Customers who had been waiting years for delivery of new Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X vehicles are cancelling their orders in the wake of the firm’s decision to supply the cars in left-hand drive only, albeit with three years’ free Supercharger use.
Tesla’s announcement on 12 May that it would cease production of right-hand-drive versions due to mechanical and logistical complexities took customers by surprise and many rushed to express their shock on social media.
Among them was Tesla owner Paul Jones: “I’m a 2018 Model S 100D owner since new and a Model S Plaid order holder since October 2021. I love the cars [but this decision] is a kick in the teeth. To be told repeatedly since 2021 my car is delayed but is coming and now this, without explanation, is very poor.
Harry Green, another disenchanted Tesla buyer, promptly ordered a new car from a rival maker: “I’ve had a Model X on order since October 2020. Ordering a Mercedes EQS now.”
Others, including John Scarrott, were worried about using a left-hand-drive car in the UK: “Overtaking is so risky, as you have to get half the car onto the other side of the road to see what’s coming.”
To address this and similar concerns, Tesla has said it will run events between 28 May and 30 June when reservation holders can experience test driving left-hookers in London.
Dealers were also caught off guard by Tesla’s decision. “It just came out of the blue,” said Richard Symons, owner of R Symons, an EV specialist based in Hampshire.
Symons said his dealership is occasionally offered used, left-hand-drive Model S cars but demand for them is extremely small.