Pretoria, South Africa, recently announced that South Africans should be able to walk into a Tesla dealership  by late 2019 or early 2020. Three different models are headed for SA: the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X.  

Would South Africa be ready for electric cars? 

In order for Tesla to work in South Africa, superchargers would need to be readily available at petrol stations or other public areas. The supercharger stations allow the Tesla to charge a lot faster then the charger you would use at your home, in fact a Tesla using a supercharger station can charge from completely flat to 50% in just 20 minutes and to 100% in 75 minutes. However, the electrical charger that comes with the Tesla would plug into your standard 240-volt outlet. This would take the Tesla to charge from a flat battery to full in 9.5 hours.  

The advantages of having an electric vehicle:

Cheaper running costs 

electricity is cheaper than fuel, especially given the current fuel prices in South Africa. Running a Tesla could cost you a quarter of what it would cost for a normal fuel powered vehicle. 
Environmentally friendly 

because the Tesla vehicle is fully electric, no fuel emissions are created and polluted into the atmosphere.
Services are less frequent 

this is also a major advantage over normal vehicles. Tesla vehicles do not need a lot of services due to the battery powered system, which means you could save a lot of money on service costs.

Disadvantages of owning an electric vehicle:


Tesla’s can travel far for an electric vehicle, but for some people it may not be enough. The Tesla Model X has the furthest range of them all, at 470km on a full charge. That wouldn’t even cover the journey from Johannesburg to Durban – and as far as we know there are no charging points along that route yet. 
First initial cost price 

although you can save money in the long run, Tesla’s are known to be expensive when bought brand new, which is the only option South Africans will have.
Tesla vehicles are quiet 

this many not be a bad thing to many road users as they want something that is quiet for traffic and long road use. However, it could take some time getting used to your powerful car that makes hardly any sound when you accelerate. Who doesn’t love the purr of a powerful engine?

Performance figures and prices for Tesla models

Tesla’s are seriously fast vehicles. This is due to the electric power which enables it to react faster than fuel powered engines and the electric system allows the vehicle to be given full power from the millisecond your foot touches the accelerator.


  • The model 3 accelerates to 100km in just 3.4 seconds
  • The model S is even faster to 100km, in 2.5 seconds
  • The model X is the largest Tesla available and reaches 100km in 2.9 seconds


Unfortunately, all this speed and non-fueled power comes at a steep price, however the advancement of the technology Tesla is using in their vehicles is definitely seen as a class leading act from many other automotive companies. 


  • The Tesla Model 3 will be the cheapest Tesla available, and it has been sized to a sedan type body, with around the same amount of space as a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4. Pricing for the Model 3 should start between R500 000 and R550 000.
  • Next on the list is the Tesla Model S, which will be the fastest Tesla available in South Africa. This extra performance does bump up the asking price to R1 million.
  • The most expensive Tesla available is the larger Model X, which is similar in size to a BMW X5. This Tesla is also the most technologically advanced of the three, with a 9-speaker/240 Watt stereo output, Dual illuminating vanity mirrors and a few smaller features.
  • Pricing for the Tesla Model X should start at around R1 million and could top the price list @R1.2 million for a full spec Model X.


Pricing for the Tesla Model X should start at around R1 million and could top the price list @R1.2 million for a full spec Model X.

Prices correct at time of publication. 

What do we think about Tesla coming to SA?


Heck yeah! No one can deny the fact that Tesla has taken a major leap into helping the earth become a greener and healthier place. After 200 000 units were sold in the USA, it’s easy to see that Tesla is doing something right. Technology, reliability and performance are all things that should be taken into account when buying a Tesla, as it is not common to find an electric car featuring all three of these characteristics. 

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