Tesla Model 3 electric car awarded five stars for safety

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If you were sceptical of a Tesla electric car holding up in a crash, a new report may quell your concerns.

The company’s newest model, the Model 3, has been awarded top marks in the United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) crash test.

The Model 3 was rated five stars in every category and subcategory, with NHTSA testing in three primary categories – frontal crash, side crash and rollover – which are then broken up into further subcategories.

In a Tweet, Tesla’s enigmatic and erratic chief Elon Musk had high praises for the company’s foray into budget electric cars.

“[The] Model 3 has a shot at being [the] safest car ever tested,” he said.

Tesla’s high score is aided by its low centre of gravity, with its battery packs placed low in the body, and the lack of an engine improving crash severity.

The Model 3’s top rating falls in line with every other Tesla model, with the Model X achieving five stars in 2017, while the Model S did so back in 2013.

As for other electric cars, the Chevrolet ‘Bolt’, a subcompact electric car, was also given a five-star rating but could only achieve top marks in about half of the subcategories.

The Model 3 is yet to be tested by ANCAP, Australia’s own car safety testing bureau.

When is the Model 3 coming to Australia?

Tesla’s Model 3 was released to much fanfare and the first deliveries are expected in 2019. In reality, the waiting list to actually get one is at least 12 months.

Reservations for the car began way back in March 2016, with a $1,500 refundable deposit required.

So far Tesla has shipped only three models to Australia, with all of them being in left hand drive. They are designed to be show models and are housed in Tesla’s display stores in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, Martin Place in Sydney and Chadstone in Melbourne.

While no specific pricing information has been released, the Model 3 starts at USD $35,000, which is about AUD $48,000 at the time of writing.

Musk, in a Tweet replying to a fan, said that Australian pricing will be the conversion rate plus import duties and sales tax.

The Model S is subject to Australia’s luxury car tax, while if pricing stays under the $75,000-odd threshold, the Model 3 will be exempt.

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