Bad news for Tesla fans in South Africa

 ·17 Feb 2015

Despite his ties to South Africa, Elon Musk has no plans to bring his electric car manufacturing company, Tesla to the local market any time soon.

The Pretoria born billionaire also founded SpaceX, and is co-founder of online payment company PayPal.

Musk has been on an aggressive expansion drive for his revolutionary company, with Tesla having forecasting sales to reach 33,000 units in 2014, moving up to 55,000 electric cars in 2015 as the product reaches more customers around the world.

However, with the promise of an electric car, comes the costly infrastructure of service centres and charging stations in order to keep the car on the road.

“We have no plans to enter the market in South Africa in the short term. While it is Tesla’s intention to be present eventually in nearly all countries, it will take some time to get there: we simply do not have the resources to tackle all challenges at the same time,” Telsa told BusinessTech.

The group also pointed out that it owns and operates all its sales and service locations worldwide.

“We do not have dealers, partners, or franchises. Tesla does not plan on changing this strategy in the short to medium term,” it said.

Tesla launched its first dealership in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia at the end of last year.

The motor company is also based in numerous countries in Europe including Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and England. It also has operations in China and Japan.

Owning a Tesla in SA would not come cheap. The starting price of a Model S is $71,000 in the US, while the Roadster can exceed a price tag of $150,000.

Tesla roadster

Tesla Roadster

In the meantime, Musk has been putting his energy into something that would be popular in SA, a “new kind” of home battery to power residential appliances and possibly allow you to go completely off the electricity grid.

He said the Tesla home battery design has been done, and that they expect to start production in around six months.

According to Bloomberg Tesla will be using its lithium-ion battery technology to position itself as a front-runner in the emerging energy-storage market.

By combining the Tesla battery pack with solar panels, it may well provide an affordable alternative to the traditional electricity grid.

Tesla model X

Tesla Model X

More on Tesla and Elon Musk

Tesla looks to self-driving, all-wheel drive cars

Richest South Africans

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter