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Tesla Model 3 secures homologation approval from European regulators

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In a recent letter to Tesla employees, Elon Musk noted that the first quarter of 2019 would see Model 3 deliveries starting in international markets. Musk said that Tesla is adopting a similar strategy in Q1 2019 as it did in Q3 2018, with the company pushing the Model 3’s higher-cost versions in Europe and China. If successful, and with some degree of luck, Musk stated that Tesla could “target a tiny profit” this first quarter.  

Recent updates from European regulators suggest that Tesla’s Model 3 ramp in the region would face no issues from regulators. In an update on its official website, Dutch vehicle authority RDW cleared the electric car maker to start delivering the Model 3 across Europe. On Friday, Los Angeles Times reporter Russ Mitchell also posted a tweet attributed to a Tesla spokesperson, who stated that the company had received European approval for the electric sedan.

With the Model 3 gaining homologation approval, there is very little that can get in the way of Tesla saturating Europe with the electic sedan. While the Model S and Model X both gained homologation without any problems, after all, any issues with the Model 3’s approval could have compromised Tesla’s plans for the vehicle’s European push, which reportedly involves shipping 3,000 units of the electric sedan to the region per week starting in February.  

This is precisely what happened to legacy automaker Audi and its e-tron all-electric SUV, which reportedly failed homologation due to issues with the vehicle’s software. While the e-tron garnered a notable amount of interest from potential buyers in the region, Audi ultimately stated that its first all-electric SUV would not be released by the end of 2018 as initially planned. Fortunately for the veteran automaker, Audi has since informed auto publication Electrive that the e-tron actually made it through homologation mid-December.

With the Model 3 successfully passing homologation, Tesla would be able to avoid the delays and difficulties faced by Audi and its first all-electric SUV. Tesla could now focus on the most important matter at hand — delivering the Model 3 to reservation holders and potential buyers in the region.

Deliveries for the electric sedan are yet to start, but Tesla is already moving full throttle in its European push for the Model 3. In a previous report, Belgian news agency Focus-WTV has noted that the electric sedans will be arriving every week at the port of Zeebrugge, located on the coast of Belgium. To bring the Model 3 to Europe, Tesla is reportedly partnering with transportation firm International Car Operators (ICO), which uses RoRo (roll-on, roll-off) ships capable of loading and unloading cargo quickly.

Tesla is also ramping its Supercharger Network in the region to support the upcoming influx of Model 3 sedans. For now, Tesla is in the process of installing “Model 3 Priority” Superchargers that are equipped with dual charge cables, which feature a Type 2 and CCS plug. To further augment its charging infrastrcuture in Europe, Tesla also plans to retrofit its existing Supercharger stations with CCS plugs to accommodate the Model 3.

Tesla has noted that Europe presents a lucrative opportunity for the Model 3 since the midsize sedan segment in the region is roughly twice as large as that of the United States. If the Model 3 can see as much success in Europe as it did in America, then a good part of Tesla’s international push for the electric sedan could very well be a resounding success.

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